Love Revolution

Ian Condry

in Recreating Japanese Men

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780520267374
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950320 | DOI:
Love Revolution

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The idea of developing relationships or falling in love with characters is not new in the virtual world and in the world of anime. However the debates surrounding Japan’s obsessive fans or otaku, and their self-involved attachments are interesting for the ways they constitute a particular kind of argument on masculinity and love. Part of what gives the debate about Japanese men and anime cultural specificity aside from otaku is the notion of moe, or the affection for 2D characters or the internalized emotional response to something with no hope for reciprocal emotional response. This idea of moe is also associated with the larger questions on the ways fans relate to virtual characters and worlds, and on the power of media producers vis-à-vis consumers. This chapter is particularly interested in the ways these debates revolve around a question of the value of private, inconspicuous consumption as a legitimate expression of manhood. It maps some of the ways the value of internalized consumption is described as a means to think about whether it might point toward a new kind of politics. It offers an intriguing alternative to the focus on productivity as a measure of man. Otaku posits a question about what kind of value arises from consumption, particularly if that consumption is immaterial.

Keywords: relationships; love; anime; masculinity; otaku; moe

Chapter.  9665 words. 

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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