“Japan's pop culture, once believed unexportable, is now hitting the shores of other nations like a tsunami. In North America, young fans consume vast amounts of manga and anime, while academics increasingly study the entire J-pop phenomenon to understand it. One community has passion while the other has discipline, and what has been lacking is a bridge between the two. Mechademia is the bridge, and with a name like that, how can one go wrong? So why wait? Hop in your giant mobile suit and stomp down to the local real or virtual bookstore to purchase a copy right now!” —Frederik L. Schodt, author of Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics
Networks of Desire—the second volume in the Mechademia series, an annual forum devoted to critical and creative work on Japanese anime, manga, and the fan cultures that have coalesced around them—explores the varieties of desire that structure and influence much of contemporary anime and manga in manifestations that range from the explicitly sexual to more sublimated text and imagery. Collecting original essays by scholars, artists, and fans, Networks of Desire considers key issues at play in a Japanese society increasingly uncertain of its place in a globalized world: from idealized representations of same-sex desire in such shôjo manga (girls’s comics) as The Rose of Versailles, to fan fiction inspired by the gender-switching manga Ranma ½, to desire in otaku communities.
Deftly weaving together desire and discourse, Mechademia 2 illuminates the techno-carnal fantasies, animalistic consumption, political nostalgia, and existential hunger underlying the most popular and influential expressions of Japanese popular culture today.
Contributors: Brent Allison, U of Georgia; Meredith Suzanne Hahn Aquila; Hiroki Azuma; William L. Benzon; Christopher Bolton, Williams College; Martha Cornog; Patrick Drazen; Marc Hairston, U of Texas, Dallas; Mari Kotani; Shu Kuge, Penn State U; Margherita Long, U of California, Riverside; Daisuke Miyao; Hiromi Mizuno, U of Minnesota; Mariana Ortega; Timothy Perper; Eron Rauch; Trina Robbins; Brian Ruh, Indiana U; Deborah Shamoon, U of Notre Dame; Masami Toku, California State U, Chico; Keith Vincent, NYU.
Frenchy Lunning is professor of liberal arts at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and editor of Mechademia 1: Emerging Worlds of Anime and Manga (Minnesota, 2006).