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Consuming Production: Anime’s Layers of Transnationality and Dispersal of Agency as Seen in Shirobako and Sakuga-Fan Practices

Center for Global Education, Doshisha University, Karasuma-Higashi-iru, Imadegawa-dori Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-8580, Japan
Received: 8 May 2018 / Revised: 27 June 2018 / Accepted: 28 June 2018 / Published: 16 July 2018
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Abstract

As an alternative reading of anime’s global consumption, this paper will explore the multiple layers of transnationality in anime: how the dispersal of agency in anime production extends to transnational production, and how these elements of anime’s transnationality are engaged with in the transnational consumption of anime. This will be done through an analysis of Shirobako (an anime about making anime), revealing how the series depicts anime production as a constant process of negotiation involving a large number of actors, each having tangible effects on the final product: human actors (directors, animators, and production assistants), the media-mix (publishing houses and manga authors), and the anime media-form itself. Anime production thus operates as a network of actors whose agency is dispersed across a chain of hierarchies, and though unacknowledged by Shirobako, often occurs transnationally, making attribution of a single actor as the agent who addresses Japan (or the world) difficult to sustain. Lastly, I will examine how transnational sakuga-fans tend to focus on anime’s media-form as opposed to “Japaneseness”, practicing an alternative type of consumption that engages with a sense of dispersed agency and the labor involved in animation, even examining non-Japanese animators, and thus anime's multilayered transnationality. View Full-Text
Keywords: anime; transnationality; transnational animation production; performance; media-form; dispersed agency anime; transnationality; transnational animation production; performance; media-form; dispersed agency
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Suan, S. Consuming Production: Anime’s Layers of Transnationality and Dispersal of Agency as Seen in Shirobako and Sakuga-Fan Practices. Arts 2018, 7, 27.

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