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Images and Narratives of Law and Order in the Manga KOBAN

  • Richard PowellEmail author
  • Hideyuki Kumaki
Article
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Abstract

While law and justice issues are well represented in the vast and diverse world of Japanese Manga, the medium’s predilection for fantasy tends to produce futuristic or overblown fiction far removed from everyday life. Fantastic treatments may also reflect relatively low awareness of legal matters in a society of low crime and litigation. One law and order institution that most people are familiar with, however, is the network of community police boxes that covers Japan, and this has spawned a gag-ridden yet somewhat more realistic genre of justice-related comics. This article focuses on Ishikawa Chika’s KOBAN, whose humour revolves around the contrasting personalities and petty squabbles of two cops in their dealings with mundane police work. The characters, plots and conversations are visually supported by juxtaposing the weaponry and equipment of law enforcement with childlike facial features and cute mascots, thereby constructing the police box as a halfway house between local neighbourliness and state bureaucracy.

Keywords

Iconography Legal jargon Manga Police Popular culture 

Notes

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of EconomicsNihon UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.College of International RelationsNihon UniversityMishimaJapan

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