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“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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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
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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