You are on page 1of 336

Anime’s Media Mix

This page intentionally left blank

Anime’s Media Mix
Franchising Toys and
Characters in Japan

Marc Steinberg

University of Minnesota Press

Minneapolis · London
An earlier version of chapter  appeared as “Immobile Sections and Trans-
Series Movement: Astroboy and the Emergence of Anime,” Animation: An Inter-
disciplinary Journal , no.  (): –. Portions of chapter  appeared as
“Anytime, Anywhere: Tetsuwan Atomu Stickers and the Emergence of Character
Merchandising,” Theory, Culture, and Society , nos. – (): –.

Copyright  by the Regents of the University of Minnesota

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a

retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,
photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the

Published by the University of Minnesota Press

 Third Avenue South, Suite 
Minneapolis, MN -

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Steinberg, Marc, 1977–
Anime’s media mix : franchising toys and characters in Japan / Marc Steinberg.
     p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-0-8166-7549-4 (hc : alk. paper)
ISBN 978-0-8166-7550-0 (pb : alk. paper)
1. Character merchandising—Japan. 2. Character toys—Japan. 3. Cartoon
characters—Japan. 4. Comic strip characters—Japan. 5. Animated television
programs—Japan—History and criticism. 6. Animated films—Japan—History and
criticism. 7. Comic books, strips, etc.—Japan—History and criticism. I. Title.
HF5415.17.S74 2012

Printed in the United States of America on acid-free paper

The University of Minnesota is an equal-opportunity educator and employer.

                  
Introduction: Rethinking Convergence in Japan vii

Part I. Anime Transformations: Tetsuwan Atomu

1. Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime 1
2. Candies, Premiums, and Character
Merchandising: The Meiji–Atomu
Marketing Campaign 37
3. Material Communication and the
Mass Media Toy 87

Part II. Media Mixes and Character Consumption:

Kadokawa Books
4. Media Mixes, Media Transformations 135
5. Character, World, Consumption 171

Acknowledgments 205
Notes 209
Bibliography 261
Index 287
This page intentionally left blank
Rethinking Convergence in Japan

Convergence. As Henry Jenkins points out, the term first got its life within
industry discourse, media studies, and popular culture as a designation
for the promised convergence of all media into one black box. At some
point in the 2000s, the term shifted from designating the fated collapse of
distinction between hardware platforms—the idea that television, video
games, telephones, and computers would all merge into one technologi-
cal form—to a divergent proliferation of content across multiple media
forms.1 Otherwise known as transmedia or cross-media seriality, or by
the North American media industry terms repurposing or media synergy,
the term convergence now refers to the ways in which particular texts
are made to proliferate across media forms, from television to novel to
comic to video game to toy.2 Henry Jenkins played no small part in the
semantic shift of the term in articles dating from the early 2000s and
in his seminal 2006 book Convergence Culture, where he defines the
phenomenon as “the flow of content across multiple media platforms,
the cooperation between multiple media industries, and the migratory
behavior of media audiences who will go almost anywhere in search of
the kinds of entertainment experiences they want.”3
When a phenomenon finds a name, there is a tendency to associate
the beginnings of the phenomenon with the rise of the term itself. This
is no less true of the term convergence. Whether the teleological drive
of hardware toward a single black box or the phenomenon of transme-
dia movement of texts across media platforms, the term convergence
came to be equated with the rise of digital media and its associate
culture.4 For many, convergence is digital media. The phenomenon

· vii
is likewise equated with—and often limited to—developments in the
North American media sphere.
The focus on Hollywood and North American media and the overem-
phasis on the digital are not total, however. Jenkins himself acknowledges
the importance of Japan in a key chapter of Convergence Culture—and
the role of the Japanese model of convergence in the development of
The Matrix films, comic books, video games, and so on. In fact, he isn’t
the only writer to grasp the importance of transmedia seriality in the
Japanese context; Anne Allison, Mizuko Ito, and Thomas Lamarre have
done important work on this Japanese model of convergence.5
As these writers point out, Japanese media convergence has its own
name: the media mix. A popular, widely used term for the cross-media
serialization and circulation of entertainment franchises, the word
gained its current meaning in the late 1980s. Much as the English term
convergence has its history and its digital myopia, the term media mix
has its own history and its own form of myopia: a tendency to imagine
that the phenomenon emerged at the same time as the term, or soon
after it, having its peak in the 1990s and 2000s. Anime’s Media Mix of-
fers a different point of view: it presents the longer history of the media
mix and suggests that it cannot be thought of apart from the media
phenomenon that garnered Japan fame and acclaim in recent decades:
anime. The emergence of Japanese television animation, or anime, in the
1960s as a system of interconnected media and commodity forms was,
I will argue, a major turning point and inspiration for the development
of what would later be called the media mix. As such, this particular
history of the media mix sheds some light on the very analog beginnings
of transmedia movement as well as on the material and immaterial
entity of the character that supports it. It also sheds light on the global
travel of anime and its associated media forms—manga, video games,
figurines, cards, and increasingly, novels and live-action films.

The Anime System, Media Theory, and Post-Fordism

A balanced understanding of the emergence of the media mix must,
I will argue, take into account the particular media forms and the
proliferation of character-based images and things that accompanied
the emergence of the anime media mix with Japanese television ani-
mation in the early 1960s.6 Anime, as discussed in this book, refers to

viii · Introduction
the Japanese style of drawn, cel-style television animation that is at the
core of an inherently transmedia formation. The emergence of anime
with Tetsuwan Atomu (Astro Boy; 1963–66), the first made-in-Japan,
thirty-minute, weekly television animation show, which went on air on
January 1, 1963, proved a tipping point in the development of transmedia
relations in postwar Japanese visual culture.7 It also saw the installation
of character merchandising and the dissemination of the character
image into the lives of Japanese children and, eventually, citizens of all
ages.8 Character merchandising is the bread and butter of what I will
refer to as the anime system, and media interconnectivity is one of its
principal features.9
Tetsuwan Atomu’s 1963 broadcast marked, Kusakawa Shō argues, a
“turning point in postwar Japanese culture” that saw a shift in the relation
between commodities and advertisement: “Whereas traditionally the
method of selling a product was to advertise and sell a product based
on its content, after Tetsuwan Atomu companies would advertise and
sell products by overlapping the commodity image with a character
image.” Offering a new way of advertising, a new way of selling prod-
ucts, and a new way of organizing media relations, Tetsuwan Atomu,
Kusakawa concludes, “is a symbol of the large-scale conversion of the
postwar Japanese economy” from an economy based on the secondary
sector of manufacture, to one based on the tertiary or service sector.10
Yet even as it seems to emerge fully formed in 1963, the anime me-
dia mix has a particular material history that is inseparable from the
sticker-distributing activities of its sponsor, chocolate maker Meiji Seika,
and from toy makers’ use of the character image. It is also inseparable
from the film and book industries’ later adoption of anime’s transmedia
movement. The social and economic ramifications of this institutional
history and the materiality on which transmedia communication relies
are two of the theoretical focuses of this book.
In developing a better understanding of anime and the Japanese
media mix in general, this book also aims to contribute to a deeper
understanding of media convergence. The problem of the historical
emergence of the media mix does not merely occupy the concerns of
scholars, students, and enthusiasts of Japan and the Japanese media
sphere but also takes center stage in attempts to understand media
formations local, global, and everything in between. In part, this is
because of the increasing centrality of Japanese anime and media

Introduction · ix
mix practice to global visual culture. And in part, this is because the
sophistication of the Japanese media mix provides a model of media
convergence in other geographical locales, from Hollywood to Hong
Kong. As such, it also presents itself as a site from which to develop a
more complex, nuanced, and comprehensive analysis of transmedia
movement. A historical account of the rise of the media mix in Japan
thus allows us to make theoretical points about the nature and logic of
media convergence more generally.
As Kusakawa’s remarks suggest, the emergence of the media mix and
the rise of media convergence across the globe coincide with (and are
generative of) transformations in capitalism and the media sphere that
have occurred over the last half century. The analysis of the character
and the media mix developed here will complement the important
work developed around the study of brands by Celia Lury and Adam
Arvidsson, while contributing to the fields of film and media studies
more broadly.11 If the anime media mix begins as a local development,
it nonetheless has significant overlaps with global transformations of
capitalism in its post-Fordist manifestation. Hence this book will situ-
ate the media ecology developed by anime at the intersection of local
innovations in visual culture, national media transformations, and
transnational developments within late capitalist consumer culture.
Here it is important to pause and reflect on the term media as it
will be used in this book. One literal sense of the term designates the
constitutive plurality of media forms. Media develop relations with other
media forms as well as other things, and it is these relations that must
be subjected to analysis. While not unique to anime, anime develops a
particularly powerful form of media relationality. Hence anime in par-
ticular and the media mix more generally require a concept of “media”
as a system of interconnecting forms—as an ecology. Borrowed from
the work of Matthew Fuller, who builds on that of Félix Guattari, the
term media ecology is meant to signal the necessity of treating media
in the plural.12 The term acknowledges the dynamic interplay of media
and things, which are changing and interdependent and interact much
like an ecosystem. This ecological conception of media informs my un-
derstanding of the anime system, which inherently works across media
and things, forming relatively stable connections while remaining open
to new connections, new objects, and new media.
The second sense of the term media is, of course, best stated by revert-

x · Introduction
ing to the singular form, the medium, by which we can understand the
particular historical, stylistic, and material determinations of relatively
stable forms such as the cinema, animation, the toy, or the sticker. Here
the focus shifts from medial interconnections to the specificity of the
medium in question (its materiality, the conventions associated with
it, etc.). Both perspectives are key, I will suggest, to an understanding
of the functions and effects of the anime media mix, which thrives as
much on the material differences between mediums as on the character
resemblances across media.
Finally, a third variation of note here is the term environment and
my frequent use of the term media environment. This latter term should
be understood to designate both the media ecology as a system of
media and its lived experience by human subjects. This approximates
what systems theory would call the subject’s world, insofar as it is influ-
enced by media formations like the anime system. For terminological
clarity, I reserve the term world for the narrative or character worlds
of a particular media mix—a translation of the Japanese term sekai,
which informs both the practice and theory of the anime system. As
we will see in later sections of this book, the concept of the world is
key to both anime and contemporary capitalism. The rise of the me-
dia mix coincides with the expansion of the media environment into
the lifeworlds of human subjects such that it has become increasingly
inseparable from all aspects of contemporary life. Media worlds—or
media mix worlds—define lived experience. The study of the anime
system I offer here presents one genealogy of this permeation of me-
dia in everyday life, charting the process by which the anime media
ecology expanded to become the very environment of life under late
This is another way of suggesting that what began as a predomi-
nantly anime-based transmedia system has developed into a wider
media phenomenon. Ultimately, we must understand the media mix
to be part of a wider shift in media consumption patterns that saw in-
creased emphasis placed on the consumption of images, media texts,
and their associated things and an increased speed and penetration of
the consumption processes. The rise of the media mix is thus intimately
bound up with social, economic, and cultural transformations that many
writers have associated with the term postmodernism or post-Fordism.13
These changes were facilitated by the rise of the animated character as

Introduction · xi
a central element of media forms, advertising and consumption that
began in Japan of the 1960s. The emergence of the anime media mix
and its associated practice of character merchandising has local, micro-
level determinations (stylistic, cultural, and economic reasons for the
rise of anime and its dependence on character merchandising), but it
is also synchronous with, inflected by, and indeed formative of global
transformations associated with the term post-Fordism (the increasing
prominence of media in everyday lives, the rise of worlds as a funda-
mental aspect of consumption, and media convergence as a guiding
logic of contemporary capitalist accumulation).

From Tetsuwan Atomu to Kadokawa Books

Aiming to be equal parts history and theory, this book will provide a
critical genealogy of the anime media mix in Japan. The account of the
media mix presented here is developed first through a detailed analy-
sis of a key historical turning point: the emergence the anime system
in 1963. Second, this account is developed through an analysis of the
term itself, in connection to the activities of a media conglomerate
intimately associated with both its rise to prominence and its histori-
cal development: Kadokawa Shoten (Kadokawa Books). Accordingly,
this book is divided into two parts. The first addresses the emergence
of anime and the formation of the transmedia system that became the
blueprint for the media mix with the Tetsuwan Atomu television series
(1963–66), which was produced by Tezuka Osamu, the so-called god of
contemporary Japanese comics and animation. The second addresses
the coalescence of this synergetic media formation with the term media
mix, the important contributions of Kadokawa Books since the 1970s,
and the place of the character–world relationship within the contem-
porary media environment.
Despite the role of the anime system as a determinant in the devel-
opment of media mix practice in Japan, there is also no doubt that this
system of media synergy drew on preceding practices and transformed
as it spread to other media spheres. Here we must note the strong influ-
ence of Walt Disney on the formation of the anime system, in no small
part because of the animator’s influence on Tezuka. When it came to
producing the Tetsuwan Atomu TV series, however, Tezuka was less
affected by Disney’s animation style than by his company’s business

xii · Introduction
model and its reliance on the strategy of character merchandising:
the selling of rights to produce character goods based on proprietary
characters, thereby gaining income in the form of royalties.14 Disney
was also inspirational insofar as it produced one of the first TV shows
based around animation and geared toward character merchandising.15
Yet the emergence of the anime system is also a development that is
informed by a unique set of historical and material circumstances that
cannot be reduced to a model of influence. Anime did not, as we will
see, merely re-create Disney in Japan. Nor can it be thought of merely
as a continuation of prewar and postwar Japanese theatrical animation
and the circulation of characters that had been present since the 1930s.
Though all these historical antecedents were certainly important,
anime as a particular form of animation organized around media con-
nectivity is, by the same token, a unique development that must be
analyzed on its own terms. As such, this book situates the 1963 emer-
gence of the media mix as a moment of discontinuity within a longer
history of representational and commercial practices in Japan. This
emergence of anime marks a tipping point in postwar Japanese visual
culture, a break of sorts with the forms of animation and media systems
that came before it, and an event that made an indelible mark on the
Japanese media ecology henceforth. This book takes the position that
the current form of the media mix can and should be analyzed from the
vantage point of the development of the anime system. Critical categories
developed in the decades since 1963 are mobilized to explain elements
incipient in early anime; conversely, elements from the anime system
of the 1960s are invoked to explain current media mixes. As such, this
book emphasizes the continuities between the 1960s and the present
state of the anime media mix, glossing over some of the differences that
critics such as Azuma Hiroki read as historical rupture: the transition
from narrative consumption to nonnarrative database consumption,
the breaks between generations of anime and its fans, and so on.16 That
said, I do take pains to note transformations in the mode and style of
media mixes developed by successive regimes of media mix practitio-
ners, particularly within the Kadokawa lineage.
Given the importance of anime for the development of the media
mix, it is imperative to begin with an understanding of the specificity
of anime; it is here that we also find the basis for its ease in developing
transmedia connections. Connections between media forms will not

Introduction · xiii
be assumed to exist; on the contrary, we will assume that connections
must be constructed. This will be the concern of the first three chapters:
what were the conditions for anime’s successful serialization across
media forms?
Here the consideration of the immobile quality of the anime image
is key. The first three chapters concern themselves with the stillness of
the image and the commercial crossovers and divergences this anime
image allowed. What I call the dynamically immobile image was one of
the generative elements of this merchandising system. We must therefore
first explain how this dynamically immobile image came into being by
tracing the importance of movement (and the generation of the sense
of movement) within the still image media of manga (comics) and
kamishibai (storyboard theater) during the immediate postwar period
and how this emphasis on stillness in turn influenced the particular
kind of moving image that television animation, or anime, developed.
This is the principal concern of chapter 1.
Chapter 2 addresses how the stillness of the image allowed it to open
out to other media forms, focusing primarily on confectionery Meiji
Seika’s use of an Atomu sticker in its wildly successful Marble Chocolates
campaign. With the Meiji campaign, we witness the gravitational pull
of the character in its dynamically immobile form: previously hetero-
geneous media forms—and here I consider the chocolate premium
or freebie (omake), in particular—converge around the image of the
character. We equally witness the proliferation of these media forms,
finding the character on an ever more varied array of merchandise. The
sticker giveaway was particularly important in this regard. Indeed, the
mobility of the sticker constituted the model for all subsequent forms of
character merchandising and is thus of central importance for securing
the character its foothold in a plethora of industries and media forms.
The success of the Meiji–Atomu sticker campaign enshrined the then-
emergent practice of character merchandising in the commercial and
affective canon of postwar Japan. If characters now seem ubiquitous in
contemporary Japan, it is largely due to this infamous sticker campaign.
Chapter 3 shifts to a closer engagement with the specificity of trans-
media communication. Recent writings on convergence have tended to
emphasize the constitutive role of users in the creation of transmedia
franchises. In what might be regarded as a natural swing away from the
technological determination of earlier convergence theories, Jenkins has

xiv · Introduction
written that “convergence does not occur through media appliances,
however sophisticated they may become. Convergence occurs within
the brains of individual consumers and through their social interactions
with others.”17 Though Jenkins’s emphasis on the productivity of the
consumer or fan in the construction of media connections is impor-
tant—and follows from the author’s promotion of an active conception
of the spectator—this emphasis on the user tends to obscure the work of
media systems in constructing these connections. What I argue in this
chapter is, to the contrary, that media interconnectivity or convergence
does not always depend first and foremost on users. Jenkins’s schema of
a world in which there are merely media appliances and users’ brains
fails to capture the essential role played by technologies of “thing com-
munication” (mono komi) that are not merely hardware nor merely the
products of users’ creative imaginations: the media connectivity proper
to the character and the materiality of media-commodities that support
this connectivity. 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, we must pay at-
tention to the way media and things themselves construct connections.
The formation of relations across media and things also challenges
our commonsense understanding of commodities and how they operate.
Indeed, transmedia communication fosters a new form of commod-
ity: the media-commodity. Chapter 3 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. 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, stick-
ers, anime, manga—as on the resemblance the character form invokes.
Chapters 4 and 5 chart the expansion of the initially anime-centric
media mix system into other realms in more recent years. Though it is
impossible to account for all the changes the media mix has undergone,
these two chapters aim to give a sense of where the term itself came from
and where it has gone in the years since anime’s emergence. Chapter 4

Introduction · xv
examines the conventional historical association of the media mix with
the activities of a particular publishing house, Kadokawa Books. I sug-
gest 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 compa-
nies were quick to emulate. This chapter also explains the marketing
framework from which the term media mix originates and how its use
in the anime context suggests a media ecology that operates in very
different ways from those conceived by the marketing theorists who
developed the term.
Chapter 5 concludes the book by looking at the transformations in
the media mix model undertaken by Kadokawa in the late 1980s and
early 1990s. These transformations return the media mix to a kind
of anime-centrism but also develop anime consumption further by
heightening the relationship between character and narrative world
incipient in anime’s earlier manifestations. The chapter also examines
the work of one of the agents of these transformations, the media mix
writer and theorist Ōtsuka Eiji, for an account of the character and its
importance in the generation of the media mix consumption system. I
then connect Ōtsuka’s work on the concept of the world (sekai) to the
work of Italian theorist Maurizio Lazzarato, who rightly suggests that
capitalism no longer creates the product but rather creates the world
in which the product exists. This relation between character and world
thus proves to be a central axis within the anime system and within
media capitalism more widely.
As media culture is increasingly becoming the motor of the economy
in late capitalism, as communication is becoming the model of labor,
and as the consumption of media is becoming a form of production
unto itself, exploring the interaction of media forms and consuming
subjects has become more important than ever.18 Anime’s Media Mix
proposes to analyze this interaction by situating the emergence of the
anime system in the context of media transformations (the systematiza-
tion of the media mix); cultural shifts (the rise of post-Fordist capitalism
and its consumer culture); and the continuous, serial consumption of
transmedia worlds that develops out of these. Anime’s inception in 1963
constitutes a tipping point or a threshold past which various media
transformations occur: the rise of character merchandising and the

xvi · Introduction
media mix; the mediatization of commodities and the commodification
of the image; and the development of the character–world relation that
forms the basis for contemporary consumer culture. Recent years have
also seen the further development of this system as it expands across
national and new media boundaries to become, arguably, one of the
most influential forms of post-Fordist media culture. Anime’s Media Mix
aims to develop the historical and theoretical vocabulary with which to
grasp the monumental media, social, and industrial transformations
immanent to the systematic proliferation and interconnection of media
forms that is the media mix.
Alongside its role in organizing media connectivity and consump-
tion, anime has also become an area of vibrant creative experimentation.
In addition to established auteurs such as Miyazaki Hayao and Oshii
Mamoru, there are new generations of anime creators emerging out of
innovative studios such as Studio °C, including directors, such as Yuasa
Masa’aki, who are making anime geared toward an older demographic.
The study of anime itself has become an exciting, international field
of research, encouraging interdisciplinary approaches that draw on
film studies, media studies, cultural studies, science and technology
studies, animation studies, and anthropology.19 As anime becomes an
increasingly fascinating global, cultural, commercial, and academic
phenomenon, an understanding of its historical specificities and its
media mix legacy—including an understanding of the ways it func-
tions within the consumption–production system of late capitalism—is
needed more than ever. It is toward such an understanding that I hope
this book will contribute.

Introduction · xvii
This page intentionally left blank
Part I
Anime Transformations:
Tetsuwan Atomu
This page intentionally left blank
Limiting Movement,
Inventing Anime

Discussions of animation often begin with etymologies of the word itself.

In this vein, Paul Wells presents the following conventional definition
of the term animation in the opening section to his Understanding

To animate, and the related words, animation, animated and anima-

tor all derive from the latin verb, animare, which means “to give life
to,” and within the context of the animated film, this largely means
the artificial creation of the illusion of movement in inanimate
lines and forms. A working definition, therefore, of animation in
practice, is that it is a film made by hand, frame-by-frame, provid-
ing an illusion of movement which has not been directly recorded
in the conventional photographic sense.1

Esther Leslie, following a reflection on early animator Emile Cohl’s fan-

tastical film, Fantasmagorie (1908), describes animation’s impulse to give
life in somewhat more florid language: “From the very first, animation,
self-reflexive and unmasking, establishes a circuit of life and destruc-
tion. Animation, the giving of life, battles with annihilation, and always
overcomes, always reasserts the principle of motion, of continuation
and renewal.”2 By putting animate and inanimate objects into motion,
animation bestows life: “In animation pictures and puppets, clods of
earth and leaves, and motionless inorganic matter move, run, talk, and

· 1
even change shape.”3 Film is alive, as the title of Tezuka Osamu’s manga
(comic) about animation puts it most concisely.4
In these definitions of animation, as in most one comes across,
movement is treated as analogous to or indicative of life. Animation is
the bringing to life through the gift of movement. Yet lurking behind
many definitions of animation is an implicit conception of what kind
of movement constitutes life: smooth and fluid motion. In short, these
definitions more often than not explicitly or implicitly invoke a kind of
motion that characterizes what is known as full animation—a style of
animation emblematized by Disney’s work of the mid-1930s onward,
stressing fluid motion and a realist aesthetic. This implicit evocation
of realism—in movement and form, if not always in subject matter—is
significant. While the objects in motion may indeed be inanimate ob-
jects unlikely to be endowed with motion in everyday life, desks, tables,
and so on are felt to be “alive” in animation when they exhibit a fluidity
and consistency of motion deemed realistic. We can better understand
this association between motion and realism by turning to the early,
phenomenological writings of a film theorist who gave this association
serious reflection: Christian Metz.
In his essay “On the Impression of Reality in the Cinema,” Metz argues
that of all media, cinema is the one that is experienced as the most real
and that generates a degree of “affective and perceptual participation in
the spectator”5 that is unsurpassed by other media. Cinema generates
the highest impression of reality—the quality of seeming real that we
may call realism. What is the mechanism that allows cinema to pull off
this feat? How is it that cinema can generate this “feeling that we are
witnessing an almost real spectacle”?6 The answer, for Metz, lies in the
introduction of movement into an image that is not perceptually real:
the cinema “render[s] the world of the imagination more real than it
had ever been” precisely by injecting “the reality of motion into the
unreality of the image.”7 Motion, Metz suggests, is always perceived as
real. Since motion is never a tangible thing—one can never hold move-
ment in one’s hand—there is no difference between the perception of
motion in everyday life and the perception of motion on-screen. And
yet cinema generates the highest impression of reality of all media
precisely because it is not the most “real” of media.
Here Metz distinguishes between two problems when thinking about
media. The first is “the impression of reality produced by the diegesis, the

2 · Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime

universe of fiction,”8 by which we can understand the degree of affective
or libidinal investment of the spectator in the spectacle. The second is
“the reality of the vehicle of representation in each art,”9 the proximity
between the experience of the spectacle and the experience of phenom-
enological reality. Theater is the most real of media, the closest to reality
as experienced, but it does not generate the degree of investment found
with cinema. Theater, according to Metz, is too real. The presence of the
players in front of the audience and in the same space diminishes the
audience’s ability to lose themselves in the spectacle. The very unreal-
ity of the cinematic spectacle—sustained by the hermetic separation of
the diegetic world of the film from the world of the spectator—allows
a greater degree of affective participation in this spectacle on the part
of the spectator than is possible in the theater. Cinema generates the
highest degree of spectatorial investment precisely because it combines
a degree of unreality of the spectacle with the reality of movement.
To extend Metz’s reflections to the medium of animation, we might
say that the movement of a table dancing on-screen is experienced as real
insofar as it is in motion. The table is alive because it moves on-screen,
and because movement is always perceived as real, the movement of
the table bestows a sense of reality to the table’s otherwise impossible
dance. As Metz himself poignantly writes in a brief allusion to the ques-
tion of animation, “the fantastic creatures of King Kong were drawn, but
the drawings were then filmed, and that is where, for us, the problem
begins.”10 So long as there is movement, the impression of reality will
be sustained.
The shortcomings of Metz’s phenomenological account were noted
by a number of writers—including Metz himself—through the 1970s.
The naturalization of the filmic construction of reality implicit in Metz’s
account came under attack by theorists who sought to expose the ideo-
logical mechanisms at work in the generation of the impression of reality
in cinema.11 One intervention is particularly important here insofar as it
deals directly with the question of movement: philosopher Jean-François
Lyotard’s 1973 essay, “Acinema.” In this provocative piece, Lyotard pro-
vides a framework for us to begin grappling with a movement regime
that breaks with full animation’s attempt to approximate the realism
of motion that characterizes cinema—to account, that is, for a style of
animation that is based on the interruption of motion and the exten-
sive use of still images: anime as a distinct form of limited animation.

Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime · 3

In “Acinema,” Lyotard spells out what was only implicit in Metz’s
essay: the “impression of reality” is a construct or form of “oppression”12
supported not by the mere existence of motion in the cinema but by a
very special economy of motion. Not just any kind of motion will do to
generate cinema’s reality-effect; not all kinds of movement support the
impression of reality. Rather a specific kind of movement is required.
Conversely, Lyotard suggests, other types of motion can work against
this impression of reality and even undermine it.
Lyotard reformulates the problem of the impression of reality in
terms of an economy of libidinal investment and argues that film
production is the art of managing this libidinal investment through
an economy of movement. For Lyotard, the organization of the libido
is the essential mode of organizing a social body.13 And here, as is the
case with Freud, the libido is figured not only as a sexual but also as a
more generally productive energy. Different social forms involve differ-
ent forms of libidinal organization, that is, different relations between
energy and structure. Cinematography or filmmaking for Lyotard is one
such structure that works to organize libidinal energy. Cinematography
is writing with movements, a selection of movements to “protect the
order of the whole.”14 Institutional cinema conforms to what Lyotard
calls the “figure of return,” an imperative that requires the smooth
alternation of production and consumption and the “repetition and
propagation of sameness”15 in the libidinal economy as in the capitalist
political economy. This “return” might be thought of in terms of Marx’s
famous cycle of M–C–M'—money–commodity–more money—where
what returns is the original money plus the surplus value gained in the
cycle of exchange. Yet for Lyotard, this surplus value is social as much
as monetary: it is the libidinal ordering that integrates subjects and
their desires into an established social formation. Institutional cinema
“eliminates all impulsional movement, real or unreal, which will not
lend itself to reduplication, all movement which would escape identi-
fication.”16 As such, filmic movement is a means of social integration
that functions according to the model of the return. Movement in in-
stitutional cinema not only produces capital in a literal sense (through
ticket sales and so on) but also integrates subjects’ libidinal economies
into that of the social whole (teaching subjects how and what to desire).
Yet this organization of the social body through the orchestration
of movement in cinema is not a given—as the impression of reality

4 · Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime

was for Metz—but is rather contingent and therefore capable of being
resisted. Here indeed is where we find the space for a political cinema,
an acinema. Acinema will conform to the “pyrotechnical imperative”—a
jouissance of pure consumption without return, consumption without
production, a reveling in sterile, unproductive differences. Concretely,
this would mean creating a cinema that tends toward one of two poles:
“immobility” or “excessive movement.”17 In creating a cinema of im-
mobility or of excessive movement, “the cinema insensibly ceases to be
an ordering force; it produces true, that is, vain, simulacrums, blissful
intensities, instead of productive/consumable objects.”
On first glance, limited animation, and particularly its Japanese
instantiation, anime, might seem to be a good place to look for such
a politics of movement. Unlike the full animation of Disney, limited
animation relies on the minimization of movement, the extensive use of
still images and unique rhythms of movement and immobility. Against
the illusion of life produced by full animation and the affective invest-
ment it incites, limited animation would seem to promise to dissolve
this illusion and thereby work against the economy of return. Much like
Bretchian theater, limited animation has the potential to generate the
effect of distantiation and to repel efforts to produce the movement of
return characteristic of Lyotard’s description of institutional cinema—
and its counterpart in full animation.
Indeed, it was its political possibilities and Bretchian tendencies that
drew animation critic Hayashi Jōji to limited animation. Unlike the full
animation of Disney—notable for its goal of producing the “illusion
of life”—“limited animation does not try to hide from the spectator
the fact that it is an unreal image.”18 Yet, Hayashi rightly notes, “as the
critiques of most of the animation works broadcast on TV have made
clear, jerky movements are not the necessary condition for limited
animation.”19 What Hayashi is noting here is something that Japanese
limited animation TV programs have made abundantly clear: in spite
of, or as I will suggest in this book, because of their jerky motion, these
programs develop both affective investment and circuits of return. Jerky
motion alone does not guarantee distantiation, nor does the immobile
image alone guarantee an interruption of the circuits of return described
by Lyotard. A new image formation emerges from the rhythms of still-
ness and motion that inform limited animation, one that develops new
circuits of return by bringing other media into the mix.

Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime · 5

Yet even if it is neither Bretchian distantiation nor Lyotardian in-
terruption of the cycle of return, limited animation nonetheless does
suggest a break with institutional approaches to movement that inform
full animation as well as classical forms of narrative cinema. It also
represents a development of the animated image toward an image of
intensity that both produces and subtends transmedia configurations.
In his recent reconsideration of limited animation, Thomas Lamarre
suggests that we must think of limited animation not in terms of im-
mobility but rather in terms of the very mobility of the still image. As
Lamarre argues, “it is impossible to understand the dynamism of these
anime networks if we continue to think of limited animation on the
model of stasis or stillness.”20 Limited animation, he suggests, is not
characterized by stasis—as many proponents of full animation and
critics of limited animation have suggested—but rather by a different
kind of movement or dynamism. The only way to grasp anime’s media
crossings is to take the dynamism of the still image seriously.21
The account of Japanese anime that I develop here will suggest how
in fact it is precisely the dynamic stillness of the image that allows limited
animation to generate movement across media forms. What I will call
the dynamic immobility of the image is to a great degree responsible for
the connections across media forms and the dynamism of anime’s media
networks to which Lamarre rightly points. Stilling the movement of
animation allows the anime image to connect with other media forms,
expanding in the 1960s toward the Japanese media mix. Building on
Lamarre’s emphasis on the importance of movement in limited anima-
tion, the account here will nonetheless place greater emphasis on the
immobility of the image. In The Anime Machine, Lamarre develops a
theory of the anime image and its transmedia movement through an
analysis of the force of the moving image that animation channels, fo-
cusing his analysis on how different animations think technology. For
Lamarre, what is fundamental to the movement of anime across media
is what he calls the animetic interval, a gap between layers of the image
or between images that unfold serially across media forms. This book
proposes to develop a complementary account of anime that takes as its
point of departure an intermedial analysis of the anime system whose
nexus is the dynamically immobile character image; that is to say, I will
treat the dynamically immobile character image as the locus for the
potential movement across media forms (a locus Lamarre locates in

6 · Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime

the animetic interval).22 The emphasis on immobility will allow us to
situate the still image in anime as an intermedial reference to historically
contemporaneous media such as manga (comics) and kamishibai (sto-
ryboard or paper theater), which similarly developed a still-yet-dynamic
image. The dynamic immobility of the image and the centrality of the
character are also what have allowed anime to forge connections with
toys, stickers, chocolates, and other media-commodities, developing the
media mix and its modes of consumption that are so essential to anime’s
own commercial success—and survival. The anime media mix, with its
serial proliferation of commodities and its production of consuming
subjects that glide easily between television program, comic, toy, and
candy, is living proof that a different kind of movement—one that relies
on still images and their transmedia communication—produces an ex-
panded economy of return. This expanded economy of return depends
on a new form of active consumption that encourages its consumers to
follow a series across transmedial incarnations.
While later chapters will explore the relation between anime and
consumption more fully, this chapter will focus on the media ecology
present at the time of anime’s emergence and the conditions for the
development of this style of limited animation now known as anime.
Before looking at the way anime’s dynamically immobile image generated
alternative and expanded circuits of return, we will analyze the specific
style and conditions of development of this incarnation of animation,
exploring how anime’s relations to its wider media ecology prepared
spectators to invest in its decidedly jerky style of movement. In the first
section of this chapter, I will offer an overview of animation in Japan
and an account of the development and characteristics of anime; in the
second section, I will focus on the influences of manga and kamishibai
on the development of anime’s dynamically immobile image and on
anime’s favorable reception.

Animation and Anime

Two Streams of Animation in Japan

Schematically speaking, and as Japanese animation historian Tsugata
Nobuyuki suggests, there are two main streams of animation in Japan:
the television-based style of limited animation and the full animation

Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime · 7

style based around theatrical release.23 Although this distinction only
dates to the emergence of television animation in Japan, in 1963, and is
a rough distinction challenged in many ways, it is nonetheless a useful
rubric for considering the specificities of what is now called “anime.”24
Indeed, although the term is generally applied to all commercial anima-
tion coming out of Japan today, Tsugata provides a narrower definition
of anime useful for thinking about its specificity as a particular style
of animation. Anime, Tsugata writes, is an animation form that (1) is
cel based; (2) uses various time- and labor-saving devices that give it a
lower cel count than most non-Japanese animation, developing a style
of limited animation; and (3) is not just based on simple gags or good
versus evil story lines but has a strong tendency toward the develop-
ment of complex human relationships, stories, and worlds.25 To this
definition, we might add three further characteristics: (4) anime is, in its
initial form, primarily organized around television (though videotapes,
DVDs, and the Internet later become important distribution formats);
(5) it is character-centric; and (6) it is inherently transmedial, crossing
to multiple media platforms and material objects.
The other stream or axis of Japanese animation is the Disney-inspired,
full-animation, feature-length animated film stream that comes out
of Toei Studios’s animation division, Toei Animation (formerly Toei
Dōga). This second stream finds its culmination in the contemporary
giant of Japanese animation, Miyazaki Hayao. Miyazaki is an impor-
tant representative of this full animation stream insofar as he began
his career as an animator for Toei, and also because he rejects the term
anime in describing his works, preferring instead the older term manga
eiga (cartoon film), which initially came into circulation around 1921.26
Toei was officially established in 1956, but its germinal form was
created in 1948 as an association called Nihon Dōga, which drew to-
gether many animators active in the prewar and wartime periods.27 Toei
Animation modeled itself on Disney Studios. From its industrial, mass-
production methods to its aspiration toward cinematic realism (using
full animation to generate realism in motion and the multiplane camera
to generate a sense of cinematic depth) to its use of legends and fairy
tales as source material for its narratives, Toei aspired to be the “Disney
of the Orient.”28 Its first full-length production, Hakujyaden (Legend of
the White Serpent; 1958; released in the United States as Panda and the
Magic Serpent), which was also the first full-length, color animated film

8 · Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime

produced in Japan, is a veritable Snow White of the East. It is based on
a Chinese folk legend, uses rotoscoping to generate realistic motion of
the main characters (as Disney did in the production of Snow White),
and deploys a group of less-than-realistic animal and dwarflike human
characters for comic relief (much like the role of the Seven Dwarves).29
Following a stint working at Toei, famed postwar manga writer
Tezuka Osamu founded Mushi Production Studio in 1961 to develop
his own animation work—something that had been his lifelong dream.
And it was here, during the production of the Tetsuwan Atomu televi-
sion series (1963–66), that the style of animation now recognized as
anime was first developed. Mushi Production’s style of limited anima-
tion differed from the full animation of Toei or Disney in several key
ways. First, it differed stylistically in its extensive use of stillness, in its
rhythms of stillness and extreme motion that are the basis for both its
dynamic action scenes and its humor, in its minimal use of the multi-
plane camera and the minimization of the sense of depth of the image,
in its manga-style character design, and in its serial narrative format.
Second, it differed in its production schedule, being based around weekly
television episodes rather than yearly or biannual large-scale produc-
tions. And third, it differed from Toei in particular in its commercial
basis: it made extensive use of character merchandising and relied on
the creation of transmedia tie-ins. Though some of these characteristics
were present in animation from the 1930s, the systematization of these
characteristics differentiates post–Tetsuwan Atomu animation from
that seen previously.30
Yet if the Atomu anime series should be seen as a break from prior
histories of animation, it should also be seen in continuity with another
medium: manga. A different way to formulate the differences between
the two streams of animation in Japan is to think of the Toei stream as
a style of animation composed of the relation between animation and
cinema (mediated by a cinematic conception of realism characterized
by depth of field and smoothness of movement, as developed by Disney
animation from the middle to late 1930s onward) whose physical appa-
ratus was the movie theater. The other stream, anime proper, which first
coheres as a style with Tetsuwan Atomu, developed out of the relation
between animation and manga (in its postwar “story comics” format),
whose physical apparatus was the new medium of television.31
Television began broadcasting in Japan in 1953, but the years 1960–64

Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime · 9

were the most important for the penetration of TV sets into Japanese
households. In 1960, 55 percent of households owned a TV set; by 1964,
TV ownership had grown to 95 percent, owing in no small part to the
crown prince’s televised wedding in 1959 and the 1964 Olympics. This
represented what Simon Partner describes as a “phenomenal growth
in the domestic market” for television sets that has been “widely ac-
knowledged as the single most important factor in the success of the
Japanese electrical goods industry.”32
This new medium of television was essential to the development
of anime. Television’s weekly cycle, its half-hour program length, its
sponsorship structure and effectiveness as an advertising medium,
its prominence as a favored medium among the young, its relatively
quick diffusion into living rooms across Japan, and its uncanny ability
to generate “booms” of various kinds across the country all led to the
medium’s importance for the development of this new style of anima-
tion. While there had been a relation between comics and animation in
Japan from the very first (two of the three original Japanese animators
came from the cartoon tradition), the tight schedule and limited bud-
get of television, as well as the decision to base the first thirty-minute
animated television program on a manga, made the relation between
animation and manga stronger than ever before. Indeed, we can say that
Tetsuwan Atomu was the first instance of an animated work constituting
itself explicitly on this relation between manga and animation, with the
original manga working as the storyboard for the anime.33 The product
was in both name and in style terebi manga, or “TV manga”—a new
genre of moving image irreducible to animation per se. Tsugata puts it
best when he writes that “Tezuka from the first did not intend to [make
the drawing] ‘move’ in an ideal manner; he intentionally created ‘anime,’
not ‘animation.’”34 With Tetsuwan Atomu, manga became more than a
reservoir of thematic elements or characters (as comics had occasion-
ally been previously); it provided the source of a new visual logic and
a new relationship between motion and stillness.
As a practical and aesthetic response to the economic and temporal
constraints of producing animation for the weekly cycle of television,
Tetsuwan Atomu’s Mushi Production studio made manga move. Yama-
moto Ei’ichi, one of the central members of Mushi Pro, as the studio is
known, describes it in the following manner: “In the end we completely
did away with the techniques of full animation. Then we adopted the

10 · Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime

completely new technique of making the manga frame the basis for
the shot, moving only a section of this frame.”35 By making the original
manga the basis of the moving image, Mushi Pro developed a unique
style of limited animation.
Now, we must also note that Tezuka and his animators at Mushi
Production Studio did not invent limited animation single-handedly.36
Several precursors to Mushi’s development of this particular style of
limited animation must be noted. First, as different as the Toei ideal was
from what television anime would eventually be, Toei Animation was
a key site for the training of animators during the 1950s and a source
from which Tezuka and others recruited their initial cohort of anima-
tors. Indeed, Tezuka himself first gained a practical sense of animation
production while working with Toei in its production of Hakujyaden.
Second, limited animation as a set of techniques and a visual style was
pioneered by United Production of America (UPA) in the late 1940s and
was already being used at the time by popular American TV cartoons
such as Popeye, The Yogi Bear Show, and The Jetsons—all of which were
televised in Japan in the years prior to Atomu’s production.37 Indeed, one
could argue that the style of animation used by early animators (both
Japanese and otherwise) in the 1920s and 1930s already employed some
of the basic principles of the limited animation that was to emerge as a
full-fledged style in the postwar period. The basic visual principles of
limited animation were thus common knowledge for Japanese anima-
tors at the time, and the animators at Mushi Production were familiar
with both UPA and Hanna Barbera’s limited animation work—though
Yamamoto Ei’ichi notes that although Hanna Barbera’s TV animation
productions interested some, they were held in ill repute for their rough
movement and simple story lines.38
A third often-overlooked source of stylistic and technical inspira-
tion for the development of TV anime is to be found in the animated
television commercials of the 1950s, an economically hard time for
animators in Japan.39 With the end of the Pacific War, what little gov-
ernment funding there had been for animation had dried up, and the
main source of demand for animation shorts was also decreasing be-
cause theaters no longer screened animated or other shorts before their
main features.40 Animators were left with little in the way of work or
income. Fortunately, a new source of employment was created by the
rising demand for animated television commercials. As Tsugata puts its

Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime · 11

most succinctly, “animation for television commercials truly fostered
the growth of postwar Japanese animation, and especially TV anime.”41
When television began broadcasting in Japan in 1953, it opened up a
new world for animators. The majority of TV commercials throughout
the 1950s used some form of animation. Some were entirely animated,
others composited live-action with animated elements in the same
scene, and others used animation only in certain sections such as the
opening or closing sequences. The pervasiveness of animation in TV
commercials was in part a response to the limitations of the apparatus
of television and the lack of mastery over the image on the part of its
production staff. As Naitō Toshio explains, early difficulties in negotiating
television’s gray scale made images of live-action actors and products
look awful on-screen. Animation, by contrast, provided a much more
stable and appealing image—which was, of course, the principal aim
of any advertising endeavor.42
The subsequent demand for television animation for commercials
proved to be a life support system for struggling animation studios
during the 1950s. It also served to train a new generation of animators
who would later be involved in the production of animated television
series at studios like Mushi Pro, Otogi Pro (founded by the famous
pre- and postwar manga writer Yokoyama Ryūichi), and TCJ. Otogi
Pro was responsible for the production of what is the first animated
television series in Japan: the three-minute-long Instant History series
that contained a one-minute segment of animation in each episode. It
was also a former Otogi Pro animator, Yamamoto Ei’ichi, who would
become a key player in Tezuka’s Mushi Production Studio and would
be instrumental in the genesis of the Tetsuwan Atomu television series.
TCJ specialized in TV commercials, but in October 1963, it released
what would be Atomu’s main rival over the following years, Tetsujin
28-gō, based on a comic serial that appeared next to the Atomu manga
in Shōnen magazine. Tetsujin 28-gō would not only rival Atomu in terms
of screen popularity, it would also be the center of chocolate company
Morinaga’s advertising campaign based on the distribution of badges
and competing with the hugely successful sticker campaign launched by
Atomu’s own chocolate company sponsor, Meiji Seika (see chapter 2).
The technical specificities and limitations of TV commercial
animation also forced animators to develop some of the techniques
that would later be used for TV series production, namely, styles that

12 · Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime

tended toward limited animation. While the quality varied widely,
the animation in television commercials used cycles of movement,
minimized the number of drawings, deployed a stark contrast between
characters in the foreground and background drawings, and moved
toward a style of animation that pointed in the direction of limited
Finally, many animated commercials also featured trademark char-
acters—characters specific to particular brands or products such as the
Seiko rooster, “Niwatori-kun” (the first such trademark character in
television history, appearing in Japan’s very first television commercial in
1953); Morinaga Caramel’s “Morinaga-kun”; and the Shiseidō toothpaste
icon, “Pearl-chan.”43 This emphasis on character—though not unique to
TV advertising—anticipated the importance of characters as a defining
feature of TV anime.

The Emergence of Animetic Movement

Toei full animation, U.S. limited animation, and Japanese TV commercial
animation all exerted some influence (even if not always acknowledged)
on Mushi Production animators.44 Tezuka, for example, indicated in
one of his autobiographies a desire to follow the path opened by the
limited animation stream of television animation coming from the
United States, averring that his erstwhile hero, Walt Disney, may have
become “too great,” leading to “the stagnation of the development of
animation.”45 Yet Tezuka and his collaborators’ retellings of the creation
of anime also emphasize the influence of several other elements: the
potential of the still image, manga, kamishibai storyboard shows, and
the temporal and financial constraints of producing weekly twenty-five-
minute programs for television.
The need to develop strategies whereby Mushi Production could
meet the weekly deadline of producing a thirty-minute animated pro-
gram with limited resources, limited staff, and limited time forced
Tezuka and his collaborators to be inventive. Tezuka and his associ-
ates began exploring the extensive use of still images to economize on
the number of drawings and lengthen the on-screen duration of each
drawing. Dialogue and sound, he conjectured, could be used to cover
up the immobility of the image.46 In one of his autobiographies, Boku
no manga jinsei (My manga life), Tezuka continues this line of thought:

Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime · 13

If someone were to ask me, “If it doesn’t move then is it really anima-
tion [anime]?” I would respond that I think it is. Since animation
is a kind of screen image [eizō], I don’t think it matters whether it’s
moving or not moving; if you can manage to watch it, then it’s good
enough. Of course, if it’s not moving it becomes something like
storyboard theatre [kamishibai]. But there are some works where I
froze the image to an extreme degree, since I thought that if you made
it move a little, generated some affect, and presented the spectator
with a story, it would still be animation even if it weren’t moving.47

This passage indicates Tezuka’s efforts to redefine animation, shifting it

away from the emphasis on fluid motion that often informs definitions
of the medium. According to his formulation quoted here, anime can
be defined as a screen image that generates a kind of affective response
in the spectator, tells a story, and has at least a minimal degree of move-
ment. Significantly, Tezuka refers here to the medium of kamishibai or
storyboard theater—a popular cultural theater for children especially
prevalent in the late 1940s and 1950s, in which a storyteller would narrate
a story accompanied by a series of still images or storyboards—as the
outer limit of anime. Yet this outer limit also functioned as an aesthetic
and operational inspiration. In a recent interview, Sakamoto Yūsaku,
the chief of production at Mushi Production in the 1960s, and the
animator who suggested they undertake the Atomu project, similarly
cites the importance of both manga and kamishibai as inspiration in
the creation of the TV anime series. In preparing for the production
of Tetsuwan Atomu, Sakamoto thought that the series could, if nothing
else, be a kind of “electric kamishibai.”48
Tezuka’s references to American limited animation should disabuse
us of the notion that he and his coconspirators invented limited ani-
mation ex nihilo. Nonetheless, these creators’ references to manga and
kamishibai in their descriptions of the development of anime style also
suggest the importance of acknowledging that creating the Tetsuwan
Atomu TV series did indeed involve an invention of a particular kind:
the invention of a relation between manga, kamishibai, and animation.
This invention created a style of animation in which it seemed as if the
manga itself was moving or in which manga poses were themselves
animated (even if, at times, by voice alone). The basis of this new type
of animation was not the moving image alone but rather the manga

14 · Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime

image as moving image. This invention turned out to be a moving
experience indeed, particularly for the countless young fans of the
Tetsuwan Atomu manga series.
The particular aesthetic of anime’s limited animation was in part
developed out of the series of labor-saving devices invented to create it.
Yamamoto outlines the following devices that he and others developed
during the production of Tetsuwan Atomu (with my own comments
following quoted sections):

1. Three-frame shooting. “Even when wanting to move the image

smoothly, use not the previous standard of one-frame shoot-
ing or two-frame shooting, but rather use three-frame shoot-
ing.”49 That is, instead of the full animation standard of twelve
to eighteen distinct images per second, the Mushi Production
animators used the same image over three frames, for a maxi-
mum of eight distinct images per second. In fact, three-frame
shooting was used only when they wanted the effect of relatively
smooth motion; on the whole, far fewer than eight distinct
images per second were used. This resulted in the reduction of
the number of images that compose each movement sequence.
Lamarre puts it this way: “In limited animation, animators
tend to suppress the intermediate positions in a movement. If
an animator can make a figure appear to walk using only three
drawings—one leg out, both legs together, the other out—why
then draw all the intermediate stages?”50 Mushi Production
animators eliminated many of the intermediate drawings and
reduced movement—and the stages of the movement—to the
bare minimum.
2. Stop-images. “With close-ups of a character’s face looking at
something, and other instances where it wouldn’t be strange
to have no movement, stop-images were used, getting by with
only a single image.” A single, still image was used for scenes in
which movement was not required: shot-reverse-shot scenes,
crowd scenes, even dialogue scenes where the voice alone gives
the character life.
3. Pull-cels. “When a personage is framed in a medium shot,
or when a car crosses the frame . . . use just one image, and
shoot while moving the cel.” A single image is pulled across the

Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime · 15

background, or the background is pulled under the foreground
image; this is particularly prevalent in flying scenes or in vehicle
scenes in which the object is moving in a single direction and
its distance from the “camera” remains constant.
4. Repetition. “When a character is walking or running, set the
character in a single place in the frame and reuse the same im-
ages, sliding the background beneath it. In this way, no matter
how long the character walks or runs, we could get by with just
6 to 12 images.” The result of this technique is a movement loop.
5. Sectioning. “Normally, in cases when a personage would swing
its arm, the whole body would move. However we would use
stop-images for the face and body and only move the arm in a
sectional manner.”
6. Lip-synching. “For scenes where the character speaks its lines,
make the face a stop-image and, applying the fifth principle,
only move sections [of the face]. Whereas normally, in talking
scenes, there are many shapes for the mouth, we would only use
three: closed, wide open, and half-way open, randomly repeat-
ing these using three-frame shooting. Thereby, with only four
images [i.e., the face image plus the three mouth images] any
length of dialogue became possible.”
7. Dual use. “The same movements were reused across a number
of different cuts. We would ignore the delicacies of a particular
scene and make do with reused images for scenes that resembled
one another.” This is also referred to as the cel bank or the bank
system for the ways existing images and image sequences were
stored in a systematic manner.51
8. Short shot length. “Since when cuts are long in length the char-
acter must be moved around here and there, we used short shot
lengths. Moreover, since the type of cheap movement detailed
in the above sections can’t withstand long shot lengths, shorter
shots are better.”

The use of these devices for Tetsuwan Atomu and subsequent anime
enabled the Mushi Production staff to get by with only fifteen hundred
to eighteen hundred drawings per twenty-five-minute episode.52 To put
this into perspective, the same program length done in full animation
would require around ten times that, or eighteen thousand drawings.53

16 · Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime

The result was a particular form of limited animation that, over
time, acquired distinct stylistic traits, setting it apart from the limited
animation developed at UPA and elaborated at Hanna Barbera. Im-
mobility rather than movement often dominates scenes, and at times,
the vitality of the characters is sustained by the voice or narrative alone.
The experience of anime, from the 1960s into the present day, is thus
as much a sequence of still images as a flow of movements; a relational
movement of still images as two planes of still images are slid across
each other incrementally—more than the drawing of movements that
traditionally characterizes animation.
This experience of motion and immobility, movement and poses,
meant that anime was constituted and experienced as a medium that
referenced and drew on other media forms. Anime was an intermedia—a
medium composed of an assemblage of discrete media, a medium com-
posed of other media forms.54 What we find in anime is not cinematic
motion, nor the approximation of cinematic motion that full animation
tried to attain, but rather a rhythm of motion and stillness, a particular
motion–stillness economy. And it was the combination of the preced-
ing devices, in the specific style of motion–stillness developed around
Tetsuwan Atomu as the “TV anime technique,” that has been said to
form the basic pattern for all anime subsequently.55

The Anime Shock

If the devices developed around the production of Tetsuwan Atomu be-
came the standard of anime production thenceforth, it is in no small part
because the Atomu TV series was a popular success, attaining audience
ratings between the mid-twentieth and mid-fortieth percentile range.
The series lasted four years, from January 1, 1963, to December 31, 1966,
and spawned a total of 193 episodes. Yet the popular success of Atomu
was matched by the shock and dismay of some full animation produc-
ers in Japan. One of the key Toei animators of the time, Ōtsuka Yasuo,
describes the feelings of his fellow animators in the following terms:

Once Atomu was broadcast it became explosively popular. For us

animators at Toei it was a huge shock, as if the Japanese people said
to us “This is good enough for us,” “We’re satisfied with this,” “So
long as it is based on a popular manga, we need no preparation,

Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime · 17

much less any advertisement.” The Japanese animation industry as
a whole was forced to a major turning point, including Toei, which
had worked so hard to develop original stories and new characters.
To put it polemically, it seemed like if one merely used a widely-
known manga writer with a popular manga that had a large number
of copies in circulation as the original work [for the anime], then
movement could take second place.56

The stop-image animation of Mushi Production was an affront to the

first principles of Toei animation and to the work of animators like
Ōtsuka. The production of smooth, “realistic movement” through
which Toei sought to “win the sympathy of the masses” was not only
a commercial goal, says Ōtsuka, but was their very ethic.57 Hence the
disregard for realistic movement, and the still-image style developed
at Mushi Production seemed not to be animation at all but rather like
“kamishibai plus alpha.”58 As Ōtsuka explains, “I felt like the technical
good conscience of Japanese animators that Toei had been building up
was destroyed by Atomu’s 100,000 horsepower.”59
In describing the consternation he and his peers at Toei felt at the
popular success of Tetsuwan Atomu and the subsequent rise of television
anime it inspired, Ōtsuka once again broaches the issue of movement
in anime: how can affective investment be possible in a medium that
does away with the smooth, realistic movement of both cinema and full
animation? Why would spectators be satisfied with marginally mobile
images, to the point of coming back for more, week after week, in ever
greater numbers? How did the motion–stillness rhythm of Tetsuwan
Atomu’s limited animation inspire the movement of return that took
the form of multiple media serialization?
The answer to this series of questions lies in anime’s place within
its larger media ecology. Anime’s movement of return is based not on
the relative self-enclosure of a text onto itself (as the earlier Toei films
had been and as classical cinema has often been conceived) but rather
on its constitutive openness to other media and commodity forms. The
manga–anime relationship is primary in this respect, with the manga
acting as a preparatory framework—a kind of advertising or affective
priming (as Ōtsuka implied), and even as storyboard—for the mov-
ing images to come. Other media follow immediately: toys, stickers,
games, magazine articles, and so on, all combining to form a transmedia

18 · Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime

environment in which the manga–anime’s narrative world could be ac-
cessed from multiple points at any given time. Hence it was not anime
alone that produced the movement of return but the relations anime
drew on and generated between other media forms. The creation of an
all-consuming, character-driven media environment: this was the secret
of Tetsuwan Atomu’s—and anime’s—particular movement of return.
An effect of both this constitutive openness of the anime text and its
support, character-based merchandising became one of the central pil-
lars on which the anime system was built. No doubt about it: economic
factors were one reason for this centrality of character merchandising.
To placate TV stations and the program sponsor who worried about
high production costs, and also to preemptively undersell his future
TV animation studio competitors, Tezuka negotiated an exceedingly
low price from the TV station for each episode, asking what amounted
to approximately one-half of the production cost.60 The result was that
Tezuka had to seek compensation for the deficit created by production
costs elsewhere: in character merchandising. In short, if he did not follow
his longtime idol Walt Disney’s model in animation style, he nonethe-
less took inspiration from Disney’s business acumen and followed his
pattern of character merchandising.
Yet economic motivation alone cannot account for the centrality of
character merchandising to anime. Character merchandising depends
on the consumer’s affective engagement with the character image and/
or narrative, and the investment in the character image in anime is
strengthened by similar such affective investment in the character im-
age elsewhere. Needless to say, this engagement cannot be economically
produced, though it can be induced. Media images can synergistically
reinforce one another—giving rise to greater affective engagement in
the anime character, not in spite of but rather because of the less realistic
on-screen movement.
Returning to the question of why anime met such an enthusiatic
audience response, we can say that part of anime’s success lay in its
reconfiguration of the existing media landscape and its mobilization
of new media and material forms around it, giving rise to stickers, toys,
pencils, records, and bags based on anime characters. But anime also
relied on earlier media forms in preparing audiences for its rhythms
of movement and stillness and in developing the very tools animators
used to create the hybrid form. The media of manga and kamishibai

Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime · 19

played key roles in laying the technical, aesthetic, and affective foun-
dation for the development of anime. Manga and kamishibai were as
important for the genesis and popular reception of anime’s particular
movement regime as the medium of animation itself, insofar as they
provided both the technical groundwork and conditions for reception
of the movement-in-stillness aesthetic of anime.
The remainder of this chapter will examine the ways in which these
two media contributed to the conditions from which anime emerged.
We will track the ways the dynamically still image circulated in the
popular culture of the time and the ways this image was traversed by
a particular form of dynamism—if not by movement itself. An under-
standing of this representational context will allow us to grasp why the
motion–stillness aesthetic of TV anime generated—contrary to Toei
and even Mushi Production’s animators’ expectations—the incredible
popular response that made it a formidable medium and led to the
formation of the media mix.

Media Contexts

Postwar Kamishibai and the Dynamically Immobile Image

We have seen repeated reference to kamishibai in our preliminary
investigation of anime’s genesis. Ōtsuka Yasuo from Toei referred
to the movement style of limited TV animation as “kamishibai plus
alpha”; Sakamoto Yūsaku, the animator in charge of Mushi Produc-
tions Studio and the Atomu project, conceived of Atomu as “electric
kamishibai”; Tezuka saw kamishibai as the limit of animation. But what
is kamishibai, and why is it referenced so frequently in early accounts
of anime? Literally translated as “paper theater,” kamishibai is a form of
popular entertainment for children that had its first peak of popularity
in the early 1930s and its second and final boom in the early postwar
period, beginning its decline in the late 1950s. In many ways, kamishibai
resembled a mobile, paper-based form of the magic lantern.61 It was an
image- and voice-driven serial narrative form that proceeded through a
succession of painted images accompanied by the voice of a storyteller.
The kamishibai storyteller would ride on his or her bicycle from
district to district, stopping in regular spots to deliver a performance.62
The performance was announced by the clapping together of wood blocks

20 · Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime

and the call, “Come along now, the kamishibai is about to start!” The
storyteller would then set up the theater: a wooden box mounted on the
back of the bicycle, with drawers on the sides that contained candies and
treats, and the stage itself, which swiveled upward to sit at the height of
the performer’s head. Small side panels opened outward to frame the
stage section, which resembled a picture frame. As children gathered
around, the storyteller would sell them cheap candies and treats—the
means of income for the storyteller—and then proceed to deliver the
performance to which their purchase of candies entitled them.
The performance consisted of three to five distinct narratives told
through the use of color paintings mounted on eighteen- by twenty-four-
inch boards that slid into the wooden theater on the back of the bicycle.
On the back of the storyboards was the script, which the storyteller
read aloud to the children, adopting different voices for each character
in the narrative. The narratives were serial, with one new segment of
the ongoing narrative told each day. Most narratives lasted twenty to
thirty episodes each, after which they ended, never to be shown again.
This no-rerun policy accounts for the fact that, as one commentator
suggests, “most people remember the voice and face of the old man
telling the story, or the taste of the candies more than the individual
works themselves.”63 Every segment of a series consisted of ten or so
storyboards, most beginning with a synopsis of what had happened up
until that point and ending with cliff-hangers that kept children coming
back for more.64 The combination of three to five distinct, ongoing nar-
ratives allowed the storyteller to appeal to and gather a wide audience:
younger and older children from five to twelve years old, girls and boys.65
Kamishibai has its postwar peak around 1953. The poverty of the
early postwar period and the dearth of employment for the large num-
ber of men returning from the war led many of them to find work in
kamishibai. Children were starved for entertainment and delighted to
find it in the affordable form of kamishibai. These two factors led to a
great upsurge in the popularity of this medium. As a housewife wrote
in a 1948 letter to the Asahi Shinbun newspaper, “kamishibai is the
sole entertainment of today’s children who are hardly ever given story
books or toys.”66 The kamishibai system was based on a division of labor
between the artists who produced the narratives, the middlemen who
distributed them, and the storytellers who circulated through the cities
to give the performances.67 According to a police survey conducted in

Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime · 21

1952, there were about two thousand kamishibai performers in Tokyo
alone, reaching an estimated one million spectators each day.68 Despite
the vast number of spectators it reached each day, kamishibai was not,
properly speaking, a mass medium, insofar as the latter is generally
defined by the phenomenon of a single sender’s message reaching a
mass audience. With kamishibai, there was a multiplicity of messages,
each inflected by the particular performer and the conditions of the
performance, each involving the face-to-face encounter between ka-
mishibai performer and audience. The kamishibai storyboards were,
moreover, painted by hand, leading postwar cultural critic Tsurumi
Shunsuke to argue that “it had a directness that weekly magazines and
films did not” and to suggest that it was a model-based art form rather
than one based on mechanical reproduction.69 Nonetheless, given the
mass numbers of children that kamishibai performers reached each
day, it is undeniable that the medium of kamishibai had some of the
effects of a mass medium: nationwide circulation of popular series and
widespread familiarity with the kamishibai medium.
Though this discussion only scratches the surface of the kamishibai,
it is worth returning here to our initial question: why was this medium
referenced so frequently in early accounts of the emergence of anime?
And how did it influence anime style? Before coming to the ways ka-
mishibai inflected the popularity of anime, we must acknowledge that
the description of Atomu as “electric kamishibai” was in many ways
The term “electric kamishibai” did not begin with Atomu but was
first coined to describe the visual quality of the new medium of televi-
sion itself.70 In the mid-1950s to early 1960s, “electric kamishibai” was
widely used as a derogatory remark on the low quality of the television
medium and its programming. Kamishibai was a none-too-respected
children’s medium, with many parents and parent–teacher associa-
tions decrying its negative influence on children. Some even went so
far as to describe kamishibai performers as “street beggars.”71 Given its
status as a low and even threatening art form, it is not surprising that
television’s critics would use it to attack this new medium. Indeed, the
specter of kamishibai features in one of the famous diatribes against
television by its fiercest critic, Ōya Sōuichi, who infamously argued
that television would turn Japan into a nation of “one hundred million
idiots”—a phrase that Jayson Makoto Chun suggests “became part of the

22 · Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime

national vocabulary.”72 Chun finds that one of the earliest appearances
of this phrase was in a 1957 edition of Shūkan Tokyo, where Ōya wrote,
“Everyday on television there is an array of vulgar programs worse than
storyboard shows [kamishibai]. A campaign to turn us into a ‘nation
of a hundred million idiots’ through the advanced mass media of radio
and television has developed.”73
The comparison between kamishibai and television was not merely
a way to disparage the new medium of television, however. There were
also profound similarities at the level of spectatorship. The kamishibai
theater was roughly the same size as a television screen at the time, and
there was a resemblance between the television box and the kamishibai
stage. Most important, for the greater part of the population who could
not afford the exorbitant cost of a television set during the 1950s, TV was
viewed on a street corner, among masses of people grouped around a set
to watch the program in question (often a sports match). Gaitō terebi,
or “street corner TV,” was a practice thought up by Shōriki Matsutarō,
the man credited for bringing television to Japan and for popularizing
it in the 1950s.74 Children and adults alike literally watched television
in the streets, gathered around screens much like children around the
kamishibai storyteller.75 Children of the time were dubbed “TV gypsies”
for the way they wandered the streets in search of a storefront to watch
their favorite television show.76 Street-corner spectatorship was thus
common to both kamishibai and early television. Finally, the emphasis
on sound over image and the use of what were often, even in the case of
television, still images to illustrate the sound track were characteristics
of early television as much as kamishibai and certainly reinforced the
sense of a kinship between the two media.77
Yet in addition to these general overlaps between television and
kamishibai, there were also important formal and stylistic reasons
for the reference to kamishibai in the context of Atomu that cannot
be ignored. First and foremost is the emphasis on the still image in
early anime (and indeed, anime to this day). The basis for kamishibai
performances, as we have seen, is the still rather than the moving im-
age. The Tetsuwan Atomu anime both directly and indirectly referred
to kamishibai throughout the series. In some instances, such as in the
second episode of the series—“Furanken no maki” (The Frankenstein
Episode)—a series of still images is used with no movement internal
to the image. A voice-over tells of the escape of the Frankenstein robot

Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime · 23

as we see a still image of the robot in mid-stride, ostensibly “walking”
down the street; in the next series of images, bank robbers argue over
the opening of the vault; the robbers are shown in a series of still poses,
each one separated by frames of black (giving the effect of lights flicker-
ing on and off). The combination of lively argument on the sound track
and the alternation of images of the robbers at the bank with entirely
black interludes gives this scene a stop-and-go quality reminiscent of
Another sequence directly inspired by kamishibai is found in the sixth
episode of the anime series, “Dentō ningen no maki” (The Electric Man
Episode). Here, in a flashback sequence lasting half a minute, Doctor
Ochanomizu’s narration of a past event accompanies an “illustration”
of the past event based entirely on still images. While the speed of the
image change is faster than that of kamishibai, the use of voice-over
narration with still images is highly evocative of the medium. As these
examples only begin to suggest, the production of Atomu was organized
around the principle, inspired by the legacy of kamishibai’s popular
reception, that still images combined with narration and dialogue can
support a popular entertainment medium.
The second reason for the importance of the kamishibai reference
is the dynamic nature of the still images themselves. Kamishibai im-
ages, while technically static, were nonetheless traversed by movement,
showing (much like manga) how still images could be dynamically
immobile.78 Each kamishibai storyboard was a representative scene
drawn from the events narrated that week, showing a particular action.
Although many images were very detailed and painterly and did not
always connote the sense of speed or tension that many postwar manga
writers have attained through the reduction of detail and the emphasis
on lines, a great number of kamishibai images did evince a degree of
dynamism and a sense that the image gave spectators a picture of ac-
tion. Characters were often rendered as if caught in motion, clothes
fluttering in the wind, and speed lines were used to denote movement
in the more action-oriented narratives.
The kamishibai image sat somewhere between the film frame—the
instantaneous representation of a random instant by the film camera,
or what Gilles Deleuze in Cinema 1: The Movement Image calls “any-
instant-whatever”—and the painting into which duration and time has
been inscribed. The very mode of storytelling proper to kamishibai

24 · Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime

instilled these images with a temporal duration far beyond the flitting
one-twenty-fourth of a second captured by a filmic snapshot. In part,
this was done through the dialogue voiced by the performer. Each
image remained on stage for anywhere from thirty seconds or more,
during which time dialogue was spoken, and the narrator explained
events related to the scene depicted. The image was thereby designed
to be both the representative image of a longer action and part of a
longer scene. A sense of temporal duration was added to the image
through dialogue.
The temporal duration of the image was also developed by a seg-
mentation of the image. The image was revealed in stages, introducing
an additional sense of temporality or sequentiality into the image itself.
Images were not simply slotted in, one immediately replacing the other;
rather, the performer often slid an image halfway across, leaving part
of the new image covered over by the previous one. In an instant, the
performer could reveal the occluded section, thereby revealing a new
narrative element. This technique not only introduced a kind of seg-
mentation or cut into the image itself but also gave the image an added
form of temporal sequentiality: suspense and the subsequent release
when the occluded area was exposed. All these techniques developed
a dynamism proper to the still image itself. The image was thus neither
transcendental pose nor random snapshot of the any-instant-whatever.79
The image gained what might be called a “graphically immobile dyna-
mism” and temporal duration that, as we will see, would inform the
dynamic immobility developed in anime.
In sum, kamishibai prepared the way for the deployment of the
immobile image in anime. Insofar as it generated a sense of dynamism
out of a still image, it laid the technical and experiential groundwork
for the dynamically immobile image. In so many scenes of Tetsuwan
Atomu, the character either moves its mouth little or not at all. Yet the
dynamism of the voice alone carries the still or partially still image.80
Likewise, segmentation and display of the still image in kamishibai, and
the movement of planes that this developed, provided the groundwork
for two of the key aspects of anime movement: short shot length and
the sense of dynamism created through quick cuts and the generation
of movement by the sliding of planes.

Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime · 25

The Manga Image and the Interval
In addition to its essential role in familiarizing spectators with the
character of Atomu and his world, the medium of manga was also key
to the anime version of Tetsuwan Atomu in another respect. Manga
abetted kamishibai in developing the techniques and cultural acceptance
of dynamically still images that would sustain the minimal movement
of anime.
Narrative comic strips first began to be serialized in newspapers
and magazines in Japan in the 1920s and grew to greater popularity
in the 1930s, shifting from four-frame, humorous comics to adventure
narratives and other stories of longer length.81 These longer manga
were published in children’s magazines like Shōnen kurabu (Boys’ Club)
or Shōjo kurabu (Girls’ Club), two of the most popular magazines in
the prewar period, and also as stand-alone book volumes.82 Yet the
contemporary form of manga is said to have truly begun with the 1947
publication of Shintakarajima (New Treasure Island), drawn by Tezuka
Osamu and written by Sakai Shichima. Whereas prewar manga had been
but one element of the widely read children’s magazines—their feature
attractions were serialized novels accompanied by illustrations—in the
late 1950s, manga began to overtake in importance other print media
such as serial novels and the intermediate format between novels and
manga called emonogatari.
Literally “picture stories,” emonogatari were like serial novels with a
greater number of illustrations. After the hiatus of the war years, when
manga and magazine production was suspended, the postwar period
began with emphasis once again placed on illustrated serial novels.
However, these soon morphed into emonogatari, one of the other most
popular media forms of the early 1950s. Halfway between manga and
novels, their narratives were propelled forward by their written portions,
with the images being mere illustrations of these—the images did not
advance the narrative, as they later would with manga. Emonogatari
were similar, in this sense, to the kamishibai style of storytelling, and
not without reason: many kamishibai artists of the 1930s, 1940s, and
1950s later became emonogatari artists. Given this crossover, it is not
surprising that emonogatari were characterized by the more realistic
drawing style found in kamishibai work.83 Although at first, the images
merely accompanied the text, as the medium developed during the 1950s,

26 · Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime

emonogatari increasingly used frames and, eventually, word bubbles,
recalling the medium of manga. Emonogatari declined during the late
1950s, giving way to or becoming indistinguishable from manga.84 By
the late 1950s, manga gained primacy over these other media types in
the monthly and then weekly magazines that became one of the main
sources for children’s culture, leading, by the 1960s, to the dominance
of manga that continues to this day.
Tezuka played a leading role in establishing the graphically iconic
style and the centrality of dramatic narrative to postwar manga, and
this in turn helped secure manga its key position in the media ecology
of postwar Japan. While his initial collaborator, Sakai, quickly dropped
out of the picture, Tezuka has come to be considered the “god of manga”
for his role in the development of what is known as modern, story
manga. Although there is a good deal of dispute among contemporary
manga critics as to what exactly Tezuka’s role in the modern manga
revolution was—and indeed whether this was a revolution at all or just
a continuation of trends already visible in certain prewar manga—it
is difficult to deny that Tezuka played a key role in the development
and popularization of modern story manga.85 Story manga is typically
defined as manga that (1) places emphasis on story and dramaturgy
rather than on simple gags; (2) was envisioned by Tezuka as the com-
bination of the novel and the manga forms; and (3) deploys cinematic
techniques within pictorial representation.86 The cinematic techniques
in particular lent a dynamism to the action depicted that was in some
ways unprecedented. Tezuka and subsequent manga writers following
his lead developed dynamic sequences of close-ups, medium shots,
bird’s-eye-view shots, canted framing, odd angles, and other stylized
framing techniques as well as cinematic modes of sequential progres-
sion (the techniques of cutting into space, simultaneous progression of
multiple narratives through crosscutting, etc.) that had been used much
more sparingly in prewar manga.
Indeed, the break between modern and prewar–wartime manga
styles has sometimes been compared to the break between early cinema
and modern, classical narrative cinema, or what Noël Burch calls the
“primitive mode of representation” and the “institutional mode of rep-
resentation.”87 Film critic Satō Tadao indeed situates prewar manga as
a kind of primitive mode of representation. In a 1964 essay, Satō writes
that “unlike the prewar [manga] that was like early cinema, filming with

Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime · 27

a fixed camera position,” the manga of Tezuka and his successors deploys
“a montage of close-ups and long-shots, strongly incorporates a feeling
of movement and speed into the image, and gives the spectator a sense
of movement by following the frames alone.”88 The importance of this
shift from prewar and wartime manga to postwar, modern manga is
not only its revolution of manga as a medium but its incorporation of
an intensity of movement into the still image itself—a transformation
that would have a great impact on the development of anime. Manga
provided the technical and representational context that would accustom
spectators to feeling a sense of movement from still images.
This dynamism developed by Tezuka and his cohort was achieved
through two methods of generating a sense of movement: intraframe
movement (through dynamic character design and framing) and in-
terframe movement (by minimizing the interval or ellipsis separating
frames and intensifying the speed of movement across frames). Let us
begin by considering the first: the simulation of intraframe movement
in the manga image through character design and cinematic framing.
As Frederik Schodt writes in his recent, admirable book on Tezuka’s
work, the latter developed a “streamlined style of character drawing that
was almost entirely based on ellipses. It was actually an old technique
of animators, and it allowed him to draw at a remarkable speed and to
develop his more ‘cinematic’ and novelistic style, for he could create
longer and more dynamic works.”89 Inspired by Disney animation in
his character design, Tezuka uses the sphere as the basis for his char-
acter design, giving the character a sense of volume but also allowing
the character a sense of flexibility—“squash and stretch,” as Disney
animators called it.90 This flexibility gave, Schodt points out, a sense
of dynamism to the still image itself, an elasticity that stood in for the
play of forces within the character’s body and that contrasts sharply
with both the much more inflexible and unyielding character designs
of prewar manga and the weightier, painterly images of kamishibai.91
If this squash and stretch of the character was one way of injecting
a sense of dynamism or the play of forces into the image, the extensive
use of “speed lines” (lines indicating that the character is in motion)
was another, making it appear like the manga image was moving. This
development led contemporaneous critics such as Fujikawa Chisui to
praise Tezuka for his “injection of cinematic movement into the stilled
manga picture.”92 Here the term cinematic designates the presence of

28 · Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime

movement or the moving image, as is clear from the example that ac-
companies Fujikawa’s comment. In this example from Tetsuwan Atomu,
Atomu throws a lion around his head in the air, with circular speed
lines describing the movement of the lion through the abbreviation
of its former positions and a partial obscuring of the lion’s shape such
that only its torso is in clear focus, with the rest of its body partially
obscured by the speed lines. Though this image clearly gives a sense of
movement and dynamism to the still image, “cinematic” is perhaps not
the best way to describe the image. Indeed, much like our discussion of
the kamishibai image previously, this image does not represent a stilled
photogram but rather a fragment of movement that has duration. It is an
image marked by the movements made in an elapse of time: the previ-
ous positions of the lion indicate a time lapse throughout the course of
the image, giving rise to the speed lines. And yet, at the same time, the
last position of the lion represented by the relatively clear image of its
torso indicates that this does have some aspects of the snapshot, insofar
as part of the rapidly moving lion is clearly represented. What we have
is a mixed temporality—somewhere between time-lapse photography,
instantaneous photography, and the cinema. This mixed temporality is
present in anime as well, where Atomu’s feet are blurred when he is in
flight, emphasizing his speed (and suggesting time lapse), and yet the
rest of his body is in clear focus (suggesting instantaneity). Dialogue
within the manga also adds to the temporality of the image—being
neither a snapshot nor a pose but a complex temporality that is some-
thing in between. In other words, this mixed temporality of the image
makes it something other than cinematic; it is a still image shot through
with movement.
If the temporalities of manga and anime images are not exactly
cinematic, their framings certainly are. Prewar manga tended toward
a theatrical style of framing reminiscent of early cinema. There is little
change of viewing angle or position from one frame to another, and the
action predominantly faces the reader, with characters moving from
right to left within the frame—a technique of representation that cor-
responds with early cinema’s emphasis on what Burch calls “frontality.”
Similarly, there is little change in the distance from the reader to the
image, recalling once again the constancy of distance that characterizes
both theater and early cinema.93 Likewise, there was little sense of the
direction match; characters walk in one direction in one frame and in

Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime · 29

the opposite direction in the next.94 In contrast to the “externality” of
the reader in the primitive mode of manga representation, the modern
mode of manga representation brought the reader inside the frame, close
to the action. Modern manga cut into the diegetic space with close-ups,
multiple framing styles and angles, and a more coherent, dynamic, and
three-dimensional sense of space.
This multiplication of framing angles and spatial depiction had
another consequence: postwar manga multiplied the number of frames
that make up a sequence or a narrative, leading us from the question of
intra-frame dynamism to the transformation of inter-frame relations.
Manga became significantly longer by breaking down an action into
smaller and smaller subdivisions, multiplying the number of frames
depicting each scene.95 “To put it quite simply,” manga critic Kure To-
mofusa explains, “whereas previously, one scene was equal to one frame,
Tezuka created a style where one scene was equal to multiple frames.”96
Whereas prewar manga writers used one frame for every scene (a
tendency Kure explains by the fact that many of the manga writers were
in fact painters, this one scene equal to one frame being a very painterly
conception of the image), Tezuka drew out a scene over multiple frames,
leading to the integration of the spectator into the narrative space and
a heightening of affective investment in the narrative. It was a manga
version of slow motion insofar as the duration of reading was extended,
though this technique could heighten the sense of speed as much as slow
it down, and these sequences tended to intensify the sense of tension,
suspense, or thrill. Postwar manga’s much-cited foundational moment
for the heightening of the sense of manga movement is the excitement
readers experienced at the movement of a speeding car in the opening
scene of Tezuka and Sakai’s Shintakarajima.97
The significance of the cinematic revolution that Tezuka helped
usher into manga lies in part in the penetration of narrative space and
the corresponding integration of the reader in this space, an integration
that was accompanied by a stronger sense of affective bond with the
characters and events unfolding around the reader. It is significant that
peripheral texts within the magazine Shōnen (where Tetsuwan Atomu
was serialized) reflected this stylistic change by addressing readers as
“friends” of Atomu, with the implication that they were in fact part of
the action, even if at one remove.98
The significance of this cinematic revolution also lies in what in

30 · Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime

film would be the relation of frame to frame and the relation between
one shot and another: Tezuka expanded the range of relations between
one frame and another in manga. On one hand, he moved this relation
closer to that between frames within a film, albeit including ellipses.
He drew pans, for example, where a car is seen driving by, represented
gradation by gradation, from left to right over the course of several
frames. On the other hand, he expanded the distance between one frame
and another, developing complex montage sequences that laid the basis
for the highly emotive and abstract sequences that characterize many
manga, and shojo (girls’) manga in particular. Finally, as the manga critic
Natsume Fusanosuke points out, this new relationality between frames
(which Natsume considers to be one of Tezuka’s defining innovations)
is directly related to a new sense of temporality in manga, a “layering of
time through the formation of frames.”99 Given that the sense of time in
comics is generated in part through the relation between frames, and in
part through the size of the frames (smaller, thinner frames generally
connoting a shorter period of time), Tezuka’s multiplication of frames
certainly gave rise to more complex layers of time.100
This increased control over the flow of time through frame-to-frame
relations in manga turned out to be highly significant when it came
time to develop techniques for generating a sense of movement out of
relatively still images in anime. Specifically, this played out in Mushi
Production’s use of multiple images with short shot lengths. As we saw
earlier, rather than create a sense of movement within the frame by
animating the characters—a laborious process requiring many draw-
ings per second of animation—animators at Mushi Production opted
for multiplying the number of shots, shortening the length of each, and
thereby obviating the need for complex intrashot character motion. The
effect parallels Tezuka’s transformation of the earlier manga principle of
one scene equal to one frame to the modern one scene equal to multiple
frames. In anime production, this principle was translated into one
scene equal to multiple (short, still) images.
The dynamic drawing style that Tezuka had developed as a manga
writer also came in handy here. Even when the image of a character
was not itself in motion, the use of dynamic intraimage techniques
such as stretch and squash, exaggerated facial expressions, and speed
lines—combined with lively banter by voice actors—made it seem like
the image was traversed by movement, even if it was in fact still. The

Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime · 31

dynamically still manga image provided a model of how to generate a
dynamically immobile anime image, constructed through the develop-
ment of dynamism, first on the level of intraframe character design and
cinematic framing and second through the interframe multiplication
of frames or shots.
The generation of the sense of dynamism through manga inspired
another key aspect of the production of anime: the expansion of the
interval between images, whereby intermediate positions of a given
movement need not be drawn to generate a sense of movement. This
production of a sense of movement in manga required the presup-
position that the feeling of movement could be generated through an
abbreviation of actual movement. This abbreviation would no doubt
produce gaps in the image, but the reader was expected to see across
these gaps, making a moving or dynamic image out of a sequence of
still images. Paradoxically, the sequential multiplication of gaps allowed
the reader to reconstitute the implied movement.
For example, in Shintakarajima’s famous opening scene of the car
in motion, the car leaps across the spatial and temporal gaps between
one sequential frame and another. Read literally, we have a sequence of
three different shots, each of which features the same car in a different
spatial relation to the spectator. But of course, the reader was expected
to fill in the gaps to generate a sense that the car was actually moving.
This is all the more the case in Tezuka’s rewriting of his most famous
scene, inserting a zoom-out and pan in place of the shorter original
sequence. As this rewrite suggests, at the same time that Tezuka and
modern manga broke down the one frame equal to one scene principle,
multiplying frames in a more minute representational practice, he also
discovered that a sense of movement could be developed by expanding
the interval between frames to far beyond that existing in cinema. A
sense of continuous movement across frames could be developed even
despite the gaps between them.
This principle of the expanded interval was, as we saw earlier, an
essential element of anime movement. Fewer images were used to
compose each movement sequence. The result, as Lamarre describes it,
is that limited animation “opens a sense of the interval, in two sites in
particular: (1) one senses the interval within the movements of individual
characters or figures; and (2) one feels the interval between surfaces such
as foreground and background.”101 This expanded interval, mediated by

32 · Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime

the still image of the character, became one of the principal means of
developing connections across media and material forms, as we will see
in subsequent chapters. But the principle itself can, as I suggest here, be
traced to innovations that took place within manga, as writers attempted
to induce a greater sense of movement in that medium.

Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime

The stillness of anime was without doubt a reversal of the ideal of
animation production as the creation of smooth and realistic motion,
particularly dominant within a studio like Toei. Yet, as I have suggested by
reference to two key media circulating at the time of anime’s emergence,
kamishibai and manga, there were technical, aesthetic, and historical
reasons for both the development of the style of limited animation
and the eagerness with which child spectators took to the dynamically
immobile anime image. The relative immobility of the anime image
compared to the ideal of animation at the time turned out not to be
the radical assault on the movement of libidinal and capital return one
might assume it to be in light of Metz, Lyotard, and full animation’s
conceptions of movement.
To understand the technical and aesthetic context for anime’s
emergence and Tetsuwan Atomu’s explosive success, it is necessary to
abandon the presupposition that the essence of animation is to make
things move realistically—the norm of smooth movement assumed by
mainstream cinema and the cinematic style of animation that was Disney
and Toei’s operative ideal—and take into account the influence of the
predominantly “still” image media of manga and kamishibai in Japan
at the time. To do so, we also begin to understand how kamishibai and
manga, in their own ways, developed a sense of dynamism within the
still image that would be drawn on in creating the dynamically immobile
anime image. On one hand, this dynamically still image functioned as
a kind of aesthetic precursor to anime, allowing spectators to feel the
anime image moving and be moved by the image affectively—even if
the image was formally immobile. On the other hand, kamishibai’s
and manga’s development of the techniques for the creation of this
dynamically still image provided a toolbox for the development of
devices and techniques essential to the production of anime’s limited

Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime · 33

Hence, to grasp anime’s popular success, we must invert the ques-
tion asked by Toei animators in 1963. Instead of asking why the public
would accept anime’s “degraded” form of movement despite Toei’s best
efforts to produce the highest form of movement in animation, we must
ask the reverse: what in anime’s dynamic immobility might account for
its popularity? How can still images be more affectively moving than
smoothly animated ones? Why were moving images felt to be dynami-
cally immobile? While I have spent much of this chapter examining the
technical, aesthetic, and representational conditions whereby still images
were created and experienced as dynamically immobile, we must also
acknowledge that the limited animation of anime created not only still
images but also moving ones.
One of the great feats of Japanese television animation—and the
Tetsuwan Atomu anime series—was to inject movement into the manga,
to generate the widely held feeling that the manga itself was moving. Ex-
pressions of this sentiment can be found in many accounts of the Atomu
boom by writers who were children at the time of anime’s emergence.
For example, Inamasu Tatsuo, a professor of Hosei University who was
a child at the time of the release of the Atomu television series, notes
that whereas people like Ōtsuka Yasuo “felt like the animation wasn’t
moving,” younger viewers “had the intense feeling that the Tetsuwan
Atomu from Tezuka’s magazine [manga] was moving, and this was
the reason for its explosive popularity.”102 The feeling that the manga
had come alive is one of the reasons for the success of the Atomu TV
series. Yet to recall the manga so vividly for its viewers, these viewers
must also have felt that the animated image was itself dynamically im-
mobile, like the manga. Taking the movement of anime into account,
we might reformulate the feat of limited anime as not only making still
images feel like they were moving but also making moving images feel
like they were still.
A significant element in the revolution of animation style undertaken
at Mushi Production Studio was its stilling of the moving image itself.
Hence, in addition to conceiving of the limited animation of anime as a
way of making still images seem like they were moving, we should also
see it as a way of making moving images seem like they were still. This
inversion should be read as a corrective to the assumption that cinema
and animation are organized around the ideal of smooth movement
and the impression of reality. It is also a corrective to the assumption

34 · Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime

that limited animation is characterized by a lack of motion. If there is
an absence of motion in anime, it must be seen as a generative limita-
tion, a positive condition for the medium itself—what Lamarre calls
the “positive unconscious of anime.”103
Every medium, we might say, is founded on an enabling condition,
a “positive subtraction” or “enabling impediment” that in turn defines
it as a medium.104 The responses to this positive limitation do not imply
a kind of teleology implicit in the medium but rather a set of creative
innovations that could solidify into something like style, technique,
genre, or system. For anime, the limiting of motion was the positive
condition for its formation as a style and for the development of the
transmedia communication on which it depends.
Anime’s limited animation, in this view, was not simply a way of
creating animation on a limited budget and a tight schedule; it was
a way of limiting the degree of motion in the medium of animation
that had stagnated under the prevailing influence of Disney and the
insistence on an aesthetic of fluid movement.105 In so doing, animation
attained a temporality and movement regime that has a specificity of
its own, separate from that of cinema: kamishibai plus alpha, in the
most positive sense. This aesthetic, economic, and technical trans-
formation of animation gave birth to anime—a style that was free to
emphasize graphism over volume, graphically immobile dynamism
over smoothness of movement. And anime has come a long way since.
When Tezuka and Yamamoto complain that anime subsequently has
simply taken their innovations in anime production and created mere
“variations,” they ignore the significant aesthetic explorations in pushing
the graphical quality of the image further, accentuating the articulation
between movement and stillness and creating kinds of rhythms in and
between images and image types that had not been conceived in 1963.
Series as diverse as Sabu to Ichi (Sabu and Ichi; 1968–69), Kyojin no
Hoshi (Star of the Giants; 1968–71), Ginga Tetsudō 999 (Galaxy Express
999; 1978–81), Crayon Shin-chan (1992 to present), Kareshi kanojo no
jijō (His and Her Circumstances; 1998–99), Gankutsuō (The Count of
Monte Cristo; 2004–5), and Kūchū buranko (Trapeze; 2009) have, since
the late 1960s, pushed graphic and rhythmic elements to the forefront
and are in many ways experimental works in their own right—even
though they were created for television. In creating commercial works
as experimental works, the creators of these series both continue and

Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime · 35

transform the legacy of Tezuka, who, while creating both experimental
and commercial works, assumed that they would always remain separate.
Yet if anime’s moving stillness and stilling of movement opened the
sluice gates for stylistic experiments that would go beyond Tetsuwan
Atomu, the style of anime developed by Tezuka and his colleagues also
laid the groundwork for the commercial enterprise of character mer-
chandising and its unique movement of media and things. The circula-
tion of commodities and the transmedia relationships that characterize
the anime media mix are at the heart of anime itself. Anime broke with
the ideology of realism that informs classical narrative cinema and the
animation inspired by it. But in doing so, it replaced the ideology of
realism with another kind of power even better suited to the needs of
the emerging society of mass consumption and its postmodern exten-
sion: the operational power of media connectivity, sustained by the
transmedia force of the dynamically immobile image.106
This chapter has considered how the media context of manga and
kamishibai provided viewers the familiarity with stillness-as-movement
that informs both anime’s technical creation and its popular reception.
The next chapter will turn to the ways that the media mix was built
on this rhythm of motion–stillness and the generation of relations
between anime and the surrounding commodity world. For the very
immobility of the anime-image was the condition of possibility for its
communication with other images and media-commodities, which in
turn bound the world of daily consumption closer than ever to that of
media consumption. As we will see in the following chapters, Tetsu-
wan Atomu was part of a movement that developed a motion–stillness
economy of movement different from the cyclical movement of con-
sumption–production described by Lyotard but even more amenable
to the consumption imperative of late capital and its operational logic
of connectivity. If we are to understand the resistances that inhere in
anime—the potentially radical quality of its limited movement—we
must also be alert to its equally inherent openness to these other kind
of movements: the movements of commodities whose circulation was
developed in partnership with the anime system.

36 · Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime

Candies, Premiums, and Character
Merchandising: The Meiji–Atomu
Marketing Campaign

The eleventh episode of the Tetsuwan Atomu anime, “The Time Ma-
chine,” is of some interest for thinking about the question of transmedia
connectivity. Broadcast on March 12, 1963, this episode follows a boy’s
pursuit of his father through time, each traveling in his own separate
time machine. Atomu and his private detective friend, Higeoyaji, join the
boy (unnamed in the anime) in his search across the ages for his errant
father, who plans to steal people and animals from the past to construct
a “Zoo of Antiquity” for his future present. One scene stands out for the
way it raises prescient questions about anime’s own transmedial travel.
Here Atomu Higeoyaji and the boy arrive at the father’s first destination:
the Ice Age. As they disembark through the vacuum-operated slot on
the side of the time machine, a box of Meiji Seika’s Marble Chocolates
emerges from the exit shoot instead of Higeoyaji. The voice of Higeoyaji
yells, “Cut!” and the scene goes black. After a moment, the scene starts
again (apparently a retake), and Higeoyaji emerges from the exit, land-
ing on the ground none too gently (Figures 2.1 and 2.2).
What is the meaning of this gag? More to the point, what are Marble
Chocolates, and what is the connection between these chocolates and
Tetsuwan Atomu? The short answer is that Meiji Seika is a company that
specializes in candy products and was this first television anime series’s
sole sponsor; Marble Chocolates was Meiji’s main product at the time.1

· 37
figure 2.1. A box of Marble Chocolates is ejected from the time machine. Screen
capture from “Episode 11: The Time Machine Episode,” Tetsuwan Atomu television
animation series.

The scene described would seem to be a kind of inquiry, in the form

of a visual gag, into the relationship between Tetsuwan Atomu and its
sponsor. More than a simple product placement, Mushi Production
animators seem to be asking, what exactly is the relationship between
Meiji Seika and Tetsuwan Atomu? And what is to be the relationship
between television anime and its sponsors’ products?
Offering answers to these questions by recourse to historical analysis
will be key to explaining how the formal characteristics of anime have
allowed it to expand outward, creating ties between diverse media and
commodities. Media connectivity is fundamental to the formation of
anime as a transmedial commodity system dependent on active con-
sumption across media iterations. One of the main goals of this chapter
is to provide an analysis of how this media connectivity developed.
How did anime become the commercial system we now recognize it
to be? By what techniques are the potentially disruptive rhythms of
motion–stillness in anime translated into the movement and stasis of
media-commodities and their circulation? How did the motion–stillness

38 · Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising

figure 2.2. Higeoyaji is ejected from the time machine. Screen capture from “Epi-
sode 11: The Time Machine Episode,” Tetsuwan Atomu television animation series.

of anime open outward onto and indeed produce transmedia consump-

tion? As we will see in this chapter through an analysis of the histori-
cal relations between the anime series and its chocolate sponsor, one
of the keys to answering these questions lies in the role of the anime
character. The drawn image of Atomu, as I will suggest in this chapter
and the next, enabled a convergence of media and objects around it and
contributed to the formation of a particularly systematic image-thing
network around anime.
As the visual gag from “The Time Machine” episode obliquely in-
dicates, the question of how to develop media connectivity had some
urgency for the Mushi Production animators at the time. This was in
no small part because Tezuka had made the problematic decision to
undersell his Atomu series to the TV station. Aiming to quell the TV
station’s anxiety about the cost of animation production and undersell
the competition in advance, Tezuka sold each episode for less than it
cost Mushi Production to make it. (There is some dispute about the
actual amount Tezuka asked for, but the most commonly cited sum is

Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising · 39

550,000 yen, while it is said to have cost 2.5 million yen to produce each
episode.2) This fateful move—known to the animation industry today as
Tezuka’s curse—guaranteed that anime would develop as a transmedia
system.3 Mushi Production and other anime studios henceforth would
have to rely on other means, and other media-commodity forms, to
recoup the costs of production. Indeed, Tezuka expected to recover
his losses by two other means in particular: the royalties received
by licensing his characters to commodity producers and the income
gained by exporting his series to the United States and other markets.4
Because of its impact on the Japanese anime industry, media history,
and contemporary forms of consumption, the first of these will be the
focus of this chapter and, indeed, the entire book.5
As I noted in the previous chapter, and will return to in chapter 3,
Walt Disney’s character commerce strategy was a major influence on
Tezuka’s plan to recoup the costs of production through royalties from
his characters. Disney’s presence in Japan from the early 1950s onward
was responsible for introducing and popularizing the legal framework
for the enforcement of character merchandising practices. Tezuka ex-
plicitly credits Disney as an inspiration for his own reliance on character
merchandising,6 and the legal contract used by Mushi Production when
licensing the use of its characters was an abbreviated version of that first
used by Disney in Japan.7 The very term character was imported into
Japan with Disney’s licensing contract of the 1950s, which termed the
entities in question “fanciful characters.”8
Even as Tezuka was in many ways influenced by Disney, the style of
animation he and his animators developed and the kinds of transmedia
connections generated around his anime series were quite distinct.
Tezuka was the first Japanese producer to make the selling of licenses
and the collection of royalties a core element of his business model,
and Atomu was the first Japanese character marked with the copyright
sign.9 Tetsuwan Atomu’s phenomenal popular and commercial suc-
cess meant that Tezuka was able to sustain Mushi Production Studio
on the royalties gained from the sale of the character image. 10 The
success of Atomu and its character merchandising practice not only
inspired immediate imitators but also ensured that the practice was
embedded at the very core of anime as a media mix system. Although
Toei initially resisted the pressure of television animation, it quickly
followed Tezuka’s model in depending on the practice of character

40 · Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising

merchandising—its first TV anime series, Ōkami shōnen Ken (Ken
the Wolf Boy; 1963–65), would become the center of chocolate maker
Morinaga’s ad campaigns.11 The former president of Toei Animation,
Imada Chiaki, put it most succinctly in a 1986 interview: “If merchan-
dising (the sale and the copyright income from character goods) was to
disappear, we would not be able to cover the costs of production—no
matter how high the viewer ratings might be—and the program would
no longer be able to continue.”12
The Tetsuwan Atomu television series is now seen as a key moment
in the development of character merchandising in Japan, and Atomu
is one of the major reasons the country is today known as the “Empire
of Characters.”13 Yet Tezuka’s plans to rely on the practice of character
merchandising were alone not enough to ensure its success. The dif-
fusion of character merchandising and its installation at the heart of
the anime system must be explained by recourse to a number of other
factors, which will be the focus of this chapter.
To begin, let us turn to the term character merchandising itself. In
the most general sense, this term refers to the licensing, production,
marketing, and consumption of goods and media based around the
image of a character. Narrowly defined, character merchandising is
the copyright business;14 it is the business of creating contracts and
gaining income through selling or leasing the rights to use a character
image. Its viability as a business depends on the existence, recognition,
and enforcement of the intellectual property laws that support it. In
this regard, historians of merchandising in Japan point to 1963 and the
beginning of the Atomu TV anime series as a turning point after which
merchandising rights for manga and anime characters were more strictly
enforced and adhered to than they had been previously.15
Yet character merchandising cannot be adequately understood
solely in terms of copyright law. Expanding on this narrow definition
of the practice, the World Intellectual Property Organization provides
this broader definition:

Character merchandising can be defined as the adaptation or sec-

ondary exploitation, by the creator of a fictional character or by
a real person or by one or several authorized third parties, of the
essential personality features (such as the name, image or appear-
ance) of a character in relation to various goods and/or services

Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising · 41

with a view to creating in prospective customers a desire to acquire
those goods and/or to use those services because of the customers’
affinity with that character.16

This definition introduces a key element in the consideration of the

character business: desire. Yet how is this desire generated? It is not
only through the visual appeal of the character, as some writers have
implied, nor is the reason for this desire to be found solely in the com-
municational channels the character opens (something to which I will
return in chapter 3); rather, the generation of consumer desire depends
in large part on the material ubiquity of the character image and its
proliferation across media forms.
My claim here is that the proliferation of the character image out-
side the television screen and its material ubiquity in lived space are
what made both anime and character merchandising the phenomena
they are today. The expanded circulation of the character image is also
what differentiates character merchandising from the earlier practice
of tie-ins, which limited the circulation of the image to one company or
product. The 1960–61 National Kid was one of the earlier uses of tie-ins
on television. Sponsored by Matsushita Denki (also known as National),
the title character of the program always used a flashlight manufactured
and sold by its electrical goods sponsor. Here, however, what we find is
not so much the commercial exploitation of the character as the com-
mercial use of narrative programming to promote the company image
and, in particular, a preexisting commodity: National’s flashlight.17 With
Atomu and character merchandising, however, we find the creation of
products that did not preexist the character or the show but rather were
created in the wake of its popularity. Moreover, the circulation of the
Atomu image exceeded by far the circulation of the tie-in, regulated as
it was by a single company’s monopoly.
Here we come to the important role that the specific image regime
of anime played in character merchandising: anime enabled a greater
proliferation of visually consistent character images across media forms
than had previously been possible. This was in part because the con-
sistency of the image was maintained and dynamized by the particular
relation between stillness and motion found in the television anime.
As such, the appearance of the first anime character, Atomu, was key to
the development of character merchandising into the approximately 1.6

42 · Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising

trillion yen or 17 billion U.S. dollar business it is today.18 As if to empha-
size the importance of the physical distribution of the character image,
some historians of anime, merchandising, and Japanese popular culture
point not only to the Atomu TV series but also to a particular marketing
campaign developed by Tetsuwan Atomu’s television sponsor, Meiji Seika,
as the real turning point in the development of character merchandising
in Japan.19 In this Meiji Seika–Atomu marketing campaign, Atomu and
friends stickers were used as premiums (“freebie” buying incentives)
for the purchase of Meiji’s Marble Chocolates, igniting a sticker boom
that overtook in scale previous children’s consumer fads.20 It was this
sticker boom that was in part responsible for the success of anime as
a medium organized around character merchandising and its serial
proliferation of character images. That is to say, it was not anime alone,
nor the preparatory frameworks offered by kamishibai and manga,
that guaranteed anime’s popularity; rather, it was these media forms in
concert with the material proliferation of Atomu images made possible
by the Meiji–Atomu stickers that increased the program’s popularity,
organized anime around the practice of character merchandising, and
established the medium as a core element of the media mix—a largely
character-based media-commodity system that persists to this day.
Although a number of writers have rightly suggested the importance
of the Meiji–Atomu sticker campaign for the development of character
merchandising, they have nonetheless failed to adequately explain how
and why character merchandising caught on. Instead, they have tended
to naturalize consumer desire, assuming it was normal for children to
want to have the anime character covering all objects of their everyday
lives, and thereby overlooking the media transformations that took
place around this campaign. Taking up where previous accounts have
left off, this chapter will argue that the importance of the Meiji–Atomu
sticker campaign lay in its development of the material ubiquity of the
character image. This material ubiquity was a major factor in making
the character a focal point for consumer desire and the basis for the
successful development of the character merchandising strategy.
The core element of character merchandising is, to be sure, the char-
acter itself. But rather than defining what the character is—a starting
point that often leads to the naturalization of both the character and
desire for it—a more appropriate approach would be to describe what it
does—to describe, that is, its effects, or tendencies. Two complementary

Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising · 43

tendencies of the character coordinate its transmedia migrations and
will structure the analysis in this chapter.
First, the character functions as what, drawing on the theoreti-
cal work of Thomas Lamarre, Saitō Tamaki, and Azuma Hiroki, we
might call a “nodal point” or “media attractor.” The character brings
its surrounding media and things into alignment with its image.21 This
chapter will demonstrate the effects of the character’s gravitational pull
by examining the history of using premiums (omake) to sell candies. By
charting the transformation of the relation between premium and candy
over time, we can in turn chart the way the anime character functions
as an attractor that warps its surrounding media and object ecology.
The increasingly close tie between chocolate and premium across the
Meiji–Atomu campaign indexes the attractive force of the character,
which transforms commodities like chocolate bars and their premiums
into media objects in its image.
The second major effect of the character is its complementary
tendency to expand outward through the media and social environ-
ment—its tendency toward diffusion. If the first tendency effectively
multiplies the number of media and commodity types that display the
character image by pulling them into the character’s orbit, this second
tendency describes the expansion of these new media and commodity
forms throughout the child-consumer’s lived environment. The resulting
material distribution of the character image was, I will suggest, central
to the development of consumer desire for the character image. It also
gave rise to the “immaterial” entity of the character, an entity that, as we
will see, both supports the transmedia movement and environmental
diffusion of the character and refuses to be pinned down in any one
material incarnation.
These two tendencies gain concrete form in the Atomu sticker: the
attractive force of the character that transforms things and media into
its own image (the premium remade in the character’s image) and the
expansion or material dispersion of the character image within everyday
space (the character-sticker’s expansion through the lived environment).
The pull of the character transforms surrounding media into its image
and enables the further diffusion of the character image; the diffusion
of these new character media and commodities in turn strengthens the
character’s power of attraction, leading more media and commodities
to be transformed into its image. Attraction and diffusion are thus two

44 · Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising

sides of the same coin that is character merchandising. Character mer-
chandising, to be sure, relies on the legal infrastructure of intellectual
property laws and its institutions of enforcement for the accumulation of
capital, but it is equally reliant on the construction of an infrastructure
of desire that works through the double logic of attraction and diffusion.
Through the historical analysis of these two tendencies in the
Meiji–Atomu campaign, this chapter proposes to move toward three
more general goals. First, it will point to the fundamental inseparability
of the emergence of the anime system and the rise in character mer-
chandising in Japan. The Meiji–Atomu campaign serves as proof that
the phenomenon of television anime cannot be thought apart from
the transmedia migrations of the anime image in the form of character
merchandising. Second, this chapter will suggest how the development
of the character as a technology of attraction and diffusion was indis-
sociable from the material and historical context of the Meiji–Atomu
campaign. The choice of stickers as a premium may have been arbitrary,
but its effects on the history of character merchandising are anything
but. Finally, this chapter will conclude by offering the beginnings of a
theory of the character as a technology of connection, considered in
relation to the associated phenomenon of media synergy.
Let us turn, then, to the answer Meiji gave the question we formu-
lated from our consideration of “The Time Machine” episode—how to
connect Atomu to Meiji?

The Gravitational Pull of the Character

In 1962, Tezuka decided to take up the challenge of producing what
was to be the first made-in-Japan, thirty-minute weekly animated TV
series based on his popular manga, Tetsuwan Atomu (which had been
serialized since 1951 in the young boys’ magazine Shōnen22). He began
by looking for a TV station willing to broadcast it and a sponsor will-
ing to support it. The station he found was Fuji Terebi (Fuji TV); the
sponsor he decided on, after a lukewarm response at candy company
Morinaga, was Meiji Seika.23
Meiji Seika was, at the time and to this day, one of Japan’s largest
confectionaries. Founded in 1916, it began by producing candy and
biscuits and, in 1926, became the second company to begin chocolate
production in Japan, after Morinaga. Meiji and Morinaga were early on

Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising · 45

recognized as the two foremost chocolate companies in Japan and were
known particularly for their Hershey’s-inspired rectangular chocolate
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, after the austerities of the war and
the recommencement of chocolate production, chocolates were still
expensive and beyond the means of most children.25 However, there was
a growing taste for the sweet through the 1950s owing to the prominence
of Hershey’s chocolate—along with Wrigley’s chewing gum—as one of
the two major handouts given by American GIs to Japanese children
during the Occupation years. As of 1955, the beginning of the so-called
economic miracle, the child emerged as a new consumer class—one
with a desire for chocolates. An increase in adult income translated into
increased buying power for the child, who became the most privileged
member of the postwar population.26 Responding to the rise of this new
consumer, chocolate companies developed a keen interest in marketing
their products to children—and did so through attention to both design
and advertisement. These companies moved away from the standard,
rectangular chocolate bar and toward what Kushima Tsutomu calls
“toy chocolates”—innovative or playfully shaped candy bars designed
to both catch the eye and tantalize the taste buds of child consumers.27
It is in this context that we can situate the development of Meiji’s
Marble Chocolates, Meiji’s flagship children’s product at the time of its
1963–66 sponsorship of Tetsuwan Atomu. The release of Marble Choco-
lates in February 1961 coincided with (and contributed to) a rage for
chocolates at the beginning of the 1960s. In Japan’s postwar history of
candy, the years 1945–1950 are referred to as the golden age of caramel;
the years 1960–65 are the golden age of chocolate.28 Whereas in 1960,
chocolate was ranked fifth in sales of the top five candy products in Japan,
by 1965, chocolate had taken the lead and was first in candy consumption.
A 1964 survey suggests that nine out of ten children preferred choco-
lates over other candies.29 Meiji was rated the top chocolate producer
within this chocolate boom and accounted for 38 percent of the total
market and an impressive 58 percent of the child market.30 A large part
of Meiji’s success—and of the chocolate boom itself—must be explained
by the close link between Marble Chocolates and Tetsuwan Atomu, a
relationship that inspired the similarly close ties between subsequent
anime and candy makers like Ōkami shōnen Ken and Morinaga, Tetsujin
28-gō and Glico, and Obake no Q-tarō and Fujiya.

46 · Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising

figure 2.3. Advertisement for Marble Chocolates from the back cover of Shōnen
magazine, April 1964 issue. The Marble Chocolates cylinder, Atomu stickers, and
Marble ad icon Uehara Yukari are featured here.
Marble Chocolates, still in production today, are small, circular
chocolates with a candy coating that come in seven different colors and
are packaged in a cylindrical, cardboard box that makes a popping sound
when the lid is removed (Figure 2.3). The candies themselves are very
much like American M&Ms or British Smarties. This is no coincidence;
Marble Chocolates were based on M&Ms, which were already being
sold in Japan. But though their American counterpart was not doing
very well, Marble Chocolates quickly became a hit.31 The figures are
revealing: in 1961, they posted 310 million yen in sales; in 1962, 3,460
million yen; and in 1963, 5,830 million yen.32 So what was the difference
between the American version and the Meiji version of these chocolates
such that one would only have mediocre sales, while the other would
meet with such success? And why the steep increase in sales of Marble
Chocolates between 1961 and 1963? Three principal factors account for
this: (1) the package design and novelty of the product (1961), (2) the first
marketing campaign (1962–63),33 and (3) the Tetsuwan Atomu–based
marketing campaign (1963–66).
The novelty of the Marble Chocolates package design itself was
enough to put the product on the map and ensure a relatively success-
ful launch in 1961. As Machida Shinobu notes, the unusual package
design—which made the popping sound noted earlier—made it fun to
play with even after all the chocolates were eaten.34 Eating and playing
were already closely intertwined in Japanese children’s culture, so this
facet of the chocolates was quite important.
A big push for Meiji came in the next year, when a TV ad campaign
began in March 1962. Until this time, Meiji had done nothing in the way
of advertising.35 But in March 1962, Meiji initiated an intense television,
radio, and print ad campaign that featured the hitherto unknown but
soon to become famous Uehara Yukari. The five-year-old Uehara was
made the face and voice of Marble Chocolates, a candy with which she
became so associated that she acquired the nickname “Marble-chan”
(Little Miss Marble). Marble-chan quickly became a household name.
Her performances were critically acclaimed, and Meiji won prize after
prize for its commercials (both for TV and for film) in festivals in Japan
and abroad. Meiji commercials blanketed the airwaves, filling television
screens and radio programs, to the point that the years 1962 to 1964 are
known in the Japanese advertising world as “the age of Meiji Seika.”36
Meiji was the number one television advertiser in 1963, and it bought

48 · Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising

up TV ad spots so ravenously that rumors floated around ad agencies
to the effect that Meiji set the price for television spots.37
Although TV commercials were the centerpiece of the campaign,
Meiji’s ads ranged across multiple media forms, appearing in newspapers,
in magazines, on the radio, as posters, and as display shelves at stores
(so-called point-of-purchase, or POP, ads). Meiji thus developed a total
marketing campaign, unified by four elements common to all the ads
deployed in the campaign: Marble Chocolates; Uehara Yukari (either
pictured or heard in most ads from 1962 and into 1963); a bouncy theme
song (which ran on the radio, was incorporated into TV commercials,
and was even printed in newspaper ads in the form of lyrics and musi-
cal score); and the popping sound of the Marble box.38 The inadvertent
appeal of the popping sound made by the box was quickly picked up and
used in TV commercials, radio ads, and even print-media ads, where
a graphic “pop” (pon) was written beside the box.39
In one radio ad, for example, a groggy and slow-to-wake Marble-chan
suddenly rouses from her sleep when she hears the sound of a Marble
Chocolates box being popped open. The second to last line of this 1963
award-winning radio ad features the popping sound of the Marble box
and the voice of the announcer saying, “When you hear this sound, it
means that someone, somewhere is eating Marble Chocolates.” In an-
other award-winning television ad played during the 1962–63 New Year’s
holiday season—aptly titled “Happy Marble”—the ad ends with Marble-
chan facing the camera and giving the Japanese New Year’s greeting,
“Akemashite, omedetō gozaimasu.” But between the “akemashite” and
the “omedetō gozaimasu,” there is a cut to a brief scene, where Uehara
vigorously pops open a box of Marble Chocolates. A pop for any and
every occasion, Meiji suggests—and for every ad as well.
The shift to the Marble Chocolates campaign based around the
Atomu image is attributed to increased competition from Meiji’s long-
time rival, Morinaga.40 Specifically, Morinaga began producing “Parade
Chocolates,” a candy line that was an almost exact replica of Marble
Chocolates. Released in November 1962, both chocolates and packages
of Parade Chocolates are clearly modeled on Meiji’s successful line.
Parade Chocolates’s only difference from Marble was the location of its
name on the package (wrapped diagonally rather than straight through
the center of the package) and the style of the cap: a shallow plastic cap
inserted into the body of the cylinder, instead of the overlapping Marble

Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising · 49

cap. But the small difference in the Morinaga cap led to an important
advantage: this cap was well suited to double as a carrier of an omake
premium, which made the chocolates popular with its child consumers.
By offering premiums, the almost identical Parade Chocolates were able
to draw consumers who would otherwise have bought Meiji’s Marble
The cap of early Parade Chocolates cylinders carried a “moving
badge” (ugoku bajji): an image whose form and color changed accord-
ing the angle at which it was viewed. This badge could be removed
from the cap and came with a safety pin on its reverse side such that
it could be attached to clothing. The images used at the time were of
characters from The Three Stooges (broadcast on TV in 1963), from the
TV program Kurorin-mura to kurumi no ki (a puppet show on air from
1956 through 1964), and letters from the Roman alphabet and other
character drawings.42 This Morinaga challenge led Meiji to develop its
own premium campaign for its Marble Chocolates and to begin using
Atomu to boost its faltering sales. “Without the existence of Parade
Chocolates,” Tsunashima Ritomo writes, “Atomu stickers might never
have been born.”43

A History of Omake–Product Relations

To better understand the significance of the Morinaga and Meiji premium
campaigns, let us turn to the longer history of premium campaigns in
Japan. Morinaga and Meiji were not the first confectionaries to use
premiums as a buying incentive. Premiums have been a mainstay of
Japanese children’s culture throughout the twentieth century and into
the twenty-first, beginning in the 1920s, if not before. The two main
forms that premiums have taken from the 1920s to the present are omake
and furoku. Furoku—a word which literally means “supplement” or “ap-
pendix”—developed out of magazine culture and has its own complex
history that I will not detail here. Instead, I will focus on the evolution
of the candy-based omake and the historical transformations of the rela-
tion between product and omake through the Meiji–Atomu campaign
in particular. The transformation of the relation between product and
omake indexes the powers of attraction exerted by the character.
The word omake emerges from the commercial culture of the Osaka
area and refers to a give-away or premium included with a main product

50 · Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising

as a buying incentive. The term was adopted and popularized (if not
coined) by Ezaki Ri’ichi, the founder of Glico.44 While the Osaka-based
confectioner is now one of Japan’s largest (alongside Meiji, Morinaga,
and Fujiya), at the time of its founding in 1921, Glico was a small com-
pany that produced a particular brand of caramels. In his struggle to
spur sales and compete with industry giants Morinaga and Meiji, Ezaki
happened on the practice of including a premium in Glico Caramel
boxes. As of 1922, Glico began including a picture card on a test basis in
its boxes of caramel; in 1927, it started including omake in all its boxes.
This campaign was a success, and from that point on, a toylike omake
was included in every box. In 1929, Glico began including the omake
in a separate box placed on top or at the bottom of the caramel box in
what is now its classic form.45
The Glico name became indissociable from the practice of pairing
candy and omake; in Kitahara Teruhisa’s estimation, it was Glico that
built Japan’s “omake culture.”46 Yet, despite the association of the name
Glico with the practice of including omake, there was little connec-
tion between the object given as a premium and the main body of the
product: caramel candy. The omake objects were picked somewhat
randomly based on their size, price, and availability. There were dogs,
people, fish, and hippopotamuses made out of clay; medals of honor,
saws, oxen, cars, motorcycles, and tanks made out of metal; and baseball
players, monkeys, umbrellas, and maidens made out of paper.47 All these
had but the most tenuous relationship to either Glico or the caramel
candies whose sales they were promoting. Very few omake were actually
directly tied into Glico as a brand or caramel producer and much less
to the individually wrapped pieces of caramel inside the box. Almost
none connected Glico to the wider media environment. There were
some few exceptions to this, the most notable one being Glico’s 1933
use of Tagawa Suihō’s popular manga character Norakuro for hand-out
advertisements and as an omake. Although this did not connect to the
candy per se, it did connect Glico to the larger media environment. Yet,
however much this seems to preview the character-based premiums of
the 1960s, this was the exception rather than the rule.
For the most part, Glico omake were characterized by what we
might call the extrinsic relation between the omake premium and the
Glico caramel product. There was a nonessential, arbitrary or extrinsic
relation between the premium and the candy product. The Glico name

Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising · 51

was clearly tied to the practice of including omake, but the particular
omake had no clear relationship to the Glico brand or to its trademark
caramel. No lasting connection was created between the particular pre-
mium and the candy product, and the global Glico product was known
merely for having a premium, not for having a specific kind of premium.
There was only an extrinsic relation between premium and product.48
A major transformation in the nature of connectivity between the
premium and the object of purchase came about in the early postwar
years, during the golden age of caramel. The year 1950 saw the peak
of both the Kōbai baseball card–based omake campaign and the Ka-
baya novel-based omake campaign, which together are credited with
launching the postwar omake boom.49 The wartime years had seen
the decline and eventual complete cessation of omake production.
Though Glico started producing omake once again in the immediate
postwar period, it was Kōbai and Kabaya that were particularly seminal
in developing a new style of omake campaign. Both campaigns stimu-
lated children’s desire for collection. This was an age of caramel-based
omake campaigns during which the consumer’s prolonged and patient
collection of “direct” or “with-pack” premiums of little economic value
led to the possibility of receiving a larger, much coveted prize.50 In the
case of Kabaya, this prize was the chance to select a volume from the
company’s collection of classic novels from world literature. Every
ten-yen package of Kabaya Caramels contained a Kayaba Books card
with a drawing of the then-popular Tarzan or some related character.51
Once a collector had accumulated fifty such cards, or five cards in the
appropriate combination, he or she could go to the local candy story
(where the books were on display) and receive a volume of choice from
the Kabaya Books collection.52
This premium system was thus based on a process of collection, at
the end of which the coveted prize could be had. It was a particularly
ingenious campaign, insofar as it addressed postwar children’s desire
for books—at a time when most children could not afford books but
could spare the occasional ten yen for candy—and gave their parents
the satisfaction of thinking that every trip to the candy store could lead
to the intellectual betterment of their children.
The campaign was also significant in that it connected the omake
directly to the caramel: Kabaya Books was not an official publishing
house but rather one created specifically to supply books for the Kabaya

52 · Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising

Caramel campaign. Though the books were all hardcover classics from
Japanese and world literature—including Pinnochio, Taketori monogatari,
Robinson Crusoe, Les Misérables, and so on—they were all associated
with the candy’s publishing house (Kabaya Bunko) and thus with the
caramel and the omake cards that came with it.53 Kabaya formed what
we might call a direct connection between the caramels, the cards,
and the type of prize to be gained through their consumption. Unlike
the case of Glico, where the omake included in the box was to a large
extent arbitrary, with Kabaya, all consumption was aimed toward the
collection of cards and the eventual receipt of a book on display at the
local candy store.
Supplementing this direct connection, there was what we might
call a relation of reciprocal exclusivity created between the omake and
the object: one could not have the Kabaya book without the purchase
of Kabaya Caramel, which in turn enabled the patient collection of the
omake cards. Kabaya Caramel and Kabaya Books—and the omake cards
that mediated the two—were mutually dependent on each other; one did
not exist without the other. Over time, the two became indissociable.
There was, of course, no necessary relation between caramels and
books, and the two did not resemble each other—books and caramels
are quite heterogeneous as objects go. Nonetheless, Kabaya created a
strong reciprocal relation between the two in the minds of its child con-
sumers. The very aim of buying Kabaya Caramel and collecting cards
was to receive a Kabaya book. There was thus a relation of reciprocal
exclusivity between product and premium.
The next step in the development of candy–omake relations came
with Morinaga’s 1960 release of Disney Caramels, a line of caramel
products that was created as a tie-in with the Disney TV show Dis-
neyland, on air in Japan as of 1958. With this caramel product, Disney
characters not only adorned the box but were also included inside as a
“moving badge” premium (Figure 2.4). Though this product met with
only modest success, it was an important precursor to the Meiji–Atomu
campaign for demonstrating the possibility of what might be called a
relation of convergence between candy and the omake object. Here not
only did the candy premium take the form of a Disney character but
the very name of the product and the image on its box were linked to
Disney and its characters. In fact, the box was eventually redesigned
to mimic the appearance of the moving badge premium—a round, red

Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising · 53

circle with a Disney character at the center. This convergent relation
between omake and box marked a new trend that Komiya Jun’ichi,
a Morinaga marketing researcher at the time, argues had once been
unthinkable.54 This was a watershed moment in the development of
increasingly proximate relations between product and premium that
in turn pointed to the potential for a character-based organization of
commodities whose effectiveness in generating consumer desire was to
be demonstrated by the Meiji–Atomu campaign of 1963.

The Atomization of Meiji

As we have seen, in most cases of omake prior to those of Morinaga
and Meiji, the omake was either a random object in extrinsic relation
to the product (as in the case of most Glico premiums) or a specific
object type created to link up with the product in a relation of reciprocal
exclusivity (such as the Kabaya books that could only be had through
the collection of card inserts). With the campaigns of the early 1960s
and onward, however, we witness several important developments in
omake–product relations. First, we find the development of a convergent
relation between omake, product, and character image. The premiums of
this time became increasingly centered on the image of a character, and
this image influenced not only the type of omake but also the form of
the package and, ultimately, the form of the candy product itself. Second,
we find a reversal in the relation of dependency between product and
omake. With Glico and Kabaya, the premium was organized around
the product and was not available short of buying the Glico or Kabaya
product. With the omake of the 1960s, particularly those that came after
Atomu, the product (whether chocolate or caramel or gum) was increas-
ingly dependent on the omake and, more specifically, on the character
image the omake used. By contrast, the omake and the character image
were increasingly independent from the object.55 Indeed, the very ap-
peal of the product and its premium increasingly hinged on the wider
circulation of the character image. The desirability of the product and
omake became yoked to the appeal of the character, which was in turn
dependent on the wider circulation of the character image.
Though the Morinaga–Disney campaign can be cited as a precursor
in this regard, the Meiji–Atomu campaign was much more extensive and
had a far greater impact on the media and social spheres. In particular,

54 · Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising

figure 2.4. Advertisement for Morinaga Disney Caramel featuring the Disney
character Donald Duck, from the back cover of an August 1961 supplement (fu-
roku) for Shōnen magazine. Note that the ad pictures the earlier box design, not
the redesigned box meant to evoke the premium.
it was the reorganization of the Meiji Chocolates marketing strategy
around the Atomu image, and the popular response to this campaign,
that made it a pivotal moment in the history of character merchandis-
ing and the media mix. This reorganization established the importance
of anime sponsorship and character image appeal for other candy
companies, it created the model for subsequent advertising campaigns
similarly organized around an anime character image, and it marked a
watershed in the development of the character business in Japan.
The transformation of the omake–product relation and the increas-
ing centrality of Tetsuwan Atomu characters to Marble products and
marketing campaigns occurred in several stages. What changed were
the proximity of connections between Meiji products and the Atomu
character premiums. We might recall the scene with which I opened this
chapter: the Marble Chocolates pack emerges from the time machine;
Higeoyagi yells, “Cut!” and the screen goes black; and then Higeoyaji
emerges from the time machine. This episode, which first aired on March
12, 1963, indicates a kind of question mark surrounding the relationship
between Atomu and Meiji. To use a term suggested earlier in relation to
earlier premium campaigns, there is an extrinsic relation between Atomu
and Marble Chocolates; nothing special links them, except perhaps the
circumstance of Mushi Production needing a sponsor and Meiji oblig-
ing. The black screen emblematizes the disconnect between the two.
Meiji’s early invocation of the Tetsuwan Atomu series in a January 4,
1963, newspaper advertisement for Marble Chocolates follows a similar
logic.56 While the bulk of the page is taken up by the image of Uehara
and a sample of Meiji products, the advertisement includes a short text
at the bottom of the page—separated by a black border—announcing
that Meiji Seika was sponsoring the new “domestically produced 30
minute manga program,” Tetsuwan Atomu. The ad also includes a list,
in smaller font, of the other television and radio shows the confection-
ary was sponsoring and their broadcast schedules. If the black border
is any indication, it seems that Meiji Seika also saw little more than an
extrinsic relation between itself and the new TV show it was sponsoring
and little reason to emphasize this connection.
One of the first advertisements put out by Meiji that tried to tie
Atomu and Marble Chocolates together more directly was published
soon after, in the February 1963 issue of the boys’ magazine Shōnen—one
of the more popular boys’ magazines at the time and the magazine that

56 · Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising

figure 2.5. Meiji–Atomu advertisement in Shōnen magazine, February 1963.

was serializing the Tetsuwan Atomu manga. The ad shows Atomu riding
a package of Marble Chocolates (Figure 2.5). Here a direct connection
is made between Marble and Atomu; Atomu rides the Marble cylinder
like a rocket, as speed lines emerge from the back end of the package.
Atomu is going somewhere with Marble: toward the Meiji brand name,
to be precise. The ad itself is divided into two halves, the right being a
promotion for the Atomu TV show and the left being an ad for Marble
Chocolates. The right-hand side of the ad announces the Tetsuwan Atomu
TV show: “The TV manga film/Tetsuwan Atomu/in action on TV!” The
left-hand side features ad copy for Marble Chocolates—a reminder of
the seven colors of Meiji chocolates, and an emphasis that there’s only
one Marble Chocolates in Japan. (Evidently some reminder was needed
to differentiate Marble from its false pretender, Parade Chocolates.) The
Marble rocket on which Atomu rides is headed toward the Marble side,
and toward Meiji Seika; indeed, the character is already completely on
the Marble half of the image.
This relationship between Meiji and Atomu was deepened several
months later with the first Meiji–Atomu sticker campaign. In response
to the success of Morinaga’s Parade Chocolates, Meiji sought to include
a premium of their own in Marble Chocolates boxes. The cylindrical
shape and the small size of the box presented some challenges, but
the Meiji marketing department eventually came up with a solution:
stickers. Stickers had not yet been used in omake campaigns, and the
emulsion-type sticker used in the Meiji campaign was a relatively new
technology for printers in Japan at the time.57 Once stickers had been
settled on, the problem then became deciding what the subject of the
stickers should be. Many ideas were floated, including using the image

Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising · 57

of Uehara Yukari, but none elicited excitement from the children on
which these ideas were tested.
Soon after, the Meiji marketing directors happened on the idea of
using the image of Atomu; here, finally, was something their test sub-
jects immediately took to.58 A limited trial run of this idea took place in
spring 1963, during which single images of Atomu and other characters
from the television series were included in Marble Chocolates cylin-
ders. Following the success of this trial period, Meiji began its official,
nationwide Atomu sticker campaign on July 7, 1963.59 This first official
campaign offered a prize-in-the-mail variety of premium: children sent
in two tops of the thirty-yen Marble Chocolates boxes and received one
fifteen by twenty-one centimeter Atomu sticker sheet in the mail. Each
of the three different sticker sheets available contained six Atomu and
friends sticker images traced from the manga by Meiji employees as
well as one sticker of Uehara and one of Marble Chocolates themselves
(Figures 2.6–2.8). They also included a separate instruction sheet showing
children how—and where—to apply the stickers (Figure 2.9).60 Set to
end in August, the overwhelming response to this campaign led Meiji
to extend it into September. By the end of the campaign, Meiji had
received a total of 3.7 million requests for sticker sheets—overwhelm-
ing the local post office—and saw its Marble Chocolates sales soar.61
The success of this campaign led to the insertion—this time as direct,
in-package premiums—of smaller Atomu stickers (as well as animal-
shaped sponges) in all Marble Chocolates cylinders as of September 1963
(Figure 2.10). The explosively popular Atomu stickers had become the
most desirable of premiums available at the time, which in turn made
Meiji the number one chocolate maker in Japan.62
By this point, Atomu had become firmly embedded in the Marble
universe; a relation of association had developed between Marble Choco-
lates and the Atomu world. The dynamism and desirability of Atomu
were rubbing off in significant ways on the Meiji products that the
character touched. The Tetsuwan Atomu TV show itself came to be
seen by some contemporary commentators as a kind of advertisement
for Meiji products.63 But this use of Atomu involved a reorganization of
Meiji. Despite the implications of the February 1963 Shōnen ad, it was
not only Atomu who moved toward Meiji—the reverse was also true.
In fact, though the rhetoric of the ads implied that Atomu was “flying
high” for Meiji, there was an increasing sense that Meiji was speeding

58 · Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising

figure 2.6. The first of three send-away sticker sheets for the Meiji–Atomu sticker
campaign, July–September 1963. Copyright Tezuka Production Co., Ltd.
figure 2.7. The second of three send-away sticker sheets for the Meiji–Atomu
sticker campaign, July–September 1963. Copyright Tezuka Production Co., Ltd.
figure 2.8. The third of three send-away sticker sheets for the Meiji–Atomu sticker
campaign, July–September 1963. Copyright Tezuka Production Co., Ltd.
figure 2.9. Instruction sheet accompanying the Meiji–Atomu sticker sheets.
Copyright Tezuka Production Co., Ltd.
figure 2.10. Single sticker from the later
1963–64 omake campaign. Copyright Tezuka
Production Co., Ltd.

toward Atomu—while the character retained its independence. As Meiji

marketing director Ōhashi put it, “We thought we were the ones in
control [of the Atomu sticker boom] but it turns out we were the ones
being controlled.”64 The Atomu tail had started wagging the Meiji dog.
The Meiji image—and Marble Chocolates in particular—became firmly
associated with Atomu. Atomu, however, retained his independence to
associate with other products.
As time went on, Meiji developed an increasingly greater degree of
dependence on the Atomu image, developing a relation of convergence
between its chocolate products and Atomu. No longer merely a relation
of association, Meiji developed products that were Atomu-centric in
both premium and name. In July 1964, Meiji released its Meiji Tetsuwan
Atomu Caramel, also known as the Omake-tsuki [premium-included]
Tetsuwan Atomu Caramel. This was a caramel product that bore the
image of Atomu on its box in addition to including either a sticker-
based Atomu appliqué or an Atomu magnet as omake inside.65 With
this product, the character became not simply the inspiration for the
omake but also the basis for the very name of the product, with its im-
age adorning its package.
A final step in this intensifying convergence between the total design

Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising · 63

of the product, candy, omake, and the character image came in the
fall 1964 release of the Meiji Model Chocolates. As the name suggests,
along with bearing Atomu’s image on the box, and leading to an Atomu
omake, the chocolate candy was itself modeled in the shape of Atomu
(Figure 2.11). Though each had a different material form, package, and
name, omake and candy were all completely organized around Atomu.66
Meiji Model Chocolates epitomized the progressive convergence
of premiums and the total product effected by the positively mag-
netic character. The attractive power of the character played a key
role in transforming the omake–product relation from one based on
heterogeneous or extrinsic relation (Glico) to one based on a grow-
ing resemblance in name, form, and appearance (Meiji–Atomu). The
anime character prompted a reorganization of objects around its image
and a transformation of the relations between premium, candy, and
product. The character image produced a convergence of series and a
growing proximity, connectivity, and resemblance between materially
heterogeneous series or objects (anime, omake, and chocolate). But
in the process of acting as an attractive force that gathered otherwise
heterogeneous media and object types around it, the character image
itself became increasingly ubiquitous. As I will suggest in the next sec-
tion, part of the reason for this increasing ubiquity is to be found in the
specificity of anime style and its rhythms of movement and stillness.

From Star to Character

The increasing centrality of the Atomu image, particularly after the initial
success of the Atomu stickers and the resulting Atomu omake boom,
saw the progressive displacement of the image of Uehara Yukari in favor
of the image of Atomu as the central attractor of the Meiji campaign.
This new centrality of Atomu to Meiji Seika comes across clearly in one
of the first TV commercials to feature the Atomu omake, particularly
when this ad is compared with its predecessors featuring Uehara Yukari.
Let us take, for example, Meiji’s fourth television ad using Uehara
Yukari, the New Year’s 1962–63 “Happy Marble” commercial. In “Happy
Marble,” the center of the frame is occupied by, alternatively, the box of
Marble Chocolates and Uehara’s face. Of the nineteen shots that make
up the forty-five-second ad, seven shots are of the Marble Chocolates
box, and five are of Uehara. The remaining shots are made up by one

64 · Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising

figure 2.11. Advertisement for Meiji Model Chocolates, from the back cover of the
December 1964 Kappa Comics publication of the Tetsuwan Atomu Manga, Volume
12. The packages and their chocolate contents were molded in the shape of Atomu
characters, and their send-away premiums were also based on Atomu characters.
shot of Uehara’s geta wooden clogs; three stop-motion animation track-
ing shots of the pattern in the snow made by Uehara’s geta clogs as she
walks from house to house collecting her New Year’s gifts, accompanied
by a variation on the famous Marble Chocolates song (familiar to all
from both radio and TV previous commercials); and a medium shot,
zooming into close-up on the face of a hungry-looking dog waiting
for Uehara at one of her destinations. The focus of the ad is clearly the
relationship between Marble-chan and her Marble Chocolates.
The first Meiji TV commercial to incorporate the Atomu omake ap-
peared in late 1964, introducing a new visual logic to Meiji’s marketing
strategy.67 This commercial begins with the entrance of Marble-chan onto
a completely white set, eating Marble Chocolates as the camera zooms
in to reframe her in medium shot. Suddenly Uehara looks off-screen
left. The commercial cuts to a reverse shot of two animated boy cartoon
characters looking back at Uehara and gesticulating a request for some
chocolates. When Uehara shakes her head, refusing their request, the
animated characters grow agitated and threaten her with the sticks they
are carrying (always cutting between Uehara and the animated boys,
who never occupy the same frame). Marble-chan looks frightened and
edges away from them toward the right of the frame—and then suddenly
remembers something. She quickly shakes the Marble Chocolates box
she is holding, and out comes an Atomu “magic print” (a type of a sticker
that transfers to another surface by scratching it on). A close-up of the
magic print shows an image of Atomu in one of his dynamic fighting
positions, his body poised to move left and his eyes looking to the left
of the image (or screen). There is then a cut to the animated boys, who,
on seeing Atomu (off-screen right), flee to the left of the screen as the
Atomu magic print slides into the space vacated by the menacing boys.
Throughout the whole commercial, the Atomu print is not animated
itself but gains a secondary dynamism through the zoom of the camera
and by being pulled across the frame—an extreme example of “moving
drawings” rather than “drawing movements.”68 The image is dynamic
even in its very stillness. In limited animation, there is, as we noted in
the last chapter, a dynamic quality to the still image itself that comes
in part from the camera zooms and the sliding of the image across the
screen. The same is true for the image of Atomu in these television ads,
which gains its dynamic immobility through precisely these techniques
and through its association with the dynamically immobile anime image.

66 · Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising

Returning to the ad sequence: at the same time as the still Atomu
image slides into the frame, the Tetsuwan Atomu theme song—an
energetic tune used in the TV show during moments of battle, usually
accompanying Atomu’s flight into the sky to repel the enemy of the
week—is briefly played on the sound track, giving an air of increased
dynamism to the sliding Atomu image. A human hand then appears
from off-screen right and, using the Marble box, vigorously scratches
the Atomu print onto a surface, demonstrating how the magic print
works. There is then a cut to Marble-chan jumping up and down in
ecstasy. Atomu has saved Marble-chan in this “episode,” just as he rises
to save threatened innocents in the TV anime every week. The final
scene of this commercial is a stop-motion animation sequence in which
the Atomu magic print is sucked back into the Marble Chocolates box,
visually demonstrating that every box comes with a magic print or sticker
and further associating the image of Atomu with Marble Chocolates.
In this ad, the formerly central place of Uehara as the protagonist
and focus of attention in earlier Marble TV commercials—as well as
newspaper ads and elsewhere—has been displaced by the image of
Atomu, who comes to rescue Uehara from the threatening boys in a
schoolyard version of the Atomu-saves-the-day narrative that animates
the TV show every week. Atomu is accorded a central role on the visual
level (allotted the central position in five shots; Uehara is given four
shots) and is also the central narrative figure, resolving the conflict as
he arrives to save Uehara. Moreover, the Atomu theme song replaces the
formerly ever-present Marble Chocolates song. The live-action icon of
Marble Chocolates is hereby displaced in favor of the drawn character:
Atomu replaces the child star Uehara as the affective center of the Marble
Chocolates campaign, completing the convergence of Meiji’s products
and marketing strategies around the image of the animated character.69
There is much that can be said about the similarities between live-
action and illustrated stars like Atomu. Both incite forms of commodity
desire or are in some form commodities themselves. Both the star and
the character are “images” in the sense that Richard Dyer uses the term
to refer to “a complex configuration of visual, verbal and aural signs.”70
Both are also exemplary forms of what Dyer elsewhere calls “structured
polysemy”; they possess multiple different meanings and traverse mean-
ing contexts—a phenomenon in some ways similar to the transmedia
movement of characters I have been discussing here—and yet, at the

Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising · 67

same time, “the possibilities of meaning are limited in part by what the
text makes available.”71 This structured polysemy is particularly true for
the character whose visual characteristics are, as Azuma Hiroki argues,
increasingly drawn from a database of possible elements and configu-
rations.72 Finally, both stars and characters function on the principle
of recognition; they are effective only so long as they are recognized.73
However, there are significant differences between stars and char-
acters. First and foremost, the body of the star is a doubled body. As
Richard DeCordova writes,

the body that appears in fiction films actually has an ambiguous

and complex status: at any moment one can theoretically locate
two bodies in the one: a body produced (that of the character) and
a body producing (that of the actor). An attention to the former
draws the spectator into the representation of character within
the fiction. An attention to the latter, on the other hand, draws the
spectator into a specific path of intertextuality that extends outside
of the text as a formal system.74

In the case of most characters, there would at first seem to be no such

doubled body because there is only the produced body (the character)
and no producing body (the actor). At the level of the visual attributes
of the character, each character image is specific to a particular nar-
rative. While there are similarities in character elements and drawing
styles to be found—giving rise to an intertextual level of character ele-
ments (Azuma’s database), character designers, animators’ styles, and
so on—there is on the whole a one-to-one correspondence between
narrative and character. This is complicated in some ways by the case of
Tezuka, who is famous for instituting a star system in his manga writing
practice whereby secondary characters are recycled from one narrative
to another and even principal characters sometimes appear in unlikely
combinations. Tezuka, however, is the exception that proves the rule;
in the works of most other manga writers and animators, a one-to-one
correspondence between character and narrative prevails. Characters
do not appear in different narrative series but rather are specific to
the series in which they star: Atomu for Tetsuwan Atomu, Pikachu for
Pokémon, Major Kusanagi for Ghost in the Shell.
However, on closer examination, we find that even the character

68 · Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising

does appear to have a doubled quality; this doubling is just displaced
in certain key ways. The first level where we can locate a doubling in
the character body is on the level of the voice. As if to make up for the
single-body “problem” of the character (the lack of potential revenue
provided by a live-action star’s celebrity), the anime industry and its fans
have developed a secondary star system around its voice actors, who
regularly appear in interviews, on DVD extras, and at anime-related
events and conventions. The absent body of the character would thus
seem to reappear on the level of the voice of the actor. A second level
in which this double body reappears is drawing style. Particularly at-
tentive anime fans are likely to locate differences between the artists
responsible for the production of a character image between one episode
and the next or differences in direction from one episode to the next.75
This in turn gives rise to an epistemophilic level of fan culture that has
been particularly prevalent since the advent of the VCR and record-
able–repeatable viewing practices. If there is a certain radical quality
to be located in this second level of fandom, it is perhaps in its implicit
understanding that there is no original, self-same character body. Nor,
for that matter, is there a producing body, only a body that is produced
(by its artists) differently on each occasion.
On a third level—this one more general—we find the multiple bodies
of the character as they circulate across media types, within the same
narrative series. Being illustrated, the character has a far greater ease of
transposition to other media, particularly to other drawn image media
like manga, video games, illustrated novels, and so on. Here we come
to one of the reasons why anime was so adept at developing transme-
dia connections: the dynamically immobile character image creates
a certain resonance between and across media types, from manga to
anime, anime to sticker, sticker to candy box, candy box to toy, and so
on. This guarantees the character a much greater degree of circulation
than the flesh-and-blood actor, since the actor’s image is more difficult
to translate across media types, particularly to nonphotographic media
such as figurines, video games, or illustrations.76 This visual consistency
of the character image across media forms also relates to another attri-
bute of the character: its ability to remain the same across time. Unlike
the bodies of actors and actresses, characters do not age and maintain
a high degree of perceptual likeness over time. In this sense, the body
of the character is as immortal as its popularity.

Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising · 69

This third type of doubling, the proliferation of the character across
media types, points to another aspect of the character that I will ad-
dress in the second section of this chapter: the material dispersion of
the character image, as the image gains a material form and begins to
circulate throughout the consumer-spectator’s environment. In this first
section, we have seen the gravitational pull of the character as it trans-
formed the relation between premiums and products, and particularly
as it transformed Atomu’s confectionary sponsor into an Atomu-centric
world. In the next section, we will turn to another fundamental aspect
of the character and its merchandising, complementary in every way
to the force of attraction within the media ecology documented in this
first section: the proliferation of its material bodies and its dispersion
throughout the lived environment.

The Material Dispersion of the Character Image

The Meiji–Atomu sticker campaign did more than just change the course
of Meiji product development such that it became wholly dependent
on the Atomu image. It was also one of the principal reasons for the
subsequent frenzy of Atomu merchandising and for the present state of
character merchandising in Japan.77 Yet, as I noted, much of the writing
on the Atomu sticker boom fails to suggest why these stickers were as
successful as they were, tending to naturalize children’s desire for the
stickers and the ubiquity of the image they allow. Of course, from the
vantage point of the present media environment, it is no surprise that
writers assume it natural that children want to surround themselves with
their favorite character’s image. However, we must recognize that, as
Ueno Chizuko notes, “commodities produce desire, not the reverse.”78
Put differently, commodities, in their interaction with media forms,
produce desire and transform modes of consumption. Here we will
see why the stickers were as popular as they were, why they ignited the
mass cultural character boom that they did, and how they paved the
way for the dominance of character merchandising.

Sticker Logic
The first and most apparent reason for the popularity of the stickers
was the explosive popularity of the anime series itself. The TV series, as

70 · Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising

we have seen, was based on the already established and well-regarded
Tetsuwan Atomu manga, serialized in the popular boys’ monthly maga-
zine Shōnen from 1951 until 1968. As I noted in the last chapter, the
excitement of the magazine readers at seeing one of their favorite char-
acters animated and moving on the TV screen is widely cited as one of
the reasons Atomu held an average of 30 percent to 40 percent weekly
viewership.79 But the popularity of the TV series was not limited to
existing readers of the manga. The anime also introduced a whole new
generation of readers to the comic, expanding its market and making
the comic itself an object of feverish consumption.80 We find here an
example of synergy, a phenomenon whereby the effect of the totality of
individual agents is greater than the sum of their parts, or, more to the
point, whereby the popularity of a text or series in one medium leads
to its accelerated consumption in another medium—a key element of
the media mix. Though some writers have remarked on the synergetic
relationship between radio and manga in the 1950s, particularly around
such franchises as Akadō Suzunosuke, this synergy between comics and
other media reached new levels of intensity with Atomu.
Synergy worked to such great effect with Atomu in part because
of the visual consistency across incarnations. This point can be made
best by noting the visual disjuncture between the manga image and the
live-action film or television image present in earlier series like Akadō
Suzunosuke. Akadō began as a manga by Takeuchi Tsunayoshi serial-
ized in the popular boys’ magazine Shōnen gahō from 1954 to 1960.81
The Akadō boom really began, however, with its serialization as a radio
drama in 1957, with film versions and a TV series following soon after.
Akadō was a milestone in postwar Japanese children’s culture not only
for becoming a widely recognized “national hit” but also for being the
first manga to be turned into a radio drama—establishing manga as an
important medium and as a valuable source for future radio shows, TV
programs, and films.82 For these reasons, some writers point to Akadō
as marking the beginning of the media mix in Japan.
Kan Tadamichi is one such writer. A children’s literature specialist
who took a prescient interest in the transformations in children’s culture
underway at the time, Kan averred that Akadō was an epochal event in
children’s culture because “it was made into radio, TV and film versions,
and actualized the representative form of the three-dimensionalization
of mass communication [masu komi no rittaika], thus deciding the trend

Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising · 71

of children’s mass culture thereafter.”83 The peculiar yet evocative term
that Kan invented to deal with this trend, “three-dimensionalization
of mass communication,” is, Kushima Tsutomu points out, a precursor
to what is now referred to as the “media mix.”84 Kan was interested in
how multiple dimensions of media worked together to create a synergy,
where the persuasive power of the media in combination exceeded their
individual or added effects.
Despite the popularity of the Akadō series and its synergetic op-
eration, however, it appears that there was still a sense of disjuncture
between the drawn or manga image and the photographic or filmic
images of the protagonist and title character, Akadō—a problem that
beset all crossover series at the time and, indeed, to this day.85 This
disjuncture led to strategies of pairing the live-action hero with the
manga hero in films—which used stills from the manga as their intro-
ductory sequence—and in advertisements, an iteration that arguably
diminished the impact of both. Ads for Akadō products such as point-
of-purchase displays worked to bridge the gap between the manga and
film incarnations of Akadō by including both live-action and drawn
characters (Figure 2.12).
The persistence of this problematic gap was likely one of the reasons
why Akadō’s popularity was fueled more by the radio version than the
live-action television or film versions of this series. The manga had
image without voice, and the radio had voice without image. Neither
infringed on the realm of the other, in effect splitting into distinct media
what would become with anime the doubled body of the drawn image–
real voice actor. Not so for the live-action version of Akadō, where the
problem was, in effect, that there were too many heterogeneous bod-
ies: the producing body (the body of the actor) produced a body (the
character) whose appearance conflicted with the image of the manga
character (the body produced). Too many bodies, too little consistency
across media.86 The same must be said for an earlier 1959–60 live-action
version of Tetsuwan Atomu that failed to become the social phenomenon
that the later series would. The live-action series attempted to bridge the
gap between photographic body and drawn body by incorporating an
animation sequence in the first title sequence of the show—after which
the live-action Atomu intones, “I am Tetsuwan Atomu”—and combined
drawn and photographed Atomu images in ads and articles (Figures
2.13 and 2.14).87 This unsurmountable image gap between live-action

72 · Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising

figure 2.12. Advertisement for Akado Suzunosuke gum made by Lily, showing the
point-of-purchase display that pairs both manga character and live-action actor.
From Gangu shōhō, April 1958, p. 105.
figure 2.13. Screen capture from the 1959 live-action Tetsuwan Atomu television
series: a drawn image of Atomu as a schoolboy from the animated opening sequence
for the first episode.

actor and drawn manga character is arguably a major reason for the
difference in popularity of the two series.88
The revolution of terebi manga, or “TV comics,” as anime was known
at the time, lay in the close graphical match created between the manga
image and the televisual anime image. There was no longer a gap between
the character of the manga and the character of the TV series or film, as
there had been with live-action transpositions of manga texts. Atomu
and subsequent anime provided a higher degree of consistency between
the manga image and its versions than had hitherto been possible—and
this matching of the character images only heightened their affective
power. This transmedia mimicry led to the heightened involvement
of spectators, readers, and consumers in the character and its world.
Atomu stickers were particularly successful at extending graphi-
cal consistency from previous media forms. The stickers were traced
alternately from the cels of the anime series or from the manga series
and so had a mimetic relationship to the form of the anime or manga
characters (Figures 2.15–2.17). Of course, in pointing to this visual

74 · Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising

figure 2.14. Screen capture from the 1959 live-action Tetsuwan Atomu television
series: a dissolve from the animated image of Atomu as schoolboy to the introduc-
tion of the live-action actor, who intones, “I am Tetsuwan Atomu,” asserting his
identity despite visual dissimilarity with the drawn, manga version.

consistency across media types, we arrive at a problem: what should

we make of the gap between the moving image of the anime and the
still image of the sticker, or the manga for that matter? Wasn’t there a
disjuncture between the moving image of the anime and the immobile
image of the omake sticker?
In fact, this disjuncture is not as great as might be imagined. As we
saw in chapter 1, the style of limited animation developed at Tezuka’s
Mushi Production Studio involved the extensive use of still images of
characters and backgrounds in a style consistent with much television
anime to this day. This often involved pulling a still image of Atomu
over an equally still background, generating a sense of movement by
sliding one still image over another. Emblematic here is the image of
Atomu flying through the sky, repeated in almost every episode. In flight,
Atomu often appears suspended in a single, immobile pose, both arms
half-extended, legs trailing, with rocket fire coming out from his feet.
A background layer of clouds is pulled under the immobile character,

Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising · 75

figure 2.15. One frame from the Tetsuwan Atomu manga “Robotto uchūtei no
maki,” first serialized in Shōnen magazine in 1964. Reprinted from Tezuka, Tetsuwan
Atomu, volume 11. Copyright Tezuka Production Co., Ltd.

generating a sense of dynamism. Immobility of the character image

plus sliding of the background layer equals dynamism of the character.
Atomu was both still and moving at the same time: graphically immobile
This graphically immobile dynamism of the character image was key
to the development of transmedia communication, for this very same
pose—arms half-extended, flying through the sky—was characteristic
of the manga and became one of the principal images found in the Meiji
stickers, Meiji candy boxes, and eventually, the candies themselves, in the

76 · Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising

figure 2.16. Screen capture from the opening title sequence of the 1963 Tetsuwan
Atomu anime.

case of Meiji Model Chocolates (Figure 2.12). This pose would later be
replicated in the material form of the Tetsuwan Atomu metal toys, was
emblazoned on running shoes, and covered much Atomu paraphernalia.
Earlier series were marked by the disjuncture between drawn and
photographic and by too much movement. The anime series, conversely,
developed an interplay between mobility and immobility that generated
the synergy between media and commodity forms. The graphically im-
mobile Atomu image was what allowed media and commodity forms
to establish connections and to communicate. There was, moreover, an
intensity to the still poses that came from the fact that they were both
still and imbued with movement. The scenes of Atomu in flight were
in some ways the most intense of the series. Here was an Atomu at the
literal height of his powers, speeding his way toward a battle with a vil-
lain, preparing to save the day, and coordinated with the theme song.
The immobility of the image was thus traversed with the intensity of
potential-movement (anticipating the fight scenes that were generally
the most fast-paced segments of the episode) and the intensity of the

Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising · 77

figure 2.17. Detail from the third 1963 Meiji–Atomu sticker sheet. Copyright
Tezuka Production Co., Ltd.

implied actual movement (as Atomu flies through the animated skies).
The peculiar intensity of these moments of graphically immobile dyna-
mism were transposed across media series and came to invest similarly
posed images and objects, from the manga images to toys to running
shoes to candy bars and the stickers themselves. Indeed, it was the very
stillness that allowed these stickers to communicate most effectively
with the dynamically immobile images of the manga and anime. It is no
surprise, then, that the commercials for the Atomu omake evoked this
graphically immobile dynamism, reminding children just how mobile
a still image could be.
Here we might recall the 1964 Marble Chocolates omake TV com-
mercial described earlier. As we saw, this ad featured the Atomu sticker
(or the scratch-on magic print) sliding across the screen to save the
distraught Marble-chan from two menacing boys. This commercial
replicated the principle of graphically immobile dynamism found in the
anime, drawing on a combination of immobile sticker image and the
sliding planes that infuse the still image with movement. The sticker’s

78 · Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising

literal stillness rode on the dynamic interplay of movement and still-
ness found in the anime, borrowing the potential for movement that
characterizes the immobile anime image. The sticker thus functioned
as a dynamically infused image: a still image that could seemingly be
in motion at any moment, traversed by the movement-potential that
marked the anime image.
Yet this is not to say that we find only sameness across media; we
also find material difference. The character not only crosses media
without loss of consistency of style or form but also adds something of
one medium to another. In this case, the anime adds its dynamism and
movement-potential to the otherwise still sticker image. This surplus or
addition—what Kan Tadamichi would call three-dimensionalization—
results in a qualitative transformation that in turn constitutes one of
the major characteristics of media synergy.
The question we come to, then, is this: if anime gave movement and
intensity to the sticker, what did the sticker give to the anime? What
material difference did the sticker make? For even as the stickers com-
municated with the manga and the anime through the dynamically
immobile Atomu image, they also had a specificity of their own, which
is the third (and in some ways most important) reason for their popu-
larity. This specificity has three elements. First, there was the physical
mobility or portability of the stickers, enabled by their small size and
their inclusion within the relatively affordable Meiji candy. Second was
their adhesiveness or stickerablity: their ability to be placed anywhere
and on any surface. And finally, following from the first two aspects,
was their ability to be seen anytime. We might sum this up as anymove-
ment, anywhere, anytime. Branding their shoes, clothes, desks, ceilings,
schoolbags, and books, the graphically immobile dynamism of the
Atomu image was suddenly able to accompany young fans in all areas
of their lives, always there to remind them of their favorite character
and his narrative world. Unlike the TV show, which only aired once a
week, or the manga, which was bulky and far less mobile, the sticker
could be anywhere and everywhere; it was temporally and spatially
mobile.89 This meant that the pleasures of consuming the character of
Atomu and the pleasures of the Atomu world were similarly temporally
and spatially diffused.90
The sticker’s mobility and diffusion enabled a certain abstraction of
the image not possible in other media forms. Whereas the characters

Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising · 79

of both the TV anime and the manga were embedded in specific mate-
rial environments (the living room and the TV set for one; the manga
book or magazine for the other) and narrative or pictorial settings, the
sticker image of Atomu was abstracted from its pictorial and narrative
setting as well as from its material apparatus. Free from its narrative and
material framework, the sticker could go anywhere and be affixed to
any surface. This also meant—in theory, if not always in practice—that
the sticker-possessing child was free to reimagine the Atomu image and
the world as she pleased.

Character Merchandising Reconsidered

In the first section of this chapter, we saw how the character image of
Atomu exerted a kind of gravitational pull on heterogeneous media
forms, attracting commodities and media to it and generating increas-
ingly convergent relations between heterogeneous products based on
their resemblance to the character image. What we find in the sticker is
a phenomenon that is in some ways the inverse of (yet fundamentally
complementary to) this convergence: the material proliferation and
diffusion of the Atomu character image. Writers both at the time and
retrospectively have described the Atomu image as flying out from the
TV screen into the everyday world of objects.91 The material specificity
of the sticker itself played a major role in this diffusion of the Atomu
image, inciting a desire within the consuming subject to have this im-
age all around him, to create an Atomu world out of his surroundings.
Newspaper, magazine, and TV ads for Meiji’s premiums taught the
child consumer to cover her world with Atomu images. Many of these
ads show the Atomu stickers being applied to the bodies, faces, and sur-
roundings of the child recipients of the premiums. The set of instructions
for the application of these stickers, which accompanied early mail-away
stickers, guided children to cut out and affix the adhesives to objects
such as their schoolbags, pencil cases, baseballs, desk drawers, shoes,
and faces (Figure 2.10). By all accounts, children happily complied.92
In so doing, any surface became an Atomu-object; any item could be
Atomized and thereby serve as a means of reintegrating the subject into
the pleasures of the TV show. In the weeklong interval between one
episode and another, the stickers were a constant reminder of Atomu and
offered the subject the opportunity to relive the pleasures of the show.

