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  • I. Contexts and Issues

    1. Introduction / Joseph Tobin 3

    2. Structure, Agency, and Pedagogy in Children's Media Culture / David Buckingham and Julian Sefton-Green 1

    3. Cuteness as Japan's Millennial Product / Anne Allison 34

    II Global Circulation

    4. How "Japanese" Is Pokemon? / Kiochi Iwabuchi 53

    5. Localizing the Pokemon TV Series for the American Market / Hirofumi Katsuno and Jeffery Maret 80

    6. Panic Attacks: Anti-Pokemon voices in Global Markets / Christine R. Yano 108

    III Places and Practices

    7. Initiation Rites: A Small Boy in a Poke-World / Julian Sefton-Green 141

    8. Pokemon in Israel / Dafna Lemish and Linda-Renee Bloch 165

    9. How Much Is a Pokemon Worth? Pokemon in France / Gilles Brougere 187

    IV Pokemon Goes to School

    10. Localizing Pokemon through Narrative Play / Helen Bromley 211

    11. The Multiple Identities of Pokemon Fans / Rebekah Willett 226

    12. Masculinity, Maturity, and the End of Pokemon / Samuel Tobin 241

    13. Conclusion: The Rise and Fall of the Pokemon Empire / Joseph Tobin 257

    Contributors 293

    Index 295
  • Joseph Tobin

    David Buckingham

    Anne Allison

    Koichi Iwabuchi

    Hirofumi Katsuno

    Christine R. Yano

    Dafna Lemish

    Gilles Brougere

    Helen Bromley

    Rebekah Willet

    Samuel Tobin

    Julian Sefton-Green

    Jeffrey Maret

    Linda Renee-Bloch

  • “I took a peek at the table of contents for Pikachu’s Global Adventure, then read a little of the introduction, and the next thing I knew I was deep, deep in the book and didn’t want to stop. The writing was that engaging, the information and arguments that compelling.”—Henry Jenkins, coeditor of Hop on Pop: The Politics and Pleasures of Popular Culture — N/A

    “The contributors to this volume are the smartest scholars working today in the areas of global media and children’s media. This book tells an entertaining and surprising tale of how the little Japanese Pokémon transformed children’s culture and global media economics. The changes that Pikachu wrought are only the beginning of fascinating new trends in role-playing games, video games, cartoons, and toys and the accelerated spread of such fads via the Internet.”—Ellen Seiter, author of Sold Separately: Children and Parents in Consumer Culture — N/A

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  • Description

    Initially developed in Japan by Nintendo as a computer game, Pokémon swept the globe in the late 1990s. Based on a narrative in which a group of children capture, train, and do battle with over a hundred imaginary creatures, Pokémon quickly diversified into an array of popular products including comic books, a TV show, movies, trading cards, stickers, toys, and clothing. Pokémon eventually became the top grossing children's product of all time. Yet the phenomenon fizzled as quickly as it had ignited. By 2002, the Pokémon craze was mostly over. Pikachu’s Global Adventure describes the spectacular, complex, and unpredictable rise and fall of Pokémon in countries around the world.

    In analyzing the popularity of Pokémon, this innovative volume addresses core debates about the globalization of popular culture and about children’s consumption of mass-produced culture. Topics explored include the origins of Pokémon in Japan’s valorization of cuteness and traditions of insect collecting and anime; the efforts of Japanese producers and American marketers to localize it for foreign markets by muting its sex, violence, moral ambiguity, and general feeling of Japaneseness; debates about children’s vulnerability versus agency as consumers; and the contentious question of Pokémon’s educational value and place in school. The contributors include teachers as well as scholars from the fields of anthropology, media studies, sociology, and education. Tracking the reception of Pokémon in Japan, the United States, Great Britain, France, and Israel, they emphasize its significance as the first Japanese cultural product to enjoy substantial worldwide success and challenge western dominance in the global production and circulation of cultural goods.

    Contributors. Anne Allison, Linda-Renée Bloch, Helen Bromley, Gilles Brougere, David Buckingham, Koichi Iwabuchi, Hirofumi Katsuno, Dafna Lemish, Jeffrey Maret, Julian Sefton-Green, Joseph Tobin, Samuel Tobin, Rebekah Willet, Christine Yano

    About The Author(s)

    Joseph Tobin is the Nadine Mathis Basha Professor of Early Childhood Education at Arizona State University. He is the author of “Good Guys Don’t Wear Hats”: Children’s Talk about the Media, editor of Making a Place for Pleasure in Early Childhood Education, and coauthor of Preschool in Three Cultures: Japan, China, and the United States.

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