Media mix

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In Japanese culture and entertainment, media mix (wasei-eigo: メディアミックス, mediamikkusu) is a strategy to disperse content across multiple representations: different broadcast media, gaming technologies, cell phones, toys, amusement parks, and other methods.[1] It is the Japanese term for a transmedia franchise.[2][3]


The term gained its circulation in late 1980s and is first used to describe adaptations of Sakyo Komatsu's Japan Sinks[clarification needed], but the origins of the strategy can be traced back to the 1960s with the proliferation of anime, with its interconnection of media and commodity goods.[4]

The penetration into the American market of the series such as Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh![1] gave rise to the recognition of what is variously called transmedia storytelling, crossmedia, transmediation, media synergy, etc.[4]

Researchers argue that the 1963 Tetsuwan Atomu marked a shift in Japanese marketing: from the focus on the content of the commodity to "overlapping the commodity image with the character image".[2]

The book Anime's Media Mix: Franchising Toys and Characters in Japan by Marc Steinberg details the evolution of the media mix in Japan.

A number of Japanese media franchises have gained considerable global popularity, and are among the world's highest-grossing media franchises. Other Japanese media franchises among the world's top 15 highest-grossing media franchises include Hello Kitty, Gundam, and Dragon Ball, while the top 30 also includes Fist of the North Star, Yu-Gi-Oh and Evangelion.[5][6]


  • anime-ka (アニメ化), recast as anime
  • dorama-ka (ドラマ化), recast as drama
  • gēmu-ka (ゲーム化), recast as computer game
  • noberaizu (ノベライズ, "novelize") recast as novel
  • komikaraizu (コミカライズ, "comicalize") or manga-ka (漫画化), recast as manga
  • eiga-ka (映画化) recast as movie

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Henry Jenkins, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, p. 110
  2. ^ a b Steinberg
  3. ^ Denison, Rayna. "Manga Movies Project Report 1 - Transmedia Japanese Franchising". Retrieved 2015-07-31.
  4. ^ a b Steinberg, p. vi
  5. ^ "Pokemon Beats Out Star Wars, Marvel as Highest Grossing Media Franchise". August 28, 2018. Archived from the original on August 31, 2018. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  6. ^ Peters, Megan (June 23, 2018). "'Pokemon' Is The Highest-Grossing Franchise Of All-Time". Archived from the original on September 9, 2018. Retrieved August 13, 2018.


  • Marc Steinberg, Anime's Media Mix: Franchising Toys and Characters in Japan.
    • The book references and cites numerous sources on the subject

Further reading[edit]