Communication à la Conférence Internationale Asia Culture Forum 2006 Mobile and Pop Culture in Asia Gwangju, Corée, octobre 2006
Introduction Manga and anime are now part of the cultural habits of different generations of French readers, and they are a major cultural space where images and meanings about Japan and Asia circulate. From the end of the 1970’s, intercultural relations with Japan developed mainly through this Japanese media culture1. The success of manga and anime contributed to a strong interest in different aspects of Japanese culture, but there are still few studies of this successful intercultural …show more content…
Manga and anime only appeared on the agenda of public problems at the end of the 1980’s, when French television system was deregulated and the major channel privatized (1987): numerous articles, talk-shows, special television reports, commentaries, books…, were produced about the “manga phenomenon”, the “mangamania”, especially between 1993 and 1997.
John Fiske, “The Cultural Economy of Fandom”, in The Adoring Audience, Ed. Lisa Lewis, New York, Routledge, 1992, p.30
Manga appeared then as derivatives of these commercial and cheap TV programs, and stood in sharp contrast with legitimate culture, French youth literature and comics. Manga and anime were considered a lowbrow commercial form of child entertainment: a “moral and media panic” emphasised their dangerous psychological effects. The traditional highbrow prejudices against television and mass culture resurfaced: the same arguments about the negative effects of this cultural practice were used in France to criticize “industrial literature” in the XIXth century, American comic books in the 1930’s and 1950’s, video games in the 1980’s and 1990’s. A moral and cultural boundary was constructed to isolate manga from more respectable and “pedagogical” forms of entertainment, more legitimate art forms, controlled by adults: the confusion between manga, anime, pornography and violence reached its highest point. Manga were indeed seen as