To the average person, titles like Sailor Moon, Bubble Gum Crisis and Vampire Hunter D have very little meaning. To the anime enthusiast, these are just the tip of the iceberg for a whole genre of Japanese animation. Anime is a very stylized form of animation that evolved in Japan. Animation schools can be found all over the world, but an artist whose central interest is anime needs to look for schools that support that style. Japan has many schools that offer animation programs, with very detailed programs that will help students excel in the field of anime animation.
Tokyo Designer College
The Tokyo Designer College has the highest acceptance rate for foreign students. The school is composed of several departments, including Graphic Design, Illustration, Manga, Animation, Game Creator and Visual Image Design. Although the majority of foreign students hail from Korea and nearby Asian countries, Western students with college-level knowledge of Japanese can find a home here. Applicants must demonstrate their understanding of the language on the entrance exam. The program at Tokyo Designer College is typically completed in two years. The program does permit swapping of courses from other majors. This flexibility lets students customize their course schedule to fit their personal interests.
Nihon Kogakuin College
Nihon Kogakuin College is another option for learning anime animation. Students here can specialize in any part of the animation process. Whether students want to work on storyboards, voice-overs or the final CG edits, Nihon Kogakuin College offers a program to accommodate them. The college has three campusus, located in Kamata, Hachioji and Hokkaido. Like most anime animation schools, Nihon Kogakuin College requires students to have a good understanding of the Japanese language. Students can take language courses at Tokyo University of Technology before advancing to Nikon Kogakuin College.
Toho Gakuen specializes in training students for careers in the entertainment, music and broadcast industries. Toho Gakuen is composed of four technical colleges: Media Training College, Film Techniques Training College, Sound Technology College, and Performing Arts College. Anime animation can be learned in the Film Techniques Training College, which offers an Animated Image department, and the Novels and Comics Creative Writing department. These are two-year courses that grant a technical diploma after graduation.
Osaka Animation College
Located in Suita City, Osaka Animation College provides programs for anime animation and comics. The animation program provides animation production skills in both analog and digital techniques, and the comic program trains students to become character designers and illustrators. These are two-to-three-year courses. The college offers an extensive support system for students, which includes career advice, tutoring and communication systems, training and internships at companies, and job-seeking resources. The school also offers support even after graduation, such as consultation via email, continuous career advice and classroom rentals. The school accepts foreign students and has separate dormitories for men and women, with complete facilities.
Based in North Carolina, Rossana Coscolluela has been writing since 1997. She was editor of the University of the Philippines’ “UPV Information Manual” and has also been an editorial consultant for various custom publications. She currently enjoys freelance writing. Coscolluela holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in comparative literature from the University of the Philippines in the Visayas.