An Autoethnographical Investigation of Anime, Manga, & Reddit

Before I continue to detail my experience on Reddit, I’d first like to outline the methodology involved in my approach, detailing how my research of Japanese Anime and Manga corresponds with, and is guided and framed by, the concept of autoethnography.

Autoethnography is an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyze personal experience in order to understand cultural experience… Thus, as a method, autoethnography is both process and product.

– Ellis, Addams, Bochner, ‘Autoethnography, An Overview.’

As Ellis explains, autoethnography combines the forms of autobiography, and ethnography – the process encouraging me to describe my personal experiences with Japanese Manga and Anime, whilst sharing the experience with other members on Reddit, my chosen site of interest. Thus, my investigation will incorporate two cultural experiences, the cultural experience of Japanese texts, and the cultural experience of participating in Reddit.

In order to successfully apply this method into my investigation I’m making the effort to participate weekly in the cultural experience by both watching anime and reading manga, and then by participating in discussions on Reddit I have also been posting questions in order to spawn discussion, allowing others to share their experiences, a process which also helps to expose myself to brand new texts. I’ve so far been successful, I’ve asked r/manga about the worst manga they’ve ever read, the post receiving 108 comments, and also asked r/anime about the most emotional anime they’ve ever seen, receiving 38 comments with many interesting contributions.

In my future reflective blog posts I plan on adhering to Sheridan’s “autoethnography prompts” questions which serve as a useful way to frame my process of investigation across the next few weeks, and a useful way to prompt a deeper response to my experience. In the coming weeks I plan to generate more discussion on Reddit, and plan to look into some of the texts suggested to me in the discussions, writing about my experiences with them.

Finally, this weekend I’m going to Oz-Comic Con, an interesting experience which I’m sure will serve to inspire me during my investigation.


Ellis, C, Adams, T & Bochner, A 2011, “Autoethnography: An Overview”, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, vol. 12, no. 1, accessed 11th Sept 2014, found:

Sheridan, R , “Autoethnography: Research as Participant”, accessed 11th Sept 2014, found:


  1. You’ve probably explained this before but why are you using Reddit to investigate your topic? It looks like you’ve already been pretty successful in creating your own discussions in r/anime so it seems like a great platform. But I was wondering, is there a news equivalent subreddit for anime and manga? Similar to for video games, there is r/gaming for memes and r/games for news. Also, are you planning on investigating popular anime and manga? Or will you be looking at less-mainstream media as well? I think that would be really interesting and they are definitely large enough mediums to do.


  2. Hi. I am doing a research somewhat similar to yours and would like to kindly ask you if you might share with me the document Sheridan, R , “Autoethnography: Research as Participant” as I was not able to find it anywhere. Thank you in case, I would really appreciate it

    With kind regards


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