Affective Anachronisms, Fateful Becomings

Otaku Movement and the Joan of Arc Effect in Type-Moon's Transhistorical Anime Ecology

in Screen Bodies
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  • 1 Assistant Director, Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA), USA, Doctoral Graduate, University of Glasgow, UK
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Abstract

This article examines the temporal and phenomenological philosophies of Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, and Paolo Virno, specifically in relation to the transmedia franchises of the Japanese game studio, Type-Moon. Against linear, national, and majoritarian grand narratives of the historical, the otaku artists, writers, and developers responsible for the Fate series postulate whether it is possible to harness the intense and affective forces described by Jay Lampert as “the Joan of Arc effect” in the blink of an eye or in the palm of your hand. Through a philosophical and formal analysis of three spinoff series from the Fate franchise, this article investigates how Type-Moon's deployment of the “anime machine” encourages its viewers and users to see and feel the abundance of flowing “nomadic memories” or counter-historical visions from the perspective of minor populations. Through this highly embodied and tactile experience of transhistorical (un)becomings, Type-Moon's series offer a deterritorialized, post-national world-image of the otaku database which mediates between the overloading affects of becoming-woman and the digitally encoded logic of transversal through the frames, windows, interfaces, devices, platforms, and bodies that constitute Type-Moon's vibrant anime ecology.

Contributor Notes

David John Boyd (PhD) is the assistant director of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA), as well as a doctoral graduate of the University of Glasgow in Comparative Literature (Text-Image Studies, 2019). David's primary field of research involves the works of Gilles Deleuze and global media philosophies, specifically with regard to media exchanges between East Asia and the world. His specific research interests include the film philosophies of temporality, modernity, and history that are produced with such global, rhizomatic frameworks between fan, producer, consumer, and state. David has published on manga, anime, webtoons, the works of Hiro Murai, and Korean New Wave cinema. He continues to write and research as an independent scholar in Bordeaux, France.

Screen Bodies

The Journal of Embodiment, Media Arts, and Technology

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