- ソシオロジ (ISSN:05841380)
- vol.44, no.2, pp.19-35,147, 1999
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.<br> 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.<br> 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.<br> 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.