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Otaku Azuma (Center for the Study of World Civilizations, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan) philosophically explores the Japanese subculture of the otaku, which typically involves males between 18 and 40 who consume, produce, and collect comic books (manga), animated films (anime), and other products related to those forms of popular visual culture. He argues that theOtaku Azuma (Center for the Study of World Civilizations, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan) philosophically explores the Japanese subculture of the otaku, which typically involves males between 18 and 40 who consume, produce, and collect comic books (manga), animated films (anime), and other products related to those forms of popular visual culture. He argues that the otaku provide a new model of po... Full description...

Title : otaku japan s database animals
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ISBN : 19306521
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 200 Pages
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otaku japan s database animals Reviews

  • joao
    2018-10-14 16:47

    Hiroki Azuma is quite schematic in applying the principles of postmodern theory to narrative consumption, which he argues has now become 'database' consumption in contemporary [otaku] culture. Two trojan horses are at play here. "Japan" stands as a place that can either lead the way to an advanced, post-modern consumerist society or an exception that bends, but confirms, the rule, while "otaku" stands a fizzling subculture that has already been supplying the mainstream its vocabulary for a long time, which means that we all are potentially, to an extent, and as consumers, "otaku". To be prudent, however, I would admit that Azuma doesn't always make these conclusions, either attributing them to someone else, or inverting the question ("couldn't it be said that.."). He spends most of his time detailing models, which might appear to be repetitive at times, but stands quite fruitful. To do this, he engages with a short array of western philosophers, like Zizek, Kojève, Lacan, and Baudrillard, either in very specific details, or general theories, so one could say he doesn't really build up on those sources; they also seem a bit dated, though it appears the links with japanese contemporary theory are much more attuned. Sadly, Azuma's infographics and pictorial examples are neglected by the publisher, as they appear pixelated in print form, perhaps because they were low-resolution to begin with. For a book that relies on these kind of graphics, it is an obvious flaw. The book also ends on a somewhat abrupt note, like the writer suddenly dropped his interest on the subject, and you end up missing a conclusion, as if all those points had to be hammered home and an extra, overarching argument could be made. To me, all the emancipatory qualities of the otaku experience struggle with the idea that database consumption manifests itself as a sort of drug addiction, not because the therapeutic qualities of fiction are a novelty, but because they are now (according to Azuma) its main driver.

  • Tim Pendry
    2018-10-12 08:32

    Azuma’s theoretical analysis of Japanese ‘Otaku’ culture provides some useful insights into Japanese intellectual life, ‘applied’ post-modernism and a phenomenon which, like rap from the other side of the world, has spread with globalisation. The footnotes are as valuable as the text.It is perhaps a sign of that spread that my daughter (English) was able to point out quite quickly that two illustrations (of images of girls from Urusei Yatsura and Sailor Moon) had been transposed. It seems that the kids are sharper than the academics on matters of actual content.Unfortunately, like so many works about the post-modern, the book is marred by Theory. Azuma has some important things to say about the end of the modernist project and of grand narratives but he over-relies on Kojeve and he seems desperate to assert his own authorial presence over the data.Kojeve and the Neo-Hegelians represent a particular bug bear of mine (their desperate attempt to impose authorial rights on history strikes me as the last fling of a redundant academy) but equally awkward is Azuma’s own instinct to over-analyse and model.The section on multiple personality as analogue for Otaku modes of thinking is mildly embarrassing though this is a rare lapse. What Azuma fails to understand are the power relations implicit in the internet revolution insofar as it allows us choices about value.He is excellent on identifying the role of desire rather than need in post-modern internet culture but he under-estimates the positive role of Japanese popular culture in opening up the space for personal psychotherapeutic solutions to living under conditions of excessive socialisation.He strikes me as still ambiguous in his attempt to remain objective about phenomena that are best understood subjectively. What we have to ask is not why ‘Otaku’ works in Japan but what it means insofar as it has been adapted (again, like rap) amongst entire generations overseas.His analyses are sound and informative but he seems to find it difficult to see that Otaku thinking can co-exist with a much more grounded relationship with the real world than modernist ideologies have ever permitted their adherents to do.The point of the modernist ideologue is that he cannot but confuse imagination and reality – we see it in the ‘Great Religions’, in Marxism-Leninism and in Neo-Hegelianism. Today, we see the desperate attempts of politicians to save the Euro as their attempt to force reality into an imaginative strait-jacket. This confusion of imagination and reality is at the root of the great blood-lettings of the recent past. This derives from an obsession with unification – as if the individual mind working within one Heraclitean system can be brought into alignment by force with a Heraclitean world working to different rules.Modern history is the paradoxical attempt to 'will' Cartesian realities be over-ridden so that individuation is not a matter of personal discovery unto death in an unknowable monist materialist world (the way of existentialism) but a social practice built around ‘Humanity’.The post-modern revolution provided a theoretical framework for a very profound change in human relations but this revolution continues to use the praxis of modernity because intellectuals, by their very nature, belong to the old world even as they seek to understand the new.Practical, as opposed to theoretical, post-modernism can be characterised by an individual and immediate understanding that the world of socialisation and the worlds of individual imaginations based on immediate desires (where Lacan does have insights) are different but equal in worth.A person is thrust into a world (so much was elucidated by Heidegger) which is constructed by others. Alienation is the recognition that this social world (since the material world is merely the satisfier or denier of needs) does not accord with the inner desiring self.Socialisation (for many and often sound reasons) blocks desire and (under modernism and earlier systems) went so far as try to police desire by socialising the inner mind of persons. Even today, liberal ideologues do this as various forms of political correctness and the constant process of engineering consent. The corporate system lives in the half world between systems, simultaneously trying to manufacture desires and respond to desires that are not manufactured. The market has moved on from the satisfactions of needs, through the creation of desires (and needs) to the satisfaction of desires not of its own making. The power has shifted to the person desiring and this confuses a whole class of intermediaries who made choices for others.The market (by recognising the value of desire) and then the internet (in enabling the desirer access to massive numbers of constantly adaptable and recursive objects of desire) has allowed the young (who will be old one day) the ability to choose ‘destinies’ and ‘identities’.The modern liberal mind is suspicious of the market and increasingly of the internet (except as a directed tool) but it actively loathes the idea of persons floating between and around multiple identities and destinies instead of locking themselves into some socially definable category.Think of the difference between the Generation of ‘68's determination to class people as gays or blacks or jews and the floating identities of people who play with many sexualities, cultural allegiances and spiritual paths in shifting tribes. The discomfort of the former becomes clearer.The ‘modern’ Liberal wants the liberation of a rational person who is equal and objectified within a total humanity. The ‘post-modern’ acts as if he is already liberated as a person operating beyond reason, equal in praxis and with no sense of being anything other than one of many thinking animals.Liberals understand that the post-moderns are highly creative and radical in thought but deeply conservative about social relations and change in the real world. The post-moderns choose to accept reality as it is and construct complex and creative private lives in floating communities or tribes.Azuma grasps much of this. The book is worth reading for his descriptions of how one version of post-modern culture operates, perfectly harmlessly, within a major new paradigm for productive relations which the ‘moderns’ are now busy trying to put back in a box marked ‘controlled zone’.Whether they will succeed or not is not known but it will be sad if elites re-capture the high ground they have abandoned and try to impose ‘grand narratives’ that turn the ‘new humans’ (closer to their animal desires and so stronger) back into objects again (and so weaker).A surprisingly readable book for a translation of a text in post-modern theory, it is not quite the masterpiece that it could have been because the author allows himself to get lost in the intellectual struggles of his own country but it is well worth reading.

