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Old 2013-04-15, 19:54   Link #81
Triple_R
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I agree with Sackett on Madoka Magica.

I also think that Nanoha could be mainstreamed with some edits, and pitching it at a young female audience.

A lot of the all-girls shows aimed at otakus could conceivably be pitched to young female audiences if marketed well and maybe edited slightly. It's not hard for me to see where teenage girls could like something like K-On!, for example.
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Old 2013-04-15, 19:58   Link #82
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The core problem is that to most people here anime=cartoons which is "children's entertainment", even though shows like South Park, Futurama etc... have proven otherwise, those are considered the exceptions rather than the rule.
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Old 2013-04-15, 20:08   Link #83
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In the end it's still the same isn't it?

Dark, gritty and edgy equals easier to accept.
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Old 2013-04-15, 20:08   Link #84
creb
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Originally Posted by jdennis007 View Post
The core problem is that to most people here anime=cartoons which is "children's entertainment", even though shows like South Park, Futurama etc... have proven otherwise, those are considered the exceptions rather than the rule.
I see this thrown around a lot, and I think it ignores the real reason anime tends not to enter most people's view in America, despite having no issues with South Park, Futurama, etc.

An individual anime production like Cowboy Bebop may sometimes gain some moderate mainstream appeal, but in general, there is a stigma of perversion (the creepy kind, not the "good" kind) around the term.

I don't think it has anything to do with them just being cartoons. In fact, I'd argue the few anime with mainstream success in America are NOT necessarily thought of as anime at all, as the term "anime" tends to have negative connotations to non-otaku/fans.

Most, if not all, long term western fans come to accept things like panty shots of 12 year old girls is "normal" and if we're not into such things, have become good at ignoring it. But, to a neophyte, it can be quite jarring. It may not be fair to tar an entire industry with one brush, but when people are new to something, that's exactly what they tend to do.
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Old 2013-04-15, 20:19   Link #85
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I also think that Nanoha could be mainstreamed with some edits, and pitching it at a young female audience.

A lot of the all-girls shows aimed at otakus could conceivably be pitched to young female audiences if marketed well and maybe edited slightly. It's not hard for me to see where teenage girls could like something like K-On!, for example.
Well, this goes back to the point raised earlier, that when people are talking about "mainstream" here they're mostly talking about shows aimed at adults. If you're talking about making anime more popular by aiming them at children (or bringing over kids' shows), then there's already a long history of this, and it still happens today.

Personally, as I said before, I'm still somewhat sceptical that there's a whole ton of shows that are good candidates for this sort of market shift, and that these shows really have that much more potential to find space in that crowded market than in the collector one they're already in. (In the end it's not different: just because a show exists that could be marketed at a certain broader demographic doesn't mean that you can actually pull it off.)


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Originally Posted by creb View Post
Most, if not all, long term western fans come to accept things like panty shots of 12 year old girls is "normal" and if we're not into such things, have become good at ignoring it. But, to a neophyte, it can be quite jarring. It may not be fair to tar an entire industry with one brush, but when people are new to something, that's exactly what they tend to do.
Well, it's specific content that needs to go mainstream, not "the anime medium" (or however you want to describe it). For example, (even though this goes back to a "mainstream with kids" example), a show like Pokemon was popular because it was Pokemon. Likewise with things like Yugioh and others. The association with this broader category we call "anime" really doesn't matter, nor does its apparent distinction from "cartoons". The fact that it's animated in Japan isn't the selling point, it's the broad appeal of the content.

So in the end, it doesn't matter so much what stereotypes Western fans may have of "anime" because the mainstream just has to accept the specific product, not everything it's associated with.

This still doesn't bypass how incredibly hard it is to get someone to give a "serious adult animated show" a chance when it's so outside the norm generally speaking. It doesn't really matter whether it's animated in Japan, North America, Europe, or wherever else in that sense. Animated shows aimed at kids (that have a little hook for adults) are much more common (but still not what's being called "mainstream" in the context of this thread).
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Old 2013-04-15, 20:38   Link #86
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The main reason anime can't gain a footing in the west is that it's not financially viable. I think we have enough of an audience here, even if it's niche, but unlike Japan we don't have people willing to shell out hundreds of dollars every season for the anime they liked. So long as the industry focuses on this economic model (Which may be the most viable for them currently, I won't argue differently) which is more like a collector's market, it ensures than anime won't be produced here.

Anyhow...

