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The Representation of New Architecture, The Female Body and Urban Form in Japanese ACGN Culture

Part 1 Dissertation 2023
Newcastle University | UK
This dissertation interrogates the representation of femininity and the female body in the Manga genre of video games, and its impact on new architectural and urban formations. Following a review of essays in Beatriz Colomina’s ‘Sexuality and Space’, the dissertation departs from Colomina and Western critiques of the female body as they do not anticipate the contemporary Asiatic phenomena of Manga, Kawaii, Otaku sub-culture, Open-World Action Role-Playing Games, Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs), and their impact on urban youth cultures and the city.

The dissertation focuses on the game ‘Genshin Impact’ by HoYoLab with a social media following (at the time of writing) on Twitter, Reddit, YouTube and the HoYoLab App, of 4.4m followers, 1.7m members. 6.2m followers and 2.34m followers respectively, and accessible by mobile phones. It illustrates how through engagement and various forms of ‘merchandising’ through Cosplay and Comic Con - with the active female participation, such as promotional ‘Cat Girls’ and ‘Maid Cafes’, Otaku and Arcade Culture, entire urban areas such as Akihabara have been intensely transformed, and for which little in Western critical thought anticipates or is able to theorise.

Tolulope Onabolu
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