"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]