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Azuma, Hiroki. Otaku: Japan’s database animals. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2009. 
Added by: joachim (7/20/09, 1:29 AM)   Last edited by: joachim (7/3/14, 2:28 PM)
Resource type: Book
Language: en: English
ID no. (ISBN etc.): 978-0-8166-5351-5
BibTeX citation key: Azuma2009
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Categories: General
Keywords: Animation, Fandom, Japan, Manga, Postmodernism, Reception
Creators: Azuma
Publisher: Univ. of Minnesota Press (Minneapolis)
Views: 35/1302
In Japan, obsessive adult fans and collectors of manga and anime are known as otaku. When the underground otaku subculture first emerged in the 1970s, participants were looked down on by mainstream Japanese society as strange, antisocial loners. Today otaku have had a huge impact on popular culture not only in Japan but also throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States. Hiroki Azuma’s Otaku offers a critical, philosophical, and historical inquiry into the characteristics and consequences of this consumer subculture. For Azuma, one of Japan’s leading public intellectuals, otaku culture mirrors the transformations of postwar Japanese society and the nature of human behavior in the postmodern era. He traces otaku’s ascendancy to the distorted conditions created in Japan by the country’s phenomenal postwar modernization, its inability to come to terms with its defeat in the Second World War, and America’s subsequent cultural invasion. More broadly, Azuma argues that the consumption behavior of otaku is representative of the postmodern consumption of culture in general, which sacrifices the search for greater significance to almost animalistic instant gratification. In this context, culture becomes simply a database of plots and characters and its consumers mere “database animals”. A vital non-Western intervention in postmodern culture and theory, Otaku is also an appealing and perceptive account of Japanese popular culture.

Table of Contents

Preface to the English Edition (vii)

Translators’ Introduction (xv)

1. The Otaku’s Pseudo-Japan (3)

What Is Otaku Culture? – The Otaku’s Pseudo-Japan – The Pseudo-Japan Manufactured from U.S.-mode Material

2. Database Animals (24)
Otaku and Postmodernity – Narrative Consumption – The Grand Nonnarrative – Moe Elements – Database Consumption – The Simulacra and the Database – Snobbery and the Fictional Age – The Dissociated Human – Age of the Animal

3. Hyperflatness and Multiple Personality (96)

Hyperflatness and Hypervisuality – Multiple Personality

Notes (117)
Index (141)
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