80 · Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising

Considering the appeal of the sticker, Tsunashima Ritomo, a child
at the time of the Atomu sticker boom, writes,

When I ask myself, “What was the greatest appeal of Atomu sticker?”
I feel like it must have been that you could make everything around
oneself into Atomu character goods. When Atomu stickers first ap-
peared there weren’t very many character-based stationary goods.
Most of the stationary products . . . were just serious products made
only as tools for studying, and weren’t things that children felt much
affection towards. However, as soon as one stuck an Atomu sticker
on one of those serious stationary goods, it immediately became
an Atomu character good, and something one felt affection for.
Nowadays things have characters on them from the start so there is
no need for this procedure. Probably the Atomu sticker boom was
born precisely because it was at a time before the present inunda-
tion with character goods.93

As Tsunashima suggests, the material transferability of the sticker led

to the proliferation of impromptu character goods. This in turn led to
the transformation of goods from being mere “tools” (dōgu), based on
their use value for studying, to being image-based media-commodities.
We can perceive in this transformation the beginnings of a shift
toward a postmodern or post-Fordist media sphere.94 Post-Fordist
commodity culture sees, as Brian Massumi puts it, “use-value [being]
overshadowed by fulfillment-effect, or image-value”;95 that is, we see a
shift here from goods taken from the perspective of their use to things
seen from the point of view of their affect-laden image-value. Anne
Allison very rightly suggests that contemporary consumer capital-
ism features the “reenchanting [of] the everyday world” through the
proliferation of affect-laden character goods.96 Through this process, a
lifeless commodity (a school notebook) is transformed into an intimate
companion (an Atomu notebook).
As children stickered their surroundings with the image of Atomu,
they incorporated or transposed an Atomu world into their environ-
ment, a place suffused with and reenchanted by Atomu-based character
goods and a corresponding sense of intimacy that these objects created.
As things were mediatized through the transformative function of the
image-sticker, they also became incorporated into a communicational

Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising · 81

network that expanded the reach of the media into and onto the every-
day objects of Atomu’s young fans. The world of Tetsuwan Atomu was
overlaid onto the environment of its child consumers, who participated
in the Atomu world through the ubiquity of the character image.
If the sticker should, as I would argue, be understood as a kind
of prototypical form of character merchandising, our analysis of the
Meiji–Atomu sticker phenomenon has given us the tools with which
to elaborate a more theoretically precise definition of it. Character
merchandising can be redefined as a practice that operates through
the transformation of media and commodity forms into the image of
a particular character and the diffusion of these media and commodity
forms throughout the environment of the consuming subject. Character
merchandising creates a desire for the ubiquity of a character and offers
the means for satisfying this desire through the material availability
of the character image. We might also describe this process inversely:
the material ubiquity of the character image incites the desire for the
character, and this desire further increases its material incarnations.
As we have seen here, character merchandising works through two
complementary tendencies: the attractive force of the character as im-
material entity that transforms its surrounding ecology of things and
media into character-products (the Atomization of the Meiji products
and premiums) and the tendency toward the diffusion of the character
in material form (as sticker, chocolate, etc.) that enables the material
expansion of this character image throughout the consumer’s environ-
ment. The character’s material expansion intensifies its attractive force,
multiplying the number of media and commodities offering the Atomu
image. The intensity of the character’s attraction as a kind of immate-
rial force is thus indexed to, and amplified by, the degree of material
circulation of the character image.
The Meiji–Atomu campaign of 1963 brought these tendencies together
in a definitive manner that allowed character merchandising to become
firmly embedded not only within the anime system but also within Japa-
nese visual culture more generally. The Meiji–Atomu campaign gathered
surrounding media into a convergent relation with the character image,
transforming candy and its premiums into Atomu goods; this ignited
the desire for these goods both through the ubiquity of the character
image and through the coordination between media-commodity forms.
The accessibility of these media-commodities satisfied an increasingly

82 · Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising

strong desire for character ubiquity through the consumption and par-
ticipation in character worlds. With the sticker, the character became
environmentally diffuse in a way it had never been before.97 This, in
turn, marked a shift in the operations of consumer capitalism itself,
which, as writers like Maurizio Lazzarato have recently emphasized,
increasingly works through the production not only of objects but of
media-objects and their worlds of consumption: “consumption consists
not in buying or destroying a service or product as political economy
and its critique teaches us, but means first and foremost belonging to a
world.”98 As this book will show, one of the sites of this transformation
in capitalism and its mode of consumption is in the emergence of anime
and its partner practice of character merchandising.

Coda: The Character–Media Synergy

In this final section, I would like to offer a preliminary definition of
one of this book’s key entities: the character. Insofar as it coordinates an
immaterial force of attraction, and a material propensity for distribu-
tion, we can define the character as a device that simultaneously allows
audiovisual media and objects to connect and forces their proliferation.
Although I will develop an understanding of the character in greater
detail in chapter 5, I would like briefly to point to two attributes of
the character as a material and immaterial technology of connection
that works in concert with the tendencies of attraction and dispersion
emphasized in this chapter.
The first is mobility, or what Itō Gō has recently referred to as the
“autonomy of character.”99 The character is a particular combination
of name and visual design that is in some sense independent from any
particular medium.100 Indeed, the nature of the character image is to
travel across media, being embodied in each medium in distinct ways.
In his important work, Tezuka Is Dead, Itō emphasizes this mobile
aspect of the character and argues that this mobile substrate of the
character—what he calls the kyara, using the contemporary Japanese
abbreviation of the longer term kyarakutā (character)—is the basis
for the development of all characters, including the psychologically
complex characters that he suggests developed in the postwar period
with Tezuka Osamu’s manga. This mobile aspect of the character—the
kyara—is the object of focus here. The mobility of the character and its

Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising · 83

ease of transposition across media forms are due in part to its drawn,
nonphotographic representation. The drawn character develops relations
of resemblance more effectively and erases some of the heterogeneity
between media types in favor of a kind of consonance or convergence
around the character image.
The communicative aspect of the character is its second main at-
tribute. The character is not only materialized in different mediums—
celluloid, paper, or plastic—it is also an abstract device that allows for
the communication across media forms and media materialities.101 It is
abstract because it is always in excess of its particular material incarna-
tions. The character cannot be reduced to any one of its incarnations
but must be thought of both in its material forms and in the ways that it
exceeds them. It is this surplus that permits different media and material
instances to communicate.
Yet this autonomy from any specific media incarnation does not
signal the end to medium specificity; rather, each manifestation of
the character foregrounds the distinct properties of the medium in
question: motion–stillness for anime; sequential narrative for manga;
interiority and narrative realism for light novels; weight, dimensionality,
and physical manipulability for toys; and interaction and interface for
video games, to describe but the most basic aspects of each medium in
which we find the character today. In this respect, the character in its
media crossings generates a degree of convergence between media forms
around its image, but it also abstracts some of the specificity of each
medium and transposes this specificity to other material incarnations.
The relation of movement to stillness is particularly important in
this regard. The sticker, for example, borrows the dynamic immobility
of the anime image; it arrogates the graphically immobile dynamism
of anime to itself. At the same time, the sticker brings another kind of
mobility to the mix: physical mobility in the sense of portability or en-
vironmental ubiquity. The anime character thereby gains the property
of physical ubiquity along with its graphically immobile dynamism. The
character as abstract entity is, in this sense, not merely autonomous from
any specific medium; it is also tinged with or doubled by the specific-
ity of each medium in which it incarnates or actualizes. Each material
incarnation thus effectively transforms the abstract character image,
and this tingeing or layering of the specificity of each of the character’s
incarnations (the dynamic stillness of anime plus physical ubiquity

84 · Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising

of the sticker plus materiality of the toy) compounds or snowballs.102
This snowballing is what we call synergy. Synergy in character mer-
chandising and media convergence arises first through the number of
different media series in which the character is materialized; second
through the work that the character undertakes in connecting these mate-
rial instances (because without connection, all we would have would be
a collection of disconnected objects and media); and third through the
multidimensional, compounded qualities of different media this abstract
character brings to each of its incarnations. The character’s multiple
incarnations, its work of connecting different media, and its compound-
ing of the specificity of one medium of incarnation in another give rise
to the phenomenon of media synergy: the overall, global effect of the
palimpsestic augmentation of multiple media and commodity incarna-
tions. And in a decidedly circular operation, it is this synergism that in
turn gives each of the character’s multiple incarnations their persuasive
force, which is to say that the effects of synergy are felt both within and
across every material incarnation. Synergy is not merely a whole that is
greater than the sum of its parts. Each part is also greater than the part
alone, insofar as the ensemble is transformed through its new synergetic
combination; the synergetic whole is present and experienced in every
part. The immaterial character connects and augments; the material
incarnation provides the ground for this multilayered augmentation
and for the physical proliferation that generates the desire for further
consumption. Synergy—like character merchandising—must of necessity
work through both material and immaterial means, each dependent on
the other.103 Let us turn, now, to another element of synergy and media
convergence: character communication and its material incarnation in
the form of the mass media toy.

Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising · 85

This page intentionally left blank
Material Communication
and the Mass Media Toy

In a prescient 1964 article, Yamakawa Hiroji, an employee in the “Plan-

ning Center” of the mammoth Japanese ad firm Dentsū, and a frequent
contributor to the advertising journal Senden kaigi (Advertising Meet-
ing), suggested an important term for thinking about the communica-
tional dimension of things in the media mix age: mono komi, or “thing
communication.” Writing about Meiji’s Atomu sticker boom and the
badge boom ignited by candy rival Glico with its release of Tetsujin
28-gō badges, Yamakawa pointed to the way these stickers and badges
became objects of exchange and communication among the children
of the time (Figure 3.1).1 “From the perspective of the advertising
companies,” Yamakawa wrote, “this ‘exchange’ of badges and stickers
effectively forms a kind of medium (baitai).”2 Following the suggestion
of a friend, Yamakawa dubbed this communication by way of badges
or stickers “thing communication”—mono komi, a pun on masu komi,
the term for mass communication or mass media.3
By suggesting that the sticker functioned as a new medium, Ya-
makawa pointed to its ability to be used as a means of advertising—a
vehicle by which to promote a company’s product. Within the context
of the increasing mediatization of everyday life—which we saw in the
last chapter with the Atomu sticker—this conception of things as media
is not surprising. Indeed, Yamakawa’s neologism is compelling for the
way it points to the thing’s increasingly important role as a communi-
cational medium.

· 87
figure 3.1. Glico advertisement for its badge premiums, including a Tetsujin 28-
go badge. From Shōnen magazine, March 1964.
The term mono komi and the sticker–badge boom that it describes
exemplify the two-way convergence of media becoming objects and
objects becoming media that Scott Lash and Celia Lury have recently
dubbed “the mediation of things and the thingification of media.”4 This
mediation of things is a process whereby things or commodities are
transformed into communicational media in their own right. Yet the
importance of this transformation is not simply that things communicate.
Commodities have long been understood to communicate in some way.
With post-Fordism came the emergence of new networks—like those
developed around anime—that organize the communication between
media images and things.5 Insofar as these networks tend to develop
through the connective technology of the character, one is tempted to
describe these as image-based forms of communication. Yet it is not
through images alone that the transformation of things occurs but
rather through the mutual transformation of things and images such
that both are brought into the same communicational network. I call
the outcome of this dual process media-commodities.
The development of media-commodities occurred in tandem with
the transformation of commodity and media relations that we find with
the rise of character merchandising. While Lash and Lury focus their
analyses on the 1980s and 1990s, a particularly powerful precursor to the
transformations they describe is to be found around the emergence of
television animation in 1960s Japan. This chapter will focus on the com-
munication of things in the context of the character economy developed
with anime and in relation to one media-commodity in particular: the
masu komi gangu, the “mass communication toy” or “mass media toy,”
as character-based toys were called at the time.6 As the very term masu
komi gangu suggests, the toy itself was seen to have become, like the
sticker, a communicational medium. An analysis of the development of
this mass media toy will allow for a deeper understanding of the social,
material, and medial transformations that accompanied the emergence
of anime in the early 1960s.
Here it is worth noting two very different ways of discussing the
communication of things. The first focuses on things as vehicles for
human interaction. The second sees things as nodes in communica-
tional networks that include human–thing interactions, human–human
interactions, and thing–thing interactions. In suggesting the importance
of the badges and stickers as objects of exchange between children,

Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy · 89

Yamakawa would seem to focus on the first: human–human interaction
through character goods. The character good becomes a medium of
human communication.
In recent years in particular, the idea that character goods allow
for inter- or intragenerational human communication has become a
privileged explanation for the prominence of characters in Japan. For
example, an employee at Sanrio explains that their Hello Kitty character
goods can be used as communicational tools for everyday household
talk. Mother to child: “Today you’re going to brush your teeth with
your Kitty-chan toothbrush, aren’t you?” This is offered as an example
of the positive form of dinnertime conversation made possible by Hello
Kitty.7 The prominent sociologist Miyadai Shinji and his collaborators
have similarly emphasized the importance of character goods for the
development of what they term cute communication among shōjo girls
in the 1970s and 1980s.8
This understanding of things as tools for human communication
is not limited to Japan. Critical analyses of toys and children’s culture
in the North American context similarly emphasize the ways that toys
function as communicational media among children. Stephen Kline,
in Out of the Garden, notes that in consumer society, “people com-
municate to others through the things they own and use; for children
this modality of communication through ‘things’ was especially vital
because goods helped to integrate and identify them with their own
peers.”9 Ellen Seiter writes that “as a mass culture, toys and television
give children a medium of communication”—a medium she refers to
as a “lingua franca.”10
While acknowledging the importance of this first, human-centric
perspective on thing communication, the focus here will be on the
second way of thinking about the communication of things, one that
gives priority to thing–thing communication.11 Instead of regard-
ing the role of character goods and media as intermediaries between
people—as mediums of communication between the owners of toys or
as social lubricants facilitating communication between one child and
another—this chapter will emphasize their function as nodes in a larger
interobject and transmedia network. Anthropologists and sociologists
have long argued that things function as tools for communication
between people. Yet what changes with Atomu stickers and the explo-
sion of character media that accompanies them is how commodities

90 · Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy

communicate first and foremost with other commodities and media.
These media-commodities form networks of intercommunicating things,
wherein various media and objects relate—from television anime to
stickers to mass media toys.
This is not to say that the social function of things should be ignored;
rather, the social function of things is built on the interthing com-
munication established through the character network. The network
of relations established in the communication between the character
image on TV and the character toy constitutes, I will suggest, the infra-
structure or inscriptive surface on which the communication between
people takes place. Without this surface constituted by character media
and goods, there would be no Hello Kitty toothbrush about which to
have a dinner conversation. Put differently, the medium of the Hello
Kitty toothbrush must be in communication with a network of other
Hello Kitty goods—shoes, notebooks, stuffed animals, and so on—to
function as the generator of desire and the mediatic surface on which
interpersonal communication is inscribed. The very ability of character
goods to function as a communicational medium between people de-
pends on their prior constitution of a communicational infrastructure
established between media and things. The mediatization of things,
therefore, precedes their becoming mediators between people.
Needless to say, this process requires a certain transformation on the
part of the commodity. The materiality of the toy must accommodate
the material properties of the screen image for them to connect. This
chapter will investigate the nature of this transformation by turning to
the material history of the toy and the emergence of the mass media
toy in the earlier half of the 1960s. By looking at the particular transfor-
mations that the toy undergoes in becoming a mass media toy, we can
better understand the importance of the material specificity of things
within character communication. Focusing on the mass media toy and
its transformations will also allow us to point to some earlier incarnations
of the media toy. Like the character itself, the anime-influenced mass
media toy of the 1960s has its precedents. An examination of two earlier
moments of character toys will allow us to describe several important
precursors to the era of character-based commerce under examination
in this book. We will see how anime-inspired mass media toys differ
from their precursors and mark a change in the relation between the
child consumer and toy. We will then track in greater detail the material

Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy · 91

negotiation between toy and character image that led to the birth of the
Atomu mass media toy and the theory of media communication this
requires us to adopt. The mass media toy forces us to give pride of place
to the role of difference in the communication between media and things.
Just as character networks depend on both convergence and divergence,
media-commodities communicate both through visual resemblance
and through their material differences. These differences, their sites
of encounter, and their distinct affordances or possibilities for action
are as important to character networks as their physical resemblance.

A Note on the Character Business

Most writers on the character business in Japan cite the popular furor
surrounding Tetsuwan Atomu, the beginnings of TV anime, and Meiji
Seika’s Atomu sticker campaign as the basis for the emergence of char-
acter merchandising in Japan. However, the question of which character
writers point to as the first instance of transmedia circulation depends
on their definition of the character business. As we saw in chapter 2,
defined most narrowly, the character business refers to the practice of
licensing the use of the character image, which in turn presupposes the
use of copyright law. Thus the business end of the character business
is more properly defined as the license or copyright business.12 Writ-
ers who accept this narrow definition of the character business will
generally cite Walt Disney as the first enterprise in Japan to require
manufacturers to sign agreements when they use its characters and to
promote the adherence to copyright laws, beginning in the 1950s. Tezuka
Osamu comes next as one of the first copyright holders native to Japan
to do so, with Tetsuwan Atomu being the trigger for the present state
of character marketing in Japan.13
However, the history of character merchandising is more extensive
than the mere enforcement of copyright. The circulation and proliferation
of images and things precedes their capture in a legal framework that
ensures that the profits made from their circulation return to the copy-
right holder, even though this soon becomes central to the sustenance of
the anime system. One of my aims here is to gesture toward this longer
history of the character and character commodities by focusing on the
movement of the character image in the history of toys—regardless of
the presence or absence of copyright agreements. Indeed, copyright law

92 · Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy

does not generate the transmedia movement of characters but rather
tries to capitalize on it and submit it to modes of capital accumulation.
Similarly, the accumulation of profits from the circulation of images and
things is not the only change that the emergence of the anime system
brings; the character and its media environment change in the process.
The toy will serve as a key site from which to register the rise and fall of
popular characters and their transmedia movement, gesturing toward
the longer history of character commodities. It will also allow us to make
visible the transformations to the mass media toy that Atomu and the
anime system brought about, differentiating the 1960s from earlier pe-
riods of character circulation on grounds that are not merely legal ones.

The First Era of Character Circulation

The first character era of the modern period was from the mid-1920s
into the 1930s.14 According to Nogami Akira, a researcher of toys and
children’s culture, Japan’s first “mass character” was Shō-chan.15 Shō-
chan comes from what Nogami suggests was “Japan’s first character
manga,” Shō-chan no bōken (The Adventures of Little Shō), written by
Oda Shōsei and serialized in Nikkan Asahi Gurafu as of January 1923.
Shō-chan was instantly popular, was released in pirated book editions
from various publishers, and was turned into various commodities, the
most famous of which was the trademark red knit hat Shō-chan wore.
Nogami argues that this hat, popular nationwide, was the first example
of character merchandise in Japan.16 Subsequent to the success of Shō-
chan merchandise, other manga were spun-off as character goods, such
as Asō Yutaka’s Nonki na Tōsan (Carefree Dad), which was turned into
wooden dolls and sugoroku board games in the mid-1920s. As eminent
toy historian Saitō Ryōsuke remarks, Shō-chan’s and Nonki na Tōsan’s
transformation into toys and other character goods “marks the open-
ing of the path by which the main characters of manga were later made
into ‘mass media toys’ [masu komi gangu].”17 Although Shō-chan and
Nonki na Tōsan were the first characters of the 1920s character boom,
two major characters of the subsequent decade also cannot be ignored:
Mickey Mouse and Norakuro.
Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse is important for the history of character
merchandising in Japan—and indeed the world—both for its popularity
as a character and as a focal point for Disney’s later attempts to enforce

Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy · 93

copyright laws in postwar Japan. Indeed, if Mickey Mouse is often thought
to be the character that inaugurated character merchandising per se,
it is due not only to his persistent popularity but also to Disney’s strict
enforcement of copyright. Thus the Disney company played a pioneer-
ing role in the constitution of the character business as the business of
rights and permissions, above and beyond their successful production
of character goods.18
There are, however, earlier instances of character merchandising
and its legal enforcement to be found in the United States. Kōno Akira
points to Richard F. Outcault’s serial comic Buster Brown as a possible
first instance of character merchandising in the United States. Published
in the New York Herald beginning in 1902, Outcault licensed the image
of the popular Buster Brown and his dog Tige to over forty different
companies in the early 1900s.19 All the same, Kōno suggests that though
there are historical precedents for character merchandising prior to
Disney, “the foundations of the present character licensing business in
the U.S. were laid by Kay Kamen.” It was Herman Kay Kamen who, “to-
gether with Disney started the merchandising of the character of Mickey
Mouse.”20 Kamen was behind the successful business management of
Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters, and he deserves much credit
for the proliferation of Disney merchandise within the United States
from 1933 to 1949, such that the toy industry nicknamed him the “king
of merchandise.”21 Kamen engineered the American version of (and
precursor to) the synergetic effect noted in the last chapter—the sale of
Disney dolls operated as a “daily advertisement” for Disney cartoons.22
Though Disney extended its reach across the Atlantic, establishing
offices in London and Paris in the 1930s, it was not until the postwar
period that it established merchandising offices in Japan.23 As a result,
Disney did not exert real copyright control over the use of Mickey Mouse
or other characters until the 1950s. Not surprisingly, the unauthorized
use of the character image was rampant in Japan, beginning in the early
1930s with the popularity of Disney animated shorts, the first of which,
The Opry House (1929), was screened in Japan in 1929.24 With this and
subsequent screenings of Mickey Mouse shorts, the popularity of the
Disney character grew, and unauthorized manga versions, toys, and other
goods made their way to the market.25 Indeed, Saitō Ryōsuke argues,
“‘Disney’ toys are one of the representative axes of the Japanese mass
character toy from the prewar years of the early Showa period [1926–89]

94 · Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy

to the postwar present.”26 The circulation of the Disney character im-
age, and Mickey Mouse in particular, was thus significant even in the
prewar period, even if it was not yet bound to the licensing business,
as it would be in the postwar period.
Another key character in this period was Norakuro (Figure 3.2).
The manga Norakuro—literally “Black Stray”—is the story of a black
dog’s misadventures in the military. Easy-going, slow-moving, and
with a knack for getting himself into and out of trouble, Norakuro and
the manga from which he came managed to walk a fine line between
pro-militarism and a parody of it for ten years (1931–41), serialized by
author Tagawa Suihō in the prominent children’s magazine Shōnen
kurabu (Boys’ Club). Described as a dog playing war, the title character
Norakuro became one of the most popular characters and starred in the
longest-running manga series of the time. Norakuro continues to be
one of the only Japanese prewar characters remembered to this day.27
In addition to book versions of the manga, Norakuro was also turned
into several animation shorts and brought a flood of other goods in its
wake: card games, sugoroku, figurines (including one that was packaged
as an omake premium in Glico caramel boxes), handbags, shoes, pencil
cases, harmonicas, and masks. This last item proved to be so popular
that an estimated one in four Japanese children of the time owned a
Norakuro mask.28 Despite the success of his character, Norakuro author
Tagawa reportedly showed no interest in claiming a percentage of the
profits made from the sale of these goods or in limiting the unlicensed
circulation of his character. Indeed, when his editor at the magazine
Shōnen kurabu brought this rampant “piracy” of his work to his atten-
tion, Tagawa is said to have responded, “What’s wrong with that? They’re
using Norakuro to make everyone happy.”29
Along with Shō-chan, Nonki na Tōsan, Betty Boop, Mickey Mouse,
Bōken Dankichi, Tanku Tankurō, and other manga or animation char-
acters of the 1920s and 1930s, Norakuro character goods were the
forerunners of what would later be called masu komi gangu.30 One
of the distinguishing elements of these character goods from those
of later character booms is that the characters at this time were seen
most frequently in games. Mickey, Norakuro, and Betty Boop adorn
the Japanese children’s games of sugoroku, karuta, and pogs or menko,
for example. Although the main toy of the post-Atomu character goods
boom was the figurine, an examination of the historical and material

Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy · 95

figure 3.2. Norakuro advertisement for Shōnen kurabu magazine, featuring Nor-
akuro. From Yōnen kurabu, February 1933.
record suggests that during the 1920s and 1930s, games appeared to be
the most common medium for character goods to appear.31
With the intensification of the war in China as of 1937 came a shift
in aesthetics and production, and the toy and manga mediums once
again drifted apart. During the 1930s, animal-based manga and play-
at-war scenarios were mainstays, allowing writers to strike a balance
between reflecting the increasing prominence of war in everyday life,
on one hand, and creating likeable, humorous animal characters, on the
other. Following the success of Norakuro, “animal army manga” with
animal characters as their protagonists appeared one after the other.
Part of the reason for this proliferation of animal army manga was the
increased militarization of life that followed the Manchurian Incident
of September 1931.32
However, according to Akiyama Masami, there was a shift around
the summer of 1937 from animal army manga to army manga with
human protagonists. A certain realism set in, one that reflected the
growing militarism and the intensification of the war that took place
from this year onward.33 The distinctive animal characters of the 1930s
were increasingly replaced by manga that featured anonymous human
protagonists whose only distinguishing marks served to separate the
Japanese from the (usually Chinese) enemy. Here the lack of character
individualization worked to emphasize the strength of spirit that sup-
ported Japanese nationalism and wartime mobilization. But this very
absence of identifying characteristics also made them poor characters.
Indeed, these soldiers were non-characters: austere, disciplined, and
almost anonymous soldiers who fought—and inevitably won—their
wars. In short, any resistance to the war spirit that animal army manga
such as Norakuro displayed had all but evaporated, replaced by “mas-
sacre manga” that depicted the solemn and violent advance of the
Japanese army. In 1941, even these had disappeared, as manga were
completely banned.34
The end of character-based manga also brought an end to the brief
boom of character toys and accessories. The incipient mass media
toys were displaced by war toys, which had been on the rise since the
Manchurian Incident of 1931. Parallel to the rise of realism in manga,
Saitō Ryōsuke notes an increasing realism in the world of toys, citing
the addition of details such as rubber tires and headlights on cars and
the development of mechanisms that allowed vehicles to move.35 This

Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy · 97

realism was especially visible in military toys, where tanks, warplanes,
machine guns, medals, gas masks, and goggles were all “just like the
original” and became increasingly pervasive accessories for children’s
war games.36 Until, that is, even these toys disappeared with the inten-
sification of total mobilization, as all available resources, materials, and
labor were geared toward war.37

The Second Era of Character Media

Japan’s toy industry had been a booming export business in the prewar
era. Japan edged into the international toy market during World War I,
when Germany, formerly the world’s leading toy maker, was too busy
fighting to make toys. Japan’s toy industry built on its inroads made at
this time, and by 1937, toys had become Japan’s twelfth largest export.38
However, this industry, like all others not directly related to the war,
declined with the intensification of Japan’s war effort, eventually grinding
to a complete halt. By the war’s end, the toy industry was in no shape
for business; the metal toy factories of Tokyo, many of which had been
reconfigured into munitions factories, had been all but destroyed.
Before the toy makers had sufficient chance to despair, they received
special encouragement from a surprising source early in the postwar
period: the headquarters of the American occupiers. In November 1945,
the heads of the toy industry were ordered to the general headquarters
(GHQ) of the occupying army and were told that “as collateral material
for the most dearly needed food rations being imported for the Japanese
citizens, they must immediately start putting their utmost effort into
producing toys for export.”39 In return for America saving Japanese
citizens from starvation, the Japanese toy industry was expected to
provide toys to American children, putting the industry on the road
to its postwar revival. Building on a trend begun in the prewar era,
Japan’s postwar toy industry geared itself primarily toward export, and
particularly toward export to the United States, which continued to be
their greatest consumer, even after the end of the occupation in 1952.
One of the results of this emphasis on foreign consumption rather than
domestic consumption was that most toys produced until the early 1960s
were isolated from currents in mass media and from developments in
Japan’s domestic market.
Broad-based media trends and news events led to changes in the

98 · Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy

interests of American children, and the members of the Japanese toy
industry responded to these in some fashion, as can be seen in the pages
of its prime trade journals, Gangu shōhō (Toy Business Bulletin) and
Tokyo gangu shōhō (Tokyo Toy Business Bulletin).40 The gun craze in
the 1950s, spawned in part by the popularity of the Western film and
television genre in the United States and Japan, ensured that ads for toy
guns and articles discussing them filled the pages of these journals. Robot
toys were also popular, reflecting the interest in space exploration and
science fiction tales. And major technological developments—such as
the development of the intercontinental ballistic missile—made big news
in the journal, as its toy possibilities were explored.41 For the most part,
however, media trends were absent from the pages of this journal, as
were characters and character-based toys, which had particularly weak
influence on the three main streams of “large article toy” production
at this time: buriki (tin toy) robots and automobiles, guns, and dolls.
Here it is necessary to explain a distinction that cut through the
Japanese toy industry at the time and continues to some degree to this
day, influencing the entire toy market from production to sales and
distribution outlets to consumption. This is the distinction between
“large-article toys” (ōmono gangu) and “small-article toys” (komono
gangu).42 Large-article toys were not simply larger in size but more
complex, more detailed, and more expensive. Until the mid-1960s,
these toys were produced primarily for export and were out of reach for
all but the wealthiest fraction of Japanese children.43 The large-article
toys that were sold in Japan were available in department stores (the
preserve of expensive items and foreign goods) or specialty toy stores.
Small-article toys, on the other hand, were generally smaller in size,
cheaper to produce, and inexpensive to acquire. They were objects any
child could afford with her allowance or daily spending money. They
have their beginnings in the 1-mon or penny toys of the Edo period
and reached peak popularity in the Showa period, during the earlier
years of which they were the principal toy products consumed on the
Japanese market. The main site for the distribution of these toys was
the dagashiya, a kind of corner store that sold treats and candies, some
books (manga, in particular), and small-article toys of all kinds.44
Whereas some small-article toys, such as masks and menko cards,
were, from the prewar period, influenced by the circulation of character
images and things, large-article toys, on the whole, were not.45 Owing

Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy · 99

both to increasing amounts of disposable income and changing con-
sumption habits, influenced by the rise of the anime system, it was these
large-article toys (and the buriki, in particular) that most aptly registered
the transformations in character merchandising that occurred in the
mid-1960s. It is thus on these toys that I will focus here.
Buriki are tin toys that were a mainstay of Japan’s toy exports in the
1950s. These tin toys accounted for 80 percent of all toy exports and 50
percent of domestic toy production in 1954.46 The first toy of the postwar
period was a jeep famously labeled “Made in Occupied Japan,” built from
discarded cans and modeled on the representative automobile of the
occupying soldiers.47 The toys that followed developed sophisticated
designs, and perhaps most important, they came equipped with mo-
tors—first wind-up, then friction, and finally battery powered. These
motors provided the toys with one of their greatest appeals: autonomous
movement. Indeed, the moving automobile (a category that includes
cars, fire trucks, buses, and tractors) and the walking robot were the
most common metal toys in production at the time, though there were
also a significant number of trains, boats, and airplanes as well. Though
it was these buriki toys that would undergo a major transformation in
the 1960s, during the 1950s, these toys were mostly stand-alone objects,
unconnected to specific developments within the wider media ecol-
ogy. They were only tangentially tied to larger trends, including the
aforementioned Western genre craze, and the fascination with science
fiction manifested clearly in the robot toy. Two key influences during
the 1950s prepared the ground for the introduction of character-based
buriki in the 1960s: Disney and Akadō Suzunosuke.
Disney importantly proved the potential to develop a successful
business model based on licensing the use of characters. As one Japanese
toy maker active at the time recalls, Disney was the first company to
demand royalties for the use of its characters during the 1950s, a time
when toy makers as a rule neither secured the rights before using a
character image nor paid royalties for the income made from the sales
of character-based toys.48 The first Japanese toy to indicate that it had
received permission from Disney was—ironically enough, given the
company’s famed selectivity about how it would have its characters
portrayed—a Bambi rifle, advertised in trade journal Gangu shōhō in
January 1952 (Figure 3.3).49 Though not the typical Disney-certified
product, this ad proudly boasts that a contract has been signed with

100 · Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy

figure 3.3. Advertisement for Bambi rifle. In Gangu shōhō, January 1952.
Walt Disney Productions for the use of their characters. The next big
year for Disney products—at least as advertised in the pages of Gangu
shōhō—seems to have been 1957, when there are advertisements for
Bambi figurines (February), Disney inflatable character shapes and balls
(August), and Bambi inflatable seesaws (August).50 The latter two ads
prominently feature a “notice” indicating that “the copyright is owned by
Walt Disney Productions and the products here are the result of a con-
tract engaged with Disney’s representative in Japan, Nagata Masaichi.”51
Whether to fulfill contractual obligations to Disney or, perhaps more
likely, as a proud sign of its authenticity, this reference to the contract
with Disney suggests the beginnings of the sea change in attitudes toward
copyright that Disney brought about—and that would indeed influence
Tezuka’s business model when it came to animation production.
Significantly, the term character itself was reportedly imported
into Japan by Walt Disney Productions around the year 1950, when it
made arrangements with the Japanese film distribution firm Daiei for
the release of its full-length animation films Dumbo, Bambi, and Snow
White and the Seven Dwarfs.52 At this time, Daiei also handled the
licensing arrangements for characters appearing in the films, which
were described as “fanciful characters”—a term that was shortened to
“character” (kyarakutā) soon after its entry to Japan.53 The predominance
of this term now—and its abbreviation, kyara—is an indirect indica-
tion of the importance of the legal model of character merchandising
imported by Walt Disney Productions and its representatives in Japan.54
However, despite Disney’s importance in providing the legal model
for character commerce, it had a limited role in expanding the circula-
tion of character images and products, something that would happen
most visibly with Atomu and television anime. In part, this can be
explained by the relatively limited influence of Disney characters and
products within the boys’ and girls’ magazine culture of the time. It was
this magazine culture that provided the real representational, stylistic,
and connective infrastructure for the character boom that was to come
with TV anime in the 1960s.
It was also out of this magazine culture that, in the very same year as
the 1957 boom in Disney toys, the first large-article Japanese character toy
of the postwar period appeared: the Akadō Suzunosuke sword. Akadō
Suzunosuke was the hero of the popular boys’ manga of the same name,
serialized in the wide circulation boys’ magazine Shōnen gahō from July

102 · Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy

1954 until February 1960. Following the sudden death of its original
creator, Fukui Ei’ichi, after completing only the first episode of Akadō,
the series was taken up and developed by Takeuchi Tsunayoshi. One
of the first “child swordsman” tales in a long while, it took advantage
of the wide resurgence of the jidaigeki (samurai period drama) genre,
which had earlier been banned by Occupation authorities who deemed
it too militaristic and feudal.55 Akadō also marks the start of a certain
model of transmedia movement that some have argued constitutes the
origin of the media mix.
The Akadō “boom” began in 1957 after the start of its radio show,
and with it came a slew of Akadō toys. The most popular of these toys
were, not surprisingly, Akadō swords. Significantly, these sword toys
were the first large-article toys to be based on manga characters or their
worlds, at a time when most of these toys were made for export and
their manufacturers had their eyes firmly fixed on foreign markets.56
Akadō swords were first made by Takatoku Gangu KK, a small-article
toy maker that graduated to the production of large-article toys with
these swords (Figure 3.4). The Akadō swords proved such a hit that
Takatoku followed up with other manga-based character toys in the
years that followed.57
It is instructive to note the predominance of goods that allowed one
to be the character (rather than toy replicas of the character). The mass
media toys of this time were swords, masks, gloves, sunglasses, and
guns, modeled on the attributes or accessories of the main characters of
manga-turned-radio or live-action TV shows that Takatoku surmised
the child consumer would want to play: the heros of Akadō, Shōnen Jetto,
Maboroshi Tantei, Gekkō Kamen, and other manga and television series
(Figure 3.5).58 Kushima Tsutomu argues that it was “these toys which
established the method of turning TV characters that come from manga
magazines into toys, or what is called ‘mass media toys’ [masu komi
gangu].”59 Indeed, Takatoku Toys not only started the character-based
toy trend but also coined the very term mass media toy, first using it in
an ad for their products in the January 1960 issue of toy trade journal
Gangu shōhō and continuing to use it subsequently (Figure 3.6).60
Before turning to the Atomu toy boom, we should note one more
key element in the rise of the mass media toy: the thriving magazine
culture of the 1950s. Children’s magazines, and boys’ magazines in par-
ticular, are a third site in which character merchandising first sprouted,

Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy · 103

figure 3.4. Advertisement for Akadō Suzunosuke sword sets, made by Takatoku
Gangu. In Gangu shōhō, November 1959.
figure 3.5. Advertisement for Shōnen Jet and Maboroshi Tantei mask sets and guns
by Takatoku Gangu. In Gangu shōhō, January 1959.
figure 3.6. Takatoku Gangu’s first use of the term masu komi gangu, in an adver-
tisement in Gangu shōhō, January 1960.
laying the basis for the blooming of character culture with the Tetsuwan
Atomu anime. Shōnen magazine’s generous furoku (magazine premiums
included with every issue during the 1950s) included manga volumes
but also assembly kits that ranged from paper record players to toy
typewriters. Some of these furoku were covered with the characters
that inhabited the magazines. Another popular prize was the “Cine
Colt,” advertised in the late 1950s and into the 1960s, that projected
character images (such as Tetsujin 28-go and Atomu) onto the wall.61
The furoku, the prizes, and the selling of merchandise by the magazines
of the 1950s also laid the groundwork for the various types of character
goods that would appear in the mid-1960s. It is significant to note that
what is said to be the first Atomu figurine ever produced was offered
as a 1958 Shōnen magazine prize.62 The circulation of these character
images and things was limited, however, by the proprietary relationship
the magazines exerted on them.

The Third Era of Character Merchandising

There was only a trickle of Atomu goods before 1963: a Shōnen magazine
figurine here, a gum package there. There were book collections of the
manga, of course, but even these were not the best sellers that the comic
books released after the anime were.63 But over the course of the years
1963–64, the trickle turned into a trend, and the trend into a tide, and
the tide into a boom. The boom started around the time of Meiji Seika’s
Atomu stickers but quickly spread to both small- and large-article toys:
Atomu buriki figurines, cars with Atomu figurines in the driver’s seat,
trains with the image of Atomu emblazoned on their sides, Atomu inflat-
able dolls. Atomu’s sister Uran was also taken up in this toy frenzy. As
most writers concur, this was the “first golden age of the ‘mass media
toy.’”64 Although the term masu komi gangu was coined in 1960, it was
in 1964 that the trend became a mass phenomenon. The appearance of
Tetsuwan Atomu and subsequent television anime like Tetsujin 28-gō
initiated the transformation of the toy into the mass media toy.
This development was in part due to transformations in the style
of media and the ease of transposition that accompanies the drawn,
dynamically immobile, animated character image. But it was also a
question of scale. The rapidly expanding number of television sets in
Japan led to an exponential increase in the number of possible viewers

Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy · 107

from the time of the Akadō TV series to the broadcast of Tetsuwan
Atomu. In May 1958, the number of television sets in the country had
only just broken the one million mark. At this time, radio was still the
main medium for reaching a mass audience, and it was the radio serial
that provided the spark that lit the Akadō boom.65
By 1963, there were over fifteen million TV sets in homes around the
country. Atomu’s explosive popularity was thus dependent not solely on
its novelty—being the first television animation show produced in Japan,
and moreover, one that was based on an already popular manga—nor
solely on the media connections that it formed but also on the number of
people it could reach. The very scale of Atomu’s popularity led to qualita-
tive transformations in the media environment. The Atomu broadcast
constituted what Malcolm Gladwell has since called a “tipping point,”
which he describes as “the name given to that dramatic moment in an
epidemic when everything can change at once.”66 The tipping point or
threshold is a point past which quantitative accumulation generates
a qualitative change in state. The emergence of anime with Atomu
marks a tipping point beyond which what had only been a trend—the
mass media toy and character merchandising more generally—became
established practice. Though there had been instances of character
merchandising, foreshadows of the media mix, and the beginnings of
the mass media toy, it was with Atomu that these tendencies congealed
into established practice.67 Atomu, in one sense, repeated the dispersion
of the character image that was to a degree already present in Mickey
Mouse and Norakuro of the 1930s and Akadō of the 1950s. But the dif-
ference in this repetition was clear: the quantitative scale led to, and
was in turn driven by, other qualitative shifts.
The first of these shifts was the multiplication of media forms
affecting children’s culture. In the earlier Akadō craze, manga had
occupied the axial position within the media environment. Indeed,
Akadō’s importance lay in part in establishing manga as the key source
for future media crossings at a time when manga was still regarded as
a degraded, if not dangerous, cultural form. Until Akadō Suzunosuke,
the use of manga as the basis for a radio serial was unheard of.68 But
manga was not only the source; it was also the center of the media mix
at the time. In analyzing what he called the three-dimensionalization of
mass communication—meaning by the term something close to what
would later be called the media mix—children’s literature specialist Kan

108 · Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy

Tadamichi argued that “children’s manga . . . has become the central axis
of the three-dimensionalization of mass communications.”69 For Kan,
writing in 1960, manga was at the center of children’s media ecology.
In 1965, however, in the face of the quantitative expansion of tele-
vision sets and the qualitative shifts brought about by the rise of TV
anime, Kan was to suggest that television was the central axis of chil-
dren’s culture.70 Yamakawa Hiroji similarly wrote in a 1964 article that
television had become the “center of the total marketing plan.” With
TV anime, the medium of television was “the battleship encircled by
other warships”—these warships being a program’s theme song, toys,
and so on. To be sure, manga retained its importance; it was the site
from which this media mix unfolded. Yamakawa called it the “ship-
yard” where the battleship of TV anime was first built and later came
to dock.71 Manga was still one of the fundamental media providing the
stylistic and narrative armature for anime and its spin-offs, as we saw
in chapters 1 and 2. But with the emergence of television anime and the
unprecedented diffusion of character images and things, including stick-
ers, toys, records, and story books, manga no longer occupied the axial
position of children’s culture; the axis of children’s culture had shifted
to television.
The second major qualitative shift occurred at the level of visual
representation. As we saw in the previous chapters, there was an increase
in the visual consistency of the character image across media types: a
fluid transition between the manga, TV anime, and sticker images. No
longer did human actors compete with drawn characters when manga
was adapted to the small or big screen, nor was the pleasure of the ad-
venture conveyed solely through sound, as in the case of radio serials.
The same character, in the same drawing style and in the same poses,
now inhabited manga and anime alike—not to mention the other media
forms to which the character image migrated. Gone was the disjuncture
in the transformation from manga to the screen: “It’s like the manga
came alive” was the mantra of the post-Atomu era.72
The third qualitative shift was a transformation in the nature of toys.
Much as the human actor was cut out of the manga–television–sticker
representational loop, the child was also cut out of a certain level of
play: the child went from being or playing the character to playing with
the character toy. The toys of the late 1950s and early 1960s had pro-
vided tools that made playing the character possible—guns and gloves

Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy · 109

(Maboroshi Tantei), masks (Shōnen Jetto), swords (Akadō Suzunosuke),
sunglasses (Gekkō Kamen), and so on. The child was at the center of
the action in a very literal sense. However, around the time of Atomu,
the main form of the mass media toy shifted from accessories that al-
lowed the child to masquerade as the character to figurine replicas of
the character itself. The child’s role shifted to playing with the character,
participating in the world of play only at a remove, and accessing the
world of the character only through the mediation of the character toy.
The toys themselves became character toys to play with: figurines, cars
with Atomu in the driver’s seat, and so on. As Saitō Ryōsuke observes,

The main current of the “mass media toy” of the Showa 30s [1955–64]
was a small tool-like thing that was made to assist a child’s play.
For example, the sword toy was the tool for “Akadō Suzunosuke”
sword-fight play. . . . Beginning in the Showa 40s [1965–74] the
situation changes completely. The background of this change was
increasing urbanization, the shrinking of outdoor free play spaces
in children’s neighborhoods, as well as the decrease in play time due
to the encroachment of television and cram schools. . . .
The “mass media toy” reflected these changes. While there was
no change in the use of television heros for these toys, there was
a transformation from things that were the tools of play to, now,
making a complete product through the toyification of the mass
media character itself.73

Though Saitō’s account does not capture the full importance Atomu
had for this shift—which in point of fact occurred in 1963–64—his
point is clear: there was a transformation in the nature of toys and play
that attended the new era of mass media toys. The mass media toy of
the late 1950s gave representative aspects of a particular character that
allowed the player to become the character. The new mass media toy
was the character in its entirety.
For sociologist Saitō Jirō, this transformation in play follows from
Meiji Seika’s preemptive transformation of Atomu into a marketing tool in
the form of stickers and candy packages. Atomu-play or Atomu-imitation
was preempted, Saitō suggests, by Atomu becoming an “advertising
boy for candy makers before becoming the hero within the world of
children’s play.” Saitō further surmises that “children became absorbed

110 · Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy

in the game of ‘consumption’” rather than in the game of playing the
characters.74 Just as the human actor was cut out of the representational
circuit of television drama with the emergence of anime, so the child,
in being supplied with a complete physical replica of the on-screen im-
age—in sticker form first, and then in toy form—was prevented from
occupying the role of Atomu himself or herself. The toy object became
a three-dimensional replica of the character. This mimicry of the on-
screen character in turn increased the communication between various
image forms of Atomu: on-screen, in manga, as omake premium, as
toy. With Atomu and subsequent TV anime, children were taught to
consume characters in all of their material likenesses and across their
particular transmedia networks.

Toys, Open and Closed

Yet, complementing the character’s openness to transmedia commun-
ication, we also find a particular kind of closure proper to the toy as
metal and plastic replica. To develop this understanding of openness
versus closure, I would like to turn for a moment to the comments of
Roland Barthes and Walter Benjamin on the subject of toys. Although
we must acknowledge that there is a certain idealization of the natural
toy in Barthes’s work in particular, both writers suggest that the more
a toy functions according to a model of representation or resemblance,
the less room it leaves for imaginative play. Barthes, in Mythologies,
writes that with complicated and detailed toys, “the child can only
identify himself as owner, as user, never as creator; he does not invent
the world, he uses it: there are, prepared for him, actions without
adventure, without wonder, without joy.”75 Benjamin similarly argues
that although “children’s play is everywhere permeated by mimetic
modes of behavior,” toys created on the principles of mimesis or imita-
tion deflate the possibilities for play itself.76 He continues, “The more
[toys] are based on imitation, the further away they lead us from real,
living play. . . . Imitation (we may conclude) is at home in the playing,
not in the plaything.”77 A 1980 UNESCO report voices concern about
the imitative toy in similar terms: “an industrial made toy, stereotyped
and technically perfect, forfeits much of its value as a plaything. It is a
closed object, setting up a barrier against creativity and imagination.”78
Stephen Kline has echoed this sentiment in his apt critique of the ways

Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy · 111

the television-based toy limits the possibilities for play: “Watching televi-
sion has therefore become a primer for learning the particular mental
prerequisites for character play.”79 Hence, the more a toy is based on
resemblance or imitation, the less room there is for imaginative play.
It is instructive to juxtapose these passages to a statement made by
Japanese tin toy collector and historian Kumagai Nobuo that directly
addresses the transformation of buriki toys under the influence of the
character-based mass media toy. In Buriki no omocha (The Tin Toy),
Kumagai writes, “Instead of the development of products based on the
pursuit of real play and the selling of toys based on their capacity for
enjoyment, toys fell under the influence of the TV age, the age of mass
communications. Producers stuck pictures of popular TV heroes on
toys . . . and toys were made according to fashion.”80 The result of the
rise of the mass media toy was that “the appeal of the toy no longer
came from the toy itself; rather the toy was made and sold through
the appeal of the character, resulting in the gradual loss of the intrinsic
appeal of the toy.”81
At first glance, Kumagai would seem to contradict Barthes’s, Benja-
min’s, and UNESCO’s suggestions that the closure of the toy increases
in direct relation to its degree of imitation since Kumagai critiques the
openness of the mass communication toy. Instead of the intrinsic quali-
ties of the toy and the possibilities of play that lurk therein, the mass
media toy relies on extrinsic interest. It relies, that is, on the appeal of the
character and its mass media connectedness rather than on the appeal
of the toy itself; it relies on the temporality of fashion rather than on the
inherent quality or playability of the toy itself. The defining characteristic
of the mass media toy, for Kumagai, is not the “play-value” of the toy in
itself but the communicational openness of the toy with its televisual
counterpart and the fashion system that it generates.
Yet the apparent contradiction between Kumagai and Barthes et
al. in fact reveals a real complementarity. For all these writers, the self-
sufficiency or self-enclosure of the nonmimetic toy makes it open to
imaginative play. By contrast, the mass media toy is open to communica-
tion between media types but closed to other types of play not written
into the script. The television show, as Kline argues, teaches the child
how to play with the character toy, leaving little room for unscripted
play. Kumagai agrees with these writers in privileging a toy independent
from media fashions—a toy that opens onto forms of play that do not

112 · Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy

expire with the end of a television series. The mass media toy, on the
other hand, is playable only so long as the television show on which it
is based is broadcast.82
What these writers bemoan in the mass media toy is a certain clo-
sure to enduring, creative play, on one hand, and an openness to media
networks and fashions that prevents creative interaction with the toy
itself, on the other. In this regard, all the writers cited previously are in
agreement and provide apt, if one-sided, descriptions of the types of
transformations that happen around the time of Atomu: a shift from
tools of imaginative play to imitative, closed objects that resist creative
play but promote transmedia consumption. Indeed, it seems appropriate
that toys and play underwent this transformation at a moment when
a new social formation was emerging from the ruins of the war and
during the subsequent period of high-growth economics: the society of
mass consumption, a social formation that is often described as having
a vested interest in consumers’ renunciation of a creative relation to
objects and their close adherence to consumer trends.
Yet even as we consider these writers’ objections to the kinds of
closure effected by the character toy, the very popularity of these toys
forces us to ask, what did the increased mediatic openness of the mass
media toy allow? There must have been something in the media toy that
produced a relation with the child—what was it? What kinds of posi-
tive transformations did the toy bring along with it such that it would
become the object of a child’s desire? What exactly did these character
toys offer their children consumers?
At least part of the answer to these questions is to be found in the
way that the mass communication toys gave children the pleasure of
participation: participation in a communicative network or narrative
world accessed through the materialized image of the character in its
various thingly forms. The toy gained a particular communicational
transitivity, an openness to media networks, to the very degree that
its shape was formed by and tied to a mass media character. To the
degree that the toy mimicked the on-screen character, it offered the
child a particular access point to the transmedia communicational
web formed around this character. With this access also came the
promise of belonging to the character’s narrative world. In this sense,
the consumption of playfully closed but mediatically open objects did
not merely make consumption (or play) passive; rather, consumption

Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy · 113

itself—contrary to assumptions about the rise of the character toy and
consumer society in general—became a site of activity across media
networks. This consumption of playfully closed yet mediatically open
objects in turn allowed new forms of participation and belonging in
media networks and the social formations onto which they opened.
Consumption was not merely the passive spectating of the fashionably
new—it was also a form of participating in networks of communicat-
ing media-things.
As a closer look at the material history of the buriki will show, this
participation functions not simply through the resemblance between
character instances but through the very differences between them.
Each character good offers a different point of access to its world;
material specificity is key to generating the communication between
media-commodities and the desire to participate in character networks
through consumption. As such, the differences between character objects
and media are not merely ideological but real, material, and active.83
Precisely because buriki toys had remained isolated from media trends,
these toys provide an interesting showcase of the negotiation between
resemblance and difference within character networks subsequent to the
rise of television anime. The Atomu buriki toy forces us to consider how
the character transformed this particular line of toys and, conversely,
what these toys gave back to the Atomu world in the context of the
evolving media mix.

Materializing the Image: The Atomu Toy

From early to mid-1963, the majority of Atomu character toys as ad-
vertised borrowed from two models: the Disney character-toy varieties
(soft vinyl inflatable dolls, swimming pools, and so on [Figures 3.7 and
3.8]) and the earlier form of the mass media commodity (mask sets,
guns, etc.). It is not until an August 1963 advertisement for Asakusa
Toys that we find the beginnings of a transformation in the metal buriki
stream of toys. This is one of the first indications that character toys
were catching on and that the image of Atomu had begun to provide
a model for the buriki toy industry. The toy in question is Asakusa’s
Sora Tobu Atomu (Sky-Flying Atomu), with a “wind-up propeller” on
it, evidently designed to propel the toy into the air. In September 1963,
Asakusa Toys advertised more Atomu metal toys, including a piggy

114 · Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy

figure 3.7. Advertisement for Disney inflatable toys in Gangu shōhō, July 1962.
figure 3.8. Advertisement for Atomu inflatable toys in Gangu shōhō, April 1963.
bank that doubled as a rocket ship that had Atomu’s image emblazoned
across it (Figure 3.9). In December, the same Asakusa Toys released
the Tetsuwan Atomu Chōtokkyū (Tetsuwan Atomu Super Express), a
train modeled on the futuristic bullet train (which would start service
in 1964), with Atomu and friends figures adorning it (Figure 3.10). Not
to be outdone, Tada Seisaku, which had announced its production of
Atomu goods (guns, mostly) as early as January 1963, released a very
similar Atomu Chōtokkyū (Atomu Super Express) train, an Atomu
candy truck (evidently picking up on the importance of candy for the
distribution of the Atomu image), and an Atomu car (a metal car and
body with a vinyl head of the character poking out of the driver’s seat)
(Figure 3.11). In January 1964, Bandai—a young company that would
later become one of the pillars of the anime industry—entered the fray
with Hakka Tetsuwan Atomu (Ignition Tetsuwan Atomu), an Atomu in
the flight position, with wheels on its belly to allow the toy to fly across
the room, albeit gliding on the floor (Figure 3.12). Significantly, this
and other Bandai Atomu products (including Walking Atomu) were
introduced under the headline “Bandai no masu komi toi”—“Bandai’s
mass media toy.”
These and other buriki Atomu toys combined the image of Atomu
with the preexisting buriki toy framework. The walking Atomu mod-
els are very much a take on the robot toys of the 1950s, most of which
walked or had some special feature such as flashing lights. The emphasis
on vehicles was also present in most buriki toys, with buses, trains, and
cars being popular subjects for buriki makers during the 1950s. Looking
back at earlier buriki styles, we can see that the production of the mass
media toy entailed not so much the outright invention of a completely
new toy form as a combination of two previously distinct series: the
anime character series and the buriki toy series. In one of the most telling
examples of this—the case of the robot buriki—this involved a makeover
that saw its rough, metallic face replaced with a vinyl head that more
accurately captured Atomu’s rounded features and its still-metal body
tweaked to fit Atomu’s color and shape.84 The body differed little from
earlier, 1950s-style robots: the Atomu toy uses the same leg shape and
a relatively similar torso, complete with a chest piece that opens. The
Atomu toy differed most markedly in its face, which was often made
from soft vinyl rather than tin (see Figures 3.10–3.12 for the articulation
between metal body and vinyl head). At other times, the creation of the

Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy · 117

figure 3.9. Advertisement for Asakusa Gangu’s sky-flying Atomu (sora tobu
Atomu) and piggy banks in Gangu shōhō, September 1963.
figure 3.10. Advertisement for Asakusa Gangu’s Might Atomu Super Express
(Tetsuwan Atomu Chōtokkyū), endorsed by Tezuka Osamu, in Gangu shōhō,
December 1963.
figure 3.11. Advertisement for Tada Seisaku’s Atomu Super Express train (Atomu
Chōtokkyū), its Atomu candy truck, and its Atomu car, in Gangu shōhō, December
figure 3.12. Advertisement for Bandai’s Ignition Tetsuwan Atomu (Hakka Tetsuwan
Atomu) toy, in Gangu shōhō, January 1964.
character toy merely involved the printing of Atomu-related graphics
onto an already existent train or car frame, leading writers to criticize
this period as one when it was “enough merely to stick a popular char-
acter image on a toy.”85
Nonetheless, this grafting is of considerable significance for two
reasons. First, this grafting enabled the transformation of one object
type (the buriki) through its encounter with the character. From a
present-day perspective, this may seem like a natural development,
given the frenzied proliferation of American and Japanese character
toys, from Gundam and G.I. Joe to Sailor Moon and Powerpuff Girls.
But at the time, this was a development that saw a transformation of
play and a transformation of the toy economy, insofar as it shifted from
an export-based industry to one increasingly concerned with stimulat-
ing and developing the domestic market.86 Most important, this saw a
transformation in the nature of the relationship between the toy and
media forms, with toys themselves becoming a “mass communicating”
medium. The buriki toy became the mass media toy by entering into a
regime of resemblance powered by the character image. We might call
this the mediatization of the buriki: the transformation of the relatively
stand-alone metal toy into a “media toy” open to communication with
similar images seen across media platforms. Much like what happened
with the candy under the influence of the character-based premium,
two separate entities came into relation, informed by the attraction–
diffusion logic of the character. The commodity became the image-
based, networked media-commodity.
The second reason for the importance of the grafting of the image
onto a preexisting buriki framework is that this communication was
predicated on the difference in material, location, and affordances
or action-possibilities between the Atomu toy and its other media-
commodity manifestations as much as it was on visual resemblance or
consistency.87 The character image and its media networks were trans-
formed and expanded by their encounter with the mass media buriki.
The manga and anime series gave the toy a personality, a narra-
tive setting, a group of characters, a series of set poses, and a voice. In
short, the manga and anime character gave the toy a “world.” They also
broadcast this character-world on a mass scale. In return for its acces-
sion to a world, the toy gave the character matter, narrative openness,
and movement.

122 · Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy

By matter, I mean the physical dimensionality of the toy: its weight,
proportions, texture, smell, and eventually, the scratches and wear—the
material memory of past play in the form of the physical deterioration
of the toy. The toy was the material basis for the playful participation
in the character’s world. The toy in turn expanded this world in its own
ways, being the material embodiment of an otherwise two-dimensional
drawing from the manga page or ephemeral image on the TV screen.
For however material the televisual or manga images may be, they
cannot be held, pushed, or dropped; they cannot be turned around
and studied from any angle; they cannot be played with. The toy was
the character in its most materially tangible form. It was the becoming-
tangible of the ephemeral televisual image, giving the child a degree of
control over this image.
The character toy’s material specificity thus contributed a new dimen-
sion to the world on-screen. Whatever the flaws of the toy robot—its
stiff inertness, the disjuncture between its metal body and its vinyl head,
the impossibility of physical flight—it nonetheless opened the world of
Atomu to play. The character toy’s weight, feel, and playability lent even
greater reality to the narrative world by allowing the child to physi-
cally participate in it and regenerate it through play. The solidity and
physical immobility of the toy added a whole new dimension (in fact,
three dimensions) to what was otherwise a flat character. And with this
extra dimension, the character toy also provided the potential for play
outside the existing narrative of the anime and manga. For in fact, play
was not always scripted by existing narratives and the mimetic quality
of the media toy. While the television narrative did circumscribe play,
as Stephen Kline noted, the toy also offered a degree of autonomy to
play that cannot be discounted.
Dan Fleming offers a useful account of toys in which he suggests
that the difference between screen narrative and toy lies precisely in
the way that toys keep narratives open, refusing closure. Discussing the
initial Star Wars films and their toy figurines, Fleming writes, “Where
the films resettled all of [the narrative complexity] around the trium-
phalism of the white farm boy who saves the day, reducing otherness to
difference-from-him, the toys perhaps sustain the opening out as part
of the very condition of being toys rather than narratives looking for
how to end.”88 Though we have seen writers critique the mimetic mass
media toy for the way it closes down the possibilities of play, Fleming

Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy · 123

here points to a kind of openness that many others have downplayed
in their accounts: the character toy’s openness to unscripted play. The
Atomu toy gave the child the ability to construct new adventures that
led to the expansion of the Atomu world or narratives that led outside
this world. Playing, in short, is a little bit like the fan production often
celebrated today: children were able to use the existing character to
fashion new narratives for themselves.89
In addition to physical solidity and openness to new narratives, the
Atomu character-toy also offered something else: movement. Movement
had been an integral component of Japanese toys throughout the postwar
period. This is particularly true of Japanese boys’ toys, though girls’ toys
were actionable as well, with the walking doll, the milk-drinking doll,
and other mechanical dolls. Movement was pervasive in buriki toys,
nearly all of which were able to produce some kind of autonomous,
motor-dependent motion. “Action toys” (katsudō gangu) were already
the mainstream as early as 1933, when, Saitō remarks, “the wind-up
spring that was the life-force of these toys was refined, giving birth to
a variety of new works that lead metal toys to occupy the king’s throne
of export items in the years 1933 to 1934.”90 Although the war years, as
we have seen, ground the Japanese metal toy industry to a halt, the first
toy produced in the postwar period—the metal jeep of the occupying
army—was mobile and modestly powered by an elastic band.91 From
this point on, the Japanese toy industry was on the road to recovery,
with friction-based and battery-powered motors following close on the
heels of the rubber band.
What happened when this series of mobile toys converged with the
manga, anime, or sticker character series? Predictably, toy companies
borrowed the mobility of the car, train, and rocket buriki to create
Atomu cars, trains, and rockets. A popular option was to paint Atomu
across the vehicle’s exterior or to have an Atomu figurine in the driver’s
seat of a car, jet, bus, or motor boat. This strategy renewed the close
association between Atomu and movement. As we have seen, an im-
portant feat of the Atomu anime was to bring the manga to life through
on-screen motion. Manga was transposed to the TV screen through the
kinetic dynamization of the immobile Atomu image. The graphically
still dynamism of the anime image was then transferred to the medium
of the sticker, which in turn expanded the dynamism of the on-screen
image to the everyday objects of the Atomu fan.

124 · Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy

With the toy, the Atomu character was transposed yet again, this
time with a different kind of mobility: the ability to move across the
room. No longer confined to the manga page, the television screen, or
the object to which a sticker becomes affixed, Atomu occupied physical
space through the vehicular movement of the media toy. The vehicles
lent Atomu their movement-dynamism, their material weight, and their
presence in three-dimensional space. Both in the cars and other vehicles
onto which the Atomu image was affixed (almost like a sticker), and
in the Atomu-shaped robots that similarly combined the immobility
of form with the mobility of the toy, these toys extended the dynamic
immobility of anime even further into the world of material objects.
Through these toys, Atomu was able to race across the room, almost
as if he were stepping out of the TV and into the living room. These
metal cars, trains, planes, and spaceships were physical vehicles for the
realization of Atomu’s mobility in a different medium, space, and form.
Yet, despite this physical movement, the figure or shape of Atomu as
toy remained the same, echoing the immobile form that characterized
the television image. The toy thus offered yet another—this time quite
tactile—form of the dynamic immobility that characterized the on-
screen image.
In all these ways, the Atomu toy itself became a medium for material-
izing motion and for giving dimension to the otherwise two-dimensional
character images of manga, anime, and omake stickers. With the Atomu
masu komi gangu, the toy became a media-commodity: a commodity
that participated in media networks and extended their reach. The
media-commodity is both a commodity—a material thing, open to
ownership and circulation on the marketplace—and a medium facili-
tating the communication with other Atomu goods and images. In a
revision of Yamakawa’s concept of thing communication (mono komi),
the Atomu buriki toy is not only a means of human communication; it is
a media-thing that communicates with other media-things. The network
formed among character things or media-commodity forms constitutes
the very surface on which other forms of communication could take
place—from the interpersonal dialogues between children as they played
with the toys to their conversations about this play with their parents. In
brief, the material differences of character incarnations in concert with
a particular regime of character-powered visual resemblance generated
the surface on which other forms of communication were inscribed.

Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy · 125

The Media-Commodity and the Nature of the Medium
With the advent of the masu komi gangu, the toy became a media-
commodity. This represents an expansion of the mass media, a term that
designates the pantheon of television, radio, magazine, and newspaper
to which the toy would be a new addition. Media, as the plural form
implies, are multiple; with help from a connective agent, they form
transmedia networks. Given a higher level of organization, they become
media mixes. The anime character’s dynamic immobility is one way to
construct a media system or network.92 Other media networks involve
a different configuration of elements and a different means of connec-
tion. These media networks can also expand to incorporate a formerly
unconnected medium or thing, as we have seen with the premium and
the toy in this chapter and the previous one.
Embedded in the term media is another term that has a distinct
meaning: medium (baitai). By invoking the term medium, we need not
return to the standard communications studies definition of the medium
as a vehicle for the transmission of a certain message—an inappropri-
ate model for the media mix. Deploying the medium-message model
would result in a logical and experiential fallacy: the homogenization of
distinct mediums insofar as they bear the same message. The delusion
behind the term repurposing lies in the assumption that one narrative
or “content” is transparently transposed to another medium. Repurpos-
ing has been defined as “tak[ing] a ‘property’ from one medium and
reus[ing] it in another” or as “pouring a familiar content into another
media form.”93 In this formulation, the vessel would change (manga, toy,
anime) but the message or content (Atomu) would remain the same.
This model effectively erases the material differences between media
and leads to the uniformity of content across media forms. All media
become equalized under the uniformity of this message.
A more useful definition of the term medium would allow us to think
about the material and historical specificity of a particular medium,
even as it participates in more extensive media networks. Art historian
and theorist Rosalind Krauss suggests such a definition in “Reinventing
the Medium,” an essay that considers the use of photography within the
context of the artistic use of slide projection. There Krauss defines a
medium as “a set of conventions derived from (but not identical with)
the material conditions of a given technical support, conventions out of

126 · Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy

which to develop a form of expressiveness that can be both projective
and mnemonic.”94 Moreover, she acknowledges that artistic conventions
“both aris[e] from the nature of the work’s material support and inves[t]
that materiality with expressiveness.”95 Building on Krauss’s discussion,
we might say that conventions develop from the material support and
act back on this support, thereby transforming it (in Krauss’s terms,
“investing that materiality with expressiveness”). A medium can thus
be defined as the ensemble of three elements: (1) the material support,
(2) the conventions that arise from this material support, and (3) the
conventions that transform this support.
This definition of the medium offers a productive framework for
thinking about the media formation of the masu komi gangu. What is
clear in the case of the mass media toy, however, is that the conventions
do not only arise from the technical support but also come from a set
of outside forces: surrounding media, or in this case, the character and
the anime network. This is where surrounding media enter into and
transform a given medium—a process Bolter and Grusin have called
remediation. The medium of the mass media toy is born of the conflu-
ence of, first, conventions internal to the material, technical support in
its historical manifestation, and second, external conventions that work
to transform the material support. These internal conventions include
the particular lineage of the buriki toy, its emphasis on the vehicular
and on movement, the forms of the robot toy developed in the 1950s,
and so on. The external conventions include the shape, color, and de-
sign of the mass media character; the particular narrative fragments
that accompany the visual image of this character; and the transitivity
of media that allowed the character’s transposition. The conventions
of television anime and the Atomu character insert themselves into
the particular medium of the buriki toy, even as they draw from the
latter’s existing material conditions to gain a new kind of life—and
media materiality—outside the TV screen. This confluence produces
novel forms. As we have seen, the Atomu design required a degree of
expressivity that its tin materiality could not meet—hence the transfor-
mation of the support itself from an all-tin object to a tin-vinyl hybrid.
The body of the Atomu robot was made of the tin of buriki robots and
the face of a molded vinyl that supplied the expressivity adequate for
the Atomu image.
The media-commodity is thus informed by, first, the omnivorous

Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy · 127

networking of things and images that characterize media networks
like the one built around Atomu, and second, by the negotiation of the
particular medium (conventions, material support, expressiveness of
the toy) with external character conventions to generate the particular
material inflection of the character toy. This transformation greatly
expanded the communicative range of the toy, opening it onto the
media network of Atomu. Prior to this transformation, the buriki toy
was in a kind of muted or closed communication with other buriki of
the same robot lineage—intraseries closure. But with the coming of
the mass media toy, the new Atomu robot toy was drawn into a media
network that included the Atomu television show, the manga serial,
the stickers, the running shoes, and all other nonrobot toys adorned
with the Atomu image, resulting in the openness of the media toy to
the interseries communication of the media mix.

Communication, Materiality, Difference

How far can we take this term communication? Can we really call the
relation formed between toy and TV image communication? If so, is the
phenomenon of the object functioning as a means of communication
so new? Have not anthropologists been discussing the communicative
powers of things for some time now?
Indeed, the problem of objects or goods as a means of communica-
tion is not a new one. Mary Douglas and Baron Isherwood write that it
“is standard ethnographic practice to assume that all material posses-
sions carry social meanings and to concentrate a main part of cultural
analysis upon their use as communicators.”96 Nonetheless, the general-
ized function of goods as communicators does not negate the fact that
things will communicate differently in different social formations and
media conditions. The specificity of the anime system is such that it
requires the analyst to pay attention to the way that commodities and
media communicate within it. This necessitates two theoretical shifts.
First, we need to understand the definition of communication as
having meaning beyond mere “social interaction through messages.”97
Most models of communication presume a sender–message–receiver
model, differing only in the particulars of this basic formula while
maintaining its basic form.98 The specificity of media communication
in the anime system necessitates an understanding of communication

128 · Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy

as the formation and maintenance of connections between elements of a
particular media ecology—an understanding that does not presuppose
message transmission and the erasure of the medium that this model
implies. The masu komi gangu is formed not when the toy begins send-
ing messages to a receiver but when the toy is enveloped by a larger
media franchise or network within which it forms connections with
manga, anime, stickers, and, eventually, the children who consume it.
Second, we need a model of communication that assumes the ma-
teriality of the objects within the communicational network. In this
sense, we must be critical of a line of Marxist thought that tends to see
the commodity as an immaterial form. Though Marx was perhaps the
first to point to the importance of looking at interobject communica-
tion, he has also established a manner of dealing with the commodity
form that erases its materiality—a tendency that continues in the work
on media culture by writers such as Jean Baudrillard, Guy Debord, and
more recently, Jonathan Beller. Under capitalism, Marx has famously
suggested, commodities communicate with other commodities in a very
particular manner: through their exchange value. “If commodities could
speak, they would say this: our use-value may interest men, but it does
not belong to us as objects. What does belong to us as objects, however,
is our value. Our own intercourse as commodities proves it. We relate
to each other merely as exchange-values.”99 Within capitalism, that is,
commodities communicate not through their material specificity but
through their capacity for quantification and their abstraction from
material form.100 Price, and its corollary, the money form, become the
mediums of communication for commodities under capitalism.
Jean Baudrillard has reiterated and reformulated this argument
about the communication of commodities in typically attenuated form:

The commodity is legible, as opposed to the object, which never

quite reveals its secret, and it manifests its visible essence—its price.
It is the locus of transcription of all possible objects: through it,
objects communicate—the merchant form is the first great medium
of the modern world. But the message which the objects deliver is
radically simplified and is always the same—their exchange value.
And so, deep down the message has already ceased to exist, it is the
medium which imposes itself in its pure circulation.101

Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy · 129

Of note in this passage is Baudrillard’s bid to think about communica-
tion without relying on the sender–message–receiver paradigm; there is
no distinction between medium and message, only the pure circulation
of the medium itself. Yet the limits of Baudrillard’s formulation are his
assumption that communication only occurs through the commodity
form itself, through its exchange value. Exchange value is that quanti-
fiable factor (market price) that is the least specific element about an
object and that by nature ignores an object’s material specificity (its
“message” or use-value) in favor of its bare fact of exchangeability.102
Much like Marx’s critique of the commodity form, Baudrillard implies
the complete disappearance of the object (the message) in favor of the
“pure circulation” imposed by the medium of the commodity form.
“Deep down the message has already ceased to exist,” Baudrillard writes
in the passage cited earlier; “it is the medium which imposes itself in its
pure circulation.”103 The metaphysics of capitalist value and circulation
have completely replaced the physics of the object in question.104 The
result is communication as pure, contentless circulation.
The limitations of thinking about communication solely through
the rubric of exchange value is that we are led to negate the material
specificity of objects in communication and the constitutive role of this
materiality in their very communication. This tendency is highlighted
in Jonathan Beller’s intriguing yet ultimately too reductive work on the
“cinematic mode of production.” In a passage that evokes the work of
Baudrillard, and exemplifies his approach to cinema (by which term he
refers to all image production) and commodity production, Beller writes,

Today, because of the exponentially increased intensity of the im-

age’s circulation, the simulacrum produced by mass media is utterly
emptied out and “means” only its own currency in circulation. . . .
Indeed, meaning is but a subroutine, a fine-tuning of the ballistic
trajectories of social force delivered via the impact of the image.105

We are left, then, with a ballistic model of media consumption (the

military model of ballistics replacing the medical model of hypodermic
injection) characterized by pure, mechanical circulation: “As significance
is displaced and messages are depleted, we move from ‘the medium is
the message’ to ‘the medium is the medium.’”106
Beller characterizes the movement of goods using a model that

130 · Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy

emphasizes circulation over message transmission. This approach is
in some ways complementary to my emphasis on the function of com-
munication in producing a kind of connectivity between objects, which
in turn forms the surface on which human communication can occur.
Yet his emphasis on the “emptying out of images and objects” and his
echo of Baudrillard’s passage on the medium in pure circulation (“the
medium is the medium”) undermines any attempt to deal with the
specificity of these communicational networks, the images and objects
that constitute them, and the forms of desire that invest them. Indeed,
as I have emphasized in this chapter, these communicational networks
function through the real heterogeneity of the elements composing the
media mix network. The paradox of Baudrillard’s and Beller’s totalizing
critiques of capital’s processes of dematerialization and abstraction is
that in their totalizing drive, they dematerialize and abstract the world
to an even greater degree than capital itself. In so doing, they neglect
the important ways that capital and consumption function as much
through materiality as immateriality; as much through the heteroge-
neity of objects as their imagistic convergence; and as much through
the incitation of subjects’ desire by the materiality of commodities as
through their incorporation as nodal points in a network. By neglecting
the very material ways in which capital operates, they not only overlook
capitalism’s reliance on material differences but also underestimate the
real and vital heterogeneity of the world.
Communication within character merchandising depends on the
connections between the material, heterogeneous objects and the screen
images that generate and reproduce a particular media network. Instead
of message transmission, we find materially inflected network creation
at the core of character merchandising. Thus the model of communica-
tion between media-commodities suggested here is based not on the
transmission of messages (what an Atomu toy says to Atomu manga)
but rather on the formation of a network or series of relations (how
the Atomu toy and the Atomu manga image belong to and constitute a
media mix network through their contact-forming communication).
This network of relations formed through interobject communication
is the basis of the re/production of character media and their circula-
tion and operates through the differences of the media commodities
involved—the manipulable Atomu toy versus the anywhere–anytime
sticker versus the animated Atomu screen image—as much as through

Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy · 131

their resemblance. It is this interobject communication that is also the
basis for the formation of social relations around characters and their
consumption. The communication between media-commodities con-
stitutes the surface on which the communication between consumers
is inscribed.
To sum up, the anime system is a particular mode of relation between
things that makes possible a form of communication between people.
The autonomous circulation of the character must be thought of in
relation to its specific incarnations in material forms. Moreover, paying
close attention to the emergence and configuration of these material
forms allows us to highlight the transformations in the social forms of
interaction between people that occur around them. The analysis of the
material specificities of the character toy as it emerged in 1963–64, for
example, has allowed us to understand transformations in the mode of
character merchandising, the nature of play made possible by character
toys, and the kinds of media networks that develop around the anime
character. Indeed, this popularization of the mass media toy in 1963–64
gives us one more reason to date the turning point of the media mix to
the emergence of television anime in Japan. In describing the mode of
communication that occurs within the anime system—taking toys as
a representative of its larger field of operations—the aim has also been
to point to the primacy of intermedia–commodity communication.
Mono-komi, or “thing communication,” should not be limited to the
ways things mediate interpersonal communication; rather, the term
points to the ways in which communication between media and com-
modities in the anime system constitutes the infrastructure on which
interpersonal communication is built. Things communicating give rise
to human communication, and it is the coordination of these two levels
of communication that informs the very particular “mediation of things
and the thingification of media”107 that characterize the media mix.

132 · Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy

Part II
Media Mixes and Character
Consumption: Kadokawa Books
This page intentionally left blank
Media Mixes, Media Transformations

Since the 1980s, 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 con-
vergence. 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. Although there are a few important
exceptions, there has been little serious consideration of the term itself,
much less any attempt to situate it in relation to its genealogical origins:
postwar American and Japanese marketing discourse.1 Though the term
continues to be used within contemporary marketing discourse, it is
greatly overshadowed by its popular use in describing the circulation
of characters and narratives across media types—an essential part of
the anime system.2 Yet there has been almost no attempt to differentiate
the two quite distinct uses of the term and little acknowledgment that
this term originates in the realm of marketing theory.
Shifting focus from the close study of the emergence of the anime
system that occupied the first part of this book, this chapter proposes
to look at another key moment in the development of the anime media
mix: the use of the media mix strategy by publisher Kadokawa Shoten
(Kadokawa Books). Kadokawa Books is of key historical significance
for transposing the methods of media connectivity practiced by televi-
sion anime to the realms of film and the novel. It is also an important
point of reference insofar as Kadokawa is also most frequently credited

· 135
with having invented the contemporary form of media mix practice.3
Despite a degree of misplaced historical priority, however, Kadokawa
is a key player in contemporary media mix practice and an important
site from which to understand both the continuities and the transfor-
mations of the anime media mix since its emergence in the early 1960s.
This chapter will provide an analysis of the transformations of the
term media mix, from its origins in postwar marketing discourse to
its use, as of the 1980s, in describing the media mix developed around
Kadokawa. A comparison of the two models of the media mix will not
only reveal important differences between the two but will also make
visible transformations in the media and social spheres that attend the
rise of the anime media mix. Indeed, we will find 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.
For the sake of clarity, I will distinguish two applications of the
term media mix by referring to one as the marketing media mix and
the other as the anime media mix.4 Before introducing the marketing
media mix, we must begin with a brief consideration of the history of
marketing in postwar Japan and a sense of the context into which the
practice was introduced.

