"the Tokyo-based Web Technology Com Corp. held a press conference for their new software 「コミPo!」(AKA ComiPo!). This “manga sequencer” - the first of it’s kind for the PC - allows users to create their own Japanese comics with all the trimmings: character models, big eyes, facial expressions, panel layouts, dialogue, sound effects, speed lines, the works."
(Patrick Macias, 16 October 2010)
"The goal of this study is to construct a series of ethnographic case studies of the activities of English-language fandoms of Japan-origin media, particularly anime (animation) and related media such as electronic games, trading cards, and manga (comics). Building on Ito's prior research on children's engagement with new media in Tokyo, this study adds a transnational dimension, focusing on how English-language fans translate, subtitle, share, and remix Japan-origin media. The project aims for a broad ethnographic description of the diverse range of fan activities that comprise anime fandom, focused on the US and English-language online sites. These sites and activities include anime clubs, anime and game conventions, fan subtitling groups, online 'shrine' sites dedicated to particular characters or series, anime news and discussion sites, file sharing sites, internet relay chat, anime music videos, fan art, and fan fiction.
Anime fandoms and transnational otaku groups represent a unique case study in youth activism and remix cultures, providing examples of creativity and social mobilization as ignited by passion for particular forms of cult media. Anime fans have constructed a grass roots movement to make Japan-origin media available to an English-speaking public. Further, they construct derivative works of fan art, video, and fiction that represent emergent forms of communication and creativity keyed to the digital age. These networks of amateur cultural production exhibit unique forms of learning, sharing, and reputation systems that can inform our understanding of how digital media can facilitate lateral and peer-to-peer knowledge communities."
(Mimi Ito, Brendan Callum, Renee Saito, Annie Manion, Rachel Cody, Ryan Shaw, Jennifer Urban)
[Illustration created by 'usagijen' of 'DNAngel Riku' published by scrumptious.animeblogger.net]
"Murakami's subsequent conceptualisation of superflatness links the flat picture planes of traditional Japanese paintings and present-day manga and anime, to the perceived lack of historical distinction between high and low cultures at this locale. At the same time, he believes that post-war conditions in Japan acted as key determinants for the subsequent use and symbolic function of pictorial superflatness in Japanese cultural production. Specific to his concerns are the infantilising effects of Japan's Constitution that has kept it a pacifist country. Superflat may indeed be read as one index of post-war kawaii (cute) culture. Anne Allison traces the rise and fetishisation of cute goods and consumptive pleasures in the 1970s and 80s. She argues that: 'Cuteness became not only a commodity but also equated with consumption itself - the pursuit of something that dislodges the heaviness and constraints of (productive) life. In consuming cuteness, one has the yearning to be comforted and soothed: a yearning that many researchers and designers of play in Japan trace to a nostalgia for experiences in a child's past' (Allison, A. 'Portable Monsters and Commodity Cuteness: Pokemon as Japan's New Global Power,' in Postcolonial Studies, vol. 6, no. 3 (2003), pp. 381-395.)."
(Dean Chan, Australia)
"'Otaku' a term originally coined in Japan which translates to "obsessive fan" is a global subcultural phenomenon. Otakulture aims to explore how Otaku have become a transnational subculture bound by a common love for the consumption of pop-cultural artifacts. Inhabited by pixellated characters, robot projections, and fluffy stuffed toys, computer game mods, animation and sound installations, Otakulture examines how Otaku subjectivity and self-identity is being absorbed, modified, and translated into different social communities, language groups, and artistic communities outside of Asia, highlighting how the visual language of manga and anime culture are increasingly being appropriated and subverted by Australian artists."
(Thea Baumann, www.electrofringe.net)