Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Think Locally, Spread Globally

Posted by radionightowl on November 10, 2016

The discussion in the book regarding piracy and localization really intrigued me. I was astounded that piracy could actually contribute to the popularity and commercial success of a property despite the nature of the act–I’ve never been on a torrent site or anything of the such, but I’m sure it’s a great way to introduce people to new media and let them have a try before they purchase it or find it legally. It might make an accidental fan out of someone. Even though piracy results in lost money and revenue, it helps to gain invaluable exposure and views that might benefit a company later. I know that anime fansubs, technically a type of piracy, helped me to get acquainted with series I used to frequent and then I was more apt to purchase the media should it be available legally in the U.S. Localization was always a harder concept for me to grasp; I understand that some pieces of media need to have context or edits made for them to appear more cohesive and accessible to audiences with limited cultural knowledge of the place in which they were produced, but how much editing and localization is too much? I remember 4Kids entertainment used to butcher anime to death, removing any Japanese references that kids wouldn’t understand until they were older. It was always so disheartening to me because I love learning about other cultures and I felt like 4Kids didn’t promote that. Sometimes, such action would actually tamper with the stories, and that’s when the company got themselves into major problems. Episodes were chopped and sliced until they were shells of their former selves, which is a travesty to me as an artist and creator who values integrity and creativity in works.

2 Responses to “Think Locally, Spread Globally”

  1. 4Kids was the peak of children’s entertainment. For you to think any differently is ludicrous!

    • radionightowl said

      Well, if you like lollipop cigarettes and hammerguns, then you’re set. I guess the elimination of violence didn’t bother me so much as the removal of Japanese culture. I get that some shows require light localization to make them more marketable, but calling onigiri (rice balls) jelly doughnuts just crosses the line. It’s like they thought nobody would notice, but they were wrong. I watched whiny 4Kids rants all the time in the days of YouTube’s infancy, and the mutual hatred I (and a lot of the Internet) had for 4Kids is still nostalgic.

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