The popularity and circulation of Japanese manga bishōjo (“beautiful young girls”) (Japanese teenage girl comics), and its consumptive creations in forms of cosplays (public costume parades in anime characters), toy figures, and animes appropriated by the local media in the Hong Kong popular culture, are concerned with new theoretical development in the global media. We take the operational notion of “thingification of media,” as Scott Lash and Celia Lury proposed in their book Global Cultural Industry (2007), in our core analysis of these transformations of cutie bishōjo, by tracking imported production of manga-maniac gadgets and local media, which complement sexual connotations. The transpositions from the lovable cuties of fancy goods (fanshi guzzu) to the desirable objects as replicas in texts and commodities, and extensions to one's own gaze and fantasy on the parts of recalled body fragments of bishōjo in local media crossovers, have revealed the ambiguity on the cultural proximity of Japanese media with Hong Kong, compared to other East Asian countries except Taiwan, in disseminating and distributing media to different regions in the globe, as Koichi Iwabuchi (2002) asserts and explains. The implication of this ambiguity reminds us of any oversimplification in cultural homogeneity of Japanese media or cultural export to other countries, which blinds us to our detailed examinations of potential and actual inventions of local cultures.
“Kawaii” And “Moe” — Gazes, Geeks (Otaku), and Glocalization of Beautiful Girls (Bishōjo) in Hong Kong Youth Culture
Wai-hung Yiu, Alex Ching-shing Chan; “Kawaii” And “Moe” — Gazes, Geeks (Otaku), and Glocalization of Beautiful Girls (Bishōjo) in Hong Kong Youth Culture. positions 1 November 2013; 21 (4): 853–884. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10679847-2346032
Download citation file: