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Anime's Media MixFranchising Toys and Characters in Japan$
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Marc Steinberg

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816675494

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816675494.001.0001

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Material Communicationand the Mass Media Toy

Material Communicationand the Mass Media Toy

(p.87) 3 Material Communicationand the Mass Media Toy
Anime's Media Mix

Marc Steinberg

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter takes a detailed look at the specificity of transmedia communication. It argues that media interconnectivity or convergence does not always depend first and foremost on users. In order to grasp the specificity of character merchandising and the media mix system, and to account for why and how subjects consume media and things within the anime system, attention must be paid to the way media and things themselves construct connections. The chapter analyzes media-commodities and character communication through the historical evolution of the mass media character toy and the particular forms of communication between character instances that it invokes. It shows that the connections formed between anime media and other commodity forms convert both into media commodities. Anime did not invent media-commodities, but it did cause their proliferation and their institutionalization as the representative commodity form of late capitalism. Moreover, the media-commodity and its communication within the anime system depend as much on the difference or divergence between character instances—toys, stickers, anime, manga—as on the resemblance the character form invokes.

Keywords:   anime, transmedia communication, mass media, character toy, media-commodities, media mix system

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