Mimi Okabe

Mimi Okabe

Mimi Okabe (2019)


PhD, Comparative Literature

Thesis title or Research Area

Manga, Murder and Mystery: Investigating the Revival of the Boy Detective in Japan's Lost Decade

My thesis takes up the genre of Japanese mystery/detective manga and explores the construction of the boy detective (shōnentantei) to address the crisis of young adult culture during the so-called Lost Decade in Japan. It conducts a comparative textual analysis of three commercially successful manga: Kanari Yōzaburō and Seimaru Amagi'sKindaichi Shōnen no Jikenbo (1992-1997), Aoyama Gōshō's Meitantei Konan (1994- ), and Ohba Tsugumi's Death Note (2003-06), and reveals that the boy detective is defined by his role as the other, but that each series deals with this otherness in thematically different ways in response to the discursive formation of youth delinquents in 1990s Japan. For up-to-date info about my research and teaching, please check out my website: mimiokabe.com