The Made in Abyss Controversy: Transnational Participatory Cultures as Cultural Interpreters of Japanese Texts
This article combines Media Studies' and Fan Studies' approaches to such phenomenon as global manga spread, highlighing the role of participatory cultures and fan communities in the distribution, translation and interpretation of manga in Russia. The first part of the article is dedicated to participatory cultures as a concept and cultural reality in Russia, to differences between such notions as "otaku" (manga and anime fans), fan practices, fan cultures and participatory cultures. The article stresses the productive transformative potential of participatory cultures as cultural agents, their ability to cross national and cultural borders on their own terms and to influence the development of global phenomena within local contexts, even when national cultural industries, including the mass market, are not capable for some reasons to fulfil this task properly. The second part of the article is dedicated to the international reception of a controversial manga and anime title "Made in Abyss". This case demonstrates the ability of participatory cultures to become a space for open discussions of problematic questions, for production of knowledge and thinking about Japan as well as about local cultures.