Postwar Marketing and the Society of Mass Consumption

There is general consensus among historians that marketing developed in
postwar Japan as a direct response to the importation of American-style
marketing techniques beginning in 1955. Indeed, the term marketing itself
only came into wide use in Japan around this date.5 While advertising
and forms of marketing certainly existed before this time—dating as far
back as the Edo period (1603–1868) at least—marketing, which includes
advertising as one of its techniques, is regarded as a more recent inven-
tion. The American style of marketing was, Kohara Hiroshi argues, a
particular body of knowledge, practices, and discourses based around the
provocation of consumer desire for a particular product through mass
advertising as well as the quantitative or “scientific” research techniques
for calculating the most effective means of doing so.6
The impetus for the introduction of American-style marketing was
the September 1955 trip of top management executives from Japan to the

136 · Media Mixes, Media Transformations

United States for the purpose of observing and learning from the busi-
ness practices of U.S. companies. What they noted, among other things,
was the importance that American enterprises placed on marketing,
and they brought back to Japan an increased appreciation for the place
of marketing within business. This sparked a sharp rise in interest in
marketing across the Japanese industrial world.7 It is worth noting here
that while marketing had existed in the United States for some time, the
“central tenets” of modern marketing “did not fully crystallize until the
mid-1950s,” as Philip Kotler has claimed.8 Robert J. Keith, in his seminal
article “The Marketing Revolution,” similarly suggests that marketing
underwent a “Copernican revolution” during the 1950s. During the “era
of sales,” which he dates to the 1930s, the product was at the center of
marketing practice. By the 1950s, however, the consumer was put at the
center of marketing: the product was replaced by the consumer as the
center of the business universe.9 Moreover, this Copernican revolution
was accompanied by a reorganization of the company itself around the
marketing department. Many firms reorganized their management
structures to revolve around their marketing departments, reflecting the
changing emphasis on the consumer rather than the product.10 Ameri-
can companies were in the throes of this marketing revolution when
the Japanese executives visited them in 1955. In light of the subsequent
introduction of U.S.-style marketing theories and practices into Japan
in the following years, it seems they too were convinced of the potential
commercial benefits of this revolution.
The importation of the American marketing revolution into Japan
in 1955 was one element in the formation of the postwar consumer
society, but this year was also highly significant as it marked the be-
ginning of a long high-growth trend that supported the consumption
on which this society was founded. Marking the end of the period of
postwar recovery (1945–54), 1955 is usually cited as the first year of the
period of high growth (1955–73), when Japan left behind the period of
poverty, reconstruction, and material want (malnutrition, lack of food,
homelessness) that characterized the immediate postwar years. This was
the beginning of the years of Japan’s economic miracle, characterized
by years of high economic growth and the development of a society of
mass consumption.11
In this consumer society, the industrial-arena development of mass
production had to be met with the market-arena development of mass

Media Mixes, Media Transformations · 137

consumption. The indispensable tool for the connection of mass produc-
tion to mass consumption was, Kohara notes, the newly systematized
practice of marketing. Indeed, what characterizes the society of mass
consumption is neither mass production nor mass consumption alone
but the close connection of the two established through the intermedi-
ary of marketing.12 Marketing is a technology of relation that connects
production to consumption. As such, it was a key element in the estab-
lishment of postwar Japanese consumer society and was essential to the
development and sustenance of Japan’s economic miracle.13

Marketing Discourse and the Media Mix

Given that marketing itself is a technology of relation, it is perhaps ap-
propriate that one of the major trends in marketing discourse to emerge
toward the end of the 1950s and early 1960s in Japan was an increased
emphasis on relationality (kanrensei). The concept of relationality was
used with growing regularity during this time and is found particularly
frequently in two aspects of marketing practice. The first concerns the
connection between company products: product–product relations and
relations between the company brand and its individual products. For
example, the relations between individual brand and family brand and
the debated subject of the brand image were major topics covered in
marketing journals of the time.14
The second aspect of the relationality discourse is more concerned
with ensuring the interrelation of different aspects of a single product
or product line’s marketing campaign. A perfect example of this inte-
gration of multiple aspects of an ad campaign is the first Meiji market-
ing campaign, which coordinated its ads around the image or voice
of Uehara Yukari and the popping sound of the Marble Chocolates
cap. This coordination of different aspects of a particular product’s
marketing campaign was articulated using a variety of concepts that
included the terms total marketing (tōtaru māketingu), unified marketing
administration (tōgō māketingu kanri), medium plan (baitai keikaku),
echo strategy (ekō sakusen), marketing mix (māketingu mikkusu), and
media mix (media mikkusu).15
The term media mix broke into Japanese marketing discourse in
a significant year for this book: 1963. Indeed, it is a major historical
coincidence that the term media mix came into common circulation

138 · Media Mixes, Media Transformations

in Japan in the very same year that witnessed the emergence of the
anime system—the phenomenon that would later be known as the
media mix. In this year, two articles used the term media mix in their
titles.16 Also, media mix was featured as one of the monthly key words
in the “Contemporary Advertising Dictionary” column of the January
1963 issue of the ad journal Senden kaigi (Advertising Meeting). Since
it is fairly comprehensive, I quote a large part of this latter definition:

Media Mikkusu (media mix): The use of a variety of advertising

media organically, synthetically, effectively, and in accordance with
an advertising goal.
In the contemporary age of the development of mass media
[masu komi], it has become difficult to reach an advertising goal
by using a single medium. We might say that this is a result of the
increasing complexity of society, the development of communica-
tions [tsūshin], and the development of advertising techniques. In
particular, with the spread of television sets, the appropriate use
of each medium according to its particular properties has become
absolutely necessary, and the media mix has come to occupy an
important position within the advertising plan.17

Three elements worth noting in this definition of media mix are, first, its
emphasis on the appearance of television as a key factor in the recogni-
tion of multiple avenues of advertising; second, its focus on medium
specificity (which is defined within the marketing context by the number
of viewers or readers, its circulation, and the chance of multiple view-
ings); and third, its emphasis on the “synthetic” use of the media toward
a particular advertising goal. This advertising goal was, for the most
part, quite simply to convince viewers to purchase the product being
marketed by the given media mix ad campaign. Murata Shōji, editor of
Senden kaigi, defined the “optimum media mix” in 1965 as “the one that
reaches the largest number of receivers for the lowest cost, and that uses
a mixture of media to transmit the message with the greatest effect.”18
The marketing media mix is thus best described as a method of adver-
tising that used multiple media forms to deliver an advertising message
to potential consumers. This method depended on a set of techniques,
mathematical algorithms, and analytical tools that allowed ad planners
to determine which among the four principal media of television, radio,

Media Mixes, Media Transformations · 139

newspapers, and magazines to use for a particular product’s ad cam-
paign and decide how the message and the advertising budget should be
distributed across these media forms. Cost effectiveness was one of the
guiding principles of this choice, but other considerations included how
wide or narrow the audience for the ads should be; how many people
should see the ad and how many times they need to see it for it to be
effective; which media give the widest coverage and which media have
the greatest impact; what size or length of ads has the greatest impact
within each medium; how long the ad campaign will run; and so on.
As the Senden kaigi definition suggests, this conceptualization of
the media mix arose from an awakening on the part of marketing
practitioners to the variety of possible media through which a product
might be advertised and the increasing demand from ad firms and their
potential customers for a quantitative breakdown of the cost effective-
ness of using specified media combinations to get across a particular
message. A dictionary of advertising describes the media mix as a way of
“conducting advertising activities through the selection and combination
of multiple mediums [baitai] via an advertising plan.”19 The ultimate
goal of the multiple media distribution of these advertising messages
was, of course, the consumer’s purchase of the advertiser’s product.
The marketing media mix is thus characterized by the strict separa-
tion of the goal of its message transmission (e.g., convincing the viewer
to buy a National toaster) and the medium through which this goal is
realized (e.g., a television spot commercial). Implicit here is a concep-
tion of media as the vehicles for the transmission of a message that is the
content of the advertisement. However complicated some marketing
media mix models become (developing various algorithms to account
for the effects of the repetitive viewing of messages and the different
strengths of various media), the conception of the medium remains a
simple one: a vehicle for the transmission of a message. The marketing
media mix assumes a vehicular conception of the medium; in its focus
on the medium of transmission, we might say that this is a “medium”
mix rather than a media mix. A passage from a 1966 article by American
marketing researchers on the question of media selection makes this
vehicular conception of the medium strikingly clear:

The problem is to select from among various media alternatives

the “best” set. The total amount of money available, the budget,

140 · Media Mixes, Media Transformations

is a restraint. Alternatives include not only media, but specific
choices within a given medium as well. For a given magazine, for
example, there is the choice of page size, colors and the like. Thus,
choices available include all media vehicles capable of carrying an
advertisement. A vehicle is any possible carrier of an advertisement.20

To sum up, a set of strict divisions subtends the conception of the mar-
keting media mix: the separation between the medium as vehicle and
the message as the vehicle’s inert passenger; the distinction between
commodity and advertisement, where the advertisement (as the media
mix complex) serves as a means to promote the consumption of the
commodity (the “real” content or goal of the media mix message); and
the distinction between immaterial media images and the material
objects of consumption.

Toward the Anime Media Mix

So how do the marketing media mix and the anime media mix resemble
each other or differ? The discourse on the former certainly emphasizes
the multimedia strategy that characterizes the anime media mix. Both,
moreover, rely on the premise that multiple media in combination exert
greater force than a single medium; in short, they both presuppose the
principle of synergy. Yet the two conceptions of the media mix dif-
fer strikingly in at least two ways. First, they differ in their respective
models of synergy. The marketing media mix aims to use the synergetic
effect of multiple media in concert to focus the consumer toward a
particular goal—the purchase of the advertiser’s product as the final
endgame. The anime media mix, on the other hand, has no single goal
or teleological end; the general consumption of any of the media mix’s
products will grow the entire enterprise. Since each media-commodity
is also an advertisement for further products in the same franchise,
this is a consumption that produces more consumption. In contrast to
the pyramid structure of the marketing media mix, which presumes a
single goal to which synergy is the means, the anime media mix regards
synergy as a goal unto itself that will support its collective media life.
Hence each instance of consumption must be regarded as a form of
production that further develops the entire media franchise and the
consumer desire that supports it.

Media Mixes, Media Transformations · 141

Marketing discourse maintains a strict medium–message distinction
even to this day.21 The specificity of the anime–Kadokawa media mix,
however, is precisely the indistinction or mix of message and medium,
promotion and consumption, advertisement and commodity, image and
object of consumption. The fuzzy, relational operations of the anime
media mix are effectively incomprehensible to the vehicle–message
epistemological grid of understanding proper to marketing discourse.22
Indeed, this marketing discourse throws into relief the significant gap
between the two conceptions of the media mix and the transformation
in media practice that occurred in the 1960s.

From Atomu to Suzumiya Haruhi

The anime media mix within popular discourse refers to two intersecting
phenomena: the translation or deployment of a single work, character,
or narrative world across numerous mediums or platforms (also known
as repurposing) and the synergetic use of multiple media works to sell
other such works within the same franchise or group. Before turning to
an historical examination of the transformations undergone at Kadokawa
in the 1970s, let us look back to the 1960s for a review of what we have
learned about the anime media mix through our analysis of Tetsuwan
Atomu and also look forward to one of the most prominent examples
of the anime media mix in Japan from the 2000s: Suzumiya Haruhi
(Haruhi Suzumiya, 2003–).23
As we saw in chapters 2 and 3, one principle that the Atomu omake
premium campaign and the mass media toy demonstrate is the conver-
gence of media and object types around the character and the circulation
of the character image in multiple media forms. When candy maker Meiji
Seika’s Marble Chocolates campaign shifted mascots from the young Ue-
hara Yukari to Atomu, a significant transformation in the role and extent
of circulation of the candy company’s icon occurred. Uehara’s personage
certainly circulated far and wide: on TV, in newspaper and magazine ads,
in point-of-purchase display shelves, on posters, and on the radio. Uehara
seemed a celebrity, but one whose face and voice were linked exclusively
to Meiji. Yet this was also a limitation: since she was everywhere spon-
sored by Meiji, she did not circulate without Meiji’s direct intervention.
Things changed with Atomu. On one hand, the character image,
particularly in its incarnation as a sticker, gained wider circulation

142 · Media Mixes, Media Transformations

through the Meiji campaign. Unlike the Atomu image in the TV anime
or in the manga—embedded in specific material environments (the liv-
ing room and the TV set for one, the manga book or magazine for the
other)—the sticker image saw the character abstracted from its usual
narrative setting and material apparatus. While the character image was
embedded in a new material setting—the candy package—its abstraction
from the manga or anime framework meant that the image gained an
unprecedented degree of mobility.
On the other hand, the image of Atomu began to circulate inde-
pendently of Meiji’s machinations. It was independent not only from
the TV series and the manga but also from the Marble campaign itself.
While this wider circulation of the Atomu image strengthened Meiji’s
own campaign, it also made Meiji dependent on the character in ways
it had not imagined—to the extent that the campaign’s marketing
directors began to feel as if the tail was wagging the dog.24 This was a
medium independence as well as a company–product independence
(the character image was not exclusively tied to Meiji, its products, or
its promotional campaigns). The Atomu image appeared on the TV
show, in the manga, and, increasingly, in the numerous other products
developed around the Atomu image or form—not the least of which
were the many toys discussed in the previous chapter. From the syner-
getic nexus created by this continuous expansion of the Atomu world
into diverse domains of children’s culture, by the weekly appearance of
Atomu on television in new situations, and by his monthly appearance
in manga, the character of Atomu gained a dynamism that Uehara, the
former idol of Marble Chocolates, could never match.
This was a dynamism generated by perpetual renewal, combined
with a recognizability maintained through the consistency of character
image and design and powered by limited anime movement. The dynamic
immobility of the image and the reuse of patterns of movement and
poses in the anime were key to maintaining Atomu’s consistency and
communication across media forms. From anime to manga to stickers
to toys, the physical immobility and consistency of the image ensured
the synergetic intensification of desire and circulation.
Yet this minimal requirement of graphical consistency was offset
by the perpetual introduction of novelty: new characters, new narra-
tives, new products. What we find is thus a powerful combination of
commercial repetition and difference. Interest in Atomu was sustained

Media Mixes, Media Transformations · 143

both through the periodic introduction of novelty and through the
repetitive patterns of movement, poses, and behaviors that maintained
the recognizability of the character merchandise. This rhythm of novelty
and repetition makes it somewhat imprecise to describe the Tetsuwan
Atomu TV show as a thirty-minute commercial for Atomu merchandise,
as many writers over the years have done.25 The television commercial
form brings to mind a static and unchangingly repetitive media object,
an audiovisual jingle meant to stick in the minds of viewers whether
they like it or not. Yet it was precisely the dynamic interaction between
repetition and difference that was most important in the case of Tetsu-
wan Atomu and its successors. Every weekly episode of the TV series
and monthly installment of the comic brought a novel situation that
expanded the character’s narrative world and kept it refreshingly new
for the viewer and consumer—even as the patterned poses, moments
of stillness, and generic narrative forms guaranteed that no products
became outmoded over time.
That said, it is true that there was a relative collapse in the distinction
between program and promotion. Even if not a commercial, Tetsuwan
Atomu the anime series undoubtedly accelerated, and indeed promoted,
the purchase of Atomu-based products of all stripes. Inoue Masaru, in
a 1964 article, suggestively dubbed this phenomenon the echo strategy,
whereby the consumption of one product line echoes forward into
consumption of further media or media-commodities of the same
series.26 In this sense, every episode of Atomu was indeed such a site
for the promotional echo onto other Atomu products.27 But as the term
echo itself suggests, this is no mere repetition but a kind of differential
expansion or reverberation of the character world. This echo effect and
its expansion of the Atomu world led to its dynamism and effectiveness
as a promotional tool for Meiji. The character-icon’s autonomy from
Meiji worked to the latter’s benefit, even if its marketing campaign was
increasingly controlled by the movements of the character rather than
being controlled by the candy or its maker.
The consequences of this circulation of the character image resulted
in more than the establishment of anime as a commercial medium
capable of supplying marketing tools for candy companies. As we
began to see in the first part of this book, the significance of anime’s
emergence is equally to be found in its transformations of the tem-
porality and rhythms of media and commodity consumption. The

144 · Media Mixes, Media Transformations

explosion of character goods subsequent to the Meiji sticker cam-
paign eliminated the forced break between the consumptions of a
TV show from one week to the next. With the proliferation of media
and commodities carrying the image and narrative of the charac-
ter, a continuous mode of character consumption became possible.
The stickers, fundamental to the establishment of the practice of
character merchandising, quickly became one of the many elements of a
continuous mode of consumption developed through the environmental
diffusion of the character image. Other important elements included
the manga itself, which could be read whenever one had a free moment.
Aside from its monthly serialization in Shōnen magazine, Kappa Com-
ics published volumes of the Tetsuwan Atomu manga in its collected,
B5 size formats, which quickly became record best sellers—and which
also, following Meiji Seika’s lead, included Atomu stickers in every book
(Figure 4.1).28 Mushi Production released its own fan club magazine,
Tetsuwan Atomu kurabu (Tetsuwan Atomu Club). Published monthly,
Atomu kurabu included episodes of Atomu unavailable from other ven-
ues as well as a plethora of information about Tezuka Osamu and other
subjects of interest (Figure 4.2). Also, records that featured the voice of
Atomu and his uplifting theme song became readily available thanks
to Asahi sono sheet records.29 The toy was another important site for
the development of this environmental consumption, as we saw in the
preceding chapter. The amount and range of merchandising ballooned
such that one could play with Atomu toys, build Atomu models, drink
from an Atomu cup while wearing Atomu shoes, and write a letter with
an Atomu pencil on a desk covered with Atomu stickers.30
In short, there was very little time in the day when the “Atomu child”
had to be completely separated from his or her idol. This acceleration
of the temporality of consumption, and the development of a quasi-
continuous form of consumption, marks the kind of character commerce
that emerges with Tetsuwan Atomu, carries over into subsequent televi-
sion anime, and informs media consumption to this day. Indeed, one of
the transformations evident from this time and through the explosion
of digital media is the way that media become increasingly pervasive
in the lived environment. As we see with the Atomu example, however,
this development is dependent not only on physical technologies but
on transformations in consumption that even low-tech innovations like
the sticker bring about when combined with the character.

Media Mixes, Media Transformations · 145

figure 4.1. Advertisement for Kappa Comics’s Tetsuwan Atomu comic books. The
ad shows the cover images of the comics with the stickers featured on the upper and
lower sections of the covers, and the ad copy exclaims that the books come with
“Tezuka Osamu stickers that stick anywhere!” From Shōnen magazine, March 1964.
figure 4.2. Cover of the November 1965 edition of Tetsuwan Atomu kurabu (Tet-
suwan Atomu Club), produced by the Mushi Purodakushon tomo no kai (Associa-
tion of the Friends of Mushi Production), a unit operating within Mushi Pro itself.
Turning, now, to the present, we might briefly consider a recent
example of the self-styled “Kadokawa Media Mix”: the Suzumiya Har-
uhi franchise.31 The Haruhi franchise began in 2003 as a series of “light
novels” written by Tanigawa Nagaru and illustrated by Ito Noizi. The
novels are published by Kadokawa’s Sneaker Bunko imprint (at the
time of writing, there are eleven volumes), and information, tie-ins,
and additional episodes have been published in Kadokawa’s light novel
magazine The Sneaker.32 There have been manga versions of the Haruhi
franchise (beginning in 2004 and published by Kadokawa’s monthly
manga magazine, Shōnen ace) and an “official” Kadokawa-sponsored
four-frame parody gag manga version (2007), both of which were sub-
sequently collected as book volumes. A highly popular anime series was
broadcast in 2006 and subsequently released on DVD, and a second series
was broadcast on television and YouTube in 2009. Seven video games
were released for multiple gaming platforms between 2007 and 2011.
The release of the anime series was a turning point in the Haruhi
series as it greatly expanded its popularity, turning Haruhi into one of
the most important Japanese franchises of the 2000s. The anime was
guaranteed an existing fan base and broadened its audience by enticing
many more readers to the Haruhi novel series and manga. The growth
in the novels’ popularity subsequent to the anime’s television broadcast
in turn ensured voluminous sales of the DVD versions of the series, and
every ad for the TV series also increased the sales of the novels, not to
mention those of the manga and video games. Small-article toy ver-
sions of the characters were sold in convenience stores, and the novels
were prominently displayed in bookstores, media shops, and magazine
stands, reminding consumers of the series at every turn. Each of these
incarnations created an “in” whereby a potential consumer could be
inducted into Haruhi’s ever-expanding world.
The Haruhi franchise example shows how much has remained
constant since the Atomu media mix and also how much has changed.
Both Haruhi and Atomu feature three intersecting features that define
the anime media mix: the deployment of a text across numerous me-
dia, among which anime plays a key role in popularizing the franchise;
the dependence on other incarnations to sell works within the same
franchise; and the use of the character as a means of connecting these
media incarnations.33 Conversely, the media landscape has shifted con-
siderably since 1963, with the rise of the light novel genre and the video

148 · Media Mixes, Media Transformations

game as increasingly central components to the anime media mix and
the source for many anime series.34 Also, the incorporation of official,
Kadokawa-produced parodies of the main series is both a preemption
of the explosion of the often parodic fan work that has marked the
rise of the Komiketto (Comic Market) since the 1970s and an appeal
to the sensibilities of a new generation raised on the parodic, amateur,
secondary works of the Comic Market. Finally, we see the rise of media
conglomerates like Kadokawa, a company organized around the media
mix practice. Indeed, Kadokawa is a veritable media mix powerhouse
that draws on its numerous magazines, book publishing houses and
imprints, and media enterprises to produce, finance, or create media
mixes. Let us turn now to the important period intervening between
Atomu and Suzumiya Haruhi to examine the rise of Kadokawa Books
and its expansion of media mix practice.

Kadokawa Books and the Media Mix

The promise of potential profits gained by media mix synergy encouraged
the young, recently appointed president of Kadokawa Books, Kadokawa
Haruki, to take the company down the path of media synergy in the
mid-1970s. Kadokawa Haruki’s father, Kadokawa Gen’yoshi, had founded
the company soon after the end of the Pacific War. Under the direction
of Gen’yoshi, Kadokawa Books grew to be a respected, second-tier pub-
lishing house that was known for its high-brow orientation, particularly
for publishing literary classics from the Showa era (1926–89).35 In the
immediate postwar period, Kadokawa Gen’yoshi believed that publishing
was “the road by which a defeated Japan may recover,” and he vowed
to work to “persistently point the path towards the reconstruction and
ordering of the culture of our homeland” through the publication of
quality literature.36 When Gen’yoshi passed away in 1975, he ceded the
helm of the company to his eldest son, Haruki. In stark contrast to his
father’s lofty vision for the company, Haruki’s goal lay in transforming
Kadokawa into a multimedia, mass-market, money-making enterprise.
Kadokawa Haruki had already begun to develop media mix strate-
gies in the early 1970s. One of his earliest steps toward a wider media
strategy lay in the translation and publication of popular American film
novelizations. The first of these was Love Story (1970; translated into
Japanese as Aru ai no shi, 1971), a novel by Erich Segal based on the

Media Mixes, Media Transformations · 149

scenario for the film, which was released subsequently in 1971. Taking a
hint from a rival publisher’s financial success in publishing The Gradu-
ate, Kadokawa Books published the Japanese edition of Love Story half
a year before the film opened, with novelizations of other American
films following soon after.37 These attempts (mostly successful) to pig-
gyback on the popularity of films by publishing their novelizations led
Kadokawa to be derogatorily referred to as the “cinema paperback.”38
Another of Kadokawa Haruki’s strategies involved the transforma-
tion of the paperback itself. Until this time, the paperback (bunkobon)
in Japan had been the preserve of literary classics. But in reaction to
the “paperback wars” ignited by the entry of publishing giant Kodansha
into paperback publishing in 1971, Haruki reconceived the paperback
along the lines of what he understood to be the American model: an
entertainment-based book that would be quickly disposed of once
read.39 His vision of the book as disposable entertainment led him to
turn the paperback itself into an advertising medium, using color im-
ages on the cover for the first time and including ads on the cover and
on bookmarks enclosed within.40 Media scholar Kogawa Tetsuo sug-
gests that after this transformation, “the book was no longer based on
its quality, but became information sold as a package.”41 The paperback
was transformed from a repository of tradition and learning to a mere
thing that, as many in the publishing world lamented at the time, had
become as disposable as other commodities.42
Yet Kadokawa’s most significant act, one that even his many detractors
argue changed the publishing industry’s direction permanently, was his
1976 founding of a film production company within Kadokawa Books.
His goal was to further develop what he eventually would call the “holy
trinity” (sanmi ittai) strategy—alluding here to Christian theology—of
combining text, sound, and image in what became widely known as the
Kadokawa business strategy (Kadokawa shōhō) and that later, in the
mid-1980s, came to be called the media mix.43 This strategy involved
producing films based on the works of the major novelists published by
Kadokawa, releasing the sound tracks of these films, and republishing
all the writers’ novels (often with new covers inspired by the films or
using film production stills) alongside a massive publicity campaign for
all three. The aim was to use the films themselves as ads for the novels;
the novels as ads for the films; and the films’ theme songs on the radio
as ads for the records, films, and books. Yet to this three-in-one strategy

150 · Media Mixes, Media Transformations

we must add a fourth, principal element: the intense advertising cam-
paign that accompanied the release of the film and that itself crossed
over media from television to magazines to newspapers to billboards.
Indeed, the advertising was as memorable as the works it promoted.
The decision as to which author and source material to use for
this strategy was key. As Tsuchiya Shintarō points out, the goal was to
choose the work of a prolific entertainment author whose entire catalog
of books was owned by Kadokawa such that the synergetic effect of the
Kadokawa business strategy would not only result in increased sales of
the particular book that was used as the basis for the film adaptation
but would also echo onto the sales of other novels by the same author.
This was particularly successful when, as with the first Kadokawa media
mixes, the novels were part of a larger series that involved the same cast
of characters.44 Indeed, the reliance on characters that migrate across
works to incite consumption of further novels by the same author is one
of the points that ties this strategy’s initial form closely to that developed
in the character-based anime system.
These aspects of the strategy are all present in the first film produced
by Kadokawa, Inugamike no ichizoku (The Inugami Clan), which was
based on detective fiction writer Yokomizo Seishi’s 1950 novel of the
same title, directed by Ichikawa Kon, and released in theaters in 1976.
Like much detective fiction, this work is one of more than twenty
Yokomizo novels and dozens of shorter works that feature detective
Kindaichi Kōsuke. With the critical and popular success of the film,
and the massive publicity campaign mounted for both the film and the
novel, Inugamike no ichizoku became a major best seller, selling over
2.4 million copies after the film’s release—compared to the mere sixty
thousand copies sold after the book’s initial 1972 Kadokawa reprinting.45
Highlighting this cinema–novel media mix’s relations to the anime
media mix, publishing industry critic Ueda Yasuo has suggested that
the similarity of the main detective character, Kindaichi, to a manga
character and the resemblance of Yokomizo’s prose to a type of mature,
gekiga-style manga were two of the major reasons for the success of this
first Kadokawa media project. The consumers of the Kadokawa film
and novels were, Ueda notes, members of the “manga generation.”46
Yet the connection to manga was not merely stylistic. There was in fact
a popular gekiga-style manga serialization of one of Yokomizo’s most
renowned books, Yatsuhakamura, adapted by manga writer Kagemaru

Media Mixes, Media Transformations · 151

Jōya.47 Published in one of Japan’s representative manga magazines of
the time, Shūkan shōnen (Weekly Boys) magazine, this 1968–69 manga
serialization is credited by some as the spark that lit the fuse of the
Yokomizo revival.48
Ultimately, the resounding success of Kadokawa Books’s first filmic
foray vindicated Haruki from the rumors that his brash attempt at film
production would lead the company to bankruptcy, and Kadokawa Film
began producing one blockbuster budget-sized film every year.49 It was
with the following year’s film—based on Morimura Sei’ichi’s novel Ningen
no shōmei (Proof of the Man)—that Kadokawa unleashed its most effec-
tive and reportedly infectious ad copy: “Read it and then watch it? Or
watch it and then read it?” (Yonde kara miru ka, mite kara yomu ka).50
The continuous, serial consumption across media texts that charac-
terizes the anime media mix is precisely what is being developed here,
expressed in this catchy ad copy. From film to novel to sound track (or
in reverse order), this is the verbal distillation of the logic behind the
initially successful Kadokawa business strategy. Eventually, the sheen of
Kadokawa’s strategy faded, as the ballooning production and marketing
costs of the media mix and the negative impact of failed films weighed
the company down.51 Yet this three-in-one strategy of selling novels,
films, and sound tracks through the combination of image, sound, and
text was nonetheless established as a main trend within the publishing
and image-making industries, expanding the logic of the anime system
to a general adult audience.
In 1978, one of the main topics of the Japanese publishing world
was what Shuppan nenkan (Publishing Yearbook) termed the “joining
of bestseller and image”52; most of the major sellers that year had some
connection with image making—whether film or anime—as pioneered
by Kadokawa two years earlier. By the mid-1980s, the synergetic com-
bination of media texts had become common practice, and around
1986 or 1987, the term media mix began to displace earlier terms used
to describe the phenomenon (such as Kadokawa business strategy,
trinity strategy, docking, and cross-media53), and Kadokawa Haruki was
enshrined as the founding father of this phenomenon.54 By 1993, most
of the numerous newspaper articles that accompanied the media furor
surrounding Kadokawa Haruki’s arrest on charges of drug trafficking
retrospectively acknowledged his importance in the development of
what was by that time commonly known as the media mix;55 that is, in

152 · Media Mixes, Media Transformations

enshrining the media mix as concept, practice, and common term within
the Japanese media industries, Kadokawa Books came to be regarded
as the very progenitor of the media mix in Japan.
There are many reasons to challenge the assumption that Kadokawa
birthed the media mix, given that the anime system already exhibited
many of the characteristics of media mix practice. Hence, although
Haruki cites other models of inspiration for his transmedia business
strategy—from Hitler’s Mein Kampf to American book media56—I would
like to suggest that we see the anime system as an important precursor
to (and influence on) the development of the Kadokawa media mix.57
Kadokawa’s audience was, as Ueda notes, the manga generation—
the young adults who grew up following media across their multiple
anime–manga–premium incarnations. No doubt many had been Tet-
suwan Atomu fans in their childhood.
Not surprisingly, writers within the field of merchandising also
detected similarities between Kadokawa and anime media strategies.
In 1978, Kōno Akira, a regular contributor to the Japanese character
merchandising trade journal Merchandising Rights Report, offered what
is perhaps the clearest statement of the intersections between the anime
and the Kadokawa media mix strategies:

The success of Kadokawa Film is based on a kind of character

strategy, that is to say, it was able to succeed in its merchandising
strategy precisely because books are a type of merchandise. Put in
[toy maker] Popy’s terms “Watch it then read it? Or read it then
watch it?” [sic] would be “Watch it then play with it? Or play with
it then watch it?”58

Yet, despite the historical precedence of the anime media mix strategy
to Kadokawa’s, the latter’s media mix venture was nonetheless highly
significant insofar as it expanded the media logic and continuous con-
sumption found in anime media to film, the novel, and the sound track.
Kadokawa thereby also expanded the range of media mix consumers
from children to adults.59 With Kadokawa, the media mix literally grew
up. Kadokawa was thus an active agent in and also symptomatic of
wider social and medial transformations that can be best described as
a shift from a Fordist to a post-Fordist mode of capital accumulation
and media practice.

Media Mixes, Media Transformations · 153

The Culturalization of the Commodity and the Shift to Post-Fordism
Kadokawa’s deployment of the connectivity undergirding the anime
media mix marked its extension into two realms that were previously
relatively insulated from the media-commodity logic that underpins it:
literature and film. This is not to say that literature and film had not been
connected before the 1970s. Indeed, the novelty of the phenomenon of
the Kadokawa business strategy, as Ueno Kōshi argues, was not in turn-
ing novels into films; filmic adaptations of novels are almost as old as
film itself. Ueno writes, “Where the Kadokawa strategy differed, rather,
was in using the fame of the novel to advertise the film, at the same time
as using the new film to advertise for the novel, thereby producing a
synergetic relation between them.”60 Previously, films and novels had
maintained a degree of autonomy—even if only ideological—from the
marketplace and from each other. They were esteemed based on their
value as cultural goods. Content was supposed to have prevailed over
packaging, its use or cultural value over its exchange value. Kadokawa
Haruki’s gambit was to treat films and novels as exchangeable, that is to
say, as connected, communicating commodities, and as advertisements
for each other. Much like the mass media toy did to the nonmedia toy,
the Kadokawa business strategy downplayed the inherent cultural value
of the book in favor of its value as a communicational medium: a pack-
aged and exchangeable good with built-in relays to other commodified
cultural forms such as the film or sound track.
Kadokawa downplayed each media object’s internal consistency and
specificity in favor of its connectivity. As one text advertised another, the
advertising campaign itself participated as yet another text encouraging
crossover consumption between the novel and the film (“Read it and
then watch it? Or watch it and then read it?”). With Kadokawa, Ueno
suggests, film, novel, and song each became advertisements for the other.
This gave rise to a double shift marked, on one hand, by the centrality
of the advertisement as a cultural form and, on the other hand, by the
“phenomenon of the culturization of the commodity [shōhin no bunka-
ka].”61 Previously autonomous cultural forms lost their autonomy, became
interrelated, and were organized around the form of the advertisement.
The advertisement is in some ways the prototypical serial media form,
insofar as it naturally points to a product outside itself (“buy this”). It is
essentially a relay, constituting media as a relational network. Following

154 · Media Mixes, Media Transformations

Ueno and early commentators on TV anime such as Yamakawa Hiroji,
we might parse this transformation as the becoming-advertisement
(kōkoku-ka) of the cultural or narrative object (whether it be manga,
animation series, film, novel, song, or even toy)—the transformation
of text into relay.
This shift also sees the cultural form become the prototypical com-
modity. Film-as-advertisement became the model of the commodity
form in what Ueno presciently terms the culturization of the commod-
ity—the elevation of the commodified cultural form into the preeminent
commodity form. This transformation is profoundly linked to the shift
from Fordist to post-Fordist modes of production, consumption, and
accumulation of capital. A brief consideration of the wider transforma-
tions involved here will put the rise of the media mix into historical
The analytic category of Fordism was first developed by the Italian
thinker Antonio Gramsci but was taken up and further fleshed out
by French economists from what is known as the Regulation School
of political economy. Representative writers from this school, such as
Michel Aglietta and Alain Lipietz, emphasized the close bond between
production and consumption in what they called regimes of accumula-
tion. Nick Dyer-Witherford, in his critical account of the Regulation
School, notes that for these writers,

capitalism . . . is neither a historically invariant formation nor one

teleologically destined to collapse. Rather, it repeatedly overcomes
internal contradictions by generating successive “regimes of accu-
mulation”—intermeshed orderings of wage relations, consumption
norms, and state intervention that synchronize the overall social
pre-requisites for the extraction and realization of surplus-value.62

What the Regulation School writers seek to describe, then, is “the entire
set of social conditions” that enables a particular regime of capitalist ac-
cumulation to reproduce itself.63 In the regime of accumulation known
as Fordism, the Taylorist, or assembly-line-style, mass production of
uniform commodities was paired with a “uniform mode of consump-
tion of simplified production,” otherwise known as mass consumption.64
Standardization was key to both production and consumption, and all
social activities from leisure time to sexual relations were standardized

Media Mixes, Media Transformations · 155

with the aim of promoting worker productivity.65 As David Harvey
emphasizes, “postwar Fordism has to be seen, therefore, less as a mere
system of mass production and more as a total way of life. Mass produc-
tion meant standardization of product as well as mass consumption; and
that meant a whole new aesthetic and a commodification of culture.”66
If uniformity, standardization, and rigidity were the principles
of the “total way of life” under Fordism, flexibility, innovation, and
instability are some of the main characteristics of life, work, and lei-
sure under the emerging regime of post-Fordism.67 Japan is arguably
a prototypical example of post-Fordism insofar as it was here that the
flexible production system also known as Toyotism was developed.68
Not surprisingly, it is also in contemporary Japan that workers are tast-
ing the worst of flexibilization as job instability—resulting in part from
changes to employment laws during the 1990s—has skyrocketed, along
with increasing numbers of temporary workers, part-time workers, the
unemployed, and the so-called working poor. If Japan provided a model
of post-Fordist production avant la lettre, it also provided its new logic
of consumption through the media mix.
This transformation of production, consumption, and leisure be-
tween Fordist and post-Fordist modes of accumulation brought with it
a transformation in the nature of commodities themselves. For Martyn
J. Lee, in fact, it is precisely through transformations in the commodity
that wider historical shifts should be read. Lee suggests that we see the
commodity as the bellwether of an era insofar as “it tends to reflect the
whole social organization of capitalism at any historical and geographi-
cal point in its development.”69 Since “the commodity form can be said
to be an objectification of a mode of production at a given phase of its
development,”70 each mode of production will give rise to a distinctive
commodity form, what Lee calls “the ideal-type commodity-form of
the regime of accumulation.”71
Consumer durables were the “ideal-type commodity” and the main-
stay of the Fordist era of production and consumption.72 This is as true
in postwar Japan as in the United States; consumer durables formed the
core of consumption in the so-called high-growth era of postwar Japan.
The two foremost decades of high growth in Japan were marked by
the names given to the ideal commodities of consumption: the “Three
Sacred Treasures” of the Showa 30s (1955–64) referred to the television
set, the washing machine, and the refrigerator, and the “Three Cs” of

156 · Media Mixes, Media Transformations

the Showa 40s (1965–74) were the color TV, air-conditioner (or kūrā in
Japanese), and car. According to Lee, the distinguishing characteristics
of consumer durables such as these were their

sense of fixity, permanence, and sheer physical presence which

stamped itself symbolically in the form of the functional aesthetic on
to the design and appearance of domestic goods as diverse as radio,
television sets, cookers, refrigerators and music centres. Similarly,
such features were also to be materialized in the emphasis on the
commodity’s durability, longevity, performance and utility that
were so often presented by manufacturers to be the commodity’s
chief selling point.73

If the emphasis of the Fordist commodity was on durability, utility, and

functionality, the salient characteristics of the post-Fordist commodity
became flexibility, fluidization, miniturization, and increased portabil-
ity. There has also been, Lee notes, a marked “‘dematerialization’ of the
commodity-form where the act of exchange centers upon those com-
modities which are time rather than substance based.”74
These shifts led to an emphasis on what Lee calls “experiential com-
modities”75—commodities, such as films, video games, vacation packages,
and fashions, whose value to the consumer lies in the experience they
provide. These prototypically post-Fordist commodities are governed
by a “metalogic . . . of intensification and innovation; its typical com-
modities are instantaneous, experiential, fluid, flexible, heterogeneous,
customized, portable, and permeated by a fashion with form and style.”76
There is thus a general shift away from commodities justified on the
basis of their appeal to rational utility or need to commodities whose
appeal lies in the promise of a certain kind of experience.
With post-Fordism also came a shift in the temporality and rhythm of
consumption. As Harvey emphasizes, an acceleration of the production
cycles of commodities within the post-Fordist mode of flexible produc-
tion has been accompanied by faster and faster cycles of consumption:

The half-life of a typical Fordist product was, for example, from five
to seven years, but flexible accumulation has more than cut that in
half in certain sectors (such as textile and clothing industries), while
in others—such as the so-called “thought-ware” industries (e.g.

Media Mixes, Media Transformations · 157

video games and computer software programmes)—the half-life
is down to less than eighteen months. Flexible accumulation has
been accompanied on the consumption side, therefore, by a much
greater attention to quick-changing fashions and the mobilization
of all the artifices of need inducement and cultural transformations
this implies.77

The anime media mix and its Kadokawa extension are exemplary of the
shift to post-Fordist experiential commodities. What the anime system
and Kadokawa offer are temporally brief—but potentially extendable—
experiences in the form of media-commodities.
Character goods and media-commodities more generally are one
major category of fashion-based nondurables that became increas-
ingly important in Japan during the 1960s. But it was in the 1970s,
with Kadokawa Books, in particular, that the strategy of the media mix
began to be felt outside of the realm of anime media culture, extending
to books, films, and sound tracks. And perhaps not coincidentally, it
has been in the last ten years of Japan’s prolonged economic downturn
that character-based culture and the media mix strategy have been the
subject of increased popular attention.78 It is to the so-called contents
industry, and specifically to the manga, film, anime, and character goods
arena, that the Japanese government’s attention has now turned to find
a way out of its years of decline. As Anne Allison has recently noted,
the Japanese government “is treating manga and anime like national
treasures.”79 Of course, part of this interest has an eye to social prestige
and cultural influence—the gain of so-called soft power or gross national
cool.80 But, as the abbreviation of gross national cool (GNC) implies,
the potential for economic gain is also regarded as significant. By the
turn of the millennium, the character industry had become a massive
market boasting domestic retail sales of over 2 trillion yen (nineteen bil-
lion U.S. dollars) in the year 200081 and 2.5 trillion yen in 2003. Another
estimate has put the total annual value of the contents industry on the
whole (including the publishing industry, anime and live-action drama
and film, video games, music, etc.) at 12.8 trillion yen.82
Whereas the consumption of consumer durables was the basis for
the high-growth years of 1955–73 and figured large in the Japanese
imaginary during this period, the anime-based contents industry and
media consumption that developed in the 1960s and 1970s have become

158 · Media Mixes, Media Transformations

increasingly important elements of both economic sustenance and
national imaginary in the post-Fordist present. This shift also marks
a transformation in the organization of desire. Desire was previously
organized around consumer durables based on a certain concept of
lifestyle (“the bright life”), technological progress, and the drive for social
belonging within the national body. Since the 1960s and 1970s, however,
desire has been organized around the consumption of experiential or
cultural commodities that promote individual or microcollective (fan
community) participation in narrative or character worlds and the social
communication that develops through this.
Kadokawa Haruki, writing in 1977, presciently recognized this shift
in the nature of commodities and, by implication, the basis of com-
modity culture:

Be it books, or music, or film, these are commodities without

substance. They are not material commodities like electrical ap-
pliances or cars. Books and records and films can all be said to be
fantasies that have become commodities. If these fantasies did not
have commodity value, books, for example, would become merely
paper and ink. The business of selling these kinds of fantasies or
illusions is very suited to an active nihilist like myself.83

Kadokawa’s suggestion of a shift from consumer durables to immate-

rial commodities (“commodities without substance”) is apt, as is his
suggestion that the location and very nature of value (in the economic
sense) has shifted. The comparison Kadokawa makes between the
two types of commodities (cars vs. books) illustrates the larger shift at
work as cultural goods and experiential commodities like books and
films become increasingly central to the economy and to commercial
practice—taking “active nihilist” businessmen like Kadokawa Haruki
with them.
There is, however, another key point to be added to this discus-
sion of the post-Fordist ideal commodity-form. To wit, the historical
transition from Fordism to post-Fordism entailed not only a shift from
one commodity type to another (i.e., durable to experiential) but also
a shift from a singular, discrete commodity (the television, the car) to
a series of media-commodities interrelated through the media mix
strategy (the film–novel–song–advertisement media mix or character

Media Mixes, Media Transformations · 159

merchandising as a technology of connection). Alongside the culturiza-
tion of the commodity noted by Ueno—profoundly resonant with Lee’s
concept of the experiential commodity—there was also a shift toward
the development of transmedia relations. This emphasis on media re-
lationality in turn points to a transformation in the nature of the media
text itself: from a model of the text as a relatively self-enclosed entity to
the text as a transmedia fragment.

Dissolution of the Work into Serial Fragments

Within the model of the anime media mix established by Tetsuwan
Atomu and extended into film and literature by Kadokawa Books, the
unity of a “work” as previously conceived was broken down into mul-
tiple, serialized fragments. The experience of the work was no longer
based on the appreciation of a single, unified text, as it was to a greater
degree with the film or the novel.84 The experience of a work stretched
across media types and genres, including narrative media (film, books),
nonnarrative media (stickers, toys, music albums, advertisements),
and information or gossip media.85 Media mix ensembles required the
consumer to read and consume across texts or textual fragments.
Two seismic shifts subtend this fragmentation and dispersion of
the work. The first is the increasingly nonlocalizable nature of the
“original.” Manga and anime critic Sasakibara Gō has argued that the
original work (gensaku) was formerly clearly defined as the first incar-
nation of a series of texts. For example, the manga was traditionally
released first, followed by the anime or live-action version, followed by
“related goods” (kanren shōhin) such as toys and candy products. Here
the manga can still be regarded as the original work from which the
other media and commodities are spun off. Sasakibara suggests that it
is precisely the nonlocalizability of the original that defines the media
mix. Accordingly, the media mix first appears when the original work
becomes nonlocalizable and indeterminate.86
In point of fact, we should take Sasakibara’s comments more broadly
than he intends them. The media mix’s erasure of origins does not
only appear when the original becomes nonlocalizable but rather in
every one of its incarnations. The media mix in all its forms effects
an erasure of origins, whereby the primacy of the temporally original
work is always already called into question by the serial spin-off. This

160 · Media Mixes, Media Transformations

is equally true of those works that would seem to have an original on
which later incarnations are based. As soon as the media mix begins,
there is a fundamental reordering of the entirety of the work such that
the primacy of the original is necessarily lost. As Gilles Deleuze suggests
in a passage that has profound implications for a theory of seriality, it is
the second appearance (or the second version) that gives the order of
the series, retroactively rearranging the first: “The second origin is thus
more essential than the first, since it gives us the law of repetition, the
law of the series, whose first origin gave us only moments.”87 Replace
the term origin by iteration, and we have a theory of seriality appropri-
ate for the media mix.
With the appearance of a second iteration, the original text is retro-
actively reinscribed as one element of a series, its very status as original
overturned. In the case of Tetsuwan Atomu, this transformation of origins
quite literally is reflected in the level of narrative, where the title char-
acter’s parents were created in a later episode, temporally subsequent to
Atomu’s own birth. As this episode clearly shows, the logic of seriality
inherent to the media mix effects a retroactive transformation of the
distinction between parent and progeny, original and secondary text.
The first of the two seismic shifts underpinning the fragmentation of
the work with the media mix thus sees a challenge to the unity of the
work and to the schema of succession on which this unity depends.

Segmentation and Flow: Television and the Media Mix

The second seismic shift in this process of fragmentation is the rise
of the textual logic of segmentation and flow, two concepts key to
the field of television studies. Here I will provide a brief account of
the concepts of segmentation and flow in Anglo-American television
theory and point out their usefulness both for understanding Japanese
television—which operates fairly closely to its American broadcasting
system model—and for understanding the movement between textual
fragments that informs the media mix.
In his 1974 book Television: Technology and Cultural Form, cul-
tural theorist Raymond Williams introduces the concept of flow in
an attempt to articulate the specificity of television.88 For Williams,
flow is the fundamental fact of television as it has developed along
the commercial model: “In all developed broadcasting systems the

Media Mixes, Media Transformations · 161

characteristic organization, and therefore the characteristic experience,
is one of sequence or flow. This phenomenon, of planned flow, is then
perhaps the defining characteristic of broadcasting, simultaneously as
technology and as cultural form.”89 Williams proposed the concept of
flow to explain the organization (by the broadcasting agency) and the
experience (by the TV viewer) of television as a continuous succession
or flow of more or less tightly connected sequences of image and sound,
as the flow of ad segments and program segments, and as the flow of
larger units within the daily schedule of programs as represented in the
TV listings of the newspaper.90 Hence television requires a fundamental
re-evaluation of the concept of the textual unit. “In all communications
systems before broadcasting the essential items were discrete,” writes
Williams.91 The novel, the play, and the film were all experienced as
discrete units, hence “our most general modes of comprehension and
judgment are . . . closely linked to these kinds of specific and isolated,
temporary, forms of attention.”92
At first, broadcasting, too, worked within this tradition. Discrete
units were assembled into programs, and the “work of programming
was a serial assembly of these units.”93 Yet the individuality of each unit
remained, partly because a pause was inserted between these discreet
units. However, the development of contemporary forms of broad-
casting brought about the revaluation of the interval, with the “flow
series” replacing the discrete units of the “programme series.”94 With
this revaluation of the interval comes a different kind of connectivity
between existing units. There is also a fundamental transformation in
the nature of the televisual unit itself.
Here the work of film and television theorist John Ellis provides
an important supplement to Williams’s conception of the medium:
whereas Williams focuses on flow, Ellis’s interest is in the segment. Yet
despite their seeming opposition—which Jane Feuer properly points
out is more of a dialectic95—Ellis in fact builds heavily on Williams’s
emphasis on the transformation of the fundamental unit of broadcast-
ing. The fundamental unit of television is no longer the discrete text
but rather, Ellis argues, the segment:

Broadcasting TV has developed a distinctive aesthetic form. Instead

of the single, coherent text that is characteristic of entertainment
cinema, broadcast TV offers relatively discrete segments: small

162 · Media Mixes, Media Transformations

sequential unities of images and sounds whose maximum duration
seems to be about five minutes. These segments are organized into
groups, which are either simply cumulative, like news broadcast
items and advertisements, or have some kind of repetitive or se-
quential connection, like the groups of segments that make up the
serial or series.96

The development of a new conception of the unit as segment thus

accompanies the revaluation of the interval and the emergence of the
phenomenon of televisual flow. With this group of elements and concepts,
we can explain a new textual system. The segment is the basic building
block, an image–sound–time segment that has its own internal unity,
even as it is fundamentally open to connecting with other segments
that precede or follow it. The logic of continuity between segments
is provided by the serial or series forms, which work to manage the
intervals between segments, thus giving rise to the experience of flow.
The transtextual connections found in television had a profound
influence on the media environment on the whole and particularly
on the commercial practices that permeate it. In the Japanese context,
one of its most important effects was the development of a children’s
market, which most writers attribute to the advent of television, a sig-
nificant number of whom suggest corresponds to the rise of TV anime
in particular.97 Television also established the particular cyclicality of
consumption that enshrined the week as its temporal unit and a mode
of textual crossing that finds its expression in the concepts of segmen-
tation and flow.
Television’s revaluation of the interval should, however, be un-
derstood to be occurring in concert with changes in the wider media
environment. In his 1987 book Television Culture, John Fiske takes an
important step in this direction when he calls for television studies to
think outside the televisual box. TV studies, Fiske suggests, must ac-
count for the medium’s intertextual pervasion of cultural life:

Television’s pervasiveness in our culture is not due simply to the

fact that so much of it is broadcast and that watching it is our most
popular leisure activity, but because it pervades so much of the rest
of our cultural life—newspapers, magazines, advertisements, con-
versations, radio, or style of dress, of make-up, of dance steps. All of

Media Mixes, Media Transformations · 163

these enter intertextual relations with television. It is important to
talk about their relations with television, and not to describe them
as spin-offs from it, for the influence is two-way.98

Fiske’s proposition to consider the intertextual and transmedia relations

surrounding television is right on the mark. Yet his general insistence
on thinking about television in terms of its reception as texts (produced
by the active reading practices of the audience) rather than programs
(produced by the stations as commodities) undercuts the importance of
thinking about the production of intertextual connections themselves
as a form of commodity relation. The production of transmedia series
involves not only intertextual relations created through active reading
practices (Atomu toys are not first and foremost the products of intel-
ligent reading practices) but the very production of relations between
commodities. The commodity in this particular media ecology is a
fundamentally relational media-commodity. For this reason, we must
keep focused on the ways media connections are produced rather than
imagining these connections to be the product of a circulation of mean-
ings of whom we are the primary producers.
It is in this sense that we can appreciate Rick Altman’s suggestion
that flow replaces discrete segments only under particular historical
conditions of television broadcasting. For Altman, “flow is not related
to the television experience itself . . . but to the commodification of the
spectator in a capitalist, free enterprise society.”99 Building on Altman’s
argument, we might say that the particular form of transmedia com-
munication that emphasized segmentation and flow becomes key to
television and other media forms only within a specific (if emergent)
capitalist regime: post-Fordism. Not surprisingly, then, the dialectic of
flow and segmentation is not unique to television in this era. A transfor-
mation in the conception of the text as discrete unit is visible throughout
the media ecology of Japan since the 1960s to such a degree that we
must argue that the logic of segmentation and flow within television
was developed concurrently with other media forms. This revaluation
of the interval develops perhaps first and foremost within the realm of
children’s culture in the early 1960s, which includes televisual media
like anime but also nontelevisual media like the comic magazine, the
sticker, and the toy. In this sense, we can understand the Atomu media
mix as itself a system of segmentation and flow, with the image of Atomu

164 · Media Mixes, Media Transformations

as a minimal segmental unity that flows across and allows connections
between different media and object forms, appearing as stickers, note-
books, toys, and manga. The emergence of anime and the logic of the
character involve the revaluation of the transmedia interval and the
emergence of a new kind of segmentation, serial interconnection, and
consumer flow across these intervals.100
Indeed, it was anime, as a particular aesthetic and commercial form,
that made perhaps the greatest difference in developing a kind of serial
interconnection among commodities and media by establishing the
character as a technology of connection and the rhythm of movement
and stillness that appeared with it. Although the emergence of anime
is inseparable from the medium of television, the form it assumed was
also determined by a number of other media elements that were equally
responsible for developing its mode of transmedia seriality: kamishibai
and manga, the earlier Meiji–Atomu sticker campaign, and the diffusion
of the media-commodity. Television was central to the development
of the serial form through the further fragmentation of the text and
the flow constructed across these fragments. Its mode of mass delivery
also accelerated the consumption of the character and was in this sense
instrumental in the formation of the anime system. Yet television was
also part of a wider, more generalized shift in the logic of seriality toward
the communication of media and commodities.

Environmentalization of Media
If transmedia seriality connects television to other media forms, it also
connects these media to the realm of things or media-commodities. As
we saw in part I of this book, the character transformed both media and
things such that they became elements within an intercommunicating
network that expanded throughout the lived environment of its consum-
ers. Whereas one of the results of this expansion was the fragmentation
and flow across media texts, another was their environmentalization:
the proliferation of media-commodities into spaces and places that had
formerly been outside of their reach.101
This expansion is reflected in the development of site-specific
advertising outlets such as the store. In Japan, the 1960s saw what mar-
keters called the “mediatization of the store” and the development of
so-called point-of-purchase (POP), in-store displays.102 In the case of

Media Mixes, Media Transformations · 165

candy, these POP advertisements put both the candy and the character
or personage (such as Uehara or Atomu) that advertised it on display.
Corresponding to this mediatization of the store was the increased
attention to the package design itself, which became a promotion for
the product within.103 In this regard, the important connections cre-
ated between store display and television ads, between television ads
and package design, and even between the omake premium and the
candy package recommend thinking of the store itself as a total media
environment.104 The store housed both direct advertisements, in the
form of POP displays and individual product packaging that called out
for purchase, and indirect promotions for related media-commodities,
such as the television program, manga, and toys.
Whereas the store was one key site for the expansion of the media
image, the home and its domestic space was another. In chapter 2, we saw
how children, consumed by the mobility of the Atomu stickers, affixed
Atomu images to desks, books, baseballs, refrigerators, and any other
items within domestic, play, and school spaces. The stickering of things
previously devoted to study (notebooks), family welfare (refrigerators),
or leisure (baseballs) incorporated all these objects and the activities
with which they were associated into an Atomu world. This covering
over of the child’s environment with Atomu images led to what might
be called, following recent rereadings of Karl Marx, the real subsumption
of children’s worlds by the proliferation of Atomu images.
Marx developed the concept of real subsumption in contrast to that of
formal subsumption as two distinct ways of understanding an increase in
productivity and valorization under capitalist conditions of production.
In formal subsumption, the precapitalist mode of work is maintained
intact: “capital subsumes the labour process as it finds it, that is to say,
it takes over an existing labour process, developed by different and more
archaic modes of production.”105 Under these conditions, “surplus-value
can be created only by lengthening the working day.”106 Real subsumption
involves not the temporal lengthening of existing labor but rather its
thoroughgoing transformation: “a complete (and constantly repeated)
revolution takes places in the mode of production, in the productiv-
ity of workers and in the relations between workers and capitalists.”107
Recent interpretations, particularly those associated with the Ital-
ian Autonomist Marxist school, have read the shift from Fordism to
post-Fordism in terms of a shift from formal to real subsumption.108

166 · Media Mixes, Media Transformations

Brian Massumi, drawing on this work, provides a useful definition of
the latter term:

Real subsumption involves a two-pronged expansion of the capitalist

relation. First, an extensive expansion, whereby capitalism pushes
its geographical boundaries to the point that it encompasses the
entire globe . . . Second, an intensive expansion, whereby the last
oases of domestic space are invaded by the four irrepressible dense
points. This is “endocolonization.”109

The four dense points that Massumi refers to here are the four elements
of the capitalist relation: commodity–consumer and worker–capitalist.
Massumi writes that “‘postmodernity’ is the presence of the consumer/
commodity axis of the capitalist relation in every point of social space-
time: endocolonization accomplished.”110 The expansion of character
media-commodities within children’s culture in the 1960s and within
general media culture in the 1970s can be seen as a particularly visible
instantiation of this combination of exocolonization (extensive expan-
sion) and endocolonization (intensive expansion).
Television anime and the sticker brought about an extensive expan-
sion of capital, incorporating into the sphere of mass consumption a
new market segment: the child. As I noted earlier, the child’s emergence
as a new market segment in Japan is usually dated to the proliferation
of television sets in the early 1960s and was accelerated by the rise of
anime and the consumption of character goods—particularly those tied
to Tetsuwan Atomu. Exocolonization or extensive expansion initiated
ever-growing numbers of children into the ranks of consuming subjects.
Stickers and the accompanying explosion of character goods such as
the mass media toy also brought about an intensive expansion through
the proliferation of character media-commodities within a child’s en-
vironment. Endocolonization or intensive expansion brought about an
increased intensity of consumption within each child consumer’s life.
Consumption in the domestic space of the home and the environment
of the child was expanded and accelerated, colonizing interior space
with the character image.
This process, moreover, saw not merely the expansion of the com-
modity–consumer axis; the shift to post-Fordism also saw the ex-
pansion of the worker–capitalist axis, a process that occurs with the

Media Mixes, Media Transformations · 167

environmentalization of the character image that accompanies the
rise of the anime media mix. Consumption itself becomes a kind of
work within post-Fordism, in which the act of looking itself produces
value, as writers from Dallas Smythe to Nick Browne to Jonathan Beller
have argued.111 And this work of consuming happens everywhere, and
at all times, with the increasing environmental ubiquity of character
media. With the dissolution of the distinction between promotion and
program exemplified by texts like Tetsuwan Atomu, the very image of
Atomu became a promotion for other Atomu goods. This is to say,
then, that every time children saw the Atomu image, they were in fact
working to follow and produce connections, organizing their relations
to media-commodities, and thereby extending the life of the character
and its narrative.112 The diffusion of the Atomu image throughout the
child’s lived environment contributed to a transformation in the form
and temporality of consumption of the image. The work of consuming
was extended across the child’s living space and waking life, which in
turn accelerated the environmentalization of media within the lives of
these child consumers.

The transition from Fordism to post-Fordism was, therefore, in recipro-
cal presupposition with transformations in the media environment and
in the nature of commodities and their interrelations—transformations
in which the anime and Kadokawa media mixes of the 1960s and 1970s
were instrumental. It was these transformations in media-commodities
around Atomu, and later Kadokawa, that inform and indeed make
possible the particular combination of exocolonization and endocolo-
nization that distinguishes post-Fordism. Even in the years generally
considered the height of Japanese Fordism—the 1960s economic miracle
and the rise of mass consumption—the seeds for the post-Fordist me-
dia sphere and an emphasis on the serial consumption of experiential
commodities were being sown. These years also saw a transformation
in the how media operate—a transformation that becomes most clear
when we contrast the marketing media mix to the anime media mix.
Though both conceptions of the media mix emerged at the same
time, each implies a fundamentally heterogeneous conception of the
medium–message relationship.

168 · Media Mixes, Media Transformations

The principal transformations that characterize this anime media
mix can thus be summed up as follows: (1) the dissolution of the strict
division between medium and message upheld by the marketing media
mix but done away with in its anime manifestation; (2) the convergence
of commodity and advertisement or program and promotion; (3) the
serial intercommunication of media texts and things; (4) the displace-
ment of the text as unified totality by the text as a series of transmedia
fragments; (5) the expansion from media text to media environment,
entailing the wider circulation of the image; (6) the rise of the child as
an increasingly important new consumer category, one whose logic of
consumption was to lead to transformations in the entire media sphere;
and (7) the reconceptualization of consumption as a form of produc-
tive activity or work, entailing the real subsumption of life, work, and
consumption under a post-Fordist regime of image circulation and
capital accumulation.
Some of these transformations were already under way in earlier
decades, particularly in the 1920s and 1930s, and once again in the 1950s,
as we have seen in earlier chapters. Yet it was in the 1960s for anime
media and the 1970s for the film and novel that these transformations
were consolidated and a new, stable regime of media interconnection
emerged. The emergence and expansion of this media mix and the
medial transformations described in this book were in turn vital to the
constitution of a new model of capitalist accumulation and to the social
transformations that accompany it.

Media Mixes, Media Transformations · 169

This page intentionally left blank
Character, World, Consumption

In the previous chapter, I noted the profound differences that sepa-

rate the phenomenon of what is now called the media mix from its
terminological origins in marketing discourse. I also emphasized the
similarities between the de facto media mix that crystallized around
anime circa 1963 and the media mix that Kadokawa is now popularly
credited with having developed in the mid-1970s and after. Since the
Kadokawa version is indebted to the anime media network developed
in the 1960s, it is natural to suggest that we see the Kadokawa media
mix as an extension of the anime system. This connection is especially
important given that Kadokawa would later become a major anime
media mix producer.
Yet, in so emphasizing the continuity between the Atomu phenom-
enon and the Kadokawa media mix, there is also the risk of minimiz-
ing their differences. As a way of broaching the main concern of this
chapter—the character–world relationship and its growing importance
within the practice of character merchandising, the media mix, and
contemporary capitalism—it is worth considering the two principal
transformations undertaken in the 1970s that distinguish Kadokawa’s
media mix from that developed by the anime system.
The first is the expansion of the media mix logic from anime into the
spheres of literature, film, and sound track. Put differently, Kadokawa’s
adoption of what later became known as the media mix marked the
expansion of transmedia practice from a particular context (the anime
system) to the media sphere at large.1 This move inspired a plethora

· 171
of companies to adopt a media mix strategy. As Alexander Zahlten
notes in his work on Kadokawa, by the 1980s, the “list of corporations
practicing what Kadokawa had preached included TV and radio sta-
tions, publishing houses, toy companies and record companies; in fact
barely a media related corporation in Japan stayed out of feature film
production in the late 1980s.”2 Following the Kadokawa initiative in the
1970s, the media mix strategy went mainstream.
The second transformation Kadokawa effectuated was the integration
of multiple streams of the media mix into a single company, creating
a media mix conglomerate. Whereas the earlier, de facto media mix
practiced by Mushi Production and other animation studios relied
on the receipt of licensing fees for the use of their anime narratives or
characters, Kadokawa integrated most aspects of media production into
one company. If Kadokawa has grown to be one of the largest and most
representative media conglomerates in Japan,3 it is because its media
integration allows it to serialize a manga in one of its many magazines,
publish a collection of several episodes through its book publishing
arm, develop a TV series, release a video game, and shoot a live-action
film—all without leaving the fold of Kadokawa Group Holdings or the
Kadokawa brand name.
Even the rise of the production committee system (seisaku iinkai)
model of financing does not contradict the tendency toward conglom-
eration but rather adopts it. The committee system is a style of financing
that first arose in the 1980s but came to prominence in the late 1990s
and early 2000s.4 The committee system sees a number of companies
temporarily band together for the aim of producing a particular film,
animation series, or media mix, with each company contributing capital
and/or resources to the project. Hence the committee system adopts
media integration as its model, albeit on a temporary, project-specific
basis (and, for better or worse, with a distributed decision-making
system that prevents complete control from being exerted by any single
member).5 This committee-based media integration not only enables
the diffusion of a series across a variety of media types but also allows
for a synergetic cross-fertilization between texts and the integration of
advertising for one media series within another.
Kadokawa’s Suzumiya Haruhi series (2003–), discussed in chapter
4, is a prime example of this media integration. Lucky Star (Raki suta,
2004–) is another example that merits consideration. Originally a

172 · Character, World, Consumption

manga created by Yoshimizu Kagami and serialized in Kadokawa’s
gaming magazine Comptiq (Komputiiku), a monthly whose subtitle
describes it as a MediaMix Game Magazine, the TV anime version of
Lucky Star (2007) presents one of the characters reading Comptiq in
one scene, and in another scene, the same character is engrossed in the
Kadokawa novel (and contemporaneous blockbuster anime film release)
Toki o kakeru shojo (The Girl Who Leapt through Time), a loose sequel
to Tsutsui Yasutaka’s original novel of the same name, first made into
a film released by Kadokawa Haruki in 1983. The characters are not
only Kadokawa media mix products but also its greatest fans. This is
undoubtedly tongue-in-cheek, but all the same, it works to generate
the cross-media connections and intertextual advertisements that are
the bread and butter of the media mix environment.6 In this sense, the
development of convergent and synergetic relations between various
products within the particular media mix finds its logical extension in
a certain model of conglomerate media capital under which all aspects
of the production of text and media environment are operated either
by branches of the same corporation or by temporary conglomerates
formed through the committee system. Kadokawa’s two main trans-
formations of the media mix, then, were to extend its range into other,
wider media contexts and to integrate its various components into a
single media conglomerate.

The Two Kadokawa Media Mixes

By the late 1980s, there was, however, a growing split within Kadokawa
itself. The most interesting manifestation of this split was the increas-
ing rift between two styles of media mix practiced at Kadokawa, one of
which has led to a new model of the media mix exemplified by Suzumiya
Haruhi and Lucky Star. As we saw in the preceding chapter, Kadokawa
Haruki’s combination of film–book–sound track plus advertising ini-
tially took Kadokawa Books down the path of the media mix. Haruki’s
inspiration for this approach was the environmentalization of media
practice previously developed in the anime media mix—but it was also
the model of the blockbuster film and its mass penetration of markets.
As such, Haruki’s media mix involved a massive investment of capital
into both his films and their advertising in the hope that this investment
would be met with an even larger return.7 However, in the late 1970s,

Character, World, Consumption · 173

and once again in the late 1980s, this premise of the Kadokawa Haruki
media mix was proving itself unfounded; the investment in films was
growing increasingly larger and the returns ever smaller.8
Toward the late 1980s and early 1990s, the only area of Kadokawa
Books in which profits were actually growing was a smaller company
under the umbrella of Kadokawa Books known as Kadokawa Media
Office, run by Haruki’s younger brother, Kadokawa Tsuguhiko.9 At the
Media Office, Tsuguhiko was developing a different model of the media
mix that put magazines at its core. It operated on a model of market
segmentation, with particular attention paid to the exploitation of mainly
otaku (anime or manga fan) micromarkets such as role-playing games,
the emerging video and computer games markets, and other anime-
related niches. Magazines like Doragon magajin (Dragon Magazine;
focused around the explosion of computer role-playing games that
followed the success of Dragon Quest [1986–]), Nyū taipu (New Type;
an anime magazine), and Comptiq (the media mix magazine read by
Lucky Star characters that focused primarily on the video game market)
provided the basis for the creation and promotion of anime videos and
films, video games, and novelizations.10 Unlike Kadokawa Haruki’s
media mix—which only implicitly borrowed from the principles of the
anime system—this media mix explicitly positioned itself within the
lineage of anime media. This second version organized itself around
magazines; proliferated across a wide range of media forms, including
manga, video games, anime, and novels; and took avid consumers of
anime and related media, such as video games, as its prime market
segment. As Ōtsuka Eiji describes it, the Tsuguhiko strategy revolved
around a four-element system from the start, moving from manga to
video game to anime to novelization.11 This model of the media mix also
contrasted with Kadokawa Haruki’s model insofar as the projects were
smaller and based around the exploitation of existing or new micromar-
ket segments. Its targeting of anime fans echoed a strategy developed
by other smaller publishers, such as Tokuma Shoten (Tokuma Books),
and further linked its strategy to the anime media mix of the 1960s.12
The power struggle between the two Kadokawa brothers, and ulti-
mately between the two models of the media mix, reached such a point
of tension that Haruki and Tsuguhiko had a falling out in 1992. This
falling out led Tsuguhiko to leave the Kadokawa umbrella, bringing most
of his employees with him, and found a new company called Kadokawa

174 · Character, World, Consumption

Media Works. On Haruki’s arrest on charges of cocaine smuggling in
late 1993, Haruki resigned as president of Kadokawa Books, paving the
way for Tsuguhiko’s return to Kadokawa as president at the end of 1993.
Tsuguhiko’s ascension to president of Kadokawa Books also meant the
reincorporation of Kadokawa Media Works into the company and the
institution of his model of the media mix as the core strategy for the
publishing house. Tsuguhiko remains in charge of Kadokawa to this
day, as chairman of Kadokawa Group Holdings.13
The split between Haruki’s and Tsuguhiko’s models of the media
mix revolved around their scales and objects, that is, blockbusters, mass
audiences, and huge budgets for Haruki versus market segmentation,
particular audiences, and small-budget projects for Tsuguhiko. The
difference between the film, book, and sound track plus advertising
structure deployed by Haruki and the magazine, video game, and
novel structure deployed by Tsuguhiko can be understood using the
distinction between the oedipal model of 3 + 1 and the connectively
open model of 4 + n formulated by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari
in Anti-Oedipus.14 The 3 + 1 designates the oedipal triangle (mommy–
daddy–me, plus the transcendent operation of their folding-together)
and can be seen to correspond with Haruki’s film–book–sound track
media mix, in which the +1 designates the operation of advertising that
folds them together. The 4 + n designates the heightened connectivity
we find with the Tsuguhiko media mix, which lends itself to the greater
proliferation of media forms, leading the media mix both back to its
anime model and toward the greater conglomeration of capital we see
today. In this sense, the Haruki media mix was a limited model, whereas
the Tsuguhiko media mix was an open, unlimited model of media mix-
ing even more conducive to the connective operations of capital that
Deleuze and Guattari highlight in their work.
The distinction between the two media mixes also revolved around
the further development of another element of the anime media mix:
the character–world relation. Although this relation was already pres-
ent in latent forms in the Atomu media mix, its complexity was further
developed in the Media Office’s expansion of the media mix along the
character–world logic. Moreover, this character–world relation has come
to be a guiding principle not only of anime or video games based media
mixes of recent years but also of live-action film and television drama
media mix developments.15 The resurgence of film and live-action drama

Character, World, Consumption · 175

media mixes in recent years is thus indebted to this second approach to
the media mix, pioneered in the late 1980s by Tsuguhiko’s Media Office.16
This chapter takes the theoretical and practical development of the
relationship between character and world around the Kadokawa Media
Office as a starting point from which to analyze the more recent evolu-
tion of media mix practice. In so doing, we also build a more theoretical
understanding of the character—a key element of this book and of Japa-
nese visual culture since the 1960s. Finally, this chapter aims to situate
the increasing complexity of the character–world relation in the context
of contemporary capitalism’s drive to generate worlds of consumption.

