Japanese Visual Culture: Explorations in the World of Manga and Anime

M.E. Sharpe
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Born of Japan's cultural encounter with Western entertainment media, manga (comic books or graphic novels) and anime (animated films) are two of the most universally recognized forms of contemporary mass culture. Because they tell stories through visual imagery, they vault over language barriers. Well suited to electronic transmission and distributed by Japan's globalized culture industry, they have become a powerful force in both the mediascape and the marketplace.This volume brings together an international group of scholars from many specialties to probe the richness and subtleties of these deceptively simple cultural forms. The contributors explore the historical, cultural, sociological, and religious dimensions of manga and anime, and examine specific sub-genres, artists, and stylistics. The book also addresses such topics as spirituality, the use of visual culture by Japanese new religious movements, Japanese Goth, nostalgia and Japanese pop, "cute" (kawali) subculture and comics for girls, and more. With illustrations throughout, it is a rich source for all scholars and fans of manga and anime as well as students of contemporary mass culture or Japanese culture and civilization.
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Additional Information

Publisher
M.E. Sharpe
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Published on
Dec 31, 2008
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9780765633088
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Language
English
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Genres
Art / Popular Culture
History / Asia / Japan
Literary Criticism / Comics & Graphic Novels
Performing Arts / Film / Genres / Animated
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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From Cutie Honey and Sailor Moon to Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, the worlds of Japanese anime and manga teem with prepubescent girls toting deadly weapons. Sometimes overtly sexual, always intensely cute, the beautiful fighting girl has been both hailed as a feminist icon and condemned as a symptom of the objectification of young women in Japanese society.

In Beautiful Fighting Girl, Saitō Tamaki offers a far more sophisticated and convincing interpretation of this alluring and capable figure. For Saitō, the beautiful fighting girl is a complex sexual fantasy that paradoxically lends reality to the fictional spaces she inhabits. As an object of desire for male otaku (obsessive fans of anime and manga), she saturates these worlds with meaning even as her fictional status demands her ceaseless proliferation and reproduction. Rejecting simplistic moralizing, Saitō understands the otaku’s ability to eroticize and even fall in love with the beautiful fighting girl not as a sign of immaturity or maladaptation but as a result of a heightened sensitivity to the multiple layers of mediation and fictional context that constitute life in our hypermediated world—a logical outcome of the media they consume.

Featuring extensive interviews with Japanese and American otaku, a comprehensive genealogy of the beautiful fighting girl, and an analysis of the American outsider artist Henry Darger, whose baroque imagination Saitō sees as an important antecedent of otaku culture, Beautiful Fighting Girl was hugely influential when first published in Japan, and it remains a key text in the study of manga, anime, and otaku culture. Now available in English for the first time, this book will spark new debates about the role played by desire in the production and consumption of popular culture.

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.

The life-changing power of Anime


A celebration of Anime: While many books on anime simply offer a list of “essential titles” and recommendations, Anime Impact goes deeper by showcasing the many voices of anime’s biggest fans. You’ll find many distinct stories that only each specific writer could tell, all painting a fun and surprisingly touching portrait of the true impact of anime over multiple generations.

Iconic movies and TV shows from Japan: Japanese animation—or anime—holds a special place in the hearts of countless fans around the globe. Since the early days of Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy to Makoto Shinkai’s astounding success with Your Name, anime has left an undeniable impact on our culture.


Insights from filmmakers, authors, and YouTube stars: Anime Impact explores the impression the medium has left on various fans with detailed discussions on television shows and movies from the 1960s all the way to the present. You’ll hear from YouTube film critic Chris Stuckmann and many others like Ready Player One author Ernest Cline and YouTube stars Robert Walker, Bennett “BennettTheSage” White, Tristan "Arkada" Gallant of Glass Reflection and manga artist Mark Crilley. Learn how anime has impacted culture from authors, artists, critics, anime enthusiasts, and super fans such as John Rodriguez, Alicia Malone, Emma Fyffe, and many more.

Each writer has detailed their personal experiences of discovery and how anime has changed their life. Many discuss the implications that some anime shows and movies have on our society. Readers will learn about the impact of:

·        anime classics such as Gundam, Akira, Sailor Moon, Spirited Away and other Studio Ghibli films

·        the biggest names in anime like One Piece, Dragon Ball Z, Pokémon, Naruto, and Attack on Titan

·        movies and shows both legendary and niche alike

·        truly unique hidden gems rarely seen outside of Japan

·        and much more

 

Anime from the heart: While many books on anime simply offer a list of “essential titles” and recommendations, Anime Impact goes deeper by showcasing the many voices of anime’s biggest fans. You’ll find many distinct stories that only each specific writer could tell, all painting a fun and surprisingly touching portrait of the true impact of anime over multiple generations.


Anime Impact explores the effects and lasting appeal of anime across all genres and across five decades! 

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!
A riveting work of historical detection revealing that the origin of Wonder Woman, one of the world’s most iconic superheroes, hides within it a fascinating family story—and a crucial history of twentieth-century feminism

Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore has uncovered an astonishing trove of documents, including the never-before-seen private papers of William Moulton Marston, Wonder Woman’s creator. Beginning in his undergraduate years at Harvard, Marston was influenced by early suffragists and feminists, starting with Emmeline Pankhurst, who was banned from speaking on campus in 1911, when Marston was a freshman. In the 1920s, Marston and his wife, Sadie Elizabeth Holloway, brought into their home Olive Byrne, the niece of Margaret Sanger, one of the most influential feminists of the twentieth century. The Marston family story is a tale of drama, intrigue, and irony. In the 1930s, Marston and Byrne wrote a regular column for Family Circle celebrating conventional family life, even as they themselves pursued lives of extraordinary nonconformity. Marston, internationally known as an expert on truth—he invented the lie detector test—lived a life of secrets, only to spill them on the pages of Wonder Woman.

The Secret History of Wonder Woman is a tour de force of intellectual and cultural history. Wonder Woman, Lepore argues, is the missing link in the history of the struggle for women’s rights—a chain of events that begins with the women’s suffrage campaigns of the early 1900s and ends with the troubled place of feminism a century later.
 
This edition includes a new afterword with fresh revelations based on never before seen letters and photographs from the Marston family’s papers.

With 161 illustrations and 16 pages in full color

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