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'Cool Japan' gives anime heroes a new mission: boost the economy

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By Elaine Lies

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@Fadamor, the shrinking space for manga and anime at bookstores and Best Buys isn't so much an indication that manga is "dying a slow death" abroad, but rather a consequence of the huge popularity among fans of the myriad of scanslation and fansubbing websites out there. Why wait for monthly releases of a series at a bookstore and then have to pay for it when you can get it all for free and updated daily or weekly online? The anime and manga fandom at large and around the world has gravitated towards reading online scanslations and it is a huge problem for the industry as it needs to find ways now to get fans to actually pay for and support all of the series and their creators.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sorry Alex, I was away from pc for awhile. Hmmm I only like Detective Conan, but yeahhh I think I know who it is :D.

Luckyyy! In here we only have an annual one and it is still very small, but growing. Well I think the timing is a bit..speaking about myself, unless it is in summer it is very difficult for me to plan ahead and attend due to school stuff. Ours this year is in December and I know I will have to fall back on scholastic stuff for it :/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Qamar:

I probably know that girl...we're not many who like Japan, anime and manga and we usually hang out together and Malta is not a big country XD

That girl liked Fullmetal Alchemist, One Piece and Detective Conan a lot. ^^

Yep, I was warned about TWGOKnows manga..but haven't touched the anime yet!

I prefer the manga over the anime, because the manga is much more fun. Anyway, as I already told, the quality of the plot decreases progressively. Such a pity. :/

P.s. I want to attend the Lucca fest so so much >w<! There's also one in Sicily that I know of, but it escaped my plans and realized about it too late :(.

In Italy there are many comics festivals, anyway I never attended one of them even if I live in Italy. ;_;

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Alex80 Np >w<! I probably know that girl...we're not many who like Japan, anime and manga and we usually hang out together and Malta is not a big country XD. Yep, I was warned about TWGOKnows manga..but haven't touched the anime yet!

P.s. I want to attend the Lucca fest so so much >w<! There's also one in Sicily that I know of, but it escaped my plans and realized about it too late :(.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

now got to accustomed at subbed instead of dubbed!

Me too. I love Japanese language! :)

Haha no, not from Albania or Croatia, but from Malta :)

Oh, sorry! Some time ago in internet I met a girl from Malta who watched anime in Italian channels, and her Italian was really perfect! :D

"Durarara!!"

It's cool! Specially Izahaya Orihara. ;P

I don't have much time and if I see that it's gonna be a harem story I shoot it down instantly from my list ^^;.

Yeah, harem anime/manga are usually trash, but sometimes you can find some good titles. For example, "The world god only knows" is not so bad, even if the manga gets worse progressively.

I'm guessing Italy must have something similar given the history of anime in your country.

We have many comic festivals, where Japanese production always gets a good place, but sadly, despite the huge history of anime in my country, we haven't an event like the one in France.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Alex80 Thanks for those links. I actually recognize some of those animes. First time to hear the opening themes in Italian, though lol.

I read that they have a huge yearly anime/manga Japan culture expo in France. I think it's the largest in Europe, and they have Japanese artists coming over to perform. I'm guessing Italy must have something similar given the history of anime in your country.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Alex80 - dubbed dubbed yes! Sorry..now got to accustomed at subbed instead of dubbed! Haha no, not from Albania or Croatia, but from Malta :). Thank you!! >w<! Yes I do!! :D These last years though I can count on my fingers the anime which I reallllllly enjoyed; "Toradora" is one of them, haven't got the chance to watch "Lovely Complex" yet, but watched "Durarara!!" and also enjoyed it, "Clannad/After story" too and some others but I just watch more short movies now, also since I don't have much time and if I see that it's gonna be a harem story I shoot it down instantly from my list ^^;.

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Just mIght work.....unless the wife throws it out.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Daniele Cereghino: Ciao! Yeah, anime made the childhood of millions of Italian kids. :) Sorry, I can't help you about that sentence. I don't remember it...

