chapter  1
8 Pages

The academic music machine

BySALLY MACARTHUR

For a period in 2010, the author was specifically interested in the way anime portrayed the Japanese aesthetic known as kawaii, which translates approximately as cuteness or cute. In some ways, then, the author explores the music as an outsider who objectively assesses the music and its relationship with anime and the kawaii aesthetic, but he also privy to the specific compositional choices that occurred, choices that are central to this discussion. The breadth and character of the kawaii aesthetic is much debated within the academic sphere and challenges theorists for whom 'cute' does not properly convey its conceptual Japanese understanding. The kawaii aesthetic does not always match the internal personality. Barber, Bryce and Davis describe this relation as 'a resounding visual and psychological clash'. The nature of kawaii then functions, in Deleuzian terms, as a 'double-capture' or 'double-theft' where the connection between the two art mediations inform each other as they contribute to the overall meanings of kawaii.