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Saturday, July 2 • 3:45pm - 4:45pm
Reflections of a Changing Japan in Modern Japanese Visual Culture

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Salaryman at the Black Factory: Absurdist Loserdom and Labor Politics in Osomatsu-san
Danielle Frankel Choi (University of Southern California) and Calvin Choi
  • This presentation investigates the archetype of the “loser" in Osomatsu-san, the 2015 anime reboot of the well-known Osomatsu-kun (1966-67, 88-89) franchise. Tensions inherent in the image of the salaryman—simultaneously a signifier of socio-economic stability, yet also of soulless drudgery—paradoxically position it as a personally unfulfilling career, and also a desirable marker of traditional (masculine) success that is no longer attainable for a young workforce in Japan's late capitalist global economy. Osomatsu-san's structure and content preclude any possibility of financial or personal success for its characters, offering a revealing critique of contemporary labor politics in a post-industrial Japan.

Fantastic Damage – Architecture, Anime, Destruction, and Tokyo
Evan Jones
  • Of all of the Earth's major cities, perhaps none have undergone more cataclysmic changes in a shorter time period than Tokyo. Earthquakes, modernization, firebombings, and urban renewal have changed the three dimensional Tokyo just as much – if not more – than giant robots, angels, or magical girls have changed a myriad number of two dimensional versions. By analyzing the city as both a historical entity and as a narrative setting, Evan Jones will explore Tokyo as a cityscape of limitless flexibility, one which creators and visionaries bend and manipulate at will to satisfy various wants and needs. This presentation will use a number of visuals to highlight various animated interpretations of Tokyo with an emphasis on important representational shifts.

Good Eating and Social Meetings: The Semiotics of Food in Goro Miyazaki's From Up on Poppy Hill
Verna Zafra (University of Guam)
  • Depictions of making and consuming food have been prominent throughout the history of Japanese animation and Japanese comics.. This presentation will overview development, role, and significance that food plays in anime/manga, and the place of Japanese media in the emerging academic field of “food studies". In Goro Miyazaki's From Up on Poppy Hill, food can be interpreted as a sign that carries various meanings, which in turn underscore and facilitate specific themes, such as family, camaraderie in the community, and role fulfillment.

Saturday July 2, 2016 3:45pm - 4:45pm PDT
Live Programming 4 411