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

By Marc Steinberg

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

In Anime's Media combine, Marc Steinberg convincingly exhibits that anime is way greater than a mode of eastern animation. past its rapid type of cartooning, anime can be a special mode of cultural creation and intake that ended in the phenomenon that's this day known 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, while Astro Boy hit jap television monitors for the 1st time. backed via a chocolate producer with savvy advertising abilities, Astro Boy speedy turned a cultural icon in Japan. He was once the poster boy (or, in his case, "sticker boy") either for Meiji Seika's sweets and for what may possibly occur while a goggle-eyed sketch baby fell into the keen clutches of artistic dealers. 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 changes of eastern media tradition that followed—and ahead to the much more profound advancements in international capitalism supported by means of the stream of characters like Doraemon, hi Kitty, and Suzumiya Haruhi. He information how convergence was once sparked through anime, with its astoundingly wide 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 necessary position that the media combine performed from the beginning. attractive with movie, animation, and media reviews, in addition to analyses of purchaser tradition and theories of capitalism, Steinberg deals the 1st sustained learn of the japanese mode of convergence that informs international media practices to today.

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

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How can still images be more affectively moving than smoothly animated ones? Why were moving images felt to be dynamically immobile? While I have spent much of this chapter examining the technical, aesthetic, and representational conditions whereby still images were created and experienced as dynamically immobile, we must also acknowledge that the limited animation of anime created not only still images but also moving ones. One of the great feats of Japanese television animation—and the Tetsuwan Atomu anime series—was to inject movement into the manga, to generate the widely held feeling that the manga itself was moving.

Before coming to the ways kamishibai inflected the popularity of anime, we must acknowledge that the description of Atomu as “electric kamishibai” was in many ways overdetermined. 70 In the mid-1950s to early 1960s, “electric kamishibai” was widely used as a derogatory remark on the low quality of the television medium and its programming. Kamishibai was a none-too-respected children’s medium, with many parents and parent–teacher associations decrying its negative influence on children. ”71 Given its status as a low and even threatening art form, it is not surprising that television’s critics would use it to attack this new medium.

78 Each kamishibai storyboard was a representative scene drawn from the events narrated that week, showing a particular action. Although many images were very detailed and painterly and did not always connote the sense of speed or tension that many postwar manga writers have attained through the reduction of detail and the emphasis on lines, a great number of kamishibai images did evince a degree of dynamism and a sense that the image gave spectators a picture of action. Characters were often rendered as if caught in motion, clothes fluttering in the wind, and speed lines were used to denote movement in the more action-oriented narratives.

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