Saturday, September 3, 2011

Eastern success, Western failure

Japan has all sorts of programming that would never fly here in North America. That goes for a lot of the live-action content that is aired over there, but there are some anime features as well. Picking out the anime content that can 'work' in the states is no easy process, and localization houses have quite a tough task ahead of them when trying to figure out what shows to license.

You would think that picking the most popular shows in Japan would be a good way to start. When you think of top-tier anime, you think that there's a huge audience for a reason. Surely that big of an audience in Japan would translate to a somewhat sizable audience in North America as well. You might not get the same kind of attention, but even a fraction would be a success stateside.

Well, sometimes that ends up being true and sometimes it doesn't. Take a look at Pokemon and Naruto. Those two series' have seen some major interest from North American audiences, be they younger kids or fans of all ages. These shows have all sorts of licensing and attention around them, which definitely helps to put them out in various avenues of the public. All this helps to translate some of that Japanese success to success over here.

Then there are shows like Shin-Chan, Case Closed and Lupin the Third. Each of these shows is well loved over in Japan, but the anime-viewing audience here in America just didn't seem to show much interest. Perhaps it was the time slots or the way these shows were promoted, but for whatever reasons these Eastern success stories failed to gain any traction over here.

Can any of these shows that failed actually have a chance here? Have the shows that succeeded been nothing more than lucky flukes? What would you have done differently to change that tide for shows like Case Closed? Perhaps you were one of the few that did support these shows in their localizations. If not, I'd love to hear why!

1 comment:

  1. I really wasn't a fan of Shin-Chan it annoyed me. And those others were before I started to really get into anime. I think the best way to succeed is to be shown on prime time now at like 1 in the morning lol.