The following quote comes from Metal Gear Solid creator, Hideo Kojima...
Do we really need to succeed worldwide? That's what I'm really wondering about. Everyone talks about overseas, overseas, but nobody's really thinking about what needs to be done if we want to succeed. We get obsessed with thinking about worldwide because we've had previous success with games and anime worldwide, but none of those successes matter nowadays.
Mr. Kojima brings up a very interesting point about games and anime. We'll focus on anime for the purposes of this article.
Having worldwide success for any form of entertainment is a fantastic thing. It's always great when more and more people appreciate what you do and where you come from. To know that you've found an audience in the world for your creation is a great thing. The problem comes when you try and aim to please everyone around the world with whatever you're working on.
I think it's pretty safe to say that anime has a bit of an issue with worldwide appeal. There have been a few break-out hits, but they are very limited in numbers. Most of the anime content out there appeals to those in Japan, and others around the world that are more on the open-minded side of things. There are some cultural barriers in all animes, but sometimes there's just too much for the majority of people to follow along with.
What should anime creators do if they want to go after a worldwide market? Should they make their vision for a particular anime more worldwide friendly? Is it right to compromise your idea just to see it reach a wider audience? Is there something to be said for reaching out for a very specific market and delivering something niche?