The 'Totoro Meme' and the Politics of Transfandom Pleasure

Journal Article
Lori Morimoto
East Asian Journal of Popular Culture 4.1, 77-92
Publication year: 2018

This article is an exploration of the ‘Totoro meme’ as a site of affective, transfandom pleasure. In the Totoro meme, Japanese and non-Japanese fans alike appropriate the now-iconic image of Satsuki, Mei and an umbrella-toting Totoro at a bus stop from Hayao Miyazaki’s 1988 film, Tonari no Totoro (My Neighbor Totoro), to their own fannish ends, creating fan art that inserts favourite characters from other media into the scene in ways that often have a doubled semiotic resonance. I argue that this meme is characteristic not of the global appropriation of a broad ‘Japanese anime style’, per se, but a specific, affectively appealing ‘Ghibli style’, one that is fully part of non-Japanese fans’ own popular cultural repertoires. In its cross-border merging of globally circulating Studio Ghibli aesthetics with other fan-favourite media, I contend that the Totoro meme and its associated fanworks are in fact wholly congruent with, and representative of, what Matt Hills has termed ‘trans-fandom’ (2015), contemporary practices of ‘navigating across and combining and fusing fandoms’ (Hills 2015: 159). I conclude with a consideration of the implications of what might be termed ‘corporate transfandom’ in the context of transfannish citations of Kaze no tani no Naushika (Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind) (Miyazaki, 1984) in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015).

Editorial: Tumblr and Fandom

Editorial
Louisa Ellen Stein, Lori Morimoto
Transformative Works and Cultures 27
Publication year: 2018

Sherlock (Holmes) in Japanese (Fan) Works

Journal Article
Lori Morimoto
Transformative Works and Cultures 23
Publication year: 2017

Roundtable: Remix and Videographic Criticism

Roundtable
Corey Creekmur, Melanie Kohnen, Jonathan McIntosh, Lori Morimoto, Katherine Morrissey, Suzanne Scott, Louisa Ellen Stein
Cinema Journal 56.4, 159-184
Publication year: 2017

hannibal: a fanvid

Journal Article
Lori Morimoto
[in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film & Moving Image Studies 3.4
Publication year: 2017

Editorial: Fans and Fan Studies in Transnational Context

Editorial
Bertha Chin, Lori Hitchcock Morimoto
Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies 12.2, 174-179
Publication year: 2015

Trans-cult-ural Fandom: Desire, Technology, and the Transformation of Fan Subjectivities in the Japanese Female Fandom of Hong Kong Stars

Journal Article
Lori Hitchcock Morimoto
Transformative Works and Culture 14
Publication year: 2013

Towards a Theory of Transcultural Fandom

Journal Article
Bertha Chin, Lori Morimoto
Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies 10.1, 92-108
Publication year: 2013

Third Culture Kids: A Bakhtinian Analysis of Language and Multiculturalism in Swallowtail Butterfly

Journal Article
Lori Hitchcock
Scope: An On-Line Journal of Film Studies
Publication year: 2004

Transnational Film and the Politics of Becoming: Negotiating East Asian Identity in Hong Kong Night Club and Moonlight Express

Journal Article
Lori Hitchcock
Asian Cinema 13.1, 67-86
Publication year: 2002