A while ago, I proposed an SF Signal MindMeld column on anime, and this is the result.
My section is by far the longest, but that’s because I spent the weekend watching anime and was feeling re-invigorated about the medium. I had lots to talk about, and I was still pinging about the subject on Monday. I felt a little embarrassed about how long-winded I was, but it’s also heartening to realize how engaged I still am about the topic. I’m glad that my enjoyment of the medium hasn’t diminished, because after writing a master’s thesis on it, I suspected it might. But no — after watching some new films this weekend, and perusing some old favourites, I felt oddly centred. My faith in live-action television has been renewed by series like Supernatural and Chuck, but for a long time I just wasn’t watching a lot of fleshy TV. (That came out wrong. Moving on.) I think that means that anime is sort of my “home” media in a way that it isn’t for a lot of people outside Japan.
On Monday, I had a meeting with my co-writer for a paper on fansubbing, and we talked about how fannish trends in the consumption of global media makes diasporans of us all. The oldest scholarship on anime fandom talks about how, when fansubs first became popular in the 80’s and 90’s, white kids entered Chinese, Japanese, and Korean corner stores for the first time. Suddenly they were living one tiny slice of immigrant life: finding your home media at the store that sells goods from home. I think that’s a small but important consequence of globalization as a whole. Globalization in general is easy to characterize as the homogenization of the planet, but the flipside is that moment when people go outside their comfort zone and then expand it to include new territory.