I think the only real way for anime to be more mainstream (appeal to adults) is for all of its titles to go the Ghibi route. That's not something I'm willing to accept for the entire industry, because then we'll lose out on stuff like last season's Shinsekai Yori.
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Old 2013-04-15, 22:18   Link #87
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
I think the only real way for anime to be more mainstream (appeal to adults) is for all of its titles to go the Ghibi route. That's not something I'm willing to accept for the entire industry, because then we'll lose out on stuff like last season's Shinsekai Yori.
Well, consider members of the current generation to reach into the 50's -- where a good chunk have been exposed to the medium -- and by that point, they will have some amount of money to spend.
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Old 2013-04-15, 22:41   Link #88
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Feel free to correct me, but I believe that "Otakuland" anime is no more mainstream in Japan than it is anywhere else in the world.
Yeah, that's...kind of the problem here.

People overestimate how "mainstream" anime actually is in Japan. Watching anime as an adult is considered childish in Japan (not the same with manga, which I always found funny, but that's how it is). Stuff like Gundam has mainstream traction in Japan, sure, but that's because lots of people grew up watching them as kids. (There's also GITS...which is kinda mainstream maybe? Not too sure about that one, tho it's definitely more mainstream than most anime.)
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*EDIT:
By the way, before anyone screams blue murder over this suggestion ("You see! That's what I warned you about going mainstream! No one's going to rob me of my moe anime! That's NEVAR going to happen. NEVARRR!!!"), I ask you to consider what I've suggested as "mainstream" content that would appeal to a broad range of adults, the likes of Usagi Drop, Hataraki Man or even Seirei no Moribito. I consider them mainstream, and none of them relied on cutesy anime tropes to be effective stories. I'm not asking for producers to stop making moe anime. I'm asking for creators to start targeting a wider audience with stories that have broader adult appeal.
You have a very broad and liberal definition of mainstream, my friend...

Actually, I think you're confusing manga popularity with anime popularity; manga is mainstream in Japan. Anime isn't (at least to adults). The social stigma to animation is actually probably worse in Japan than it is in North America, Australia and Europe/Russia.
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I agree with Sackett on Madoka Magica.

I also think that Nanoha could be mainstreamed with some edits, and pitching it at a young female audience.

A lot of the all-girls shows aimed at otakus could conceivably be pitched to young female audiences if marketed well and maybe edited slightly. It's not hard for me to see where teenage girls could like something like K-On!, for example.
Well, now we're talking about aiming at children...that's a whole different story altogether.

The problem with Madoka is because of the cute girls part. I'm sorry, but Americans will not take a dark and edgy show with cute girls too seriously. Of course, if you're talking about people that are already into anime...well, sure, Madoka is more mainstream than most anime currently, I'll give you that. And I CAN see it working as an Adult Swim show.

Nanoha...well, ok, marketing Season 1 (the TV version, NOT the Movie 1st) as a kids show is possible (4kids like cuts, tho not on the completely exterme side). Anything after that...well, A's does make ideal Adult Swim material, again, but then you're aiming for the adult market. I guess it could work that way, though...

K-On...I can see this being a success in the teen sector, sure. Tho I doubt anyone's in the mood to actually put it out on cable...

Actually...you made me think of something.

Anime will never be mainstream as in "you can easily talk to coworkers about it". Well, maybe not never, but the chance is really small.

But...if you're talking Adult Swim/Toonami mainstream, then hell, there's a LOT of anime that can easily fall into that category with minor edits. Late night moe shows even, yes, moe shows.

Madoka and Nanoha (every season of the TV series) can be both easily aired on AS after editing out the fanservice. Same with Shakugan No Shana, Toaru Majutsu no Index, Spice And Wolf, Elfen Lied (yes, it was rejected once, but the old CN was much more restrictive about stuff than today), Umineko, Higurashi, Chaos; Head, Steins; Gate, etc. etc. Shows like Haruhi Suzumiya and Railgun probably don't need any edits at all. And hell, you can even throw in some harem comedies like Shuffle and Haganai with some editing involved (since those shows have jokes that do appeal to AS viewers as well I can't see this working for drama like Clannad or White Album, just because those shows don't fit on AS.

Now, will it succeed in terms of viewership? Hard to know, and CN has failed with anime before. Maybe that ship already sailed and it's not coming back. Of course, it could also be due to CN's missteps with scheduling (which was a huge part of the previous failure too). But do we know for sure? No. The fact that Toonami got revived means that there's probably some hope in there, and while we don't know if moe anime with action/dark elements will appeal to the AS crowd, we don't know it won't either. (Adult Swim is the only place where they can really air shows like this and expand on them, I think; Nick At Nite is their only competition in the US, and it has never done anime before (plus it tends to be a lot more restrictive about content than CN/AS), so Adult Swim is probably the only place where this could work, IMO.)

(Apologies to readers from other countries...I can only state how it might work in the US.)
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Old 2013-04-15, 22:44   Link #89
backbone
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Originally Posted by Chaos2Frozen View Post
In the end it's still the same isn't it?

