Month: September 2021

Anime’s Economy


(Giphy 2019)

This week I am reflecting on myinitial poston the popular Asian cinematic genre of anime. Due to delving into the universe of anime during the lockdown, I have developed a deeper understanding of its themes and the international digital transactions involved. The specific digital transaction that I will now further explore is the strong economy surrounding anime.

In my initial reflection, I did a small amount of research surrounding the financial success of anime, so I will now discuss it further in greater detail. Firstly, it is important to understand that the success of anime did not happen overnight nor steadily, for it switched between increasing and decreasing over the years. Between 2002 and 2005 there was an increase in the animation market in Japan, from 136.6 billion yen to 223.2 billion yen, and then experienced a decrease between 2006 to 2009, for it reached a low of…

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Reflecting on the New Wave of Cinema — Establishing Emily

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the New Wave of Cinema in India since the world plunged into a global pandemic. Today, I’m going to write an autoethnography analysing my initial reflection on this topic. I discussed the detrimental impact the Covid-19 pandemic, and its subsequent lockdowns, has had on the Indian film […]

Reflecting on the New Wave of Cinema — Establishing Emily

Does a simulated conversation constitute a social transaction in digital Asia?

Emma Sloane

Source: Header Image

In my previous blog post “Hikikomori, AI Girlfriends, and VR Porn Booths. Why is one of the most digitally connected countries also the most socially isolated?” I drew on some examples that point to Japan being a socially isolated population, despite being one of the most digitally connected. 

In this blog post, I will delve into this topic further by discussing the popularity of dating simulators and consider if these simulated conversations equate to a social transaction in the digital sphere.

Athique discusses the commodification of communication through the digital economy, stating that“the larger implication is that, within a platform economy, all communicative actions be regarded as social transactions.”(Athique, 2019.)

Athique also states that“It is this orchestrated commercialization of sociability itself that constitutes the signal achievement: an expansive marketization that establishes a new tidemark for the commodification process,”(Athique, 2019.) If we look at…

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The Rise of Asian music Supremacy

This week’s screening was one that again took me by surprise in the best way! 88rising is an American Music company showcasing Asian American and Asian artists who release music in the United States. The documentary covers artist from all across Asia, calling on their own influences, how they are making it in the industry and the struggles they meet w hen presenting themselves to western society.

Through the use of the internet, many of these musicians were able to not only learn English but spread their music in order to be heard by the world. These advancements have led to social changes, business opportunities and growth within their industries that is now being seen around the world (Li 2020, p 1). Operations within cultures such as music and fashion have allowed relationships to develop between countries (Athique 2019, p 17) clearly outlining the movement of modernization that symbolizes future opportunities (Athique 2019, p 17).

Looking into musicians like Rich Brian and Awich, the industry has shown that listeners are invested in their stories as well as their music and responded well. However, Rich Brian was met with scrutiny when he used a play on words with a racial slur to define his stage name, causing outrage amongst the music community. Both artists however, what to change the way Asian creator are defined, changing from the dorky Asian kid or a woman who cant rap, to powerful influencers that are shaping the industry.

Without even realizing it, I had already heard music from some artists associated with 88rising over the last few years as it made its way to our shores. This just goes to show that the digital market is undertaking some serious changes within technological advancements to create a more effective global approach to how things are consumed (Li 2020, p 1).

The overall message from the documentary was very clear in the intentions from the Asian community and how they are approaching their path to pushing the boundaries of the music industry, whether western artists like it or not. This concept will allow digital transactions to bring Asia to being seen in a new light (Athique 2019, p 18), melding countries and culture together for a new generation to expand and create without fear or hesitation.

#bcm320 #digitalasia #asianmusic #digitaltechnologies

Asia in the Digital Age

In my previous blog on ‘India in a Day’ (2016), I touched on the themes of technology and development. Throughout this subject, we have reflected on the use of technology across the globe and how it impacts us culturally and as individuals.

