Bridge builders, world makers: Transcultural Studio Ghibli fan crafting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Whilst global hits such as Pokémon utilized what Marc Steinberg calls anime’s media mix, implementing a multiple-platform narrative world in an attempt to synergize/converge a franchise, what are we to do when one finds a dearth of official merchandise available to transnational audiences? What are the reasons or politics for such a decision that seems to run counter to a long sociocultural history of such media ecology? Equally as important, what do fans do when their championed fan objects offer a relatively restricted media palette? This article looks at how Studio Ghibli has, to a degree, negotiated and/or rejected the traditional ‘anime media mix’. This is not to say that Ghibli is void of media mixing; rather, via online communities, one has seen a growing presence of fan-crafts whereby audiences are making their own Ghibli objects. In doing so, these transcultural fan-made Ghibli objects extend fan ideologies linked to the studio, expanding on what Susan Napier terms ‘MiyazakiWorld’ (2006: 49, 2007: 193). Much like Miyazaki’s philosophy, this is not entirely rejecting industry, but offering creative alternatives. The fan-as-producer of Ghibli objects is doing so through convivial construction. Thus, this article offers new insights into global audience practices and affective meaning-making around Ghibli that goes beyond the films themselves.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-109
Number of pages18
JournalEast Asian Journal of Popular Culture
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Studio Ghibli
  • Cinema
  • FILM
  • Fandom
  • Craft


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