Dark, gritty and edgy equals easier to accept.
(=_=)

Oh man, please, could you please stop such cynicism? I know that you've gotten sick of all those complaints about anime trend in recent years, but seeing you constantly posting pretty much the same thing, i couldn't help but felt disturbed by them.

No offence to you
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Old 2013-04-15, 23:27   Link #90
Chaos2Frozen
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Originally Posted by backbone View Post
(=_=)

Oh man, please, could you please stop such cynicism? I know that you've gotten sick of all those complaints about anime trend in recent years, but seeing you constantly posting pretty much the same thing, i couldn't help but felt disturbed by them.

No offence to you
Notice how most if not all if examples of Anime that might do well as mainstream given in this thread falls under that category....
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Old 2013-04-15, 23:37   Link #91
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Originally Posted by Chaos2Frozen View Post
Notice how most if not all if examples of Anime that might do well as mainstream given in this thread falls under that category....
Notice several lengthy paragraphs about American culture and other such things on top of all of those examples...

Also, I want to add that Studio Ghibli works aren't all rainbows and unicorns. You all may be forgetting, but their work is actually a bit dark, sometimes quite dark indeed.
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Old 2013-04-15, 23:56   Link #92
Chaos2Frozen
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Notice several lengthy paragraphs about American culture and other such things on top of all of those examples...
What does explaining the culture changes ?

Last edited by Chaos2Frozen; 2013-04-16 at 00:17.
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Old 2013-04-16, 01:04   Link #93
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Originally Posted by speedyexpress48 View Post

Madoka and Nanoha (every season of the TV series) can be both easily aired on AS after editing out the fanservice.
I'm sure the movie of Madoka is less fanservice (probably, with the exception of some scenes)....

For Nanoha, yep, the transformation scenes probably need to be edited... or sped up super fast that they can't keep up....
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Old 2013-04-16, 03:01   Link #94
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I really can't believe in "if you build it, they will come."
And if you don't build them, you've got nothing to sell. Chicken-and-egg problem.

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Really, the key is who you're going to get to fund these "mainstream projects" and what's in it for them (and how much time and investment will it take before they start getting their money back). The second is, of course, how you're going to make money off of these viewers in a direct sense. From my point of view, the demand is too low, the cost to market is too high, and the ROI is far too uncertain at least for animated TV series designed to reach this "broader adult" demographic, because you still generally need to get them on TV and in a timeslot where that audience can watch it. If the concept is so good that it can appeal to a broad cross-section of people in that format, I'd really wonder if it wouldn't be better to make it live-action, at least to reach a broader domestic market.
I did touch on this point, that the anime industry in Japan isn't really geared towards mainstream entertainment. The bulk of anime is meant to be advertisement for existing product, be it manga or toys. That's the way the business model works. Which is to say that the Japanese industry doesn't appear to see profit in shows for mainstream audiences.

You're right too about stories with broad appeal tending to be better suited for live-action drama. Animation is at its strongest when paired with fantasy, as it gives producers the greatest possible freedom to work with visual concepts that are impossible in live-action, or otherwise prohibitively expensive. That is not to say that animation cannot work with "realistic" drama, but it would mean working towards a different goal, like using "hyper-realism" to serve a dramatic theme.

So where does that leave us? Here:
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Animated movies are perhaps a bit more feasible (and there are animated movies released every year in Japan that can appeal to a "broader adult audience"), but when Disney can't make even the best Ghibli films work overseas, I'd really want a clearer understanding of what they're doing wrong.
Animated movies seem to be the key way to market mainstream anime in Japan. TV anime, on the other hand, tends to be heavily associated with merchandise targeted at core/niche consumers (that is, the otaku).

As for why movie anime aren't successful in the United States, like you say, it does appear to be boil down to botched marketing.

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You have a very broad and liberal definition of mainstream, my friend...
I don't think so. I just happen to regard "mainstream" differently from you. Like Triple_R, I think of "mainstream" as the kind of things everyday people chat about at the water-cooler, things that get reported in mainstream media. The anime may even be an indie production, but if its content has broad enough appeal, I would consider it "mainstream".

On that basis, I'm very sceptical of the "mainstream" appeal of shows like Madoka Magica. Like someone else mentioned, there's very little chance that mainstream audiences would take characters dressed in frilly costumes seriously. The casual viewer can't be expected to know that it's meant to be a deconstruction of a very well-established anime sub-genre. It would require intimate familiarity with anime tropes, which to me is a significant barrier to entry for casual viewers.
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Old 2013-04-16, 06:19   Link #95
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post

On that basis, I'm very sceptical of the "mainstream" appeal of shows like Madoka Magica. Like someone else mentioned, there's very little chance that mainstream audiences would take characters dressed in frilly costumes seriously.
How's that any weirder than this?:



Or this?:




People have no problem with a man dressed up as a bat fighting against a disfigured clown, and they have no problem with a team that includes a very colorfully-attired WWII soldier and a big green hulking giant and a Norse god wielding a hammer, but they draw the line at magically-empowered teenaged girls in frilly dresses?