Narrative Consumption and the Character–World Relation

An invaluable theoretical exposition of the Tsuguhiko media mix and
the importance of the character–world relation to it can be found in
a collection of essays written by Ōtsuka Eiji in the late 1980s, Mono-
gatari shōhiron (A Theory of Narrative Consumption).17 Ōtsuka has
since become one of the most important writers on anime and manga
subcultures in Japan, a striking and impressive figure for both his
critical work and for his work as a creator and author of manga series
and novels. He has also emerged in recent years as a leading theorist
of the light novel, a genre of novel that has become an important new
vehicle for transmedia storytelling since the late 1990s. A prolific writer,
Ōtsuka has published books ranging in subject matter from semiotic
readings of manga to discussions of media politics, from the cultural
ethnography of the young girl, or shōjo, to the analysis of otaku modes
of consumption, and from how-to guides for writing light novels to his
rereading of contemporary Japanese literature.
What makes Ōtsuka’s Monogatari shōhiron so interesting for us here
is, first, its perceptive analysis of the centrality of the character–world
relation to the consumption of anime and surrounding goods. Second,
this work has recently been resurrected by a new generation of theorists,
including the prominent Azuma Hiroki, who borrows heavily from
arguments made by Ōtsuka two decades ago, even as he argues for the
need to go beyond Ōtsuka’s arguments of the time.18 Third, and perhaps
most important, Ōtsuka was an employee of Kadokawa Media Office at
the time he wrote Monogatari shōhiron, and the book can be read as a
theoretical elaboration of the new media mix structure toward which

176 · Character, World, Consumption

Tsuguhiko and his employees at the Media Office were working.19 While
the core of Monogatari shōhiron revolves around the analysis of the
Bikkuriman Chocolates sticker-based premium campaign that was the
rage at the time among children, it was written, as Ōtsuka would later
declare, as a kind of “marketing theory for Dentsū and Kadokawa.”20
Despite the book being written in form as a kind of theory of
consumer society or children’s consumption, it was in fact a theory of
marketing or publishing that would be the basis of a media mix practice
different from that of Kadokawa Haruki. Ōtsuka’s theory of publishing
proposed to develop multiple narrative fragments on the basis of a single
worldview.21 This new model of the media mix dovetailed with that in
development by Kadokawa Tsuguhiko and would form the theoretical
basis for Ōtsuka’s practice as editor and creator of manga- and novel-
based media mixes at Kadokawa, starting with the Madara manga
(1987–97), video games, role-playing games, and novels—a media mix
that continues in some form to this day.22 To arrive at a better under-
standing of the mechanics of this different media mix, let us look at the
analysis undertaken by Ōtsuka in Monogatari shōhiron, particularly the
core essay of the book, “World and Variation: The Reproduction and
Consumption of Narrative.”23
The object of analysis in this essay is—at least ostensibly—a phe-
nomenon raging through children’s culture at the time of his writing,
one that has a familiar ring to us: the feverish consumption of stickers
included as omake premiums within packages of Bikkuriman Choco-
lates (literally, “surprise man chocolates”). Bikkuriman Chocolates were
explosively popular during the years 1987–88 and exemplify the phe-
nomenon whereby the chocolate becomes a mere medium or container
for the consumption of the stickers, which become the main product.24
There have been prior examples of a similar phenomenon, with the
Meiji–Atomu stickers and the contemporaneous Glico-Tetsujin 28-go
badges being two of the earliest cases and the 1971–74 Kamen Raidā
(Masked Rider) snacks being another.
The fundamental difference Ōtsuka notes between these earlier ex-
amples and Bikkuriman Chocolates is that whereas Atomu and Kamen
Raidā premiums were based on already existing anime and live-action
TV series, respectively, the Bikkuriman stickers were not based on any
preexisting manga narrative or television series. Rather, the narrative
of the Bikkuriman stickers was consumed sticker by sticker, with each

Character, World, Consumption · 177

one giving a small image- and text-based segment of the larger Bik-
kuriman world. The following is Ōtsuka’s five-point breakdown of the
mechanisms behind the Bikkuriman phenomenon:

1. Every sticker contained the drawing of one character. On the

reverse side of the sticker was a short bit of information called
“Rumors of the Devil World,” describing the character drawn
on the front of the sticker.
2. With one sticker alone, this information amounted to little more
than noise. But once the child had collected a number of them
and put them together, the child began vaguely to see a “small
narrative” emerging—the rivalry between characters A and B,
the betrayal of D by C, and so on.
3. This unexpected appearance of narrative functioned as a trigger
to accelerate children’s collection.
4. Moreover, with the accumulation of these small narratives, a
“grand narrative” reminiscent of a mythological epic appeared.
5. Child consumers were attracted by this grand narrative and
tried to gain further access to it through the continued purchase
of chocolates.25

The fundamental drive behind children’s consumption of the Bik-

kuriman commodity was, Ōtsuka concludes, “neither the chocolate, nor
the sticker, but rather the ‘grand narrative’ itself.”26 Children were led to
believe that through the repetition of the act of consumption, they were
growing increasingly close to the total image of the grand narrative. The
totality of the narrative world grew increasingly clear with every sticker
or “small narrative” the children consumed, an idea that has since been
taken up and modified in the work of Azuma.27
The theory of narrative consumption developed here—wherein
the consumption of small narratives promised children increasingly
greater access to the grand narrative or totality—was ostensibly based
on an analysis of the Bikkuriman phenomenon. Yet the real basis for
this theory, Ōtsuka would later remark, was not so much the chocolate
phenomenon per se but the “editorial theory” or “theory of publishing”
for manga that he had been working out in the mid-1980s in a column
for the magazine Shinbunka (New Culture).28 Ōtsuka expands the
purview of this theory of narrative consumption, suggesting that we

178 · Character, World, Consumption

find a similar logic operating within the realm of animation, where the
grand narrative is known by the term worldview (sekaikan). Ōtsuka thus
analogizes the serial consumption of stickers to the serial consumption
of fragments of the anime world, episode by episode, series by series,
using the sprawling media mix complex of Gundam (1979–) as his
example.29 The consumption of each individual product or episode
is equivalent to the consumption of a small narrative or segment, but
through the accumulated consumption of these small narratives, the
consumer gets closer and closer to the grand narrative or worldview
lurking behind these fragments.
Furthermore, on the basis of their familiarity with this grand nar-
rative, consumers can produce small narratives of their own:30 in short,
fan production, or what is known in Japan as secondary production
(niji sōsaku). This production of new narratives uses the worldview
presented through existing narrative fragments as its basis, effectively
rendering the distinction between copy and original irrelevant. The
serial fragments produced by the fan become as valid or legitimate as
the original works. Hence, according to Ōtsuka, the closer consumers
get to the grand narrative supporting a commercial narrative work, the
more empowered they become to produce offshoots or variations of
this work that will operate within a different sphere of circulation. As
an example, Ōtsuka cites the phenomenon of the Komiketto, or Comic
Market, in which fans of a particular series produce and sell their own
(generally parodic and exaggerated) versions of an existing manga or
anime series.31 The endgame of narrative consumption is ultimately the
displacement of official producers in favor of consumers-as-producers.
Ōtsuka concludes his essay with this utopian vision:

In this way, at the same time as narrative consumption motivates

the excessive consumption of the kind shown by the desperate
child consumers of Bikkuriman stickers, it also bears within it the
possibility of a new stage wherein consumers themselves begin to
create commodities and consume them on their own terms. At this
future point in time, the commodity producers [okurite; literally
“senders”] will become excluded from the system of consumption
and will no longer be able to manage the commodities they them-
selves had originally produced. For this reason, the final stage of
narrative consumption points to a state of affairs wherein making a

Character, World, Consumption · 179

commodity and consuming it merge into one. There will no longer
be manufacturers [seisansha]. There will merely be countless con-
sumers who make commodities with their own hands and consume
them with their own hands. Let us be clear here: this would mark
the closing scene of the consumer society that saw the endless play
of things as signs.32

The concern with consumers as producers, as well as the utopian note

struck by Ōtsuka about the eventual convergence of consumption and
production, should have a familiar ring to readers conversant with
reception studies, cultural studies, and fan studies in the British, Aus-
tralian, and North American academies. This area of study, which grew
in importance through the 1980s and 1990s, sees the productivity of the
viewer or fan as a mode of resistance to the dominant messages in the
original texts. Yet, though Ōtsuka’s essay certainly bears comparison
to the work on fans undertaken by scholars such as John Fiske and
Henry Jenkins, it is also worth recalling that this theory of narrative
consumption was first formulated as a theory of publishing. This is not
to say that the utopian dimensions envisioned by Ōtsuka are merely
a product of academic fashion (as Ōtsuka will later disparagingly de-
scribe aspects of his own work);33 rather, a better way to address the
utopian note struck by Ōtsuka at the end of the essay would be to ask
how this generalized diffusion of production and consumption might
affect the nature of the products produced by publishers and editors.
How might publishers and editors—like Kadokawa Media Office and
its then-employee Ōtsuka—survive and prosper in a time when the
diffusion of narrative production would threaten their monopoly on
narrative creation?
In fact, Ōtsuka’s essay also implies a strategy for maintaining a pro-
ducerly position through such an era, one that depends heavily on the
character. It is through the increasingly complex worlds, the multiple
variations and the regulatory role of the character in maintaining a de-
gree of consistency across world and variation, that the solution to the
problem of the diffusion of production and consumption is to be found.
Variation is a key term, in part for the way that it operates as a cri-
tique of Kadokawa Haruki’s media mix model. Ōtsuka, we might infer,
saw Kadokawa Haruki’s model of the media mix as a kind of repetition
across media, with the film repeating the narrative of the book and the

180 · Character, World, Consumption

sound track repeating the film minus the image track. Although film,
book, and sound track were not equivalent under Haruki’s system, there
was a greater degree of uniformity across the variations than would be
developed within the Kadokawa Tsuguhiko media mix. In part, this
came from the latter’s interest in role-playing games, which he took as a
model in developing his form of the media mix and which are premised
on the idea that each replay will be different.34
Haruki’s model presumably represented a kind of direct transposi-
tion, or what Ōtsuka termed a right-to-left transcription, between media
mix works.35 Ōtsuka was implicitly writing against this right-to-left
transcription model in the late 1980s and has explicitly criticized it in
more recent writings on the light novel (an indication that Haruki’s
production style has not disappeared and still characterizes a good deal
of contemporary media mix works).
Against the transcription model of the media mix, Ōtsuka posits one
based on the creation of multiple variations of a world. In this sense,
Ōtsuka’s own Tajū jinkaku tantei saiko (Multi-Personality Detective Psy-
cho or MPD Psycho, 1997–) series provides a prime example of a media
mix based on the principle of infinite—and schizophrenic—variation
on a single worldview. MPD Psycho offers multiple, often conflicting
narratives across multiple media forms that are nonetheless anchored
around a strong worldview and a relatively stable group of characters
(including some schizophrenic, multiple-personality characters). MPD
Psycho also provides a sense of how the narrative producers can stay in
control of their works—despite Ōtsuka’s earlier vision of overturning
the hierarchy between producers and consumers. The world of Psycho
is so fragmented and complex, so traversed by conspiracy theories of
which the reader is given but an inkling, so full of signs whose referents
remain just out of view (characters’ eyes are mysteriously branded with
barcodes, personalities and characters proliferate, incidents are alluded
to but not fully explained, historical and pseudo-historical references
abound, etc.), that the reader as consumer must continue to pursue the
next narrative fragment—whether in manga form, novel, or live-action
television drama—to get a better sense of the whole. Moreover, each
fragment warps the worldview, bringing it both closer to hand and
further out of reach at the same time. Certain rifts within the series—
like the division of the works into two separate subseries, “Real” and
“Fake”—would even seem to position Ōtsuka himself within the realm

Character, World, Consumption · 181

of secondary production, essentially rewriting his own series.36 Despite
Ōtsuka’s suggestion in his essay “World and Variation” that each work
or serial fragment adds to the worldview, what we find is a simultane-
ous fleshing out and expansion of this world such that the reader never
actually grasps the totality after all. The reader, in following the series
across media, continually learns more yet becomes less certain at the
same time. Ultimately, because each fragment or variation puts the
totality or worldview even further out of reach, Ōtsuka maintains his
position as author and Kadokawa’s position as manufacturer.
This preservation of the author function does not come entirely at
the expense of fan production. In fact, this fragmentary nature of the
narrative worlds assumes that the reader will not only avidly follow
a series of works but will also work herself to patch over gaps in the
author’s creations by undertaking the production of secondary works.
Consumption is active not as subversion but as an essentially productive
moment within post-Fordist consumer culture.37 Even preceding the
mobilization of labor in the age of digital media, Ōtsuka and Kadokawa
grasped the potential for consumers also to function as producers. In a
word, they conceived of consumers as “prosumers.” Ōtsuka notes that
secondary production during the 1980s and early 1990s was organized
around the activity of making sense of inconsistencies in the original
text itself. Grasping the importance of inconsistency for fan production,
Ōtsuka deliberately produced an inaccurate timeline at the end of his
late 1980s Madara manga series that he developed for Kadokawa. At the
time, he reasoned that “products that encourage secondary production
must not be precise but rather must be sloppy.”38 Fans would create sec-
ondary works to make sense of the inaccuracies of the timeline. In this
way, an open (and sometimes even inaccurate) narrative world would
at once guarantee that the fans continue to consume works across the
series and provide impetus for the active creation of secondary, fan-
produced works.
To sum up, Ōtsuka’s essay “World and Variation” and his narrative
and critical work are valuable for suggesting the transformations that
the new Kadokawa media mix brought about—transformations that, as
Ōtsuka emphasizes in his references to the expansive Gundam franchise,
are influenced by developments in the anime media world during the
late 1970s and early 1980s. His work is also invaluable for providing a
broader understanding of three elements key to the anime media mix:

182 · Character, World, Consumption

first, the relation between narrative fragments and the grand narrative
or worldview; second, the parallel relation between character and world;
and third, the idea that consumption is itself a form of participation in
the production of texts and in anime worlds.
This logic of media connection and consumption began to develop
in the 1950s, took concrete form with the emergence of anime in the
early 1960s, and became increasingly complex through the activities of
people like Kadokawa Haruki, Kadokawa Tsuguhiko, and Ōtsuka Eiji.
This complex system of media interrelation is, moreover, intertwined
with an emergent logic of capitalism in which increasing emphasis is
placed on the construction of worlds and their environmental diffu-
sion as the basis for the consumption of commodities.39 In the previous
chapters, we saw the proliferation and environmentalization of media
forms through the intermediary of the character. Here I will turn to the
writings of Italian theorist Maurizio Lazzarato to situate the anime media
mix’s creation of worlds within the workings of contemporary capitalism.

Capitalism and the Creation of Worlds

Maurizio Lazzarato offers a compelling account of contemporary capi-
talism that dovetails with the theoretical and practical work of Ōtsuka,
Kadokawa, and the circulation of characters and goods that animate
the anime media mix. One of Lazzarato’s most interesting arguments
is that contemporary capitalism is characterized not so much by the
creation of products but by the creation of worlds. In his 2004 book Les
Revolutions du Capitalisme (The Revolutions of Capitalism), Lazzarato
contends that the contemporary enterprise “creates not the object (the
merchandise) but the world where the object exists. It creates not the
subject (worker or consumer) but the world where the subject exists.”40
Capitalist valorization thus depends on the development of worlds.
Lazzarato continues,

In reversing the Marxist definition, we can say that capitalism is not

a mode of production but a production of modes, a production of
worlds [une production de mo(n)des]. . . . The expression and the
effectuation of worlds and of the subjectivities which are included
therein, and the creation and realization of the sensible . . . precede
economic production.41

Character, World, Consumption · 183

The relation between consumption and production must be rethought
in a world where—reprising Lazzarato’s important remark first cited
in chapter 2—“consumption consists not in buying or destroying a
service or product as political economy and its critique teaches us, but
means first and foremost belonging to a world.”42 Consumption within
contemporary capitalism—and within its paradigmatic form, the anime
media mix—offers the promise of belonging to a particular world, and
to multiple worlds.
Lazzarato builds on Gilles Deleuze’s suggestion that the era of disci-
plinary enclosures and molds has been replaced by an era of modulation
and control—what the latter terms control societies.43 Control societ-
ies see a combination of three modes of power: disciplinary power,
biopower, and a new form of power that Lazzarato calls noo-politics.
Disciplinary power works on bodies (through institutions like prisons,
schools, and factories); biopower works on life itself (through the welfare
state, population control, and disease prevention); and noo-politics has
“spiritual memory” or brains and their force of attention as its object of
power.44 Although the regimes of discipline, biopower, and noo-politics
cofunction rather than replacing one another, Lazzarato suggests that a
fundamental transformation in the nature of capitalism has occurred.
This transformation requires the elaboration of a new theoretical
paradigm emphasizing the importance of the production of novelty
and difference through the cooperation of brains. In a word, control
societies rely on the creative faculties of subjects in producing value.
Significantly, this transformation in capitalism is accompanied by
a proliferation of worlds. Disciplinary regimes, Lazzarato suggests,
functioned along the model of the Fordist–Taylorist factory. Within
these regimes, power worked to contain the potential of its subjects:
“Disciplinary societies operate like the God of Leibniz; they only let one
single world become reality. . . . They block and control becoming and
difference.”45 Under post-Fordist conditions, however, “the series consti-
tuted by the monads no longer converge towards the same disciplinary
world, but diverge here and now.”46 Ours is a world in which “all of the
possibles coexist.”47 Post-Fordist power, then, no longer works on the
disciplinary model of enclosure by which differences are filtered and
limited but rather functions as a modulation of differences. Enterprises
increasingly draw on the creative capacity of cooperative brains—both
workers and consumers—because the difference between the two, and

184 · Character, World, Consumption

the temporal sequence of production–market–consumption, no longer
structures the capitalist economy to the extent that it had previously.48
It is these cooperating brains that create and participate in the multiple
worlds through which consumption operates.
Lazzarato articulates the proliferation of worlds that characterizes
contemporary capitalism by drawing on the philosophy of monads and
worlds developed by philosopher Gottfried Leibniz. To better grasp
Lazzarato’s emphasis on the creation and proliferation of worlds, and
the invention of character worlds within the media mix, let us briefly
review Leibniz’s philosophy of monads and the place of “compossibil-
ity” within it.
Leibniz developed a philosophy of unique “simple substances,” or
what he called monads. Each monad is a unit capable of entering into
composites, and each monad has its own perspective on the world—for
which reason Leibniz’s philosophy is termed perspectivalist. Leibnitz

And as one and the same town viewed from different sides looks
altogether different, and is, as it were, perspectivally multiplied, it
similarly happens that, through the infinite multitude of simple
substances, there are, as it were, just as many universes, which
however are only the perspectives of a single one according to the
different points of view of each monad.49

The problem becomes, what ensures that each monad looks onto a
single, common world, albeit one inflected by the particular perspective
of the monad? The entity that guaranteed the noncontradictory coexis-
tence of these multiple monads within the same world—what Leibniz
termed their compossibility—was none other than God. God was the
guarantor of the convergence of multiple monadic series, the guarantor
of a world without contradiction, and the entity who maintained the
“pre-established harmony among all substances” such that they were “all
representations of the selfsame universe.”50
Key to Leibniz’s theory of compossibility—and presumably one of
the reasons for Lazzarato’s investment in it—is the close relation between
a monad and the world it inhabits. To use an example often invoked in
discussions of Leibniz, Adam the sinner must be paired with the world
in which Adam sinned. This is what Leibniz scholar Nicholas Rescher

Character, World, Consumption · 185

terms the one-substance, one-world doctrine, in which “every substance
has imprinted on its defining nature . . . an ineradicable index of its
environing world.”51 There are two consequences of this doctrine: The
first is that a monad must be paired with its world; the second is that
insofar as two individuals live within the same possible world, the
statement “Adam is a sinner” must be true for both individuals. Incom-
possibility—contradictory coexistence—would involve not merely the
difference between Adam the sinner and Adam the nonsinner, that is,
two divergent Adams, but would also involve the divergence between
an Adam who did not sin and the world in which Adam sinned or a
common world in which my Adam sinned and your Adam did not.
Deleuze summarizes this in the following way:

Compossibles can be called (1) the totality of converging and ex-

tensive series that constitute the world, (2) the totality of monads
that convey the same world (Adam the sinner, Caesar the emperor,
Christ the savior . . . ). Incompossibles can be called (1) the series
that diverge, and that from then on belong to two possible worlds,
and (2) monads of which each expresses a world different from the
other (Caesar the emperor and Adam the nonsinner).52

Compossibility, then, ensures the noncontradictory coexistence of worlds

and monads—preventing the scenario suggested in the preceding, where
in my world, Adam did not sin, yet in your world, he did.
God was the guarantor of compossibility for Leibniz and thus
was at the core of his philosophy of monad–world relations, which
depended on the compossibility and convergence of monadic series.
Yet, for Deleuze, Leibniz’s reliance on God and his subsequent depen-
dence on the compossibility of the world and the convergence of series
marked the limits of his philosophy: “Leibniz’s only error was to have
linked difference to the negative of limitation, because he maintained
the dominance of the old principle, because he linked the series to a
principle of convergence, without seeing that divergence itself was an
object of affirmation, or that the incompossibles belonged to the same
world.”53 Deleuze reads this baroque attempt to contain the multiplicity
of possible worlds through the concept of compossibility as a last attempt
to reign in the chaos of the approaching modern world, following the
toppling of classical reason.54

186 · Character, World, Consumption

Yet, unlike Deleuze, who links the coexistence of incompossibles with
the modern, Lazzarato understands the coexistence of incompossible
worlds to be specific to control societies—the contemporary form of
capitalism known as post-Fordism. For Lazzarato, within capitalism in its
post-Fordist stage, “monads no longer converge towards the same disci-
plinary world, but diverge here and now.”55 Divergence does not, however,
imply liberation from regulatory control. Though post-Fordist societies
of control are marked by divergence and difference, they also develop
mechanisms to regulate this proliferation of difference. In a key passage
from Les Revolutions du Capitalisme, Lazzarato suggests that the company
itself functions as a regulatory guarantor of compossibility: “The enter-
prise thus tries to construct a correspondence, an intertwining, a chiasm
between monads (consumer and worker) and world (the enterprise). This
is exactly the place that God occupied in the philosophy of Leibniz!”56
Here we find an explanatory model for the productive yet corpora-
tion-contained proliferation of differences and worlds under post-Ford-
ism that characterize the media mix strategies developed by Kadokawa
Media Office. Kadokawa Media Office takes the place of Leibniz’s God,
functioning as the guarantor of a certain degree of compossibility, all
the while allowing multiple incompossible narrative worlds to coexist.
If consumers want to engage in the productive creation of divergent
narratives, let them. Better yet, let us do it for them! The company,
the brand, and the character become points of connection between
incompossible worlds. The company thus constitutes the environment
in which all relationships developed are compossible at some level, even
as it allows a proliferation of differences and the active participation of
the consumer–producer in the constitution of the world in question.
Though divergences and incompossibilities may develop between one
enterprise or world and another, the multiple relationships a company
encourages all hang together in a loose form of compossibility. Effec-
tively, in today’s world, there are as many gods as companies—we live
in a pantheistic world of multiple God-Enterprises.

God-Enterprises and Character Divinities

To be more precise, it isn’t the enterprise or company so much as the
company’s brand that is the true binding agent of contemporary capi-
talism. In the transmedia worlds of anime, the function of the brand

Character, World, Consumption · 187

is more often than not assumed by the character, which guarantees a
degree of compossibility or communication between series. In the anime
media mix, the character takes the place of Leibniz’s God, maintaining
consistency and compossibility within a particular world.
As we have seen in this book, there are two essential sides to the
character, one material, the other immaterial. On one hand, the world
is consumed through the consumption of material instances of the
character—character goods or commodities, whether they appear
through episodes of a TV series or as merchandise, like a toy.57 The
material embodiment of the character is the gateway to its world, much
as Ōtsuka suggested the narrative fragment was the gateway to the nar-
rative whole. Consumers purchase character goods not only to possess
the character in its material form but also to access the world in which
the character exists. The character good functions as a monad or me-
dium through which the consumer can pass into the character’s world.
As a prototypical post-Fordist formation, the anime system creates not
only the character good but the world in which the character exists.
Contemporary character consumption is thus dependent on the rela-
tion between a character good and the world where the character exists.
On the other hand, it is the immaterial entity of the character as
an abstract, circulating element that maintains the consistency of the
various worlds or narratives and holds them together. This is increas-
ingly important in explicitly divergent narrative series such as those
developed in the wake of the Kadokawa Tsuguhiko media mix. Ōtsuka’s
emphasis on variation is one means of creating divergent series within a
particular narrative world, a world that is constantly shifting but hangs
together by the thread of the character.
Historically speaking, there is an increasing emphasis on divergent
series in Japanese media productions since the late 1980s—a trend that
was developed in part by Kadokawa Tsuguhiko and his employees (like
Ōtsuka Eiji) and that has since been deployed by Hollywood directors
and producers such as the Wachowskis for their Matrix trilogy.58 Yet in
acknowledging this historical turn to divergence, we must also recognize
that the potential for divergent series is inherently tied to the develop-
ment of transmedia seriality. Transmedia works quite naturally prompt
a divergence of narrative worlds. The shift since the late 1980s toward
explicitly divergent series merely finds narrative producers harnessing
the inherent potential of transmedia movement and taking it to its logical

188 · Character, World, Consumption

conclusion. For a prescient example of this logic, we will return to a text
that was the focus of the first section of this book: Tetsuwan Atomu.
The potential for incompossiblity—experienced as visual or nar-
rative inconsistency or contradiction—arises whenever a narrative or
character series expands from one medium to another. In the case of
Atomu, we have emphasized the importance of stillness and the character
as a means of maintaining consistency and compossibility across series
(manga, anime, sticker, and toy). Yet despite this visual consistency,
close followers of the comic and animated series no doubt felt a certain
disjuncture between them: different adventures were experienced at
different times, in different media. Presumably, these differences could
initially be reconciled by considering them as different accounts or epi-
sodes of Atomu’s adventures or as the repetition of the manga versions
in anime (or vice versa). However, the divergence of series in the case
of Tetsuwan Atomu became truly unmistakable in January 1966, when
the anime series was brought to an end, and Atomu with it.
Atomu was destroyed in the 193rd episode of the anime, broadcast
on December 31, 1966. In this episode, Atomu rides a rocket into the
sun to save Earth from deadly sun flares, which were threatening the
entire planet with destruction. In the serialized manga, however, a
very different series of events was taking place: Atomu was busy saving
humans and robots alike from a robot in search of his missing head
(“Robot without a Face”). Atomu died in the anime, but he lived on in
his Shōnen serialization.
This bifurcation in fact presented an interesting opportunity for
Tezuka. On one hand, he continued to serialize the Atomu manga until
the end of Shōnen magazine itself, in 1968. On the other hand, Tezuka
began serializing another set of Atomu stories in 1967 (continuing until
1969) in the Sankei Shinbun, one of the five main newspapers of Japan.
This new set of stories was serialized under the title Atomu konjyaku
monogatari (Atomu: Tales of Times Now Past) and began from the point
at which the television series ended. In this series, the Atomu who died
from his fatal encounter with the sun is resurrected by aliens and then
proceeds to travel through time.
Thus, from 1967 through 1968, there were two concurrent Atomu
manga serializations: one involved a world in which Atomu had died
saving Earth from sun flares and was then resurrected by aliens; the other
involved a world in which Atomu continued on his weekly adventures,

Character, World, Consumption · 189

never having sacrificed himself by flying into the sun. The two manga
series had reached a point of divergence and incompossiblity, even as
they were held together by the character of Atomu. This divergence
was a prototype for the later forms of incompossibility found in the
complex media mixes developed by Kadokawa Media Office and other
enterprises such as Tokuma. Though Kadokawa and its competitors have
developed the possibilities of media divergence in far more explicit ways
since the late 1980s, the Atomu example points to the inherent potential
for transmedia development to generate diverging series. In this sense,
even the most tame mass cultural work seems to be imbued with the
potential for divergent series and incompossible worlds.59 Kadokawa
and others did not invent media divergence, though they did harness
and cultivate it into a powerful media strategy.
The Atomu example also points to the fact that this plurality of
worlds has its own regulatory mechanism: the character. The character
in the media mix is an entity that both permits a series to diverge (al-
lowing transmedia development) and holds things together (allowing
these divergent series to be read, despite their incongruities, as existing
within a larger, yet unitary world). As Azuma Hiroki puts it, the character
functions as a “meta-narrative nodal point” that allows multiple narra-
tive or nonnarrative series to intersect around it: “because the character
is given as a meta-narrative nodal point, it cannot but open up almost
semi-automatically to the imagination of any other narrative.”60 The
character thus both produces divergent series and holds these divergent
series together, forcing their convergence at the level of economics
or desire.

Legally Unbound
Let us linger on this peculiar entity of the character, reprising a ques-
tion first asked in chapter 2: What is a character? We need to develop
a character theory much as there has been a recent move to develop a
brand theory.61 There are without doubt many overlaps between brands
and characters. Much like the character, the brand is one of the principal
relational technologies of post-Fordism. As Adam Arvidsson suggests,
“brands should be understood as an institutional embodiment of the
logic of a new form of informational capital—much like the factory
embodied the logic of industrial capital.”62 The brand is a “relational

190 · Character, World, Consumption

nexus”63 that links a variety of objects and services. “Brands,” Arvidsson
continues, “do not only consist in relations between things, but in
relations between things, people, images, texts and physical and infor-
mational environments. This way brands embody the cross-mediality
that marks informational capital in general.”64
Much of what Arvidsson writes about brands also applies to charac-
ters. Nonetheless, there are at least three major differences that set the
two entities apart. First, brands work through marks or logos, such as the
Nike swoosh or the Starbucks circle, whereas characters are face–body
ensembles: robots, animals, humans, and human–animal hybrids. The
most popular characters of postwar Japan—such as Atomu, Doraemon,
Hello Kitty, and Pikachu—possess large, expressive, yet vaguely blank
eyes; colorful bodies often composed through the use of coinciding
circles; and a hybrid child–animal appearance.65 Second, the character
can be flush with the product in ways that the brand cannot. The brand
must work through the logic of association—the sweater with the
Nike logo on it is a Nike product.66 The character at times also works
through this logic of association—shoes are Atomu products insofar as
they have the image of the character printed on them—however, unlike
the brand, the character can also generate products that are flush with
the character itself: Atomu robots, inflatable dolls, or stickers being
prime examples. The third and perhaps most fundamental difference
between the brand and the character is that the latter is eminently open
to narrative; it is bound up with the creation of narrative worlds.67 The
brand indeed has a world of sorts—a field of associations, a place of
experience, and a feeling associated with it, all of which belong to what
Lazzarato, Lury, and others have referred to as a company’s world. Yet the
character is open to narrative—and narrative worlds—in a basic sense
that the brand is not. The character, to borrow psychoanalytic critic
Saitō Tamaki’s description of the bishōjo or “beautiful girl” character,
“functions as a nucleus that endlessly allows narratives to emerge.”68
Brands, conversely, are resistant to narrativization.69 To offer a useful
generalization, we might say that brand worlds are lifestyles, whereas
character worlds are narrative worlds.
Therefore a distinct character theory is required to complement
brand theory. Certainly there is no dearth of writing on the character.
Azuma Hiroki, Saitō Tamaki, Itō Gō, Ōtsuka, Anne Allison, and Thomas
Lamarre, among others, have offered important considerations of this

Character, World, Consumption · 191

entity. Yet while building on this important work on the character, I will
also take a slightly different approach to the development of character
theory—principally through an examination of its legal status. Legal
theory is one place to look for the rudiments of such a character theory
insofar as it hints, through its very gaps, at what makes the character
so difficult to pin down.
For legal theorists and practitioners, the basic problem is to find
ways to protect the intellectual property that the character embodies.70
The term most connected with the legal protection of the character is
shōhinkaken, a term that was first coined in 1965 as a translation of the
English term “merchandising rights.”71 Used in relation to Japanese anime
by the TV network TBS in the same year, the term merchandising rights
(shōhinkaken) replaced the term that was formerly in use: chosakuken
(author’s copyright). Yet despite the long history of the term merchandis-
ing rights, there exists no Japanese or international law dedicated to the
maintenance and protection of the character image or its merchandising
rights.72 The legal defense of the rights of use of the character image
must be made through a hodgepodge appeal to multiple categories of
law, with the two principal ones being copyright law and design law.
Copyright law—author’s copyright, in particular—prevents the
unauthorized use of a copyrighted image. The basis for this protec-
tion is the distinction between original and copy and the reliance on
the former to determine the status of the latter. For a character to be
protected under this law, an original drawing of the character must be
registered—other drawings or versions would be considered copies. An
obvious objection to the logic of this law for defending characters would
be that this original–copy model is best suited for book manuscripts
or paintings whose subsequent copies generally have a more clear-cut
relation to the original. Characters, on the other hand, generally have
no definitive original instances but rather are produced in a succession
of innumerable versionings, even across a single manga episode. It is
in this sense that Azuma is correct to call characters “simulacra.” A
second objection is that character designs tend to change over a period
of time—witness the difference between the 1951 Atomu and the Atomu
of 1963, or 2003, or the equally dramatic transformations of Mickey
Mouse over the years. A third objection involves the question of how
to account for the transformation of the original character drawing to
three-dimensional objects. Can a figurine really be considered a copy

192 · Character, World, Consumption

of a drawing? Interestingly, copyright law does include a provision for
“metamorphosis rights.” While not a copy per se, a figurine produced
on the basis of a manga image can be argued to be a transformation of a
two-dimensional picture into a three-dimensional object and therefore
fall under the provisions of copyright. However, as legal scholar Ushiki
Ri’ichi notes, this interpretation of copyright law is fairly recent, and there
are limitations to how widely metamorphosis rights can be applied.73
The second major way of legally limiting the use of the character
is through appeal to design law (ishōhō), a means that is particularly
suitable for protecting three-dimensional character goods. Whereas
copyright law judges a copy based on its relation to an original drawing,
design law only protects products based on a particular design that is
registered at the time of manufacture. In registering a design, one reg-
isters the blueprints for a specific product, pictured from all six angles.
Thus, unlike copyright law, which has a degree of breadth allowing its
application to any object that bears a likeness to an original drawing,
design law only protects those manifestations of a particular design
object (e.g., a particular size, shape, and color of a particular doll). The
design, moreover, does not exist separately from the product.74 The
parameters of what can be protected under design registration are thus
far more limited than what can be protected under copyright. In brief,
as Ushiki sums it up, design law is product-centric. Author’s copyright,
conversely, is character-centric (and indeed drawing-centric as well),
focused on the original character image and name.75
What is most interesting here is the way Ushiki struggles to pro-
duce a group of laws that can apply to—yet ultimately somehow fail
to fully grasp—the entity of the character.76 Indeed, it is difficult not
to sympathize with Ushiki as he pleads in his conclusion for an as yet
unrealized “merchandising rights law” that would protect charac-
ter commerce without having to jump through the legal hoops and
creative interpretations of existing laws. For ultimately, Ushiki notes
with a melancholic air, these laws “fail to cover the appearance of new
merchandised [character] goods.”77 The character is not the original
drawing or the original work of copyright law, nor is it the physical
reproduction of a set material design, as is the case for design law; it
can neither be defined as the linear, serial copies of a single, original
artistic instance or work nor reduced to the reproduction of a purely
material form or design.

Character, World, Consumption · 193

In fact, what the legal discourse demonstrates so clearly is that the
character is a material–immaterial composite that slips through legal
and conceptual cracks. It is that which is found in material incarna-
tions and also that which travels across these material objects. Hence
we should think of the character as something defined not only by its
visual characteristics and name but also by its im/material attributes: a
concrete thing and an abstract something that travels between things,
holding converging and diverging series together. The character cannot
be reduced to any one of its incarnations but must be defined both by
its material incarnations and by the ways that it exceeds them. It is this
very excess that allows different media and different material instances
to communicate, even as it is the material differences that shape this
communication. In this vein, Kōno Akira gives a simple yet suggestive
definition of the character: “At present what is generally called a char-
acter is a point of contact that connects a product and a consumer, and
that can acquire ever more consumers the more popular it is.”78 This
statement can be understood in two senses, both of which will allow
us to review some of the key points made about character merchandis-
ing and the anime media mix in this book and expand our theoretical
understanding of the character.

Post-Fordism’s Virtual Character

First, we can understand the character as a kind of im/material entity,
a composite of actual and virtual: the character allows for the com-
munication of media, object, and consumer series. It is an abstract
technology of relation, a connector that is both actual or embodied
and virtual or abstract.79 Deleuze, in Difference and Repetition, defines
the virtual as follows:

The virtual is opposed not to the real but to the actual. The virtual
is fully real in so far as it is virtual. Exactly what Proust said of
states of resonance must be said of the virtual: “Real without being
actual, ideal without being abstract”; and symbolic without being
fictional. Indeed, the virtual must be defined as strictly a part of the
real object—as though the object had one part of itself in the virtual
into which it plunged as though into an objective dimension.80

194 · Character, World, Consumption

The split nature of the object—both actual and virtual—maps well onto
our understanding of the character as im/material entity. The character
is both a thing—a toy, a sticker, a pair of shoes—and a virtual point of
contact between product and product, product and consumer, consumer
and consumer.
The double nature of the character allows it to function as the glue
between divergent series: it is both a series of material embodiments and
the immaterial entity that traverses these and binds them. The character
exists in each material series but is not fully part of any of them; it is and
is not in its place.81 It is this excess that allows the transfer of attributes
from one series to another; what, in our discussion of synergy in chapter
2, we theorized as the presence of the synergetic whole in each of the
parts. Synergy, as we saw, is not only the whole being greater than the
sum of its parts but also the presence of the whole within each of the
parts. Each individual series accrues the synergetic qualities and mate-
rial specificities of the other series through the work of the character.
The character not only connects series; it also allows for the transfer of
qualities from one series into another.
Hence the character is both lodged within a particular material
incarnation and constantly in excess of it. This is what Miyamoto
Hirohito refers to as “the independence or quasi-actuality of the char-
acter” and Itō Gō terms the “autonomy” of character.82 It is in part this
quasi-actuality or virtual in-betweenness that allows different media and
different material instances to communicate. The virtual quality of the
character enables its multiple material and transmedial embodiments.
It prevents the character from ever being confined to a single one of its
manifestations, and it keeps the character ever open to new and sub-
sequent transformations, leading to the formation of character-based
media environments. The only unity of the character is thus what Gilbert
Simondon would call a “transductive” one—a unity only conceivable
across the character’s various transformations.83
Pointing to the virtual dimension of the character does not mean
the character as abstract entity is without determinations of its own.84
It is precisely the virtual dimension of the character that enables it to
hold divergent series together—a binding effect that ultimately enables
the proliferation of media-commodities in contemporary capitalism. As
such, it is one element of the modulation of differences that Lazzarato

Character, World, Consumption · 195

suggests marks the operation of power within control societies. The
character as virtual object makes certain forms of connections possible
but makes them possible on the condition of a minimal form of recog-
nition across series. The actualization of the virtual character always
imposes a kind of screen or abstract image on the objects and series it
creates such that each character incarnation resembles another.85 In this
sense, the virtual is autonomous from the material dimensions of the
images or media-commodities and yet allows these media-commodities
to communicate on the condition of a minimal degree of confluence.
This makes the character both the enabler of difference as the divergence
of series and also the facilitator of a kind of convergence in character
design (resemblance of the character across incarnations), political
economy (around the marketplace), and desire (around the character-
image and its media mix).
The convergence between character, political economy, and desire
brings us back to Kōno’s definition of the character as “a point of contact
that connects a product and a consumer, and that can acquire ever more
consumers the more popular it is.”86 A second interpretation of this
definition is that the character is an entity that ensures the safe passage
between production and consumption. In this political economic sense,
the character is a technology that regulates the rhythms of consump-
tion and production, ensuring the continued accumulation of capital.
To borrow Lury’s description of the brand, the character is “a mecha-
nism—or a medium—for the co-construction of supply and demand.”87
Yet this interpretation needs to be complicated (as, indeed, Lury does
in her analysis of the brand) because we cannot limit the character to
the role of advertising or a mere intermediary between production and
consumption, which remain discrete spheres. If anything, the character
is part of a shift toward the ubiquity of advertising in all spheres—hence
the character is present in the fields of production and consumption as
much as between them.88
This returns us to a point we made regarding the concept of the
“ideal commodity” and the work of the French Regulation School. As
we saw in chapter 4, the Regulation School’s concept of a regime of
accumulation emphasizes the importance of grasping the particular
balance struck between production and consumption. In this emphasis
on consumption within a particular regime of accumulation—such

196 · Character, World, Consumption

as Fordism or, in more recent analyses, post-Fordism—writers such
as Michel Aglietta and Alain Lipietz cite the importance of “norms,
habits, laws, regulating networks and so on that ensure the unity of the
process” of continual and orderly accumulation.89 As one account of
the paradigm puts it, “market society’s success therefore depends on its
ability to find a ‘regime of accumulation’—a set of economic, political,
social, and cultural arrangements that walks the tightrope between these
contradictory requirements, holding production and consumption in
equilibrium.”90 Marketing has been one of the principal regulating net-
works that ensure this equilibrium of production and consumption. As
we saw in chapter 4, marketing is a technology that works to guarantee
the equilibrium of production and consumption in the construction of
a society of mass consumption.91
When capitalism underwent a general crisis in the 1970s—in Ja-
pan and elsewhere—the prior transformations coincident with the
emergence of the media mix came to the fore as antidotes to this crisis
in accumulation. Kadokawa and the companies that followed its lead
took up and developed the character-based anime media mix as a new
means of regulating the relation between production and consumption,
even as the emphasis on consumption itself shifted from consumer du-
rables to experiential media-commodities. Yet characters (a generative
media-commodity) not only function as new marketing technologies;
they also inject the act of promotion into all aspects of the production–
consumption cycle. The novelty of the character lies in its indeterminate
nature: it is product and advertisement, production and consumption.
The distinction between the production of the commodity, the promo-
tion of consumption, and consumption of the object collapses into one
character-fueled process.
During the Fordist era, the dominant mode of advertising emphasized
the kinds of lifestyle norms and ideals that provided the viewing subject
the impetus to consume the object in question. With the character,
however, each iteration constitutes a promotion for another character
form (the Atomu television show for the chocolates, the chocolates
for the Atomu shoes, etc.). Merely watching the television show itself
becomes a form of consumption and, in turn, a form of productive
activity or labor for a mode of capital increasingly dependent on the
activity of looking as the basis for accumulation. Attention becomes the

Character, World, Consumption · 197

new measure of value, as theorists have recently suggested.92 For this
reason, we cannot locate the “ideal commodity” of post-Fordism in a
single object or object type.
This transformation required that we reconceptualize the thesis of
the ideal commodity, which suggests a transformation in the nature of
products themselves from the Fordist to the post-Fordist eras. Sum-
marizing the work of Martyn Lee in their critical study of video games,
Stephen Kline, Nick Dyer-Witherford, and Greig de Peuter write that
“for each phase in the development of capitalism it is possible to identify
an ‘ideal-type commodity form’—one that embodies its most powerful
economic, social, and cultural tendencies.”93 Yet, as the Japanese media
mix makes clear, this shift from Fordism to post-Fordism does not just
entail a replacement of one ideal commodity with another; it features
the rise of relationality as the principle of all commodities.
The character is a key element in this shift. Both material object
and immaterial entity, and always presupposing a family of media-
commodities and their communication, the character is a paradigmatic
object and mechanism of post-Fordist consumption. The anime media
mix presupposes the shift from a regime based around a core commodity
advertised through marketing to a regime based around the im/material
media-commodity, both object of consumption and advertisement in
itself—an entity whose function is to create relations between multiple
media and commodity types, drawing them together and generating
new media worlds.

From Character to World

This importance of relationality as a principle of post-Fordist media
consumption returns us to the question of the narrative world in the
anime media mix and, once again, to the work of Ōtsuka Eiji. Ōtsuka
recalls first hearing the term sekaikan (worldview) used the context of the
anime–manga industries during the mid-1980s.94 Having been trained
in ethnography, the term had a familiar ring to Ōtsuka. A technical term
from the field of ethnography, worldview refers to a particular tribe’s or
people’s “way of ‘view’-ing the ‘world.’”95 “With anime, manga, character
novels and so on, this [definition] does not change. The only difference
is that the ‘world’ in question is not the ‘world’ of XX-tribe from New

198 · Character, World, Consumption

Guinea, but the ‘world’ within the narrative.”96 The specificity of the term
in the anime context is that the “reader must ‘view’ the ‘world’ through
the eyes of the character.”97 Here Ōtsuka emphasizes—in a manner that
might be called Leibnizian—the importance of the relation between the
character and the world and the function of the character as a form of
passage to the world. The world is not only an abstract setting but a way
of seeing, a particular (perspectival, in Leibniz’s terms) relation between
the character and the narrative space. Much as a character-monad is
a point of view onto a particular world, the narrative world is indisso-
ciable from the position occupied by the character. As Ōtsuka explains
in his guide to writing light novels, or what he calls “character novels,”

to make readers feel that an imaginary “world” is real, it is indispens-

able to have a character whose way of seeing things and acting is
deeply entrenched within this world. Conversely, to express a charac-
ter in a realistic manner the author must express not the character’s
relation to the author’s real world, but rather the character’s relation
to its imaginary world. People who say that they can’t create a good
worldview, or they can’t create a good character have forgotten this
type of relationship between the world and the character.98

The expressive relationship between the world and the character is

indispensable for the creation of anime-styled light novels—a genre of
novel whose characters are not real persons, Ōtsuka emphasizes, but
anime characters.
The relation between character and world suggested by Ōtsuka
also provides a key to understanding the type of consumption that has
grown out of the anime system, from Tetsuwan Atomu in the 1960s to
Suzumiya Haruhi and Lucky Star in the new millennium. Just as a world
must be seen through the eyes of the character, this world is also con-
sumed through the consumption of the character. Consumers purchase
character goods not only to possess the character in a particular material
incarnation but also to better access the world in which the character
exists. The character good provides a site of differential access to the
character world, as I have suggested in chapter 3, and each character
commodity functions as a medium through which the consumer can
pass into the character’s world. The proliferation of stickers in the case

Character, World, Consumption · 199

of Atomu and the transmedia consumption of diverging series in the
case of the Tsuguhiko-style media mix are both motivated by a desire
not for the character or narrative alone but for the prosumer’s partici-
pation in the character’s world. Thus, in a variation on Lazzarato’s apt
recognition that the contemporary enterprise “creates not the object
(the merchandise) but the world where the object exists,” we might say
that the anime media mix creates not only the character merchandise
as material object but also the world to which the character belongs. As
Ōtsuka emphasizes in his interpretation of the Bikkuriman phenomenon,
the access the character good provides to its world is one of the main
factors driving consumption. Indeed, the importance of developing
this character–world relation has become the common sense among
contemporary culture industry creators.99
Consumption within the anime system is thus based not only on the
mere possession of the character as good but on the relay the character
good provides to its narrative world. The character good is the medium
of participation in the character’s world, offering a kind of view onto
the world to which it belongs. Thus the consumption of a character
world is not based solely on a drive to accumulate knowledge about the
particular character world.100 It is also based on the increased possibility
of participation in the world in question. Yet this very participation in
the fictional world of the anime or novel is predicated on entering the
world through the character incarnation.101 Each character good within
a particular series offers a differential access to the world in question.
The abstract entity of the character in its transductive, transmedial,
and transmaterial unity ties together these goods and these divergent
views and allows the world to hang together despite the divergences
that may—and in the more recent media mixes, do—develop. As a final
modification of Lazzarato’s discussion of the contemporary enterprise,
we should say that the anime media mix simultaneously creates (1) the
character merchandise as material object, (2) the world to which the
character merchandise belongs, and (3) the character as immaterial
connective agent guaranteeing the consistency of this ever-expanding
world. Insofar as the narrative or product series continues, this world
can never be apprehended in toto but only approached through the
continuous, participatory consumption of the character and its world.

200 · Character, World, Consumption

The system of character world consumption described in this chapter
appeared in an early form with Tetsuwan Atomu and the emergent anime
media mix of the early 1960s. At the time, the stillness of the character
image was the principal way of linking its various incarnations and
assuring its consumers of its fidelity and consistency (despite its het-
erogeneous material forms). This stillness drew on earlier media forms
like kamishibai and manga, anchoring the anime aesthetic in existing
media practices, assuming a familiarity with dynamic immobility, and
providing aesthetic inspiration for producers. It also expanded outward
to other commodities, transforming as it jumped across mediums from
anime to stickers, chocolates, and toys. This marked the rise of both the
media mix as a system of communication between media forms and the
centrality of the character within postwar Japanese visual culture. Indeed,
the consistency of the character image—anchored around the particular
movement-stillness aesthetic of anime and its associate forms—con-
tinues to be one of the defining features of the media mix to this day.
Yet, as we have seen over the course of this book, there have also
been important transformations in the media mix over time. The first
of these was the development of film-based media mixes in the 1970s by
then president of Kadokawa Books Kadokawa Haruki. The importance
of Kadokawa Haruki’s work lay not only in his adoption of a media mix
model but in his expansion of the media mix to other domains such
as novels, music, films, and later television, as other companies rushed
to jump on the media mix bandwagon. Further changes to this media
mix model were developed in the 1980s and 1990s by the younger
Kadokawa Tsuguhiko and employees like Ōtsuka Eiji and by rival
publishing houses such as Tokuma Books returning to anime as the
core medium of the media mix, emphasizing the divergence of series
and relying on the character–world relationship as a key element of
consumption. Ironically, this very same Kadokawa has more recently
returned to the production of live-action films, bringing the media mix
full circle, albeit with a significant difference. The post-2001 flood of
live-action films and television dramas based on manga series signals
a return to the use of manga—this time not only for anime but also for
large-budget adult fare.102

Character, World, Consumption · 201

The media mix has indeed developed and expanded considerably
since the initial pattern established by Tetsuwan Atomu. And yet the
character-based media mix that developed around Atomu is evident
in the present return to manga as the basis for films and in the use of
light novels and video games as the basis of anime. Media mix practice
anticipated the current theoretical and practical interest in media synergy
and convergence. It has also provided the foundation for the increas-
ingly dominant term content industry (kontentsu sangyō)—a term that
gathers together the various “culture industries” of the media mix into
a governable (and governmentally supported) combine. Indeed, the
postwar history of Japanese mass cultures and subcultures is unthinkable
without an understanding of the media mix and the character–world
relation on which it depends.
Once again, this is not to say that there have not been significant
developments in the media mix since Atomu—or challenges to the hege-
mony of media mix practice. Certain series have conducted experiments
within the system of character merchandising such as the innovative
and divergent series created in Suzumiya Haruhi. Other works have
employed an extreme hybridity of image style and medium, blending
photographic, photorealistic, and animetic styles and challenging the
centrality of the character so key to the media mix as described here.
Works like Maeda Mahiro’s Gankutsuō (The Count of Monte Cristo;
2004–5); Yuasa Masa’aki’s Mind Game (2004), Kemonozume (2006),
and Yojōhan shinwa taikei (Tatami Galaxy; 2010); and Oshii Mamoru’s
“superlivemation” mockumentary Tachiguishi retsuden (The Amaz-
ing Lives of the Fast Food Grifters; 2006) push the graphic limits and
challenge the character-centrism of the anime media mix. Conversely,
with the rise of art toys and the revaluation of figurines as possessing
artistic merit, toys themselves are developing into key sites of challenge
to the media mix model, reclaiming the focus on material specificity
and graphical experimentation that some writers thought were lost with
the rise of the character toy.103 Challenges and transformations to the
anime media mix system are certainly afoot.
Yet the appearance of the Tetsuwan Atomu television series and the
emergence of the media mix in 1963 have been neither superseded nor
rendered irrelevant. The history and theory of the anime media mix
that we examined in this book are as relevant as ever, particularly as the

202 · Character, World, Consumption

practice of the media mix or media convergence has become increasingly
widespread—geographically in global media cultures and experientially
as a key component of many people’s everyday lives. As such, the event of
Tetsuwan Atomu is a constitutive moment for understanding the media
mix present—and a key site from which to interrogate transformations
in both the Japanese and global media spheres and their intimate relation
to globally and locally felt changes in capitalism over the last fifty years.

Character, World, Consumption · 203

This page intentionally left blank

Much of the initial form of this book was written at Brown University,
where I can safely say that I had an extraordinary graduate experience. I
thank my advisors, Mary Ann Doane and Philip Rosen, for their warm
welcome and firm intellectual guidance as well as the other faculty of
Modern Culture and Media, including Rey Chow, Wendy Chun, and
Lynne Joyrich, for an education parallel to none. My colleagues and
friends were equally inspiring, and I would also like to thank them for
their intellectual stimulation, moral support, and humor. Michael Siegel,
Braxton Soderman, Roxanne Carter, David Bering-Porter, Julie Levin
Russo, Tess Takahashi, Pooja Rangan, and Josh Guilford are all irreplace-
able, as are Daniel Ho and Lee Wen Soo and also Franz D. Hofer, to whom
I owe gratitude for his constant patronage. Jason Beveridge and Jacob
Weiss reminded me of a world of thought and levity outside of academia.
Many thanks go to Ueno Toshiya for offering me an institutional
home at Wakō University during my stay in Japan and for keeping me
thinking. I would also like to express my gratitude to institutions that
permitted the research on which this book is based: Dentsū’s Adver-
tising Museum Tokyo Library, the Japan Toy Culture Foundation, the
NHK Museum of Broadcasting Library, and the National Diet Library.
Thanks also go to Tezuka Production for kindly granting the rights to
use particular images. I also acknowledge the generous support of the
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and of
the Fonds de recherche sur la société et la culture, which allowed me to
conduct my initial research, undertake further research as a postdoctoral
fellow, and build this book into its final form.

· 205
My colleagues at Concordia University have made my academic home
an exciting place to be, and I want to thank Haidee Wasson and Charles
Ackland, in particular, for their support of this project, their guidance,
and their feedback on my work. Many thanks also go to Erin Manning,
Brian Massumi, Livia Monnet, Catherine Russell, Martin Lefebvre,
Rosanna Maule, Peter Rist, Shira Avni, Alanna Thain, Will Straw, Erik
Bordeleau, Victor Fan, Masha Salazkina, and Luca Caminati for their
collegiality and friendship and for making Montreal’s intellectual milieu
a highly invigorating one. Equally deserving of thanks are Tom Looser,
Anne McKnight, Christophe Thouny, Shinji Ôyama, and Akira Mizuta
Lippit, who have provided guidance and encouragement along the way.
A delayed encounter with Alexander Zahlten during the late phase
of editing this book proved fortuitous. Alex’s generosity and fine-tuned
comments were of immense help in the last edit of this manuscript. The
keen eyes of my research assistant and editor Alexander Sandy Carson
deserve mention here as well.
While not habitually done, I would also like to acknowledge the work
of several individuals whom I have never met and yet whose research
on children’s material culture of the 1950s and 1960s was incredibly use-
ful in providing me with a picture of that era and its material objects.
Whether driven by nostalgia, fascination, or interest, the decidedly
para-academic yet rigorous work of Tsunashima Ritomo, Kushima
Tsutomu, and Machida Shinobu was fundamental to the earlier sec-
tion of this book.
My sincere thanks go to Jason Weidemann, my editor at University
of Minnesota Press, for his strong support of this book from the outset
and throughout the publication process. It has been a pleasure working
with him as well as with Danielle Kasprzak at the press. I also wish to
thank my readers, who provided the feedback, criticism, and encour-
agement needed to see this book to completion.
A million heartfelt thanks—though never enough—to my wonderful
parents, who valued education, encouraged me to read voraciously, and
set me on the course of study that resulted in this book. With them I
also thank my loving grandparents, my amazing mother-in-law, and my
always-supportive sister. An equally formative influence on my intel-
lectual development and on the publication of this book was Thomas
Lamarre. It is rare to find a person so generous and so stimulating all
at once. A true mentor, Tom has remained a steady and encouraging

206 · Acknowledgments
presence throughout my academic life, and I offer him my deepest thanks.
Finally, I would like to thank my partner and intellectual ally, Yuriko
Furuhata. Her support and enthusiasm, along with her pointed criticism,
have pushed me forward. Her companionship and her joie de vivre have
always reminded me of life away from the media mix.

Acknowledgments · 207
This page intentionally left blank


1 Jenkins, Convergence Culture, 14, aptly critiques this presupposition

that all media would merge into a single form as the black box fallacy.
2 Angela Ndalianis uses the term cross-media seriality in Neo-Baroque
Aesthetics; Barbara Klinger offers an account of the industry term
repurposing in Beyond the Multiplex, 7–8.
3 Jenkins, Convergence Culture, 2.
4 For an example of the close tie between technological visions of con-
vergence and the rise of digital media, see the editorial of the first issue
of the journal Convergence: The International Journal of Research into
New Media Technologies, which describes the publication as “a journal
of research into new media technologies,” situating digital media as the
principal site of investigation from which social and cultural issues might
be explored; Knight and Weedon, Editorial, 6. Jenkins, Convergence
Culture, offers a more nuanced model of convergence that, rather than
privileging digital media, assumes the complex interaction or “colli-
sion” between old and new media, as the subtitle of his book implies.
Nonetheless, there is still a strong tendency to assume that media only
converge—or collide—when some are new and others are old.
5 See Allison, Millennial Monsters; Ito, “Technologies of the Childhood
Imagination”; and Lamarre, Anime Machine. Shiraishi, “Japan’s Soft
Power,” offers an early and important account of Japanese media con-
vergence—terming it an image alliance.
6 I use the term things to refer to the material objects and consumer

·    209
products that surround the image culture and are an essential part of
the anime system. This is of necessity a rough designation insofar as
images also have a materiality of their own and a thingly infrastructure
on which they depend. Moreover, the emergence of what I call media-
commodities alongside the anime system blurs the media–things
boundary even further. Still, the usefulness of the term thing comes in
its emphasis on the material property of the objects mobilized within
the anime system—against the emphasis on the purely sign-value of
objects within Jean Baudrillard’s System of Objects or commodities
in the classical Marxist sense. It also allows me to link my discussion
of anime to the transformations that Lash and Lury, Global Culture
Industries, 25, have usefully termed the “mediation of things and the
thingification of media.” Finally, the emphasis on the material things of
visual culture reflects recent calls to think about and through things by
writers such as Brown, “Thing Theory,” and Latour, “From Realpolitik
to Dingpolitik”—calls that this book heeds.
7 Given that this book focuses on the Japanese context, I will refer to the
series by its Japanese title, Tetsuwan Atomu.
8 This understanding is an established one among scholars of anime,
manga, and character merchandising in Japan. See, e.g., Kusakawa,
Terebi anime 20 nen shi, 30–32, and Nakano, Manga sangyōron, 72–81.
9 The term system here should not indicate a closed or static set but
rather an acknowledgment that anime cannot be understood apart
from its surrounding media and commodity forms, which together
constitute a particular media ecology. It is this open, often expanding,
yet relatively stable group of media and things that I refer to as the anime
system. This conception of anime as a relatively stable group of media
in processual interaction with subjects, objects, and other media forms
owes some inspiration to systems theory sociologist Niklas Luhmann,
actor-network theorist Bruno Latour, and assemblage theorists Gilles
Deleuze and Félix Guattari.
10 Kusakawa, Terebi anime 20 nen shi, 30–32.
11 Lury, Brands; Arvidsson, Brands. For work on media convergence, see
Grainge, Brand Hollywood; Klinger, Beyond the Multiplex; Ndalianis,
Neo-Baroque Aesthetics; and Wood, “Vectorial Dynamics.”
12 Fuller, Media Ecologies; Guattari, Chaosmosis and The Three Ecologies.
The term media ecology also has a longer genealogy that includes the
writings of Marshall McLuhan (whose engagement with media as
interacting forms informs the approach taken here), Gregory Bateson

210   ·   Notes to Introduction
(on whose work Guattari builds in his development of the expanded
conception of ecology), and Neil Postman.
13 Though the terms postmodernism and post-Fordism are both used to
describe the present socio-cultural-economic space, I prefer the lat-
ter term, which does not carry with it the cultural baggage the term
postmodern does. The postmodern has been, in my view, too closely
associated with characteristics associated with particular artistic or
literary movements—pastiche over parody, surface over depth, space
over time—that conceal other transformations that are arguably more
lasting and more deserving of our attention. Under particular consid-
eration in this book are the transformations in forms of consumption
and production that attend media transformations that are in large
part irrespective of the characteristics of these literary or cultural forms
that were the emphasis of earlier theorists of the postmodern, the most
eminent of whom is Fredric Jameson. The dangers of anchoring an
understanding of the current era in culturalist descriptions are visible
in some of the 1980s work of Karatani Kōjin, who argued that the
Japan of the nineteenth century—because of its language games and
love for pastiche—was postmodern avant la lettre. If the concept of the
postmodern is to have any theoretical weight, it must be anchored in
an analysis of the specificities of the present that cannot be so easily
abstracted. Post-Fordism, insofar as it places emphasis on changes in
patterns of consumption regardless of their content, and suggests the
rise of communication as a key element of labor and consumption,
offers a better conceptual lens for this project. On postmodernism, see
Jameson, Postmodernism, and Karatani, “One Spirit, Two Nineteenth
Centuries”; on post-Fordism, see Harvey, Condition of Postmodernity,
and Lazzarato, “Immaterial Labor.”
14 Wasko, Understanding Disney; Epstein, The Big Picture; DeCordova,
“Mickey in Macy’s Window.”
15 Anderson, “Disneyland.”
16 Azuma, Dōbutsuka suru posutomodan, recently translated as Otaku:
Japan’s Database Animals. While the narratives of rupture Azuma and
Ōtsuka Eiji (in, e.g., Monogatari shōmetsuron) present are useful, there
is a tendency among these and other cultural critics in Japan to posit
breaks—most often along decennial or generational lines—where one can
equally read continuities. At the risk of painting a picture of the anime
system as fixed and unchanging, I have opted to emphasize the histori-
cal continuities from the 1960s to the present rather than the ruptures.

Notes to Introduction   ·    211

17 Jenkins, Convergence Culture, 3.
18 On the role of culture as a determinant in late capitalism, see, in par-
ticular, Jameson, Postmodernism. Gorz, L’immatériel, and Boutang, Le
Capitalisme Cognitif, emphasize that whereas the former externalities
of capital were natural resources, the contemporary mode of accu-
mulation relies on culture itself for both production (communication
as a form of “immaterial labor”) and consumption. Beller, Cinematic
Mode of Production, and Arvidsson, Brands, both emphasize the way
the consumption of media—the very act of looking at media texts, or
what Beller calls the attention economy—functions immediately and
directly toward the production of value for capital.
19 Here I refer to the academic scholarship of Anne Allison, Azuma
Hiroki, Christopher Bolton, Ian Condry, Thomas Lamarre, Thomas
Looser, Susan Napier, Tsugata Nobuyuki, and Ueno Toshiya, to name
but a few. The important English-language publication venue offered
by Mechademia provides a forum for research and writing on anime
and related media and publishes translations of Japanese research.

1. Limiting Movement, Inventing Anime

1 Wells, Understanding Animation, 10.

2 Leslie, Hollywood Flatlands, 2.
3 Milkman, “All That’s Animation,” 17.
4 Tezuka, Firumu wa ikiteiru.
5 Metz, Film Language, 4.
6 Ibid.
7 Ibid., 15.
8 Ibid., 12.
9 Ibid., 13.
10 Ibid., 5.
11 These writers include Jean-Louis Baudry, Jean-Louis Comolli, Stephen
Heath, and Laura Mulvey. For a recent recasting of Metz’s essay in a
much more positive light, see Gunning, “Moving Away from the Index.”
12 Lyotard, “Acinema,” 350.
13 Williams, Lyotard and the Political, 62.
14 Lyotard, “Acinema,” 350.
15 Ibid., 353.
16 Ibid., 355.
17 Ibid., 351.

212   ·   Notes to Chapter 1
18 Hayashi, “Rimitteddo Anime,” 28. The Illusion of Life is the title of a
book by former Disney animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston.
19 Hayashi, “Rimitteddo Anime,” 23.
20 Lamarre, Anime Machine, 185. Lamarre first offers a formulation of
limited anime in his groundbreaking essay “From Animation to Anime.”
21 See the chapter “Full Limited Animation” in Lamarre, Anime Machine.
22 If these somewhat divergent approaches are also fundamentally comple-
mentary, it is insofar as this book, following Lamarre’s approach, assumes
that the gap or interval is fundamentally productive—even as it places
greater emphasis on the immobile image. This book treats the dynamic
immobility of the character in a manner similar to the way Lamarre
treats the animetic interval: as something productive of a different kind
of movement, in this case, a movement across media forms.
23 Tsugata, Nihon animēshon no chikara.
24 Lamarre’s work in Anime Machine mounts the most nuanced challenge
to the division between full and limited animation. On the other hand,
Tsugata, Nihon animēshon no chikara, suggests the usefulness of this
framework, which I adopt here.
25 Tsugata, Nihon animēshon no chikara, 20–21.
26 As Lamarre emphasizes in his analyses of Miyazaki, however, this
director is no simple adherent to the Disney school of full animation
but has developed his own hybrid style of animation that combines
the characteristics of full animation (smooth movement) with certain
characteristics of limited animation (the use of sliding planes). See
Lamarre, Anime Machine, esp. 26–44. In this sense, one might more
properly think of there being two major poles of animation in Japan,
with Miyazaki lying along the continuum between limited and full
animation. Nonetheless, schematically speaking, Miyazaki would fall
closer to the full animation pole.
27 Yamaguchi Yasuo has argued that Toei’s history should be traced back
even further, to the first animation produced in Japan. The two principal
founders of Toei, Yamamoto Sanae and Yabushita Taiji, were trained
by one of the three founding figures of animation in Japan, Kitayama
Seitarō, who was active from 1917 to around 1923. Yamaguchi, Nihon
no anime zenshi, 49. The other two founding fathers of Japanese anima-
tion are Shimokawa Ōten and Kō’uchi Jun’ichi; all three released their
first animated films in 1917. Animation was first introduced to Japan
in 1909, through the work of Emile Cohl.
28 Tsugata, Anime sakka to shite no Tezuka Osamu, 51.

Notes to Chapter 1   ·    213

29 Miyao, “Before Anime,” 207, points out that Hakujyaden used rotoscop-
ing; Maltin, Of Mice and Magic, 56, notes that rotoscoping was used in
Disney’s Snow White. For an in-depth consideration of Hakujaden, see
Hu, “Animated Resurrection.”
30 In the prewar period, there are several cases where animation shorts
were based on popular manga series such as the Norakuro or Bōken
Dankichi series, the former of which was also the basis for many mer-
chandise spin-offs such as stuffed animals and masks. But only several
animation shorts were made of each of these, and the overall tie between
animation and manga was very weak, as Akita Takahiro argues, until
the systematization of this relation in 1963 with Tetsuwan Atomu and
TV anime. See Akita, “Koma” kara “firumu” e, 104–5. Tsugata provides
a useful quantitative comparison between the 1930s and 1960s that
leaves no doubt about the change in the relationship between manga
and animation. In 1933, 4 percent of animated films were based on a
manga original; in 1964, 90 percent of animated works (in this case,
TV series) were based on manga originals. In 2005, in an index of the
shifting media ecology, 65.7 percent were based on manga, whereas
18.6 percent were based on novels, video games, or other works, with
15.7 percent being original animation productions. Tsugata, “Manga
no anime-ka ni okeru shoyōsō,” 11.
31 Natsume, Tezuka Osamu wa doko ni iru, 23, suggests that anime is the
result of the union of manga and film (playing on the older term for
animation, manga eiga, or “cartoon film”). But it is perhaps even more im-
portant to grasp its relation to television because it was the latter’s tempo-
rality and commercial logic that most informed the production of anime.
32 Partner, Assembled in Japan, 140.
33 Tsugata, “Manga no anime-ka ni okeru shoyōsō,” 15.
34 Tsugata, Nihon animēshon no chikara, 34. The term anime only came
into use in the 1970s.
35 Yamamoto in Mushi Production, Tetsuwan Atomu DVD–Box 1 Data
File, 46. For a recent account of television anime that situates Atomu and
contemporaneous television animation within television broadcasting
history, see Furuta, “Tetsuwan Atomu” no jidai.
36 Lamarre’s Anime Machine and Tsugata’s historical work on Tezuka
(Anime sakka to shite no Tezuka Osamu, particularly chapter 3) both
encourage a more nuanced view of the invention-of-anime narrative.
37 For an account of limited animation in the United States, see Butler,
Television, 278.

214   ·   Notes to Chapter 1
38 Yamamoto, Mushi Puro kōbōki, 64.
39 I thank Aaron Gerow for suggesting the importance of animated com-
mercials in the 1950s for the rise of anime in the 1960s.
40 Yamamoto, Mushi Puro kōbōki, 61.
41 Tsugata, Nihon animeshon no chikara, 123.
42 Naitō, “CM firumu jūnen shi (chū),” 48–49.
43 Naitō, “CM firumu jūnen shi (jō),” 50–53, and Naitō, “CM firumu jūnen
shi (chū),” 48.
44 Yamamoto Ei’ichi is quite candid about the awareness of U.S. limited
animation. But his account also emphasizes the difference of making
Atomu from all previous animating experience as well as previously
existing animated films and TV series. See his Mushi Puro kōbō ki.
45 Tezuka, Boku wa manga-ka, 236–37. Disney was perhaps one of the most
important stylistic influences on Tezuka’s manga, and the former’s films
were at least partly responsible for inspiring Tezuka’s desire to create
animation himself, a desire chronicled in his autobiographies, discussed
with other manga artists and narrativized in Firumu wa ikiteiru (Film
Is Alive). The latter is a manga, written in 1958–59, that, according to
Tezuka, “should be called an I-novel [I-manga?] expressing a time when
I was burning with the almost mad desire to make animation.” Tezuka,
Firumu wa ikiteiru, 133. Not surprisingly, because the publication of the
manga follows a stint working at the Toei Animation Studio, Tezuka, in
this manga, still evinces the stylistic idealization of the full animation
style of Disney. And yet, as we see, when it came time to make anima-
tion himself, Tezuka abandoned the full animation style developed by
46 Tezuka, “Waga anime kurui no ki,” 157–58.
47 Tezuka, Boku no manga jinsei, 120.
48 Mushi Production, Tetsuwan Atomu DVD—Box 2 Data File, 44.
49 This and subsequent numbered quotations are from Yamamoto, Mushi
Puro kōbō ki, 105–6, unless otherwise noted. Tsugata, Nihon animēshon
no chikara, 141, cites Yamamoto’s outline of the devices, as does Schodt,
Astro Boy Essays, 71–72. Schodt’s notable study is a highly researched
work—nothing less than a work of love for a writer responsible for
introducing manga to an English audience—that touches on some of
the issues raised in this one, including character merchandising and
Tezuka’s move from manga to anime. However, whereas Schodt’s book
situates the Atomu phenomenon more closely in relation to Tezuka’s
career and personality and offers more extended narrative analysis,

Notes to Chapter 1   ·    215

this book aims to offer a more theoretical and social analysis of Atomu,
situating it as a point at which character merchandising and the media
mix congealed into something resembling their present state.
50 Lamarre, “From Animation to Anime,” 345.
51 The idea for the bank system apparently came from the system Tezuka
developed for manga as part of the “industrial revolution” of manga
production, to which Tezuka was instrumental. Takeuchi, Tezuka Osamu
= Sutorii manga no kigen, 90.
52 Yamamoto, Mushi Puro kōbō ki, 105.
53 Ibid., 75.
54 Lamarre, “From Animation to Anime,” 331, writes that “animated film
is arguably multimedia or intermedia in that it traditionally utilizes
drawings and photography and, more recently, digital colouring and
computer-generated images.” My use of this term is meant also to gesture
at other media to which anime refers, from manga and kamishibai to
stickers and toys.
55 Yamamoto, “Staff Interview 1,” 46. Tezuka, Boku no manga jinsei, 267,
similarly argues, albeit in an earlier 1979 publication, that all contem-
porary anime “in the end, don’t take one step out of the anime system
we built up, and are mere variations [on it].”
56 Ōtsuka, Sakuga ase mamire, 104.
57 Ibid., 98–99.
58 Ibid., 106.
59 Ibid.
60 Mushi Production, Tetsuwan Atomu DVD—Box 1 Data File, 8. The exact
price Tezuka received for his Atomu episodes is still unclear. Yamamoto,
Mushi Puro kōbō ki, 94, writes that Tezuka initially sold each episode for
750,000 yen, even though the estimated actual cost of each episode was
2,500,000 yen, though he notes that after the success of Atomu, Tezuka
was able to negotiate a slightly better price. Tezuka, in an August 1964
interview, indicates that the cost of production of each episode was
around 2,700,000 yen, while the amount received from their sponsor
was 1,500,000 yen per episode. See Matsuoka, “Interview: Yutaka na
kūsō to gōrisei,” 21. This latter amount is a significant increase from
the amounts cited elsewhere, however (usually between 550,000—the
standard amount given in Mushi Production’s recent account—and
Yamamoto’s 750,000). But in fact, this amount coincides with Tsugata’s
recent important findings, which suggest that the official price per episode
was 550,000, on top of which Tezuka received an additional 1,000,000

216   ·   Notes to Chapter 1
yen from his agent, Man’nensha (the mediator between Mushi Produc-
tions and the TV series sponsor, Meiji Seika; Man’nensha passed the
additional cost on to Meiji), for a total of 1,550,000 yen. Nonetheless,
whatever the actual amount received, the point remains that the cost
of production significantly exceeded the amount received. Moreover,
as Tsugata notes, the effect on the industry on the whole was the same:
the official cost of 550,000 yen became the industry standard paid to
other studios when they produced television anime. Tsugata, Anime
sakka to shite no Tezuka Osamu, 122–28.
61 Kamishibai in fact traces its historical origins back to utsushi-e, or mov-
ing magic lantern exhibits. Tachi-e, a form of wood-carved puppet show,
was developed as a street-based alternative to magic lanterns; kamishibai
emerged from tachi-e around 1929. Nakagawa Masafumi suggests that
the painting-based kamishibai theater emerged as a response to a desire
for more cinematic representation—the paper medium giving the pos-
sibility of the simulation of long shots, close-ups, etc. See Nakagawa,
“Utsushi-e, tachi-e kara hira-e e,” 196.
62 The account of kamishibai offered here is a condensation of the work of
writers collected in Senchu Sengo Kamishibai Hensei; Suzuki, Kamishibai
ga yattekita!; Yamamoto, Kamishibai; and Kata, Kamishibai Showa shi.
Tsurumi, A Cultural History of Postwar Japan, offers an English-language
account of kamishibai that considers its influence on manga. A recent,
valuable English-language book about kamishibai is Nash, Manga
63 “Kamishibai no omide wa dagashi no aji,” 210; Yamamoto, Kamishibai,
27, 5. That being said, there were some exceptions, such as the kamishibai
classic Ōgon Batto (Golden Bat), whose immense popularity gave rise
to sequel after sequel.
64 Kagetsu, “‘Ika ni mo’ to ‘natsukashisa’ no jiba,” 208.
65 Ibid.
66 Cited in Suzuki, Kamishibai ga yattekita!, 76.
67 Suzuki, ibid., 31, lists the entire division of labor as going from pro-
ducer to script writer to painter to producer to branch officer chief to
68 Ibid., 95. Osaka boasted a similar number of kamishibai performers,
reaching a postwar peak of 1,545 performers in 1954. Ibid., 103.
69 Tsurumi, “Kamishibai to Kata Kōji,” 98.
70 References to early television as “electric kamishibai” are too many to
list, but see, e.g., Abe Susumu’s 1962 remarks, where he notes that “TV

Notes to Chapter 1   ·    217

was until recently ridiculed for being electric kamishibai”; see Abe,
Gendai-kko saitenhō, 46. Viewers picked up on the resemblance between
television and kamishibai, notes NHK Hōsō Bunka Kenkyūjo, Terebi
shichō 50 nen, 28.
71 Suzuki, Kamishibai ga yattekita!, 106–10, 95.
72 Chun, A Nation of a Hundred Million Idiots?, 161. The phrase also
circulated in films of the time such as Ozu Yasujiro’s Ohayo (Good
Morning), which revolves around the question of electrical appliances
and television in particular.
73 Quoted in ibid., 164.
74 See Partner’s account of Shōriki’s key role in the promotion of television
in his Assembled in Japan.
75 Yamamoto, Kamishibai, 132. Yamamoto’s book offers one of the best
considerations of the links between television and kamishibai.
76 Nogami, Omocha to asobi, 86. This phenomenon was especially noted
in relation to one of the early, popular children’s TV shows, Gekkō Ka-
men (Moonlight Mask), broadcast in 1958.
77 The emphasis on sound over image is in fact an oft-noted characteristic
of television more generally. As Ellis, Visible Fictions, 129, writes, “the
image is the central reference in cinema. But for TV, sound has a much
more centrally defining role. . . . Sound tends to anchor meaning on
TV, where the image tends to anchor it with cinema.” Although this may
be a generalization that is less applicable to contemporary television, it
is certainly true that early Japanese television featured an emphasis on
sound over image.
78 Given the influence of film and the magic lantern on the development
of kamishibai, this dynamic immobility is perhaps not surprising. (La-
marre, Anime Machine, 192–93, points out the influence of the moving
image in cinema on the construction of movement in kamishibai.) Here
what I emphasize is the important—but not exclusive—influence of the
kamishibai’s movement-in-stillness on anime.
79 Gilles Deleuze opposes two kinds of image making: the any-instant-
whatever as the indiscriminately captured section of an action as recorded
in snapshot form by the cinematographic apparatus (twenty-four frames
per second, indiscriminate in its capture) and the “ancient” form of gen-
erating movement from the composition or sequence of transcendental
poses. Deleuze, Cinema 1, 4. The kamishibai image falls into neither
category: its form of movement is in part based on the concept of in-
stantaneous capture and in part based on the pose as privileged moment.

