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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Anime in the North American context : (post)modern cultural transmission, content, and meanings Thomas, Darren

Abstract

Anime (Japanese Animation) is an example of transmission of a postmodern popular culture artefact. As such, it is subject to a number of influences that shape what is transmitted, how it is transmitted, and to whom it is transmitted. These influences are both specific to anime and the result of more general cultural trends and preferences. By developing a system of ideal types based on the characteristics of anime transmission, it becomes possible to examine the phenomenon of transmission in some detail. Through analysis of anime titles, anime fan websites and magazines, and interviews, transmission and reception can be gauged. This in-depth examination of the contents and themes of anime provides insight into the needs and desires of the North American audiences for anime. By examining the imagery and narratives that have developed around gender, technology, and other thematic and cultural indicators, the audience's preferences may become understandable. By understanding the role that anime plays for these audiences, it is possible to identify the rationales that drive this form of cultural transmission. Once this is done, it is possible to extrapolate from anime to other cultural artefacts in order to gain a better understanding of postmodern cultural transmission in general.

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