Most of the Madoka Magica girls have costumes that could pass for standard super-hero costumes.


This would be the perfect time to try to have magical girl anime go mainstream. Because the distance between your average American superhero and your average Japanese magical girl is honestly not that big. And American superheroes have never been more popular than they are right now.
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Old 2013-04-16, 06:25   Link #96
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How's that any weirder than this?:



Or this?:




People have no problem with a man dressed up as a bat fighting against a disfigured clown, and they have no problem with a team that includes a very colorfully-attired WWII soldier and a big green hulking giant and a Norse god wielding a hammer, but they draw the line at magically-empowered teenaged girls in frilly dresses?

Most of the Madoka Magica girls have costumes that could pass for standard super-hero costumes.


This would be the perfect time to try to have magical girl anime go mainstream. Because the distance between your average American superhero and your average Japanese magical girl is honestly not that big. And American superheroes have never been more popular than they are right now.
Comic books were pretty mainstream starting like the 30's (maybe even earlier) and because of that super heroes have become a part of American culture though
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Old 2013-04-16, 06:30   Link #97
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Comic books were pretty mainstream starting like the 30's (maybe even earlier) and because of that super heroes have become a part of most American culture though
Yes, and that effectively paves the way to people accepting heroic characters in flashy and highly unusual costumes. A girl in a frilly dress is hardly any more unusual than a man dressed up as a bat.

And like Sackett wrote, the concept of the magical girl is hardly alien to western audiences.

You have Bewitched, She-Ra, and Sailor Moon. All of these were totally mainstream amongst western audiences. My two younger sisters loved Sailor Moon every bit as much as I loved certain superheroes.
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Old 2013-04-16, 06:34   Link #98
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And like Sackett wrote, the concept of the magical girl is hardly alien to western audiences.

You have Bewitched, She-Ra, and Sailor Moon. All of these were totally mainstream amongst western audiences.
Bewitched had an actual witch, She-ra was hardly popular and it was in fact pretty much a bust.

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Yes, and that effectively paves the way to people accepting heroic characters in flashy and highly unusual costumes. A girl in a frilly dress is hardly any more unusual than a man dressed up as a bat.
Cultural difference compared to 80+ years ago and now. Back then you had all sorts of "goofy" characters and some of them managed to become icons now and that's why super heroes are more easily accepted.
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Old 2013-04-16, 06:39   Link #99
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Bewitched had an actual witch, She-ra was hardly popular and it was in fact pretty much a bust.
Madoka Magica had actual witches too.

She-Ra enjoyed decent ratings. It was cancelled due to Mattel bungling the toy-line, not able to make up its mind between going a "Barbie" route or going a "He-Man" route (He-Man being She-Ra's brother), and so you got this Frankenstein-esque hybrid approach that just didn't appeal to boys or girls.


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Cultural difference compared to 80+ years ago and now. Back then you had all sorts of "goofy" characters and some of them managed to become icons now and that's why super heroes are more easily accepted.
So what "cultural differences" are you pointing to here? Clearly, people are still willing to accept "goofy" characters in flashy costumes.

Also, the most popular Marvel comic characters debuted in the 60s. That's only 50 years. Much less than your 80+ years.
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Old 2013-04-16, 06:45   Link #100
hyl
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She-Ra enjoyed decent ratings. It was cancelled due to Mattel bungling the toy-line, not able to make up its mind between going a "Barbie" route or going a "He-Man" route (He-Man being She-Ra's brother), and so you got this Frankenstein-esque hybrid approach that just didn't appeal to boys or girls.
Her serie was essentially a gimmick trying to cash in on the succes of He-man while trying to increase their audience (pretty much failing at that) to sell their toyline to girls as well

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
So what "cultural differences" are you pointing to here? Clearly, people are still willing to accept "goofy" characters in flashy costumes.

Also, the most popular Marvel comic characters debuted in the 60s. That's only 50 years. Much less than your 80+ years.
Batman (1939) and superman (1938). Not to mention those were in actual comic book format, it was slightly earlier when they started appearing in newspapers

As for cultural differences, i don't have to remind you what historically happened in the 30's .

Last edited by CrowKenobi; 2013-04-16 at 15:01. Reason: Please use the "edit" button to add content to your post instead of double posting.
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