Monday, August 1, 2016

Millennial Monsters: Japanese Toys and the Global Imagination

Anne Allison
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From sushi and karaoke to martial arts and technoware, the currency of made-in-Japan cultural goods has skyrocketed in the global marketplace during the past decade. The globalization of Japanese “cool” is led by youth products: video games, manga (comic books), anime (animation), and cute characters that have fostered kid crazes from Hong Kong to Canada. Examining the crossover traffic between Japan and the United States, Millennial Monsters explores the global popularity of Japanese youth goods today while it questions the make-up of the fantasies and the capitalistic conditions of the play involved. Arguing that part of the appeal of such dream worlds is the polymorphous perversity with which they scramble identity and character, the author traces the postindustrial milieux from which such fantasies have arisen in postwar Japan and been popularly received in the United States.

(Excerpt from

The success of Pokémon and how the United States and the rest of the world went through Pokémonization is featured in Chapter 7: Pokémon: Getting Monsters and Communicating Capitalism, and Chapter 8: "Gotta Catch 'Em All": The Pokémonization of America (and the World).

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