Generazioni e pubblici giovanili italiani intorno ai manga e anime. Dove subculturale e nazionale-popolare coesistono = Generations and Italian youth audiences around manga and anime. Where subcultural and na-tional-popular coexist


Abstract


The scholarship on Japanese media cultures in their international journeys is often eager to perpetuate the notion of a universal appeal to Japanese animation and comics (called anime and manga), but usually overlooks the relevance of each country's context and the relationship of its national audience with these media. On the other hand, there are national contexts that differ quanti-tatively and qualitatively with respect to the presence and socio-cultural penetration of manga and anime at the mainstream level, as opposed to the more frequently analysed dimension, that of subcultural phenomena. In this sense, the most eclectic country in the West is Italy, which is often overlooked by scholars. The latter, in fact, tend to focus on other markets where the profits of the anime and manga franchises are perhaps currently higher than they are today in the Italian scene (as in France or the United States, or, more recently, Germany), despite the lack of the same social and sub/cultural penetration of anime and manga. This article therefore offers a discussion of the sociocultural impact that anime and, afterwards, manga have had in Italy in oscillating phases, as can also be seen from the new, growing attention around the subculture of manga in mainstream media since 2020. This study offers an interpretation of the singularity of the Italian case, arguing that Italy is a special laboratory to enquire into the impact of anime and manga on publics that over the decades, since the end of the 1970s, have taken on alternating phases the traits of mainstream audiences and subcultural youth communities.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22840753n21p115

Keywords: Japanese comics (manga) and animation (anime); Italy; generations; nostalgia; mainstream; subculture; national-popular; youth imagination; cultural industries

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