Request catalogue

The Dragon and the Dazzle

The Dragon and the Dazzle

<< back
  View all Media books
Book cover

The Dragon and the Dazzle

Models, Strategies, and Identities of Japanese Imagination ? A European Perspective

Newly available from John Libbey

Publication date: 2011
Total pages: 689 + xi
ISBN: 9780 86196 700 1
Price: £ 25.00


In the worldwide circulation of the products of cultural industries, an important role is played by Japanese popular culture. By use of metaphor, the author talks about two phases and calls them the “Dragon” and the “Dazzle”. The first took place between 1975 and 1995, the second from 1996 to today. They can be distinguished by the modalities of circulation and consumption of Japanese themes and products in the most receptive countries: Italy, France, Spain, Germany and the United States. During these two phases, several themes have been perceived, as rising from Japan’s social and mediatic systems. Among them, this book examines the most apparent from a European point of view: the author names them machine, infant, and mutation, visible mostly through manga, anime, videogames, and toys.

Japanese imagination has been acknowledged not only by young people, but also by politicians, television programmers, the general public, educators, comics and cartoons authors. The growing influence of Japanese pop culture also urges political and mediologic questions linked to the identity/ies of Japan as they are understood – wrongly or rightly – in Europe and the West, and to the increasingly important role of Japan in international relations.

The Dragon and the Dazzle, which is the English edition of Il Drago e la Saetta (first published in Italian in 2008), was been granted in 2010 subsidies from the Japan Foundation, for the translation into English.


This book is one of the most advanced studies of the global spread of Japanese pop culture and an ambitious and competent attempt to contextualize its success in Italy (and France). Marco Pelliteri’s text and its illustrations make the reader of the English version (flawlessly translated from Italian by Roberto Branca) almost forget the former dominance of Disney and Pixar and the Anglo-Saxon market. It instead offers an enjoyable, clearly Italian (aestheticising his object) approach to the global tide of the Japanese industry: colourful, comprising and convincing. This topical exploration seems likely to become a standard text for both scholars and fans in no time.

Studies in Comics



Marco Pellitteri (Palermo 1974). Cultural sociologist and specialist in mass media, he is currently a research fellow at London Metropolitan University. He has published several articles and essays in Italian and foreign academic journals and edited volumes. He is the author of five books on comics, animation, mass media and youth issues. He has worked for the CERI at Sciences Po (Paris), the University of Trento, the IARD institute (Milan), and the IsiCult institute (Rome). He is also the scientific director of the annual International Cartoonists Exhibition ( His Ph.D. thesis on adolescents, cultural consumption and attitudes towards the Other has won two prizes, one of which is the 2009 “‘John A. Lent’ Scholarship in Comics Studies”, an academic award given by the International Comic Arts Forum.

Back to top