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The UK and anime (and what little of it there is).
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20 / M / Eng Land
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Posted 3/2/14 , edited 1/25/16
As I'm sure some of you are aware, more so the guys and girls in the UK, anime over here is incredibly limited to the point that it's nearly non-existent. We have kid shows such as Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokémon and I think there was Digimon at one point, but that's about it; at least where TV is concerned. Some foreigners such as the US who I get this website is most greatly occupied by are probably thinking 'But there are tons of shows here on Crunchyroll, especially this season, why not watch those?'. Well I would if I could, but even then very few of the shows that are licensed here on CR actually make it over to the UK as well.

When it comes to manga you'll be hard pressed to find those as well. I saw about 5 or 6 in town once in a small shop, but that was all. Movies? We've had a few Hayao Miyazaki films shown in the past, but cinemas are usually more dominated by Disney and Pixar when it comes to the animation front. Thing is, the UK isn't really very educated on what exactly anime is. As far as most our citizens are concerned it's usually just cartoons for children.

In one of my English classes we had to review certain sources, one of which was a photocopy of the back of a Fullmetal Alchemist novel. When the teacher asked what it was, to make it simple one of the girls replied 'it's an anime' to which she said 'Oh, like Pokémon?'... Well yes, Fullmetal Alchemist is like Pokémon in the sense that Coronation Street is like The Matrix because it has human people acting it. To them it's usually a lot of weird Japanese/Chinese porn in a funny or annoying language, which no-one can understand because HEY, it's made by those nutters that make all the weird adverts, right?

I'm not denying that anime doesn't have its weird moments, it most certainly does. In fact a lot of them do, but for all the weird shows and strange things, there's definitely good stuff out there, and plenty of it is aimed at more mature viewers. But we don't get that. All we get are the kid shows, hence why all they know is the kid stuff and as such they think it's all aimed at children, though you can't really blame them for that if they've not taken the time to watch anything else, or even had the option to.

And then there's the price. Sure there are cheaper shows out there, but some can cost hundreds, a bit pricey for some visual entertainment. And this is the problem; for all the good anime stuff out there, there are a million and one problems turning people away from attempting to try the stuff. They wouldn't know what a Ghost In The Shell is, and probably think an Evangelion is some sort of foreign boat. To them the Japanese are a bunch of cruel, weird people with ninjas and samurai, and everyone looks the same. Their trademark is their slitty eyes, and their favourite words are 'Ching, chang, and chong'. Every time a Japanese game is announced on a gaming website over here 'This is child porn' and 'This is for lonely people with no lives, give me more of those sexy hairy muscle men in military gear to gun down generic terrorists' are comments I often see. No wonder Japan is drawn away from releasing their stuff over here with people like that, everyone is transformed into a detrimental racist.

Usually the UK is accepting of foreign culture. Food, clothing, knowledge of certain languages. Places like Spain, France or Germany are mentioned a lot, but the mention of Japan is enough to make most people either confused or annoyed, like they want to avoid even talking about the place as much as possible, at least in my experience. If you watch anime you haven't grown up, you're still watching cartoons. When I say I watch anime I think of things like Psycho Pass or Clannad, while they're thinking I'm talking about Pokémon and the like. Even then there's not really anything wrong with those shows, Pokémon is ace. It's a long running series and if those who grew up with it want to keep watching it today as the story continues then who can blame them? If you're attached to and invested in the characters and so on then that sounds like a mature and valid reason to watch. It's kind of like saying you're too old for your friends when you get down to it.

It's sad, really. I truly feel anime is a wonderful piece of modern culture that not enough people understand to even attempt to get involved in. It touches on mature subjects that western animation would rarely ever dare to get involved in. It weaves tales that no other medium really could. It has dedicated and passionate people behind it, fans and enthusiasts, cosplayers and collectors. It's just like any other form of entertainment when you get down to it, and as such it's a shame that the fans are teased and mocked for said interest. I'm not saying it needs to be a super popular phenomenon, just more popular than it is right now. Maybe it would be more popular if some of the more mature or well received shows like Death Note, Evangelion, Ghost In The Shell, or Cowboy Bebop were shown. Or maybe anime is niche for all the reasons I listed, maybe they're all valid enough reasons to turn the UK population away from anime eternally. Who knows?

But one thing's for sure. Even if they still don't want to watch it, at least they'll have a better idea of what is watched by those interested in it.

