Panels at an anime con are like a marketplace of ideas. Almost anything one could want to learn about anime, from magical girls to mechanical marvels, has a lecture somewhere in the schedule.
This year, M. “Anego” Jean, author of Japanophilia and the Otaku, opted to contribute her own expertise in a panel titled “Intro To Transnational Media.” As fans walked into the small panel room, there was an almost academic air to the presentation. A neat, business-like PowerPoint presentation was projected onto the screen, as Jean sat calmly behind the table at the front of the room.
The panel itself had the atmosphere of a college lecture hall, as Jean covered the core concepts of transnational media, and its importance in the world today. She began with core topics and terms, such as the difference between “casing” (a combination of production values, structures applied, and language) and “content” (the very message being conveyed by art).
This served as a general foundation for more complicated topics, such as why certain titles (like Sailor Moon and Spirited Away) resonate across national and cultural borders, or how “soft power” affects media uptake at home and abroad.
While fans can’t hope to have a total understanding of Transnational Media through a one-hour lecture, Jean did a fantastic job of laying a foundation to build upon. Her presentation was clear and easy to understand, with effective examples and a strong command of the subject matter.