““If No One Else Does it, I’ll Bring it Myself”: The Role of Fan Entrepreneurs in the Distribution and Promotion of Anime in Mexico "

Presented By: Edgar Santiago Peláez Mazariegos, Waseda University Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies

This paper analyses the role of Mexican fans in the promotion and distribution of Japanese media contents in Mexico; focusing mainly on anime. During 1990’s, in the middle of the global craze for Japanese contents, Mexican spectators became really involved in the consumption of anime. While new TV broadcasting companies began partnerships with Japanese enterprises, such as Bandai and Toei, to bring more Japanese media contents to Mexico; fans or otaku became not only active consumers, but also promoters of anime, looking forward to increase the audience of these cultural goods, hoping that the big media companies would be interested in bringing more. After Japanese contents retired from the mainstream media in the early 2000’s, becoming available only through illegal sources for more than ten years, some of these fans decided to take matters into their hands and get more involved in the distribution of anime and other related products by starting their own companies. By trial and error, these entrepreneurial fans have discovered the ways of doing business in Japan and matched them with the demands of the Mexican market, becoming the cultural intermediaries that revitalized and created a second “boom” of anime in the Latin American country. This research sustains that the Mexican fandom of anime has evolved, from text readers and poachers into cultural brokers, constructing a bridge between the Japanese anime producers and the Mexican consumers. These new entrepreneurs have become a central piece in the distribution of Japanese contents in Mexico.