Manga is the Japanese term for the comic art. It has borrowed significantly from the American comics and animation. On the other hand, Manga has significant influence on the Asian animation industry. Nonetheless, Japan is yet to market its animation industry globally as it does with other industries. Comic scholars posit that Japan can be perceived as a centre of globalization due to the present international development of manga.
Wong (2006) argues that Japan has the capacity to become a centre of globalization with respect to the animation industry. He feels that the country has the potential of exporting its animation (Manga) as it does export its high-technological products.
According to Wong the emerging international communities of manga underscores the possibility of exporting the Japanese animation industry to the global market. In addition, he compares the current state of the Japanese animation industry with the American cultural products.
He believes that the challenges that Manga currently pose, is a clear indication that the world is gradually adopting more tolerant and balanced practices. Wong overlooks the economic, cultural, and political influences that inhibit the Japanese cultural influence. The fact that the Japanese government does not give priority to cultural products renders his argument baseless.
Moreover, Japan is still struggling with economic recession. Consequently, it would be hard for the country’s cultural products to penetrate into the global market in the near future, as most of the available resources would be channeled into reviving the country’s economy and not into the development of superior cultural products.
Yoshitaka Mori perceives the growth of the Japanese animation industry as a hybrid of the Chinese, Korean, and Japanese cultural products. He blames the hybridization for the prevalent poor labor conditions in the Japanese animation industry. Yoshitaka also focuses on the effect of government policies on the future of the Japanese animation industry.
Mori (2011) demonstrates that the Japanese animation industry has gone through a hybridization process by showing how countries like Korea and China contributed in the growth of the Japanese animation industry. He basis his argument on the numerous contribution made by the two countries.
However, he fails to consider the fact that the Korean and Chinese companies were only responsible of working on the simple works while the Japanese worked on the technical areas. He fails to show how Korea and China contributed to the hybridization of the Japanese animation industry.
Yoshitaka blames the current poor labor conditions in the Japanese animation industry to past outsourcing practices. He claims that even today, companies in the animation industry continue looking for cheap labor in foreign countries. He perceives the labor condition in terms of money the animators make. One of the major mistakes he makes is that he considers young animators and fails to project their future benefits.
Mori looks at the transition that the Japanese animation industry has gone through and posits that it has the potential of thriving even without considering turning to the global market. What Mori fails to consider is the target market for the animation industry. Mostly, the Japanese animation industry targets the children.
The birthrate in the country is declining with time posing a threat to the industry. Besides, globalization has made it possible for countries like China and the United States to sell their animation products in Japan. Hence, the argument that the Japanese animation industry will continue flourishing even without turning to the global market might not be true.
Human flesh search (HFS) is a web phenomenon developed by the Chinese to help in arresting corrupt individuals and people that engage in unethical or illegal activities. It also facilitates to search for missing relatives in the event of a crisis. It works through the help of human users.
Wang et al. (2010) believe that many people misunderstand the concept of human flesh search engine. They posit that most of the non-Chinese sources that address this concept tend to propagate erroneous information. They argue that the sources do this because they are not from China and bearing in mind that the idea of human flesh search originates from China.
Wang et al. (2010) give several sources like SearchEngineWatch.com and Times Online and the negative messages that they convey about the phenomenon. To support their proposition, they also give some Chinese sources and their definition of the concept of HFS.
They overlook the fact that many people do not know about this concept. Besides, many doubt that it is possible to trace and identify an individual through the internet. Therefore, they find the concept as a hoax, thus using all means possible to discourage people from using it.
Wang et al. (2010) use numerous instances to show how the concept of HFS is evolving. They effectively bring out the aspects of online and offline interactions involved in the human flesh search process. Their approach facilitates in allying fears that HFS is a concept aimed at propagating negative activities online.
This article makes the effort to unravel the mystery behind the concept of human flesh search. Many people find this concept as infringing into their privacy. Hence, the article tries to show how it evolved, its merits and demerits, as well as the existing research gap.
Chen and Sharma (2011) posit that scholars have done little to examine the concept of human flesh search in spite of the concept being popular in China. This underlines the reason why they compile this article as an attempt to help the public understand the phenomenon. Unlike Wang et al. Chen and Sharma portray HFS as a search engine used to expose all sorts of criminal activities that happen behind the scenes.
Their assertion that scholars have done limited to examine the idea of human flesh search is true. The two observe all steps of research methodology to identify the existing literature on human flesh search.
While a majority of the available literature addresses the legal implications of HFS and its infringement into an individual’s privacy, Chen and Sharma take the initiative to enlighten the public on the possible future growth of the concept.
Since no country has declared HFS illegal and, as the public and the government seek to know the truth of many issues affecting their daily life, chances are high that the concept of human flesh search will receive global acceptance.
Consequently, rather than dismissing the concept of HFS, government agencies, IT managers, and internet users need to monitor this concept closely and come up with strategies to help them exploit it in productive ways.
This article asserts that advancement in Smartphone development and image distribution techniques such as location-based services (LBS) is contributing to the growth of novel visuality. While internationally camera phone fields such as self-portraiture are emerging, we are also witnessing the growth of argot visualities, which represent a localized idea of social, place, and character making practice.
Hjorth and Gu (2012) assert that the current development in visuality is because of advancement in quality of the camera phones. They describe how LBS are assisting people to share pictures and comments about places on Facebook, Jiepang, and other social media platforms.
Jiepang is currently working as the new form of mobile gaming in urban areas. Individuals now capture images of different places using mobile phones and modify them to shape how people experience the places. The evidence presented by the two in their argument is concrete, thus reinforcing their argument. For a long time, people have been using camera phones.
Nevertheless, there were no cases of modification of the captured images to make them appear different. The novel applications being introduced into the current camera phones are responsible for these new developments in pictorial representations.
Location-based services and improvement of camera phones have facilitated to bring people from different backgrounds together. Unlike in the past when people treated mobile phones as communication gadgets, Hjorth and Gu introduce another critical role of mobile phone.
The article depicts a mobile phone as an instrument of establishing social cohesion and meeting new friends. Nevertheless, it would be unfair to claim that the current level of social cohesion is because of LBS. Other factors such as technological growth and globalization have also contributed.
Chen, R. & Sharma, S. K. (2011). Human flesh search-facts and issues. Journal of Information Privacy & Security, 7(1), 50-67.
Hjorth, L. & Gu, K. (2012). The place of emplaced visualities: a case study of smartphone visuality and location-based social media in Shanghai, China. Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 26(5), 699-713.
Mori, Y. (2011). The pitfall facing the Cool Japan Project: the transnational development of the anime industry under the condition of post-fordism. International Journal of Japanese Sociology, 1(20), 30-41.
Wang, F., Zeng, D., Hendler, J., Zhang, Q., Feng, Z., Gao, Y., Wang, H., & Lai, G. (2010). A study of the human flesh search engine: crowd-powered expansion of online knowledge. IEEE Computer Society, 45-53.
Wong, W. S. (2006). Globalizing Manga: from Japan to Hong Kong and beyond. Mechademia, 1, 23-45.