Anime is Rare in Japan


Japan may be host to the world’s most vibrant visual culture complex, but all areas do not share equally in this bounty. In fact, outside the likes of Tokyo and Osaka, there are vast areas of the country where anime begins and ends with Doraemon and Naruto.

2ch analyses the subject in the ranking you see below:


  • These are the late night anime being broadcast on regional terrestrial stations in April; in total there are 25 new titles.
  • There are some additional titles only aired on satellite.
  • Only newly airing titles are included – no repeats.
  • These are late night anime titles only. The likes of Naruto is broadcast nationally almost without exception.

23: Chiba & Saitama
22: Kanagawa & Osaka
21: Tokyo
17: Aichi
16: Hyogo & Tokushima

14: Kyoto
13; Ibaraki, Gunma, Tochigi
12: Mie
11: Nara, Wakayama, Gifu, Fukuoka, Saga
10: Shiga & Hokkaido
6: Okuyama & Kagawa
3: Miyagi
2: Niigata, Kumamoto, Shizuoka
1: Fukushima & Ehime
0: Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui, Yamanashi, Okinawa, Aomori, Iwate, Akita, Yamagata, Kochi, Nagano, Nagasaki, Oita, Miyazaki, Kagoshima, Yamaguchi, Tottori, Shimane

Although the top prefectures are amongst the most populous, this still indicates that in much of Japan anime fans are in the same boat as their international counterparts, and are reliant on DVD sales and unauthorised online distribution if they are to keep up with the latest series.

Sometimes series can end up airing to a tiny minority of the TV watching public as a result of all this.

The quality of these offerings varies widely too, with some being extremely high quality broadcasts without censorship, and others being bowdlerised and broadcast with cheap equipment.

When it comes to anime as a whole, outside the major conurbations it can be as obscure as it is overseas.

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    Comment by Anonymous
    09:26 31/03/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    rare in Japan = non-existent in the rest of world

    Comment by Firetribe
    08:12 31/03/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    So this explains why that tape collecting guy they interviewed on Otaku no Video, had to establish a vast network across Japan.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:27 30/03/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I'm stuck in Toyama, seems like they're finally going to broadcast True Tears in may - which is about the only anime based on a location here in this prefecture...

    Although we do have a healthy number of otaku here, presumably owing to the nonexistence of a substantial entertainment district.

    It really, really sucks when the thing you like most in the country you live in is mostly inaccessible through conventional means; due to the media's inability to be decent, which is also reflected in the unusually low (hint: manipulated) broadcasted approval ratings for our Prime Minister. Korean pachinko corporations hogging the commercial slots for the evening news? You bet.

    At least I'm not a complete idiot...

    Comment by grapefields
    04:21 31/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    No anime in Nagano?


    Comment by Firo
    20:53 30/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    LOLOLOL, I'm "international counterpart" XD

    Avatar of vin-nii
    Comment by vin-nii
    16:58 30/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    or they could stop over-pricing and simplify the copyrighting contract on their side of things so more anime can come overseas. Currently, only Asia is getting more recent anime (less than a year apart for free boardcasting)

    Avatar of acesofthesky
    Comment by Ace
    21:26 30/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh, this answered my question after meeting a japanese who only knows naruto, one piece and to-love-ru. It's not widely spread huh..

    Avatar of Icy-nee-san
    Comment by Icy-nee-san
    22:00 30/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I kinda figured this out myself, since Anime is just cartoons in japan

    And no one seems to enjoy cartoons in there later years...which makes them fags >_>

    Spongebob and Naruto 4EVAR~

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:52 21/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    totally right! for japanese, anime is just the same as H-B, DiC and Nelvana cartoons for Americans (for example), so they don't put much effort on broadcasting every series that comes out to all of the national territory... instead, they broadcast the most popular ones (obviously including the kids' ones), and let the other ones reach to people interested in them via DVD release (or internet, for those without enough money)

    as for the part of people not enjoying cartoons when growing up, that's also true... FAGS! don't let your inner kid to die! enjoy your life as kids, you'll live longer!!!

    Comment by roger
    16:06 31/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Japanese people think your nuts if you watch anime and your more than 15 years old...

    I don't think that was true back in the 90s

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:33 31/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Roger is that you?!

    Avatar of Wallace Hunter
    Comment by Wallace Hunter
    01:08 09/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't think 90 percent of non-kiddie shows were unabashed pedo wank-fuel back in the 90s.