@Qamar:

And all that anime subbed in Italian too :D

You meant "dubbed". ;D Italy always dubs movies, telefilms, and cartoons/anime. Uhmmm...I believe you are from Albania, or from Croatia. :) I know in those countries people watch our channels, and they learn my language this way. ^^ I believe during the 80s Italy has been the centre of anime in Europe. We also sold tons of our openings to other European countries, then they used them sung in their own language, often for different anime from the ones for which they were born in Italy. I'm glad that thanks to anime in Italian, you learned to love both Japan and Italy. ^__^ Here, the Italian opening of "Fancy Lala" for you! ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6gK6E8wPYk

Yeah, old anime were in general better than current anime. But there are still good anime. For example, do you know "Toradora" and "Lovely Complex"? Both of them are nice love stories. :)

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@Alex80

OMG!! I used to watch the live action (Italian) of Kiss me Licia! And all that anime subbed in Italian too :D (I think now you can easily guess what country I'm from. You see, just like you I watched mostly Japanese anime, in Italian since I was uh age 2? I still remember watching "Heidi" episodes and "Anna dei capelli rossi" >w<!!. In my country we had free access to Italian channels. I miss the 'old school anime', it was great. I remember rushing my homework to watch anime and anytime I failed an exam- no anime for a week. It used to destroy me (until I got the hang of recording episodes). Old school anime was full of good values and it was the starting point of me falling in love with Japan (and also Italy though. I graduated in Italian mostly because I watched anime in Italian). And also, there's a specific anime opening song- the "Fancy Lala" one, the lyrics had rescued me from a depression that occurred after my dad passed away+bullying. I still cry to the song..so much meaning.

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@Alex80: I found someone who had my same experience! (I am Italian too). I also start to discover a new world by watching Japanese anime, showing a different culture. It gave me an imprinting, with some traditional values from positive Japanese culture. If I can be a little off topic: do you know from which anime comes the kotowaza: "la candela fa più luce prima che si spenga" I am trying to recall which old anime was, but even after years I couldn't find it! Any help is appreciated!!! Thanks!

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The exception was video games, with exports of 293 billion yen and imports of only 2.1 billion.

Showing how much Japanese are locking their local market for themselves, so much using the same old excuse "your game is too western style" .

0 ( +1 / -1 )

they should rename it "Geek Japan" then.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

There must be a typo in the article, $500 million cannot be the right number. I have to assume that number is $5 million at the most or my sanity will leave me to think that a government would spend that much on what is essentially promotion of pedophillia. What about all the problems in this country? How about spending on the vicitims in Fukushima who still are displaced with no possessions?

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@genjuro:

So I guess we can talk about MI here :) Do you have the manga or anime? I wasn't sure how faithful the animation was to the books but I did finish the anime.

I didn't read all the volumes of the manga, while I watched tons of times the anime on tv. Anyway I think the only great difference between the anime and the manga is that in the anime there isn't Nozomu Nikaido. The anime is really amazing: drawings, OST, openings and endings...everything is beautiful. ^^

I suppose you also finished Inuyasha.

I had started to watch Inuyasha, but I dropped it because I didn't like it.

There's also another series Takahashi-sensei wrote after that but forgot the name. Rinko or Ranko or something like that. Saw it in US bookstores years ago.

It's Rinne, but I never read it. Anyway Rumiko Takahashi is great. Besides Maison Ikkoku, I like also Ranma 1/2 and Urusey Yatsura.

Were robot mecha anime popular in Italy at that time, too? It was big in other Asian countries outside Japan in the 80's.

Yeah, they were very popular! Some italian openings of mecha anime:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awuIl8GN7g8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTyVKlmoKTg (full song)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KS4jjf_N98 (here they kept the original Japanese music, singing in Italian)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Do753B6gdj4 (full song...amazing!)

Italian songs of anime sold like hot cakes in those years.

Also while not anime the live-action Super Sentai series (which was adapted in the US as Power Rangers) and Ultraman were hits as well. Don't know if those shows ever reached Europe.

Yeah, some of those series reached Italy. :) I loved Megaloman! Some Italian openings:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpxp8cCpUIQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahQlayFi-Ms

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVkggMm8Ej8 (full song)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=holNSZLdNXw (this wasn't a Super Sentai series, but a detective series...I liked it a lot!)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Is this an old article or what? This has been known for years.

