The Newsletter 50 Spring 2009

Heidi in Japan: what do anime dreams of Europe mean for non-Europeans?

Cobus van Staden

Examining mechanisms through which anime narrative became naturalised in non-Asian countries teaches us much about how non-Hollywood, non-Western cultural globalisation happened. Before anime became cool, it had braved knee-jerk dismissal and it frequently did so by entering the international market via traditionally underrated genres such as children’s television, with stories set in Europe or adaptations of European children’s books. However, as Cobus van Staden explains, this strategy was also prefigured by a long tradition of Europhilia in Japan, which significantly complicated the reception of anime both in Japan and abroad.

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