218   ·   Notes to Chapter 1
80 Radio dramas—some of which were extremely popular among children
in the late 1950s—can also be cited as an important source of inspiration
for the emphasis on the voice carrying narrative.
81 Schodt, Manga! Manga!, 42–45. As Schodt indicates, serial images in
comic format appeared in the early 1900s, but these did not include
word balloons. The consensus is that narrative comic strips for children
took root in Japan in the 1920s. See also Kinsella, Adult Manga, 20–21,
and Shimizu, Manga no rekishi, 133–49.
82 The longer manga published in the magazines were still only several
pages in length each and generally episodic in nature. The books were
around 120 to 200 pages in length and were either compilations of se-
rialized episodes or stand-alone books composed of a single narrative.
For one of the few scholarly accounts of the prewar Shōnen kurabu, see
Iwahashi, “Shōnen kurabu” to dokushatachi.
83 Takeuchi Ichirō notes that the emonogatari boom of the late 1940s
and early 1950s was ignited by the popularity of the work of former
kamishibai artists Yamakawa Sōji (whose African adventure series Shōnen
Ōsha and Shōnen Kenya were “explosively popular”) and Komatsuzaki
Shigeru (known for his Chikyū SOS serial, for his full-color science
fiction illustrations found in the opening pages (kuchi-e) of children’s
magazines in the 1950s, and for his later work as an illustrator for the
boxes of model airplanes). Takeuchi, Tezuka Osamu = Storii manga no
kigen, 58–59. The most popular kamishibai series ever, Ōgon Batto, was
also being serialized in emonogatari form as of 1948 in Bōken Katsugeki
Bunko, the first incarnation of Shōnen gahō, one of the most popular
boys’ magazines of the 1950s. The first issue of Bōken Katsugeki Bunko
with its Ōgon serial is republished in Honma, Shōnen gahō daizen.
84 For an account of the media environment of the late 1940s and 1950s,
see Honma, Shōnen manga daisensō. For a collection of classic illustrated
novels and emonogatari from this period, see the Shōnen magazine
pieces collected in Kōbunsha, “Shōnen” kessakushū.
85 An important revaluation of the Tezuka myth is to be found in Shimot-
suki, Tanjō! “Tezuka Osamu.” One of the main lines of argument against
the “Tezuka myth” is that the man did not invent the cinematic style
of manga attributed to him; rather, this style of cinematic framing and
dynamic relation between frames was already present in prewar and
wartime works like Shishido Sagyō’s Supiido Tarō (Speed Taro). This
line of argumentation is advanced by Thomas Lamarre and Ōtsuka
Eiji, who, in their respective works, point toward the necessity of seeing

Notes to Chapter 1   ·    219

continuity rather than rupture in the prewar, wartime, and postwar
periods. These arguments seeking to undermine what is undeniably an
overvaluation of Tezuka are an important move—particularly in light
of the general tendency to mark a stark break between the wartime
and postwar period, a break that has retrograde political ramifica-
tions. However, whether or not Tezuka invented the cinematic style of
manga, he was instrumental in cultivating it in his own work, in the
work of young and later to be prominent manga artists who gathered
around him, and in the mainstream of postwar manga. In this sense,
at least, he is responsible for much of the present ubiquity of cinematic
style in manga.
86 Tezuka, “Manga zukuri no genten,” 412. Tezuka famously began his
first version of Rosuto wārudo (Lost World), first written when he was
a middle school student and later rewritten and published in 1948, with
the phrase, “Kore wa manga ni arazu, shōsetsu ni mo arazu” (This is
neither a manga, nor is it a novel). See Tezuka, Rosuto wārudo, 9.
87 Burch, Life to Those Shadows.
88 Sato, “Tezuka Osamu-ron,” 580.
89 Schodt, Astro Boy Essays, 44–45. By “ellipses,” Schodt refers to the
pared-down, iconic, and nonrealistic style of drawing Tezuka favored
over the more realistic drawing style favored by kamishibai artists,
emonogatari writers, and the later genre of gekiga manga.
90 Tezuka, “Kawairashisa wo dō hyōgen suruka,” 85–92. On Disney, see
Thomas and Johnston, Illusion of Life, 47–51.
91 The stiff character design of the earliest “robot” character, Sakamoto
Naoki’s 1935 Tanku Tankurō, in the manga of the same name, is a case
in point. This character had all the flexibility of a bowling ball (which
the character indeed resembled). Even the most exemplary character
of the era, the stray black army dog Norakuro, possessed a similarly
rigid body. In contrast to these characters, Atomu—though himself a
robot—stretches and squashes across the manga frame.
92 Fujikawa, “Tetsuwan Atomu-ron,” 25.
93 On these points, see Burch, Life to Those Shadows, 16 and throughout.
94 It should be said that whereas in cinema, the institutional mode of
representation made this taboo—ensuring that characters are moving
in the same direction from shot to shot—manga even now often do not
follow the rules of continuity editing as strictly as cinema.
95 The extreme example of this is a whole episode of a baseball manga
devoted to a single pitch, albeit combined with numerous cutaways,

220   ·   Notes to Chapter 1
flashbacks, and other temporal and spatial interjections. Kajiwara Ikki
and Kawasaki Noboru’s Kyojin no Hoshi is an excellent example of this.
96 Kure, “Aru sengo seishin no igyō,” 569.
97 It is indicative of a general speeding up of manga and multiplication
of frames used to heighten the sense of speed and suspense that in his
1984 rewrite of this classic work, Tezuka significantly lengthened this
legendary scene (enshrined in manga lore on account of its impact on
young readers and future manga writers) through the multiplication of
frames. Whereas in the original work, two pages and ten frames were
dedicated to the opening car ride and speedboat trip to the ship, in the
rewrite, this same sequence occurs over ten pages and occupies thirty-six
frames. Compare the recent reprint of the original, Kanzen fukkokuban:
Shintakarajima, to Tezuka’s revised version, Shintakarajima.
98 This address is evident in any sampling of Shōnen magazine at the time
of the Atomu serialization. In the short texts included in the margins of
the manga, children are always addressed and interpolated as friends of
Atomu and asked to cheer on his activities in the manga and, eventually,
in other media such as the television drama and anime. In fact, this
strategy was planned by the Shōnen magazine editors from the start of
Tetsuwan Atomu’s serialization. In the transition from the character’s
original Shōnen serialization as Atomu Taishi (Ambassador Atomu;
1951–52) to his new personality and starring role in Shōnen’s Tetsuwan
Atomu (1952–68), an editor suggested to Tezuka that he give children
the sense that Atomu was like a living person with a personality, a sense
that he was just like one of their friends. Tezuka, Boku wa manga-ka,
99 Natsume, Tezuka Osamu wa doko ni iru, 52.
100 Word bubbles and the dialogue are another important way of generating
a sense of duration in the image. These characteristics are all noted in
Scott McCloud’s “Time Frames” chapter of his Understanding Comics,
101 Lamarre, “From Animation to Anime,” 339–40.
102 Quoted in Akita, “Koma” kara “firumu” e, 153.
103 “In effect, economic obstacles promoted technical innovation, which in
turn generated the positive unconscious of anime (minimal movement
= minimal life = information).” Lamarre, “From Animation to Anime,”
104 Doane, “The Indexical and the Concept of Medium Specificity,” 131, sug-
gests the phrase “enabling impediment.” Manning, Relationscapes, 218–19,

Notes to Chapter 1   ·    221

develops the similarly evocative concept of the “enabling constraint.”
105 Once again, I recall Tezuka’s comments about Walt Disney having
become “too great,” leading to “the stagnation of the development of
animation,” in Boku wa manga-ka, 236.
1 06 Lamarre, Anime Machine, 310, has emphasized the force of the anime
image in generating transmedia connections. Connectivity operates not
through ideology but through the image-to-image relations developed
in anime series like Tetsuwan Atomu. These image-to-image relations
address the subject on a prepersonal level, partaking of a regime of power
that Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, 458, term “machinic

2. Candies, Premiums, and Character Merchandising

1 At this point in time, a Japanese television program would have only a

single major sponsor. The system has since changed, and now a single
show admits multiple sponsors.
2 Yamamoto, Mushi Puro kōbōki, 94. Tsugata has recently suggested that
while the official price per episode was 550,000 yen, Tezuka received
an additional 1,000,000 yen from his agent, for a total of 1,550,000 yen.
Tsugata, Anime sakka to shite Tezuka Osamu, 122–28.
3 The animation industry of today still must sell its series to television
stations at below the cost of production and thus continues to rely on
other means to recoup the costs of production. In an indication of the
continuing pressure on animation companies to keep their asking costs
low, a Japanese government survey on the animation industry released
in January 2009 indicated that 42 percent of animation companies were
forced to accept low production costs from TV stations. See the Japan
Fair Trade Commission report,
january/090123.pdf. An informative overview of the contemporary
anime business is to be found in Masuda, Anime bujinesu ga wakaru.
4 Tezuka had these two means to recoup production expenditures in mind
as early as November 1962, as he indicates in an interview given at that
time. See Tokyo Shimbun, “TV dōga ‘Tetsuwan Atomu’ no seisaku,” 9.
See also Nakano’s discussion of this in Manga sangyōron, 74.
5 Schodt offers an account of Tezuka’s export of Tetsuwan Atomu to the
United States in The Astro Boy Essays, 76–97.
6 Tezuka indicates that Disney was his inspiration for the character
merchandising scheme in the interview cited earlier, where he refers to

222   ·   Notes to Chapter 2
Disney’s practice of earning money through copyright fees. Tokyo Shim-
bun, “TV dōga ‘Tetsuwan Atomu’ no seisaku,” 9. Tezuka also discusses
using Disney as a model for his reliance on character merchandising in
Tezuka Osamu essei-shū #3, 191–92, and Boku wa manga-ka, 242–43.
7 Kōno, “Shōhinkaken shiyō kyodaku gyōmu, dai 3 kai,” 24.
8 Kayama and Bandai Kyarakutā Kenkyūjo, 87% no nihonjin ga kyarakutā
wo suki na riyū, 186.
9 Tsuchiya, Kyarakutā bijinesu, 77.
10 Tezuka, Tezuka Osamu essei-shū #6, 167.
11 Tsunashima, “Terebi to omake,” 60.
12 Quoted in Utagawa, “Manga (anime) osoru beshi!,” 132.
13 The importance and persistence of character merchandising does not,
however, mean that the practice hasn’t experienced its ups and downs.
As early as 1969, a newspaper headline in Asahi Shinbun announced
that “The Manga Merchandising Strategy [i.e., character merchandis-
ing] Has Lost Its Magical Powers” (“Shintsūryoku o ushinatta manga
shōhō”), 14. And yet despite its periodic rise and decline, the strategy
has nonetheless remained a core element of the anime system.
14 Kyarakutā Māketingu Purojekuto, Zukai de wakaru kyarakutā māketingu,
15 Yasui, “TV kyarakutā kenkyū, #12,” 35. Earlier instances of the prolifera-
tion of character images (such as the Norakuro boom in the 1930s) did
not see the strict enforcement of rights of ownership over the character
image; in this sense, the 1960s anime boom was truly the start of the
character business.
16 World Intellectual Property Organization, “Character Merchandising,”
17 Yasui notes the use of the tie-in with National Kid, as well as its limita-
tions, in “TV kyarakurā kenkyū, #10,” 20.
18 Aihara, Kyara ka suru Nippon, 19.
19 The significance of the Meiji–Atomu campaign is often noted in the
volumes of Māchandizingu raitsu repōto (Merchandising Rights Report),
a trade journal dedicated to the study of character merchandising that
has, over its several decades in print, devoted several series of articles to
reviewing the history of character merchandising in Japan, in which the
pioneering roles of Atomu and the Meiji sticker campaign are inevitably
featured. See, e.g., Yasui Hisashi, “TV kyarakutā kenkyū” (TV Char-
acter Studies) series run from 1975 through 1977 and the “Nihon no
kurashikku kyarakutā” (Japanese Classic Characters) run through 1986

Notes to Chapter 2   ·    223

in Māchandizingu raitsu repōto. The importance of the Meiji–Atomu
sticker campaign was also noted by contemporaneous commentators,
such as Yamakawa, “‘Wappen būmu’ to ‘terebi jin’ shijō to masu komi
→ kuchi komi → mono komi,” as well as in newspaper articles at the
time, such as “Tetsuwan Atomu, Tetsujin 28-gō to otonatachi.” Recent
writers who have made this point include Tsunashima, Atomu shīru;
Tsugata, “Hobbī no densetsu”; and Kitahara, “Omake” no hakubutsushi.
20 “Tetsuwan Atomu, Tetsujin 28-gō to otonatachi,” 20.
21 Lamarre uses the term attractor in Anime Machine, 273–74, and Saitō,
Sentō bishōjo no seishin bunseki, 267, describes the “phallic girl” (the term
he uses for the bishōjo, beautiful girl character) as the “nodal point [kes-
setsuten] of desire that gives reality to Japanese fictional space” (Vincent
and Lawson opt for the term point of connection in their translatiom of
Saito’s book, Beautiful Fighting Girl, 163). Azuma, Gēmu teki riarizumu
no tanjō, 125, too uses the term nodal point, describing the character
as a “meta-narrative nodal point.”
22 The initial title of the serialization was “Atomu Taishi” (Ambassador
Atomu), but Tezuka changed the title to “Tetsuwan Atomu” in 1952,
at which time he refocused the narrative on the title character.
23 Mushi Production, Tetsuwan Atomu: DVD—Box 1 Data File, 6.
24 For two informative histories of the Japanese candy industry, see Ma-
chida, Za chokorēto dai-hakurankai, and Kushima, Za okashi.
25 While chocolate may have been the preferred gift to be received dur-
ing the Occupation years, the price of a bar of Hershey’s chocolate (50
yen) was too expensive for most children. Candies were much more
affordable (a box of caramel cost 10–20 yen), hence the popularity of
caramel. Kushima, Za okashi, 46–47.
26 Akiya and Takayama, “Fureagaru ‘kodomo shijō,’” Brain, “Nerawareru
kodomo shijō.”
27 Kushima, Za okashi, 12.
28 By the end of the 1960s, savory snacks replaced chocolates as the most
popular children’s treat. Saitō, “Oyatsu to manga to omake no gattai,”
29 Brain, “Nerawareru kodomo shijō,” 6.
30 Meiji Seika Sha-shi Henshū Iinkai, Meiji Seika no ayumi, 99; Brain,
“Nerawareru kodomo shijō,” 6.
31 Ōhashi, “Māburu kyanpēn no CM,” 4.
32 Meiji Seika, Meiji Seika no ayumi, 102.
33 According to Ōhashi’s 1964 account, the ad campaign first started in

224   ·   Notes to Chapter 2
March 1962, though it had been in the planning stages since December
1961. Ōhashi, “Māburu kyanpēn no CM,” 4.
34 Machida, Za chokorēto dai-hakurankai, 90, 92.
35 Ōhashi, “Māburu kyanpēn no CM,” 4.
36 Meiji Seika, Meiji Seika no ayumi, 275.
37 Kojima, “Komāsharu to Māketingu,” 62.
38 The term total marketing (tōtaru māketingu) was itself developed around
this time, a point to which I will return in chapter 4. On these elements
as forming a total marketing campaign, see advertising manager Ōhashi
Shizuo’s account in “Meiji Māburu Choco kyanpēn.”
39 Ōhashi emphasizes the importance of the “sound policy” across Marble
ads and for the creation of a uniform product image. Ōhashi, “Meiji
Māburu Choco kyanpēn,” 99–100.
40 See Tsunashima’s important recent book revisiting this era, Atomu
shīru, 26. Like most material about the material culture of this time,
this book presents much information and many visual documents but
little analysis. Nonetheless, Tsunashima’s book—as with the similarly
detailed work of the chronicler of postwar material culture, Kushima
Tsutomu—offers a highly valuable account of the sticker campaign.
41 Ban Shōjirō—a member of the Meiji Seika advertising department and
creator of the Atomu stickers later included as a premium in Marble
packages—notes that at the beginning, Marble Chocolates’s market share
was 90 to 10 but that soon after the release of Parade Chocolates, it had
decreased to a meager 30 to 70. Interview with Ban in Tsunashima,
Atomu shīru, 25.
42 Tsunashima writes that these moving badges were first introduced
as omake in Parade Chocolates in June 1963 and that this is the first
indication in company records of Morinaga including omake in its
Parade Chocolates. Tsunashima, Atomu shīru, 117; Tsunashima, “Terebi
to omake,” 56. But this would not explain why Meiji felt the need to
introduce Atomu stickers as early as spring 1963 (perhaps March) nor
how they could mount a campaign that begins in July as a “response”
to Morinaga including premiums in their Parade Chocolates not a
month before. In short, one must assume one of two things: either (1)
that despite the absence of a paper trail, Morinaga had already been
including premiums in its Parade Chocolates before June 1963, and
most likely from their release in November 1962, or (2) the main chal-
lenge to the supremacy of Meiji’s Marble Chocolates did not in fact
come from Parade Chocolates but rather from other lines of Morinaga

Notes to Chapter 2   ·    225

candies that did include premiums (such as the Disney Caramel, which
had included premiums since 1960).
43 Tsunashima, Atomu shīru, 116.
44 As omake historian Kitahara Teruhisa explains from an interview he
conducted with Ezaki, the exact moment that the word omake started
being used at Glico is unclear. For a time, Ezaki had been calling the
things “toys” (omocha); at some point—under whose influence he can-
not recall—Ezaki started calling them “omake.” Kitahara, “Omake” no
hakubutsushi, 24.
45 Honda, “Omake to kodomo no bunka-shi,” 6; Kushima, Za okashi, 42.
46 Kitahara, “Omake” no hakubutsushi, 74.
47 A comprehensive catalog of Glico omake through the ages is to be found
in Guriko no omake kataroku. Kitahata’s “Omake” no hakubutsushi is an
excellent account of omake, with significant attention given to Glico.
48 Glico omake did undergo a major transformation in the wake of the
beginning of television anime and the character merchandising boom
ignited by the Meiji–Atomu campaign. In the years 1964 and 1965, Glico
began including omake in the shape of the principal robot from the
anime that it sponsored and that came on air in October 1963: Tetsujin
28-gō (Iron Man Number 28; released in the United States as Gigantor).
49 Serizawa, “Sengo omake būmu no shikumi,” 53.
50 Ibid., 53–54. The term “with-pack premium” is used by Kotler, Market-
ing Management, 664–65.
51 The realistic graphic style of these drawings came not from the realm of
manga but rather from the style used in kamishibai or the then-popular
children’s narrative form of the emonogatari.
52 Kushima, Za okashi, 47–48.
53 A full list of all 159 titles in the collection is reprinted in Tsubouchi,
“Kabaya Bunko,” 48.
54 In a 1964 roundtable discussion in Senden kaigi (Advertising Meeting),
Komiya Jun’ichi describes how Morinaga redesigned the Disney Caramel
package to create tighter relations between premium and object, or, in this
case, between premium and package. The redesigned package featured
a close-up of the Disney character’s face enclosed in a thick red circle,
evoking the design of the omake. Here the very package refers to the
omake, strengthening the convergent relation between premium and
product already present in the product name. See “Shōdō kai shōhin/
sokyū no kichō no kibi,” 16–18.
55 In fact, it was eventually possible to get Atomu stickers elsewhere than

226   ·   Notes to Chapter 2
in Meiji chocolates—in the book versions of the manga published by
Kappa Comics as of 1964. One could, of course, purchase other Atomu
goods without the mediation of Meiji.
56 A full-page advertisement published in Asahi Shinbun newspaper,
January 1, 1963, p. 6.
57 Tsunashima, Atomu shīru, 26–28; Kushima, Shōnen shōjo tsūhan kōkoku
hakurankai, 204–5.
58 “Tetsuwan Atomu, Tetsujin 28-go to otonatachi,” 24.
59 Tsunashima, Atomu shīru, 28.
60 Mushi Production, Tetsuwan Atomu DVD—Box Data File 1, 43. Ac-
cording to this data file account, the earlier test run stickers had been
based on traces from cels from the anime version.
61 “Tetsuwan Atomu, Tetsujin 28-go to otonatachi,” 22.
62 “Nerawareru kodomo shijō,” 6.
63 Yamakawa, “‘Bangumi’ to ‘komāsharu’ no aidagara,” 53.
64 “Tetsuwan Atomu, Tetsujin 28-go to otonatachi,” 24.
65 Mushi Production, Tetsuwan Atomu: DVD—Box 3, 40; Tsunashima,
“Terebi to omake,” 24.
66 The badge premium for this chocolate was not included in the pack-
age but was obtained by mailing in three coupons included on the foil
wrapper. Tsunashima, “Terebi to omake,” 43; Kodansha, Atomu Book,
67 This ad as well as the previous one can be viewed at Dentsu’s Advertising
Museum Tokyo. For additional information on this ad (scant though
it is), I am drawing from Ōhashi’s comments in “Meiji Māburu Choco
kyanpēn,” esp. 90–102, as well as the comments of Takasugi Jirō (the
director of the ad, which was produced by Nihon Ten’nenshoku Eiga)
printed in Zen-Nihon CM Hōsō Renmei ed., ACC-CM nenkan ’65, 31.
The particular image of Atomu used in the commercial (the same image
as Figure 2.11, albeit a different kind of sticker), was being included in
Marble boxes as of late 1963 into 1964, according to Mushi Production,
Tetsuwan Atomu DVD—Box 2 Data File, 42. But the omake advertised
is a “magic print” (a scratch-on decal). Magic prints only came out as
of April 1964 and were only included as omake in Marble boxes as of
August 1964. Mushi Productions, Tetsuwan Atomu DVD—Box 5 Data
File, 32. So one conjectures that the ad must have run in summer 1964.
68 Lamarre, “From Animation to Anime,” 329–67.
69 This is not to say that Uehara disappears, however. She remains a pres-
ence throughout the Atomu years. However, where originally she was

Notes to Chapter 2   ·    227

the main subject of action and attention, she is displaced by Atomu, who
begins to occupy the central, active role in the commercials. Uehara as
protagonist is transformed into a passive Atomu fan, playing with stick-
ers in the print ads and being saved by Atomu in the TV commercials.
70 Dyer, Stars, 34.
71 Ibid., 63.
72 As Azuma writes of contemporary otaku moe characters, in particular,
“the ‘characters’ circulating in these stories are not unique designs
created by the individual talent of the author, but an output generated
from preregistered elements and combined according to the marketing
program of each work.” Azuma, Otaku, 42. Here I will nonetheless also
emphasize the singularity of each character and its unique belonging
to a particular narrative or world.
73 Paul McDonald emphasizes the importance of recognition in “Recon-
ceptualising Stardom,” his afterword to Dyer, Stars, 177.
74 DeCordova, Picture Personalities, 19–20.
75 Ōkada, Otakugaku nyūmon, comments on this sensitivity to drawing
style. Lamarre develops these comments into a theory of otaku imaging
in Anime Machine, 144–54.
76 Of course, the character also has its limitations; it has traditionally
had problems with transpositions to the medium of photographic
film. Nonetheless, we can say that the character travels more smoothly
across a greater number of media types than does the live-action or
photographic star.
77 While Tezuka, Tokyo shimbun, “TV dōga ‘Tetsuwan Atomu’ no seisaku,”
9, indicates that as early as November 1962, there were already character
goods planned for release in the coming spring, another article suggests
that there was a marked rise in the quantity and number of displays of
Atomu products in October 1963; “Tetsuwan Atomu, Tetsujin 28-go
to otonatachi,” 25. The October date matches a sudden rise in ads for
Atomu merchandise in toy trade journals like Gangu shōhō and chil-
dren’s magazines like Shōnen around October and November 1963.
From these and from the success of the first Meiji–Atomu campaign,
we can surmise that fall–winter 1963 was the time when Atomu goods
really took off in sales and in quantity of items available.
78 Ueno, “Watashi” sagashi gēmu, 68.
79 At its peak, the TV show’s ratings reached the mid-fortieth percentile.
A full listing of the viewer ratings for each episode is included in the
booklets accompanying the Japanese Tetsuwan Atomu DVD box sets.

228   ·   Notes to Chapter 2
80 Nakano, Manga sangyōron, 78.
81 The series was actually created by Fukui Ei’ichi, but Takeuchi took over
after Fukui abruptly passed away after the first monthly installment
of Akadō. For an account of Akadō that puts it into the context of the
magazine culture of the time, see Honma, Shōnen manga daisensō,
58–61, 74–79.
82 Honma, ibid., 76–78, notes that by the end of the radio drama, 90 per-
cent of boys and 80 percent of girls surveyed knew of the name “Akadō
83 Kan, Jidō bunka no gendaishi, 93.
84 Kushima, Shōnen būmu, 30.
85 Tsugata, “Manga no anime-kan okeru shoyōsō,” 18–19, remarks on the
greater gap between manga and live action (compared to manga and
anime) in his general discussion of adaptation.
86 Kan, Jidō bunka no gendaishi, 111–12, notes that the popularity of
Akadō came from the synergetic combination of radio voice supported
by manga image, suggesting that the film version “miscast” Akadō. Yet
it seems to me that this miscasting was more a symptom of the three-
body problem than the failure to choose a suitable actor.
87 This earlier series was broadcast on Fuji Terebi from March 3, 1959,
to May 28, 1960, and ran for a total of sixty-five episodes. Incidentally,
the famous prewar animator Murata Yasuji’s animation studio was
responsible for the animation in the opening section of the first series.
88 Conversely, one may explain the transmedia success of certain live-
action series—such as the 1958 Gekkō Kamen (Moonlight Mask) or the
1972 Kamen Raidā (Masked Rider)—by the fact that the main character
was masked. The mask covered the face, adding a drawn quality to
the live-action medium. The drawn quality of the masked face made
the connections between these live-action series and the manga series
much easier to develop. Additionally, many live-action children’s series,
particularly those that followed the success of the 1966 Urutoraman
(Ultraman), introduced fixed poses into the action, effectively stilling
the motion at key moments in the series. These fixed poses of masked
figures enabled an ease of transposition from screen to manga to toy
to the child imitating these poses in play.
89 Kan Tadamichi suggested that manga also had the properties of “any-
where, anytime” in an essay written in the 1950s about the Akadō phe-
nomenon; Kan, Jidō bunka no gendaishi, 118. The stickers are both an
intensification of this phenomenon and its qualitative transformation

Notes to Chapter 2   ·    229

because the further dematerialization and fluidification allowed them
much greater circulation and mobility than the manga had.
90 The mobility of the sticker was complemented by a resilient form of
fixity: once stuck, the sticker could not be easily removed (much to the
consternation of parents who found stickers covering their household
appliances). Indeed, I have heard anecdotally that for some children of
the time, it was in the very act of sticking that the greatest thrill came.
Stickers were a novel entity at the time, as was the act of sticking itself;
the very act of affixing a sticker to a surface was an exciting one.
91 Kitahara, “Omake” no hakubutsushi, 183, for example, writes that “it
felt as if [Atomu goods] flooded out of the TV set and into the candy
92 Nikadō, Bokura ga ai shita Tezuka Osamu, 42, recounts how he eagerly
stickered his entire room so he could happily look at them when he was
“going to bed, waking up, and in [his] free time.”
93 Tsunashima, Atomu shīru, 31.
94 As I noted in the introduction, while I use both the terms postmodern
and post-Fordist to describe the present socio-cultural-economic space, I
prefer the latter phrase, which does not carry with it some of the cultural
baggage the former does.
95 Massumi, “Everywhere You Want to Be,” 15.
96 Allison, Millennial Monsters, 13. Massumi’s suggestion that postmo-
dernity sees a surfeit of affect rather than its waning is relevant here.
Massumi, Parables for the Virtual, 27.
97 Kitahara, “Omake” no hakubutsushi, 222, argues that it was the avid
stickering activities of the children of the Meiji campaign that led to
the general practice of character merchandising and marketing. It was
from these activities, he writes, that “not only confectionaries, but TV
stations, anime production companies, publishing houses and so on all
learnt that ‘if we put a character on something, it’ll sell.’”
98 Lazzarato, Les Revolutions du Capitalisme, 96. I will return to Lazzarato
and the importance of worlds in chapter 5.
99 Itō, Tezuka izu deddo, 54.
100 Ushiki, Kyarakutā senryaku to shōhinkaken, 23, 42, emphasizes the
importance of name and design to the definition of a character.
101 As such, the character is quite similar to the brand, which Lury, Brands,
5, theorizes as “simultaneously both concrete and abstract.” I will return
to the differences and similarities of the character and brand in chapter 5.
102 Massumi, Parables for the Virtual, 12, writes, “The world is in a condition

230   ·   Notes to Chapter 2
of constant qualitative growth.  .  .  .  The world is self-augmenting. Real-
ity ‘snowballs,’ as William James was fond of saying.” There is a similar
sense in which the reality of the character is also self-augmenting, or
snowballing, at least to the degree that its layering increases in propor-
tion to the number of media in which it incarnates.
103 The simultaneously material and immaterial function of the character
in turn forces us to rethink the semiotic model of consumption that
dominated Japanese writings on the image and consumption during the
1980s and 1990s, influenced by the work of Baudrillard and his influ-
ential dictum that “the logic of consumption . . . is a logic of the sign
and of difference.” Baudrillard, For a Critique of the Political Economy
of the Sign, 66. Although this work is important for emphasizing the
relational basis of consumption and for critiquing the presumed neu-
trality of needs, it neglected to leave space for a consideration of the
persisting importance of material objects in supporting these signs and
motivating consumption. As I have argued here, there would have been
no explosion of character merchandising without the immaterial attrac-
tion and the material expansion of the character image in its multiple
media forms.

3. Material Communication and the Mass Media Toy

1 These badges had an adhesive patch at their back and so stuck to any
material—whether clothes, metal appliances, or desks. In effect, they
functioned like stickers. The Tetsujin 28-go anime (Iron Man no. 28,
1963–66, released in North America as Gigantor) was first serialized as
a manga in Shōnen in the 1950s and was Atomu’s main rival from early
on in its comic days. Like Atomu, it featured a robot as its title character
(Tetsujin 28-go), in this instance controlled by a young boy via remote
control. An anime version of the Tetsujin manga was produced following
the success of the Atomu series by the former commercial animation
studio, TCJ (now Eiken), and sponsored by Glico. It was televised from
October 1963 to May 1966.
2 Yamakawa, “‘Wappen būm’ to ‘terebi jin’ shijō to masu komi → kuchi
komi → mono komi,” 48.
3 A contraction of the transliteration of mass communications (masu
komyunikēshon), which was introduced into Japan in 1951 by UNESCO,
and virtually synonymous with the term more commonly used in Eng-
lish, mass media, the term masu komi was popularized by journalists

Notes to Chapter 3   ·    231

in 1954, just in time for the emergence of the newest of mass media,
television. Saitō, Omocha hakubutsushi, 160–61. The term mono-komi
also recalls another, more common pun on masu-komi: kuchi-komi,
literally “mouth-communication,” or communication by word of mouth.
4 Lash and Lury, Global Culture Industries, 25.
5 Communication here is understood to be the basic act that connects
two or more media forms into a transmedia, communicational network,
something that will elsewhere be called the world of a particular media
franchise. The totality of anime-based networks and the practice of
developing these communicational networks around anime is what I
refer to as the anime system. Relation would be an alternative term to
communication, particularly as the concept will be developed here, yet
I retain communication since this is the term used in Japanese discus-
sions of characters and mass media toys from the 1960s until today. It
is also the term used by Deleuze in the discussion of trans-serial rela-
tion—what he calls communication across series—in work with which
I will engage in chapter 5.
6 As I note earlier, the Japanese term masu komi can be translated either
as “mass communications” or as “mass media.” Because the latter term is
more common in English usage and emphasizes the becoming-media of
the toy that the Japanese term invokes, I choose to translate masu komi
gangu as “mass media toy,” or the “media toy” for short. I nonetheless
will retain the emphasis on the communicational aspect of the toy that
the term implies.
7 Shimura Kazuki, as quoted in an interview in Kayama and Bandai
Kyarakutā Kenkyūjo, 87% no nihonjin ga kyarakutā wo suki na riyū,
8 See esp. “Shōjo media no komyunikēshon” (The communication of
shōjo media), in Miyadai et al., Sōhō Sabukaruchā shinwa kaitai.
9 Kline, Out of the Garden, 190–91.
10 Seiter, Sold Separately, 50.
11 The importance of considering the relation of things to things has been
emphasized by a number of writers, from Bill Brown to Graham Harman
to Bruno Latour. Latour’s work, in particular, has been an inspiration for
reconsidering the relation between things as articulated here, as has an
early book of Baudrillard, System of Objects. For an excellent collection
of thing theories, see Candlin and Guins, Object Reader.
12 Kyarakutā, Zukai de wakaru kyarakutā māketingu, 22–24, 32. The
copyright business can include selling the rights to manufacture

232   ·   Notes to Chapter 3
character products (such as Atomu running shoes) or the rights to use
the character image in a particular company’s marketing campaign
(Meiji’s use of the Atomu image is an obvious example). The latter
practice is also known as character marketing.
13 See, e.g., Schodt, Astro Boy Essays, 74.
14 Ōtsuka and Ōsawa, “Japanimeeshon” wa naze yabureru ka, 24, describe
this period as “the first real ‘character boom’ in modern history.” The
qualifier “modern” is important insofar as it implicitly acknowledges the
possibility of character booms in the premodern period. Here I refer to
Kagawa Masanobu’s interesting argument that the origins of Japanese
character culture are to be found in the Edo period, particularly in the
eighteenth century, with the visualization of the formerly folktale-based
yōkai, or “hobgoblins.” With their visualization came their commodifi-
cation and their sale in the form of card-based games that in turn laid
the basis for Japan’s vibrant character culture—a culture that still, as the
case of Pokémon exemplifies, takes monsters as the basis for characters.
Kagawa, “Bakemono kara Pokemon e” and Edo no yōkai kakumei; see
also Kabat, “Monsters as Edo Merchandise.” Although Kagawa’s work
should not be ignored, and this longer history of characters in Japan
should be kept in mind, I take the 1920s–1930s as the first instance of
character circulation in (modern) Japan in large part because the works
at that time—as they were to be later—were based around manga and
animation and emphasized the circulation of the character image across
multiple media platforms.
15 Nogami, “Manga to kyarakutā bunka,” 8.
16 Nogami, “Sekai wo sekken suru nihon no kyarakurā no miryoku,” 25.
17 Saitō, Showa gangu bunkashi, 9. Saitō’s finely researched book is the most
detailed account of the history of Japanese toys I have come across. For
two important English-language accounts of the Japanese toy industry
and its economic importance for Japan, see Allison, Millennial Monsters,
and Cross and Smits, “Japan, the U.S., and the Globalization of Children’s
Consumer Culture.”
18 Tezuka himself remarks on the pioneering role of Disney in mobilizing
copyright law, media, and relations with companies to limit the circula-
tion of pirated materials in early postwar Japan. Tezuka, Tezuka Osamu
essei-shū #3, 191.
19 Kōno, “Shōhinkaken shiyō kyodaku gyōmu, dai 2 kai,” 26.
20 Ibid. For an excellent account of Walt Disney’s early marketing strategy
in the U.S. context, see DeCordova, “The Mickey in Macy’s Window.”

Notes to Chapter 3   ·    233

21 Heide and Gilman, “Master of Marketing.”
22 Roy Disney, as quoted by DeCordova, “The Mickey in Macy’s Window,”
23 O. B. Johnston notes only the existence of Paris and London offices in
the 1930s in his memoirs as a member of the Disney merchandising
department, serialized in the Japanese Merchandising Rights Report.
Johnston and Kerry, “Watashi to kyarakutā māchandaijingu, #5,” 20.
24 Tsugata, Anime sakka to shite no Tezuka Osamu, 16. Tsugata’s research
appears to revise Yamaguchi and Watanabe’s earlier suggestion that the
first Disney short screened in Japan was The Skeleton Dance in 1930.
Yamaguchi and Watanabe, Nihon animēshon eiga shi, 23.
25 These Mickey Mouse manga include Shiyaka Bontarō’s 1934 Mikkī
no kappatsu (Mickey’s Activity) and Hirose Shinpei’s Mikkī Chūsuke
(Mickey Chūsuke), discussed in Ōtsuka and Ōsawa, “Japanimēshon”
wa naze yabureru ka. Although it is difficult to come by records on the
extent of the circulation of the character, a Mickey Mouse toy from the
1930s is on display at the Yokohama Buriki Omocha Hakubutsukan toy
museum, and Mickey and Betty Boop menko (game) cards are pictured
in Tada, Omocha hakubutsukan #20, 24.
26 Saitō, Omocha hakubutsushi, 175.
27 Ken’ichi Katō, the editor of Shōnen kurabu at the time, notes that before
Norakuro, the longest-running manga had been serialized for only two
years. The average serialization time was one year. Katō, Shōnen kurabu
jidai, 100.
28 Saitō, Showa gangu bunkashi, 70.
29 Katō, Shōnen kurabu jidai, 104–5.
30 Saitō, Showa gangu bunkashi, 51.
31 The prevalence of character images in games such sugoroku, karuta,
and menko continue into the postwar period as well. See the visual
catalogue of Hanzawa, Dōyūbunkashi Bekkan.
32 Akiyama, Maboroshi sensō manga no sekai, 102. The Manchurian In-
cident provided the pretext for Japan’s invasion of Manchuria and the
increased militarization that would result in full-scale war beginning
in 1937.
33 Ibid., 152. This did not signal the complete disappearance of animal
manga characters, which, as Thomas Lamarre notes in the context of
animation, continued in some form or other until the end of the war.
See Lamarre, “Speciesism, Part One.”
34 Akiyama, Maboroshi sensō manga, 158.

234   ·   Notes to Chapter 3
35 Saitō, Showa gangu bunkashi, 95.
36 Ibid., 132–33.
37 Allison, Millennial Monsters, 36.
38 Zaidan Hōjin Nihon Gangu Bunka Zaidan, “Keikōgyō no hatten to
dai’ichi ōgon jidai no omochatachi,” 36.
39 Saitō, Showa gangu bunkashi, 183.
40 Both trade journals later changed their names, Gangu shōhō to Toizu
magazin (Toys Magazine) and Tokyo gangu shōhō to Toi jānaru (Toy
41 Gangu Shōhō, February 1958, 37.
42 Saitō, Showa gangu bunkashi, 25–34, emphasizes the importance of
this distinction; small-article toys are the focal point of an informative
discussion between Katō and Kōno, “Kyarakutaa shōhin hassei no dodai
to natta komono gangu,” 15–21. While the terms ōmono gangu and
komono gangu are infrequently used in the present day—particularly
as omocha has replaced gangu as the Japanese word for toy—the dis-
tinction between the two persists, particularly as there tends to be a
division of labor between companies that produce more expensive toys
and those that produce toys or novelty items for inclusion with candies
as premiums or as small and inexpensive items in convenience stores.
43 Saitō, Showa gangu bunkashi, 51.
44 See Takayama, 20 Seiki omocha hakubutsukan, 13; Saitō, Showa gangu
bunkashi, 25; and Tada, Omocha hakubutsukan #20.
45 Katō and Kōno, “Kyarakutaa shōhin hassei no dodai to natta komono
gangu,” 15.
46 Saitō, Showa gangu bunkashi, 219.
47 Allison, Millennial Monsters, 37–38.
48 Kondō and Kōno, “Kore kara wa gurumi jidai,” 22–23.
49 Given the dearth of historical research on the history of toys—and par-
ticularly the scarcity of histories of character-based toys and character
merchandising—I rely on the articles and ads in the pages of Gangu
shōhō and its Tokyo version, Tokyo gangu shōhō, to get a sense of the toys
of the time. It is certainly possible that certain toys were simply neither
advertised nor mentioned. However, these principal trade journals offer
a wealth of information about what was going on in the realm of toys
at the time. As such, they are an invaluable resource for tracking trends
in toys during the 1950s and 1960s.
50 There is another reason to believe that this was in fact a year that saw
the proliferation of Disney toys—and not simply ads for them. In a

Notes to Chapter 3   ·    235

1977 interview, toy industry veteran Tokushi Kondō tells Akira Kōno
that Koizumi Kiyoshi Shōten Gangu was the earliest company to make
Disney toys and was responsible for their proliferation. These, Kondō
estimates, first came out around 1960. Koizumi Kiyoshi Shōten Gangu
was responsible for one of the August 1957 advertisements in Gangu
shōhō. While Kondō is clearly off by at least three years, it is likely that
this 1957 flurry of ads for Disney inflatable vinyl toys does mark, as he
suggested, the beginning of the proliferation of Disney character-based
toys. See Kondō and Kōno’s exchange in “Kore kara wa gurumi jidai,”
51 Gangu shōhō, “Ninki no shōten: Bambi no shiisō,” n.p.
52 Nakao, “Kyarakutā gyōkai hajimete monogatari,” 28; Kayama and
Bandai Kyarakutā Kenkyūjo, 87% no nihonjin ga kyarakutā wo suki na
riyū, 186. The Nagata mentioned in the Disney ad noted above was,
not coincidentally, also the head of Daiei film studio.
53 Kōno, “Shōhinkaken shiyō kyodaku gyōmu, dai 2 kai,” 21. Several years
later, Disney founded its own licensing firm to take care of licensing
contracts for its character in Japan. Nakao, “Kyarakutā gyōkai hajimete
monogatari,” 28.
54 The very contract Tezuka’s Mushi Production Studio used for licensing
the use of their characters was a simplified version of that developed by
Disney. Kōno, “Shōhinkaken shiyō kyodaku gyōmu, dai 3 kai,” 24.
55 Takahashi, “Akadō Suzunosuke,” 76.
56 Katō and Kōno emphasize the significance of Akadō swords and toy
maker Takatoku’s move to produce large-article toys based on char-
acters—something that had been the preserve of small-article goods
makers. See their “Kyarakutā Shōhin hassei no dodai to natta komono
gangu,” 16.
57 Saitō, Showa gangu bunkashi, 279–80.
58 Another significant fact about these toys is that they were on the whole
unlicensed; at this time, it was still rare for toy makers to pay royalties
either for the use of the character image or for producing items based
on the character. Kōno, “Shōhinkaken shiyō kyodaku gyōmu, dai 2 kai,”
59 Kushima, Shōnen būmu, 31.
60 Saitō, Showa gangu bunkashi, 280–81, points out that Takatoku coined
the term.
61 E.g., the May 1958 issue of Shōnen offered one hundred CineColts as
giveaways in return for answering a quiz about one of their ongoing,

236   ·   Notes to Chapter 3
popular manga series, Yaguruma Ken’nosuke. The item could also be
purchased via mail order to Shōnen magazine.
62 Kodansha, Atomu Book, 24–26. Shōnen magazine’s publisher Kōbunsha
is cited as the maker of this 1958 Atomu figurine.
63 It was the Kappa Comics editions of the Tetsuwan Atomu manga that
were published as of December 1963 that proved to be the real “record-
breaking huge bestsellers,” according to Mori, Zusetutsu Tetsuwan
Atomu, 93. While the earlier hard-cover book collections of Atomu
were popular enough for a total of eight volumes to be released (Mori,
Zusetutsu Tetsuwan Atomu, 78), the real popularity of Atomu books
appears to have come with the Kappa Comics editions after the televi-
sion anime.
64 Saitō, Showa gangu bunkashi, 281–82. See also Katō and Kōno, “Kyarakutā
shōhin hassei no dodai to natta komono gangu,” 18.
65 Saitō, Kodomo tachi no genzai, 49; Nogami, “Kōdo seichō to omocha
no tayōka,” 78.
66 Gladwell, Tipping Point, 9.
67 Nogami, Omocha to asobi, 58, writes that TV’s and toys’ indissociable
relationship first began with Tetsuwan Atomu in 1963, precisely because
of the mass extent of television’s reach. Katō and Kōno, “Kyarakutā
shōhin hassei no dodai to natta komono gangu,” 17, similarly note the
essential relation between the proliferation of TV sets and the rise of
mass media toys around the time of Atomu.
68 Indeed, it was not until the anime version of Atomu’s positive reception
that manga became generally accepted by adults. Saitō, Kodomo tachi
no genzai, 46, 51.
69 Kan, Jidō bunka no gendaishi, 118.
70 In an article originally published in 1965, Kan, ibid., 231, writes that
“television is at the center of mass communications.”
71 Yamakawa, “Shōhinka keikaku ni tsunagaru terebi manga no būmu,”
72 Expressions of this sentiment can be found in many accounts of the
Atomu boom by writers who were children at the time of anime’s emer-
gence. E.g., Inamasu Tatsuo, a professor of Hosei University who was a
child at the time of the release of the Atomu television series, notes that
while people like Yasuo Ōtsuka “felt like the animation wasn’t moving,”
younger viewers “had the intense feeling that the Tetsuwan Atomu from
Tezuka’s magazine [manga] was moving, and this was the reason for its
explosive popularity.” Quoted in Akita, “Koma” kara “firumu” e, 153.

Notes to Chapter 3   ·    237

73 Saitō, Showa gangu bunkashi, 282. Saitō Jirō makes a similar point in
Kodomo tachi no genzai, 43–52.
74 Saitō, Kodomo tachi no genzai, 49.
75 Barthes, Mythologies, 54.
76 Benjamin, “On the Mimetic Faculty,” 720.
77 Benjamin, “Cultural History of Toys,” 115–16.
78 “The Child and Play: Theoretical Approaches and Teaching Applica-
tion,” Educational Studies and Documents (Paris: UNESCO, 1980), 11,
quoted in Sutton-Smith, Toys as Culture, 11; emphasis added.
79 Kline, Out of the Garden, 323.
80 Kumagai, Buriki no omocha, 213.
81 Ibid., 141; emphasis added.
82 The fashion-based, short-lived quality of the mass media toy was some-
thing on which Namekawa, Omocha kyōikuron, 133, remarked in his
early consideration of the character-based toy.
83 In a recent essay on the issue of consumption, Gilbert, “Against the
Commodification of Everything,” 555, makes a fundamentally impor-
tant suggestion: we can no longer adopt the classical stance of critical
theory that sees commodities as immaterial or based on the principles
of uniformity and repetition. We cannot ignore “the power of capital
to generate real material differences, however slight.” “Put very simply,”
Gilbert continues, “fine wine really is different from small beer, washing
powders really do differ from each other (however slightly), and these
differences, quite literally, matter, however indifferent individual com-
mentators may be to them personally” (ibid.).
84 This significant transformation of the metal toy into a hybrid metal–
vinyl toy is rarely mentioned by toy histories, whose characteriza-
tion of these toys as “metal” ignores their hybrid quality. For exam-
ples of 1950s and 1960s tin toys, see Takayama, Buriki no omocha
85 Kondō and Kōno, “Kore kara wa gurumi jidai,” 28. This is still common
practice in food and snack industries.
86 This transformation would be complete by the mid-1970s, when, after
the 1973 oil crisis, Japan’s status as the “Empire of Toy Exports” was
ceded to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Korea, forcing Japanese toy produc-
ers to target principally the domestic market. The model for this shift
was provided by companies like Bandai and Popy, whose emphasis was
on the production of character toys. Kōno, “Raisensaa to raisenshii no
setten #4,” 43. See also the introduction to Alt et al., Super #1 Robot,

238   ·   Notes to Chapter 3
which emphasizes the importance of Popy’s sponsorship of character-
based television programs.
87 The theory of affordances was developed by psychologist Gibson,
Ecological Approach to Visual Perception, and refers to the particular
capacities or possibilities for action an object or environment offers to
a particular subject.
88 Fleming, Powerplay, 102. The inventive, Star Wars–derived urban vinyl
toys produced by Sucklord are wonderful examples of this refusal of
89 Here I am situating creative play with the character toy in the same
lineage as current fan practices like the writing of slash fiction, the
creation of mash-up songs or videos, and the making of machinima.
In short, play itself can be understood to be an active fan practice that
creates new texts as much as it consumes—and reconfigures—existing
90 Saitō, Showa gangu bunkashi, 46.
91 Ibid., 177.
92 This understanding of media as a network or system owes some debt to
the treatments of media in the systems theory of Luhmann, Reality of
the Mass Media, and the processually postsystemic theory of Massumi,
Parables for the Virtual, 68–88, and “National Enterprise Emergency.”
However, the understanding of media connection sketched here holds
more interest in the transmedia and transgeneric networking (Massumi’s
event-transitivity) of particular franchises such as Tetsuwan Atomu than
in the genre differentiation between “programme strands”—such as
news, entertainment, or advertising—that informs Luhmann’s study.
Transmedia movement here implies a kind of transversal movement
across media and things that creates potentially different organizations
of media and things but that nonetheless settles into established patterns
of relation (media mixes).
93 Bolter and Grusin, Remediation, 45, 68. Bolter and Grusin are here
relaying industry discourse; the counter term they offer for repurpos-
ing—remediation—is much more complex. See also Klinger’s discussion
of repurposing in Beyond the Multiplex, 7–8.
94 Krauss, “Reinventing the Medium,” 296.
95 Ibid., 300.
96 Douglas and Isherwood, World of Goods, 38. Later, in a more struc-
turalist vein, they write that “all goods carry meaning, but none by
itself.  .  .  .  The meaning is in the relation between all the goods” (49).

Notes to Chapter 3   ·    239

97 Fiske, Introduction to Communication Studies, 2.
98 See McQuail and Windahl, Communication Model, for a useful overview
of various models of communication. Clarke, “Communication,” offers
a critically engaging account of communication theory.
99 Marx, Capital, 1.176–77.
100 Jason Read emphasizes the importance of abstraction when he writes,
“What matters most about the commodity form, in terms of its effects
on subjectivity, culture and politics is that it is absolutely indifferent to
its material content. Its materiality and effectivity is in its abstraction.”
Read, Micro-politics of Capital, 63; emphasis added. While recognizing
the reality of abstraction and its effects (indeed, as Read suggests in
his convincing reading, the materiality of abstraction), we should also
consider the material or physical aspect of the commodity. Abstractions
not only have material effects; materials such as the sticker, the toy, etc.,
have effects on their abstractions, for the materiality of the commodity
informs its circulation and communication and the effects these produce.
101 Baudrillard, Ecstasy of Communication, 23; emphasis added.
102 Marx, in the opening to Capital, emphasizes that “the exchange relation
of commodities is characterized precisely by its abstraction from their
use-values” (1.127).
103 Baudrillard, Ecstasy of Communication, 23.
104 Marx, Capital, 1.163, famously describes the commodity as “abounding
in metaphysical subtleties and theological niceties.”
105 Beller, Cinematic Mode of Production, 211.
106 Ibid., 231.
107 Lash and Lury, Global Culture Industries, 25.

4. Media Mixes, Media Transformations

1 There are two recent exceptions to this: Uchida Hitoshi, “Hyōgen to
shite no media mikkusu,” 89, briefly notes that “the word media mix
originally referred to a business or advertising method” and Kawasaki
and Iikura, “Ranobe kyara wa tajū sakuhin sekai no yume o miru ka,” 18,
equally briefly suggest the term’s origins lie in marketing discourse. For
general discussions of the media mix practice, see the works of Yoko-
hama, “‘Shinseiki Evangelion’ ni okeru monogatari seikai no kōsei” and
“Fukusūkei de miru koto”; Azuma in his two-volume work Dōbutsuka
suru posutomodan (the first volume translated into English as Otaku);
Allison, who usefully links the media mix of the 1990s to transformations

240   ·   Notes to Chapter 4
in capitalism in Millennial Monsters; and Lamarre’s theorization of
transmedia seriality in Anime Machine.
2 For an example of the term’s use in a recent marketing textbook, see
Shimamura, Atarashii kōkoku, 156–58.
3 For an excellent consideration of the place of Kadokawa in relation to
Japanese film practice that takes account of its media mix initiatives and
similarly puts into question the common presumption that Kadokawa
originated this practice, see Alexander Zahlten’s dissertation “The Role
of Genre in Film from Japan.” This work is an important resource that
situates Kadokawa more closely in relation to developments in inde-
pendent film production.
4 This term is used with some caution. The anime media mix is to be sure
not limited to anime but rather prominently includes live-action TV
series and films. However, two reasons justify this usage: first, I contend
that this mode of linking media together coalesced around TV anime
as it emerged in the early 1960s, and second, the term presently refers
to a phenomenon that is most prevalent in anime and its related media
cultures (video games, comics, and light novels), though of course, this
term is applied to non-anime media mixes as well. A final note of cau-
tion: marketing media mix should not be confused with the marketing
mix, one of the most fundamental concepts of modern marketing, which
refers to the four Ps of product, price, place, and promotion. Advertising
(and hence the marketing media mix) is a component of promotion.
5 Ishikawa, Yokubō no sengo shi, 88. According to Ishikawa, the term was
first introduced to Japan in the late Taisho period (1912–26), around
1924, but only came into general usage in the mid-1950s.
6 Kohara, Nihon māketingu shi, 68. See also Shimokawa, Māketingu, 120.
7 Kohara, “Nihon no māketingu,” 11–12. The prior existence of Senden
kaigi—a monthly marketing and advertising magazine first published
by the Kubota marketing agency in 1954—would seem to indicate a
growing interest in marketing predating this 1955 trip. However, it is
striking how most marketing journals begin to be published in 1956 or
thereafter, with Dentsū kōkoku ronshi (1955–) and Marketing to kōkoku
(1956–) being two good examples.
8 Kotler, Marketing Management, 20.
9 Keith, “Marketing Revolution,” 35. Not surprisingly, this shift brought
with it an increasing concern for the study of the consumer, and the
1950s saw the “development of an academic discipline of consumer
behavior within the marketing departments of colleges of commerce

Notes to Chapter 4   ·    241

and business.” Belk, “Studies in the New Consumer Behaviour,” 58. For
a discussion of the increasingly nuanced approach to the consumer and
the importance of the brand as of the 1960s, see Lury, Brands, 22–25.
10 Keith, “Marketing Revolution,” 38.
11 Kohara, “Nihon no māketingu,” 6.
12 Ibid., 11.
13 This point can be illustrated by looking at the example of the electronics
industry. The electronics industry was a fundamental component of
Japan’s postwar rise as an industrial power, yet while exports accounted
for some of the growth of Japanese industries, the mainstay and reason
for the success of key industrial sectors such as television production was
domestic rather than foreign consumption (at least at first). And for this,
as Simon Partner argues, good marketing was key. Partner suggests that
the marketing of television sets by the electronics industry through the
concept of the “bright life,” created in the 1950s, was “just as responsible
for the postwar miracle as the Japanese electronics industry.” In short,
the key to postwar prosperity was the consumption of media, particu-
larly TV and television sets, and the key to the consumption of televi-
sion sets was good marketing. Partner, Assembled in Japan, 138–39, 4.
14 This tendency and the next are evident in leading marketing journals
such as Senden kaigi, CM kenkyū, Dentsū kōkoku ronshi and Marketing
to kōkoku.
15 A number of these terms were the focus of American marketing debates
of the time. That these terms made their way to Japan fairly quickly is not
surprising. Japanese marketing theorists were avid readers of American
marketing journals and quickly picked up on trends and issues being
dealt with therein.
16 These two articles are Shiraishi, “Media mikkusu ni yoru kōkoku no
kōka,” and Kobayashi, “Media mikkusu ni, san no jirei.”
17 Senden kaigi, “Gendai kōkoku jiten,” 109.
18 Quoted in Suzuki, “Shakai shinrigakuteki media mikkusu kenkyū jo-
setsu,” 76. This article provides a useful review of marketing media mix
theory; another useful article in this regard is Nakajō and Mitsumoto,
“Media mikkusu no riron to shuhō.”
19 Nikkei Kōkoku Kenkyūjo, Kōkoku yōgo jiten, 175. Here it is worth not-
ing the existence of three words in Japanese that designate the English
term media. The two loanwords media or masu komi are used in the
English sense of the “(mass) media”; baitai is closer to the English term

242   ·   Notes to Chapter 4
20 Bass and Lonsdale, “An Exploration of Linear Programming in Media
Selection,” 179; emphasis added.
21 With the recent rise of the concept of “cross-media marketing,” market-
ing discourse would seem to bring the marketing media mix closer to
the anime media mix—albeit under a different name. With cross-media
marketing, the movement from one medium to another would initially
seem to be the goal, as when, to use a typical example, a fragmentary
narrative on television asks viewers to use their cell phones or computers
to access a website that will complete the narrative. In some sense, this
is much closer to what the anime media mix has practiced since the
1960s. And yet, as Tanaka Hiroshi’s overview of the concept suggests, the
initial media crossing is only meant to be the foreplay to a final venture
into the store where an object will be purchased. In short, this differs
little from the marketing media mix after all because the consumption
of a final material good distinct from the advertisement is posited as
the goal. Tanaka, “‘Kurosu media kenkyūkai’ hōkoku 2,” 4.
22 This grid is sustained, it would seem, by the hold a certain epistemology
of the media and the exigency of quantification (how much money +
how many viewers + how many times = how many purchases of the
product) has on them, which militates against recognizing the fuzziness
of real media operations.
23 Suzumiya Haruhi in fact goes under different names, depending on
the novel, video game, or anime series in question: Suzumiya Haruhi
no yū’utsu (The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi), Suzumiya Haruhi
no taikutsu (The Boredom of Suzumiya Haruhi), Suzumiya Haruhi no
sōshitsu (The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi), etc. I will follow
common protocol and refer to the entire series as the Suzumiya Haruhi
24 “Tetsuwan Atomu, Tetsujin 28-gō to otonatachi,” 22.
25 As early as 1964, the advertising critic Yamakawa Hiroji wrote that “the
program and the commercial’s relations have already become one entity.
Can we not say that the entire 30 minutes of Tetsuwan Atomu is a com-
mercial for the ‘Atomu caramels’ commodity?” Yamakawa, “‘Bangumi’ to
‘komāsharu’ no aidagara,” 53. The suggestion that the program has itself
become a commercial is also put forward in American and Canadian
critics’ discussions of what, with the deregulation of the 1980s, were
known as “toy-based programs” (such as G.I. Joe and Jem). This is a
very similar phenomenon to what emerged in Japan in the early 1960s
and yet, thanks to the efforts of government regulatory bodies, did not

Notes to Chapter 4   ·    243

emerge in North America until the 1980s. For discussions of character
merchandising and the blurring of programming and advertising in
the North American context, see Kline, Out of the Garden; Seiter, Sold
Separately; and Schneider, Children’s Television.
26 Inoue, “Hanbai sokushin no tame no ‘ekō sakusen,’” 104–7.
27 Yamakawa stresses the function of this echo strategy in the context of
children’s television anime in “Shōhinka keikaku ni tsunagaru terebi
manga no būmu” and “‘Bangumi’ to ‘komāsharu’ no aidagara.”
28 Mori, Zusetsu: Tetsuwan Atomu, 93.
29 Sono sheets were very thin, flexible records that could be played on a
real record player or a cheap toy record player and, in the case of Atomu,
often came with Atomu story or picture books. After the Atomu sono
sheet’s popularity, subsequent children’s TV shows were also released
as sono sheets. Nakano, “Subarashiki Showa 30 nendai, Dai 7 kai,” 16.
30 Kodansha, Atomu Book, highlights the incredible diversity of Atomu-
based media-commodities.
31 The release of Suzumiya Haruhi works were often promoted in the
“Media Mix” section of Kadokawa’s Japanese Web site: http://www.
32 The light novel is variously defined as a genre or meta-genre of literature
that is best described as a novel written in simple prose (hence the adjec-
tive light) and is accompanied by periodic illustrations. The illustrations
are done in the style of anime or manga characters, and light novels are
an increasingly important source for manga and anime narratives. The
narratives are often steeped in genres such as the detective genre, the
fantasy genre, or science fiction. For two theoretical considerations of the
light novel meta-genre, see Ōtsuka, Kyarakutā shōsetsu no tsukurikata,
and Azuma, Gēmu teki riarizumu no tanjō.
33 As this broad definition implies, the media mix is not limited to the goals
of maximum sales but also presents new possibilities not extant in the
individual media works alone—possibilities, e.g., for a reconceptual-
ization of narrative and for the creation of experimentally transmedial
works. In this regard, too, the Haruhi franchise is of interest as the anime
version is a nonlinear, cut up, and reordered version of the linear series
of events recounted in the first novel. Narrative and visual divergence
of series becomes a creative possibility open to media mix works. The
tendency to take advantage of this creative possibility is precisely what
defines later incarnations of the media mix, an issue to which I will
return in chapter 5.

244   ·   Notes to Chapter 4
34 On the light novel as an increasingly important element of the anime
media mix, see Hirota, “Raitonoberu wa anime kai no kyūseishu na
35 The first tier—in terms of sales and size—was occupied by the three
publishing giants Kodansha, Shueisha, and Shogakukan. I take the lib-
erty of referring to Kadokawa Gen’yoshi and Kadokawa Haruki by their
given names to differentiate them more succinctly. I follow the same
practice in the next chapter, when I discuss Haruki’s younger brother
Kadokawa Tsuguhiko.
36 The first Kadokawa Gen’yoshi passage is quoted in Asahi Shinbun Yūkan
(Asahi Newspaper, Evening Edition), August 28, 1993; the second comes
from a one-page declaration by Gen’yoshi written in 1949, titled “On
the Occasion of the Launching of Kadokawa Paperbacks,” published in
the back pages of every Kadokawa paperback edition to this day.
37 Higuchi, “Suna no utsuwa” to “Nihon chinbotsu,” 211. The strategy of
combining novel with film also took off in the United States in the 1970s.
This and the importance of Love Story for Hollywood are detailed in
Justin Wyatt’s fine work, High Concept. The rise of the media mix within
the Japanese film and book industries—through the efforts of Kadokawa
Haruki—is thus contemporaneous to the development of what Wyatt,
drawing on a Hollywood industry term, calls high-concept films.
38 Kadokawa Haruki discusses this in his autobiography, Wa ga tōsō, 132.
If the title of his autobiography (My Struggle) seems to overlap with
Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf (My Struggle), this is no accident: Kadokawa
has provocatively expressed his admiration for Hitler’s book, which
he claimed was his “most important textbook” for his media strategy.
In fact, he reads Hitler’s use of uniforms, music, Rilke’s poetry, and
Nietzsche’s thought as elements of a wider media strategy key to total
mobilization. See Kadokawa, “Wa ga tōsō,” 80–81.
39 Sotooka, “Baburu bunka no hate,” 6.
40 On the use of color for the first time on paperback covers and its Ameri-
can inspiration, see Kadokawa, Wa ga tōsō, 133; on advertisements in
paperback editions, see Yamakita, Kadokawa Haruki no kōzai, 110.
41 Kogawa Tetsuo, as quoted by Sotooka, “Baburu bunka no hate,” 9.
42 Yamakita, Kadokawa Haruki no kōzai, 111. Kadokawa Haruki is dismissed
as someone who “ran the publishing with the sense of a fashion event”
in the roundtable discussion between Ijiri Kazuo, Tayama Rikiya, and
Kasuya Kazuki, “Kadokawa Haruki no mita yume,” 310.
43 Ueno, “Shōhin no bunka-ka arui wa kōkoku to shite no eiga,” 10, suggests

Notes to Chapter 4   ·    245

that the “business strategy itself was not the invention of Mr. Kadokawa,
but was a style already popularized in the United States and elsewhere,
though it was he who established it in Japan.” Kōno, “Raisensaa to raisen-
shii no setten #4,” 45, used the very term trinity (sanmi ittai) strategy to
describe the anime media mix (in this case, TV–magazine–commodity)
as early as 1976, demonstrating the proximity between the Kadokawa
strategy and the anime media mix from the start.
44 Tsuchiya, Kyarakutā bijinesu, 121.
45 Kawai, “Shoseki,” 48. The Yokomizo revival was also helped along by
ATG’s 1975 release of another film version of the author’s Kindaichi
series: Honjin satsujin jiken. In a page ripped from the 1976 media
mix, Kadokawa released a remake of the film Inugamike no ichizoku in
2006 and simultaneously re-released all novels in the Kindaichi Kōsuke
series, advertising in the back matter of the Inugamike novel that this is
“Japan’s ultimate bestseller series, with over 55 million copies printed.”
46 Ueda, Besutoserā kōgengaku, 180. For Ueda, it was this manga genera-
tion’s sensitivity to the combination of image and sound, on top of the
manga-like characteristics of Yokomizo’s prose, that was another reason
for the wide success of Kadokawa’s media mix. Ibid., 181.
47 This serialization was reissued as Yokomizo and Kagemaru, Yatsuhaka-
mura. Shochiku released a film version of Yatsuhakamura in 1977.
48 Ōno, Sunday to Magazine, 243. Ōno argues that it was under the influ-
ence of the popularity of Kagemaru’s manga that Kadokawa started
re-releasing Yokomizo’s books in paperback.
49 Kadokawa, Wa ga tosō, 140, describes these rumors.
50 Shuppan nenkan (Publishing Yearbook) lists Kadokawa’s second film
as being number four of the year 1977’s ten most newsworthy events,
noting the effectiveness of this new ad slogan. “Shuppan/dokushokai
10 dai nyūsu,” 54.
51 Ueno, “Shōhin no bunka-ka,” 10, 13, details the ballooning costs of
advertising over the first five years of Kadokawa films and the manner
in which these costs were overtaking Kadokawa’s profits.
52 Shuppan nenkan 1979, 53.
53 These earlier terms for the media mix are listed by Yamakita, Kadokawa
Haruki no kōzai (originally published in 1982), 33, 202, and Ueda,
Besutoserā kōgengaku (published in 1992), 178, though neither of these
authors use the later term media mix.
54 One of the earliest articles I have come across that uses the term media
mix in its present sense of the anime media mix—referring to its present

246   ·   Notes to Chapter 4
as the “media mix age”—is Utagawa, “Manga (anime) osoru beshi!,”
130. Another article that refers both to the anime media mix and to
Kadokawa marketing is Noda, “Goraku gata shuppansha no media mix.”
55 E.g., Sotooka, “Baburu bunka no hate,” 6, and Ijiri et al., “Kadokawa
Haruki no mita yume,” 304, 309.
56 Kadokawa, “Wa ga tōsō,” 80–81; Kadokawa, Wa ga tōsō, 133. We should
also note that the connections between literature and film in Japan go
back to the beginnings of Japanese cinema (albeit in a less coordinated
fashion than Kadokawa), and the connections between film and music
similarly go back before Kadokawa’s time, symbolized by the career of
singer-actress Misora Hibari and the kayō eiga or “pop song films” that,
according to Fujii, Gosanke kayo eiga no ōgon jidai, had their golden era
in the mid-1960s. Kadokawa’s feat was thus not so much the invention
of relations between media as their systematic deployment.
57 Zahlten, “Role of Genre in Film From Japan,” 255–56, also suggests that
we see Tetsuwan Atomu as an important precursor to Kadokawa’s media
mix strategy. A parallel case for the importance of television for develop-
ing cross-media strategies later used in the film world has been made
in the American context by Caldwell, “Welcome to the Viral Future of
Cinema (Television),” 95, who writes, “The film industry has become as
good at merchandising, repurposing, syndication, sponsorship, product
placement and audience feedback as the television industry was in the
1950s. Studio executives did not discover these strategies in the post-
classical, ‘high-concept,’ or postmodern age; they merely adopted the
tried and proven business strategies that television and broadcasting had
successfully developed many decades earlier.” “Cinema,” he concludes,
“in some odd ways, has become television” (96).
58 Kōno, “Atarashii kyarakurā senryaku no riron to jissen, #1,” 39. Tsuchiya,
Kyarakutā bujinesu, 51, also remarks on the similarities between Popy’s
and Kadokawa’s media mix strategies.
59 By this time, anime no longer solely appealed to children but also appealed
to young adults with series like Uchū senkan Yamato (Space Battleship
Yamato, 1976) and Kidō senshi Gundam (Mobile Suits Gundam, 1979).
Still, this was a relatively specific audience, whereas Kadokawa appealed
to a mass audience.
60 Ueno, “Shōhin no bunka-ka,” 11.
61 Ibid., 12. Here we see the phenomenon observed earlier in this chapter
with respect to the Tetsuwan Atomu television series and its products:
its operation as a kind of promotional relay to other media forms.

Notes to Chapter 4   ·    247

62 Dyer-Witherford, Cyber-Marx, 55.
63 Aglietta, A Theory of Capitalist Regulation, 155. See also Harvey, Condi-
tion of Postmodernity, 121–22.
64 Aglietta, A Theory of Capitalist Regulation, 154.
65 See ibid., 158–61; Gramsci, “Americanism and Fordism,” 300–6, discusses
this standardization of sexual and other norms.
66 Harvey, Condition of Postmodernity, 135.
67 The rise of post-Fordism is dated to the early 1970s—like that of post-
modernism, or late capitalism, all of which are analytical frameworks
attempting to grapple with cultural and economic transformations
undergone since the 1970s and continuing into this day. Harvey, The
Condition of Postmodernity, provides one of the most informative ac-
counts of the transition to and transformations seen under post-Fordism.
68 Kennedy and Florida, Beyond Mass Production.
69 Lee, Consumer Culture Reborn, 119.
70 Ibid., 120.
71 Ibid.
72 Ibid., 130–31.
73 Ibid.
74 Ibid., 135.
75 Ibid.
76 Kline et al., Digital Play, 74. It should be added that even “Fordist” ideal
commodities like the car are influenced by this metalogic, as can be seen
in the increasingly rapid development of new models, the emphasis on
the experience the car provides in their promotion, and the replacement
of long-term ownership with short-term leasing arrangements.
77 Harvey, Condition of Postmodernity, 156.
78 Ōtsuka Eiji has remarked on the coincidence of economic downturn
or recession and the vitality or resurgence of character-based media
and commodity forms, citing the 1930s, 1970s, and 1990s character
booms as examples of character proliferation accompanying depressive
economic times. See his “Shūshū suru shutai” (The collecting subject),
in “Otaku” no seishinshi, 193–95.
79 Allison, Millennial Monsters, 6. For a Japan External Trade Organiza-
tion report pointing in this direction, see “Japan Animation Industry
80 The concept of “soft power” was developed by Joseph S. Nye in the 1990s
and refers to the cultural power or prestige a country may have, in dis-
tinction from hard power, which is understood as military might. The

248   ·   Notes to Chapter 4
term gross national cool (GNC) was coined by McGray, “Japan’s Gross
National Cool,” and refers to the economic benefits that soft power—or
“coolness”—might bring. Kadokawa Haruki’s brother Kadokawa Tsu-
guhiko—the current president of the media conglomerate Kadokawa
Holdings, which I will discuss in greater detail in chapter 5—has recently
written on the importance of the contents industry and “Cool Japan”
from a business perspective in his Kuraudo jidai to “kūru kakumei.”
Condry offers a critical take on the GNC in “Anime Creativity.”
81 Kayama and Bandai Kyarakutā Kenkyujo, 87% no nihonjin ga kyarakutā
o suki na riyū, 196.
82 Onouchi, “Sūji de yomitoku kontentsu bijinesu, dai ikkai.”
83 Kadokawa, “Waga tōsō,” 81.
84 Even here, however, films were often already part of film serials or in-
formal series that extended over time and a body of works, and novels
were often first serialized in newspapers and magazines before being
bound into single book volumes. As I have noted here, with anime and
Kadokawa’s film–novel project, there was more of an acceleration and
systematization of an existing practice than a total transformation.
85 In a fascinating analysis of what he at the time (1977) calls the “mul-
timedia” environment, Tamura, “Maruchi media ni yoru zōfuku no
mechanizumu,” 6–9, points to the importance of magazines and other
information media for amplifying messages transmitted elsewhere and
for developing topics (wadai) that are then picked up and transformed
by other media.
86 Sasakibara and Ōtsuka, Kyōyō to shite no <manga/anime>, 248–49.
87 Deleuze, Desert Islands and Other Texts, 13.
88 Two useful overviews of the concept of flow and the debates around it
are White, “Flows and Other Close Encounters with Television,” and
the first chapter of Dienst, Still Life in Real Time.
89 Williams, Television, 86.
90 Ibid., 97.
91 Ibid., 86.
92 Ibid., 87.
93 Ibid., 88.
94 Ibid., 93.
95 Feuer, “Concept of Live Television,” 15–16.
96 Ellis, Visible Fictions, 112.
97 The importance of television, and TV anime, in particular, for the devel-
opment of the children’s market and the incorporation of the child into

Notes to Chapter 4   ·    249

the society of mass consumption has been underscored by Yamakawa,
“Shōhinka keikaku ni tsunagaru terebi manga no būmu,” 46–50; Akiya
and Takayama, “Fureagaru ‘kodomo shijō,’” 57; Takayama, “Kodomo
shijōron,” 311–14; and Saitō, Kodomotachi no genzai, 49–52.
98 Fiske, Television Culture, 118.
99 Altman, “Television Sound,” 567.
100 Celia Lury, in her theoretical analysis of the brand, similarly suggests
the importance of the concept of televisual flow for thinking the revalu-
ation of the interval that accompanies the brand logic. “The logo,” she
writes, “is a mark of this new operationality of the interval in relation
to the broadcast distribution of the commodity.” Lury, Brands, 89. Here
I understand Lury’s remarks as being applicable to the discussion of
the character as well, but with the significant caveat that the logic of
segmentation and flow must be seen in the wider context of transfor-
mations in the Japanese media ecology of the 1960s and not merely in
the context of televisual form.
101 Christopher Anderson has written about the role of Disney and its
pioneering Disneyland television show (broadcast as of 1954) in the
creation, in the U.S. context, of an “all-encompassing consumer environ-
ment,” or what Disney himself called “total merchandising.” Anderson,
“Disneyland,” 18. Once again, we may note the pioneering role Disney
had in developing transmedia connections and the inspiration Tezuka
and Mushi Production found in Disney’s industrial practices, even as
they were transformed in the development of the Japanese media mix.
102 On the “mediatization of the store,” see Komiya, “Tentō baitaika no
tame no hitotsu no teian,” 18–19.
103 Taking this development as her starting point, Willis, A Primer for Daily
Life, 1–22, proposes to substitute the Marxist analysis of the commod-
ity with an analysis of the package when dealing with contemporary
consumer culture.
104 On the relations between television anime characters, omake premiums,
and package design, see the roundtable discussion Kubota, “Shōdō kai
Shōhin/sokyū no kichō no kibi.”
105 Marx, Capital, 1.1021.
106 Ibid., 1021.
107 Ibid., 1035.
108 Major figures in the movement include Antonio Negri, Mario Tronti,
Paolo Virno, Mariarosa Dalla Costa, and Maurizio Lazzarato; prominent
North American writers associated with autonomist Marxism include

250   ·   Notes to Chapter 4
Harry Cleaver, Nick Dyer-Witherford, Jason Read, and Michael Hardt.
109 Massumi, A User’s Guide to Capitalism and Schizophrenia, 132.
110 Ibid., 133.
111 Smythe, “On the Audience Commodity and Its Work”; Browne, “Politi-
cal Economy of the Television (Super) Text”; Beller, Cinematic Mode
of Production. Maurizio Lazzarato develops this understanding of con-
sumption as production in his “Immaterial Labor” essay. Negri similarly
develops this approach in his theorization of the social factory, wherein
all acts, particularly those that involve communication, become directly
productive for capital: “The entire society becomes one enormous
factory, or rather, the factory spreads throughout the whole of society.
In this situation, production is social and all activities are productive.”
Negri, Politics of Subversion, 204. Terranova offers a superb account of
the voluntary labor of consumers in “Free Labor.”
112 This was arguably an early development of what Kücklich, “Precarious
Playbour,” has termed, in the context of video game modders, playbour.

5. Character, World, Consumption

1 This export of the marketing and media practice from children’s culture
into a wider cultural milieu is a phenomenon that one also sees in the
context of North American media production of film and other texts
from the mid-1970s onward. See Marshall, “New Intertextual Com-
modity,” 71–73.
2 Zahlten, “Role of Genre in Film from Japan,” 295.
3 A recent book on a media mix phenomena describes the Kadokawa
Group as the “representative media conglomerate of Japan.” Yawaraka
Sensha Rengōgun, Yawaraka sensha ryū, 194.
4 Matsutani, “Jissha eiga,” 61, notes that publishers began participating
in the committee production system as of 2001. See also Matsutani,
“Manga no media mikkusu to seisaku iinkai hōshiki.” Tada, Kore ga
anime bijinesu da, 101, suggests that the production committee system
is a “recent trend” (at least with regard to anime production). Thanks
to Alexander Zahlten for additional information on the history of the
committee system.
5 Matsutani, “Jissha eiga,” 75, suggests that we should differentiate the
Kadokawa media mix from the production committee system media
mix—insofar as the former has the media mix as its goal and the lat-
ter has the media mix as its effect. Yet the similarities outweigh the

Notes to Chapter 5   ·    251

differences: both function as de facto integral bodies for the promo-
tion of a particular media mix project. The main difference is that the
former body continues after the particular media mix ends—and takes
on all the financial benefits of success and burdens of failure—whereas
the latter disbands after the end of the media mix run and spreads the
benefits and burdens among its members.
6 The blanket advertising in stores, particularly those catering to anime
fans—through the use of point-of-purchase displays, posters, life-size
models, etc.—connects this phenomenon to the environmentalization
of media beginning in the 1950s and formalized in the 1960s with the
emergence of the anime system.
7 In counterpoint to the argument made here, Zahlten, “Role of Genre
in Film from Japan,” chapter VI, suggests that we should understand
Kadokawa’s work within two phases: the first a blockbuster phase and a
second, program picture phase of the 1980s, which saw smaller budget
films screened as double bills. Here, however, I will paint a relatively
uniform portrait of Kadokawa Haruki’s enterprise that emphasizes its
continuity with the blockbuster phase. As writers like Shinoda Hiroyuki
emphasize, there was a great degree of continuity in style and modus
operandi of blockbuster production through the 1980s and particularly
into the early 1990s—exemplified by massive productions like Kado-
kawa’s failed musicals, the huge yet ultimately unprofitable production
of Ten to chi to (1991) (which Shinoda estimates resulted in a 2 billion
yen deficit), and his ill-fated attempt to produce a Hollywood film, Ruby
Cairo (resulting in another 2.3 billion yen deficit). Shinoda, “‘Daisōran’
hete Kadokawa Shoten,” 75.
8 For comparison of investment and returns from 1976 to 1980, see Ueno,
“Shōhin no bunka-ka arui wa kōkoku to shite no eiga,” 10. For accounts
of Kadokawa from the 1980s to early 1990s, see Sotooka, “Baburu bunka
no hate,” 8; Ijiri et al., “Kadokawa Haruki no mita yume”; and Shinoda,
“‘Daisōran’ hete Kadokawa Shoten,” 70–82.
9 Shinoda, “‘Daisōran’ hete Kadokawa Shoten,” 76; Sotooka, “Baburu
bunka no hate,” 8.
10 Shinoda, “‘Daisōran’ hete Kadokawa Shoten,” 72.
11 Ōtsuka, “Boku to Miyazaki Tsutomu no ’80 nendai, #17,” 269.
12 While I have staged this as a Haruki vs. Tsuguhiko brother-to-brother
divide, the example of Tokuma Books suggests the importance of rec-
ognizing that Tsuguhiko’s own strategy was at least in part informed by
a wider shift toward market segmentation and micromarket strategies

252   ·   Notes to Chapter 5
seen in the 1980s. On Tokuma’s “sukima” shōhō (“gap” business strategy)
or market segmentation, see Noda, “Goraku gata shuppansha no media
mix.” On the wider theoretical and strategic shift by marketers in the
1980s that recognized and exploited the fragmentation of masses into
micromasses, see Ivy, “Formations of Mass Culture.”
13 Shinoda, “‘Daisōran’ hete Kadokawa Shoten.”
14 Deleuze and Guattari, Anti-Oedipus, 101. At one point in the book,
Deleuze and Guattari associate the 4 + n with “primitive production”
(178), but it seems more suitable for the schizophrenic production of
connections (the “and, and  .  .  .  ”) they oppose to the oedipal formation.
15 The importance of this character–world relation even to the more
recent film media mixes developed around the production committee
model is remarked on by Matsutani, “Jissha eiga,” 71. The importance
of the concept of the world for Hollywood’s media mix development
is noted in Jenkins’s discussion of the Matrix phenomenon (which, as
he points out, was inspired by Japanese media mix practices). Jenkins,
Convergence Culture, 114, remarks that “more and more, storytelling
has become the art of world building.”
16 Though some critics have argued that Kadokawa Tsuguhiko’s turn
to live-action film production in recent years has marked a return or
repetition of the Kadokawa Haruki media mix practice (see “Kadokawa
Tsuguhiko HD shachō,” 66–67), this emphasis on the character–world
relation is one of the aspects that marks the significant difference in
this repetition.
17 Originally published in 1989, this book was expanded and republished
in 2001 as Teihon monogatari shōhiron. I have translated a key essay
from this volume as “World and Variation.”
18 Azuma, “Animalization of Otaku Culture”; Otaku.
19 On Ōtsuka’s entry into Kadokawa Media Office and the conditions he
had already conceived for a more minor type of media mix, see Ōtsuka,
“Boku to Miyazaki Tsutomu no ’80 nendai, #17,” 264–69. Ōtsuka,
“Otaku” no seishinshi, 242, notes that he began working at Kadokawa
Media Office in 1987.
20 Ōtsuka and Azuma, “Hihyō to otaku to posutomodan,” 7. This dialogue
has recently been republished (with the previously quoted section edited
out) in a collection of dialogues between Ōtsuka and Azuma, Riaru no
yukue. Dentsū is Japan’s largest advertising agency.
21 Ōtsuka, “Otaku” no seishinshi, 244; Ōtsuka and Azuma, “Hihyō to otaku
to posutomodan,” 7.

Notes to Chapter 5   ·    253

22 Ōtsuka and Azuma, “Hihyō to otaku to posutomodan,” 7; Ōtsuka,
“Otaku” no seishinshi, 243.
23 Ōtsuka, “World and Variation.”
24 Ibid., 105.
25 Ibid., 106.
26 Ibid.
27 Azuma engages with and transforms Ōtsuka’s theory of narrative con-
sumption in his groundbreaking book Dōbutsuka suru posutomodan
(The Animalizing Postmodern), translated into English as Otaku: Japan’s
Database Animals. Although I cannot adequately deal with Azuma’s
transformation of Ōtsuka’s theory, it is worth noting that Azuma equates
the term grand narrative with Jean-François Lyotard’s use of the term
in his theorization of the break between modernity and postmodernity
in Postmodern Condition and hence equates Ōtsuka’s theorization of
narrative consumption with a modern model of consumption. Azuma
then develops a postmodern model of consumption he associates with
a “database consumption” that emerged in the 1990s. If Azuma errs on
the side of excessive historical periodization and rupture—as Lamarre
points out in Anime Machine, 271–74—this book emphasizes historical
continuity, arguing that the logic of narrative consumption was incipi-
ent in Atomu and continues to this day. One more point to be made: in
his sequel to his first Otaku book, Azuma complains that he has been
misunderstood to be saying that all narratives have disappeared, despite
the veritable flood of narratives in the period he discusses (Geemuteki
riarizumu no tanjō, 18–20). Wrong, writes Azuma: only grand narratives
have waned. Yet Azuma himself invites this misunderstanding. In part,
this is because of Ōtsuka’s own slippery use of terms like grand narra-
tive and his reference to historical epics, implying a worldview that is
singular. Yet the grand narrative of Ōtsuka’s text should not be confused
with that of Lyotard. Ōtsuka’s narrative worlds or grand narratives
are inherently multiple. This multiplicity of worlds that characterizes
postmodernity and post-Fordist modes of consumption differs from
the broad, modern beliefs in progress or scientific advance that Lyotard
calls grand narratives (and that presume a single world in which they
are realized). Ōtsuka’s grand narrative schema is, from the start, post-
modern. Azuma’s mistake is to collapse Lyotard’s and Ōtsuka’s uses of
the term grand narrative, starting him off on the wrong foot. That said,
his work is fascinating and highly important for the development of a
body of critical work on anime cultures in Japan.

