Mechademia 3: Limits of the Human

U of Minnesota Press
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Dramatic advances in genetics, cloning, robotics, and nanotechnology have given rise to both hopes and fears about how technology might transform humanity. As the possibility of a posthuman future becomes increasingly likely, debates about how to interpret or shape this future abound. In Japan, anime and manga artists have for decades been imagining the contours of posthumanity, creating dazzling and sometimes disturbing works of art that envision a variety of human/nonhuman hybrids: biological/mechanical, human/animal, and human/monster. Anime and manga offer a constellation of posthuman prototypes whose hybrid natures require a shift in our perception of what it means to be human.

Limits of the Human—the third volume in the Mechademia series—maps the terrain of posthumanity using manga and anime as guides and signposts to understand how to think about humanity’s new potentialities and limits. Through a wide range of texts—the folklore-inspired monsters that populate Mizuki Shigeru’s manga; Japan’s Gothic Lolita subculture; Tezuka Osamu’s original cyborg hero, Atom, and his manga version of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (along with Ôtomo Katsuhiro’s 2001 anime film adaptation); the robot anime, Gundam; and the notion of the uncanny in Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, among others—the essays in this volume reject simple human/nonhuman dichotomies and instead encourage a provocative rethinking of the definitions of humanity along entirely unexpected frontiers.

Contributors: William L. Benzon, Lawrence Bird, Christopher Bolton, Steven T. Brown, Joshua Paul Dale, Michael Dylan Foster, Crispin Freeman, Marc Hairston, Paul Jackson, Thomas LaMarre, Antonia Levi, Margherita Long, Laura Miller, Hajime Nakatani, Susan Napier, Natsume Fusanosuke, Sharalyn Orbaugh, Ôtsuka Eiji, Adèle-Elise Prévost and MUSEbasement; Teri Silvio, Takayuki Tatsumi, Mark C. Taylor, Theresa Winge, Cary Wolfe, Wendy Siuyi Wong, and Yomota Inuhiko.
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Additional Information

Publisher
U of Minnesota Press
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Published on
Nov 1, 2014
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Pages
296
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ISBN
9781452914176
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Language
English
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Genres
Comics & Graphic Novels / Manga / Nonfiction
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This content is DRM protected.
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“Japan's pop culture, once believed unexportable, is now hitting the shores of other nations like a tsunami. In North America, young fans consume vast amounts of manga and anime, while academics increasingly study the entire J-pop phenomenon to understand it. One community has passion while the other has discipline, and what has been lacking is a bridge between the two. Mechademia is the bridge, and with a name like that, how can one go wrong?  So why wait? Hop in your giant mobile suit and stomp down to the local real or virtual bookstore to purchase a copy right now!” —Frederik L. Schodt, author of Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics

 

Networks of Desire—the second volume in the Mechademia series, an annual forum devoted to critical and creative work on Japanese anime, manga, and the fan cultures that have coalesced around them—explores the varieties of desire that structure and influence much of contemporary anime and manga in manifestations that range from the explicitly sexual to more sublimated text and imagery. Collecting original essays by scholars, artists, and fans, Networks of Desire considers key issues at play in a Japanese society increasingly uncertain of its place in a globalized world: from idealized representations of same-sex desire in such shjo manga (girls’s comics) as The Rose of Versailles, to fan fiction inspired by the gender-switching manga Ranma ½, to desire in otaku communities.

 

Deftly weaving together desire and discourse, Mechademia 2 illuminates the techno-carnal fantasies, animalistic consumption, political nostalgia, and existential hunger underlying the most popular and influential expressions of Japanese popular culture today.

Contributors: Brent Allison, U of Georgia; Meredith Suzanne Hahn Aquila; Hiroki Azuma; William L. Benzon; Christopher Bolton, Williams College; Martha Cornog; Patrick Drazen; Marc Hairston, U of Texas, Dallas; Mari Kotani; Shu Kuge, Penn State U; Margherita Long, U of California, Riverside; Daisuke Miyao; Hiromi Mizuno, U of Minnesota; Mariana Ortega; Timothy Perper; Eron Rauch; Trina Robbins; Brian Ruh, Indiana U; Deborah Shamoon, U of Notre Dame; Masami Toku, California State U, Chico; Keith Vincent, NYU.

