Japan Cracking U.S. Pop Culture Hegemony

2122 words - 8 pages

Thoughts of Japanese culture typically includes reference of the traditional words such as Kabuki, sumo, samurai, or ninja according to Amelia Newcomb, author of “Japan cracking U.S. pop culture hegemony”. This is not true anymore, in fact, without realizing it, Japanese culture has seeped in under the door an invaded the American culture. Roland Kelts, author of the book Japanamerica, wrote about such ideals:
The terms anime, manga, and otaku have become common parlance in the American media, no longer explained or defined in parentheses. Anime conventions are held nearly every weekend somewhere in the U.S. chain and independent book, video, and DVD stores devote ever expanding plots of valuable floor space to products shipped in from Japan. Public and school libraries stock their shelves with anime DVDs and manga Paper backs. (69)
Japanese culture has invaded America through anime, movies, television, cuisine, Hello Kitty, and videogames and other aspects.
Anime is an important factor in the influence of Japanese culture in America. Dragon Tamer Luna (DTL), a screen name of a person who wrote an article titled Anime: The American influence stated the definition of anime:
“Whenever someone hears the word ‘anime’ they immediately think of Japanese animation or in the very least Asian cartoons. Really, though the word ‘anime’ is derived form the word ‘animation’. And the definition of animation is the making of movies by filming a sequence of slightly varying drawings or models so that they appear to move and change when the sequence is shown.” (par. 1)
The first cartoon that defined anime was Astro Boy or The Mighty Atom, made by Osamu Tezuka was originally shown in the 1960s. (DTL, par. 4). Anime has also been described as more life-like and shows a vivid and stronger sense of reality that objects, such as the controls in the spaceship in Battle of the Planets, looked more realistic (Kelts, 15-16).
Many American channels play anime in their normal scheduling. “Cartoon Network fills about half its airtime with Japanese or mock Japanese animations” (Kelts, 73). These shows include Ben Ten, Thundercats, and Adventure time. Another anime, Afro Samurai, was played on Spike TV starting in 2006. The CW 18 plays certain anime on Saturday mornings including shows such as Sonic X and Yu-Gi-Oh. Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim also plays anime in Saturday nights with shows such as Durarara! and Bleach. Syfy also plays anime normally on Monday nights showing anime like Gurran Luggan and Monster. Some channels show anime twenty four/ seven, like the Anime Network, which debuted in 2002 as the first channel to do so (Kelts, 20).
Many children in America grew up watching shows such as Power Rangers, Powerpuff Girls, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dragonball, or even Speed Racer. Nowadays, American children cannot seem to differentiate between anime and American cartoons (Kelts, 92). In fact, Shinichiyo Ishitawa, president of Gonzo Digimation...

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