    Avatar of Ben
    Comment by Ben
    15:56 19/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I won't pretend to know the issue, but this just seems like poor marketing. (even with the clashes about lolicon and such)

    Avatar of Dia
    Comment by Dia
    16:36 15/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Nagasaki 0... two bombs too much?

    Avatar of emc2trooper
    Comment by emc2trooper
    12:33 14/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    ...including repeats of oldfag anime like Doraemon, fukuchan, Perman and such....

    Avatar of h8GWB
    Comment by H8gwb
    15:38 01/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    These are lies, and we should censor and lynch you for spreading such lies.

    Avatar of tyciol
    Comment by Tyciol
    12:23 05/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wow, so we may watch more anime than the majority of Japanese... but don't the rural guys have the internet and stuff?

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:35 13/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    most peoples in my country still consider anime as cantoon.that why japan anime dvd fail to make a stand on my country....

    Avatar of Sula
    Comment by Sula
    09:38 11/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    same as other contries... at least mine

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:50 30/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't really think it affects anything. Most people watch their anime over the internet anyway.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:45 30/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    believable, I can't get some hbo, or some cable shows.

    Avatar of Domo-Kun
    Comment by Domo-Kun
    08:54 30/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I lived in Miyazaki (one of the zeros) and I never saw good anime on TV except for Kids shows and the total mainstream shonen stuff.
    One of my Otaku friends let me borrow his Dvds though.

    Comment by Riiku
    09:14 30/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    "These are the late night anime being broadcast on regional terrestrial stations in April; in total there are 25 new titles."

    Good for them who wathces these. Helps to keep the shit (which is 80% of anime) filtered.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:08 30/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    There seems to be some doubts over this, but it's largely true. The population of anime watchers has been slowly(?) falling in Japan. It's a visible trend.

    Reliance on so-called "moe" factors has managed to get an iron grip on a core group of otakus, but it's simultaneously damaging the anime industry by making it less approachable for Japanese society at large...

    While debatable, I believe anime has been relegated to post-midnight broadcasts because they simply don't sell, not the other way around ('anime's unpopular because they don't get enough exposure').

    It's on its way of becoming a vicious cycle.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    I can certainly agree. It seems many of the quality "gateway" anime genres have fallen by the wayside. Ghost in the Shell, anybody? Instead, we have quality shows like Strike Witches...

    Comment by Firetribe
    08:29 31/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Can Ghost in the shell really be considered "gateway" anime?

    I'm thinking along the lines of Naruto, Dragonball Z,and Pokemon. Something that kids will watch . Ghost seems a little more advanced.However, I'm talking about how it is in the US so it may be a little different in Japan.

    Avatar of lerrymaru
    Comment by maru
    19:10 30/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ah Ghost in the Shell. Very nice. Its true that quality anime like this is declining, but I can't resist the moe temptations either.. >.>

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:33 30/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    i'm all for a faithful-to-the-manga anime of ghost in the shell.

    Comment by Infernal
    08:21 30/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well I wouldn't be too surprised, it depends where the broadcastings are and range, what the landscape is like, the target consumers in the area and so forth. Best to concentrate what your selling in the most populated and easily accessed media coverage inhabitants. The thing with DVD's is that it needs to be bought, while the internet provides much larger range and better exposure, but obviously lack the profit.

    On another note back to watching Colbert Report.

    Avatar of rargy
    Comment by rargy
    08:08 30/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The only anime i know of exists on the internet.

    Comment by Anonymous
    Comment by Anonymous
    07:45 30/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Anime rare in Japan? lol
    Just because every single program isn't aired in each region doesn't make it rare. Anime companies still rely alot on DVD sales and that's how alot of people watch their anime. Same with the US.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:56 13/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    The problem with the DVD approach lies with the fact that Japanese region DVDs are considerably more expensive than DVDs here. While in America, anime dvds cost $20-30, the Japanese counterparts are about $50 a piece. While people in Japan in the past don't care about spending more money and have actually shown pride about spending more money than they should, a global recession means that there is a lot less disposable income and the only people left who can afford to buy DVDs are teenagers who don't worry about paying bills.

    Comment by anon
    08:43 30/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    DVD sales? I think you mean the trifecta of Share, Winny and Perfect Dark.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact
    07:48 30/03/2009 # ! Incalculable

    Most of these DVD releases only sell a few tens of thousands of copies over the entire series. Japan's population is 130 million...

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:54 30/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    A few tens of thousands... if even that much.

