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Media Mixes, Media Transformations

Media Mixes, Media Transformations

(p.135) 4 Media Mixes, Media Transformations
Anime's Media Mix
Marc Steinberg
University of Minnesota Press

The term media mix has been the most widely used word to describe the phenomenon of transmedia communication, specifically, the development of a particular media franchise across multiple media types, over a particular period of time. In a word, it is the Japanese term for what is known in North America as media convergence. Yet, despite its importance for understanding the present and past of Japanese media, this term is undertheorized and suffers from a surprising lack of historicization. This chapter examines the use of the media mix strategy by publisher Kadokawa Shoten (Kadokawa Books). It suggests that Kadokawa’s entrance into film production in the mid-1970s was a landmark in the development of the media mix, drawing on and expanding the anime media mix to a wider, film-and-novel-centered audience, developing a broader media mix practice that other companies were quick to emulate. It also shows that both the anime and Kadokawa media mixes are responsible for, and bound up with, the historical shift from a modern or Fordist social regime to a postmodern or post-Fordist one.

Keywords:   media mix, Kadokawa Shoten, Kadokawa Books, anime, transmedia communication, media convergence, Fordist social regime

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