Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What caused Shin-chan's lack of success in the states?

Japan has a handful of anime features that go above-and-beyond when it comes to viewership. There's definitely no shortage of anime features to enjoy, but there's only a handful that manage to break out into major mainstream success. One of those series is without a doubt Shin-chan. He's rude, crass and absolutely loveable. Again, an example of an anime that strays far from the norm.

Many people have called Shin-chan the Bart Simpson of Japan. Being a big fan of both shows, I can definitely see why that comparison is made often. Shin-chan is a troublemaker of the highest kind, and he's not afraid to make an ass out of himself. That usually includes a flash of Shin-chan's butt quite often, and even a look at his naughty bits on the flip side. Again, nothing Bart hasn't taken on in his day!

Shin-chan features just a about every type of character you can imagine. If Shin-chan doesn't do it for you, he's got friends that range from whiny to overbearing. Even better are Shin's parents, which are losing their mind due to their child's antics. It's very easy to mash all these together into an entertaining, almost slice-of-life style anime with humor that is squarely aimed at adults.

So...The Simpsons in a different shade of paint. While The Simpsons have seen huge success here in America, Shin-chan seems to have missed the mark by a lot. The show definitely have its fans, but it seemed to have gained and lost its TV run within just a couple seasons. It's obvious that something didn't click, but I'm not quite sure what it was.

Did Cartoon Network not accurately portray the show? Promotions for the show seemed to really push what the program was about, but maybe they missed the mark. Perhaps it was the late time slot that pushed the show out of the minds of many. I wouldn't even be surprised if the visuals themselves turned people off. I'd be surprised to learn that the content offended too many, especially on the Adult Swim block, but stranger things have happened.

Did you catch Shin-chan while it was airing on TV? Did you find it enjoyable or was it not for you? If you haven't seen the show, please let us know why. If you did view but didn't enjoy, I'd love to hear that reasoning as well.


  1. Yeah I watched a couple of episodes and didn't like it at all. The humor and such didn't appeal to me.

  2. The failure of Shin Chan in the english speaking world goes back further than the recent Funimation attempt. In fact, my understanding is that this is the 3rd attempt at an english Dub, each with its own problems.

    The first I believe tried to censer it down to a kids show, but as you might imagine that was difficult to do.

    I'm not really familiar with the second attempt but I did see some clips and I didn't like the voice acting choice.

    The third one took the opposite approach of the first attempt and tried to make it extremely "adult". I think this has been the most successful approach, but its limited its fan base to a niche audience as a result.

    I have actually seen a handful of subtitled episodes that hardly changed a thing and honestly I liked it better. Its a much more balanced show, similar to the Simpsons, but with a Japanese focused Satire.

    I'm not sure why they didn't just try a dub closer to the original but my best guess is that they just felt it was a show that could never achieve mass appeal outside of East Asia without some tweaks.

    I wish they would at least release DVDs with english subtitles for the newer episodes. Oh well.