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Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

Part 6: Interlude: Riyoko Ikeda and The Rose of Versailles Franchise

Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Origins of Shojo Manga
Part 3: Riyoko Ikeda (Part 1)
Part 4: Moto Hagio
Part 5: Keiko Takemiya

Before I get back to The Rose of Versailles, I want to make a quick note that the manga The Window of Orpheus (1975-1981), which also features a girl being raised as a boy for the sake of being an heir, but is very different than Oscar. Julius von Ahrensmeyer is the daughter of her father’s mistress, who later becomes his second wife. Because von Ahrensmeyer’s first wife had two daughters, when Julius was very small, her mother began dressing her in boy’s clothes and passing her off as a boy; when she married von Ahrensmeyer, Julius became his heir. Julius has to keep up the disguise as long as her father lives so she can inherit.

The Window of Orphesus 1

Unlike Oscar, who enjoys her work and her unusual life for the most part, Julius does not. She wants to wear dresses and be allowed to express her romantic interest in her crush Klaus, which she can’t do partially because of her all-boys music school’s strict “no homo” policy and social norms, as well as a desire to be true to herself. Additionally, she has to deal with the doctor who delivered her blackmailing her mother and threatening to out her. It’s a different take on the women-performing-masculinities genre in that, instead of being freeing or transgressive, Julius is unhappy in her role, a predecessor in some ways of the manga that would explore trans identities and social dysmorphia.

 

While many manga in our discussion had anime versions released, The Rose of Versailles stands out from the crowd with 40 years of continual media adaptations and marketing. In the years after the manga wrapped, The Rose of Versailles became a cultural force unto itself. First, let’s take a brief look at how The Rose of Versailles has become as recognizable and referenced in Japanese culture and media as Star Wars before we delve into the other media the series inspired.

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Readers, I am excited to be hosting the Feminist Friday discussion for Part-Time Monster and Sourcerer this week. Get your Axe ready, because we’re going to talk about the gendered marketing of bath products!

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Via 16-Bit Sirens’ “CONsent.”

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Part 8: Wrap-up

The Halloween items are off the shelves in the stores in Kanazawa and the advertisements to pre-order Christmas cakes and osechi New Year’s meals are gaining ground on the displays of local stores. I’m a bit sad to see Halloween go, though I’m sure my friends who still have Halloween lessons to teach and Halloween events from which to recover are ready to move on. I went to a costume party at a bar over the weekend but spent a quiet Halloween night at home, watching Rifftrax of scary movies and eating the last Reese’s peanut-butter “pumpkin”  from the US.

Florist in Kanazawa Station

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Part 3: Halloween Tea is the Best Tea

Back to food!

My favorite chain tea store in Japan is Lupicia Tea. Last September, I went to the Nagoya Les Grande Marche de Thes and bought enough tea (3000 yen’s worth) to qualify for the tea of the month club. My favorite tea from Lupicia is the seasonal Halloween tea, a blend of sweet potato, chestnuts, kabocha, and rooibos tea called いもくりかぼ茶 (imokurikabo-cha).

Lupicia Tea, Kanazawa Forus

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Part Two: Halloween as a Brand, or The Seemingly Inexplicable

Diamond Shiraishi is running a “Halloween Festa,” in which anyone who purchases an engagement ring between 3 Sept. and 31 Oct. gets a “lovely present and Halloween sweets.”

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When it comes to holidays, being an expat in Japan is a mixed bag. Even though I miss my family and friends, I’m quite content to sit out on the insanity of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Halloween, however, is the holiday I miss the most. I first came to Japan in 2005, and I remember that, other than the foreign exchange students, Baskin Robbins, and some foreigner-bars in Osaka, no one really celebrated Halloween. (This may have been different in Tokyo, of course, given the large number of expats living there.)

Baskin Robbins, Hirakata-shi, 2005

Last year, I was shocked to see young Japanese people in Kanazawa dressed up and out at the bars on Halloween weekend. This year, it seems like businesses have really latched onto Halloween as a seasonal/marketing ploy–my coworkers and friends have also expressed their shock that Halloween is booming here.

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