How can a movie or an animated TV series have a profound effect on your life?
How can a mixture of contemporary and six thousand year-old story elements literally entrance people around the world?
And why is it that the Japanese are the best at achieving this effect?
Hi, I’m Adam Dobay and for the past twelve years I’ve researched how mythological storytelling affect our psyche.
While I do a number of other things, first and foremost I’m a lecturer and public speaker with over 400 talks held since 2009.
I’ve studied film theory and screenwriting, psychology and yoga, mythology and marketing. (Not at the same time.)
I’ve worked for universities and TV stations, newspapers and big companies, non-profits and international film workshops.
The books of Marie-Louise von Franz and Joseph Campbell, Carl Gustav Jung and Hayao Kawai, Mircea Eliade and Jenő Király line my shelves.
Can I help you? Answer any of the following questions:
- Do you love Japanese anime and want to know why they resonate with you more than Western films and series?
- Is there one movie that you could watch over and over again but don’t understand why it gets you every why?
- Do you enjoy films with female leads better and are you irritated by how few of these are made in the West?
- Do you love myths and folk tales and kinda suspicious about how the same plots and characters pop up in all the diffirent cultures?
- Do you agree with me in that a story told well has a hypnotic, therapeutic, or even spiritual effect on its listener?
- Do you study film, media or Eastern cultures and want to expand your understanding?
- Are you a filmmaker, writer, or content creator and want to create stories that resonates better with who you’re writing to?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you’re exactly the kind of person who my upcoming blog will be for.
Read on for more about my research or sign up for my notification list right now and I’ll send you an e-mail the moment I launch. (Be sure to tick the box “Adam’s Anime & Pop Culture Analysis” so I know.)
Alternatively, do you want me to speak somewhere?
Or are you writing a thesis about anime or comparative mythology and need some quick guidance?
Drop me an e-mail, I’m happy to help.
Find my full research & lecture topic list below to see the range of stuff I’ve covered so far.
Research field #1: The story worlds of anime
1. Mythology, therapy and enlightenment in anime: an overview
2. The active female hero in works of Miyazaki
3. The inception, fulfillment and deconstruction of modern shōjo (for-girls) anime
4. The inception, fulfillment and deconstruction of modern shōnen (for-boys) anime
5. Anime as the cornerstone of Western youth culture
6. Japanese animation as a cultural mode to process societal shifts
7. What Hollywood loses when it adapts Japanese works (adaptation pairs: Ghost in the Shell vs. The Matrix, Kimba the White Lion vs. The Lion King, the Mahō shōjo genre vs. Sucker Punch, Paprika vs. Inception, The Magic Serpent vs. Star Wars)
1. The mythological storytelling of anime: Golden Age myths and the spirituality of childhood
Tonari no Totoro, Laputa – Castle in the Sky, Kaze no tani no Nausicaä
2. Transitioning to the modern Japan
Mononoke Hime, Pom Poko, Paranoia Agent, Summer Wars
3. Variations on the wandering priest motif in shōnen anime
Dragon Ball, Rurouni Kenshin, Trigun, Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh
4. The deconstruction of the male role in shōnen and seinen
Akira, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Cowboy Bebop, Yakitate Japan
5. Personal apocalypse and enlightenment
Millenium Actress, Serial Experiments Lain, Ghost in the Shell, Paprika
6. The emancipation of the Sacred Feminine in shōjo
Mahōtsukai Sarī, Kiki’s Delivery Service, The Cat Returns, Sailor Moon, Spirited Away
7. The deconstruction of the female role in shōjo
Ribon no Kishi, The Rose of Versailles, Vision of Escaflowne, Revolutionary Girl Utena
8. Therapy, apocalypse, and enlightenment: a psychological and mystical analysis of Revolutionary Girl Utena
The Cat Returns
Ghost in the Shell
Howl’s Moving Castle
Kiki’s Delivery Service
Laputa – Castle in the Sky
Nausicaä and the Valley of the Wind
Sailor Moon R Movie
Tonari no Totoro
Hokuto no Ken
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Revolutionary Girl Utena
Serial Experiments Lain
Vision of Escaflowne
Yuri Kuma Arashi
Research field #2: The mythology of New Hollywood
1. Creating a new American mythology: Sufis, samurai, and psychomythological story structures in Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back
2. The adaptation and corruption of the Hero’s Journey model after Star Wars
3. Reinventing the superhero
Iron Man, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight
4. Approaching the “alien” archetype
2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien, Close Encounters of the Third Kind
5. Fantastical coming of age stories
Twilight, Hanna, Scott Pilgrim
The Breakfast Club
The Godfather, II.
Up in the Air
The Wizard of Oz
Individual movies – animation
Beauty and the Beast
The Little Mermaid
The Iron Giant
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Spartakus and the Sun Beneath the Sea (okay this one’s French but still)
Research field #3: Applying myth and ritual to craft story worlds
Applied Mythology and Film
– Applying comparative mythology in the creation of contemporary popular culture
– Functions of mythology and their applications in cinematic storytelling
– the Jung-Campbell-Eliade strain of the mythology-as-psychology approach
– Trance, rite, initiation and what is left of them today
– The importance and role of popular youth culture in the East and the West
– Hollywood’s primitivization of Campbell’s monomyth and father quest
– Psychomythological dramaturgy in American popular film
Cross-platform project development
– Interactive narrative in game development
– The peculiarities of developing web series
– Simplificaton systems – structural similarities in models of New Age, Multilevel Marketing and conspiracy theory
– Lost generations in contemporary Hungarian society
– Culture consumption in Hungarian children during the fall of the Wall
Wow, you’re still here!
Congratulations, you’ve read the whole thing!
I’ll be writing about most of these topics over time on my new blog that’s starting soon. You can sign up here if you want. (I won’t send you spam, just an e-mail when I launch. Pinky promise.)