Unfortunately for them, the type of anime/manga/light novels that get the most hype these days (late-night otaku/fujoshi-type) are not really suitable for mass export.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good news, but good luck to implement it.

They could just remove all the restrictions that bans people outside Japan to view things online (even on Youtube) or they are just not there. Search any Korean artist and you'll find an official clip at 1080p. Search for a Japanese artists and, if you find an official clip, it's a minute or so with lower quality or you can't view it. Looks like they don't want ads revenue or sell their products.

Guess who's going to get the money

What's cool: limonitelab CM, fashion, music, games, food, gadgets

What's not: Olympus' board, Tepco, Japan's corporate governance

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Alex80 So I guess we can talk about MI here :) Do you have the manga or anime? I wasn't sure how faithful the animation was to the books but I did finish the anime. I suppose you also finished Inuyasha. There's also another series Takahashi-sensei wrote after that but forgot the name. Rinko or Ranko or something like that. Saw it in US bookstores years ago.

Were robot mecha anime popular in Italy at that time, too? It was big in other Asian countries outside Japan in the 80's. Also while not anime the live-action Super Sentai series (which was adapted in the US as Power Rangers) and Ultraman were hits as well. Don't know if those shows ever reached Europe.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The same happened for some series in Italy, sadly. But in some cases the adaptation* was decent.

I guess "adaptation" isn't the right word. My English sucks. =_=; I think "localisation" is more correct. Anyway, while anime were/are sometimes censored, manga are not censored.

In Italy Japanese animation was very popular specially in the 80s, to the extent that they produced a live action based on the anime "Ai shite Naito". I don't know if this is true, but I read somewhere that Italians had asked Japanese to make the sequel, but Japanese didn't accept, because it wasn't very popular in Japan. So, Italians made their own sequel with real people xD The result was horrible to me. <_<

This is the Italian opening of the anime (the Italian title was "Kiss me Licia"):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmEb_D8Z9K4

This is the opening of one of the live action sequels (yeah, actually they made more than one series):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5VilLuwjko

Italians were really crazy for this anime! XD

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If the region I'm in (30 miles SW of Washington DC) is any indicator, manga and anime are dying a slow death here. Where Best Buy used to devote the entire one side of an aisle to anime, it is now relegated to two sparsely-stocked shelves of one aisle segment. At the local Barnes & Noble Booksellers, there used to be four complete bookcases stocked full of manga. Now there's only one and there's a lot of smoke and mirrors involved in order to make THAT bookcase look full. Based on this, it appears that manga/anime has "jumped the shark" in the U.S. This anime character initiative probably would have had more impact a decade ago, when the industry was still peaking in the U.S.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I hope they also work on improving the animators working conditions and increase their salary and wages do not to outsource the anime which comes back as crap. Best example is Naruto and Bleach. While I love the manga, and many more, I couldnt stand the animation quality in the past 2-3 years. I still like to watch the old episodes, but the animation has been terrible to the point that I havent watch a new episode for the past year and a half. Also, dont try to westernize the anime, thats what make Japanese manga and anime unique compare to Disney and Nickoloden.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Whoops, I'm glad there's still MI fan like you. I definitely love that manga. I guess you have read KOR also.

Yeah, I know KOR also. The anime is very good (better than the manga), but MI is superior to KOR, imho.

The sad fact of internationalization of manga is, official translations are craps or at least that's what happened in US. Those translators/editors failed hard to maintain the true Japanese spirit, some even tried to westernize it.

The same happened for some series in Italy, sadly. But in some cases the adaptation was decent.

