- ソシオロジ (ISSN:05841380)
- vol.44, no.2, pp.19-35,147, 1999-10-31 (Released:2016-11-02)
Rather than focusing on adult, teenage or child anime, this paper analyses Soreike! Anpanman, a popular anime for toddlers (1-4 year olds) in Japan. Anpanman, with its prodigious gadgets market, has become a fixture in daily life. Childcare institutions and parents appreciate its "educational features". In this essay, I first analyze Anpanman as a text, defining its value system which earned it such positive acceptance. Second, I indicate what kind of discursive and non-discursive possibilities /limits are implied in its specific hierarchy of values, and how they can be related to the socializing process of infancy. The cartoon series depicts the eternal struggle between the hero Anpanman (Bean Bread-Kid) and the anti-hero Baikinman (Bacteria-Kid). Anpanman is the flying patrolman of the community's order (groupism, food-organic life, work) , while Baikinman is the aggressive threat to it (egoism, germ-mechanical life, leisure). The community, labelled as minna (everybody) and nakayoshi (amicable, chummy) , is the resource of legitimation/delegitimation and inclusion/exclusion of the characters' actions. In actuality, the specific personification of minna's ultimate authority is the only male human character, the always smiling old chef-baker Jamojisan (Uncle Jam). He is the father-creator of Anpanman, the patriarch who retains both the legislative authority and the executive power. I interpret the kid-characters Anpanman and Baikinman as "still unrealised human possibilities" - the positive one necessarily determined by the exclusion of the negative one - and the adult human character Jamojisan as the legitimated, but unilateral realization of these opposing possibilities. Such a value system can be read as a symbolical socializing process proposed to the infant viewer, and has a great similarity to the socializing process children undergo in childcare institutions. Furthermore, in regard to the more general and practical dimension of socialization, due to the limited autonomy of the infant viewer in the access, choice, and use of Anpanman-products, I also point out the necessary interrelation of infants, childcare institutions and parents: this will be the core of my future research.