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Images At An Impasse: Anime And Manga In Contemporary Russia

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Chapter Summary

Japanese popular culture is diverse, but anime and manga have come to be its chief representatives. The popularity of anime and manga in Russia has continued to grow, producing a new youth subculture deriving its inspiration from Japan. This chapter examines Russian youth subculture, focusing on the activities of RAnMa (Russian Anime and Manga Club). It questions Russian youth interest in anime and manga and explores their fascination with Japan in general. The chapter argues that in this age of global mass media and communications, Russian fans of anime and manga have ironically perpetuated stereotypes of Japan that emerged some three hundred years ago, while the image of Russia in Japan today is no less associated with time-worn images. Images may seem to be at an impasse, but the changing reality of Russian life also imbues old stereotypes with new meanings.

Keywords: anime; impasse; Japan; manga; Russia



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