Frenchy Lunning is professor of liberal arts at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and editor of Mechademia 1: Emerging Worlds of Anime and Manga (Minnesota, 2006).

With a foreword from Christopher Sabat and Sean Schemmel, Dragon Soul: 30 Years of Dragon Ball Fandom is a grand celebration of the world's greatest anime and manga and it's momentous 30th Anniversary.

Join me on a global adventure in search of the 7 dragon balls, as we head west toward Japan, the birthplace of Dragon Ball. Along the way we'll meet 81 fans from 25 countries who will share their Dragon Ball story. From artists to authors, collectors to philosophers, we'll hear their Dragon Soul and discover how Dragon Ball changed their lives. Includes over 100 images.

We'll meet such famous fans as Lawrence Simpson (MasakoX) from Team Four Star, Malik from Dragon Ball New Age, Salagir from Dragon Ball Multiverse, MMA fighter Marcus Brimage, YouTube celebrities SSJGoshin4, Nelson Junior (Casa do Kame), and film critic Chris Stuckmann, famous cosplayers "Living Ichigo," Atara Collis, and Jah'lon Escudero, the creators of Dragon Ball Z: Light of Hope, Twitter star @Goku, authors Patrick Galbraith, Nestor Rubio, and Vicente Ramirez, and dozens more.

Joining us will be 27 professionals from 7 countries, including American voice actors Chris Sabat (Vegeta), Sean Schemmel (Goku), Chris Ayres (Freeza), Chris Rager (Mister Satan), Mike McFarland (Master Roshi), Chuck Huber (Android 17), Kyle Hebert (Son Gohan), Jason Douglas (Beerus), Chris Cason (Tenshinhan), FUNimation employees Justin Rojas, Adam Sheehan, and Rick Villa, Dragon Ball Z composer Bruce Faulconer, Dragon Ball manga editor Jason Thompson, Canadian voice actors Peter Kelamis (Goku) and Brian Drummond (Vegeta), Latin American voice actors Mario Castaneda (Goku), Rene Garcia (Vegeta), Eduardo Garza (Krillin), French voice actor Eric Legrand (Vegeta), French journalist Olivier Richard, Spanish voice actors Jose Antonio Gavira (Goku), Julia Oliva (Chichi), and manga editor David Hernando, Danish voice actors Caspar Philllipson (Goku) and Peter Secher Schmidt (Freeza), and Brazilian voice actor Wendel Bezerra (Goku).

Gather your belongings, jump on your magic cloud, and embark on a grand adventure, in Dragon Soul: 30 Years of Dragon Ball Fandom!
If the source of manga and anime is physically located in Japan, the temptation for many critics and scholars is to ask what aspects of Japanese culture and history gave rise to these media. This ninth volume of Mechademia—an annual collection of critical work on anime and manga—challenges the tendency to answer the question of origins by reductively generalizing and essentializing “Japaneseness.”

The essays brought together in Mechademia 9 lead us to understand the extent to which “Japan” might be seen as an idea generated by anime, manga, and other texts rather than the other way around. What is it that manga and anime produce that no other medium can precisely duplicate? Is anime its own medium or a genre of animation—or something in between? And how must we adapt existing critical modes in order to read these new kinds of texts? While the authors begin with similar questions about the roots of Japanese popular culture and media, they invoke a wide range of theoretical work in the search for answers, including feminist criticism, disability studies, poststructuralist textual criticism, postcolonialism, art history, film theory, phenomenology, and more. Richly provocative and insightful, Mechademia 9 both enacts and resists the pursuit of fixed starting points, inspiring further creative investigation of this global artistic phenomenon.

Contributors: Stephen R. Anderson; Dale K. Andrews, Tohoku Gakuin U; Andrew Ballús; Jodie Beck; Christopher Bolton, Williams College; Kukhee Choo, Tulane U; Ranya Denison, U of East Anglia; Lucy Fraser; Fujimoto Yukari, Meiji U, Japan; Forrest Greenwood; Imamura Taihei; Seth Jacobowitz, Yale U; Kim Joon Yang; Thomas Lamarre, McGill U; Margherita Long, U of California, Riverside; Matsumoto Nobuyuki, Tokyo National Museum; Laura Miller, U of Missouri–St. Louis; Alexandra Roedder; Paul Roquet, Stanford U; Brian Ruh; Shun’ya Yoshimi, U of Tokyo; Alba G. Torrents.

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