Saturday, October 23, 2004

Reshaping pop culture: In anticipation of the 2004 Japanese Film Festival, Australia's Sydney Morning Herald takes a look at the billion-dollar anime phenomenon:

"Almost without seeking the role, Japan has found itself cast as a counterweight to the United States, the traditional powerhouse of popular culture. 'In fact, from pop music to consumer electronics, architecture to fashion and food to art, Japan has far greater cultural influence now than it had in the 1980s, when it was an economic superpower,' wrote the Washington journalist Douglas McCray in his influential essay 'Gross national cool', published in Foreign Policy magazine last year.

"The handful of big Japanese studios to have found themselves at the forefront are there without much marketing effort of their own. And now with money sloshing in from Hollywood, it is an international mainstream phenomenon."