Anime's Media Mix: Franchising Toys and Characters in Japan by Marc Steinberg

By Marc Steinberg

Untangles the internet of commodity, capitalism, and paintings that's anime

In Anime's Media combine, Marc Steinberg convincingly exhibits that anime is way greater than a method of eastern animation. past its quick type of cartooning, anime is additionally a distinct mode of cultural creation and intake that resulted in the phenomenon that's this present day referred to as "media mix" in Japan and "convergence" within the West.

According to Steinberg, either anime and the media combine have been ignited on January 1, 1963, whilst Astro Boy hit jap television monitors for the 1st time. subsidized by way of a chocolate producer with savvy advertising and marketing talents, Astro Boy speedy grew to become a cultural icon in Japan. He used to be the poster boy (or, in his case, "sticker boy") either for Meiji Seika's candies and for what may perhaps take place while a goggle-eyed sketch baby fell into the keen clutches of artistic retailers. It was once just a brief step, Steinberg makes transparent, from Astro Boy to Pokémon and beyond.

Steinberg lines the cultural family tree that spawned Astro Boy to the modifications of jap media tradition that followed—and ahead to the much more profound advancements in worldwide capitalism supported by way of the flow of characters like Doraemon, hi Kitty, and Suzumiya Haruhi. He info how convergence was once sparked by way of anime, with its astoundingly extensive promoting of pictures and its franchising throughout media and commodities. He additionally explains, for the 1st time, how the increase of anime can't be understood properly—historically, economically, and culturally—without greedy the critical position that the media combine performed from the beginning. attractive with movie, animation, and media experiences, in addition to analyses of purchaser tradition and theories of capitalism, Steinberg bargains the 1st sustained learn of the japanese mode of convergence that informs worldwide media practices to today.

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Extra resources for Anime's Media Mix: Franchising Toys and Characters in Japan

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The poverty of the early postwar period and the dearth of employment for the large number of men returning from the war led many of them to find work in kamishibai. Children were starved for entertainment and delighted to find it in the affordable form of kamishibai. These two factors led to a great upsurge in the popularity of this medium. 68 Despite the vast number of spectators it reached each day, kamishibai was not, properly speaking, a mass medium, insofar as the latter is generally defined by the phenomenon of a single sender’s message reaching a mass audience.

This principle of the expanded interval was, as we saw earlier, an essential element of anime movement. Fewer images were used to compose each movement sequence. ”101 This expanded interval, mediated by 32 · Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime the still image of the character, became one of the principal means of developing connections across media and material forms, as we will see in subsequent chapters. But the principle itself can, as I suggest here, be traced to innovations that took place within manga, as writers attempted to induce a greater sense of movement in that medium.

Halfway between manga and novels, their narratives were propelled forward by their written portions, with the images being mere illustrations of these—the images did not advance the narrative, as they later would with manga. Emonogatari were similar, in this sense, to the kamishibai style of storytelling, and not without reason: many kamishibai artists of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s later became emonogatari artists. 83 Although at first, the images merely accompanied the text, as the medium developed during the 1950s, 26 · Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime emonogatari increasingly used frames and, eventually, word bubbles, recalling the medium of manga.

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