Edit: Before I get a lot of (and I can see this coming) 'this isn't just limited to the UK, you know?' it may not be, but I can't vouch for other countries which I don't live in. I can only be in one place at one time. I'm not saying places like the US or Sweden or wherever you are doesn't have a ton of people who dislike anime, I just can't say they do without having been there myself, and thus making an uneducated guess. This post is aimed more at residents of the UK as opposed to other foreign countries which I can't speak for. Still, feel free to post your thoughts and such regardless of where you're from.
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Posted 3/2/14
I've only seen one shop selling anime and manga in Bristol and that's ForbidenPlanet which is in town, no other shops sell it, gets a bit annoying but just have to deal with it.
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24 / M / Fairyland
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Posted 3/2/14
There are plenty of mature shows available in the UK like, Natsuyuki Rendezvous & Shin Sekai Yori (All I can think of in my head)

I think your view that the UK doesn't want anything associated with Japan is wrong. Look at the car culture, the 'JDM' brand is often over interpreted and used, but it's acknowledged by the enthusiasts. Many of which imports cars from Japan, I got myself an S15 Silvia because I liked it. Some may of course agree or disagree with their style.

At the end of the day, it all depends of personal preference, some either love anime or hate. Although you haven't looked deep enough in the Anime fanatics that lurk in the UK, last October there was a MCM Comic Con in Glasgow with a fantastic turn out and somewhere down south has another soon.
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Posted 3/2/14 , edited 3/2/14
I don't think these feeling are limited to the UK. True, it is fairly easy to get a hold of or watch anime/manga over here in the US, but it is still by and large a niche and less understood medium than most. Ultimately people are going to be into what catches their interest, or what other people say is good. Very few, especially around your age, are looking to break outside the mold and likely haven't completely developed their own taste profile yet. I'd say just keep doing your best to enjoy and spread the medium when appropriate...try to find some friends with similar interests(guessing there's no anime club at school, maybe some local groups you could look up through social networking?), show some non-anime friends/family things that you think they might enjoy(those you listed are good, especially Cowboy Bebop since it's a bit less anime-ey and closer to a western space opera...Studio Ghibli films tends to be a hit with everyone), maybe you can find some anime conventions that are a reasonable distance away by train or car? If you've never been to one they're a blast and it would definitely brighten up your outlook of this subject as there's always tons of super passionate people you can interact with and plenty of anime goods of course :P. Hope I helped a bit...this was educational to me. I always thought Europe was pretty big into anime, but maybe that's more so the other countries in the continent or I was just uninformed?
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20 / M / Eng Land
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Posted 3/2/14 , edited 3/2/14

acljun wrote:

There are plenty of mature shows available in the UK like, Natsuyuki Rendezvous & Shin Sekai Yori (All I can think of in my head)

I think your view that the UK doesn't want anything associated with Japan is wrong. Look at the car culture, the 'JDM' brand is often over interpreted and used, but it's acknowledged by the enthusiasts. Many of which imports cars from Japan, I got myself an S15 Silvia because I liked it. Some may of course agree or disagree with their style.

At the end of the day, it all depends of personal preference, some either love anime or hate. Although you haven't looked deep enough in the Anime fanatics that lurk in the UK, last October there was a MCM Comic Con in Glasgow with a fantastic turn out and somewhere down south has another soon.


Oh I know. The UK definitely isn't without its anime fans. I just think the biggest problem is that not enough of them are educated on it outside of knowing there's some stuff on the kid channel. Of course, most of this is just how I've personally experienced things. I've only ever heard of about 2 people ever going to Japan where I live, and only know of about 6 or 7 who've watched anime. Also, I get there ARE mature shows, but there are hardly any in comparison to somewhere like the US. How many shows that came out this season didn't we get access to? I'm not saying we don't get any, we just get very, very few. As for cars, they're generally a neccessity in life where anime is not, so people are more inclined to try out Japanese variants in that regards, as opposed to in forms of optional entertainment. It's also worth mentioning I'm talking about the majority of shows being available on TV. I've never seen Natsuyuki or Shin Sekai on TV over here at all.
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25 / M / Inside Lorreen's...
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Posted 3/2/14
Even though CR and FUNi, and other companies I am sure, help bring Anime and Anime goods to the states, overall the general populace is just as dense and unaware of what Anime is as what you describe, most probably think they are cartoons and even the ones who don't just compare it to stuff like Pokemon or DBZ or whatever else. Out of everyone I know, probably less than 20 know what Anime is, and probably only a half of that would consider themselves fans of it.

Where I live is a fairly large metropolitan area, I live 15 mins from the downtown area, give or take with traffic. From where I live going all the way to downtown and even to the next town 30 mins away where one of the universities are... I can only name like 3 maybe 4 shops that sell anything related to Anime. Only like 2 of those sell Manga as well. Though luckily the bookstore I go to often sells Manga, so I get lucky there.

