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Anime’s Media Mix

Anime’s Media Mix: Franchising Toys and Characters in Japan

Marc Steinberg
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 336
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  • Book Info
    Anime’s Media Mix
    Book Description:

    In Anime’s Media Mix, Marc Steinberg convincingly shows that anime is far more than a style of Japanese animation. Engaging with film, animation, and media studies, as well as analyses of consumer culture and theories of capitalism, Steinberg offers the first sustained study of the Japanese mode of convergence that informs global media practices to this day.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-8023-8
    Subjects: Art & Art History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Introduction: Rethinking Convergence in Japan
    (pp. vii-xviii)

    As Henry Jenkins points out, the term first got its life within industry discourse, media studies, and popular culture as a designation for the promised convergence of all media into one black box. At some point in the 2000s, the term shifted from designating the fated collapse of distinction between hardware platforms—the idea that television, video games, telephones, and computers would all merge into one technological form—to a divergent proliferation of content across multiple media forms.¹ Otherwise known astransmediaorcross-media seriality, or by the North American media industry termsrepurposingormedia synergy, the termconvergence...

  4. Part I. Anime Transformations:: Tetsuwan Atomu

    • 1 Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime
      (pp. 1-36)

      Discussions of animation often begin with etymologies of the word itself. In this vein, Paul Wells presents the following conventional definition of the termanimationin the opening section to hisUnderstanding Animation:

      To animate, and the related words, animation, animated and animator all derive from the latin verb,animare, which means “to give life to,” and within the context of the animated film, this largely means the artificial creation of the illusion of movement in inanimate lines and forms. A working definition, therefore, of animation in practice, is that it is a film made by hand, frame-by-frame, providing an...

    • 2 Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising: The Meiji–Atomu Marketing Campaign
      (pp. 37-86)

      The eleventh episode of theTetsuwan Atomuanime, “The Time Machine,” is of some interest for thinking about the question of transmedia connectivity. Broadcast on March 12, 1963, this episode follows a boy’s pursuit of his father through time, each traveling in his own separate time machine. Atomu and his private detective friend, Higeoyaji, join the boy (unnamed in the anime) in his search across the ages for his errant father, who plans to steal people and animals from the past to construct a “Zoo of Antiquity” for his future present. One scene stands out for the way it raises...

    • 3 Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy
      (pp. 87-132)

      In a prescient 1964 article, Yamakawa Hiroji, an employee in the “Planning Center” of the mammoth Japanese ad firm Dentsū, and a frequent contributor to the advertising journalSenden kaigi(Advertising Meeting), suggested an important term for thinking about the communicational dimension of things in the media mix age:mono komi, or “thing communication.” Writing about Meiji’s Atomu sticker boom and the badge boom ignited by candy rival Glico with its release of Tetsujin 28-go badges, Yamakawa pointed to the way these stickers and badges became objects of exchange and communication among the children of the time (Figure 3.1).¹ “From...

  5. Part II. Media Mixes and Character Consumption:: Kadokawa Books

    • 4 Media Mixes, Media Transformations
      (pp. 135-170)

      Since the 1980s, the termmedia mixhas been the most widely used word to describe the phenomenon of transmedia communication, specifically, the development of a particular media franchise across multiple media types, over a particular period of time. In a word, it is the Japanese term for what is known in North America asmedia convergence. Yet, despite its importance for understanding the present and past of Japanese media, this term is undertheorized and suffers from a surprising lack of historicization. Although there are a few important exceptions, there has been little serious consideration of the term itself, much...

    • 5 Character, World, Consumption
      (pp. 171-204)

      In the previous chapter, I noted the profound differences that separate the phenomenon of what is now called the media mix from its terminological origins in marketing discourse. I also emphasized the similarities between the de facto media mix that crystallized around anime circa 1963 and the media mix that Kadokawa is now popularly credited with having developed in the mid-1970s and after. Since the Kadokawa version is indebted to the anime media network developed in the 1960s, it is natural to suggest that we see the Kadokawa media mix as an extension of the anime system. This connection is...

  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 205-208)
  7. Notes
    (pp. 209-260)
  8. Bibliography
    (pp. 261-286)
  9. Index
    (pp. 287-314)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 315-315)