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Old 2007-02-06, 12:26   Link #1
Yukinokesshou
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Why is anime more popular in Southern Europe than Northern Europe?

Among the general public, that is.

Anime has pretty large fanbases anywhere and everywhere. But ask a random kid whether he or she has heard of Sailor Moon and Full Metal Alchemist... and you're more likely to hear "yes" in France and "no" in the UK.

There seems to be something of a south-to-north gradient, plus a dividing line around the border of Belgium and the Netherlands.

My friends from south to north...

Antonio from Italy: "All kids in Italy grow up on Japanese animation! Sadly, this annoying woman called Cristina d'Avena messes up all the songs."

Lilianne from France: "Ooh, I love anime!! I watch it all the time. And everyone at my primary school used to collect those Sailor Moon cards back in the days, eheheh!! Ooh, do you know about this series, that series, etc."

Jan from the Netherlands: "What, Dragon Ball was popular in the early 90s? We only knew about it last year! And what is this Totoro thing you talk about?"

Most of my British friends:
"Huh? Japanese cartoons? The ones with the big eyes and stuff?"

Of course, as I have mentioned, anime has its fans in every country. At every British university, there is an anime club.

However, it does seem to be true that anime is shown more on public television in Southern Europe than in Northern Europe.

Any explanations?
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Old 2007-02-06, 15:21   Link #2
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The only way you see anime in the uk is via SKY/Cable and once in a while one might be on childrens tele at 3:30 (cardcaptors, pokemon, etc...). It used to get shown quite a lot 10 years ago on terestial tele but poor ratings (due to the midnight time slot) got them taken away.

But the annoying thing is is that the anime fanbase is quite big in the UK (im more than happy to bet that its far bigger than anywhere else in europe) but not many places actually stock a large enough range. So most just download it and leave it at that.

If retailers like HMV, Virgin, etc... pulled their fingers out and stocked a multitude of titles in all their outlets i reckon you would start to see the anime fans come out the closet and many more check it out.
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Old 2007-02-06, 15:26   Link #3
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Well I don't think the poor dubbing helps situations, or the way it's marketted (a large majority of anime is shown on the "Kids" channels). Not sure if the story is the same in other countries but over here to most people I know they consider anime as "stupid cartoons", with stuff like Pokemon being the most recognisable it doesn't help anime build a mature fanbase easily. To be honest up until a year or two back I had the same viewpoint as well, some friends at school used to watch Dragon Ball Z and I used to think "Your a teenager, why are you watching kiddy cartoons?", I can probably understand why now.
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Old 2007-02-06, 15:44   Link #4
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i can explain a little with why this country doesnt show much anime and such on tv nor explores its fanbase etc. the country i live in.. Holland

your quote was correct, but we never had Dragon Ball on TV, only DBZ and it aired on Cartoon Network, for starters our channels arent always the same, we have fox kids now names jetix and always one more kids channel which would eithe be cartoon network or nickelodeon, it went from cartoon network to nothing and then to nickelodeon, no we have only jetix for cartoons...

although jetix does send out things like Pokemon and maybe some lose projects they keep in mind that it is more the younger crowd that watches its shows.. thus our dutch channel sees nothing in airing things not for the appropiate age, thus the last things that were shown was Oban Star Racers, japanese coorperation and Galactic Football... though not really considered anime..

i became to believe that holland is getting in a small uproar when it comes to manga and anime, for starters coorporation with the french jetix which has anime show sont heir channel, not only that a publishing compagny started bringing out manga in dutch, these are naruto, alice 19th and shaman king, together picking up the once banned series of yu gi oh(meaning i can finally finish that collection, it was too violent so they took it out stores but it is back now)

the main problem i believe is marketing... because our channels only shows htings for a younger crowd it is hard for people to believe that there are things for older age cathegories as well, people still think that only things as pokemon and dbz come out of Japan and really do not care about what other manga fans read.. its all just the same in their eyes..
also there hasnt been much marketing for anime and manga based things, although manga is int he bookstores.. there is no advertising on it at all.. so people do not know what it is about and simply walk past it...
information is also a cause.. i read the insie of the naruto volume 1 and it only says things as naruto wants to be hokage.. the highest ninja rank in his villag follow as h makes his journey... now seriously that is kids talk.. it wont attract an older crowd unless they already know the show and probably own the manga to its current release date int he USA already..
though i still believe naruto will be ont he jetix airing list eventually... but things such as Bleach will never make it because of its more adult like violence etc. the characters look older, loads of blood.. dark themed.. naruto has younger looking characters and is moe considered in a dbz style to me.. with that meaning the rating.. (dont flame me, its an opinion..)