  • Yupa
    2018-09-28 08:21

    Baudrillard... scelgo te!!!Traduzione in inglese del celebre(?) Dōbutsuka suru posutomodan (動物化するポストモダン), di Azuma Hiroki.I pro.Azuma offre una brevissima cronistoria critica dell'approccio otaku all'animazione giapponese, e dei legami tra i due, cronistoria ben più sensata di quanto si legge di solito sull'argomento; difatti prende una decisa posizione contro il punto di vista continuista, cioè quello che vede l'animazione e il fumetto giappi eredi diretti (di solito non viene neanche spiegato in che modo) delle arti popolari dell'epoca Edo.Per Azuma, invece, animazione e fumetto giappi contemporanei nascono in seguito alla frattura culturale della II Guerra Mondiale e a una massiccia appropriazione, poi rielaborata e infine negata e rimossa, della cultura di massa U.S.A. (non certo quindi delle arti Tokugawa). Personalmente condivido più quanto dice qui Azuma che l'ipotesi continuista, quella portata avanti soprattutto da Ōtsuka Eiji, Okada Toshio e Murakami Takashi. Di solito sono questi, quelli più citati al di fuori del Giappone, soprattutto l'ultimo. Speriamo che la traduzione del libro di Azuma riesca a riequilibrare il discorso.Di questo si parla soprattutto nella prima parte del libro di Azuma.I contro.Nella seconda parte, si dà il via a un discutibile pippone teorico.Azuma invoca, a mo' di Pokémon estratti dalle pokeball, anzi, dalle sfere poké, i classici maestri di postmoderno e affini, affinché combattano al suo fianco: "Baudrillard... scelgo te!!!". Il postmoderno è quella grande narrazione che proclama la fine delle grandi narrazioni, è quello storicismo estremo che annunzia la morte d'ogni storicismo, è uno degli ultimi zombie inconsapevoli posseduti dallo spettro hegeliano che, ancora non esorcizzato, si aggira per l'Europa.Azuma quindi, che fa? Prende quattro o cinque titoli, tra animazione e videogiochi, e li analizza per "dimostrare" non solo che queste opere corrispondono in maniera squisita alla logica postmoderna, ma riflettono e dispiegano come prismi quella luce che permea tutto il mondo attuale. Quindi guardando alcuni episodî di DiGi Chara, giuocando a qualche visual novel un po' ecchi, o osservando come si muovono gli otaku giappi tra i banchetti delle fiere, possiamo cogliere lo zeitgeist di un'intera epoca, la nostra e, anzi, dell'intero Mondo a venire, nel futuro. In cui si preannuncia nientepopodimenoché la morte dell'Uomo. Effettivamente, dopo che Nietzsche ed epigoni avevano proclamato quella di Nostro Signore Iddío, bisogna pur rivolgersi a qualcosa d'altro.Peccato che Azuma vada a scegliersi guarda caso quegli esempî utili al suo discorso, scordandosi le quantità notevoli di possibili contr'esempî. Peccato soprattutto che Azuma spacci per temperie globale e pietra miliare d'una svolta epocale quelle che sono pratiche di consumo segmentali che ricorrono e tornano e ritornano un po' in tutti gli ambiti della cultura pop, già in tempi non sospetti (a volere si potrebbe anche risalire al romanzo d'appendice ottocentesco).E anche tra trent'anni o quarant'anni (sempre ch'esista ancora il Mondo), ci sarà di nuovo chi scriverà libri in cui scambierà i ricorsi del proprio decennio come inaudite novità che segnano il termine della Storia. E il libro di Azuma, allora, sarà visto più come un oggetto dei nostri tempi sintomo di questa necessità, che una descrizione utile degli stessi tempi in cui si situa.

  • Nick Tramdack
    2018-10-17 10:22

    "As a result, instead of narratives creating characters, it became a general strategy to create character settings first, followed by works and projects, including the stories..." I'm a lapsed anime fan. I spent 2002-2006 wondering why all the series out were so terrible. As Azuma puts it: "from the beginning the sense of realism in otaku genres has been weak; in many cases, even original works create worlds through citation and imitation of previous works." I could not agree more...According to Azuma's theory, an anime or game setting exists as a kind of imaginary "database", which you can't own. But by capturing all 500 Pokemon or watching every episode, you can collect "cross-sectional" fragments of a grand narrative.This framework is useful for understanding questions that always bugged me about Gundam SEED and its sequel... such as the seemingly random existence of Newtypes (Rey, Rau, Mwu), etc. Like the Zaku and even certain elements of the plot (begin in space, etc), the Newtype flash was part of the 'database' of Gundam information which is tapped by successive series, even when they bear no relation to the original continuity.-85-86, money quote: "Although I can only analyze otaku culture in this book, I think that more broadly this disassociative coexistence of the desire for a small narrative at the level of simulacra and the desire for a grand nonnarrative at the level of database is a structure that generally characterizes subjectivity in postmodern society."Come to think of it, this perfectly characterizes the behavior of gamers who (for instance) study all possible Rage abilities in FF6 and use the knowledge to build strategies for a game played under a self-imposed constraint: under 13 hours, complete the game with only 4 characters, level limit, etc.This book is a must read for anyone who used to be into anime but wondered what happened. (Other than "growing up.") I will say that the jargon flies thick and fast sometimes. And there is this laughable line:"...however, since his distinction is too intricate for our purposes, I rephrased them with the technical terminology of Lacanian psychoanalysis." Gimme a break! Still, a great read.

