Appropriating the Shinsengumi. Hakuoki fan fiction as transmedial/transcultural exploration

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This chapter examines a corpus of fan fiction inspired by the transmedial world of Hakuoki, in its origin a popular Otome game that has spun many other products such as anime, manga and merchandise. I argue that the transmedial perspective can contribute to fan fiction scholarship emphasizing its world-building aspect. The analysis shows how the fan fiction texts rework the mythos, topos and ethos of Hakuoki, contributing to a sense of worldness (Klastrup & Tosca, 2004). The setting of the game is the end of the Edo period, which becomes a romanticized stage that the Western fans can use as a background, drawing on a set of Japanese cultural tropes that get brandished as props for authenticity. Finally, the topic of transcultural exploration is discussed against the backdrop of other Japanese popular culture Shinsengumi appropriations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransmedia in Asia and the Pacific
Number of pages26
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • transmedial
  • fan fiction
  • otome games
  • shinsengumi
  • Japanese media
  • Japanese popular culture
  • media reception

Cite this

Tosca, S. (Accepted/In press). Appropriating the Shinsengumi. Hakuoki fan fiction as transmedial/transcultural exploration. In Transmedia in Asia and the Pacific Palgrave Macmillan.