Links Roundup for 12 September 2011

Here’s a roundup of stories about transformative works that might be of interest to fans:

  • The Telegraph reviews a new interpretive dance piece based on the life of Osamu Tezuka “revered in his homeland as “the god of manga”.” The review uncovers the fannishness at the heart of the project: “To render one art form through another is not easy…“As an adult, we sometimes try to undo our childhood. We are discouraged from saying what we really care about – things like cartoon books – but now I want to uncover it instead.”
  • Two other examples of how fans “render one art form through another” appear in Fandom in Stitches which pulls together quilt making patterns for a variety of fandoms, and the Post-It War taking place among office workers in France which “draws heavily on the nerd canon.”
  • Such creativity with fandom texts gets overlooked by videomaker CGP Grey who posted “Forever Less One Day” critiquing U.S. copyright law by using Star Wars and other texts as examples of how far copyright has been extended compared to its original intent. While informative, the video makes no mention of transformative works which fall under fair use even though his video is an example of commentary. (The video post also includes a transcript.)

If you’re part of manga fandoms or are involved in fan crafts, why not contribute your experiences to Fanlore? Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, event, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent Links Roundup — on, LJ, or DW — or give @OTW_News a shoutout on Twitter. Links are welcome in all languages!

Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

Seeking a few good anime and manga fans!

Fanlore, the OTW’s fan history wiki project, is looking for help organizing the anime and manga areas of the wiki in anticipation of trying to beef up the content. In particular, they want fans familiar with the material to weigh in on the underlying category structures: anime vs. manga vs. comics vs. cartoons vs. animation. As they sum up:

We’re hoping for a system that will accommodate many needs, including those of manhua, manhwa, and a variety of animation and comics fandoms from around the world. If you have knowledge in these areas, we definitely want to hear from you! We hope to find a few fans who are excited about the prospect of chronicling and preserving anime or manga fandoms and their histories, who can help us 1) figure out how best to structure this corner of the wiki and 2) reach out to anime and manga communities for more participation once we have a good structure in place.

If you have the knowledge to help, please comment on that post or contact the Wiki Committee through their contact form.

Edited to add: a revised proposal is now up at the Fanlore dreamwidth community. Please go by and weigh in!

Anime, manga and video games from Japan threatened by local legislation

Written by Electra

Fans of anime, manga, and video games produced in Japan may soon notice changes in access to and the content of both professionally produced content and fanworks. The Tokyo metropolitan ordinance Bill 156, the “nonexistent crimes bill”, which goes into effect this year, aims to limit the distribution and content of these items in the metropolis.

The bill increases the powers of the Tokyo metropolitan government to regulate the sale and rental of “harmful” media to people under the age of 18. It also extends the current definition of “harmful” to cover material that “unjustifiably glorifies or exaggerates” certain sexual or pseudo-sexual acts; previous laws only limited distribution of material to under-18s that is “sexually stimulating, encourages cruelty, and/or may compel suicide or criminal behavior”.

The bill applies to “publications”, including books, DVDs and CDs, both professional and fan-made. However, it does not appear to apply to mobile sites or downloads, despite mandating that content filters be applied to the cell phones of all under-18s.

The bill may discourage content providers in Tokyo, a major center for the anime, manga and video games industries, from creating new content or continuing to market content that may violate the new bill, even if it would be aimed at over 18s. This chilling effect is especially likely given that the bill doesn’t specify exact enforcement mechanisms, so creators are uncertain of the consequences of falling foul of the law.

The bill was passed amid widespread condemnation on the part of professional creators and members of the national government as well as fans. Fans have expressed their opposition in the form of dôjin (fan-made) works, including comics and videos (link requires registration) that combine transformation of existing works with analysis and critique of the legislation.

Meanwhile, the Association of Japanese Animations (AJA) condemned the bill for attempting to regulate freedom of speech and of creative expression, while a group of leading manga publishers announced a boycott of the (now cancelled) 2011 Tokyo Anime Fair, a major content showcase sponsored by the Tokyo metropolitan government. Others, including Japanese Prime Minister Kan Naoto, have expressed concern over the bill’s impact on the content creation industry centered in Tokyo.

Voluntary regulation of content by industry creators and fans went into effect at the beginning of April. The crackdown on content will intensify in July, when regulation of the sale and rental of material to under-18s will be implemented.