Title

Philippines: Overlooked by Soft Power and Media Mix

Document Type

Book

Publication Date

2021

Abstract

Studies on the success of Japanese popular culture overseas, particularly anime and manga have often been linked to Japan's soft power or more recently, with Japanese industries’ media mix in cultural studies. However, in both cases, the emphasis is on Japan's active involvement in the promotion of popular culture abroad. Furthermore, the role of the consuming country is subsumed to be a mere recipient. This chapter presents an alternative perspective by highlighting how the consuming country, its industry and its consumers played active roles in the importation of Japanese popular culture content and merchandise through legal/illegal means. To highlight this phenomenon, the case study of the Philippines will be presented, beginning with the importation of Chōdenji Machine Voltes V or Voltes V in the 1970s by the television network GMA-7, in search for cheap content to fill its programming. Commercial venues which can distribute merchandise, such as Kinokuniya and Animate and anime conventions, did not exist in the country until the year 2000, despite their presence in other Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. This proves that in the Philippines, a different pathway was followed throughout which anime became ubiquitous in the country.

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