  • Aung Sett Kyaw Min
    2018-09-24 09:47

    Otaku Database Animals ဆိုတဲ႕ စာအုပ္က အိုတာကုၿဖစ္အင္အေပၚ ဒသန နဲ႕ လူမႈေဒဗေလ႕လာခ်က္ပါ။ ၂၀၀၂ မွာ မူရင္းဂ်ပန္ဘာသာနဲ႕ထြက္ရိွခဲ႕ၿပီး ေနာက္ ၅ ႏွစ္ႀကာမွ အဂၤလိပ္ဘာသာၿပန္ထြက္ရိွခဲ႕ပါတယ္။otaku ဆိုတဲ႕ ေဝါဟရကို ႀကားဖူးႀကမွာပါ။ အိုတာကုဆိုတာ ဂ်ပန္ႏိုင္ငံရဲ႕ေပၚၿပဴလာ ေဖ်ာ္ၿဖည္မႈထုတ္ကုန္ေတြ (အထူးသၿဖင္႕anime၊ manga နဲ႕ပတ္သက္တဲ႕ေရာင္းကုန္ေတြ) ကို စိတ္အားထက္သန္စြာ ဝယ္သူအားေပးသူေတြပဲၿဖစ္တယ္။ otaku ၿဖစ္အင္ရဲ႕သမိုင္းကို အက်ဥ္းခ်ဳပ္ၿပီးေရးမယ္ဆိုရင္ မွတ္ေက်ာက္တင္ရေလာက္တဲ႕ တိုးတက္မႈတစ္ခုၿဖစ္တဲ႕ Neon Genesis Evangelion အေႀကာင္းထည္႕ ေၿပာမွရပါမယ္။ ၁၉၉၅ မွာ ထြက္ရိွခဲ႕ၿပီး ဇီဝစက္ရုပ္ေတြကိုေမာင္းႏွင္တဲ႕ အထက္တန္းေက်ာင္းသားေတြ အေႀကာင္း ရိုက္ၿပထားတဲ႕ အခန္းဆက္ဇာတ္လမ္းပါ။ ဆယ္ေက်ာ္သက္အရြယ္ စိတ္ဖိစီးမႈေတြ အလိုမက်မႈေတြကို ခရစ္ယာန္၊ ဓမၼက်မ္းေဟာင္း သီအိုေလာ္ဂ်ီ၊ ဂ်ဳးဂမီၻရ kabbalah၊ ဖရိုက္ဒ္ ရဲ႕သရုပ္ခြဲစိတ္ပညာ စတဲ႕သိမႈရပ္ဝန္းေပါင္းစံုက သေကၤတပံုရိပ္ေတြနဲ႕အေရာင္ခ်ယ္အသက္သြင္း ထားတဲ႕ ဒီဇာတ္လမ္းတြဲဟာ ၿပည္တြင္းမွာသာမက ၿပည္ပမွာပါ တစ္ခဲနက္ေအာင္ၿမင္ခဲ႕တယ္။ အဓိကဇာတ္ေကာင္ Shinji ၊ Rei နဲ႕ Asuka တို႕ရဲ႕ ဖေယာင္းအလွရုပ္ေတြအၿပင္ သူတို႕ပံုရုပ္ရိုက္ႏိႈပ္ထားတဲ႕ အက်ၤ ီ၊ ေက်ာင္းသံုးကိရိယာ၊ လူသံုးကုန္ပစၥည္းအစံု ကေန ဂိမ္း၊ ေနာက္ဆက္တြဲဝတၳဳတိုေတြအထိ ပတ္သက္တဲ႕ထုတ္ကုန္ေတြအႀကီးအက်ယ္ေရာင္းသြက္ခဲ႕ပါ တယ္။ ဒီကာလတစ္ဝိုက္က တတိယအုိတာကုေခတ္ရဲ႕အစပဲလို႕ Azuma နဲ႕ေလ႕လာသူေတြက သတ္မွတ္ထားတယ္။ ဒီလိုနဲ႕ ၁၉၉၀ ေနာက္ပိုင္း အိုတာကုယဥ္ေက်းမႈနဲ႕တြဲလို႕အိုတာကုစားသံုးသူအၿပဳအမူက အာရွတိုက္တဝွမ္းကေန အေနာက္ႏိုင္ငံေတြအထိ ထိုးေဖာက္လာပါေရာ။တကယ္ေတာ႕ anime ဆိုတာ ထုတ္လုပ္မႈနည္းအရႀကည္႕မယ္ဆိုရင္ အေမရိကန္ကေနရတဲ႕ ကုန္ႀကမ္းေတြအားကိုးနဲ႕ ေယာင္မွားတဲ႕ဂ်ပန္ (pseudo japan) တစ္ခုကို ဖန္တီးဖို႕ႀကိဳးစားေနတဲ႕ယဥ္ေက်းမႈ စီမံကိန္းတစ္ခုပဲလို႕ Azuma က ၿငင္းခ်က္ထုတ္ပါတယ္။ ၿပသနာက ၁၉၈၀ ပိုင္းေလာက္ကစလို႕ ဂ်ပန္ႏိုင္ငံရဲ႕ စီးပြားေရးယႏၱာရားက ေႏွးေကြးလာၿပီး တစ္ခ်ိန္တည္းမွာပဲ ငလ်င္ရဲ႕ဒဏ္၊ ေၿမေအာက္ရထားဘူတာ sarin ဓာတ္ေငြ႕အႀကမ္းဖက္ တိုက္ခိုက္မႈစတဲ႕အၿဖစ္အပ်က္ေတြက ပုဂလိကအသိစိတ္ကို ကိုင္လႈပ္ခဲ႕တယ္။ စီးပြားေရးဒုတိယကမၻာစစ္ၿပီး စစ္ရံႈးကာလက သိမ္ငယ္စိတ္ေတြက တေက်ာ႕ၿပန္အသက္ဝင္လာတယ္။ ဒီအေတာတြင္း Edo ေခတ္ (၁၆၀၃ - ၁၈၆၈) တုန္းကလို ပိုၿပီးတည္ၿငိမ္ ေအးခ်မ္းတဲ႕အတိတ္က ေခတ္ေဟာင္းတစ္ခုကို မသိစိတ္က လိုလားေတာင္႕တာလာႀကတယ္။ တတိယနဲ႕စတုတၳမ်ိဳးဆက္ အိုတာကုေတြက ဒီလို အခင္းအက်င္းမ်ိဳးမွာ ႀကီးၿပင္းလာခဲ႕ရတယ္။ ဒီသမိုင္းအေတြ႕အႀကံဳ ေႀကာင္႕အဲ႕ဒီ႕ကာလက ထြက္ရိွခဲ႕တဲ႕ anime နဲ႕ manga ေတြက အေစာပိုင္း ပထမနဲ႕ဒုတိယမ်ိဳးဆက္ အိုတာကု ထုတ္ကုန္ေတြလို အမ်ိဳးသားေရးစိတ္ဓာတ္၊ အေမရိကန္ကို ဂ်ပန္မႈၿပဳမယ္႕ “Japanization of America” မဟာဗ်ဴဟာ လိုမ်ိဳး grand narrative ေတြ (ဥပမာ မာ႕စ္ဝါဒလိုမ်ိဳး အရာအားလံုးကို ရွင္းၿပႏိုင္တဲ႕ အလြန္အေရးပါတဲ႕ အဆိုအမိန္႕ေတြ) ရဲ႕ဗိုလ္က်ခ်ဳပ္ေႏွာင္မႈေအာက္က ရုန္းထြက္လာႏိုင္တယ္။ Azuma အဖို႕ Lyotard ေၿပာခဲ႕သလိုပဲ အစဥ္အလာကေနခြဲထြက္မႈဟာ ဂ်ပန္ႏိုင္ငံတစ္ခုတည္းမွာပဲမဟုတ္ပဲ ၂၀ ရာစု အလယ္ပိုင္းေလာက္ကစလို႕ ကမၻာတစ္ဝွမ္းက မဟာအဆိုအမိန္႕ေတြအေပၚ သံသယ ဝင္လာတဲ႕historical trend ရဲ႕ ေဒသႏၱရေဖာ္ၿပမႈတစ္ရပ္ပဲ။ဒီစာအုပ္မွာ Azuma ရဲ႕ဦးတည္ခ်က္ကေတာ႕ otaku ေတြကို လႈမႈယူနစ္တစ္ခုလို မွတ္ယူမေလ႕လာပဲ otaku အထူးသၿဖင္႕ တတိယမ်ိဳးနဲ႕ စတုတၳမ်ိဳးဆက္ အိုတာကုတို႕ရဲ႕စားသံုးသူအမူအက်င္႕ consumption behavior က ပို႕စ္ေမာဒန္ေခတ္နဲ႕ ပို႕စ္ေမာဒန္အသိစိတ္ (postmodern subjectivity) ရဲ႕လကၡဏာတစ္ရပ္ၿဖစ္ေႀကာင္း ၿပသဖို႕ပါ။ Azuma ရဲ႕ ၿငင္းဆိုခ်က္ကို ေယဘုယအားၿဖင္႕ရွင္းၿပရမယ္ဆိုရင္ တတိယမ်ိဳးဆက္ အိုတာကုေတြကစၿပီး ေနာက္ပိုင္း အိုတာကုေတြက ဝတၳဳတိုေတြ၊ ဇာတ္လမ္းတြဲေတြရဲ႕ေနာက္ခံ grand narrative ေတြ မဟုတ္ပဲ grand non narrative အလံုးစံု အဓိပၸာယ္ခ်မွတ္ခ်က္သေဘာ မေဆာင္တဲ႕ ေဒတာေဘ႕စ္ (database) ႀကီးကိုပဲ ေတာင္႕တလာတယ္။ ဒီေနရာမွာ ေဟဂယ္ဒသနပညာရွင္ Alexandre Kojeve ရဲ႕ animality နဲ႕ snobbery ဆိုတဲ႕အသက္ရွင္ၿဖစ္တည္မႈပရိယာယ္ႏွစ္သြယ္ (modes of living) ကို အထူးတလည္ ကိုးကားထားတယ္။ Kojeve ကေတာ႕ က်ေနာ္တို႕နဲ႕ရင္းႏွီွးၿပီးသားၿဖစ္တဲ႕ဖူကူယားမားရဲ႕ လက္ဦးဆရာလို႕လည္း ေခၚလို႕ရတယ္။ သူ႕အဆိုအရ သမိုင္းရဲ႕လမ္းဆံုးမွာ သမိုင္းလြန္လူသားဟာ အေမရိက ႏိုင္ငံလို လိုအင္ေတာင္႕တမႈအၿမဲထြက္ေပၚေနၿပီး အၿမဲၿဖည္႕ဆည္းၿခင္းခံေနတဲ႕ စားသံုးသူ လူ႕အဖြဲ႕အစည္း (consumer society) နဲ႕ ဂ်ပန္ႏိုင္ငံလို လြန္ေလၿပီးတဲ႕ေခတ္ေဟာင္းက grand narrative ေတြကို ၿပန္လည္ ေတာင္႕တရင္း မူလရည္ရြယ္ခ်က္တိမ္ေမ်ာေပ်ာက္ဆံုးသြာၿပီၿဖစ္တဲ႕ယဥ္ေက်းမႈဓေလ႕ေတြကို ဆက္လက္ က်င္႕သံုးတဲ႕အဖြဲ႕အစည္း ႀကားမွ တစ္ခုခုကို ေရြးခ်ယ္ရမယ္။ Kojeve က လူသားမွန္ရင္ သဘာဝနဲ႕ အၿမဲဆန္႕က်င္႕ၿပီး သဘာဝရဲ႕ေဘာင္အၿပင္ဘက္ကို ဦးတည္ၿပီး ရုန္းကန္ရွင္သန္ေနရမယ္လို႕ဆိုတယ္။ ဒါေပမယ္႕မ်ိဳးဆက္သစ္ အိုတာကုေတြက grand narrative ေတြကို အလိုမရိွေတာ႕ပဲ ပထမအလႊာမွာ local narrative ေတြနဲ႕ေမြ႕ေလ်ာ္ၿပီး ပိုၿပီးအေၿခခံက်တဲ႕ ဒုတိယအလႊာမွာေတာ႕ ေဒတာေဘ႕စ္ႀကီးကို လိုလားၿပီး အလႊာႏွစ္လႊာခြဲကာ ပံုၿပင္ဇာတ္လမ္းေတြကို စားသံုးက်တယ္။ဒီေဒတာေဘစ္႕ဟာ ဇာတ္လမ္းအဂၤါရပ္အသစ္ေတြထြက္ရင္ ထြက္သလို အၿမဲေရြ႕လ်ားေၿပာင္းလဲေနၿပီး အဆံုးအစမရိွသလို