    Thank you for making a useful post like this. Hopefully, this will curtail the number of non-Japanese people who seem to believe that weird-ass otaku anime (i.e. the late-night stuff) is a vast and overarching aspect of Japan that is enjoyed by everyone over there. It's not. Their beliefs have been skewed by the power of fan sites and sensationalism on the internet.

    The really popular anime, like the two you mentioned in the post, plus numerous others like Detective Conan, Mrs. Sazae, Crayon Shin-chan, Chibi Maruko -- overseas folk would never care about these. Well actually, people care about Naruto, but that's about it. :(

    Comment by Anyako
    22:03 30/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I guess it's because the anime preferred outside most of Japan are those with a lot of eye candy. (Generally.)

    I myself am familiar with Chibi Maruko, and comparing it to most of the anime popular outside Japan, it couldn't compete aesthetically. It doesn't also have a soundtrack worthy to beat that of other animes less popular in Japan.

    A post in a certain website (forgot the exact place) proves that the wage of a Japanese animator is really low, probably at $8 a scene.

    Comment by Ivory
    07:41 30/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Rare's my ass

    Avatar of kajunbowser
    Comment by KajunBowser
    15:27 30/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Taken @ face value, the statement is taken as sarcasm to mean "good quality" anime is rare. But, looking @ this info from 2chan is staggering. They could blame (like the North Americans) fansubbing is doing them in 'til the cows come home, but this won't change the fact that they've saturated the market with mostly grade A backdoor "brownie bars" /w choice gold nuggets hidden inside the unsightly pile over the years.

    Only other problem is the new directing talent and ideas from those in our generation. Like Pres. Obama when his feet are touching the proverbial fire, the new blood in the industry is yelling "we inherited this" every time they're asked this question. But, instead of making things worse by going on to give the ppl anime with some good ideas, but beating the dead horse time after time, they've (hopefully ^_^;) finally realized that they need to do quality (and/or damage) control. Is it too late for it? Maybe, unless they focus on giving the ppl truly good to epic anime and advertising it everywhere in Japan they can. Otherwise, the anime industry in its birthplace is screwed.

    Then again, this is from 2chan...

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:46 10/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    No, it's from 2ch. They're different.

    Comment by Halcyon
    07:35 30/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Thus lies the anime industry's greatest weakness.

    If they could increase their exposure they'd increase their demographic and eventually their national sales.

    Maybe the reason why the industry is suffering as a whole is not fansubbing, but insufficient marketing and distribution outside of Tokyo and Osaka.

    I wonder if 2ch has any info on how many potential sales the industry is missing out by not tapping into these other markets.

    Avatar of Zippydsmlee
    Comment by ZippyDSMlee
    14:52 30/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    You do realize it would be the hollywoodization effect would water down shows so much they would not be worth watching because the fiction and characters would be raped in order to turn a show into crap the masses will watch?

    Just think gonzo at their worst and you have your qaulity standards right there...

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:43 09/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I wonder if what Hollywood did to DragonBall evolution would turn into the other way around
    Twilight and Harry Potter into an anime movie

    Comment by krolik
    12:47 02/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    This already happened in late 90's/early millennium. You are currently living in the moe/loli age.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:21 30/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    You are the type that keeps anime from progressing.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:05 31/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The issue is not fansubs.

    The issue that keeps anime from expanding beyond horizons (beyond japan obviously...) is that some genres are too focused only to satisfy a tiny majority. It's sad that there are really good animators but most of Japan don't see it (see the list above). With so many anime companies (that specializes late nite anime) and sooo little audience, anime companies have no choice but to expand beyond japanese market to survive the recession.

    Hollywood model is the way to go.

    Comment by Chen
    00:03 31/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    >You are the type that keeps anime from progressing.

    I'd say no one can stop fansubs, so I see no problem at all. Would you have started to watch anime if they weren't for free? I certainly wouldn't. But now that I'm a little of a fan, I'm sad for not being able to give money back to the makers. (No, I don't want their DVD's, I like the fansub version much better.)

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:37 30/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's already largely crap. Wouldn't be much of a change.

    Comment by Izu Taisa
    08:00 30/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0) if u wanna live in japan just to watch anime u should live in right prefecture

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:37 31/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's a stupid reason to move to Japan in the first place.

    Comment by soloista
    08:06 30/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I find this highly ironic that Nagano doesn't have any. Can't remember why though.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:38 21/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    maybe because of the winter olympics?

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