Popularity by Region
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Posted 9/2/12
One Piece, Toriko, and Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. These three titles have a few things in common. They all run (or ran in Jojo's case) in Weekly Jump , they all have a mostly upbeat tone, and they are all immensely popular in Japan. Toriko actually beat Bleach in popularity. So why hasn't that popularity followed them into the western world? Is it a matter of different values by region? So feel free to elaborate.
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21 / M / Norway
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Posted 9/3/12
Well hmm I havent watched Toriko, and Jojo's Bizarre Adventure but am at episode 460 at One Piece and I really like it but I dont know I am not the biggest fan of the art stayl for One Piece but I have grown to like it. I think first impressions are very importent and One Piece (the anime) is very slow going in the beginning and things doesent really start before like ep 100. As for Bleach and Naruto they start fast and you wanne keep following the action and drama of the characters I guess
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29 / M / Sao Paulo, Brazil
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Posted 9/3/12
for One Piece i'd say it's because of Sanji's smoking habits. the anime and the manga are just so awesome that there's no way it would be less popular than DBZ and Naruto if it wasn't for the fear of exposing kids to adult material. Hey I'm not saying it should be MORE popular (it should), but at least just as.

Here in Brazil there was a HUGE Saint Seiya boom in the early 90's, something that never happened in the US, I wonder why.
Some really good anime only get good audience and praise on the west (Baccanno! was a flop in japan, for example). I guess you can't really make rules for these kind of things, but i'd say anything remotely good that gets a good timeslot on tv or press will get somewhat popular.
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26 / F / irst
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Posted 9/3/12
Different cultures have different interests and ideas about what makes good/interesting/appropriate entertainment. So it's no surprise that different franchises will be received differently in different places. And on the flip side, I know that some which are really popular in the US aren't very popular in Japan, much to fans' chagrin (they want Japan to continue a series, but since it's not popular there, then it probably won't be).
Posted 9/3/12 , edited 9/3/12
I think what ruined One Piece's popularity in the States for example, is the HORRIBLE dub, courtesy of 4Kids which utterly butchered the series. And also, at the same time series like Inuyasha and Naruto were massive hits, and people were drawn to those, leaving One Piece behind. Another thing was that the art style is not attractive, so naturally people were not drawn with their eyes to it. Inuyasha and Naruto both were massively hyped up by word of mouth and anime/manga media so once again, they had big chances of winning the majority over which is what happened. All of these factors played a big part in under-popularity towards One Piece.

For example, despite the horrible dub, what made Sailor Moon so outrageously popular in the states (and in and out of Japan) was the concept, and time it was released. A group of pretty, strong, magical girls fighting together for the sake of saving the world had just not been done, and it became so popular in America for example, because 1) it was an action show directed towards girls, 2) was the show and manga that made anime popular because it was pretty much the only thing of its kind running at that time in the States, 3) the use of magic, costumes, transformation sequences all added to the immense popularity of the show that STILL exists today.

I don't know about Torkio, but I have heard about Jo Jo's Bizarre Adventure. Perhaps it is because of the art style, or the fact that it is an older series which is why it isn't popular. And it's barely known here in the States from what I have seen.

The same thing happens in reverse: series which aren't/or are not as popular in Japan become massively popular outside of Japan.

The anime for Fullmetal Alchemist/Brotherhood is LOVED as a classic in America, but in Japan its not amazingly popular and does not commend that sort of "reverence". The Vision of Escaflowne is another series which was moderately popular in Japan, but very popular in America, and is still remembered today. Cowboy Bebop, while fairly popular in Japan was and is outrageously well known in the States and an absolute classic of the highest caliber. Elfen Lied is another famous mention, as is Trigun.

Baccanno! was unpopular in Japan as was the anime for Deadman Wonderland (which was a huge failure) but are both popular in the States.

An opposite is for example, Cardcaptor Sakura. Amazingly popular in Japan, while it's still known and loved in the States (in both horribled dubbed/un-dubbed forms), it will never reach nor have the same amount of status that Sailor Moon had/has.

Another example is the characters themselves: subservient/ docile/ the "Yamato Nadeshiko" woman/girl stereotype is LOVED in Japan, but outside of Japan? Not so much. Girly, pretty-boys "bishonen" are again loved in Japan, but manly-men, ass-kickes and "the more violent the better" type of man are pretty much worshiped in the West.

Different people like different things; different countries appreciate different things; different generations, different cultures are drawn to different things. That's what keeps things interesting and diverse.


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Posted 9/9/12 , edited 9/9/12
This is one topic discussed in Felipe Smith's (not safe for work) comics series Peepo Choo.

Popularity is an elusive thing, and difficult to quantify. What's popular today might be regarded as overhyped trash in a month. Yesterday's trash show might be regarded as a nostalgic classic in the near future. A company can try to drum up support by marketing its product... but if the product isn't interesting, then the efforts just amount to polishing a turd.

In France, there were dubbed and televised versions of City Hunter, Kimagure Orange Road, and Saint Seiya... all within a couple years of when the shows were made. I don't know if French-speaking fans still remember the franchises to this day. But if you grew up speaking English, then you might not have heard of these three series except for small communities of dedicated fans, VHS fansubs, or some legit DVD / VHS / trade paperbacks which weren't in print for very long.
Posted 9/27/12
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