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Mass Communicator
Year : 2008, Volume : 2, Issue : 4
First page : ( 4) Last page : ( 13)
Print ISSN : 0973-9688.

Anime in Asia: Why not Japanese?: Rethinking the local-global cultural nexus

Khattab Umi1Associate Professor, Tong Gin Chee2PhD candidate

1Media Studies Department, Media and Communications Programme, School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia.

2Media and Communications Programme, School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne, Australia.

Abstract

Japanese animation, or ‘anime’, is making global landmarks with its steady growth into the mainstream, in spite of its humble beginnings as a ‘cult favourite’. Although Japan's mass culture has long prevailed in many parts of Asia, little has been said about why and how anime appeals to Asians. This study aims to fill this lacuna, as it puts forward the hypothesis that ‘cultural proximity'is the main reason for much of anime's popularity among Asian viewers. It situates the localisation of anime in the context of global flows and audience reception studies through a semiotic analysis of anime programmes. The study finds that anime does not propagate homogeneity, rather it depicts hybrid, occi-oriental cultural icons, values and practices, to better appeal to local, plural Asian audiences.

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Key words

Anime, Asia, Cultural Proximity, Globalisation, Localisation.

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