254   ·   Notes to Chapter 5
28 Ōtsuka, “Otaku” no seishinshi, 244.
29 Ōtsuka, “World and Variation,” 107–8. For an English-language account
of the Gundam world, see Simmons et al., Gundam.
30 Ibid., 109–10.
31 For a good account of the comic market and its politics, see Thorn,
“Girls and Women Getting Out of Hand.”
32 Ōtsuka, “World and Variation,” 113.
33 Ōtsuka is particularly critical of his “shameless” use of the then popular
semiotic approach, leading him to resist republishing this book until
2001. Ōtsuka, Teihon monogatari shōhiron, 319.
34 Ōtsuka, “Otaku” no seishinshi, 243, remarks on Kadokawa Tsuguhiko’s
interest in U.S. tabletop role-playing games, or TRPGs, and their pub-
lishing form.
35 Here I am reading Ōtsuka’s more recent critique of a transcription model
of the media mix as a retroactive critique of Kadokawa Haruki’s media
mix. Ōtsuka contrasts the “replay” of narratives in different media to
the uniformity across media found in Kadokawa Books: “The reason
why the routine and ‘work-like’ right to left transcription from works
of anime and films whose production has been decided to manga and
novels—recently begun by not only Kadokawa Books but various other
companies—the reason why these works are so uninteresting is that
the writers of these novels and manga are not given any room for the
‘pleasures of replay.’ These half-baked works don’t even deserve being
called media mix.” Ōtsuka, Kyarakutā shōsetsu no tsukurikata, 186.
36 Azuma, Yūbinteki fuantachi#, 393–407, discusses the split within the
Psycho series into Real and Fake.
37 Terranova, “Free Labor,” offers a concise and far-reaching treatment of
this. See also Arvidsson’s discussion of consumers’ creation of a brand’s
value in Brands.
38 Ōtsuka, Monogatari shōmetsuron, 57.
39 Given the importance of the environmentalization of media to our
understanding of the media transformations of the 1960s, it is of more
than mere anectotal interest that Ōtsuka’s workplace at Kadokawa was
designated by the nameplate “Narrative Environment Development.”
Ōtsuka, “Otaku” no seishinshi, 246.
40 Lazzarato, Les Revolutions du Capitalisme, 94.
41 Ibid., 96.
42 Ibid.
43 Deleuze, Negotiations, 177–82.

Notes to Chapter 5   ·    255

44 Lazzarato, Les Revolutions du Capitalisme, 85.
45 Ibid., 69. In the Fordist factory, this is experienced as the deskilling of
workers and the repetition of mundane tasks; in the arena of consump-
tion, the standardization of goods limits the possibilities for individual
modulation. In short, within Fordism, both production and consump-
tion are characterized by the strict delimitation of the singular.
46 Ibid., 70.
47 Ibid.
48 Ibid., 116.
49 Leibniz, Monadology, para. 57, in Rescher, G. W. Leibniz’s Monadology,
50 Leibniz, Monadology, para. 78, in ibid., 27.
51 Ibid., 50.
52 Deleuze, The Fold, 60.
53 Deleuze, Difference and Repetition, 51.
54 Deleuze, The Fold, 81.
55 Lazzarato, Les Revolutions du Capitalisme, 70. Lazzarato’s work is also
heavily influenced by his reading of the nineteenth-century sociologist
Gabriel Tarde, whose alternative model of political economy Lazzarato
develops in Puissances de l’invention.
56 Ibid., 95.
57 Although the term character good usually refers to some secondary
product, such as a plush doll, a notebook, or a candy based on the
character as seen in the anime or manga, to avoid the implication that
anime and manga are cultural properties and not commodities, I include
manga and anime series within the category of character goods.
58 Jenkins, Convergence Culture, details the Wachowskis’ interest in Japa-
nese patterns of divergent transmedia seriality. Ndalianis, Neo-Baroque
Aesthetics, finds a similar trend within U.S. media such as the Alien
59 Ndalianis, Neo-Baroque Aesthetics, makes a similar point, also referenc-
ing Deleuze’s reading of Leibniz in terms of the neo-baroque. Her aim
in doing so is to argue against the view that mass culture is all about
“sterile repetition” and to show the ways in which the very objects of
mass culture are in fact engaging in the production of divergent series.
Though her argument is important, there is the danger of overlooking
the ways in which the differential quality of mass culture is nonetheless
sustained by a power of convergence exerted elsewhere—in this case,
through the character.

256   ·   Notes to Chapter 5
60 Azuma, Gēmu teki riarizumu no tanjō, 125; italics original. Azuma
emphasizes the importance of the character as an entity that gathers
together comics, anime, video games, novels, figurines, etc., within the
1990s media mix in his earlier work as well. See Azuma, Dōbutsuka suru
posutomodan, 76–77; Azuma, Otaku, 53 (where media mix is translated
as “multimedia”).
61 On brand theory, see Lury, Brands, and Arvidsson, Brands.
62 Arvidsson, Brands, vii. Arvidsson cites two main characteristics of
informational capitalism: first, the “blurring of the distinction between
‘production’ and ‘consumption’ or ‘circulation,’ that was central to theories
of industrial society,” and second, “the putting to work of communica-
tion”—what Lazzarato has referred to as “immaterial labor” (9–10).
63 Ibid., 126.
64 Ibid.
65 To use an oft-invoked phrase: they are cute (kawaii). On cuteness, see
Kinsella, “Cuties in Japan.”
66 Lury, Brands, 88–92.
67 Condry, “Anime Creativity,” 148.
68 Saitō, Sentō bishōjo no seishin bunseki, 204.
69 For a book that productively applies brand analysis to narrative worlds—
such as the Matrix—see Grainge, Brand Hollywood. Nonetheless, Grainge
understandably tends to maintain a distinction between the narrative
world of a particular franchise and the brand of the company that is
behind it.
70 Ushiki, Kyarakutā senryaku, 23, 42, a legal theorist and practitioner who
specializes in character commerce, asserts that the basic requirements
for the legal protection of the character are a recognizable name and a
particular visual design. This book is an excellent resource on the legal
theory—and case history—of character merchandising, by a writer who
was involved from the early stages in the debates around and approaches
to character merchandising law in Japan.
71 See the roundtable discussion of the issue, “‘Shōhinkaken’ to iu kotoba
ga umareta koro.”
72 Ushiki, Kyarakutā senryaku, 22. See also the 1994 report by the World
Intellectual Property Organization, “Character Merchandising,” 13.
73 Ushiki, Kyarakutā senryaku, 123.
74 Ibid., 212.
75 Ibid., 230.
76 Trademark law and unfair competition law are two other sets of laws

Notes to Chapter 5   ·    257

appealed to in the protection of a character. Chiteki Shoyūken Jitsumu
Henshū Kaigi, Shōhinkaken, 11.
77 Ushiki, Kyarakutā senryaku, 556.
78 Kōno, “Shōhinkaken shiyō kyodaku gyōmu, dai 3 kai,” 23.
79 Lury, Brands, 15, writes similarly of the brand: “The brand is simulta-
neously virtual and actual, abstract and concrete, a means of relativity
and a medium of relationality. This is undoubtedly what makes it so
effective as a mode of capital accumulation; but the incompleteness
or openness of the brand also provides opportunities for consumers,
sociologists and others to ask: ‘Just do what?’”
80 Deleuze, Difference and Repetition, 208–9.
81 The character functions in a similar manner to what Deleuze, in Difference
and Repetition and Logic of Sense, alternatively terms the “paradoxical
element,” “virtual object,” and “element=x”; that is, it both works to hold
series apart and allows their communication. As such, it circulates in
multiple series without ever settling in a single one. Thanks to Shinji
Ōyama for suggesting that we understand the brand and character as
“virtual objects.”
82 Miyamoto, “Manga ni oite kyarakutā ga ‘tatsu’ to wa dō iu koto ka,” 48.
Itō, drawing on Miyamoto’s definition of the character, substitutes the
homophonic term autonomy (jiritsusei) for independence (jiritsusei) and
develops Miyamoto’s theses further in his important Tezuka izu deddo,
83 Explicating this term developed by Gilbert Simondon, Combes, Si-
mondon, 15, writes that transduction “is the mode of unity of being
across its diverse phases, its multiple individuations.” The character, as
an abstract entity, can thus be said to have a transductive unity (rather
than a stable identity) across its multiple incarnations.
84 As Deleuze argues, the virtual has its own form of determination, albeit
different from that of the actual. See Deleuze, Difference and Repetition,
85 This screen or abstract image corresponds to what Deleuze has called the
“diagram”: a type of screen through which things pass in the process of
actualization. Deleuze, Foucault, 73, describes this as the “transmission
or distribution of particular features.”
86 Kōno, “Shōhinkaken shiyō kyodaku gyōmu, dai 3 kai,” 23.
87 Lury, Brands, 27.
88 In this regard, the character fits well into Lury’s description of the
brand as a surface or interface that “is not, however, to be located in a

258   ·   Notes to Chapter 5
single place, at a single time. Rather, like the interface of the internet,
it is distributed across a number of surfaces (of, for example, products
and packaging), screens (television, computers, cinemas) or sites (retail
outlets, advertising hoardings, and so on).” Ibid., 50. The character,
similarly, is an interface that is present at all levels of production, ad-
vertising, and consumption.
89 Lipietz, as cited in Harvey, Condition of Postmodernity, 122.
90 Kline et al., Digital Play, 62.
91 Kohara, “Nihon no māketingu: Dounyū to tenkai,” 11.
92 On looking as a form of value-production within late capitalism, see
Beller, Cinematic Mode of Production; Arvidsson, Brands; and Marazzi,
Capital and Language, 64–68. Lazzarato’s concept of noo-politics also
assumes attention to be immediately productive for capital.
93 Kline et al., Digital Play, 29.
94 Ōtsuka, Kyarakutā shōsetsu no tsukurikata, 219.
95 Ibid.
96 Ibid., 220.
97 Ibid., 221.
98 Ibid., 223.
99 E.g., see the discussion of the importance of the character–world relation
in the how-to media mix business books Yawaraka Sensha Rengōgun
Yawaraka sensha ryū, 116, and Kyarakutā Māketingu Purojekuto, Zukai
de wakaru kyarakutā māketingu, 60, and Condry’s very useful ethnog-
raphy of anime production, “Anime Creativity,” 152.
100 This drive for knowledge is, nonetheless, important. Allison, Millen-
nial Monsters, 206–15, offers a wonderful analysis of the ways in which
the drive to accumulate knowledge forms one of the motivations for
engaging with the world of Pokémon. Jenkins, Convergence Culture,
98–99, also notes the importance of this epistemophilia in the Matrix
101 The character good is thus the point of contact between the media mix
as industrial phenomenon and the “hypersociality” that Ito describes in
her case study of Yu-Gi-Oh!, “Technologies of the Childhood Imagina-
tion,” 91.
102 It should be noted that a very important shift in the anime demographic
also occurred in the intervening years since the emergence of anime in
the early 1960s. Anime has become increasingly geared toward adults
as much as children, beginning with the 1970s Uchū senkan Yamato
(Space Battleship Yamato; 1974–75) and Gundam (1979–), but even

Notes to Chapter 5   ·    259

more explicitly with “midnight anime” television time slots like Fuji
Television’s Noitamina slot, which began in the mid-2000s and has
featured some of the most innovative anime in that decade.
103 For a consideration of how the designer toy challenges the character-
centric media mix, see Steinberg, “A Vinyl Platform for Dissent.”

260   ·   Notes to Chapter 5

Abe, Susumu. Gendai-kko saitenhō (How to grade the contemporary kid).

Tokyo: Sanichi Shobō, 1962.
Aglietta, Michel. A Theory of Capitalist Regulation: The U.S. Experience.
Translated by David Fernbach. London: Verso, 2000.
Aihara, Hiroyuki. Kyara ka suru Nippon (The character-ization of Japan).
Tokyo: Kodansha, 2007.
Akita, Takahiro. “Koma” kara “firumu” e: Manga to manga eiga (From “frame”
to “film”: The comic and the cartoon film). Tokyo: NTT Shuppan, 2005.
Akiya, Shigeo, and Hideo Takayama. “Fureagaru ‘kodomo shijō’: ‘Chisana
ōsama’ tachi no shōhi seikō” (The rising “children’s market”: The con-
sumption tendencies of the “small kings”). Ekonomisuto 44, no. 48
(1966): 56–60.
Akiyama, Masami. Maboroshi sensō manga no sekai (The world of phantom
war manga). Tokyo: Natsume Shobo, 1998.
Allison, Anne. Millennial Monsters: Japanese Toys and the Global Imagination.
Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006.
Alt, Matt, Robter Duban, and Tim Brisko. Super #1 Robot. San Francisco:
Chronicle Books, 2005.
Althusser, Louis. Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays. Translated by Ben
Brewster. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1971.
Altman, Rick. Film/Genre. London: BFI, 1999.
———. “Television Sound.” In Television: The Critical View, 4th ed., edited
by Horace Newcomb, 566–81. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987.
Anderson, Chris. “Disneyland.” In Television: The Critical View, 6th ed., edited
by Horace Newcomb, 17–33. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

· 261
Arvidsson, Adam. Brands: Meaning and Value in Media Culture. London:
Routledge, 2006.
Asahi Shinbun. “Shintsūryoku o ushinatta manga shōhō” (The manga mer-
chandising strategy [i.e., character merchandising] has lost its magical
powers). October 6, 1969, 14.
Azuma, Hiroki. “The Animalization of Otaku Culture.” Translated by Yuriko
Furuhata and Marc Steinberg in Networks of Desire, Mechademia 2,
edited by Frenchy Lunning, 175–88. Minneapolis: University of Min-
nesota Press, 2007.
———. Dōbutsuka suru posutomodan (The animalizing postmodern). Tokyo:
Kōdansha, 2001.
———. Gēmu teki riarizumu no tanjō: Dōbutsuka suru posutomodan 2 (The
birth of game-ic realism: The animalizing postmodern 2). Tokyo:
Kōdansha, 2007.
———. Otaku: Japan’s Database Animals. Translated by Jonathan E. Abel and
Shion Kono. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009.
———. Yūbinteki fuantachi#. Tokyo: Asahi bunko, 2002.
Barthes, Roland. Mythologies. Translated by Annette Lavers. New York: Hill
and Wang, 1972.
Bass, Frank M., and Ronald T. Lonsdale. “An Exploration of Linear Pro-
gramming in Media Selection.” Journal of Marketing Research 3, no. 2
(1966): 179–88.
Baudrillard, Jean. Ecstasy of Communication. Edited by Sylvère Lotringer.
Translated by Bernard and Caroline Schutze. New York: Semiotext(e),
———. For a Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign. Translated by Charles
Levin. Saint Louis, Mo.: Telos Press, 1981.
———. The System of Objects. Translated by James Benedict. London: Verso,
Baudry, Jean-Louis. “Ideological Effects of the Basic Cinematographic Appa-
ratus.” In Narrative, Apparatus, Ideology, edited by Philip Rosen, 286–98.
New York: Columbia University Press, 1986.
Belk, Russell W. “Studies in the New Consumer Behaviour.” In Acknowledging
Consumption: A Review of New Studies, edited by Daniel Miller, 53–94.
London: Routledge, 1995.
Beller, Jonathan. The Cinematic Mode of Production: Attention Economy and
the Society of the Spectacle. Hanover, N.H.: Dartmouth College Press, 2006.
Benjamin, Walter. “The Cultural History of Toys.” In Walter Benjamin,
Selected Writings, Volume 2: 1927–1934, edited by Michael W. Jennings,

262 · Bibliography
Howard Eiland, and Gary Smith, 113–16. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard
University Press, 1999.
———. “On the Mimetic Faculty.” In Walter Benjamin, Selected Writings,
Volume 2: 1927–1934, edited by Michael W. Jennings, Howard Eiland, and
Gary Smith, 720–22. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999.
Bolter, Jay David, and Richard Grusin. Remediation: Understanding New
Media. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1999.
Boutang, Yann Moulier. Le Capitalisme Cognitif: La Nouvelle Grande Trans-
formation. Paris: Editions Amsterdam, 2007.
Brain. “Nerawareru kodomo shijō” (Taking aim at the children’s market). 4,
no. 8 (1964): 2–14.
Brown, Bill. “The Secret Life of Things (Virginia Woolf and the Matter of
Modernism).” Modernism/Modernity 6, no. 2 (1999): 1–28.
———. “Thing Theory.” Critical Inquiry 28, no. 1 (2001): 1–22.
Browne, Nick. “The Political Economy of the Television (Super) Text.” Quar-
terly Review of Film Studies 9, no. 3 (1984): 174–82.
Burch, Noël. Life to Those Shadows. Translated and edited by Ben Brewster.
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990.
Butler, Jeremy G. Television: Critical Methods and Applications. Belmont,
N.Y.: Wadsworth, 1994.
Caldwell, John T. “Second-Shift Media Aesthetics: Programming, Interactiv-
ity, and User Flows.” In New Media: Theories and Practices of Digitex-
tuality, edited by Anna Everett and John T. Caldwell, 127–44. London:
Routledge, 2003.
———. “Welcome to the Viral Future of Cinema (Television).” Cinema Journal
45, no. 1 (2005): 90–97.
Candlin, Fiona, and Raiford Guins, eds. The Object Reader. London: Rout-
ledge, 2009.
Carey, James W. Communication as Culture: Essays on Media and Society. Lon-
don: Routledge, 1989.
Chiteki Shoyūken Jitsumu Henshū Kaigi, ed. Shōhinkaken (Character mer-
chandising). Tokyo: Ito, 1994.
Chun, Jayson Makoto. “A Nation of a Hundred Million Idiots”? A Social History
of Japanese Television, 1953–1973. London: Routledge, 2007.
Clarke, Bruce. “Communication.” In Critical Terms for Media Studies, edited
by W. J. T. Mitchell and Mark B. N. Hansen, 131–44. Chicago: University
of Chicago Press, 2010.
Combes, Muriel. Simondon: Individu et collectivité. Paris: PUF, 1999.
Comolli, Jean-Louis. “Machines of the Visible.” In Electronic Culture: Tech-

Bibliography · 263
nology and Visual Representation, edited by Timothy Druckrey, 108–17.
New York: Aperture, 1996.
———. “Technique and Ideology: Camera, Perspective, Depth of Field (Parts 3
and 4).” In Narrative, Apparatus, Ideology, edited by Philip Rosen, 421–43.
New York: Columbia University Press, 1986.
Condry, Ian. “Anime Creativity: Characters and Premises in the Quest for
Cool Japan.” Theory, Culture, and Society 26, nos. 2–3 (2009): 139–63.
Cross, Gary, and Gregory Smits. “Japan, the U.S., and the Globalization of
Children’s Consumer Culture.” Journal of Social History 38, no. 4 (2005):
Debord, Guy. The Society of the Spectacle. Translated by Donald Nicholson-
Smith. New York: Zone Books, 1995.
DeCordova, Richard. “The Mickey in Macy’s Window: Childhood, Consum-
erism, and Disney Animation.” In Disney Discourse: Producing the Magic
Kingdom, edited by Eric Smoodin, 203–13. London: Routledge, 1994.
———. Picture Personalities: The Emergence of the Star System in America.
Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2001.
Deleuze, Gilles. Cinema 1: The Movement Image. Translated by Hugh Tom-
linson and Barbara Habberjam. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota
Press, 1986.
———. Cinema 2: The Time-Image. Translated by Hugh Tomlinson and Robert
Galeta. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989.
———. Desert Islands and Other Texts, 1953–1974. Edited by David Lapoujade.
Translated by Michael Taorima. New York: Semiotext(e), 2004.
———. Difference and Repetition. Translated by Paul Patton. New York: Co-
lumbia University Press, 1994.
———. The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque. Translated by Tom Conley. Min-
neapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993.
———. Foucault. Translated by Sean Hand. Minneapolis: University of Min-
nesota Press, 1988.
———. The Logic of Sense. Edited by Constantin V. Boundas. Translated by
Mark Lester. New York: Columbia University Press, 1990.
———. Negotiations: 1972–1990. Translated by Martin Joughin. New York:
Columbia University Press, 1995.
———. Two Regimes of Madness: Texts and Interviews, 1975–1995. Edited by
David Lapoujade. Translated by Ames Hodges and Mike Taormina. New
York: Semiotext(e), 2006.
Deleuze, Gilles, and Félix Guattari. Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizo-

264 · Bibliography
phrenia. Translated by Robert Hurley, Mark Seem, and Helen R. Lane.
Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1983.
———. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Translated by
Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987.
Dentsuhō. “Māburu kyanpēn no CM” (Marble campaign commercials). 1393
(May 1963): 4.
De Peuter, Greig, and Nick Dyer-Witheford. “A Playful Multitude? Mobilis-
ing and Counter-mobilising Immaterial Game Labour.” Fibreculture 5
Dienst, Richard. Still Life in Real Time: Theory after Television. Durham, N.C.:
Duke University Press, 1994.
Doane, Mary Ann. The Desire to Desire: The Woman’s Film of the 1940s.
Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987.
———. “The Indexical and the Concept of Medium Specificity.” differences
18, no. 1 (2007): 128–52.
Douglas, Mary, and Baron Isherwood. World of Goods: Towards an Anthro-
pology of Consumption. London: Routledge, 1996.
Dyer, Richard. Stars. New ed. London: BFI, 1999.
Dyer-Witherford, Nick. Cyber-Marx: Cycles and Circuits of Struggle in High-
Technology Capitalism. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999.
Eckert, Charles. “The Carole Lombard in Macy’s Window.” In Stardom: Industry
of Desire, edited by Christine Glendhill, 30–39. London: Routledge, 1991.
Ellis, John. Visible Fictions: Cinema Television Video. London: Routledge and
Kegan Paul, 1982.
Epstein, Edward Jay. The Big Picture: The New Logic of Money and Power in
Hollywood. New York: Random House, 2005.
Feuer, Jane. “The Concept of Live Television.” In Regarding Television: Critical
Approaches—An Anthology, edited by E. Ann Kaplan, 12–22. Frederick,
Md.: University Publications of America, 1983.
Fiske, John. Introduction to Communication Studies. London: Routledge, 1990.
———. Television Culture. London: Methuen, 1987.
Fleming, Dan. Powerplay: Toys as Popular Culture. Manchester, U.K.: Man-
chester University Press, 1996.
Fujii, Hidetada. Gosanke kayo eiga no ōgon jidai (The golden age of the big
three of the popular song world). Tokyo: Heibonsha, 2001.
Fujikawa, Chisui. “Tetsuwan Atomu-ron” (On Tetsuwan Atomu). In Manga
hihyou taikei: Tezuka Osamu no uchuu (A compendium of manga criti-

Bibliography · 265
cism: The outer space of Tezuka Osamu), edited by Takeuchi Osamu and
Murakami Tomohiko, 18–51. Tokyo: Heibonsha, 1989.
Fukuda, Toshihiko. Monogatari māketingu (Narrative marketing). Tokyo:
Takeuchi Shoten, 1990.
Fuller, Matthew. Media Ecologies: Materialist Energies in Art and Technoculture.
Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2005.
Furuta, Hisateru. “Tetsuwan Atomu” no jidai: Eizō sangyō no kōbō (The era
of “Tetsuwan Atomu”: The battles of the image industry). Kyoto, Japan:
Sekai shisōsha, 2009.
Gaines, Jane M. “Dream/Factory.” In Reinventing Film Studies, edited by
Christine Gledhill and Linda Williams, 100–13. London: Arnold, 2000.
Gangu shōhō. “Ninki no shōten: Bambi no shiisō” (The focus of popularity:
The Bambi See-Saw). August 1957.
Gibson, James J. The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception. Boston:
Houghton Mifflin, 1979.
Gilbert, Jeremy. “Against the Commodification of Everything: Anti-consum-
erist Cultural Studies in the Age of Ecological Crisis.” Cultural Studies
22, no. 5 (2008): 551–66.
Gladwell, Malcolm. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big
Difference. New York: Little, Brown, 2000.
Gorz, André. L’immatériel: Connaisance, valeur et capital. Paris: Galilée, 2003.
Grainge, Paul. Brand Hollywood: Selling Entertainment in a Global Media
Age. London: Routledge, 2008.
Gramsci, Antonio. “Americanism and Fordism.” In Selections from the Prison
Notebooks, translated and edited by Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell
Smith, 279–322. New York: International, 1971.
Guattari, Félix. Chaosmosis: An Ethico-Aesthetic Paradigm. Translated by Paul
Bains and Julian Pefanis. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995.
———. Soft Subversions. Edited by Sylevere Lotringer. Translated by David
L. Sweet and Chet Wiener. New York: Semiotext(e), 1996.
———. The Three Ecologies. Translated by Ian Pindar and Paul Sutton. Lon-
don: Continuum, 2008.
Gunning, Tom. “Moving Away from the Index: Cinema and the Impression
of Reality.” differences 18, no. 1 (2006): 29–52.
Guriko no omake kataroku: Omake no 80 nenshi (Glico’s omake catalogue:
An 80-year history of omake). Tokyo: Yaesu, 2002.
Hanzawa, Toshiro, ed. Dōyūbunkashi Bekkan (A cultural history of children’s
play, supplementary edition). Tokyo: Tokyo Shoseki, 1980.

266 · Bibliography
Hardt, Michael, and Antonio Negri. Empire. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard
University Press, 2000.
Harvey, David. The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins
of Cultural Change. Cambridge: Blackwell, 1990.
Hatakeyama, Chōko, and Masako Matsuyama. Monogatari no hōsō keitai-
ron: Shikakerareta animēshon bangumi (On the form of the broadcast
of narrative: The set-up of animation programs). Kyoto, Japan: Seikai
Shisousha, 2000.
Hayashi, Jōji. “Rimitteddo Anime.” Iconics: Journal of Japanese Image Arts
and Sciences 8 (1978): 23–33.
Heide, Robert, and John Gilman. “The Master of Marketing.” The Main Event,
Higuchi, Naofumi. “Suna no utsuwa” to “Nihon chinbotsu”: 70 nendai nihon
no chōdaisaku eiga (Castle of Sand and Japan Sinks: Japanese blockbuster
movies of the 1970s). Tokyo: Chikuma shobo, 2004.
Hirota, Keisuke. “Raitonoberu wa anime kai no kyūseishu na noka” (Is the
light novel the anime world’s saviour?). Tsukuru, June 2006, 96–101.
Honma, Masao. Shōnen gahō daizen (The compete Shōnen Gahō). Tokyo:
Shōnen gahōsha, 2001.
———. Shōnen manga daisensō (The great wars of boys’ manga). Tokyo:
Sōmasaya, 2000.
Horkheimer, Max, and Theodor W. Adorno. Dialectic of Enlightenment:
Philosophical Fragments. Edited by Gunzelin Schmid Noerr. Translated
by Edmund Jephcott. Palo Alto, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2002.
Hu, Tze-yue G. “The Animated Resurrection of the Legend of the White Snake
in Japan.” Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal 2, no. 1 (2007): 43–61.
Ijiri, Kazuo, Rikiya Tayama, and Kazuki Kasuya. “Kadokawa Haruki no
mita yume: Tezukuri shuppangyō o media mikkusu shita” (The dream
Kadokawa Haruki saw: The tragicomedy of making the hand-made
publishing business into the media mix). Bungei shunju, November 1993,
Inoue, Masaru. “Hanbai sokushin no tame no ‘ekō sakusen’” (An “echo
strategy” for the promotion of sales). Senden kaigi, April 1964, 104–7.
Ishikawa, Hiroyoshi. Yokubō no sengo shi: Senkō suru ishiki kakumei (A
postwar history of desire: The advance of the consciousness revolution).
Tokyo: Kōdansha, 1966.
Ishiko, Jun. Manga shijin Tezuka Osamu (Manga poet: Tezuka Osamu). Tokyo:
Shin-Nihon Shuppansha, 1991.

Bibliography · 267
Ishiko, Junzō. Sengo manga-shi nōto (Notes on the history of postwar manga).
Tokyo: Kinokuniya Shoten, 1994.
Itō, Gō. Tezuka izu deddo: Hirakareta manga hyōgenron e (Tezuka is dead:
Towards an expanded theory of manga expression). Tokyo: NTT Shup-
pan, 2005.
Ito, Mizuko. “Technologies of the Childhood Imagination: Yu-Gi-Oh!, Media
Mixes, and Everyday Cultural Production.” In Structures of Participation
in Digital Culture, edited by Joe Karaganis, 88–109. New York: Social
Science Research Council, 2007.
Ivy, Marilyn. Discourses of the Vanishing: Modernity, Phantasm, Japan. Chi-
cago: University of Chicago Press, 1995.
———. “Formations of Mass Culture.” In Postwar Japan as History, edited by
Andrew Gordon, 239–58. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.
Iwahashi, Ikurō. “Shōnen kurabu” to dokushatachi (“Shonen Club” and its
readers). Tokyo: Zion, 1988.
Jameson, Fredric. The Cultural Turn: Selected Writings on the Postmodern,
1983–1998. London: Verso, 1998.
———. Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. Durham,
N.C.: Duke University Press, 1991.
Japan External Trade Organization, “Japan Animation Industry Trends,”
Jenkins, Henry. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide.
New York: New York University Press, 2006.
———. Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture. London:
Routledge, 1992.
Johnston, O. B., and Mary Kerry. “Watashi to kyarakutā māchandaijingu, #5”
(Character merchandising and myself, #5). Māchandaijingu raitsu repōto
(Merchandizing rights report), March 1982, 16–27.
Kabat, Adam. “Monsters as Edo Merchandise.” Japan Quartely 48, no. 1
(2001): 66–77.
Kadokawa, Haruki. Wa ga tōsō: Furyō seinen wa sekai o mezasu (My struggle:
A delinquent youth aims for the world). Tokyo: Iisuto Puresu, 2005.
———. “Wa ga tōsō: ‘Gensō’ o uru furonteia bijinesu” (My struggle: The
frontier business of selling “fantasy”). Purejidento, October 1977, 80–93.
Kadokawa, Tsuguhiko. Kuraudo jidai to “kūru kakumei” (Cloud computing and
the “cool revolution”). Edited by Katagata Zenji. Tokyo: Kadokawa, 2010.
Kagawa, Masanobu. “Bakemono kara Pokemon e: Kyarakutā to shite no
yōkai” (From monsters to Pokemon: Hobgoblins as characters). In Ima
Mukashi omocha daihakurankai (Great exhibition of toys present and

268 · Bibliography
past), edited by Hyōgo-ken ritsu rekishi hakubutsukan, 32–36. Tokyo:
Kawade Shobo, 2004.
———. Edo no yōkai kakumei (The Edo hobgoblin revolution). Tokyo: Kawade
Shobō, 2005.
Kagetsu, Yōichirō. “‘Ika ni mo’ to ‘natsukashisa’ no jiba” (The magnetic
field of “I see” and “nostalgia”). In Senchū Sengo Kamishibai Hensei (A
collection of wartime and postwar kamishibai), 208–9. Tokyo: Asahi
Shinbunsha, 1995.
Kajiwara, Ikki, and Noboru Kawajaki. Kyojin no Hoshi (Star of the giants).
Vol. 1. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1995.
“Kamishibai no omide wa dagashi no aji” (The memories of kamishibai are of
the taste of the sweets). In Senchū Sengō Kamishibai Hensei (A collection
of wartime and postwar kamishibai), 210. Tokyo: Asahi Shinbunsha, 1995.
Kan, Tadamichi. Jidō bunka no gendaishi (A contemporary history of children’s
culture). Tokyo: Ōtsuki Shoten, 1968.
Karatani, Kōjin. “One Spirit, Two Nineteenth Centuries.” In Postmodernism
and Japan, edited by Masao Miyoshi and H. D. Harootunian, 259–72.
Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1989.
Kata, Kōji. Kamishibai Showa shi (The Showa history of kamishibai). Tokyo:
Iwanami, 2004.
Katō, Ken’ichi. Shōnen kurabu jidai: Henshuchō no kaisō (The Shonen Club
era: Memoirs of the editor-in-chief). Tokyo: Kōdansha, 1968.
Katō, Shūsaku, ed. CM 25 nen-shi (A 25-year history of TV commercials).
Tokyo: Kodansha, 1978.
Katō, Tei, and Akira Kōno. “Kyarakutaa shōhin hassei no dodai to natta
komono gangu” (Small article goods are the foundation from which
character products grew). Māchandaijingu raitsu repōto (Merchandizing
rights report), January 1977, 15–21.
Kawai, Ryōsuke. “Shoseki” (Books). In Shuppan media nyūmon (Introduction
to publishing media), edited by Kawai Ryōsuke, 40–60. Tokyo: Nihon
Hyōronsha, 2006.
Kawasaki, Takuto, and Yoshiyuki Iikura. “Ranobe kyara wa tajū sakuhin
sekai no yume o miru ka?” (Do light novel characters dream of a world
of multiple works?). In Raito noberu kenkyū josetsu (An introduction
to the study of light novels), edited by Ichiyanigi Hirotaka and Kume
Yoriko, 18–32. Tokyo: Seikyusha, 2009.
Kayama, Rika, and Bandai Kyarakutā Kenkyūjo. 87% no nihonjin ga kyarakutā
o suki na riyū (The reason 87 of Japanese love characters). Tokyo:
Gakken, 2001.

Bibliography · 269
Keith, Robert J. “The Marketing Revolution.” Journal of Marketing 24, no. 3
(1960): 35–38.
Kennedy, Martin, and Richard Florida. Beyond Mass Production: The Japanese
System and Its Transfer to the U.S. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993.
Kinsella, Sharon. Adult Manga: Culture and Power in Contemporary Japanese
Society. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2000.
———. “Cuties in Japan.” In Women, Media, and Consumption in Japan,
edited by Brian Moeran and Lise Scov, 220–54. Honolulu: University of
Hawaii Press, 1995.
Kitahara, Teruhisa. “Omake” no hakubutsushi (A natural history of “omake”).
Tokyo: PHP Shinsho, 2003.
Kline, Stephen. Out of the Garden: Toys and Children’s Culture in the Age of
TV Marketing. London: Verso, 1993.
Kline, Stephen, Nick Dyer-Witheford, and Greig de Peuter. Digital Play: The
Interaction of Technology, Culture, and Marketing. Montreal, Quebec,
Canada: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2003.
Klinger, Barbara. Beyond the Multiplex: Cinema, New Technologies, and the
Home. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006.
Knight, Julia, and Alexis Weedon. Editorial in Convergence: The International
Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 1, no. 1 (1995): 5–8.
Kobayashi, Tasaburō. “Media mikkusu ni, san no jirei: kōkoku dairiten, kōkoku
nushi no ba’ai” (Two or three case studies of the media mix: In the case
of ad agencies and advertisers). Dentsū kōkoku ronshi, July 1963, 47–56.
———, ed. Nihon no kōkoku kyanpēn (Japan’s advertising campaigns). Volume
1. Tokyo: Seibundō shinkōsha, 1965.
Kōbunsha, Bunko, ed. “Shōnen” kessakushū: Shōsetsu, emonogatari (Master-
pieces from Shōnen: Novels and emonogatari). Tokyo: Kōbunsha, 1990.
Kodansha, ed. Atomu Book. Tokyo: Kodansha, 2009.
Kodomo no Showa-shi: Omake to furoku daizuhan (A children’s history of
the Showa period: An illustrated book of omake and furoku). Tokyo:
Heibonsha, 1999.
Kohara, Hiroshi. Nihon māketingu shi: Gendai ryūtsū no shiteki kōzu (Japa-
nese marketing history: The historical composition of contemporary
distribution). Tokyo: Chuō Keizaisha, 1994.
———. “Nihon no māketingu: Dounyū to tenkai” (Japanese marketing:
Its introduction and development). In Nihon no māketingu: Dōnyū to
tenkai (Marketing in Japan: Introduction and development), edited by
Māketingu-shi Kenkyū-kai, 3–50. Tokyo: Dōbunkan, 1995.
Kojima, Tsuneharu. “Komāsharu to Māketingu” (Commercials and market-

270 · Bibliography
ing). In CM 25 nen-shi, edited by Katō Shūsaku, 47–112. Tokyo: Kodansha,
Komiya, Jun’ichi. “Tentō baitaika no tame no hitotsu no teian” (For the medi-
um-ization of the store: One suggestion). Senden kaigi, April 1964, 18–19.
Kondō, Tokushi, and Akira Kōno. “Kore kara wa gurumi jidai” (From now on
it’s the age of the stuffed toy). Māchandaijingu raitsu repōto (Merchandiz-
ing rights report), March 1977, 21–28.
Kōno, Akira. “Atarashii kyarakurā senryaku no riron to jissen, #1” (New
character strategies: Theory and practice, #1). Māchandaijingu raitsu
repōto (Merchandizing rights report), January 1978, 31–41.
———. “Raisensaa to raisenshii no setten #4: TV kyarakutaa kara non terebi
e” (The contact point between the licenser and the licensee #4: From
TV characters to non-TV characters). Māchandaijingu raitsu repōto
(Merchandizing rights report), July–August 1976, 42–47.
———. “Shōhinkaken shiyō kyodaku gyōmu, dai 2 kai” (The licensing business
for the use of merchandizing rights, #2). Māchandaijingu raitsu repōto
(Merchandizing rights report), February 1980, 20–26.
———. “Shōhinkaken shiyō kyodaku gyōmu, dai 3 kai” (The licensing business
for the use of merchandizing rights, #3). Māchandaijingu raitsu repōto
(Merchandizing rights report), March 1980, 23–28.
Kotler, Philip. Marketing Management: Analysis, Planning, and Control. 5th
ed. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1984.
Krauss, Rosalind E. “Reinventing the Medium.” Critical Inquiry 25, no. 2
(1999): 289–305.
Kubota, Takashi. “Shōdō kai shōhin/sokyū no kichō no kibi” (The subtleties
of impulse buying products and appeal). Roundtable ed. Senden kaigi,
April 1964, 12–22.
Kücklich, Julian. “Precarious Playbour: Modders and the Digital Games
Industry.” Fibreculture 5 (2005),
Kumagai, Nobuo. Buriki no omocha (Buriki toys). Tokyo: Green Arrow, 2000.
Kure, Tomofusa. “Aru sengo seishin no igyō: Tezuka Osamu no imi” (The
achievement of a certain postwar spirit: The meaning of Tezuka Osamu).
In Zenbu Tezuka Osamu! (Everything about Tezuka Osamu!), 566–74.
Tokyo: Asahi Bunko, 2007.
Kusakawa, Shō. Terebi anime 20 nen shi (A twenty-year history of television
anime). Tokyo: Rippu Shobō, 1981.
Kushima, Tsutomu. Shōnen būmu: Shōwa retoro no hayari mono (Boys’ booms:
The fads of Showa retro). Tokyo: Shōbunsha, 2003.

Bibliography · 271
———. “Shōnen” no furoku (Shōnen magazine’s give-aways). Tokyo: Kōbunsha,
———. Shōnen shojo tsūhan kōkoku hakurankai (Boys and girls’ mail order
advertisement exhibition). Tokyo: Kawade Shobō Shinsha, 2006.
———. Za okashi (The candy). Tokyo: Fusōsha, 1999.
Kyarakutā Māketingu Purojekuto. Zukai de wakaru kyarakutā māketingu
(Understanding character marketing through diagrams). Tokyo: Nihon
Nōritsu Kyōkai Manejimento Sentā, 2002.
Lamarre, Thomas. The Anime Machine: A Media Theory of Animation. Min-
neapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009.
———. “First Time as Farce: Digital Animation and the Repetition of Cin-
ema.” In Cinema Anime, edited by Steven T. Brown, 161–88. New York:
Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.
———. “From Animation to Anime: Drawing Movements and Moving Draw-
ings.” Japan Forum 14, no. 2 (2002): 329–67.
———. “The Multiplanar Image.” In Emerging Worlds of Anime and Manga,
Mechademia 1, edited by Frenchy Lunning, 120–43. Minneapolis: Uni-
versity of Minnesota Press, 2006.
———. “Otaku Movement.” In Japan after Japan: Social and Cultural Life
from the Recessionary 1990s to the Present, edited by Tomiko Yoda and
Harry Harootunian, 358–94. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2006.
———. “Platonic Sex: Perversion and Shōjo Anime (Part Two).” Animation:
An Interdisciplinary Journal 2, no. 1 (2007): 9–25.
———. “Speciesism, Part One: Translating Races into Animals in Wartime
Animation.” In Limits of the Human, Mechademia 3, edited by Frenchy
Lunning, 75–95. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008.
Lash, Scott, and Celia Lury. Global Culture Industries: The Mediation of Things.
Cambridge: Polity Press, 2007.
Latour, Bruno. “From Realpolitik to Dingpolitik or How to Make Things
Public.” In Making Things Public: Atmospheres of Democracy, edited by
Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel, 14–41. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2005.
———. Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.
———. We Have Never Been Modern. Translated by Catherine Porter. Cam-
bridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1993.
Lazzarato, Maurizio. “Immaterial Labor.” In Radical Thought in Italy: A
Potential Politics, edited by Paolo Virno and Michael Hardt, 133–47.
Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996.

272 · Bibliography
———. Les Revolutions du Capitalisme. Paris: Les Empecheurs de Penser en
Rond, 2004.
———. Puissances de l’invention: La Psychologie économique de Gabriel Tarde
contre l’économie politique. Paris: Les Empēcheurs de penser en rond, 2002.
Lee, Martyn J. Consumer Culture Reborn: The Cultural Politics of Consump-
tion. London: Routledge, 1993.
Leslie, Esther. Hollywood Flatlands: Animation, Critical Theory, and the
Avant-Garde. London: Verso, 2002.
Lewis, L. “Anime attacks: As Disney dithers, Toei takes on the world.” Japan,
Inc., April 2004,
Lindstrom, Martin. Brand Sense: How to Build Powerful Brands through Touch,
Taste, Smell, Sight, and Sound. London: Kogan Press, 2005.
Looser, Thomas. “From Edogawa to Miyazaki: Cinematic and Anime-ic
Architectures of Early and Late Twentieth-Century Japan.” Japan Forum
14, no. 2 (2002): 297–327.
Luhmann, Niklas. The Reality of the Mass Media. Translated by Kathleen
Cross. Palo Alto, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2000.
———. “What Is Communication?” Communication Theory 2 (1992): 251–59.
Lury, Celia. Brands: The Logos of the Global Economy. London: Routledge, 2004.
Lyotard, Jean-François. “Acinema.” In Narrative, Apparatus, Ideology, edited
by Philip Rosen, 349–59. New York: Columbia University Press, 1986.
———. The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. Translated by
Geoff Bennington and Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: University of Min-
nesota Press, 1984.
Machida, Shinobu. Za chokorēto dai-hakurankai (The major chocolate exhibi-
tion) Tokyo: Fusōsha, 2000.
Maitre, Doreen. Literature and Possible Worlds. London: Pembridge Press, 1983.
Maltin, Leonard. Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Car-
toons. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1980.
Manning, Erin. Relationscapes: Movement, Art, Philosophy. Cambridge, Mass.:
MIT Press, 2009.
Marazzi, Christian. Capital and Language: From the New Economy to the War
Economy. Translated by Gregory Conti. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2008.
Marshall, P. David. “The New Intertextual Commodity.” In The New Media
Book, edited by Dan Harries, 69–82. London: BFI, 2002.
Marx, Karl. Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. Vol. 1. Translated by Ben
Fowkes. Harmondsworth, U.K.: Penguin, 1976.

Bibliography · 273
Massumi, Brian. A User’s Guide to Capitalism and Schizophrenia: Deviations
from Deleuze and Guattari. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1992.
———. “Everywhere You Want to Be: Introduction to Fear.” In The Politics of
Everyday Fear, edited by Brian Massumi, 3–37. Minneapolis: University
of Minnesota Press, 1993.
———. “National Enterprise Emergency: Steps Toward an Ecology of Powers.”
Theory, Culture, and Society 26, no. 6 (2009): 153–85.
———. Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation. Durham, N.C.:
Duke University Press, 2002.
Masuda, Hiromichi. Anime bujinesu ga wakaru (Understanding the anime
business). Tokyo: NTT Shuppan, 2007.
Matsumoto, Leiji, and Satoshi Hidaka. Manga dai hakubutsukan (The great
manga museum). Tokyo: Shogakukan, 2004.
Matsuoka, Hideo. “Interview: Yutaka na kūsō to gōrisei” (Interview: Rich
imagination and rationality). Sunday Mainichi, August 16, 1964, 21.
Matsutani, Sōichirō. “Jissha eiga, anime, dorama to media mikkusu no
kakkyō” (Live action film, anime, drama, and the boom of the media
mix). Tsukuru, June 2006, 68–75.
———. “Manga no media mikkusu to seisaku iinkai hōshiki” (The manga media
mix and the production committee system). Tsukuru, May 2007, 40–46.
McCloud, Scott. Understanding Comics. New York: Harper Perennial, 1993.
McDonald, Paul. “Reconceptualising Stardom.” Afterword to Richard Dyer,
Stars, New ed. London: BFI, 1999.
McGray, Douglas. “Japan’s Gross National Cool.” Foreign Policy 130 (May–
June 2002): 44–54.
McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. London:
Routledge, 2001.
McQuail, Denis, and Sven Windahl. Communication Model: For the Study of
Mass Communication. London: Longman, 1982.
Meiji Seika Sha-shi Henshū Iinkai, ed. Meiji Seika no ayumi: Souritsu kara
50 nen (In the footsteps of Meiji Seika: 50 years since its establishment).
Tokyo: Meiji Seika, 1968.
Metz, Christian. Film Language: A Semiotics of the Cinema. Translated by
Michael Taylor. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1974.
———. The Imaginary Signifier: Psychoanalysis and the Cinema. Translated
by Celia Britton, Annwyl Williams, Ben Brewster, and Alfred Guzzetti.
Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1982.
Milkman, Saitō, ed. “All That’s Animation: Introduction.” Introduction to
Weird Movies a Go! Go!. Tokyo: Petit Grand, 2001.

274 · Bibliography
Miller, Daniel. “Consumption as the Vanguard of History.” In Acknowledging
Consumption: A Review of New Studies, edited by Daniel Miller, 1–57.
London: Routledge, 1995.
———. Introduction to Material Cultures: Why Some Things Matter, edited
by Daniel Miller, 3–23. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1998.
Miyadai, Shinji, Hideki Ishihara, and Meiko Ōtsuka. Sōhō Sabukaruchā shinwa
kaitai: Shōjo, ongaku, manga, sei no hen’yō to genzai (The dismantling
of the myth of subculture: The transformations and the present of girls,
music, manga, and sex). Expanded ed. Tokyo: Chikuma Shobō, 2007.
Miyahara, Teruo. Jitsuroku! Shōnen Magajin meisaku manga henshū funtōki
(The true story! A record of the struggle of a masterpiece Shōnen maga-
zine manga editor). Tokyo: Kōdansha, 2005.
Miyamoto, Hirohito. “Manga ni oite kyarakutā ga ‘tatsu’ to wa dou iu koto
ka” (What does it mean to say that the character “stands” in manga?).
Nihon jidō bungaku 49, no. 2 (2003): 46–51.
Miyao, Daisuke. “Before Anime: Animation and the Pure Film Movement
in Pre-War Japan.” Japan Forum 14, no. 2 (2002): 191–209.
Mori, Haruji. Zusetsu: Tetsuwan Atomu (Illustrated: Tetsuwan Atomu). Tokyo:
Kawade Shobo, 2003.
Motonaga, Masaki. “Paburikku enemī nanba wan” (Public enemy number
one). Faust 5 (Spring 2005): 220–46.
Mushi Production, ed. Tetsuwan Atomu DVD—Box 1 Data File. 2001.
———, ed. Tetsuwan Atomu DVD—Box 2 Data File. 2002.
———, ed. Tetsuwan Atomu DVD—Box 3 Data File. 2002.
———, ed. Tetsuwan Atomu DVD—Box 5 Data File. 2003.
Naitō, Toshio. “CM firumu jūnen shi (jō)” (Ten years of television commer-
cials: First installment). Senden kaigi, January 1964, 48–55.
———. “CM firumu jūnen shi (chū)” (Ten years of television commercials:
Middle installment). Senden kaigi, February 1964, 48–55.
Nakagawa, Masafumi. “Utsushi-e, tachi-e kara hira-e e” (From moving
magic lanterns, to standing-pictures, to flat-pictures). In Senchu Sengo
Kamishibai Hensei (A collection of wartime and postwar kamishibai),
196–97. Tokyo: Asahi Shinbunsha, 1995.
Nakajō, Fukujirō, and Fumiaki Mitsumoto. “Media mikkusu no riron to
shuhō” (The theory and practice of the media mix). Māketingu Jānaru,
November 1981, 30–40.
Nakano, Haruyuki. Manga sangyōron (Theories of the manga industry).
Tokyo: Chikuma shobo, 2004.
———. “Subarashiki Showa 30 nendai: Dai 7 kai, Media Mikkusu no sakigake:

Bibliography · 275
Sono Sheeto” (The wonderful Showa 30s: Installment seven, the forerun-
ner of the media mix: Sono sheets). Iguzamina 212 (May 2005): 14–16.
Nakao, Mitsuo. “Kyarakutā gyōkai hajimete monogatari” (A story of the
origins of the character business world). Māchandaijingu raitsu repōto
(Merchandizing rights report), February 1980, 27–29.
Napier, Susan. Anime: From Akira to Princess Mononoke. New York: Pal-
grave, 2000.
Namekawa, Michio. Omocha kyōikuron (Theories of toy education). Tokyo:
Tokyo-dō Shuppan, 1969.
Nash, Eric P. Manga Kamishibai: The Art of Japanese Paper Theater. New
York: Harry N. Abrams, 2009.
Natsume, Fusanosuke. Tezuka Osamu wa doko ni iru (Where is Tezuka
Osamu?). Tokyo: Chikuma Shobō, 1995.
Ndalianis, Angela. Neo-Baroque Aesthetics and Contemporary Entertainment.
Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004.
Negri, Antonio. The Politics of Subversion: A Manifesto for the Twenty-first
Century. Translated by James Newell. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2005.
NHK Hōsō Bunka Kenkyūjo, ed. Terebi shichō 50 nen (50 years of television
viewing). Tokyo: Nihon hōsō shuppan kyōkai, 2003.
Nikadō, Reito. Bokura ga ai shita Tezuka Osamu (The Tezuka Osamu we
loved). Tokyo: Shogakukan, 2006.
Nikkei Kōkoku Kenkyūjo, ed. Kōkoku yōgo jiten (A dictionary of advertising
terminology). Tokyo: Nikkei Keizai Shinbunsha, 2005.
Noda, Masanori. “Goraku gata shuppansha no media mix: Tokuma Shoten,
Kadokawa Shoten no gurūpu senryaku” (The media mix of entertainment
style publishing: The group strategies of Tokuma Books and Kadokawa
Books). Tsukuru, April 1987, 50–57.
Nogami, Akira. “Kōdo seichō to omocha no tayōka” (High growth and the
diversification of toys). 20 Seiki omocha hakubutsukan, edited by Takayama
Hideo, 76–79. Tokyo: Dōbunshoin, 2000.
———. “Manga to kyarakutā bunka” (Manga and character culture). In Ima
Mukashi omocha daihakurankai (The great exhibition of toys present
and past), edited by Hyōgo-ken ritsu rekishi hakubutsukan, 8–9. Tokyo:
Kawade Shobō, 2004.
———. Omocha to asobi (Toys and play). Tokyo: Gendai Shokan, 1979.
———. “Sekai o sekken suru nihon no kyarakurā no miryoku” (Sweeping the
world: The attraction of Japanese characters). In Ima Mukashi omocha
daihakurankai (The great exhibition of toys present and past), ed. Hyougo-
ken ritsu rekishi hakubutsukan, 24–25. Tokyo: Kawade Shobō, 2004.

276 · Bibliography
Ōhashi, Shizuo. “Māburu kyanpēn no CM” (Marble campaign commercials).
Dentsūhō 1393 (November 1963): 4.
———. “Meiji Māburu Choco kyanpēn: Shūchū spotto chūshin no baitai
keikaku” (Meiji’s Marble Chocolates campaign: A media plan centered
on concentrated spot commercials). In Nihon no kōkoku kyanpēn, vol. 1,
edited by Kobayashi Tasaburō, 84–110. Tokyo: Seibundō shinkōsha, 1965.
Ōkada, Toshio. Otakugaku nyūmon (An introduction to otakuology). Tokyo:
Ōta Shuppan, 1996.
Ōno, Shigeru. Sunday to Magazine: Sōkan to shitō no 15 nen (Sunday and Maga-
zine: The 15 years of founding and deadly struggle). Tokyo: Kōbunsha,
Onouchi, Megumi. “Sūji de yomitoku kontentsu bijinesu, dai ikkai” (Under-
standing the Contents Business in Several Figures, First Installment).
Nikkei Net,
Ōtsuka, Eiji. Atomu no meidai: Tezuka Osamu to sengo manga no shudai (The
Atomu thesis: Tezuka Osamu and the main theme of postwar manga).
Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 2003.
———. “Boku to Miyazaki Tsutomu no ’80 nendai, #17: Komikku to media
mikkusu” (Miyazaki Tsutomu and my 1980s, #17: Comics and the media
mix). Shokun! April 1999, 264–69.
———. “Disarming Atom: Tezuka Osamu’s Manga at War and Peace.” Trans-
lated by Thomas Lamarre in Limits of the Human, Mechademia 3, edited
by Frenchy Lunning, 111–25. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota
Press, 2008.
———. Kyarakutā shōsetsu no tsukurikata (How to make character novels).
Tokyo: Kōdansha, 2003.
———. Monogatari shōmetsuron (A theory of the demise of narrative). Tokyo:
Kadokawa, 2004.
———. “Otaku” no seishinshi: 1980 nendairon (A history of the “Otaku” mind:
On the 1980s). Tokyo: Asahi bunko, 2007.
———. Sabukaruchuaa bungakuron (A theory of subculture literature). Tokyo:
Asahi bunko, 2007.
———. Sengo manga no hyōgen kūkan (The expressive space of postwar
manga). Kyoto, Japan: Hōsōkan, 1994.
———. Sengo minshu shugi no rihabiritēshon (The rehabilitation of postwar
democracy). Tokyo: Kadokawa Bunko, 2005.
———. Shōjo minzokugaku (An ethnography of the Shōjo). Tokyo: Kōbunsha,

Bibliography · 277
———. Tasogare toki ni mitsuketa mono: “Ribon” no furoku to sono jidai
(Things found at twilight: “Ribon” premiums and their era). Tokyo: Ota
Shuppan, 1991.
———. Teihon monogatari shōhiron (A theory of narrative consumption,
standard edition). Tokyo: Kadokawa, 2001.
———. “World and Variation: The Reproduction and Consumption of Nar-
rative.” Translated by Marc Steinberg in Fanthropologies, Mechademia
5, edited by Frenchy Lunning, 99–116. Minneapolis: University of Min-
nesota Press, 2010.
Ōtsuka, Eiji, and Hiroki Azuma. “Hihyō to otaku to posutomodan” (Critique
and the otaku postmodern). Shōsetsu Torippaa, Spring 2001, 2–33.
———. Riaru no yukue: Otaku/otaku wa dō ikiruka (The wherabouts of the
Real: Where are the Otaku/otaku?). Tokyo: Kodansha, 2008.
Ōtsuka, Eiji, and Nobuaki Ōsawa. “Japanimēshon” wa naze yabureru ka (Why
“Japanimation” will go down). Tokyo: Kadokawa, 2005.
Ōtsuka, Yasuo. Sakuga ase mamire (Drawings covered in sweat). Tokyo:
Tokuma Shoten, 2001.
Partner, Simon. Assembled in Japan: Electrical Goods and the Making of the
Japanese Consumer. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.
Read, Jason. The Micro-politics of Capital: Marx and the Prehistory of the
Present. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003.
Rescher, Nicholas, ed. G. W. Leibniz’s Monadology: An Edition for Students.
Pittsburgh, Pa.: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1991.
———. Leibniz: An Introduction to His Philosophy. Totowa, N.J.: Rowman
and Littlefield, 1979.
Rifkin, Jeremy. The Age of Access: The New Culture of Hypercapitalism Where
All of Life Is a Paid-For Experience. New York: Putnam, 2000.
Saitō, Jirō. Kodomotachi no genzai (Children’s present). Nagoya, Japan:
Fūbaisha, 1975.
———. “Oyatsu to manga to omake no gattai: Yokubō no kobako to kodo-
mo tachi no atsuki koukanshi, pāto II” (The combination of snacks
and manga and premiums: The small boxes of desire and a history
of children’s heated exchange, part II). In Kodomo no Showa-shi:
Omake to furoku daizuhan (A children’s history of the Showa period:
An illustrated book of omake and furoku), 69–70. Tokyo: Heibonsha,
Saitō, Minako. Kōittenron (On the only girl in the group). Tokyo: Chikuma
Shobō, 2001.

278 · Bibliography
Saitō, Ryōsuke. Omocha hakubutsushi (A natural history of toys). Tokyo:
Sōjinsha, 1989.
———. Showa gangu bunkashi (A cultural history of Showa toys) Tokyo:
Iwamoto, 1978.
Saitō, Tamaki. Beautiful Fighting Girl. Translated by J. Keith Vincent and Dawn
Lawson. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011.
———. Bunmyakubyō: Rakan, Beitoson, Maturāna (Sickness of context: Lacan,
Bateson, Maturana). Tokyo: Seidosha, 2001.
———. “Otaku Sexuality.” Translated by Christopher Bolton in Robot Ghosts
and Wired Dreams: Japanese Science Fiction from Origins to Anime, edited
by Christopher Bolton, Istvan Csicsery-Ronay Jr., and Takayuki Tatsumi,
222–49. Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press, 2007.
———. Sentō bishōjo no seishin bunseki (The psychoanalysis of fighting girls).
Tokyo: Ōta shuppan, 2000.
Sakaguchi, Yoshihiro. “Kadokawa Haruki: Shuppankai no nyū hiirou ka”
(Kadokawa Haruki: The new hero of the publishing world?). Gendai no
me, May 1982, 202–5.
Sasakibara, Gō, and Ōtsuka Eiji, Kyōyō to shite no manga/anime (Manga/
anime as education). Tokyo: Kōdansha, 2001.
Satō, Tadao. “Tezuka Osamu-ron” (On Tezuka Osamu). In Zenbu Tezu-
ka Osamu! (Everything about Tezuka Osamu!), 575–85. Tokyo: Asahi
Bunko, 2007.
Schneider, Cy. Children’s Television: The Art, the Business, and How It Works.
Chicago, Ill.: NTC Business Books, 1987.
Schodt, Fredrik. Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics. Tokyo:
Kodansha, 1983.
———. The Astro Boy Essays: Osamu Tezuka, Mighty Atom, and the Manga/
Anime Revolution. Berkeley, Calif.: Stone Bridge Press, 2007.
Seiter, Ellen. Sold Separately: Parents and Children in Consumer Culture. New
Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1995.
Senchu Sengo Kamishibai Hensei (A collection of wartime and postwar ka-
mishibai). Tokyo: Asahi Shinbunsha, 1995.
Senden kaigi. “Gendai kōkoku jiten.” January 1963, 109.
Serizawa, Shunsuke. “Sengo omake būmu no shikumi” (The mechanism of
the postwar omake boom). In Kodomo no Showa-shi: Omake to furoku
daizuhan, 52–55. Tokyo: Heibonsha, 1999.
Shimamura, Kazue, ed. Atarashii kōkoku (New advertising). Tokyo: Dentsu,

Bibliography · 279
Shimizu, Isao. Manga no rekishi (The history of manga). Tokyo: Iwanami, 1991.
Shimokawa, Kōichi. Māketingu: Rekishi to kokkusai hikaku (Marketing: His-
tory and international comparison). Tokyo: Bunshindō, 1991.
Shimotsuki, Takanaka, ed. Tanjō! “Tezuka Osamu”: Manga no kamisama o
sodateta bakkuraundo (“Tezuka Osamu” is born! The background that
reared the god of manga). Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1998.
Shinoda, Hiroyuki. “‘Daisōran’ hete Kadokawa Shoten: Shintaisei no ‘zento’”
(Kadokawa Books after the “great turbulence”: The “future” of the new
system). Tsukuru, May 1993, 70–82.
Shiraishi, Kazushige. “Media mikkusu ni yoru kōkoku no kōka: Ukete o
chūshin to shita chōsa kenkyū” (The effects of advertising with the me-
dia mix: Research on surveys focused on the receiver). Dentsū kōkoku
ronshi, April 1963, 49–56.
Shiraishi, Sara. “Japan’s Soft Power: Doraemon Goes Overseas.” In Network
Power: Japan and Asia, edited by Peter J. Katzenstein and Takashi Shi-
raishi, 234–72. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1997.
Shishido, Sagyō. Supiido Tarō (Speed Taro). Repr. Shōnen shōsetsu takei,
Shiryō hen 1. Tokyo: San’ichi shobo, 1988.
“‘Shōhinkaken’ to iu kotoba ga umareta koro” (Around the time of the birth
of the term “merchandizing rights”). Māchandaijingu raitsu repōto
(Merchandizing rights report), April 1979, 21–29.
“Shuppan/dokushokai 10 dai nyūsu” (The publishing/reading world’s 10 biggest
news). In Shuppan nenkan 1978, 48. Tokyo: Shuppan Nyūsu-sha, 1978.
Shuppan nenkan 1979 (Publishing yearbook). Tokyo: Shuppan Nyūsusha, 1979.
“Shōnen” kessakushū vols 1–5 (Shonen masterpieces, volumes 1–5). Tokyo:
Kōbunsha, 1989–90.
Simmons, Mark, Benjamin Wright, and the editors of Animerica Magazine.
Gundam: Official Guide. San Francisco: Viz Communications, 2002.
Singer, Ben. Melodrama and Modernity: Early Sensational Cinema and Its
Contexts. New York: Columbia University Press, 2001.
Smythe, Dallas W. “On the Audience Commodity and Its Work.” In Media
and Cultural Studies: Keyworks, edited by Meenakshi Gigi Durham and
Douglas Kellner, 230–56. London: Blackwell, 2001.
Sotooka, Hidetoshi. “Baburu bunka no hate: ‘Kadokawa’ o dare ga waraeruka”
(At the end of the bubble era: Who can laugh at “Kadokawa”?) Aera,
October 5, 1993, 5–9.
Steinberg, Marc. “Anytime, Anywhere: Tetsuwan Atomu Stickers and the
Emergence of Character Merchandising.” Theory, Culture, and Society
26, nos. 2–3 (2009): 113–38.

280 · Bibliography
———. “A Vinyl Platform for Dissent: Designer Toys and Character Merchan-
dising.” Journal of Visual Culture 9, no. 2 (2010): 209–28.
Sutton-Smith, Brian. Toys as Culture. New York: Gardner Press, 1986.
Suzuki, Hirohisa. “Shakai shinrigakuteki media mikkusu kenkyū josetsu” (A
preface to a socio-psychological study of the media mix). Tokyo daigaku
shinbun kenkyujo kiyō 20 (1971): 75–103.
Suzuki, Tsunekatsu. Kamishibai ga yattekita! (Kamishibai is here!). Tokyo:
Kawade Shobo Shinsha, 2007.
Tada, Toshikatsu. Omocha hakubutsukan #20: En’nichi to dagashiya gangu
#1 (The toy museum #20: Toys sold at fairs and in cheap sweets shop I).
Kyoto, Japan: Kyoto Shoin, 1992.
Takahashi, Yasuo. “Akadō Suzunosuke.” In Kodomo no Showa-shi: Showa
20nen—35nen (A children’s history of the Showa period: Showa 20 to
Showa 35), 76–77. Tokyo: Bessatsu Taiyō, 1987.
Takayama, Hideo. “Kodomo shijōron: Shōhi kōzō o henshitsu saseru mono”
(On the children’s market: Transforming the structure of consumption).
Chuō Kōron Keiei Mondai 11, no. 4 (1972): 308–19.
———, ed. 20 Seiki omocha hakubutsukan (A museum of twentieth-century
toys). Tokyo: Dōbunshoin, 2000.
Takayama, Toyoji. Buriki no omocha hakubutsukan (The tin toy museum). 3
vols. Kyoto, Japan: Kyoto shoin, 1997.
Takeuchi, Ichirō. Tezuka Osamu = Sutorii manga no kigen (Tezuka Osamu =
The origins of story manga). Tokyo: Kōdansha, 2006.
Takeuchi, Osamu. Tezuka Osamu-ron (On Tezuka Osamu). Tokyo: Heibon-
sha, 1992.
Tamura, Minoru. “Maruchi media ni yoru zōfuku no mechanizumu:
Messeji no media-kan idō ni tsuite” (The amplification mechanism of
multimedia: On the movement between message media). Shuppan Nyūsu,
September 15, 1977, 6–9.
Tanaka, Hiroshi. “‘Kurosu media kenkyūkai’ hōkoku 2” (The second report on
“cross-media studies”). Nikkei kōkoku kenkyūjo hō 43, no. 1 (2009): 4–8.
Telotte, J. P. Disney TV. Detroit, Mich.: Wayne State University Press, 2004.
Terranova, Tiziana. “Free Labor: Producing Culture for the Digital Economy.”
Social Text 18, no. 2 (2000): 33–58.
“Tetsuwan Atomu, Tetsujin 28-gō to otonatachi” (Tetsuwan Atomu, Tetsujin
28-go and Adults). Shūkan Sankei, May 11, 1964, 20–25.
Tezuka, Osamu. Boku no manga jinsei (My manga life). Tokyo: Iwanami
Shinsho, 1997.
———. Boku wa manga-ka (I am a manga writer). Tokyo: Kadokawa, 2000.

Bibliography · 281
———. Firumu wa ikiteiru (Film is alive). Tokyo: Kodansha, 1977.
———. “Kawairashisa o dō hyōgen suruka” (How to express cuteness?). In
Tezuka Osamu esseishū #3, Tezuka Osamu manga zenshū bekkan #7,
85–92. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1997.
———. “Manga zukuri no genten” (The basics of making manga). In Zenbu
Tezuka Osamu! 410–21. Tokyo: Asahi Bunko, 2007.
———. Rosuto wārudo: Shikaban, #1 (Lost World: Private Edition, vol. 1).
Tokyo: Kodansha, 1994.
———. Shintakarajima (New Treasure Island). Tokyo: Kodansha, 1984.
———. Tetsuwan Atomu. 18 vols. Tokyo: Kōdansha, 1979–81.
———. Tezuka Osamu essei-shū #3 (Tezuka Osamu Collected Essays, vol. 3).
Tokyo: Kodansha, 1997.
———. Tezuka Osamu essei-shū #6 (Tezuka Osamu Collected Essays, vol. 6).
Tokyo: Kodansha, 1997.
———. “Waga anime kurui no ki” (A record of my anime madness). Bungei
Shunju, October 1977, 155–61.
———. Zenbu Tezuka Osamu! (Everything about Tezuka Osamu!). Tokyo:
Asahi Bunko, 2007.
Tezuka, Osamu, and Sakai Shichima. Kanzen fukkokuban: Shintakarajima
(Complete reprint: New Treasure Island). Tokyo: Shogakukan, 2009.
Thaler, Peter, and Lars Denicke, eds. Pictoplasma: The Character Encyclopae-
dia. Berlin: Pictoplasma, 2006.
Themis. “Kadokawa Tsuguhiko HD shachō: ‘Kakudai rosen’ wa kiken na
kake” (President Kadokawa Tsuguhiko of HD: The “road to expansion”
is a dangerous gamble). 13, no. 7 (2004): 66–67.
Thomas, Frank, and Ollie Johnston. The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation.
New York: Disney Editions, 1981.
Thorn, Matthew. “Girls and Women Getting Out of Hand: The Pleasure
and Politics of Japan’s Amateur Comics Community.” In Fanning the
Flames: Fans and Consumer Culture in Contemporary Japan, edited by
William W. Kelly, 169–200. Albany: State University of New York Press,
Tokyo Shimbun. “TV dōga ‘Tetsuwan Atomu’ no seisaku” (The production
of the TV cartoon Tetsuwan Atomu). November 19, 1962, 9.
Tsubouchi, Toshinori. “Kabaya Bunko.” In Kodomo no Showa-shi: Omake to
furoku daizuhan (A children’s history of the Showa period: An illustrated
book of omake and furoku), 46–50. Tokyo: Heibonsha, 1999.
———. Omake no meisaku: Kabaya Bunko monogatari (The masterpiece of

282 · Bibliography
omake: The story of Kabaya Bunko). Tokyo: Interu-sha, 1984.
Tsuchiya, Shintarō. Kyarakutā bijinesu: Sono kōzō to senryaku (Character
business: Its structure and strategies). Tokyo: Kinema Junpō, 1995.
Tsugata, Nobuyuki. Anime sakka to shite no Tezuka Osamu (Tezuka Osamu
as anime auteur). Tokyo: NTT Shuppan, 2007.
———. “Hobbī no densetsu: Kyarakutā bujinesu no 40 nen” (Hobby legends:
Forty years of the character business). Mainichi Shinbun Online, July 4,
———. “Manga no anime-ka ni okeru shoyōsō” (The phases of the anime-
ization of manga). In Anime e no henbō: Gensaku to anime to no bimyō
na kankei (Transforming into anime: The delicate relationship between
anime and its original work), edited by Takeuchi Osamu and Koyama
Masahiro, 9–36. Tokyo: Gendai Shokan, 2006.
———. Nihon animēshon no chikara: 85 nen no rekishi o tsuranuku futatsu
no jyaku (The power of Japanese animation: The two pivots that persist
through its 85-year history). Tokyo: NTT Shuppan, 2004.
Tsunashima, Ritomo. Atomu shīru to Tetsujin wappen (Atomu stickers and
Tetsujin badges). Kyoto, Japan: Dankousha, 1998.
———. “Terebi to omake.” In Kodomo no Showa-shi: Omake to furoku daizuhan
(A children’s history of the Showa period: An illustrated book of omake
and furoku), 56–65. Tokyo: Heibonsha, 1999.
Tsurumi, Shunsuke. A Cultural History of Postwar Japan, 1945–1980. New
York: KPI, 1987.
———. “Kamishibai to Kata Kōji” (Kamishibai and Kata Kōji). In Senchū Sengō
Kamishibai Hensei (A collection of wartime and postwar kamishibai),
98. Tokyo: Asahi Shinbunsha, 1995.
Uchida, Hitoshi. “Hyōgen to shite no media mikkusu” (Media mix as
expression). Gakushūin Daigaku bungakubu kenkyū nenpō 54 (June
2008): 75–93.
Ueda, Yasuo. Besutoserā kōgengaku (Modernology of the bestseller). Tokyo:
Media Paru, 1992.
Ueno, Chizuko. “Watashi” sagashi geemu (The looking for “me” game). Tokyo:
Chikuma Shobō, 1992.
Ueno, Kōshi. “Shōhin no bunka-ka arui wa kōkoku to shite no eiga” (The
culturization of the commodity, or, film as advertisement). Shinario 36,
no. 11 (1980): 8–14.
Ueno, Toshiya. Kurenai no metaru sūtsu: Anime to iu senjō (Crimson metal

Bibliography · 283
suits: Anime as a battlefield). Tokyo: Kinokunia shoten, 1998.
Ushiki, Ri’ichi. Kyarakutā senryaku to shōhinkaken (Character strategy and
merchandizing rights). Tokyo: Hatsumei Kyōkai, 2000.
Utagawa, Hideo. “Manga (anime) osoru beshi! Media mikkusu no jidai no
senheitachi” (Manga [anime] must be feared! The front-line soldiers of
the media mix). Shūkan Tōyō Keizai, March 1986, 130–35.
Virno, Paolo. Grammar of the Multitude. Translated by Isabella Bertoletti,
James Cascaito, and Andrea Casson. New York: Semiotext(e), 2004.
Wasko, Janet. Understanding Disney: The Manufacture of Fantasy. Cambridge:
Polity, 2001.
Wells, Paul. Understanding Animation. London: Routledge, 1998.
White, Mimi. “Flows and Other Close Encounters with Television.” In Planet
TV: A Global Television Reader, edited by Lisa Parks and Shanti Kumar,
94–110. New York: New York University Press, 2003.
Williams, James. Lyotard and the Political. London: Routledge, 2000.
Williams, Raymond. Television: Technology and Cultural Form. London:
Routledge, 2003.
Willis, Susan. A Primer for Daily Life. London: Routledge, 1991.
Wood, Aylish. “Vectorial Dynamics: Transtextuality and Complexity in the
Matrix.” In The Matrix Trilogy: Cyberpunk Reloaded, edited by Stacy
Gillis, 11–22. London: Wallflower Press, 2005.
World Intellectual Property Organization. “Character Merchandising,” http://
Wyatt, Justin. High Concept: Movies and Marketing in Hollywood. Austin:
University of Texas Press, 1994.
Yamaguchi, Kasanori, and Yasushi Watanabe. Nihon animēshon eiga shi (A
history of Japanese animated film). Osaka, Japan: Yubunsha, 1977.
Yamaguchi, Yasuo, ed. Nihon no anime zenshi: Sekai o sei shita nihon anime no
kiseki (The complete history of Japanese anime: The miracle of Japanese
anime and its capture of the world). Tokyo: Ten Books, 2004.
Yamakawa, Hiroji. “‘Bangumi’ to ‘komāsharu’ no aidagara: Nihon de mo
‘pātishipeeshon’ ga hajimaru” (The relationship between “program”
and “commercial”: “Participation” begins in Japan too). Senden kaigi,
August 1964, 50–54.
———. “Shōhinka keikaku ni tsunagaru terebi manga no būmu” (The TV
manga boom as it is connected to merchandising plans). Senden kaigi,
June 1964, 46–50.
———. “‘Wappen būm’ to ‘terebi jin’ shijō to masu komi → kuchi komi →

284 · Bibliography
mono komi” (The “badge boom” and the “TV people” market and mass
communications to word-of-mouth communication to thing commu-
nications). Senden kaigi, July 1964, 44–49.
Yamakita, Shinji. Kadokawa Haruki no kōzai: Shuppankai, Eigakai o yurugaseta
otoko (The merits and demerits of Kadokawa Haruki: The man who shook
up the publishing world and the film world). Tokyo: Tokyo Keizai, 1993.
Yamamoto, Ei’ichi. Mushi Puro kōbōki (A record of the rise and fall of Mushi
Production). Tokyo: Shinkosha, 1989.
———. “Staff Interview 1: Yamamoto Ei’ichi.” In Tetsuwan Atomu DVD—Box
1 Data File, edited by Mushi Production. 2001.
Yamamoto, Taketori. Kamishibai: Machikado no Media (Kamishibai: The
street-corner medium). Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, 2000.
Yasui, Hisashi. “TV kyarakurā kenkyū, #10” (TV character studies, #10).
Māchandaijingu raitsu repōto (Merchandizing rights report), April
1976, 19–22.
———. “TV kyarakutā kenkyū, #12” (TV character studies, #12). Māchandaijingu
raitsu repōto (Merchandizing rights report), January 1976, 33–36.
Yawaraka Sensha Rengōgun, ed. Yawaraka sensha ryū: Web 2.0 hatsu entame
bijinesu senki (Yawaraka sensha–style: A war record of Web 2.0 entertain-
ment business). Tokyo: Kodansha, 2007.
Yokohama, Yūji. “Fukusūkei de miru koto: Shōgyō anime no media mikkusu
no toraekata.” In Animeeshon no eigagaku, edited by Katō Michirō, 151–98.
Kyoto, Japan: Rinsen, 2009.
———. “‘Shinseiki Evangelion’ ni okeru monogatari seikai no kōsei: Media
Mikkusu sakuhinron no kansei” (The narrative world and composition
of Evangelion: The possibilities for a media mix theory of the work).
Nihon Bungaku, January 2006, 51–61.
Yokomizo, Seishi. Inugamike no ichizoku. Tokyo: Kadokawa, 2006. Trans-
lated by Yumiko Yamazaki as The Inugami Clan (Berkeley, Calif.: Stone
Bridge Press, 2007).
Yokomizo, Seishi, and Jōya Kagemaru. Yatsuhakamura. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1996.
Yomota, Inuhiko. Manga genron (The principles of manga). Tokyo: Chikuma,
Zahlten, Alexander. “The Role of Genre in Film from Japan: Transformations
1960s–2000s.” PhD diss., University of Mainz, 2007.
Zaidan Hōjin Nihon Gangu Bunka Zaidan. “Keikōgyō no hatten to dai’ichi
ōgon jidai no omochatachi” (The development of light industry and the
first golden age of toys). In 20 Seiki omocha hakubutsukan (A museum

Bibliography · 285
of twentieth-century toys), edited by Takayama Hideo, 36–38. Tokyo:
Dōbunshoin, 2000.
Zen-Nihon CM Hōsō Renmei, ed. ACC-CM nenkan ’61–’63 (ACC—com-
mercial yearbook, 1961–1963). Tokyo: Sansaisha, 1964.
———, ed. ACC-CM nenkan ’64 (ACC—commercial yearbook, 1964). Tokyo:
Sansaisha, 1965.