ႀကိဳက္ႏွစ္သက္တဲ႕ေနရာကေန ဝင္ေရာက္လို႕ရတယ္။ အိုတာကုေတြဟာ ဇာတ္လမ္းတစ္ခုရဲ႕ေနာက္က ေလးနက္တဲ႕အဓိပၸာယ္၊ က်င္႕ဝတ္နိတိဆိုင္ရာ သင္ခန္းစာေတြကို တူးဆြဖို႕မႀကိဳးစားေတာ႕ပဲ ေဒတာေဘ႕စ္ကို တည္ေဆာက္ထားတဲ႕ အဂၤါရပ္ေတြ ဥပမာ ခ်စ္စရာ ေႀကာင္နားရြက္ေလးေတြ၊ french maid ဝတ္စံုေတြ၊ ဇာတ္လိုက္မင္းသားတစ္ေယာက္ထဲကို အမ်ိဳးသမီးဇာတ္ေကာင္ ေလးေယာက္ေလာက္က ဝိုင္းပိုးတဲ႕harem ဇာတ္လမ္းလိုမ်ိဳး element ေတြကို ဦးစားေပးစားသံုးလာတယ္။ ဒီ အဂၤါရပ္ေတြ အကုန္လံုးကို မွတ္တမ္းတင္ၿပီး ဆင္တူရိုးမွားဇာတ္လမ္းေတြကို ကိုယ္႕ဖာသာကိုယ္ ၿပန္လည္ တည္ေဆာက္ဖို႕အားသန္လာတယ္။ ဒီေနရာမွာ “ဆင္တူရိုးမွား” လို႕ဆိုရာမွာ တကယ္ေတာ႕ အစစ္ နဲ႕ အတုႀကားက နယ္ၿခားမ်ဥ္းက တၿဖည္းၿဖည္းတိုက္စားၿခင္းခံလာရတယ္။ fanmade ဇာတ္လမ္းေတြက စားသံုးသူေစ်းကြက္ထဲကို မူရင္းဇာတ္လမ္းေတြမထြက္ခင္ကတည္းက ၿပန္႕ႏွံ႕ေနၿပီ။ anime ေတြကို ထုတ္လုပ္တဲ႕ စတူဒီယိုေတြကလည္း ဒါမ်ိဳးကိစၥကို ခြင္႕ၿပဳရံုမက fan ေတြဆီက စစ္တမ္းေကာက္ယူၿပီး ေနာက္ရာသီထြက္မယ္႕စီးရီးထဲမွာ ဘယ္လိုဇာတ္ေကာင္ေတြပါမယ္၊ ဘယ္လိုဇာတ္လမ္းဆက္မယ္ဆိုတာ ဆံုးၿဖတ္လာႀကတယ္။ ေၿမပံုဟာ နယ္နမိတ္ၿဖစ္လာတယ္။ ထုတ္ကုန္ေတြကို “အစစ္”နဲ႕ယွဥ္ၿပီး တန္ဖိုးမၿဖတ္ပဲ ေဒတာေဘ႕စ္ကေန ဘယ္ေလာက္ကြာေဝးသလဲတိုင္းတာၿပီး အကဲၿဖတ္လာႀကတယ္။ဒီေလာက္ဆိုရင္ Azuma ရဲ႕သီအိုရီ ၿပီးရင္ စာအုပ္ရဲ႕ေခါင္းစဥ္က ဘာကို ဆိုလိုသလဲဆိုတာ အနည္းငယ္ တီးေခါက္မိမယ္ထင္ပါတယ္။ သာမန္စာဖတ္သူေတြနဲ႕ ပို႕စ္ေမာဒန္ဒသန ၊ အေဆာက္အအံုလြန္ဝါဒနဲ႕႔ပတ္သက္တဲ႕ ပညာရပ္ဆိုင္ရာစာေပေတြ နဲ႕လံုးဝ မထိေတြ႕ဘူးရင္ေတာင္ သတင္းေထာက္စတိုင္ တက္ႀကြတဲ႕ေရးဟန္မ်ိဳးနဲ႕တင္ၿပတာ ေႀကာင္႕ဖတ္ရတာ ေခ်ာေခ်ာလ်ဳလ်ဳရိွမွာပါ။ Baudrillard ၊ Lyotard ၊ Zizek စတဲ႕ နာမည္ႀကီး လူမႈဒသနပညာရွင္ေတြရဲ႕ အယူအဆေတြကို ရွည္လ်ားစြာ ရွင္းၿပမေနပဲ သင္႕ေလ်ာ္သလို ကိုးကားထားတာကို ေတြ႕ရတယ္ (ဥပမာ Baudrillard ဆီကေန “simulacrum” အစစ္မရိွေတာ႕တဲ႕ဆင္တူယိုးမွား ဆိုတဲ႕ အယူအဆကို ေခ်းငွားထားတယ္)။ အိုကာကုေတြကေတာ႕ သူတို႕အေပၚ Azuma ရႈၿမင္တဲ႕အၿမင္ကို သိပ္ၿပီး ႀကိဳက္လွမယ္မထင္ဘူး။ Azuma ကုိယ္တိုင္က အိုတာကု “စစ္စစ္” မဟုတ္သလို academic စစ္လည္းမဟုတ္တဲ႕အတြက္ေႀကာင္႕ပဲ။ ဒါေပမယ္႕ Azuma ကေတာ႕ တန္းဖိုးၿဖတ္ေဝဖန္မႈေတြမပါပဲ လက္ရိွၿဖစ္အင္ကို သီအိုရီနည္းအရ ဦညြတ္တဲ႕နည္းနဲ႕ ခ်ဥ္းကပ္ထားတဲ႕လို႕က်ေနာ္ၿမင္တယ္။ စာအုပ္အဆံုးပိုင္းက world wide web နဲ႕ အင္တာနက္အေပၚသံုးသပ္ခ်က္ေတြကေတာ႕ ေခတ္ေနာက္ေနၿပီ ခံစားရတယ္ (ဒါကေတာ႕ Azuma အၿပစ္မဟုတ္ေပဘူး။ မူရင္းစာအုပ္က ၂၀၀၂ မွာထြက္ခဲ႕တာကိုး)။ အိုတာကု subculture နဲ႕ postmodernity ရဲ႕ ဆက္သြယ္ခ်က္ေတြအေႀကာင္း စိတ္ဝင္စားတဲ႕သူတိုင္း ဖတ္ရႈဖို႕တိုက္တြန္းလိုပါတယ္။

