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Posthuman Drag: Understanding Cosplay as Social Networking in a Material Culture


Bainbridge, JG and Norris, CJ, Posthuman Drag: Understanding Cosplay as Social Networking in a Material Culture, Intersections: Gender, History and Culture in The Asian Context, (32) pp. 1-11. ISSN 1440-9151 (2013) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2013 Gender and Cultural Studies, School of Culture, History and Language, College of Asia and the Pacific, The Australian National University

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Growing up in Australia, one of my earliest memories of what I would come to understand to be anime was the unmasking of Zoltar on Battle of the Planets, the dubbed, recut and greatly sanitised version of the late seventies anime series Science Ninja Team Gatchaman. Each week Battle of the Planets featured a team of five young superheroes in birdlike costumes, defending Earth against the latest monsters and schemes unleashed by the evil forces of Spectra and Spectra's sinister field commander, Zoltar. Throughout the series, Zoltar remained a sexually ambiguous figure, somewhere between feminine and masculine. This ambiguity centred on Zoltar's lipstick, purple uniform, flowing cape and horned cowl, all of which kept his/her true gender virtually unrecognisable. The liminality of the character carried over to Zoltar's race as well, for while what little we could see of Zoltar's face appeared Caucasian, the Asian actor Keye Luke voiced the character. Then, in Episode 60, The Alien Bigfoot, Zoltar is briefly unmasked to expose long blond hair and feminine features.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:cosplay, fandom, Japan, Craig Norris, manga, anime,
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Communication and media studies
Research Field:Media studies
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:The media
UTAS Author:Norris, CJ (Dr Craig Norris)
ID Code:85941
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2013-08-16
Last Modified:2018-02-13
Downloads:1,272 View Download Statistics

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