what else.. aah release dates..
our country would not air somehting that has not proven itself to have been super populair in other countries such as the USA, Jetix mostly airs shows of its own channel fromt he USA with a small limitation of series with loads of reruns.. once or twice a year they get several new series and get rid of older ones, but to pick they look at things from age, rating, episode amounth, where it came from etc. liek i said i believe naruto is most likely going to air at the end of the year because it has been proven that is is super populair not only in japan but also int he usa.. yet it has to get the crowd going overseas aswell with a younger crowd, what may seem fantastic to a 16 year old is most likely boring to a 10-12 year old..
thus they pick somehting for younger crowds because jetix hasnt put itself ont he market for teens, more for middle shcoolers and possible 1-2nd year highschoolers (in our country from 8-14 yea olds)
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Old 2007-02-06, 15:47   Link #5
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Actually, I think I have even simpler explanation. The exposure to Japanese animation is proportionate to number of Japanese tourist the country receives per year.
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Old 2007-02-06, 17:26   Link #6
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Heres an interesting point. A few years back Sci-fi UK held an anime night for a while (saturdays/thursdays) where it showed NGE, Nadesico, Blue Gender and 1 random movie.

During this time anime dvd sales increased and more anime has being published in the uk by a multitude of companies since then. I cant help but feel that if this went a step further (or hell even if scifi just restarted anime nights with new anime) then anime popularity will soar. Especially if Channel 4 or BBC2 showed some of the more adult series (Blood+, Hellsing, etc...) at around 10pm

But in the uk anime is seen as childish after things like pokemon because they have not had a chance to see real anime. And the real anime fans dont talk about it outload for fear of being mocked and automatically being labled as someone who watches kiddy tv shows.

Im quite load and proud about anime and think everyone should watch it as there will always be something they will fall in love with but i know for a fact that many of my friends enjoy it but dont talk about it as they, deep down, are afraid of being mocked.
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Old 2007-02-06, 17:36   Link #7
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I think it's easy to understand,for some reason TVs in France,Italy and spain started to show animes in the 80s.So a generation of kids watched Saint Seiya("the knights of the zodiac" in my country or "Les chevaliers du Zodiac"what a cheesy title) Dragon Ball and plenty of other shows.

Some stoped watching and others never did.

Now why did it start in the 80s and in southern europe?no idea.
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Old 2007-02-06, 18:00   Link #8
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Well i come from the netherlands i did watch dbz but it just isnt much one problaby because its too hard too voice over all the freaking series also sailor moon was on but not known at wich times it all depends if there is a cable specially for anime but there isnt one around in nl
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Old 2007-02-06, 22:07   Link #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeusIrae View Post
I think it's easy to understand,for some reason TVs in France,Italy and spain started to show animes in the 80s.So a generation of kids watched Saint Seiya("the knights of the zodiac" in my country or "Les chevaliers du Zodiac"what a cheesy title) Dragon Ball and plenty of other shows.

Some stoped watching and others never did.

Now why did it start in the 80s and in southern europe?no idea.
Let me repeat my claim again. More Japanese tourists = more exposure to the latest Japanese animes. Someone should also investigate whether the cultural exchange between southern Europe and Japan is greater than that of northern Europe and Japan, for things rarely happen by itself. I do know that Japan and Korea likes France and Italy better than England and Sweden.
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Old 2007-02-06, 22:24   Link #10
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Originally Posted by Yukinokesshou View Post
Of course, as I have mentioned, anime has its fans in every country. At every British university, there is an anime club.

