Japanese Postmodernism and Fandom: The Rise of Raiden and What Kojima Really Meant

By Brett Fujioka


azuma_otakuDespite the apparent profundity of the Japanese masses reading postmodern theory, there were signs that they merely consumed rather than understood the "movement's" ideas. For instance, as Marilyn Ivy asserted in her essay Critical Texts, Mass Artifacts: The Consumption of Knowledge in Postmodern Japan, readers may have scanned the preface of Structure and Power and the chart at the end without so much as glancing through the rest of the book. Critic Hiroki Azuma, author of Otaku: Japan's Database Animals, was skeptical of the movement's lasting impact after it was swiftly forgotten in the following decade.

"What is important here," Azuma wrote, "is not really the content of theories of postmodernism but the fact that in Japan this highly complex body of thought turned into a kind of faddish media frenzy."

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