starlady: Hei poised to strike at sunset (sunset before the fall)
Written at the top: The English translation of the first two volumes of Yoshinaga Fumi's manga Oooku has won the 2009 Tiptree Award! How cool is that? Pretty cool, that's what.


Mechademia, vol. 4: War/Time. Ed. Frenchy Lunning. Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota Press, 2009.

I feel that Mechademia has just been getting stronger and stronger since the publication of its first volume in 2006; while this volume doesn't surpass #3 (Limits of the Human), it's just as good. And since this is the last volume which I will be able to discuss with any real degree of objectivity, I'm going to do so.

In his introduction Tom Lamarre argues persuasively that war/peace is a false dichotomy, that the modern industrial capitalist state is predicated on the existence of war somewhere, and it's really hard to disagree with him. (My inner classicist makes noises here about the circling of modernity back around to one aspect of the ancient; namely that in Greek one declares not war but peace, war being the default state.) But by foregrounding the falsity of that binary, the editors are attempting to call attention to it, and thus to open a space for criticism of it.

Manga and anime are catalysts for the emergence of networks, fan groups, and communities of knowledge fascinated by and extending the depth and influence of these works. )

If any of this sounds interesting, all of Mechademia is now available on Project Muse for free, to those with access. [Obligatory denunciation of academia's opposition to the free dissemination of scholarship goes here.] You can also buy the volume directly, which supports more images in future volumes, and of course the Press. I recommend checking out other books by the University of Minnesota Press on popular culture and anime as well, particularly Azuma Hiroki's Otaku: Japan's Database Animals.

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