In "The cultural logic of media convergence" Henry Jenkins discusses the changing media landscape (in 2004, as it were) and its potential for "remapping globalization.' Not only do western media products flow toward the developing world, "the flow of goods, workers, money and media content" continues to flow from east to west" (41), creating a "new pop cosmopolitanism" amongst media producers and consumers worldwide.
To me, this seems inextricably tied to Jenkins' next identified "site of negotiation" -- "Re-engaging citizens," as media convergence continues to "blur the lines between consumption and citizenship." In Anime's Media Mix: Franchising Toys and Characters in Japan (2012), Mark Steinberg identifies what transmedia (media convergence) looks like in Japanese culture, under the term "media mix." Broadly speaking, it draws an argument for how transmedia in Japanese culture long preceded the Digital Age, due to the merchandising and franchising of characters across toys, games, TV shows, and print media, with Astro Boy (created and serialized in 1952) acting as the first "template" of character merchandising. Such a character-based media ecology would influence global economic models "from Hong Kong to Hollywood," leveraging characters as both a material commodity and a nexus of virtual engagement.
However, Steinberg also discusses how the purposeful marketing of Japanese (character) commodities as a central part of Japan's global economy (beginning in the 1950s and 60s) also affected its national identity. Looking at the prevalence of character-based industries in Japan, from Gundam to Kawaii fashion to Studio Ghibli, it's easy to see how "anime's media mix" has radically altered our image of Japan as a nation-state, as well as its own political economy.
In 2016, Western economies, cultures, and individuals have continued to engage with, adopt, and appropriate commodities from countries like Japan, China, and South Korea to an unprecedented extent. As Jenkins states, "A new pop cosmopolitanism is being promoted by corporate interests both in Asia and the West but it is also being promoted by grassroots interests, including both fan and immigrant communities, who are asserting greater control over the flow of media content across national borders" (41). He questions the long term cultural impact of such trends.
Some of my own questions -- If the formation of "fan and immigrant communities" continues to relegate Eastern cultural commodities to the realm of the "pop," are there less limiting ways to consider the national/cultural impact of "east-west flow"? Have recent viral media like "Gangnam Style" and Emma Stone helped us to engage our own understandings of national identity or do they lend themselves to elision and caricature? It seems to me that a commodity-based cultural exchange has strong implications for how we see ourselves and how we see others. (If you've seen the most recent season of Girls (HBO), the episodes with Shoshanna in Japan to me seem to exemplify this problem.)