Most of the Anime and Anime goods I have seen in those stores is just as overpriced as you say as well. $75-$200 for Anime seasons, simple figures, or other assorted goods.

But also no matter where you look there are going to be people who just don't understand someone else's interests. I know a lot of people scratch their heads and think people are wasting their times with "Insert City Here" Comic Con's, or X's Gaming/Technology Conventions, or.. well I could keep going to any sort of convention or cosplay group, or really anything. Everyone just doesn't have the same tastes.

Anyway, while I can't really comment on the whole UK vs US getting more or less Anime or not, especially since just from CR it is clear that US gets the majority. When it comes to the general knowledge of Anime, I don't think it is that much different anywhere really.
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20 / M / Sweden
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Posted 3/2/14


I don't live in the UK but I live in Sweden and both Sweden and the UK are parts of Europe so I guess I can post this here since the anime situation in the entirety of Europe is the same...

Here in Sweden there was a big company a few years ago that did localization work for anime and you could see their anime DVD's everywhere. However they've stopped localization work and moved onto other projects witch is sad for the anime otaku fanbase in Sweden.

However Swedish anime fans were lucky when one of the major anime and manga retailers decided to import anime (and manga) from the UK meaning that both Sweden and the UK are on the same boat when it comes to anime.
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20 / F / UK
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Posted 3/2/14
Waterstones book store and HMV music/film store stock aload of manga/anime sections from what I've seen around.
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20 / F / Uk
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Posted 3/2/14
^This is true, but have you seen the prices for anime box sets?! If you go waterstones or WHSmith, even so, only the most popular manga is there, not many new ones are actually sold. You can find maybe 1 or 2 new manga novels every year but its still limited.


I live in Manchester and there's a place called Afflecks Palace which has lot of mini markets with people selling their goods. There are like 3 or 4 stalls that sell anime related merchandise like bags, jewellery and cosplay. And theres always comic con which comes during the summer, people sell LOTS of anime related stuff, but its still extremely overpriced.

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22 / M / England
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Posted 3/2/14 , edited 3/2/14
I have to say before I started watching anime I was one of those people that thought "Pokémon" when I heard the word anime. I started watching less than a year ago when my friend told me to watch sword art online. Despite what people have said about it I thought it was a good first anime to introduce me to the anime medium. In my local shopping centre there are a few places like forbidden planet and estatic arts to purchase physical anime goods. If I want blu-rays or dvds I find it cheaper to go to licensers websites or amazon. From what I know there are four websites for UK residents to stream anime legally right?
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Posted 3/2/14
There is a HMV close to where i live that had a whole dvd rack full of anime. There were other HMV's with this sort of thing too, its a shame most shut down.
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49 / M / Sussex UK
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Posted 3/2/14
There was a collection of anime, released a few years ago by manga force. I stopped collecting it after a while because the order they sent the dvds out made no sense.
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20 / M / Eng Land
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Posted 3/2/14

reasons94 wrote:

I have to say before I started watching anime I was one of those people that thought "Pokémon" when I heard the word anime. I started watching less than a year ago when my friend told me to watch sword art online. Despite what people have said about it I thought it was a good first anime to introduce me to the anime medium. In my local shopping centre there are a few places like forbidden planet and estatic arts to purchase physical anime goods. If I want blu-rays or dvds I find it cheaper to go to licensers websites or amazon. From what I know there are four websites for UK residents to stream anime legally right?


Well I know two of the big names are definitely Crunchyroll and Funimation, and I don't doubt there are other websites out there, it's just that of the large quantity of shows released each season, not many make it over here for free streaming, you usually have to buy it. The nearest place I know that sells anything remotely anime is Blockbuster, and even there there isn't a lot. The price is such an odd topic because some stuff is £20 but some is a lot more, and when you may enjoy something really cheap way more than something expensive it kind of makes it hard to find the great quality stuff given that price doesn't really correlate to that as it would for most things.
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22 / M / England
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Posted 3/2/14 , edited 3/2/14

dannywoodchip wrote:

There is a HMV close to where i live that had a whole dvd rack full of anime. There were other HMV's with this sort of thing too, its a shame most shut down.



The only anime I found at my nearest HMV was the fate stay/night Blu-ray collection and nothing else. I went in at a bad time didn't I?
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22 / M / England
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Posted 3/2/14
Crunchyroll
Wakanim
Animax uk
Daisuki
^^^^^^^^^^
These are the sites I mentioned, wakanim and animax have their new shows free for at least a fortnight. Daisuki is completely free but has a small uk catalog.
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