  • Gabriel Azevedo
    2018-10-16 09:46

    I gave it to stars because frankly, I quite loved the insight and history on otaku culture but I'm not going to be nice here. I really did not enjoy this book at all and it's entirely for ideological reasons, and also because the translators should've probably stuck with the simple present rather than the present continuous for a lot of sentences ("Creators are analyzing and recombining" vs "creators analyze and recombine").first of all I'll start off by saying that I don't buy into post modernism and generally see it as an overly complex way of analyzing the world. I especially despise that the very title of the book and its central premise comes from an author, Kojeve, who believes the US is a post Marxist paradise where one may work to their heart's content, and made several sweeping statements about Japanese culture based on his limited knowledge and brief stay in Japan. to me, using this man's scholarship at all is irresponsible. basing your ENTIRE CENTRAL THESIS ON HIS WORK? inexcusable. Azuma cites this complete crackpot and then brings up Zizek which made me want to stop reading right then and there.while I can appreciate that Azuma is coming from a Japanese perspective, he's got a really unreasonable approach to how the Entire World works. like, living in the so called third world, I'm not sure how you can post modern yourself into declaring that first world modernity exists here when just over 50% of Brazilians have regular internet access and most of those internet users believe Facebook is the entire internet. it's an entire farce, one that assumes the world is the first world and the rest of us are irrelevant or non-existent, which I can assure you we very much are not even if we aren't nearly as well read or bilingual like I am, thank you very much.the database part of the title is interesting and it's a cool theory actually but referring to people as animals because we are okay with nature (broadly speaking) is....hm. remembering that Hegel and his contemporaries did not have a favorable view of nature and those who existed peacefully with it, it takes on a pretty derogatory term. plus I'll go so far as to say that peaceful coexistence with nature, in the hegelian sense or the literal sense, is not something we should necessarily fear or fight, and that any thinking human would work with their environment, not against it. tl;dr we no longer live in the 19th century, can we let it go already, thanks.despite all this negativity I enjoyed a lot of aspects of Database Animals. Azuma did an excellent job writing in an accessible, clear manner. this was deliberate, something he discussed in the intro, and I greatly appreciate authors who write for large audiences without simplifying their work too much. there's plenty of very difficult concepts in the book, so believe me, Azuma did not make this an easy read by any means.it's also oddly compelling. I outright hated all of his sources but Azuma himself has such an interesting voice that I didn't mind rereading parts I didn't understand or reading the parts I hated. if I spoke any Japanese at all I'd love to talk to him personally, he really comes across as enthusiastic about his work, something I can appreciate.the translation (except for a few annoying verb tense choices I touched on earlier) is quite coherent. if you don't read the translators notes at the beginning you're missing out on a lot of context and history surrounding the production of the book, which is frankly fascinating and engaging. as a translator myself I also love reading the process behind each project and this one has quite a lot of context you'd be remiss to pass up on.and finally, nothing gets me hype like reading about Evangelion, especially Azuma's comparisons between Eva and Gundam. it was thought provoking and fun, and I wish the whole book was like that instead of telling me how I'm an animal because Hegel said so (if you can't tell, I hate Hegel).I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone because it's just too specific. it was an incredibly fast read though so if you've got time to kill I guess you can try picking it up but I genuinely think it isn't necessary. I wanted it to be about otaku culture and it ended up being about philosophy and post modernism, the two things I hate the most, so just keep that in mind before reading.

  • Yupa
    2018-10-15 15:29

    The database model of character traits resonates with my experiences watching anime and observing anime fans. I've noticed that anime tends to produce really out-there and interesting characters, which I often find inspiration in when creating NPC's in tabletop RPG's I am DM'ing. So this explains where that comes from. How the "moe-elements" build on each other and evolve reminds me of W. Brian Arthur's argument about technology evolution, which supposedly piggybacks off of Kuhn's "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions." I find thinking about the world in this way to be helpful, it helps me picture how individual things came to be the way they are. It also helps by demystifying the idea of "genius," and instead shows how acclaimed ideas are usually just one chain of evolution formed by a combination of previous ideas, which just so happen to produce something universally recognized and praised. It makes creating things much less intimidating!I appreciated how he described postmodern ideas in accessible ways, which often isn't the case with thinkers like Baudrillard and Derrida. Unfortunately, when trying to defend Otaku, he says homosexuality is a perversion, and lists it as such next to pedophilia. If the book was written pre-1970s I may just roll my eyes and continue reading, but this was published in 2001, and then again in 2009. Really?

  • Stephanie A.
    2018-10-11 15:41

    Had to read this for class so I’m not as into it as I would be other books. However, aside from the dryness in language there were several mistakes, mislabeling of Sailor Mars and Sakura from Urusei Yatsura for one and several spelling mistakes made it hard to get through.

