A case study on the characteristics of manga fan communities

Yi-Shan Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This article presents the results of a research project that explored young British readers’ engagement with manga in literary, aesthetic, social and cultural dimensions. Sixteen school pupils from two secondary schools participated in a number of inter- views to provide feedback on selected manga and their own participation in manga fandom. The results show that four distinct features characterise this particular cultural group, including exclusivity, competitiveness, defensiveness and transculturalism. This article aims to discuss these features by exploring the political roots of popular culture, the constant negotiation of power both outwardly and inwardly in fandom, and the fan’s desire to engage with an exotic culture through the text. It is noteworthy that the declaration of one’s identity as a manga fan shows a deep level of passion with which fans demonstrate confidence in their expertise and a determination to defend a taste that is considered illegitimate and degraded by institutional authorities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417
Number of pages430
JournalJournal of Graphic Novels and Comics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2016

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • manga
  • comics and graphic novels
  • reader response
  • Japanese Literature
  • children's literature
  • popular culture


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