Wrong. Mine doesn't. Then again, mine doesn't even have a sports centre

There is a divide, yes. I think it's partly the culture as well. I can only talk about France as that's the country I know best out of the other European countries, but France already had a booming comic market (for children AND adults) before manga and subsequently anime made it big over there. I bought my first manga in France and there was a lot more choice there than I've managed to find in the UK (even though Waterstones has started stocking some within the last year or two).

It's slowly changing though. HMV have dedicated anime sections now, some of them quite substantial (my local one has three shelves just of anime) as it becomes more of a market in this country - but still a long way to go before the national attitude towards anime and manga is changed.
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Old 2007-02-07, 02:57   Link #11
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Pardon me, Im a yankee but I've read about anime fandom worldwide before. I believe france italy and spain should have a stronger fanbase then others because of terrestrial broadcast networks showing a fair amount of anime during the daytime in the 70s and 80s. Correct me if anything here sounds incorrect;
Italy had lupin on mediaset (and i think they had a theatrical release of a couple of films)
France had Grendizer (Goldorak en francais) on Recre a2 (I still cant believe that it was France's highest rated tv show though ) and then various shows on Club Dorothee
Big one in spain was Saint Seiya (i think it was called chevielars of the zodiac or something)
(boy yus guys sure was lucky seing them on widescale broadcast, there was no interesting anime aside from edited Yamato in america during the time, hell most animation sucked eggs during that time)
I hear UK and Germany never had big coverage of shows on tv, especially UK (heh itd be funny to see anime on the beeb)
Don't know anything about scandinavia though.

Last edited by solomon; 2007-02-07 at 05:23.
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Old 2007-02-07, 03:09   Link #12
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I know one of the main reasons why Anime/Manga is so little popular here in Norway.
the main reason is because it's really hard to get a hold of any!!
it's just in the last 2-3 years that there have been made huge steps in how hard it is to get a hold of any Anime /manga.
and even now i prefer to order anime/manga from Amazon.com or other places, because, though we do have some few anime/manga shops online here in Norway too now, they are way expensive compared to shops other places.
but it looks like things is getting better and better, and cheaper.
so I think anime/manga will become more and more popular here too.

BUT I have yet to see any Anime shows broadcasted on Norwegian TV channels.
sure there are cartoons and stuff, but Japanese Anime? no, not even 1 episode. and that sucks.
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Old 2007-02-07, 03:29   Link #13
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In Russia cartoons are traditionally for kids. I grew up on Macron 1, Candy Candy and Sailor Moon (they started to show anime on TV in early 90th), but there were no mature series shown or advertised. So the majority of people thought that anime is only for kids. Then stupid ecchi anime started to appear on MTV-Russia, so people assumed that anime is either for kids or for perverts.

But in spite of all above, the number of anime fans here is huge. For many years we had no chance to have licensed anime and had to buy bootlegs. Then some companies started to license classic titles such as "Princess Mononoke" or "Spirited Away". Now people mostly download anime from the internet as there are still no new series licensed.
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Old 2007-02-07, 10:21   Link #14
Yukinokesshou
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Yay! Thanks for all the insight

Now my question is:

Why did French and Italian public broadcasters show anime in the 70s and 80s...
while British and Dutch broadcasters did not?

What are the cultural differences that led to the original divide?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Areguzanda View Post
I know one of the main reasons why Anime/Manga is so little popular here in Norway.
the main reason is because it's really hard to get a hold of any!!
Exactly... so the question is: Why, in the first place, was anime more readily available in France than in Norway or the UK? Why were the French press and French broadcasters more ready to accept anime and manga back in the 80s? Why were the British and Scandinavian media not as enthusiastic?

Sorry about my curiosity
It all stemmed from a discussion with a couple of friends over the weekend. My French friend invited us over for an anime night, and national differences over anime exposure suddenly came to light Besides, it's really shocking because Paris and Amsterdam are only 3 hours apart by train!