  • Wilde Luo
    2018-10-04 08:45

    Hard to understand, but pretty enlightening.

  • Mairon
    2018-10-04 11:49

    (3.5)

  • D.M. Dutcher
    2018-10-16 16:37

    Profound examination of how japanese otaku culture illustrates a post-modern way of life. You'll get a lot out of it if you are an otaku or obsessive fan of any type.There's two types of ways to relate to the world. The Tree method involves a central narrative that shapes people's individual experiences by an inner core of truth. But the Database method has no narrative at all, and people relate to it in a way that's hard for me to sum up.It's easier to use examples. If you are familiar with Neon Genesis Evangelion, one of the characters is Rei Ayanami. In Evangelion itself, there is a narrative (humanity's war against the angels) and Rei has a specific part in that narrative. However, what the Otaku did was consume Evangelion according to the Database idea. They stripped Rei of the narrative she was in, and modified her to their own tastes. The characters were appealing-Rei's visual traits and her personality were kept, but the narrative was left behind.So Rei became a girl with a thousand faces. Otaku each molded her into a different thing. Whether it was just a typical lonely girl, a shy schoolgirl crush, a transgressive sort of lolita, or more-when she met with fan culture, she changed. This is what Azuma calls a simulcrum. It's neither a copy of Rei, not something completely original. He uses another example. In the book its visual novels, but for an American it's easier to think of Red Vs Blue. The otaku reshapes reality by hacking the narrative to make it his own. Red Vs Blue is machinima- it takes the engine of Halo, as well as the characters and vehicles to make something that isn't entirely its own thing (as it builds on the knowledge of Halo's narrative itself) yet isn't a brand new idea. This is just one of the many fascinating ideas he puts forwards, and it if you are a thoughtful fan of any media it's very deep to think on.The book is just stuffed full of comparisons like this. I'm not one for post-modernism or theory, but the insights alone make the book five stars. You can apply this to any fan culture-Harry Potter falls prey to this when fans ship (matchmake) people together while totally ignoring the narrative of the book, or add supplemental fan fiction. Or star wars, as Luke becomes less of a character and more of an ideal or archetype as the expanded universe changes him into the hero of hundreds of competing narratives. You may want to skip the translator's introduction and just dive right in. Highly recommended, and often profound in the truths it reveals.

  • Sean O'Hara
    2018-10-15 09:41

    I really think the translators could've found a better title for this. I don't know about anyone else, but to me the phrase "database animals" conjures images of monkeys in cubicles pounding out TPS reports, whereas Azuma is using both terms in a very specialized manner.By "animal" he means that people in a Hegelian post-historical society as explicated by Kojeve are free to live in harmony with "nature," which in a modern consumerist society like the United States means that we live to consume rather than worry about the struggle between self and "other" as characterizes historical societies. Simple enough idea, isn't it?Azuma's concept of "database" is contrasted to "grand narratives." The grand narrative is the overall universe and concept behind a story, which cannot be owned by anyone in the audience -- we can only experience it by consuming simulacra. So for instance with Star Wars, the grand narrative is the whole concept of the Old Republic and Empire, Sith and Jedi, midichlorians and Ewoks, whereas the simulacra are the blu-rays, novels, action figures and video games which allow us to experience aspects of the grand narrative. But Azuma contends that in post-modern culture the grand narrative has been replaced by the database -- what we might call tropes. Otaku (geek) fiction is now made by assembling pre-existing tropes into new and interesting combinations, which can then be taken apart and reassembled by the audience. If anyone ever comes up with a new idea, it is instantly cannibalized and becomes just another building block. The role of authors in this new paradigm is reduced to only what copyright law gives them.Of course Azuma is writing this from a Japanese perspective (and it should be noted that the original text is ten years old already). I'm not sure American geek-culture is advanced in this direction as Japan's -- certainly A Game of Thrones and The Wheel of Time, despite cobbling together parts from older fantasies, show that the thirst for grand narrative is still alive and well in the US, but Internet culture is clearly headed in that direction.

  • Jekaterina Bjalt
    2018-09-29 12:40

    For someone not well-versed in philosophy (myself, in this case), this might prove a challenging read. I picked up the book expecting to read about Japanese popular culture, and I was unpleasantly surprised when instead I was confronted with endless stream of postmodernist theory and had to grapple with ideas such as "rhizome model", "decline of the grand narratives", "rise of the simulacra" etc. I wasn't very thrilled about this onslaught of terminology I have never encountered before and didn't even expect to encounter in a book about Japanese subculture. Thanks to trusty old pal Wikipedia I could make some sense of it in the end though it gave me a headache.However, once you become familiar with the terminology, the book proves to be a fascinating, thought-provoking read. Otaku culture consistently stays its primary focus, yet it is an well thought-out critique on modernity in general. It offers an intriguing manner of viewing and reading many modern phenomena and sheds light on some aspects of Japanese popular culture I thought mysterious myself, yet never managed to see the pattern behind them, instead thinking them random coincidences. It certainly changed the way I'll be consuming cultural products from now on.As a person without any philosophical training or expertise, I'm ill equipped to criticize the book, it pains me to say, for as much as I could understand the gist of it thanks to Wikipedia, the theory behind this book is very dense and nuanced and requires deeper understanding than I have to completely grasp it and lock onto its weak points. It did inspire me though to try and engage with postmodernist thought more. This book left me with a lot of questions, and it's fine this way.

  • Sean Han Tani
    2018-09-23 09:41

    Other reviews get the point across pretty well. Some arguments are overly-represented or fuzzy, but the writing is a deliberate attempt to be clear.I'd be interested to see more contemporary writings. This is from 2001, and while it has very interesting analyses of novel games from that era, since then we've seen a huge boom in public visibility of video games, formation of 'classic gamers' and 'contemporary gamer' subgroups, etc. I was too young in 2001 to really know how those groups compare to now, but the phenomenon he mentions about otaku centering around anime and the 'girl games', certainly exists in a wide variety of media today. Just look at any recent argument over the newest "Smash Bros" character, the fights between groups of game fandoms, the obsession with digging through games' secrets, the way we market games as bullet lists of features.The way fans of games obsess over the next iteration's changes - will shields be better? will this gun have the same recoil? etc.More salient is how we represent ourselves on social media or resumes - bullet point lists, as a set of retweets, liked posts, liked pages, or shares - sets of small sentences, etc.It's a very short read and despite its shortcomings, sheds light on contemporary consumption patterns, so is worth reading.