The subject particularly reflected on Asian cinema and the rise of Asian cinema within the film sector. A rise in online streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon have allowed Western audiences to interact with Asian cinema in a way that they may not have done before.

Mike Goodridge – artistic director of Macao’s International Film Festival and Awards says that “in the past, we’ve been at the mercy of what you call American cultural imperialism” however, streaming services have meant that more local films and TV are being produced to encourage subscribers in each country to patriciate with these services. In correlation, Anthique (2019) states that “the expanding flow of media content has a transformative effect upon popular culture across the region, not only from ‘Western’ material, but also form Asian content”.

The Indian Film Industry is one of the most accounted for within the Asian film market.

According to Dastidar & Elliott (2020), India is one of the worlds largest producers of film “producing 1724 films in 2013 compared to 728 films produced in the USA”.

The documentary ‘India in a Day’ (2016) provides insight into the unique way in which Indian cinema can be produced and portrayed. The film highlights an evident changing landscape in India brought upon by developments and technology.

Overall, this subject has broadened my knowledge on Asian cinema and how it has advanced alongside technology. I have thoroughly enjoyed being immersed into the Asian culture and engaging with content that I have not necessarily engaged with before.


Athique, Adrian (2019). Digital Transactions in Asia. Digital Transactions in Asia: Social , Economic and Informational Processes. (pp. 1-22) edited by Adrian Athique and Emma Baulch. New York, NY United States: Routledge.

Dastidar, S., Elliot, C. (2020). ‘The Indian film industry in a changing international market.’ Journal of Cultural Economics. Vol. 44, issue 1, No 4, 99.

Jones, E. (2020). ‘How Asian film is making moves to take over from Hollywood.’ BBC. Available at:

India in a Day

The film ‘India in a Day’ (2016) uses powerful footage crowdsourced from locals to provide a raw insight into the lives of those living in India. In collaboration with Google and Scott Free Productions, millions of people in India shared their videos from October 10th, 2015 to create ‘India in a Day’. The film shares the narrative of thousands of diverse individuals who call India home.

Capturing the beauty and magic of India the film shares a narrative of family, food and hope for the future. In correlation, it also brings to light the harsh and somewhat confronting realities that are prevalent within the country.

The themes of technology and development are both integral in ‘India in a Day’. The film itself relied heavily on mobile phone footage provided by locals to capture the stories and of India’s culture and people. In doing so, it also captures the large gap that exists between wealth and poverty.

In the opening scene of ‘India in a Day’, the film illustrates a local man relying his access to technology on his neighbours Wi-Fi. This scene emphasises that whilst India is developing and does not have advanced access to technology in all areas, locals value staying connected – relying on one another to achieve this.

The film highlights an evident changing landscape in India brought upon by developments and technology. As India continues to develop and advance it can be seen “racing to embrace its future but still tethered to many of its traditions” with Staff (2016) remarking that “both elders and young adults look around them and note how different the world is now from what it was in their youth”.

After watching ‘India in a Day’ I have broadened my awareness on the stark contrasts in which people in India live. The documentary widened my knowledge regarding development and technology access within India and how this impacts its people’s everyday lives and their culture.


Staff, T., 2016. ‘India in a Day’: Film Review. [online] The Hollywood Reporter. Available at:

Hikikomori, AI Girlfriends, and VR Porn Booths. Why is one of the most digitally connected countries also the most socially isolated?

Emma Sloane

Source: Header Image

Throughout my studies of Digital Asia this semester I have learned that“the number of internet users in Asia is now equivalent to those in the rest of the world combined,”(Athique, 2019.)Looking specifically at Japan we see that“93% of the population uses the internet today which equates to more than 117 million people,”(Kemp, 2021.)Despite being one of the most digitally connected countries in the world, there are many emerging digital practices that indicate a society that struggles with real-life connections.

