The Rise of Guoman
On the meaning of Chinese animation in China.
Happy Thursday! In today’s issue of the Animation Obsessive newsletter, we’re exploring contemporary Chinese animation.
Specifically, we’re looking at how China sees the Chinese animation industry — a scene powered by hits like Nezha (2019) and Jiang Ziya (2020). This is material not often covered in English.
There’s a boisterous community around animation in China, found in places like Weibo (similar to Twitter), WeChat public accounts (similar to Substack) and more traditional news outlets. That community has strong opinions. Central to its chatter is the idea of “guoman” — and how the possible rise of guoman could change the world.
There’s no short way to explain these concepts in English. Below, we take the long route through modern Chinese history.