Addendum
Quote:
Originally Posted by False Dawn
There is a divide, yes. I think it's partly the culture as well. I can only talk about France as that's the country I know best out of the other European countries, but France already had a booming comic market (for children AND adults) before manga and subsequently anime made it big over there. I bought my first manga in France and there was a lot more choice there than I've managed to find in the UK (even though Waterstones has started stocking some within the last year or two).

It's slowly changing though. HMV have dedicated anime sections now, some of them quite substantial (my local one has three shelves just of anime) as it becomes more of a market in this country - but still a long way to go before the national attitude towards anime and manga is changed.
That's very enlightening and answers many of my questions. Thanks!! ^_^

Anyone to second that or provide more insight? For starters, why didn't France's early "comics culture" (if that's the term) spread to the nearby Netherlands? And if it did, why didn't it lead to a manga/anime craze like in France?

Yes, I know about HMV's new anime section and I was mightily chuffed when I saw it the first time. Still, I wonder when anime will start airing on BBC Two Saturday mornings...

Last edited by Yukinokesshou; 2007-02-07 at 10:42.
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Old 2007-02-07, 11:15   Link #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wontaek View Post
Actually, I think I have even simpler explanation. The exposure to Japanese animation is proportionate to number of Japanese tourist the country receives per year.
Then what explains Canada? As far as I know, most Japanese people think Canada is a state in the US . And they're about to have their own 24 hour anime network.

Actually, to answer my own question, Canada may have very few Japanese tourists, but it does have a proportionately large Japanese immigrant (as well as other Asian) population. So perhaps that counts.
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Old 2007-02-07, 11:21   Link #16
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Actually, to answer my own question, Canada may have very few Japanese tourists, but it does have a proportionately large Japanese immigrant (as well as other Asian) population. So perhaps that counts.
Yeah, I purposely avoided mentioning the US and Canada because of the large Asian populations there

But haha, I lived in California too, for 5 years. Lots of downloading and sharing went on between me and my friends. One of my best friends was a fansubber. Heehee ^^
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Old 2007-02-07, 12:26   Link #17
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In the end it boils down to what you've learned to watch.

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Old 2007-02-07, 12:44   Link #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukinokesshou View Post
Anyone to second that or provide more insight? For starters, why didn't France's early "comics culture" (if that's the term) spread to the nearby Netherlands? And if it did, why didn't it lead to a manga/anime craze like in France?

Two words, mostly: Asterix. Tintin.

Of course there are more comic-based books than these, and I highly doubt that they were the ones that started the trend- but they are, in my view, the most important. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone over 15 who hasn't read or is at least familiar with the two comics.

Then, the children find the medium they enjoy, it spreads out into manga (with is basically just a comic of sorts) and it goes on from there.

I have no way to really prove this, but it seems to explain why the movement didn't spread over the border of Belgium to Holland (Tintin was a Belgian creation) purely because there was no popularity for Tintin and Asterix and similar comics in other countries (I doubt they were even translated into other languages until several years later, in fact).

If I remember my facts correctly, France is the second leading market for anime in the world when you take into account purchases per population - trailing only to Japan. Again, I have no links to back this up (I'm not even sure where I heard it) but it does seem that countries that have their own tradition of comics are more likely to embrace manga and anime - America and France being the most notable.

Britain, on the other hand, has no real comic industry.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Quarkboy View Post
Then what explains Canada? As far as I know, most Japanese people think Canada is a state in the US . And they're about to have their own 24 hour anime network.

I think it's more a case of Canada having its own quirky cartoons and animation that don't aim at a younger audience. Again, same as my point above - what a country will embrace from another culture, they must have something similar or at least an inkling of it in their own culture. Otherwise, it becomes more of a "cult" following, rather than a popular movement.
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Old 2007-02-07, 14:35   Link #19
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As it has been spotted, anime culture must someway be related to a country's culture (or simply habit). Reading this thread made me ask myself one thing that in its simplicity I'd never asked before: how comes I'm here watching and commenting fansubs, from where does my passion for anime come from?