These unique digital spaces in Japan are likely a result of certain socio-cultural practices and principles. I personally believe that many of these spaces are rooted in the rise of modern-day hermits known as hikikomori.“Hikikomori is currently viewed as a sociocultural mental health phenomenon, rather than a distinct mental illness,”(Ketchell, 2020.)It is a phenomenon that is currently affecting half…

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An appreciation given by technology (BCM320)

As an artist, I have always wanted to explore art forms outside of Australia, wanting to know what lies outside of western art. With this, I have been very lucky that my mother introduced my brother and I to Asian culture from a very young age. Any time she went on an overseas trip, she would always bring back paintings, sculptures, dolls dressed like geishas, etc. I consider the way I view the world now very influenced by how diverse out household items were, and this allowed me to have no prejudice or toxic mentality to other people’s nationalities that I would encounter.

This subject has further reinforced my love for Asian culture and the arts scene that is being so widely recognized. It was eye opening to me upon viewing ‘People’s Republic of Desire (Hao Wu, 2018)’ as I had no idea the world of online influencers in China was bigger than anything I had seen on YouTube. The industry produces so much financially that in 2016 “the topic of digital transactions leads us to think of the trillion dollars reputedly moving outwards into the world from Hong Kong” (Athique 2019, p 4).

It is then pushed in other countries like India, that the flexibility of digital money creates a dominating linking system that gives people a sense of how great the effects of these transactions really are (Athique 2019, p 4). I am glad that we’ve been given such a wide range of topics within this subject, not only to expand my knowledge of these ongoings, but to give me a reassurance that my interest in these topics are shared with more people than I thought.

I was particularly invested in the week 6 screening of 10 Years with Hayao Miyazaki Ep. 4 No Cheap Excuses. I have had a great interest in animation for some time and once Studio Ghibli cam to Netflix last year, I was able to access (and binge watch) all of the movies available. I have been greatly influenced by Studio Ghibli, so much so that I have recreated and artwork seen in the film ‘From Up On Poppy Hill’ (2011).

I’m enthralled by the “diversity of languages, environments, philosophies and aesthetic traditions remains a defining feature of Asia” (Athique 2019, p 3) and have used that interest in the culture to further my own artistic experience. With so many platforms on the internet gaining popularity, cultural barriers begin to break down (Athique 2019, p 3), allowing others to form a love and appreciation for these genres.

#bcm320 #digitalasia #digitaltransactions #animation


Athique, Adrian (2019). Digital Transactions in Asia. Digital Transactions in Asia: Social , Economic and Informational Processes. (pp. 1-22) edited by Adrian Athique and Emma Baulch. New York, NY United States: Routledge

Censory Overload

Carmody Conversation

There is an inherent fear that is associated with the freedom of media for authoritarian governments. This panic is being further enhanced by the constant development and evolving nature of digital media.

Defined by the suppression of media, the concept of censorship is a current issue that is being discussed on a global scale. Conversations are being had regarding the potential affects of limiting citizens free speech, government control over media, as well as political ongoings that are impacting citizens (Lorentzen 2013).

Giphyy// Censoship

Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have widely protected users’ free speech, in accordance with the legal norms of a Western based organisation (Citron 2017). However, these terms and conditions are not relevant for those residing in countries that are living under the autocratic control of the information spread online by both private and public organisations.

For those living in countries under an…

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The New Digital Age in Asia

michaela shales

The Film Industry Transitions

In my previous blog post, I reflected on digital Asia and the film industry, specifically India. I mentioned that due to the rise of technology in recent years Asia is now expanding their media for audiences to access across the globe. The film industry has since experienced a transition due to online streaming services. Streaming movies online is an extremely popular and convenient way for audiences to engage with the film industry. Platforms such as Netflix have forever changed the way audiences stream movies and TV shows. It has also meant that Western audiences now have an opportunity to engage with films produced in other countries like Asia. 

Image of a Korean Film Available on Netflix

The age of transactions reveals how media content from Asia has expanded to new audiences. Anthique (2019) mentions that “the expanding flow of media content had a transformative effect upon…

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