286 · Bibliography

Abe, Susumu, 217n70 proliferation of, 81–82

abstraction of commodity, 129, affordances, theory of, 239n87
240n100 Aglietta, Michel, 155, 197, 248n63
accumulation, regimes of, 155–56, Aihara, Hiroyuki, 223n18
196–97; ideal-type commodity Akadō Suzunosuke, 71–72; ads
form of, 156–60 for Akadō products, 72, 73;
“Acinema” (Lyotard), 3–5 disjuncture between manga image
action toys (katsudō gangu), 124 and filmic image of, 72; manga,
Adventures of Little Shō, The (Shō- 102–3, 108; popularity of, 229n86;
chan no bōken), 93 radio series, 103, 108, 229n81–82,
advertising: campaign accompanying 229n86, 229n89; TV series, 108
release of Kadokawa films, 151, Akadō Suzunosuke sword, 102–3,
152; centrality of advertisement as 104, 110, 236n56
cultural form, 154; development Akita, Takahiro, 214n30, 221n102,
of site-specific advertising outlets, 237n72
165–66; during Fordist era, 197; Akiya, Shigeo, 224n26, 250n97
historic practice of, 136; for Marble Akiyama, Masami, 97, 234n32
Chocolates, 47, 48–49; paperback Allison, Anne, viii, 81, 158, 191,
as advertising medium, 150; 209n5, 212n19, 230n96, 233n17,
recognition of multiple avenues 240n1, 248n79
of, 139; shift in relation between Alt, Matt, 238n86
commodities and, ix; sticker as a Altman, Rick, 164, 250n99
means of, 87; “synthetic” use of Amazing Lives of Fast Food Grifters,
media toward particular goal, 139; The (Tachiguishi retsuden, 2006)
total marketing campaign, 49. See [Oshii Mamoru], 202
also marketing media mix American TV cartoons, 11
Advertising Meeting (Senden kaigi), Anderson, Christopher, 211n15,
87, 139, 140, 226n54, 241n7 250n101
affect-laden character goods, animal manga characters, 97, 234n33

· 287
animated television commercials, 11– See also dynamically immobile
13, 215n39; techniques developed character image
in, 12–13; trademark characters, 13 Anime Machine, The (Lamarre), 6
animation: anime shock, 17–20; anime media mix, 141, 168, 241n4,
definitions of, 1–2; emergence 243n21, 246n54; character–world
of animetic movement, 13–17; relation in, 200; continuous,
founding fathers of Japanese, serial consumption across media
213n27; full, 2, 5, 8–9, 16, 17–20, texts, 152; environmentalization
213n26; manga and, 1930s and of character image and rise of,
1960s compared, 214n30; 168; extension into film and
recouping costs of production, literature, 149–53, 154, 245n37,
39–40, 222n3–4; shorts, 11, 94, 95, 247n56; key features, 148, 182–83,
214n30; two streams of, in Japan, 244n33; marketing media mix
7–13 and, similarities and differences
anime: anime shock, 17–20; animetic between, 141–42; post-Fordist
movement, emergence of, 13–17; experiential commodities offered
appeal to young adults, 247n59; in, 158; synergy in, 141–42, 143;
associated media forms, viii; from Tetsuwan Atomu to Suzumiya
characteristics of, 8; character Haruhi, 142–49; transformations
merchandising embedded at very characterizing, 169
core of, 40; demographic, shift in, anime system: character
259n102; development at Mushi merchandising and, ix; concepts
Production, 9, 10–11; as distinct of media and, x–xi; Disney’s
form of limited animation, 3, 5, 17; influence on formation of, xii–
dynamically still image as aesthetic xiii, 215n45, 222n6, 233n18,
precursor to, 33; emergence of, viii, 250n101; emergence of (1963),
ix; emergence of, media contexts 139; emergence of (1963), as
of, 20–36; expanded interval as tipping point in postwar Japanese
essential element of movement visual culture, xiii, xvi–xvii,
in, 32–33; explosive popularity 108; Kadokawa media mix as
of, 34; as intermedia, 17; as extension of, 153, 171; mode
kamishibai plus alpha, 18, 20, 35; of communication within,
limiting movement and inventing, 132; overlaps with global
33–36; “midnight anime” television transformations of capitalism, x;
time slots, 260n102; “positive use of term “system,” 210n9
unconscious” of, 35, 221n103; animetic interval, 6, 7, 213n22
sources of stylistic and technical animetic movement, emergence of,
inspiration for development 13–17
of, 9–13, 244n32; specificity of, Anti-Oedipus (Deleuze and Guattari),
ease in developing transmedia 175
connections and, xiii–xiv; army manga, 97
storyboard theater as outer limit of, art toys, 202
14, 20; television and production Arvidsson, Adam, x, 190–91, 210n11,
of, 10, 214n31; Tsugata’s definition 212n18, 255n37, 257n62, 259n92
of, 8; use of term, viii–ix, 214n34. Asahi sono sheet records, 145

288 · Index
Asakusa Toys, 114–17, 118 253n20; on Psycho series, 255n36;
Asō Yutaka, 93 transformation of Ōtsuka’s theory
association: brand working through of narrative consumption, 176, 178,
logic of, 191; omake–product 254n27
relation of, 58–63
Astro Boy. See Tetsuwan Atomu ballistic model of media
(manga); Tetsuwan Atomu consumption, 130
(television series, 1963–66) Bandai, mass media toys, 117, 121,
Atomization: of Meiji, 54–64; of 238n86
objects by stickers, 80–81 Bandai Kyarakutā Kenkyūjo, 223n8,
Atomu Chotokkyu (Atomu Super 232n7, 236n52
Express), 117, 120 bank system (cel bank or dual use),
Atomu goods, 107–11, 228n77. 16, 216n51
See also Atomu toys; character Ban Shōjirō, 225n41
merchandising; mass media toy Barthes, Roland, 111–12
Atomu image: independence and Bateson, Gregory, 210n12
wider circulation of, 143; stickers, Baudrillard, Jean, 131, 210n6,
43, 57–64, 142–43, 145. See also 231n103, 232n11; on
Meiji Seika–Atomu marketing communication of commodities,
campaign 129–30, 240n101
Atomu konjyaku monogatari (Atomu: Baudry, Jean-Louis, 212n11
Tales of Times Now Past), 189 Belk, Russell W., 242n9
Atomu shīru (Tsunashima), 225n40. Beller, Jonathan, 129, 168, 212n18,
See also stickers, Atomu 240n105, 251n111, 259n92; on
Atomu toys: buriki toys, 114–25, cinematic mode of production,
127–28; grafting of character 130–31
image onto buriki toy, 117–22, Benjamin, Walter, 111–12, 238n76–
127; inflatable toys, 116; matter, 77
narrative openness, and movement Betty Boop, 95
contributed by, 122–25 Bikkuriman Chocolates sticker-based
attention economy, 212n18 premium campaign, 177–80;
author’s copyright (chosakuken), 192, mechanisms behind, 178
193 black box fallacy, 209n1
Autonomist Marxist school, 166–67, blockbuster film, model of, 173–74
250n108 Bōken Dankichi manga series, 95,
autonomy of character, 83–84, 143, 214n30
144, 195 Bōken katsugeki bunko (magazine),
Azuma, Hiroki, xiii, 68, 191, 219n83
211n16, 212n19, 240n1, 244n32, Boku no manga jinsei (My Manga
253n18; on character as meta- Life) [Tezuka], 13–14
narrative nodal point, 44, 190, Bolter, Jay David, 127, 239n93
224n21, 257n60; on characters as Bolton, Christopher, 212n19
“simulacra,” 192; on contemporary Boutang, Yann Moulier, 212n18
otaku moe characters, 228n72; Boys’ Club (Shōnen kurabu)
dialogues between Ōtsuka and, magazine, 26, 95, 96, 234n27

Index · 289
brand: as binding agent of commodities under, 129; real
contemporary capitalism, 187–88; subsumption and, 166–67, 169;
brand analysis applied to narrative regimes of accumulation, 155–56,
worlds, 257n69; character and, 196–97; reliance on material
differences between, 191, 230n101; differences, 131; rise of media
Lury on, 196, 230n101, 258n79, convergence and transformations
258n88; as one of principal in, x
relational technologies of post- Carefree Dad (Nonki na Tōsan), 93,
Fordism, 190–91 95
brand image, 138 “cartoon film” (manga eiga), 8,
Brechtian theater, effect of 214n31
distantiation of, 5 cel bank (dual use or bank system),
broadcasting: planned flow as 16, 216n51
defining characteristic of, 162; character: autonomy/mobility
transformation of fundamental (kyara) of, 83–84, 143, 144, 195;
unit of, 162–63. See also television brand and, differences between,
Brown, Bill, 210n6, 232n11 191, 230n101; character–world
Burch, Noël, 27, 29, 220n87, 220n93 contributed to toy by, 122–23;
Buriki no omocha (The Tin Toy) coincidence of economic downturn
[Kumagai], 112 and character booms, 158, 248n78;
buriki toys (tin toys), 99, 100, 112, communicative aspect of, 84;
114, 238n84; Atomu, 114–25, consistency of character image, 69–
127–28; intraseries closure of early, 70, 201; definition of, 83, 194, 196;
128; mediatization of, 122 design flexibility, through “squash
Buster Brown (serial comic), 94 and stretch,” 28, 31; desirability
of product and omake yoked to
Caldwell, John T., 247n57 appeal of, 54; doubled quality of,
candy industry, in postwar Japan, 68–70, 84–85; gravitational pull
45–46, 224n24–25. See also of, 44, 45–50, 82; as im/material
Meiji Seika; Meiji Seika–Atomu entity, 44, 188, 194, 195, 198,
marketing campaign; Morinaga 231n1–3; increasing ubiquity of
(chocolate company) character image, 64–70, 81–82, 84;
capitalism: brand as binding agent of independence or quasi-actuality
contemporary, 187–88; commodity of, 195; legal protection of, 257n70,
as reflection of whole social 257n76; limitations of, 228n76;
organization of, 156; consumption material embodiment of, 188; as
within contemporary, 183–84; a “meta-narrative nodal point,”
creation of worlds and, xvi, 83, 44, 190, 224n21, 257n60; origins
183–87; crisis in 1970s, 197; culture of Japanese character culture,
as determinant in late, xvi, 212n18; 233n14; as regulatory mechanism,
four elements of capitalist relation, 190; as self-augmenting, 231n102;
167; informational, 257n62; media- as “simulacra,” 192; as surface or
commodities as the representative interface, 258n88; term imported
commodity form of late, xv; into Japan by Walt Disney
mediums of communication for Productions, 102; toys allowing one

290 · Index
to be, 103; trademark characters relations, history of, 50–54;
in animated TV commercials, 13; periodic rise and decline, 223n13;
transductive unity across multiple post-Fordist commodity culture,
incarnations, 195, 258n83; virtual, shift toward, 81–82; redefined, 82–
post-Fordism’s, 194–98 83; role of specific image regime
character business, 92–93, 94, of anime in, 42–43; second era of
223n15. See also character character media, 98–107; from star
merchandising to character, 64–70; third era of,
character good(s), 259n101; affect- 107–11; tipping point for, 108; by
laden, 81–82; consumption of, Toei, 40–41; in United States, 94
to access character’s world, 188, character theory, 191–94, 257n70
199–200; impromptu, 81; inter- character–world relation, xvi, xvii,
or intragenerational human 175–90, 198–200, 253n15–16,
communication using, 90; as 259n99; capitalism and the
nodes in larger interobject and creation of worlds, xvi, 83, 183–87;
transmedia network, 89, 90–91; character and narrative world, 191;
spun off from manga, 93, 95–97; company’s world, brand belonging
use of term, 256n57. See also to, 191; consumption of character
character merchandising; material goods to access character’s world,
communication and the mass 188, 199–200; God-enterprises and
media toy character divinities, 187–90; mass
character marketing, 233n12 media toy and, 122–23; narrative
character merchandising, ix, xv, 9, consumption and, 176–83, 254n27
36–85; Atomization of Meiji, 54– children: absorption in game
64; character as core element of, of consumption, 110–11;
43–45; character–media synergy, environment and, 44, 70, 80,
83–85; communication within, 81–82, 167–68; as new consumer
131–32; consumer’s affective class/market segment, 46, 163,
engagement with character image 167, 169; shift in role from playing
and, 19; defining, 41–42; Disney as to playing with character,
as model for, xiii, 19, 40, 222n6; 109–10, 113; toys as medium of
economic motivation for, 19; communication between, 90
embedded at core of anime, 40; children’s culture: export of
experiments within system of, 202; marketing and media practice
first era of character circulation into wider culture from, 251n1;
(mid-1920s–1930s), 93–98; multiplication of media forms
gravitational pull of character, 44, affecting, 108–9
45–50; legal theory of, 192–94, children’s market, development of,
257n70; material dispersion of 163, 167, 169, 249n97
character image, 44–45, 70–80; China, war in (1937), 97
materially inflected network chocolate companies. See Meiji Seika;
creation at the core of, 131; Meiji– Morinaga (chocolate company)
Atomu sticker campaign, xiv, 43, chosakuken (author’s copyright), 192,
57–64, 66, 70–71, 74–85, 177, 193
223n19, 225n42; omake–product Chun, Jayson Makoto, 22–23, 218n72

Index · 291
“Cine Colt,” 107, 236n61 capitalist relation, expansion of,
cinema: cinema–novel media mix, 167
151–52; cinematic conception communication: character goods for
of realism, 9; cinematic mode of inter- or intragenerational, 90; of
production, 130–31; cinematic commodities, 129–30, 240n101;
revolution in manga, 27, 28–32; communicative aspect of character,
highest impression of reality, of 84; as immaterial labor, 212n18,
all media, 2; institutional, Lyotard 257n62; interobject, network
on, 4, 5 of relations formed through,
Cinema 1: The Movement Image 131–32; models of, 128–32; thing
(Deleuze), 24 (mono-komi), xv, 87–91, 125, 132;
closed object, imitative toy as, 111–13 transmedia, xiv–xv, 7, 37–38,
Cohl, Emile, 1, 213n27 39; use of term, 232n5. See also
collection, premium system based on material communication and the
process of, 52–53 mass media toy
Comic Market (Komiketto), 149, 179 communicational networks around
commercials, animated television, anime. See anime system
11–13, 215n39 company–product independence,
commercial works created as 143
experimental works, 35–36 company’s world, brand belonging
committee system of financing to, 191
(seisaku iinkai), 172, 251n4–5, compossibility: character divinities
253n15 and, 188–90; Deleuze on, 186–87;
commodities and advertisement, Leibniz’s theory of, 185–86
shift in relation between, ix, 142, Comptiq (Komputiiku) magazine,
154–55, 169 173, 174
commodity(ies): abstraction from Condry, Ian, 212n19, 249n80, 259n99
material form, 129, 240n100; conglomerate, media mix, 172–73
communication of, 129–30, consumer behavior, academic
240n101; culturalization of, discipline of, 241n9
154–61; dematerialization of, consumer durables: distinguishing
157, 159; experiential, 157–58, characteristics of, 157; as ideal-type
159, 160; ideal, 155–56, 196–97, commodity of Fordist era, 156–57,
198, 248n76; ideal, of regime of 158, 159, 248n76
accumulation, 156–60; in Marxist consumers: children as new
thought, 129, 130, 240n102, consumer class, 46, 169; generation
240n104; as objectification of mode of desire in, 42, 44, 70–80, 82; as
of production, 156; post-Fordist producers, xiv–xv, 179–80, 182; as
commodity culture, shift toward, “prosumers,” 182, 200
81–82; shift in relation between consumer society, postwar, 136–41
advertising and, ix, 142, 154–55, consumption: ballistic model of
169; transforming modes of media, 130; Baudrillard on logic
consumption, 70. See also media- of, 231n103; children’s absorption
commodity(ies) in game of, 110–11; commodities
commodity–consumer axis of transforming modes of, 70; within

292 · Index
contemporary capitalism, 183–84; to logic of, 192–93; use of, 92–93,
continuous mode of character, 145; 94, 100–102
database, 254n27; environmental, Count of Monte Cristo, The
145; as form of participating (Gankutsuo, 2004–5) [Maeda
in networks of communicating Mahiro], 35, 202
media-things, 113–14; as kind Crayon Shin-Chan (1992 to Present),
of work within post-Fordism, 35
167–68, 169; narrative, character– creative experimentation, anime as
world relation and, 176–83, area of, xvii
254n27; of playfully closed yet Cross, Gary, 233n17
mediatically open objects, 113–14; cross-media marketing, 243n21
and production, marketing as cross-media seriality. See convergence
technology of relation connecting, culturalization of commodity, 154–61
137–38; and production, regulating culture: character, 107, 233n14; as
relation between, 197; production determinant in late capitalism,
of media-objects and their xvi, 212n18; mass, 72, 90, 202,
worlds of, 83; transformations of 256n59; post-Fordist commodity,
temporality and rhythms of media shift toward, 81–82; television’s
and commodity, 144–45, 157–58 intertextual pervasion of, 163–64
contents industry (kontentsu sangyō), cute communication among shōjo
158–59, 202, 249n80 girls, 90
control societies, 184–85, 187, 196
convergence, vii–xvii, 209n2; anime dagashiya, penny toys sold in, 99
system and, ix; in character design, Daiei (distribution firm), 102
political economy, and desire, database consumption, xiii, 68,
196; constitutive role of users in 254n27
creation of transmedia franchises, Debord, Guy, 129
xiv–xv; defined, vii; between media DeCordova, Richard, 68, 211n14,
forms around character image, 84; 228n74, 233n20, 234n22
media theory and, x–xi; of multiple Deleuze, Gilles, 24, 210n9,
monadic series, Leibniz’s God as 222n106, 249n87, 256n52–54;
guarantor of, 185–86; omake– on communication across series,
product relation of, 53–54, 63–64; 232n5; on compossibility, 186–87;
post-Fordism/postmodernism and, on control societies, 184; on
xi–xii, xvii; rise of digital media diagram, 258n85; models of 3 + 1
and, vii, 209n4; semantic shift of and 4 + n, 175, 253n14; opposition
term, vii; from Tetsuwan Atomu to to two kinds of image making,
Kadokawa books, xii–xvii. See also 218n79; theory of seriality and,
media mix 161; on the virtual, 194, 258n81,
Convergence Culture (Jenkins), vii, 258n84
viii Dentsū advertising agency, 87,
copyright business, 41, 232n12 253n20
copyright law: attitude change de Peuter, Greig, 198
toward, 102; author’s copyright, designer toy, 260n103
192, 193; for characters, objections design law (ishōhō), 193

Index · 293
desire: generation of consumer, on, 188–90, 256n58; post-Fordist
42, 44, 70–80, 82; post-Fordist societies of control marked by,
transformation in organization of, 187; of Tetsuwan Atomu anime and
159 manga, 189–90
detective fiction, 151, 181, 244n32 Doane, Mary Ann, 221n104
dialogue, temporality of manga image Doragon magajin (Dragon Magazine),
and, 29 174
diegesis (universe of fiction), Douglas, Mary, 128, 239n96
impression of reality produced drawn character: double body of
by, 2–3. See also character–world character on level of drawing
relation style, 69; mobility of, 84; visual
Dienst, Richard, 249n88 consistency across media types, 109
diffusion of character, tendency dual use (cel bank or bank system),
toward, 44–45, 70–80; sticker’s 16
mobility and, 79–80 Dyer, Richard, 67, 228n70
digital media, 145, 209n4; Dyer-Witherford, Nick, 155, 198,
convergence equated with rise of, 248n62, 251n108
vii, 209n4 dynamically immobile character
disciplinary power, 184 image, xiv, 6, 213n22; Atomu
Disney, Roy, 234n22 image in television ads, 66; Atomu
Disney, Walt, and Disney Studios, toys as another form of, 125;
xii–xiii, 9, 13, 92, 222n105, dynamism of still manga images
233n20; animated shorts, 94; as model for, 28–32; as locus for
character design, 28; character potential movement across media
merchandising by, influence of, forms, 6–7; postwar kamishibai
xiii, 19, 40, 222n6; copyright law and, 24–25; resonance between and
enforcement by, 94, 100–102; full across media types, 69; temporal
animation style, 2, 5, 8; influence duration of, 25; transmedia force
of, xii–xiii, 40, 215n45, 222n6, of, 36
233n18, 250n101; licensing
contract of 1950s, 40; licensing echo strategy, 144, 244n27
use of characters, business model ecology, media. See media ecology
based on, 94, 100–102, 236n53–54; economic miracle, 137, 168, 242n13;
Mickey Mouse character, 93–95 emergence of child as new
Disney Caramels, Morinaga’s 1960 consumer class during, 46
release of, 53–54, 55 economy: attention, 212n18;
Disneyland (TV show), 53, 250n101 character booms and downturn
Disney toys: ads for, 236n50; in, 158, 248n78; postwar Japanese,
inflatable toys, 114, 115; Mickey conversion from manufacturing to
Mouse character goods, 93–94, 95, service based, ix
234n25; proliferation of, 235n50 Edo period (1603–1868), 136; origins
divergence: character as glue of Japanese character culture in,
between divergent series, 195–96; 233n14; penny toys of, 99
divergent series in Japanese media electronics industry, marketing by,
productions, increasing emphasis 242n13

294 · Index
Ellis, John, 162, 218n77, 249n96 Firumu wa ikiteiru (Film Is Alive)
emonogatari (picture stories), 26–27, [Tezuka], 2, 215n45
219n83–84, 226n51 Fiske, John, 163–64, 180, 250n98
enabling constraint/enabling Fleming, Dan, 123–24, 239n88
impediment, concepts of, 221n104 flexible production system, 156,
endocolonization, 167, 168 157–58
environment: children and, 44, 70, 80, flow, concept of, 161–62, 249n88,
81–82, 167–68; media, xi, 19, 44, 250n100. See also segmentation
51, 70, 93, 108, 145, 163, 166, 173, and flow
195; multimedia, 249n85 Fordism: advertising in, 197; analytic
environmental consumption, 145 category of, 155; characteristics
environmentalization of media, 165– of, 156; consumer durables as
68, 173, 252n6, 255n39 ideal-type commodity of, 156–57,
event-transitivity, 239n92 158, 159, 248n76; culturalization
“exchange” of badges and stickers, as of commodity and shift to post-
“thing communication,” 87 Fordism from, 154–61; disciplinary
exchange value, commodity regimes and model of Fordist–
communication through, 129, 130 Taylorist factory, 184; formal
exocolonization, 167, 168 subsumption under, shift to real
experiential commodities, 157–58, subsumption from, 166–67; mass
159, 160 consumption paired with, 155–56;
experimental works, commercial standardization and, 155–56,
works created as, 35–36 256n45
extrinsic omake-product relation, formal subsumption, 166
51–52, 54, 56, 64 4 + n, connectively open model of,
Ezaki Ri’ichi, 51, 226n44 175, 253n14
fragmentation: dissolution of work
fan club magazines, 145 into serial fragments, 160–61;
fan production (secondary textual logic of segmentation and
production), 179, 182; importance flow, rise of, 161–65
of inconsistency for, 182 framing, 29–31; multiple styles and
Fantasmagorie (1908), 1 angles of modern manga, 30–31;
Feuer, Jane, 162, 249n95 new relationality between frames,
film: high-concept, 245n37, 247n57; 31; theatrical style of prewar
literature and, extension of manga, 29–30
anime media mix into, 149–53, Fujikawa, Chisui, 28–29, 220n92
154, 245n37, 247n56; media mix Fuji Terebi (Fuji TV), 45
strategy in, 247n57, 253n15; music Fujiya, 46
and, connections between, 247n56. Fukui Ei’ichi, 103, 229n81
See also cinema full animation, 2, 5, 7–9, 13, 15,
Film Is Alive (Firumu wa ikiteiru) 213n26, 215n45; anime shock
[Tezuka], 2, 215n45 among producers of, 17–20;
financing, production committee drawings required for anime vs.,
system (seisaku iinkai) model of, 16; limited animation and break
172, 251n4–5, 253n15 with, 3, 6, 10

Index · 295
Fuller, Matthew, x, 210n12 graphically immobile dynamism,
furoku, 50, 55, 107 25, 35; of Atomu image in flight,
75–78; development of transmedia
gaitō terebi (“street corner TV”), 23 communication and, 76–77;
games: as character goods, 97; intensity of potential-movement
prevalence of character images in, in, 77–79
234n31; video, 69, 84, 148, 157–58, gross national cool (GNC), 158,
172, 174, 175, 177, 198, 202, 241n4, 249n80
243n23, 251n112 Grusin, Richard, 127, 239n93
Gangu shōhō (Toy Business Bulletin), Guattari, Félix, x, 175, 210n9, 210n12,
99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 235n49; ads 222n106, 253n14
for toys in, 104, 105, 106, 115–16, Gundam (1979–), 179, 182, 255n29
118–21 Gunning, Tom, 212n11
Gankutsuo (The Count of Monte
Cristo: 2004–5) [Maeda Mahiro], Hakka Tetsuwan Atomu (Ignition
35, 202 Tetsuwan Atomu) toy, 117, 121
Gekkō Kamen (Moonlight Mask) Hakujyaden (Legend of the White
[children’s TV show], 218n76, Serpent, Panda and the Magic
229n88 Serpent in U.S.), 8–9, 11, 214n29
Gerow, Aaron, 215n39 Hanna Barbera, 11, 17
Gibson, James J., 239n87 Hardt, Michael, 251n108
Gilbert, Jeremy, 238n83 Harvey, David, 156, 157–58, 211n13,
Ginga Tetsudo 999 (Galaxy Express 248n63, 248n67
999: 1978–81), 35 Hayashi, Jōji, 5, 213n18
Girl’s Club (Shōjo kurabu) magazine, Hello Kitty character goods, 90, 91
26 Hershey’s chocolate, 46
Girl Who Leapt through Time, The high-concept films, 245n37, 247n57
(Toki o kakeru shojo) [novel, film], high growth (1955–73), period of,
173 137, 156–57
Gladwell, Malcolm, 108, 237n66 Higuchi, Naofumi, 245n37
Glico, 46, 64, 226n44; premiums His and Her Circumstances (Kareshi
(omake), 51–52, 54, 87, 88, 95, kanojo no jijō: 1998–99), 35
226n47–48; Tetsujin 28-go badges, Hitler, Adolf, 153, 245n38
87, 88, 177, 231n1 “hobgoblins” (yokai), 233n14
God as guarantor of compossibility, home, environmentalization of
Leibniz’s, 185–86, 187 media-commodities in, 166, 167
God-Enterprises, 187–90 Honjin satsujin jiken (Yokomizo),
Golden Bat (Ōgon Batto) 246n45
[kamishibai], 217, 219n83 Honma, Masao, 219n84, 229n81–82
Gorz, André, 212n18 Hu, Tze-Yue G., 214n29
Graduate, The (novelization), 150
Grainge, Paul, 210n11, 257n69 Ichikawa Kon, 151
Gramsci, Antonio, 155, 248n65 ideal commodity, 196–97, 198; of
grand narrative, 178–79, 183, 254n27 Fordism, consumer durables as,
graphical consistency, 143 156–57, 158, 248n76; of post-

296 · Index
Fordism, 157–60; of regime of released in North America as
accumulation, 156–60 Gigantor)
Ignition Tetsuwan Atomu (Hakka Isherwood, Baron, 128, 239n96
Tetsuwan Atomu) toy, 117, 121 Ishikawa, Hiroyoshi, 241n5
Iikura, Yoshiyuki, 240n1 ishōhō (design law), 193
Ijiri, Kazuo, 245n42, 247n55 Italian Autonomist Marxist school,
Imada, Chiaki, 41 166–67, 250n108
image-to-image relations, 222n106 Itō, Gō, 83, 191, 195, 230n99, 258n82
image-value, shift from use-value Ito, Mizuko, viii, 209n5, 259n101
to, 81 Ito Noizi, 148
imaginative play, nonmimetic vs. Ivy, Marilyn, 253n12
mass media toy and, 111–14
immaterial labor, communication as, James, William, 231n102
212n18, 257n62 Jameson, Fredric, 211n13, 212n18
immobility. See dynamically Japan: child’s emergence as new
immobile character image; stillness market segment in, 163, 167, 169;
impression of reality, Lyotard on, economic miracle, 46, 137, 168,
4–5 242n13; as “Empire of Characters,”
Inamasu Tatsuo, 34, 237n72 41; flexible production system
incompossibility, 186; of concurrent (Toyotism) in, 156, 157–58; high-
Atomu manga serializations growth era of postwar (1955–73),
(1967–68), 189–90; control 137, 156–57; postwar recovery
societies and, 187 period (1945–54), 137; postwar toy
independence: of character, 54, 63, industry, 98–99, 122, 124, 238n86;
83, 195; company–product, 143; of reliance on contents industry to
mass media toy, 112–13; medium, turn around economy, 158–59;
143 shift from toy exports to domestic
individual brand and family brand, market, 122, 238n86; society of
relations between, 138 mass consumption, development
inflatable toys, 114, 115, 116 of, 136–41
informational capitalism, 257n62 Japanese model of convergence. See
Inoue, Masaru, 144, 244n26 media mix
Instant History series, 12 Jenkins, Henry, vii, xiv–xv, 180,
interframe movement, 28, 30–32 209n1, 253n15, 256n58
intermedia, anime as, 17 jidaigeki (samurai period drama)
intermedia–commodity genre, 103
communication, 132 job instability, flexibilization as, 156
interval: animetic, 6, 7, 213n22; Johnston, O. B., 213n18, 220n90,
between images, expansion of, 234n23
intraframe movement, 28–30, 31 Kabat, Adam, 233n14
Inugamike no ichizoku (The Inugami Kabaya Books novel-based omake
Clan) [film and novel], 151–52, 246 campaign, 52–53, 54
Iron Man no. 28. See Tetsujin 28- Kadokawa, Gen’yoshi, 149, 245n35–
gō (Iron Man no. 28, 1963–66, 36

Index · 297
Kadokawa, Haruki, 173, 183, 201, 171–76; under Tsuguhiko, 174–76,
245n35, 245n37–38, 245n40, 181, 201
246n49; admiration for Hitler’s Kadokawa Media Office, 174–77, 180,
Mein Kampf, 153, 245n38; arrest 187, 190, 253n19
on charges of drug trafficking, 152, Kadokawa Media Works, 174–75
175; blockbuster phase, 252n7; Kadokawa Shoten. See Kadokawa
criticism of, 245n42; films and Books
novels treated as exchangeable, Kagawa, Masanobu, 233n14
154; as founding father of media Kagemaru, Jōya, 151–52, 246n47–48
mix, 152–53, 247n56; media Kajiwara, Ikki, 221n95
mix model, critique of, 180–81; Kamen, Herman Kay, 94
media mix model, right-to-left Kamen Raidā (Masked Rider),
transcription between media mix 229n88; snacks, 177
works, 181, 255n35; media mix kamishibai (storyboard theater),
strategies, 149–51; rift between xiv, 14, 33, 217n61–63, 226n51;
Tsuguhiko (brother) and, 174–76; audiences prepared for anime by,
on shift in nature of commodities, 19–20; books on, 217n62; division
159 of labor, 21, 217n67; dynamic
Kadokawa, Tsuguhiko, 183, 188, nature of still images of, 24–25;
245n35, 249n80, 252n12; media effects of mass medium, 22; form
mix model, 174–76, 177, 181, 201; of entertainment, 20–21; form of
turn to live-action film production, movement, 218n78–79; historical
253n16 origins, 217n61; performers,
Kadokawa Books, xii, xvi, 135–36, 21–22, 217n68; plus alpha, anime
150; as cinema paperback, 150; as, 18, 20, 35; postwar, 20–25;
film production company within, segmentation of image of, 25;
150–51, 152, 246n50–51, 249n84; similarity of emonogatari and, 26;
rise of, 149–50; Sneaker Bunko status as low and even threatening
imprint, 148; Tsuguhiko’s ascension art form, 22; television as “electric
to president of (1993), 175 kamishibai,” 14, 20, 22, 217n70;
Kadokawa business strategy temporal duration of images of, 25;
(Kadokawa shōhō), 150–51, 154 upsurge in popularity of, 21–22
Kadokawa Group Holdings, 172, 175, Kan, Tadamichi, 79, 229n86;
251n3 on manga, 229n89; on
Kadokawa media mix, xvi, 135–36, television, 237n70; on three-
149–53, 154, 158, 159, 160, 173–76, dimensionalization of mass
246n46, 247n56–58; as extension communications, 71–72, 108–9
of anime system, 153, 171; under kanrensei (relationality), 138, 160,
Haruki, 149–51, 180–81, 255n35; 163–64, 198
“holy trinity” (sanmi ittai) Kappa Comics, 145, 146, 227n55,
strategy, 150–51, 152; production 237n63
committee system media mix vs., Karatani, Kōjin, 211n13
251n5; Suzumiya Haruhi franchise, Kareshi kanojo no jijō (His and Her
148–49, 244n33; transformations Circumstances: 1998–99), 35
of media mix effectuated by, Kasuya, Kazuki, 245n42

298 · Index
Kata, Kōji, 217n62 Krauss, Rosalind E., 126, 239n94
Katō, Ken’ichi, 234n27 Kūchū Buranko (Trapeze: 2009), 35
Katō, Tei, 235n42, 236n56 Kücklich, Julian, 251n112
katsudō gangu (action toys), 124 Kumagai, Nobuo, 112–13
Kawai, Ryōsuke, 246n45 Kure, Tomofusa, 30, 221n96
Kawajaki, Noboru, 221n95 Kusakawa, Shō, ix, x, 210n8
Kawasaki, Takuto, 240n1 Kushima, Tsutomu, 46, 72, 103,
Kayama, Rika, 223n8, 232n7, 236n52 224n27, 225n40, 226n45, 226n52,
kayō eiga (“pop song films”), 247n56 229n84
Keith, Robert J., 137, 241n9 kyara (mobile aspect of character),
Kemonozume (Yuasa Masa’aki), 202 83–84, 143, 144, 195
Ken the Wolf Boy (Ōkami shōnen kyarakutā. See character
Ken: 1963–65), 41, 46 Kyarakuta Maketingu Purojekuto,
Kinsella, Sharon, 219n81, 257n65 223n14, 232n12, 259n99
Kitahara, Teruhisa, 51, 226n44, Kyojin no Hoshi (Star of Giants: 1968–
230n91 71), 35, 221n95
Kitayama, Seitarō, 213n27
Kline, Stephen, 90, 111–12, 123, 198, labor: communication as immaterial,
232n9, 244n25, 248n76, 259n90 212n18, 257n62; real subsumption
Klinger, Barbara, 209n2, 210n11 and transformation of, 166
knowledge, drive for, 259n100 Lamarre, Thomas, viii, 32, 44, 191,
Kōbai baseball card–based omake 209n5, 212n19, 213n20–22,
campaign, 52 214n36, 219n85, 221n101,
Kobayashi, Tasaburō, 242n16 224n21, 241n1; on animated film
Kobunsha, Bunko, 237n62 as multimedia or intermedia,
Kodansha (publishing giant), 150, 216n54; on force of anime
227n66, 244n30, 245n35 image in generating transmedia
Kogawa Tetsuo, 150, 245n41 connections, 222n106; on limited
Kohara, Hiroshi, 136, 138, 259n91 animation, 6, 213n20, 213n24;
Komatsuzaki, Shigeru, 219n83 on Miyazaki, 213n26; on positive
Komiketto (Comic Market), 149, 179 unconscious of anime, 35,
Komiya, Jun’ichi, 54, 226n54 221n103; theory of otaku imaging,
komono gangu (small-article toys), 228n75
99–100, 235n42, 236n56 large-article toys (ōmono gangu),
Komputiiku (Comptiq) magazine, 173, 99–100, 102–3, 107, 236n56
174, 235n42, 236n56 Lash, Scott, 89, 132, 210n6, 232n4
Kondō, Tokushi, 235n48, 236n50 Latour, Bruno, 210n6, 210n9, 232n11
Kōno, Akira, 94, 153, 223n7, 233n19, Lazzarato, Maurizio, xvi, 83, 191, 195,
235n42, 235n48, 236n50, 236n53, 200, 211n13, 230n98, 250n108; on
236n58, 238n86, 246n43; definition capitalism and creation of worlds,
of character, 194, 196 183–85, 187; on consumption
kontentsu sangyō (contents industry), as production, 251n111; on
158–59, 202, 249n80 immaterial labor, 257n62; noo-
Kotler, Philip, 137, 226n50 politics, concept of, 184, 259n92;
Kō’uchi Jun’ichi, 213n27 Tarde’s influence on, 256n55

Index · 299
Lee, Martyn J., 156, 157, 160, 198 245n37; translation of, 149–50
legal theory: character theory Lucky Star (Raki suta, 2004–), 172–
development through, 192–94, 73; TV anime version, 173
257n70; legal protection of Luhmann, Niklas, 210n9, 239n92
character, 257n70, 257n76. See also Lury, Celia, x, 191, 210n6, 210n11,
copyright law 232n4, 242n9, 257n61; on brands,
Legend of the White Serpent 196, 230n101, 258n79, 258n88;
(Hakujyaden), 8–9, 11, 214n29 on mediation of things and
Leibniz, Gottfried, 184, 185–87, 199, thingification of media, 89, 132; on
256n49–50 televisual flow, 250n100
Leslie, Esther, 1, 212n2 Lyotard, Jean-François, 3–5, 33, 36,
libidinal energy, Lyotard on 212n12, 254n27
organization of, 4
license business, character business Maboroshi Tantei mask sets and guns,
as, 92, 94 105
light novel genre, 148, 176, 199, Māchandizingu raitsu repōto
244n32, 245n34 (Merchandising Rights Report),
limited animation, 213n26; anime 223n19
as particular form of, 3, 5, 17; Machida, Shinobu, 48, 224n24,
dynamism of still image in, 6–7; 225n34
expanded interval in, 32–33; machinic enslavement, 222n106
Lamarre on, 6, 213n20, 213n24; Madara manga (1987–97), 177, 182
Mushi’s development of anime, Maeda Mahiro, 202
9, 10–11; pioneered by UPA, 11; magazine culture, boys’ and
still images of characters and girls’, 249n85; furoku and, 107;
backgrounds used in, 75–76; in infrastructure for character boom,
United States, 214n37, 215n44 102; Kadokawa Media Office
Lipietz, Alain, 155, 197, 259n89 media mix based on magazines,
literature and film, connections 174; rise of mass media toy and,
between, 149–53, 154, 247n56 103–7; Shōjo kurabu (Girl’s Club),
live-action films/TV, 201, 229n85–88, 26; Shōnen gahō (boys’ magazine),
253n16; disjuncture between 71, 102–3, 219n83; Shōnen kurabu
manga image and, 71, 72, 229n85; (Boys’ Club), 26, 95, 96, 234n27.
mass media toys based on, 103; See also Shōnen (boys’ magazine)
media mix, 175–76, 241n4; magic prints (omake), 66, 227n67
transmedia success of some series, Maltin, Leonard, 214n29
229n88; Uehara in Meiji–Atomu Manchurian Incident (September
campaign, 47, 48, 49, 56, 58, 64–66, 1931), 97, 234n32
138; version of Tetsuwan Atomu manga (comics), xiv, 26–33, 219n82;
(1959–60), 72–74, 75, 229n87 acceptance by adults, 237n68;
logo, 191, 250n100 animal manga characters, 97,
Looser, Thomas, 212n19 234n33; animation shorts based
Lost World (Rosuto wārudo) on popular, 214n30; anime’s
[Tezuka], 220n86 movement of return and, 18–19;
Love Story (film and novel) [Segal], army, 97; Atomu anime series

300 · Index
in continuity with, 9, 10–11; package design, 48, 49, 138; sales
audiences prepared for anime by, of, 48; sticker premium, xiv, 43,
19–20; books of, 219n82; break 57–64. See also Meiji Seika–Atomu
between modern and prewar– marketing campaign
wartime styles, 27–28; brought marketing: American marketing
to life in Atomu anime, 34, 124; debates, 242n15; American style of,
character goods spun off from, 93, importation to Japan of, 136–37,
95–97; cinematic revolution in, 241n5; consumer at the center
27, 28–32, 219n85; connection to of, by 1950s, 137; cross-media,
Kadokawa’s cinema–novel media 243n21; equilibrium of production
mix, 151–52; continuity editing and consumption through,
in, 220n94; continuous mode 197; era of sales, 137; journals,
of consumption through, 145; 241n7, 242n14; media mix and
dynamism, methods of producing, marketing discourse, 136, 138–41;
28–32; history of, 26–28; postwar, 136–41; as technology of
“industrial revolution” of manga relation connecting production to
production, 216n51; light novels as consumption, 137–38; of television
source for, 244n32; manga image as sets, 242n13; total, 49, 225n38
moving image, 14–15; media mix marketing department, firms
and, 109; Mickey Mouse, 234n25; reorganized around, 137
narrative comic strips in Japan, marketing media mix, 139–41, 168,
219n81; as original work, 160; 241n4, 243n21; anime media mix
parody gag, 148, 149; post–2001 and, similarities and differences
return to use of, 201–2; story, 27– between, 141–42; guiding
28; turned into radio drama, 71; principles, 140; strict divisions
versions of Haruhi franchise, in, 140, 141, 142; synergy in, 141;
148 vehicular conception of medium
manga eiga (cartoon film), 8, in, 140–41, 142
214n31 marketing mix, 241n4
manga generation, 151, 153 “Marketing Revolution, The” (Keith),
Man’nensha, 217n60 137
Manning, Erin, 221n104 market segmentation, model of,
Marazzi, Christian, 259n92 174–76, 252n12
“Marble-chan” (Little Miss Marble). Marshall, P. David, 251n1
See Uehara Yukari (“Marble-chan”) Marx, Karl, 4; on commodities, 129,
Marble Chocolates, 37–38; 130, 240n102, 240n104; on real
advertising for, 47, 48–49, subsumption, 166
225n39; development of, 46–48; Masa’aki, Yuasa, xvii, 202
displacement of live-action icon of, Masked Rider (Kamen Raidā), 177,
by character image, 64–70, 78–79; 229n88
first TV commercial incorporating mass consumption: Fordism and,
Atomu omake, 66, 227n67; “Happy 155–56; postwar marketing and
Marble” commercial for, 49, 64–66; society of, 136–41
market share, 225n41; Morinaga mass culture, 72, 90, 202, 256n59
challenge to, 49–50, 225n42; mass media toy, 89, 103, 232n6,

Index · 301
238n82; Atomu toys, 114–25, materialization of character image,
127–28; closure to enduring, 114–25
creative play and openness to material ubiquity of character image,
media networks and fashions, 43, 64–70, 82–83, 84; diffusion of
111–14; coining of term, 103, 106; character, tendency toward, 44–45,
forerunners of, 95; grafting of 70–80
character image onto buriki toy, Matrix trilogy (Wachowskis), 188,
117–23; matter, narrative openness, 253n15
and movement contributed to Matsuoka, Hideo, 216n60
character, 122–25; medium of, Matsushita Denki (also known as
from confluence of internal and National), 42
external conventions, 127; pleasure Matsutani, Sōichirō, 251n4–5, 253n15
of participation from, 113–14; matter, Atomu toy’s contribution of
proliferation of TV sets and the dimension of, 123
rise of, 237n67 McCloud, Scott, 221n100
Massumi, Brian, 81, 167, 230n95–96, McDonald, Paul, 228n73
251n109; event-transitivity, McGray, Douglas, 249n80
239n92; on world as self- McLuhan, Marshall, 210n12
augmenting, 230n102 McQuail, Denis, 240n98
Masuda, Hiromichi Mechademia, 212n19
masu komi (mass communications/ media: concepts of, x–xi;
media), 126, 139; use of term, environmentalization of, 165–68,
231n3, 232n6 173, 252n6, 255n39; Japanese
masu komi gangu. See mass media words for, 242n19; thingification
toy; material communication and of, 89, 132, 210n6; vehicular
the mass media toy conception of, in marketing media
masu komi no rittaika (three- mix, 140–41, 142
dimensionalization of mass media-commodity(ies), xv, 164,
communication), 71–72, 79, 165, 198, 210n6; development
108–9 of, 89; model of communication
material communication and the between, 131–32; nature of
mass media toy, 87–132; Atomu medium and, 126–28; networks of
toys, 114–25, 127–28; character intercommunicating things formed
business and, 92–93, 94, 223n15; by, 91; toy as, 125, 126
character–world relation and, 122– media conglomerates, rise of, 149. See
23; communication model, 128–32; also Kadokawa Books
first era of character circulation, media connectivity, operational
93–98; media-commodity and power of, 36. See also character
nature of medium, 126–28; open merchandising
and closed toys, 111–14; second era media convergence. See media mix
of character media, 98–107; third media ecology, x, xi, 210n12; anime’s
era of character merchandising, place within its larger, 18–19;
107–11 communication as formation
material dispersion of character and maintenance of connections
image, 44–45, 70–80, 82–83 between elements of, 129;

302 · Index
multiplication of media forms mediation of things, 89, 91, 132,
affecting children’s culture, 108–9; 210n6
of postwar Japan, manga’s key mediatization: of buriki, 122; of the
position in, 27 store, 165–66, 250n102
media environment, xi media transformations, 142;
media landscape, shift since 1963, culturalization of commodity
148–49 and shift to post-Fordism,
media mix, 6–7, 135–69; Akadō and 154–61; dissolution of work
beginning of, 71; anime system into serial fragments, 160–61;
and, viii–ix; corporate adoption environmentalization of media,
of strategy, 172; definition in 165–68; at Kadokawa Books,
Senden kaigi’s “Contemporary 149–53; segmentation and flow in
Advertising Dictionary” column, television, 161–65, 250n100
139, 140; earlier terms for, medium: defining, 126–27; distinct
246n53; emergence of anime properties of each, 84; media-
as major turning point in, viii; commodity and nature of, 126–28;
media theory and, x–xi; network specificity of, xi, 139
of relations formed through medium–message model, 126
interobject communication, Meiji Model Chocolates, 64, 65, 77,
131–32; nonlocalizability of 227n66
original work defining, 160–61; Meiji Seika, ix, 12, 224n32; history
optimum, 139; origins in postwar of company, 45–46; preemptive
marketing discourse, 136, transformation of Atomu into
138–41; origins of term, xvi, marketing tool, 110–11; as sponsor
240n1; Ōtsuka’s model of, 177; of Tetsuwan Atomu, 37–38, 39. See
post-Fordism/postmodernism also Marble Chocolates
and, xi–xii, xvii; rise of, 201, Meiji Seika–Atomu marketing
202–3; segmentation and flow, campaign, 43–85; Atomization
161–65, 250n100; television and, of Meiji, 54–64, 82; convergence
161–65; from Tetsuwan Atomu relation of, 63–64, 82; gravitational
to Kadodawa books, xii–xvii; pull of character, 44, 45–50, 82;
theory of seriality for, 161–68; material dispersion of character
three-dimensionalization of mass image, 44–45, 70–80, 82–83; from
communication, 71–72, 79, 108–9; star (Uehara) to character (Atomu)
uses of term, 135, 136, 152, 241n2. in, 64–70, 142; sticker giveaway,
See also Kadokawa media mix; xiv, 43, 57–64, 66, 70–71, 74–85,
anime media mix; marketing 177, 223n19, 225n42; sticker logic,
media mix; synergy 70–80
media mix conglomerate, creation of, Meiji Tetsuwan Atomu Caramel, 63
172–73 merchandising rights (shōhin
media mix worlds, xi kaken), 192. See also character
media-objects, production of, 83 merchandising
media synergy, 83–85. See also Merchandising Rights Report, 153
convergence metal toy. See buriki toys (tin toys)
media theory, x–xi Metz, Christian, 5, 33, 212n5, 212n11;

Index · 303
on motion and realism in film, 2–3 13–17; interframe movement, 28,
Mickey Mouse, 93–95; character 30–32; intraframe movement,
goods, 93–94, 95, 234n25 28–30, 31; “kamishibai plus alpha,”
micromarket strategies, 174, 252n12 anime movement style as, 18,
militarism: Manchurian Incident 20, 35; limiting, inventing anime
and, 97, 234n32; shift in 1937 and, 33–36; motion–stillness
from animal army manga to army rhythms, 5, 9, 10, 17, 18, 19–20,
manga and, 97, 234n33; war toys, 35, 36, 38–39, 42, 64, 79, 84, 165,
97–98 201; movement loop, repetition
Mind Game (Yuasa Masa’aki), 202 to create, 16; perception of, 2, 3;
Misora Hibari, 247n56 realism and, 2–3
mixed temporality of manga image, “moving badge” (ugoku bajji), 50,
29 53, 55
Miyadai, Shinji, 90, 232n8 MPD Psycho, 181–82
Miyamoto, Hirohito, 195, 258n82 “multimedia” environment, 249n85
Miyao, Daisuke, 214n29 Multi-personality Detective Psycho or
Miyazaki Hayao, xvii, 8, 213n26 MPD Psycho (Tajū jinkaku tantei
mobility/autonomy of character saiko, 1997–) series, 181–82
(kyara), 83–84, 143, 144, 195 Mulvey, Laura, 212n11
monad–world relations, Leibniz’s Murata Shōji, 139
philosophy of, 185–87 Murata Yasuji, 229n87
Monogatari shōhiron (A Theory of Mushi Production Studios, 9, 10–11,
Narrative Consumption) [Ōtsuka 12, 38, 172; contract for licensing
Eiji], 176–83; republication as characters, 236n54; Disney’s
Teihon monogatari shōhiron, influence on, 250n101; fan club
253n17; “World and Variation: The magazine, 145, 147; labor-saving
Reproduction and Consumption of devices invented by, 15–16,
Narrative,” 177–83, 253n17 17; price per Atomu episode,
mono-komi (“thing communication”), 216n60, 222n2; recouping costs
xv, 87–89, 132, 232n3 of production through royalties
Moonlight Mask (Gekkō Kamen), from characters, 39–40; stilling
229n88 of moving image by, 34; use of
Mori, Haruji, 237n63, 244n28 multiple images with short shot
Morimura Sei’ichi, 152 lengths, 31
Morinaga (chocolate company), 12, Mythologies (Barthes), 111
41, 45–46; Disney Caramels, 53–
54, 55, 226n54; Parade Chocolates, Nagata Masaichi, 102, 236n52
49–50, 57, 225n41, 225n42; as Naitō, Toshio, 12, 215n42–43
sponsor, 46 Nakagawa, Masafumi, 217n61
motion/movement: Atomu character- Nakajō, Fukujirō, 242n18
toy’s contribution of, 124–25; Nakano, Haruyuki, 210n8, 229n80,
constituting life, type of, 2, 4; 244n29
dynamic immobility of image, 6; Napier, Susan, 212n19
emergence of animetic movement, narrative consumption, character–

304 · Index
world relation and, 176–83, [kamishibai], 217, 219n83
254n27; consumers-as-producers Ōhashi, Shizuo, 63, 224n31, 224n33,
as endgame of, 179–80; grand 225n38–39
narrative, 178–79, 183, 254n27 Ōkada, Toshio, 228n75
narrative openness, Atomu toy’s Ōkami shōnen Ken (Ken the Wolf
contribution of, 123–24 Boy: 1963–65), 41, 46
narrative worlds, applying brand omake–product relations, 225n42,
analysis to, 257n69 226n44, 226n47–48; association
Nash, Eric P., 217n62 relation, 58–63; based on collection
National Kid (1960–61), 42, 223n17 process, 52–53; convergence
Natsume, Fusanosuke, 31, 214n31, relation, 53–54, 63–64, 226n54;
221n99 extrinsic relation, 51–52, 54, 56,
Ndalianis, Angela, 209n2, 256n58–59 64; history of, 50–54; reciprocal
Negri, Antonio, 250n108, 251n111 exclusivity, relation of, 53, 54, 64;
New Culture (Shinbunka), 178 with-pack premium, 226n50. See
New Treasure Island also stickers, Atomu
(Shintakarajima), 26, 30, 32, Omake-tsuki [premium-included]
221n97 Tetsuwan Atomu Caramel, 63
Nihon Dōga, 8 ōmono gangu (large-article toys),
Ningen no shōmei (Proof of the Man) 99–100, 102–3, 107, 236n56
[Morimura], 152 Opry House, The (1929), 94
Noda, Masanori, 247n54, 253n12 original work (gensaku): fan
Nogami, Akira, 93, 218n76, 233n15– production as valid or legitimate
16, 237n67 as, 179; media mix and loss of
Nonki na Tōsan (Carefree Dad), 93, primacy of, 160–61
95 Ōsawa, Nobuaki, 233n14, 234n25
noo-politics, 184, 259n92 Oshii Mamoru, xvii, 202
Norakuro (“Black Stray,” manga), otaku (anime or manga fan)
95, 214n30, 234n27; Norakuro micromarkets, 174, 228n72
character goods, 95–97, 220n91 Otogi Pro, 12
Norakuro (manga character), 51 Ōtsuka, Eiji, xvi, 174, 176–83,
novelizations of American films, 188, 191, 201, 211n16, 219n85,
149–50 233n14, 234n25, 244n32, 249n86;
novelty and repetition, rhythm of on coincidence of economic
commercial, 143–44 downturn and character booms,
Nye, Joseph S., 248n80 248n78; critique of transcription
Nyū taipu (New Type: anime model of media mix, 181, 255n35;
magazine), 174 dialogues between Azuma and,
253n20; editorial theory or theory
Obake no Q-tarō, 46 of publishing, 177, 178, 180; guide
Occupation, American GI handouts to writing light novels, 199; at
to Japanese children during, 46 Kadokawa Media Office, 176–77,
Oda Shōsei, 93 253n19, 255n39; on Kadokawa
Ōgon Batto (Golden Bat) Tsuguhiko’s interest in U.S. tabletop

Index · 305
role-playing games, 255n34; media Pokémon, 233n14, 259n100
mix model, 177; theory of narrative political economy, Regulation School
consumption, 176–83; on use of of, 155
semiotic approach, 255n33; on “pop song films” (kayō eiga), 247n56
worldview, 198–99 Popy company, 238n86, 247n58
Ōtsuka, Yasuo, 20, 34, 237n72; post-Fordism: brand as one of
on anime movement style as principal relational technologies
“kamishibai plus alpha,” 18, 20; on of, 190–91; commodity culture,
anime shock, 17–18 shift toward, 81; consumption
Out of the Garden (Kline), 90 as kind of work within, 167–68,
Ōya Souichi, 22, 23 169; convergence and, xi–xii, xvii;
Ozu Yasujiro, 218n72 culturalization of commodity and
shift to, 154–61; divergence and
Panda and the Magic Serpent difference in control societies in,
(Hakujyaden), 8–9, 11, 214n29 187; ideal-type commodity of,
pans in manga, expanding range of 157–60; media mix and, xi–xii,
relations between one frame and xvii; modes of consumption,
another, 31 multiplicity of worlds
paperback publishing, 150, 245n36, characterizing, 254n27; power
245n40 as modulation of differences in,
Parade Chocolates, Morinaga’s, 49– 184–85, 187; rise of (early 1970s),
50, 57, 225n41, 225n42 248n67; segmentation and flow in
parody manga, 148, 149 capitalist regime of, 164–65; shift
participation in spectator, affective from formal to real subsumption
and perceptual, 2, 3 under, 166–67; use of term,
Partner, Simon, 10, 214n32, 218n74, 211n13, 230n94; virtual character
242n13 of, 194–98
penny toys, 99 Postman, Neil, 211n12
perception of motion, 2, 3 postmodernism, 211n13. See also
perspectivalist, Leibniz’s philosophy post-Fordism
as, 185, 199 postwar recovery (1945–54), period
picture stories (emonogatari), 26–27, of, 137
219n83–84, 226n51 power: in control societies, 184–85,
planned flow, 162 187, 196; soft vs. hard, 158, 248n80
play: as active fan practice, 239n89; premiums. See omake–product
imaginative, nonmimetic vs. relations; stickers, Atomu
mass media toy and, 111–14; producers, consumers as, xiv–xv,
openness of character toy to 179–80, 182
unscripted, 123–24; toys based production: commodity as
on imitation and possibilities for, objectification of mode of, 156;
111; transformation in, with mass and consumption, marketing as
media toys, 109–11, 122 technology of relation connecting,
playbour, 251n112 137–38; and consumption,
point-of-purchase (POP), in-store regulating relation between, 197;
displays, 165–66 and consumption, standardization

306 · Index
of, 155–56, 256n45; flexible relationality (kanrensei), 138, 160;
(Toyotism), 156, 157–58; as principle of post-Fordist media
secondary (fan), 179, 182 consumption, 198; television’s
production committee system intertextual pervasion of culture,
(seisaku iinkai) model of financing, 163–64
172, 251n4–5, 253n15 relay, transformation of text into,
productivity: real subsumption and, 154–55
166; standardization for, 156; of remediation, 127, 239n93
viewer or fan, xiv–xv, 180 repetition: movement loop created
product marketing campaign, with, 16; novelty and, rhythm of
interrelation of different aspects of, commercial, 143–44
138. See also media mix repurposing, 126, 142, 209n2,
product–product relations, 138 239n93. See also convergence
Proof of the Man (Ningen no shōmei) Rescher, Nicholas, 185–86
[Morimura], 152 return, economy of: anime’s
prosumers, consumers as, 182, 200 dynamically immobile character
Psycho series, 255n36 image and expanded, 7; anime’s
publishing, Ōtsuka’s theory of, 177, movement of return, 18–19;
178, 180 interruption of circuits of return,
publishing industry, 149–51. See also 5; Lyotard’s “figure of return,” 4, 5;
Kadokawa Books Marx’s M–C–M cycle, 4
pull-cels, 15–16 Revolutions du Capitalisme, Les
(The Revolutions of Capitalism)
radio drama, 71, 103, 108, 219n80, [Lazzarato], 183, 187
229n81–82, 229n86, 229n89 rhythms of consumption,
Raki suta (Lucky Star, 2004–), 172–73 transformations of, 144–45, 157–58
Read, Jason, 240n100, 251n108 right-to-left transcription media mix
realism: cinematic conception model, 181, 255n35
of, 9; implicit evocation of, in “robot” characters, stiff character
full animation, 2; Lyotard on design of early, 220n91
impression of reality, 4–5; motion robot toys, 99, 100; walking Atomu
and, 2–3; in toys, rise in, 97–98 models as take on, 117. See also
real subsumption, 166–67, 169 buriki toys (tin toys)
reciprocal exclusivity, omake-product role-playing games, in Kadokawa
relation of, 53, 54, 64 Tsuguhiko’s media mix model, 174,
recognition, stars and characters 177, 181, 255n34
functioning on principle of, 68 Rosuto wārudo (Lost World)
records, asahi sono sheet, 145 [Tezuka], 220n86
regimes of accumulation, 155–56, rotoscoping, 9, 214n29
196–97; ideal-type commodity- Ruby Cairo (film), 252n7
form of, 156–60
Regulation School of political Sabu to Ichi (Sabu and Ichi: 1968–69),
economy, 155, 196–97 35
“Reinventing the Medium” (Krauss), Saitō, Jirō, 110, 224n28
126–27 Saitō, Ryōsuke, 124, 232n3, 233n17,

Index · 307
234n26, 235n42, 236n60; on mass Shintakarajima (New Treasure
media toy, 93, 94–95, 97, 110 Island), 26, 30, 32, 221n97
Saitō, Tamaki, 44, 191, 224n21 Shiraishi, Kazushige, 242n16
Sakamoto Naoki, 220n91 Shiraishi, Sara, 209n5
Sakamoto Yusaku, 14, 20 Shishido, Sagyō, 219n85
samurai period drama (jidaigeki) Shō-chan (mass character), 93, 95
genre, 103 Shō-chan no bōken (The Adventures
Sankei shinbun (newspaper), Atomu of Little Shō), 93
konjyaku monogatari series in, 189 Shochiku, 246n47
Sanrio, 90 Shogakukan (publishing giant),
Sasakibara, Gō, 160, 249n86 245n35
Sato, Tadao, 27–28, 220n88 shōhinkaken (merchandising rights),
Schodt, Fredrik, 28, 215n49, 219n81, 192
220n89, 222n5, 233n13 shōhin no bunkaka (culturalization of
secondary production (fan commodity), 154–61
production), 179, 182; importance shōjo girls, cute communication
of inconsistency for, 182 among, 90
sectioning, 16 Shōjo kurabu (Girl’s Club) magazine,
segmentation and flow, 161–65, 26
250n100; in Anglo-American Shōnen (boys’ magazine), 12, 30,
television theory, 161–64; Japanese 45, 47, 55, 71, 76; Atomu manga
television and, 163, 164–65 in, 189, 221; CineColts giveaway,
Seiter, Ellen, 90, 232n10 236n61; furoku, prizes and selling
sekaikan (worldview), 179, 181–82, of merchandise in, 107; Meiji–
198–99, 200, 254n27 Atomu ad in, 56–57
Senden kaigi (Advertising Meeting), Shōnen ace (manga magazine), 148
87, 139, 140, 226n54, 241n7 Shōnen gahō (boys’ magazine),
sender–message–receiver 71, 219n83; Akadō Suzunosuke
communication model, 128 serialized in, 102–3
serial fragments: dissolution of work Shōnen Jet mask sets and guns, 105
into, 160–61; fan production of, Shōnen kurabu (Boys’ Club)
179, 182 magazine, 26, 95, 96, 234n27
seriality, theory of, 161–68; Shōriki Matsutarō, 23, 218n74
divergence of narrative short shot length, 16
worlds and development of Shueisha (publishing giant), 245n35
transmedia seriality, 188–90; Shūkan shōnen (Weekly Boys)
environmentalization of media, magazine, 152
165–68; segmentation and flow in Shuppan nenkan (Publishing
television, 161–65 Yearbook), 152, 246n50
serial novels, illustrated, 26 Simondon, Gilbert, 195, 258n83
Shichima, Sakai, 26, 30 Skeleton Dance, The (Disney short),
Shimokawa Oten, 213n27 234
Shinbunka (New Culture), 178 Sky-Flying Atomu (Sora Tobu
Shinji Oyama, 258n81 Atomu), 114, 118
Shinoda, Hiroyuki, 252n7–10 small-article toys (komono gangu),

308 · Index
99–100, 235n42, 236n56 57–64, 66, 70–71, 74–85, 177,
Smits, Gregory, 233n17 223n19, 225n42; proliferation of
Smythe, Dallas W., 168, 251n111 impromptu character goods using,
Sneaker, The (light novel magazine), 81
148 still image: dynamism of, 6–7, 33,
Snow White (film), 9 66; extensive use of, in response to
social body, organization of libido as constraints of TV, 13–14; manga
essential mode of organizing, 4–5 images as model for dynamically
social factory, 251n111 immobile character image, 28–32;
society of mass consumption, postwar postwar kamishibai, 24–25
marketing and, 136–41 stillness: motion and, rhythm of, 5,
soft power, concept of, 158, 248n80 9, 10, 17, 18, 19–20, 35, 36, 38–39,
sono sheets, 145, 244n29 42, 64, 79, 84, 165, 201; of stickers,
Sora Tobu Atomu (Sky-Flying 78–79; visual consistency and, 189,
Atomu) toy, 114, 118 201. See also dynamically immobile
Sotooka, Hidetoshi, 247n55, 252n8–9 character image
speed lines, use of, 28, 31, 57 stop-images, 15
sponsors, television, 37–38, 39, 46, store: mediatization of, 165–66,
222n1 250n102; as total media
standardization of production and environment, 166, 252n6
consumption, Fordist, 155–56, storyboard theatre. See kamishibai
256n45 (storyboard theater)
star: body of, as doubled body, 68; story manga, 27–28
displacement by character image, “street corner TV” (gaitō terebi), 23
64–70; secondary star system structured polysemy, 67–68
around voice actors, 69 Studio 4ºC, xvii
Star of Giants (Kyojin no Hoshi: subject’s world. See media
1968–71), 35 environment
sticker-based campaign, Bikkuriman subsumption, real vs. subsumption,
Chocolates, 177–80 166–67, 169
sticker logic, 70–80; graphically Sucklord, 239n88
immobile dynamism of character Sutton-Smith, Brian, 238n77
image and, 76–79, 84; material Suzuki, Tsunekatsu, 217n62, 217n66–
specificity (physical mobility, 67
stickerability, and ability to be seen Suzumiya Haruhi franchise, 148–49,
anytime), 79–80, 84, 230n90; as 244n33
means of advertising, 87; mimetic Suzumiya Haruhi series (2003–),
relationship to form of anime or 172, 173, 202; different names for,
manga characters, 74–75 243n23; promotion of, 244n31
stickers, Atomu, 43, 142–43, 146, synergy, 71, 195; American version of,
226n55, 227n60, 230n90, 230n92, 94; in anime media mix, 141–42,
230n97; Atomization of any item 143; between Atomu TV series and
by, 80–81; continuous mode of manga, 71; character–media, 83–
consumption through, 145; Meiji– 85; of Kadokawa media mix, 151,
Atomu sticker campaign, xiv, 43, 152; between literature and film,

Index · 309
154; in marketing media mix, 141; axis of children’s culture, 109;
between media and commodity critics of new medium of, 22–23;
forms, interplay between mobility cyclicality of consumption of, 163;
and immobility generating, 77–79; development of anime and, 10,
media integration and, 172–73; 214n31; as “electric kamishibai,”
surplus or addition from one 14, 20, 22, 217n70; emphasis on
medium to another, 79, 84 sound over image, 218n77; mass
systems theory, treatments of media viewing of, in 1950s, 23; media
in, 239n92 mix and, 161–65; revaluation of
interval, 162–64; segmentation and
tabletop role-playing games (TRPGs), flow, 161–65, 250n100; television
255n34 set marketing through concept
tachi-e (wood-carved puppet show), of “bright life,” 242n13; television
217n61 set ownership in Japan, 10, 107–8,
Tachiguishi retsuden (The Amazing 109, 139, 237n67; temporal and
Lives of Fast Food Grifters: 2006) financial constraints of, 13; tie-ins
[Oshii Mamoru], 202 on, earlier uses of, 42
Tada, Toshikatsu, 235n44 television commercials, animated,
Tada Seisaku, 117, 120 11–13
Tagawa Suihō, 51, 95 Television Culture (Fiske), 163–64
Tajū jinkaku tantei saiko (Multi- television sponsors, 37–38, 39, 46,
personality Detective Psycho 222n1
or MPD Psycho, 1997–) series, Television: Technology and Cultural
181–82 Form (Williams), 161–62
Takatoku Gangu KK, 104, 105, temporality: of consumption,
236n56, 236n60; coining of term acceleration of, 144–45; of
“mass media toy,” 103, 106 consumption, post-Fordist, 157–
Takayama, Hideo, 224n26, 235n44, 58; in manga, new relationality
250n97 between frames and, 31; mixed, of
Takeuchi, Ichirō, 216n51, 219n83 manga image, 29
Takeuchi Tsunayoshi, 71, 103, 229n81 Ten to chi to (film), 252n7
Tanigawa Nagaru, 148 terebi manga (“TV manga”), 10, 74
Tanku Tankurō, 95 Terranova, Tiziana, 251n111,
Tarde, Gabriel, 256n55 255n37
Tatami Galaxy (Yojōhan shinwa taikei, Tetsujin 28-gō (Iron Man no. 28,
2010) [Yuasa Masa’aki], 202 1963–66, released in North
TCJ, 12 America as Gigantor), 12, 46,
Teihon monogatari shōhiron. See 226n48; as Atomu’s main rival,
Monogatari shōhiron (A Theory of 231n1; badges, 87, 88, 177, 231n1
Narrative Consumption) [Ōtsuja Tetsuwan Atomu (manga), 15, 45,
Eiji] 76, 145, 146, 237n63; concurrent
television, 9–13, 237n70; animated serializations (1967–68), 189–90;
commercials, 11–13, 215n39; naming, 224n22; readers addressed
beginning of broadcasting in as “friends” of Atomu, 30, 221n98;
Japan (1953), 9, 12; as central synergy between TV series and, 71

310 · Index
Tetsuwan Atomu (television series, Tetsuwan Atomu kurabu (Tetsuwan
1963–66), ix, xii–xiii, 23, 41, Atomu Club) magazine, 145, 147
92, 202–3; anime media mix of, text, media: television and re-
142–47; Atomu pose in flight, evaluation of concept of textual
75–78; boom in Atomu goods, unit, 162; textual logic of
107–11; character merchandising segmentation and flow, 161–65;
in Japan and, 41; chocolate boom transformation from self-enclosed
of 1960s and link between Marble entity to transmedia fragment,
Chocolates and, 46; collapse in 160–61
distinction between program Tezuka, Osamu, xii–xiii, 2, 9, 10, 11,
and promotion in, 144, 168, 12, 20, 35, 83, 212n4, 215n45–47,
243n25; “Dentō ningen no maki” 220n90; addressing children as
(The Electric Man Episode), 24; friends of Atomu, 30, 221n98;
divergence from manga series concurrent Atomu manga
(1966), 189–90; earlier 1959–60 serializations of, 189–90; on
live-action version of, image gap contemporary anime, 216n55; as
of, 72–74, 75, 229n87; early ad copyright holder, 92; on Disney,
for, 56; “Furanken no maki” (The 222n105, 233n18; Disney’s
Frankenstein Episode), 23–24; influence on, 40, 215n45, 222n6,
increasing centrality of characters 233n18, 250n101; dynamism
to Marble products and marketing developed by, 28–32; on emergence
campaigns, 56–64; interplay of anime, 13–14; “industrial
between mobility and immobility revolution” of manga production
generating synergy between media and, 216n51; information on, in
and commodity forms, 77–79; fan club magazine, 145; legacy
labor-saving devices invented of, 36; multiplication of frames
to create, 15–16, 17; manga and, to heighten sense of speed in
relation between, 9, 10–11, 26; Shintakarajima, 30, 221n97;
as manga come alive, 34, 124; postwar manga and, 26, 27, 28,
Meiji Seika as sponsor, 37–38, 39; 219n85; price for Atomu episodes,
popularity of, 17, 18, 70–71; price 19, 39–40, 216n60, 222n2;
per episode vs. cost of production, recouping costs of production,
19, 39–40, 216n60, 222n2; ratings 39–40, 222n4; Rosuto wāruto,
at peak, 228n79; reference to 220n86; star system in his manga
kamishibai throughout, 23–25; writing, 68; toys endorsed by, 119
retroactive transformation of Tezuka Is Dead (Itō), 83
origins in, 161; rhythm of novelty Tezuka’s curse, 40
and repetition, 144; rival of, 12; Theory of Narrative Consumption,
speed lines used in, 29; theme A (Monogatari shōhiron) [Ōtsuka
song, use in TV ads of, 67; “Time Eiji], 176–83; “World and
Machine” episode, transmedia Variation: The Reproduction and
connectivity in, 37–38, 39, 56 Consumption of Narrative,” 177–
Tetsuwan Atomu Chōtokkyū 83, 253n17
(Tetsuwan Atomu Super Express) “thing communication” (mono-komi),
toy, 117, 119 xv, 87–91, 125, 132; thing–thing

Index · 311
communication, 90–91; ways of inflatable, 114, 115, 116; open and
discussing, 89–91 closed, 111–14; penny, 99; small-
thingification of media, 89, 132, article vs. large-article, 99–100,
210n6 235n42, 236n56; transformation
things: mediation of, 89, 91, 132, in 1960s in nature of play and,
210n6; use of term, 209n6 109–11, 122; transformation
Thorn, Matthew, 255n31 into mass media toys, 107–11;
“thought-ware” industries, 157–58 unlicensed, 236n58; war, 97–98.
three-dimensionalization of mass See also mass media toy; material
communication [masu komi no communication and the mass
rittaika], 71–72, 79, 108–9 media toy
three-frame shooting, 15 toy-based programs, 243n25
3 + 1, oedipal model of, 175 Toy Business Bulletin (Gangu shōhō),
“Three Sacred Treasures”: of Showa 99
30s (1955–64), 156; of Showa 40s “toy chocolates,” 46
(1965–74), 157 toy industry, Japanese, 98–100,
tie-ins on television, earlier practice 233n17; postwar, 124; postwar,
of, 42 emphasis on foreign consumption,
Tin Toy, The (Buriki no omocha) 98–99; trade journals, 99, 235n40,
[Kumagai], 112 235n49; transformation from
tin toys. See buriki toys (tin toys) export-based to domestic, 122,
tipping point, emergence of anime 238n86
system as, xiii, xvi–xvii, 108 Toyotism (flexible production), 156,
Toei Animation Studio, 8–9, 34, 157–58
215n45; anime shock among trademark characters in animated TV
animators at, 17–18; character commercials, 13
merchandising by, 40–41; founders trademark law, 257n72
of, 213n27; training of animators transcription model of media mix,
at, 11 181, 255n35
Toki o kakeru shojo (The Girl Who transductive unity of character, 195,
Leapt through Time) [novel, film], 258n83
173 transformations, media. See media
Tokuma Shoten (Tokuma Books), transformations
174, 190, 201, 252n12 transmedia. See convergence
Tokyo gangu shōhō (Tokyo Toy transmedia communication:
Business Bulletin), 99, 235n49 connectivity in “Time Machine”
total marketing (totaru māketingu), episode of Tetsuwan Atomu, 37–38,
49, 225n38 39; expanded economy of return
toy(s): action, 124; Akadō, 102–3, and, 7; media-commodity fostered
108; art, 202; buriki, 99, 100, by, xv; specificity of, xiv–xv
112, 114–25, 127–28, 238n84; as transmedia migrations of
communicational medium, 89, 90; anime image. See character
designer, 260n103; environmental merchandising
consumption and, 145; guns, 99; transmedia movement, 239n92

312 · Index
Trapeze (Kūchū Buranko: 2009), 35 toys (1980), 111, 112
Tronti, Mario, 250n108 unfair competition law, 257n72
Tsuchiya, Shintaro, 151, 223n9, United Production of America
247n58 (UPA), 11, 17
Tsugata, Nobuyuki, 7–8, 212n19, Urutoraman (Ultraman), 229n88
213n23–25, 213n28, 214n33–34, use-value, shift to image-value from,
215n41, 215n49, 224n19, 234n24; 81
on animation based on manga, Ushiki, Ri’ichi, 193, 230n100, 257n70
214n30; on animation for TV Utagawa, Hideo, 223n12, 247n54
commercials, 11–12; definition of utsushi-e (moving magic lantern
anime, 8; on gap between manga exhibits), 217n61
and live-action, 229n85; on price
per episode of Tetsuwan Atomu, variation: as critique of Kadokawa
216n60, 222n2; on Tezuka and Haruki’s media mix model, 180–
development of anime, 10, 214n34, 81; media mix based on principle
214n36 of infinite, 181–82, 188
Tsunashima, Ritomo, 50, 81, 223n11, vehicles, toy: buriki Atomu toys,
224n19, 225n40, 225n42, 227n66 117, 118–20; mobility through, 97,
Tsurumi, Shunsuke, 22, 217n62, 124–25; war toys, 97–98
217n69 video games, 69, 84, 148, 157–58,
Tsutsui Yasutaka, 173 172, 174, 175, 177, 198, 202, 241n4,
TV. See television 243n23, 251n112
“TV manga” (terebi manga), 10 Virno, Paolo, 250n108
virtual, Deleuze on the, 194, 258n81,
ubiquity of character image, material, 258n84
43, 64–70, 81–83, 84; diffusion of virtual character, 194–98
character, tendency toward, 44–45, virtual objects, brand and character
70–80 as, 258n81
Uchida, Hitoshi, 240n1 visual consistency of character image
Ueda, Yasuo, 151, 153, 246n46, across media types, 109
246n53 voice actors, secondary star system
Uehara Yukari (“Marble-chan”), 47, around, 69
48, 49, 56, 58, 138; displaced in TV
ads by Atomu character, 64–70, Wachowskis, 188, 256n58
142, 143, 227n60; “Happy Marble” Walt Disney Productions, 100–102.
commercial, 49, 64–66 See also Disney, Walt, and Disney
Ueno, Chizuko, 70, 228n78 Studios
Ueno, Kōshi, 154–55, 160, 245n43, war toys, 97–98
246n51, 252n8 Wasko, Janet, 211n14
Ueno, Toshiya, 212n19 Watanabe, Yasushi, 234n24
ugoku bajji (“moving badge”), 50, Wells, Paul, 1, 212n1
53, 55 White, Mimi, 249n88
Understanding Animation (Wells), 1 Williams, James, 212n13
UNESCO, 231n3; report on imitative Williams, Raymond, 161–62, 249n89

Index · 313
Willis, Susan, 250n103 243n25, 244n27, 250n97
Wood, Aylish, 210n11 Yamakawa Sōji, 219n83
work: consumption as, within post- Yamakita, Shinji, 245n42, 246n53
Fordism, 167–68, 169; dissolution Yamamoto, Ei’ichi, 10–11, 12, 35,
into serial fragments, 160–61 214n35, 215n38, 215n48, 216n35,
worker–capitalist axis of capitalist 222n2; awareness of U.S. limited
relation, expansion of, 167–68 animation, 215n44; on Hanna
world (sekai), concept of, xi, xvi. See Barbera’s TV animation, 11
also character–world relation Yamamoto, Taketori, 217n62–63,
“World and Variation: the 218n75
Reproduction and Consumption of Yamamoto Sanae, 213n27
Narrative” (Ōtsuka), 177–83 Yasui, Hisashi, 223n15, 223n17,
World Intellectual Property 223n19
Organization, 223n16, 257n72 Yatsuhakamura (Yokomizo), 151–52,
World Intellectual Property 246n48
Organization, definition of Yawaraka Sensha Rengōgun, 251n3,
character merchandising, 41–42 259n99
worldview (sekaikan), 179, 181–82, Yojohan shinwa taikei (Tatami
198–99, 200, 254n27 Galaxy: 2010) [Yuasa Masa’aki],
World War II: postwar emphasis on 202
foreign consumption, 98–99; toy yōkai (“hobgoblins”), 233n14
industry and, 98 Yokohama, Yūji, 240n1
Wyatt, Justin, 245n37 Yokomizo, Seishi, 151–52, 246n45–48
Yokoyama Ryuichi, 12
Yabushita Taiji, 213n27 Yoshimizu Kagami, 173
Yamaguchi, Kasanori, 234n24 Yuasa Masa’aki, xvii, 202
Yamaguchi, Yasuo, 213n27
Yamakawa, Hiroji, 87, 90, 109, 125, Zahlten, Alexander, 172, 241n3,
155, 224n19, 227n63, 231n2, 247n57, 251n2, 251n4, 252n7

314 · Index
Marc Steinberg is assistant professor in the Mel Hoppenheim
School of Cinema at Concordia University and is a member of
the editorial board for Mechademia.