The Glimpse and Fan Service: New Media, New Aesthetics

By Keith Russell.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

New media forms often open up new understandings of aesthetics. Japanese comics (Manga), and animations (Anime) arose in a time of limited social constraint. This allowed them to explore unmentioned topics and develop new aesthetics that involve Fan Service and the Glimpse.
Fanservice is the random and gratuitous display of a series of anticipated gestures common in Manga and Anime. These gestures include such things as panty shots, leg spreads and glimpses of breast. In their valorization they indicate a deep philosophical concern with the status of personal experience.
These vagrant moments of libidinous possibility underwrite the anticipation of sensual fulfillment; they indicate the genuine access of the personal to a realm and/or moment of reality in which the physical and the imaginative are co-extensive. The connection between the eye and desire is re-established in defiance of the general requirement in society to deny the Glimpse.
The Glimpse, in its mediated form as Fanservice, confirms the imagination as the dimension of the interpersonal: someone else also already understands the glimpse. This is perhaps the “darker” freedom because it offers to forgive the otherwise unique nature of vantage (I alone could see from where I stood). What I see you could also see; how I see you might also see.
The Glimpse affords a new aesthetic understanding of being within the transitional world of the adolescent.
Gibson, JJ. (1979). The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception. Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin.
Marcuse, Herbert (1979.The Aesthetic Dimension: Towards a Critique of Marxist Aesthetics. Erica Sherover, trans. London: Macmillan.
Mulvey, Laura ([1975] 1992): “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”. Screen 16 (3): 6-18.
Schodt, Frederik L. (1996). Dreamland Japan: Writings on Modern Manga. Berkeley, CA: Stone Bridge Press.
Winnicott, D. W. (1971). Playing and Reality, London: Tavistock Publications.

Keywords: New Media, Glimpse, Fanservice, Manga, Anime, Japanese Youth Culture, Affordance, Gaze, Moe

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp.105-110. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 529.313KB).

Dr. Keith Russell

Senior Lecturer, School of Design, Communication and Information Technology, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Keith Russell is a Design and Communication philosopher, a poet and a new media artist. His doctoral work, Kenosis, Katharis, Kairosis, presents a theory of literary affects. Currently he is working on a theory of the Glimpse.


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