Processes of Cultural and Media Consumption: The Image of 'Otaku', from Japan to the World* * Updated version of the article presented at the II International Congress on Communication and Consumption (Comunicon), held on 15th and 16th October, 2012 at the Higher School of Advertising and Marketing (ESPM-SP).

Yuji Gushiken Tatiane Hirata About the authors

From the theoretical perspective regarding communication as culture, this article focuses on the communicative dimension of cultural processes in contemporary times. Its objective is to report and discuss the widespread image of the social group referred to as Otaku, which is characterized by great ambivalence resulting from its Japanese origin and its subsequent insertion into mediatized imagery on a worldwide scale. In Japan, Otaku imagery carries the negative connotation of individuals who are fanatical about the consumption of entertainment-industry products, have little inclination for social life, and are associated with psychopathological and criminal behavior. In Asia and Brazil, the term Otaku has come to designate fans of Japanese pop culture but is characterized by its reference to a youth in search of informational exchanges and new modes of social interaction within urban life. It is concluded that Otaku imagery in the mundialized culture is altered to the extent that segments of youth in different countries − as a result of their cultural matrices − reinvent the process by which Japanese pop culture

is consumed, thereby assigning alternate meanings to them

Otaku; Japanese pop culture; Manga; Anime


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