Special Issue "Japanese Media Cultures in Japan and Abroad: Transnational Consumption of Manga, Anime, and Media-Mixes"

A special issue of Arts (ISSN 2076-0752). This special issue belongs to the section "New Media".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2018).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Manuel Hernández-Pérez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Lecturer in Digital Design and Programme Director / Leader for BA Game and Entertainment Design, School of Arts, Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education, University of Hull, Hull HU6 7RX, UK
Interests: media and psychology; narrative theory; transmedia; cross-cultural readings; narrative video games

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the last few decades, Japanese popular culture productions have been consolidated as one of the most influential and profitable global industries. As a creative industry, Japanese Media-Mixes generate multimillion-dollar revenues, being a product of international synergies and the natural appeal of its characters and stories. The transnationalization of investment capital, the diversification of themes and (sub)genres, the underlying threat to the proliferation of illegal audiences, the development of internet streaming technologies and other new transformations in media-mix based production models, make the study of these products even more relevant today. In this way, manga (Japanese comics), anime (Japanese animation) and video games are not necessarily products designed for the national market. More than ever, it is necessary to reconcile national and transnational positions for the study of this cultural production.

We would like to invite potential contributors, either professionals or scholars, to submit their contributions to be considered by our review panel for a Special Issue of Arts. These discussions will be aligned to the analysis of Japanese Popular Cultural flows from any perspective (Cultural Studies, Film and/or Comic studies, Sociology, etc.) with special emphasis on manga, anime and video games. Some of the questions that can be addressed in this Special Issue, including, but not limited to:

  • Studies on audiences: national and transnational case studies;
  • Fandom production and otaku culture;
  • Relationship of Japanese popular culture and Japanese society;
  • Anime and authorship: main figures;
  • Cross-media and transmedia perspectives.
Dr. Manuel Hernández-Pérez
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Arts is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Japan
  • popular culture
  • anime
  • video games
  • manga

Published Papers (9 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research

Open AccessEditorial
Looking into the “Anime Global Popular” and the “Manga Media”: Reflections on the Scholarship of a Transnational and Transmedia Industry
Arts 2019, 8(2), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8020057 - 28 Apr 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This article introduces the special issue dedicated to global industries around anime, its theoretical commentary and its cross-cultural consumption. The concepts “anime” and “anime studies” are evaluated critically, involving current debates such as those presented in this volume. This discussion will employ the [...] Read more.
This article introduces the special issue dedicated to global industries around anime, its theoretical commentary and its cross-cultural consumption. The concepts “anime” and “anime studies” are evaluated critically, involving current debates such as those presented in this volume. This discussion will employ the concepts of “manga media” as well as the “popular global”, giving an account of the transmedia and transcultural character of these creative industries. The conclusion critiques the irregular presence of Cultural Studies in the study of Japanese visual culture and advocates for constructing an updated dialogue with this tradition in order to readdress the study of these media as a form of global popular culture. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Open AccessArticle
The Anime Connection. Early Euro-Japanese Co-Productions and the Animesque: Form, Rhythm, Design
Arts 2018, 7(4), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts7040059 - 05 Oct 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
After European audiences had first contact with anime in the late 1970s, animated co-productions between domestic producers and Japanese studios emerged in the early 1980s, playing a lead role in standardizing anime aesthetics and hence contributing to the broader development of anime in [...] Read more.
After European audiences had first contact with anime in the late 1970s, animated co-productions between domestic producers and Japanese studios emerged in the early 1980s, playing a lead role in standardizing anime aesthetics and hence contributing to the broader development of anime in Spain and other major European markets. These pioneering co-productions fostered the arrival of Japanese studios to the European broadcasting scene. However, its real impact on the popularization of anime is subject to debate. Appealing to a European audience, these series lacked some of the most recognizable features associated with anime as a larger medium. Nonetheless, in some of these animated productions there was an underlying animesque flair in the shape of conventionalized elements, character design, facial expressions, rhythm, camera action and tropes. Neither entirely domestic nor fully Japanese, these hybrid productions set up a ‘bridge’ between European and American animated visual language and anime mainstream features, thereby shaping the collective idea of what anime is for the first generation of viewers in Spain and Europe. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Anime in Academia: Representative Object, Media Form, and Japanese Studies
Arts 2018, 7(4), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts7040056 - 30 Sep 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
The transcultural consumption of Japan-derived popular media has prompted a significant amount of academic research and teaching. Instead of addressing globalization or localization as such, this article investigates the interplay of anime research and the institution of Japanese studies outside of Japan, addressing [...] Read more.
The transcultural consumption of Japan-derived popular media has prompted a significant amount of academic research and teaching. Instead of addressing globalization or localization as such, this article investigates the interplay of anime research and the institution of Japanese studies outside of Japan, addressing recurrent methodological issues, in particular, related to representation and mediation, intellectual critique and affective engagement, subculture and national culture. The inclination towards objects and representation in socio-cultural as well as cinema-oriented Japanese-studies accounts of anime is first introduced and, after considering discursive implications of the name anime, contrasted with media-studies approaches that put an emphasis on relations, modalities, and forms. In order to illustrate the vital role of forms, including genre, similarities between TV anime and Nordic Noir TV drama series are sketched out. Eventually, the article argues that the study of anime is accommodated best by going beyond traditional polarizations between text and context, media specificity and media ecology, area and discipline. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Essence of 2.5-Dimensional Musicals? Sakura Wars and Theater Adaptations of Anime
Arts 2018, 7(4), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts7040052 - 21 Sep 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
This paper examines 2.5-Dimensional musicals, or theater adaptations of anime/manga/videogames. As the genre has been gaining popularity in Japan since around 2007, criticism on the genre began to appear. What they uncritically assume is that the pioneer of the genre was the theater [...] Read more.
This paper examines 2.5-Dimensional musicals, or theater adaptations of anime/manga/videogames. As the genre has been gaining popularity in Japan since around 2007, criticism on the genre began to appear. What they uncritically assume is that the pioneer of the genre was the theater adaptation of Prince of Tennis first produced in 2003, and the unique mise-en-scène that attempts to recreate the “world” of the original, including the characters, setting, and the characters’ extreme skills of tennis, is a hallmark of the genre. However, such a view fails to consider the fact that these are actually merely characteristics of a subgenre of 2.5-Dimensional musicals represented by Prince of Tennis and other similar shows. This paper argues that another show, namely the theater adaptation of the videogame Sakura Wars, first produced in 1997 and continuing to this day, actually presents a number of important questions and viewpoints that are useful and necessary to critically discuss the genre, such as how two-dimensional characters are materialized on stage, which role audiences play in that process, how 2.5-Dimensional musicals can be contextualized within conventional theater genres rather than a part of “media mix” strategies, and tension between the local and global in their production and consumption. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Anime Industry, Networks of Participation, and Environments for the Management of Content in Japan