  • V
    2018-10-18 13:25

    Ever since attending a speech about Hiroki Azuma and his work, I've wanted to read this book. Now that I got around to it, I have to say I understand the content of his philosophy much better than after the short speech. It was an enlightening and interesting read, especially for an aspiring scholar of Japanese culture.While the table of content doesn't give away what kind of style awaits, I found each chapter written in an easy to read and precise style. Azuma manages to communicate his ideas and thought processes in simple language and with many examples.He also cites German philosophers quite a bit, although he always returns to his own theory and introduces new ideas of his own. Of course, some of his epiphanies are up to discussion... I didn't quite get all, but I understand and appreciate his overall message. It definitely got me thinking about postmodern culture (especially consuming behavior) in general and the phenomenon of otaku specifically - which is what philosophy should do, after all.I can only recommend this book to anyone interested in cultural theory, Japan or popular culture - or all of it. It's a light and quick read, yet rich in content, and requires no prior knowledge.

  • Alej
    2018-10-01 14:36

    The book was enjoyable and a good stepping stone for those who are unfamiliar with theory (like I was). It started off strong, but by the end I found myself frustrated by how repetitive it became. Azuma makes a lot of good points and says a lot of interesting things, but he remains a bit inconsistent with how he says it -- one day i would feel he would miss the big picture, only to feel the next day like he was being too obtuse, too general, making too many abstractions. The book is about the male otaku, but hardly makes any commentary about misogyny or the relationship with women in any way. Still, i think what he says about the way the otaku interact with others / sociality / narrative is important and super important given the relevance of the internet and internet relationships nowadays. I had high hopes for this book, and while I did enjoy it, by the end I couldn't help but feel a nagging sense of disappointment. Still, I'm glad I read and annotated and I definitely learned a lot from it.

  • Sebastian Choe
    2018-09-25 16:26

    highly influential text for my research. azuma's expansion of takashi murakami's concepts of the superflat, his development of the double-layer structure as a post-modern analysis of the loss of the "grand narrative" in capitalistic postwar culture, and a nuanced observation of "novel games" and moe structures result in the development of the databasing concept which is highly useful in both an anthropological understanding of the contemporary otaku, in addition to being a charged inspiration for contemporary digital art practice, and will be serving as a primary text for my newest film investigating the sliding animetic interval discussed by thomas lamarre - using hollywood behind the scenes live-action green screen footage, green chroma paint strokes for alpha channel manipulation, divorced layers from novel games, html explosion from graphic user interfaces, japanese asmr girlfriend experiences, fan-derivative works, and relevant video samples from anime films and series (digi charat, ghost in the shell).

  • Avery
    2018-10-15 15:46

    I mentioned to someone how I was reading this book about how Japanese pop culture fans like to "remix" what they're reading into parodies and spinoffs.My friend said to me, "Oh, you mean like how the Tale of Genji was read in the Edo period?"I wish I could remember which of my friends said this, but they cut right through Azuma's BS for me. Indeed, a well-researched book was just published on the Genji subject: The Tale of Genji: Translation, Canonization, and World Literature"Otaku" is a pretty interesting book for understanding and interpreting writers like Derrida and Kojéve, but it is not the best book in that category, and Azuma's ideas of what make otaku unique are fairly dubious. It's an entertaining read, but take it with a heap of salt.

  • Guan van Zoggel
    2018-09-23 10:27

    Hiroki Azuma not only manages to clearly explain complex postmodern theories from French philosophers, but also apply these to the Japanese subculture of the otaku by providing concrete examples, such as specific anime series or films. Halfway through the book gets exceedingly abstract while I did not regard these theories as relevant to Azuma's argument, per se.Although Azuma offers an interesting viewpoint and theoretical framework, I agree with other reviews and find Azuma's vision on the animalization of the otaku culture somewhat radical. Since the book (2009) is a translation of Azuma's 2001 Japanese book, some, especially chapter 3, might feel slightly outdated.Nonetheless a must read for anime fans and scholars interested in otaku culture.

  • Seabury
    2018-10-15 12:32

    His tale of the grand narrative being replaced by the database and the return to animality seemed quite like a grand narrative in its own right, but barring this contradiction, his theories seem quite insightful, even if their accuracy isn't perfect. You don't have to be an otaku to understand this book, it is basically just Azuma picking a specific subculture that he felt predicted our transition to a truly postmodern state. That said, those familiar with otaku culture may gain additional insight into this book as it presents a good model with which to understand the creation of otaku media, which often seems like little more than a pile of imitations at face value. It's a bit cynical, a bit authoritative, but I highly recommend it regardless.

  • Tim
    2018-09-29 09:43

    This was a challenging book to read. It is certainly an academic work and one belonging to a field I've never studied.That said, it is not an unapproachable book. It is fairly short and Hiroki explains himself well while providing plenty of broader context for his views.And I think his core arguments are compelling and fairly easy to follow. The book focuses on otaku culture but his database model of consumption can clearly be seen in many other contexts including in the West, many driven by the internet.I think the audience for this book is pretty small but I'd recommend those interested.

  • Myonlycookie
    2018-10-02 14:36

    Quintessential for anyone studying fandom or Japan studies. Azuma uses Otaku as a base for his Database theory. The added bonus is that it is concise. I've gone back to this text so many times in my studies.

  • Jessie B.
    2018-10-06 14:34

    While I don't agree with all the arguements this book makes about the culture of Otaku and anime/manga culture, it did make a lot of complicated post-modern theories comprehensible. I found it really interesting.

  • Mau
    2018-09-20 10:26

    Mostly remember the Evangelion-centrism to all anime culture this book highlights.

  • Patrick Lum
    2018-09-18 14:32

    I need to read it a couple more times to really parse the argument, but the fundamentals seem relatively sound.

  • Lauren
    2018-10-14 11:30

    Read for a research paper... didn't quite have what I was looking for, but it made some interesting points about contemporary narratives.

  • Robert Fenner
    2018-09-26 16:38

    Essential.