I've grown with anime, and in Italy a lot were broadcasted. But not only those for the masses (aka Dragonball or Pokemon), but also the sheer quality ones.
It's thanks to italian television if I've known gems such as "Kimagure Orange Road", "Maison Ikkoku", "Hime-chan no Ribon", "Kodomo no Omocha", "Card Captor Sakura", "Fushigi no Umi no Nadia", "Versailles no Bara". But also some lighter yet still nice ones like "Creamy Mamy" , "Pastel Sandy", "Magical Girl Emi" .. and many others.
At the moment they're broadcasting "Naruto". And it is hyper popular. This, as far as commercial television is concerned (Mediaset, it was "Fininvest" on the 80's). Local televisions contributed a lot as well ("City Hunter", "Urusei Yatsura", "Ranma 1/2", "Yatterman", "Tiger Mask", "Fantaman", "Voltron" ...)

Public Television (Rai) goes more with american cartoons, now there's the "WinX" craze in my country, all the female kids buying WinX stuff (so sad). But even Rai broadcasted good things: "Heidi, Shoujo of Alps" (probably the most popular anime in italy since it airs every year) and more recently "Ashita no Nadja", "Mahoujin Guru Guru", "Daa! Daa! Daa!" , aimed to kids yes, but good titles. They even aired Miyazaki's "Nausicaa" ONCE, yes just once, on a sunday afternoon, but seen the quality of the title, it's relevant. It's not common to see Miyazaki on public television.

An objection is the habit to censor everything with a shocking severity. Many times it happened that anime episodes were totally reversed on how they were. (most of KOR episode lasted 13-15 minutes instead of 20 due to cuts). On Rai they bought the rights for broadcasting "Love Hina" but they never did since it was too "not safe for kids", so they even discarded the idea of airing it late (11 pm), and they actually never aired it. For the general disappointment.
Anyway, that's another matter. If they hadn't showed or mentioned me those in the first place, I wouldn't have gained so much interest in the japanese anime industry.

Then there's the independent television, MTV. Elite anime, uncensored (they have an agreement with an important italian producer, Dynamic). So we have had "Cowboy Bebop", "Neon Genesis Evangelion", "Excel Saga", "Wolf's Rain", "Serial Experiments Lain", "Karekano", and a lot of others.
Nana is airing in Italy (in italian dubbed language) from january 13th. And Italy has to be the first country in the world to have licensed Nana (volume 1 due to release on march 30th, vol.2 with Collector's box due for april 14th). I mean, that's quite something.

Despite all of this, anime in Italy are mostly considered "just for kids". The anime culture in my country is very low. I actually have a few friends being avid manga readers (we had released good manga too, such as Fruits Basket, Yotsuba or Aishiteruze Baby), but heck if there's one (I'm saying ONE) to be an actual anime watcher. Negative. Here on ASuki, I think I've seen maybe 4 italians other than me, since when I'm here.
The anime community is very small, hence the licensed title follow the masses' preferences (action, violence, sci-fi), some genres will never show up for sure (I for one, would love to have a day.. say "Fruits Basket", "Aishiteruze Baby" (if they distributed the manga, why not the anime?), "Honey & Clover" or "Bokura ga Ita"), but those are dreams. Think that "Midori no Hibi" was licensed in Italy 2 years ago, but it got lost, never released nor planned to. Consequently DVD prices are high and discouraging. (averagely 23-25 euros for a 3 episodes disc, as it was on last dvd released series: "Beck" and "Noein").

So, as far as my country is concerned, if by popular you mean a product known by the masses, I can agree. If you mean a product considered distinguished and valuable by the masses, then it's all another point. And I'll have to disagree.
If I have to tell a percentage of people knowing what "fansub" is (and everything related, meaning fresh anime), I wouldn't know, but I'm fairly sure you could keep that number on one hand's fingers.
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Old 2007-02-07, 17:12   Link #20
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Same thing from reading about broadcasting. In the UK it was ALL about their domestic stuff (more so on Beeb, a bit less on ITV i think) and when there were animation imports they were usually american.

I think generally speaking the reason european countries gravitated toward anime was because it was economic.
Correct me if im wrong but I believe in europe the film and tv industry isnt nearly as loaded with cash as my Hollywood. Anime was something they could get on air quick and cheap.
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