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Itō, Gō: "Tezuka Is Dead. Manga in Transformation and Its Dysfunctional Discourse." In: Mechademia 6 (2011), S. 69–82.
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: It2011
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Keywords: Comicforschung, Japan, Manga, Postmoderne, Repräsentation, Tezuka. Osamu
|Attachments||URLs http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/mechademia/v006/6.g.p ...|
With its provocative title and thought provoking argument, Itō Gō’s book Tezuka Is Dead altered the landscape of manga criticism when it was published in 2005. A cultural critic, Itō problematizes the dominant position of Tezuka Osamu as the absolute origin of Japanese manga history, a view he argues has prevented the construction of a history of representation in manga (manga hyōgenshi). Itō instead reveals that the realism of modern manga originated from the suppression and effacement of its postmodern elements—epitomized by what he defines as a kyara, a “proto-character” entity that turns into a complete kyarakutaa once the reader identifies it as “human-like.”
Throughout the book, Itō criticizes scholars who have failed to recognize the postmodern underpinnings of manga and who have evaluated manga based only on its storyline and other orthodox, modern values. His larger goals are to come up with a theoretical tool that can analyze manga as a distinctive representational form (as opposed to theories that simply conflate manga with anime and film) and at the same time to bridge the gap between today’s theoretical discourse surrounding manga and the actual status of the texts—in terms of their readership, approaches, and postmodern qualities.
What follows is an abridged translation of the book’s foreword and its opening chapter, “Manga in Transformation and Its Dysfunctional Discourse,” where Itō expounds on the aforementioned breach and calls for a new theoretical framework.
(“Translator’s Introduction”, S. 69 f.)
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