Database for Animation Studies


The Many Faces of Internationalization in Japanese Anime

This article explores the internationalization of Japanese anime (animation) in an effort to help explain the cultural politics behind this popular cultural product. The internationalization of anime includes the incorporation of de-Japanized elements into anime's background, context, character design, and narrative organization. A theoretical framework for understanding anime's internationalization is developed, proposing that there are at least three kinds of cultural politics working behind anime's international success: one, de-politicized internationalization, which primarily serves as a commercial tactic to attract international audiences; two, Occidentalized internationalization, which satiates a nationalistic sentiment; three, self-Orientalized internationalization, which reveals a cultural desire to establish Japan as an ersatz Western country in Asia.

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Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal
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