@tmarie: I'm a great fan of Japanese animation and comics. I feel a bit offended by your comment, because it seems you believe anime and manga are all about moe and kawaii girls. I don't know your nationality, but in Italy we started to watch anime since the late 70s. I believe Italy could be the country that imported more anime than any other else. There has always been a great variety in genres in Japanese animation. I fell in love with it since I was a kid. I watched masterpieces like "Versailles no Bara" and "Mirai shonen Konan" when I was...uh? 4 or 5 years old. My childhood was filled with wonderful dreams thanks to Japanese animation. There were good stories for little kids like "Janguru Taitei", "Doraemon", "Mechakko Dotakon", "Tongari Boshi no Memoru", "Kaibutsu-kun", "Ikkyu-san", "Hoshi no ko Chobin", "Maple Town Monogatari", "Shin Maple Town Monogatari: Palm Town Hen", "Don Chuck monogatari", etc., amazing and mature love stories like "Mezon Ikkoku", "Haikara-san ga Toru", "Kyandi Kyandi", etc., funny and sweet majokko like "Kurimi Mami" (my favorite one in this genre, together with "Hime-chan's Ribbon"), mecha anime like "Gandamu", "Gureto Majinga", "Kotetsu Jigu", etc., great comedies like "Urusey Yatsura", "Ranma nibun no ichi", "Ochamegami monogatari korokoro Poron", "Hajime ningen Giatrus", etc., beautiful stories about sport like "YOU!, Atakka YOU!", "Captain Tsubasa", "Ore wa Teppei" (this one was so funny!), "Hikari no densetsu", "Tacchi", etc. I used their original titles so Japanese people can recognize them, sorry if there were some mistakes.

Maybe you are talking like that just because you know only few titles, the most popular ones like "Pokemon", "Sailor Moon", "Dragon Ball", and some current moe anime like "K-ON".

P.S. I'm female, not a creepy male otaku in love with his dakimakura.

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Yes please! And really..I spend too much already on manga, artbooks and figurines directly bought from Japan ^^;..

I'm hoping that this will actually lower the cost of manga..one from a local bookstore is at EUR11.00 ( I now buy through internet but the prices ARE rising!) .

See this is what they're doing wrong... they're trying to make it "cool", but before that they're forgetting to actually distribute the stuff worldwide.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Yes please! And really..I spend too much already on manga, artbooks and figurines directly bought from Japan ^^;..

I'm hoping that this will actually lower the cost of manga..one from a local bookstore is at EUR11.00 ( I now buy through internet but the prices ARE rising!) .

Also- PLEASE export MORE games! Jrpgs! We love them here! I also hope that more manga will get translated, and that whole series will be published ;not half of them.

I will support with money in any possible way! Also I made friends trough buying from Japan with people who sell from popular sites. Many of them go out of their way to make me happy.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

How Various Countries Are Boosting Their Economies:

EU: Austerity and Fiscal Stimulus

China: Debt Loosening and Deregulation

U.S. QE and Various Jobs Programs

Japan: Cartoon Characters

0 ( +6 / -6 )

$500 million. Wow... This is why people become politicians: to be gatekeepers of public funds and dole it out to their relatives and special-interest friends, lackeys and masters.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I think Japan can push this "cool Japan" thing all is wants but the rest of the world is looking at Japan as a land of sexless and creepy guys who go for these characters. Anime and manga fans can like it all they want but when will Japan wake up and realise that these fantasy dolls and fetish for school uniforms and young girls isn't doing anything to help its "cool" imagine they so desire so much.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

@Alex:

I hope anime and manga won't become more western. They became popular outside Japan exactly because they were very different from western comics and cartoons. Maison Ikkoku is one of my favorite anime ever. It is so tipically Japanese, and I always loved its mood so much, since I was very young.

Whoops, I'm glad there's still MI fan like you. I definitely love that manga. I guess you have read KOR also.

The sad fact of internationalization of manga is, official translations are craps or at least that's what happened in US. Those translators/editors failed hard to maintain the true Japanese spirit, some even tried to westernize it.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I hope anime and manga won't become more western. They became popular outside Japan exactly because they were very different from western comics and cartoons. Maison Ikkoku is one of my favorite anime ever. It is so tipically Japanese, and I always loved its mood so much, since I was very young.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Is there anyone in Japan who actually supports this?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

While you are at it, please get rid of this new crap hand-held console every 5 month Nintendo trash.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Anime and manga don't need to be supported by the government. In my country, Italy, many guys are in love with them because they grew up with them, attracted to their particular style and plots. The government should only let the authors free to create their stories without interfering.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

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