Pikachus Global Adventure: The Rise and Fall of Pokémon by Joseph TobinInitially developed in Japan by Nintendo as a computer game, Pokémon swept the globe in the late 1990s. Based on a narrative in which a group of children capture, train, and do battle with over a hundred imaginary creatures, Pokémon quickly diversified into an array of popular products including comic books, a TV show, movies, trading cards, stickers, toys, and clothing. Pokémon eventually became the top grossing childrens product of all time. Yet the phenomenon fizzled as quickly as it had ignited. By 2002, the Pokémon craze was mostly over. Pikachu’s Global Adventure describes the spectacular, complex, and unpredictable rise and fall of Pokémon in countries around the world.In analyzing the popularity of Pokémon, this innovative volume addresses core debates about the globalization of popular culture and about children’s consumption of mass-produced culture. Topics explored include the origins of Pokémon in Japan’s valorization of cuteness and traditions of insect collecting and anime; the efforts of Japanese producers and American marketers to localize it for foreign markets by muting its sex, violence, moral ambiguity, and general feeling of Japaneseness; debates about children’s vulnerability versus agency as consumers; and the contentious question of Pokémon’s educational value and place in school. The contributors include teachers as well as scholars from the fields of anthropology, media studies, sociology, and education. Tracking the reception of Pokémon in Japan, the United States, Great Britain, France, and Israel, they emphasize its significance as the first Japanese cultural product to enjoy substantial worldwide success and challenge western dominance in the global production and circulation of cultural goods.
Contributors. Anne Allison, Linda-Renée Bloch, Helen Bromley, Gilles Brougere, David Buckingham, Koichi Iwabuchi, Hirofumi Katsuno, Dafna Lemish, Jeffrey Maret, Julian Sefton-Green, Joseph Tobin, Samuel Tobin, Rebekah Willet, Christine Yano
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Phelan Joseph Tobin, ed. Durham, N. Nevertheless, the essays in the volume are thematically united under a broader discourse that encompasses all of popular culture and more specifically popular culture aimed at children. This is the debate of structure versus agency in the production, consumption, and uses of popular culture—that is to say, the relative power of, on the one hand, the profit-seeking corporations that foist a soulless product on a docile and passive public, most insidiously when they target helpless children and, on the other hand, savvy consumers who interpret products in their own way and make use of them in ways that producers did not entirely intend. The children are thus, in Tobin's words, either "dupes or savants" p.
It also contains several "secrets" about the franchise. Pikachu was chosen over Clefairy , the mascot of the comic series, in order to appeal to young girls and their mothers by appearing to be more of a pet. Additionally, Pikachu's yellow color was more recognizable at a distance and the only other yellow character at the time was Winnie the Pooh. Spell of the Unown: Entei received a more limited theatrical release and lower box office performance than the first two movies. Additionally, there was far less shelf space in toy stores.