Akiko Sugawa-Shimada is a Ph. D student of Department of Film and Television Studies. Her supervisor is Dr. Rachel Moseley.
The current focus of research is on representations of girls in Japanese Magical Girl TV animation programmes and female audiences from 1966 to 2003. The programmes to investigate are Sally the Witch (1966-68), The Secrets of Akko-chan (1969-70), Meg the Witch (1974-75), Lulu the Flower Angel (1979-80), Magical Angel Creamy Mami (1983-84), Sailor Moon series (1992-97) and Magical Doremi series (1999-2003).
Now, she is doing audience research in Japan, interviewing women who grew up in the 1970s, 80s, 90s and girls who are watching magical girl TV animations.
Her other interests include: Elegant Gothic Lolita and their representations in contemporary Japanese animated works (in Rosen Maiden, Princess Princess, Jigoku Shojo (Hell Girl) series and Death Note), 'Sekai' type animation and the 'End-of-the-World' narratives (Neon Genesis Evangelion, Saishu heiki kanojo (She: the Ultimate Weapon), Hoshi no koe (Distance from the Earth), and Suzumiya Haruhi no yuutsu (Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya).
Her Japanese blog 'Aqui's Animation Studies' reports updated information on animation, manga and Japanese popular culture. http://d.hatena.ne.jp/queguay/