Arts 2018, 7(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts7030042 - 22 Aug 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Video-sharing sites like YouTube and streaming services like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, along with unlawful platforms such as Anitube, are environments of consumption enabled by increasing transnational consumption that are pushing for transformations in the Japanese animation industry. Among these platforms, the [...] Read more.
Video-sharing sites like YouTube and streaming services like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, along with unlawful platforms such as Anitube, are environments of consumption enabled by increasing transnational consumption that are pushing for transformations in the Japanese animation industry. Among these platforms, the Kadokawa Dwango Corporation is known to rely on the integration of consumers’ practices and the needs of the animation industry in a changing and challenging era of transnational content flows. In this paper, I focus on the Kadokawa Dwango Corporation, a major player in the contemporary media mix, and its pushing forward of the creation of an environment that integrates two different stances on cultural content: one which represents the industry’s needs regarding cultural content as intellectual property, and another that represents consumers’ practices and which regards content as a common or free resource for enabling participation in digital networks. I argue that rather than the production of content, it is the production of value through the management of fictional worlds and user’s participation in media platforms that lies at the core of the Kadokawa Dwango Corporation’s self-proclaimed ‘ecosystem’. This case represents the transformations in the Japanese content industry to survive the increasing transnationalisation of consumption and production. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Technological Specificity, Transduction, and Identity in Media Mix
Arts 2018, 7(3), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts7030029 - 23 Jul 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
In this paper, I focus on the study of the relationships between technological specificity and media mix, focusing on how anime, as a visual medium, is connected to other media. There are two main aspects to this paper: the study of the complexities [...] Read more.
In this paper, I focus on the study of the relationships between technological specificity and media mix, focusing on how anime, as a visual medium, is connected to other media. There are two main aspects to this paper: the study of the complexities of the visual media milieu in the age of media mix, taking into account the technological materiality of different channels of production and consumption, and the study of the way these complexities must be approached. Taking materiality and information as the key aspects of the way specific objects in media are interconnected, I explore a question that has appeared recently in media studies: what is the right way to approach the relationships between media? Full article
Open AccessArticle
Consuming Production: Anime’s Layers of Transnationality and Dispersal of Agency as Seen in Shirobako and Sakuga-Fan Practices
Arts 2018, 7(3), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts7030027 - 16 Jul 2018
Cited by 2
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Re-Examining the “What is Manga” Problematic: The Tension and Interrelationship between the “Style” Versus “Made in Japan” Positions
Arts 2018, 7(3), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts7030026 - 10 Jul 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
The term manga is used to refer to a range of related and at times exclusive domains according to the position of the speaker. In the present paper, I examine one of the fundamental dichotomies underpinning the arguments in relation to the meaning [...] Read more.
The term manga is used to refer to a range of related and at times exclusive domains according to the position of the speaker. In the present paper, I examine one of the fundamental dichotomies underpinning the arguments in relation to the meaning of manga, the tension and interrelationship between the “style” versus “made in Japan” positions. Building on research on manga, comics, and bande dessinée, I outline a framework that attempts to take stock of the most common features associated with works being considered manga. Highlighting some of the possible connections between visual style and content-specific elements on the one hand, and the Japanese language plus the culture of manga production, dissemination, and consumption in Japan on the other hand, I argue that the manga as style position is not as pure a possibility—transcending all cultural and material situatedness—as it is sometimes held up to be. At the same time, the manga is made in Japan position is not as simplistic as it is commonly thought to be and indeed points to a far deeper and more fundamental interrelationship between manga and Japan—as its real and mythical place of origin—than its proponents might actually articulate. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Kawaii Aesthetics from Japan to Europe: Theory of the Japanese “Cute” and Transcultural Adoption of Its Styles in Italian and French Comics Production and Commodified Culture Goods
Arts 2018, 7(3), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts7030024 - 04 Jul 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Kawaii culture and aesthetics are a peculiarity of contemporary Japan and move across mass media, impulse goods, creative industries, and juvenile tendencies. The concept, graphic styles, and commodities related to a kawaii culture are composite. This article, in its first part, outlines the [...] Read more.
Kawaii culture and aesthetics are a peculiarity of contemporary Japan and move across mass media, impulse goods, creative industries, and juvenile tendencies. The concept, graphic styles, and commodities related to a kawaii culture are composite. This article, in its first part, outlines the theories and general features of this cultural trend in Japan and as it is framed in most western countries. In the second part, it also focuses on whether and how the concept and the related styles and commodities have found a place in Europe, with particular reference to Italy and France. These two countries, in fact, have been since the late 1970s the key markets in the Euro-American region for Japanese contemporary culture for youths, namely Japanese comics (generally called manga) and commercial animation (or anime). Anime and manga are, in effect, an integral part of the theoretical discourse on kawaii in the two markets considered, as it is discussed accordingly in the second part of the article. In its last section, the article addresses the impact of kawaii styles on youth cultures in Europe, which is, although limited, multidimensional: it has involved spontaneous drawings among children, a certain amateur and professional comics production, amateur and commercial animation, toys and a diverse merchandising, street art, and fashion design. Full article
Back to TopTop