The ‘Cute Politics’ of data-based videogame characters in Japan (Luca Bruno)

The study of Japanese anime/mangaesque characters and their potential for iteration and re-contextualization has been widely discuss, especially in light of their mode of supposedly generating engagement not on the basis of a unique identity in a unique setting, but rather on fan-recognized elements present in a character’s design and shared as part of the character’s host fan culture.
However, as the character is subjected to re-contextualization, the way its constitutive elements are arranged still provide a connection with its host franchise, and in doing so, still allow the iteration of narratives and the statements it carries through a character’s identity referencing the character’s host storyline. The preservation of the character’s own identity allows in turn the preservation of narrative and its statements beyond re-contextualization, allowing critical examination of politics in a seemingly apolitical culture.

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