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Anime is Rare in Japan

rarity-value-konata

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:

Remarks:

  • 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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73 Comments

  • Icy-nee-san says:

    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~

    • 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!!!

  • 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…

  • 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)

    • Yeah, where the hell is Hiroshima? I’d like to know about the prefecture I’m moving to in a year.

      I have to admit, while I was there visiting this last summer for a week and a couple of days, I don’t remember seeing anything on late, but I’m also unfamiliar with typical broadcast schedules.

    • Yeah, I agree.
      Indeed, anime is a subculture. It exists only in a small part of Japan. Outside the large cities, anime and luxurious entertainment are limited (I guess), and there are other stuff like jobs or families for those people to take care of.

      The data is not surprising; the same goes in my homeland. I come from Thailand, and only a number of teens in the big cities (e.g. Bangkok) watch anime. Several more read comics, but others in the countrysides don’t.

  • I live in Tokyo and can’t see anime on TV at all. Why? because aside from Naruto, Bleach and Pokemon everything (including shows for kids) is broadcasted after 12pm (in Japan it’s 24:00 and on). Really, Japan’s TV is fucked up. In the morning all the channels broadcast programs that encourage you to buy things (like this amazing multifunctional spoon!), in the evening only news and at night horrible horrible “funny gag shows” that are not funny. So people in America, with all their Anime channels ,should be thankful.

    • I was a little surprised when I first moved to Tokyo, too. Japanese television is not worth watching at all, and the anime is on too late to watch and still get up early the next day. So, even though I live here, I still get my anime from the internet.

    • Well duh, that’s the reason there are so many hikkies and NEETs: If you don’t leave the house during the day, you have plenty of time to sleep in preparation for a night full of anime!
      Also, it’s a conspiracy by the manufacturers of digital recording devices and the NHK who (ry

  • …Hmm…

    *decides not to visit prefectures that have crap anime*

    Problem solved.

    But really, the strenght of this is a garenteed market, meaning the indsutry isn’t spending money where it’s going to waste.
    However, it also, obviosly means even someone like me is probably more informed about anime than a normal Japanese person.
    This could be something that also leads to the stigmatism behind anime otaku, as most Japanese, apparently don’t get to experience much other anime.

  • since most anime is from manga which is more easily accessible and has more solid data through sales, how does that trend compare with anime?
    i would think manga sales would drive the anime adaptations.

  • This is really interesting, and I think we’ve seen this happening before elsewhere, not too long ago: the video game industry.

    The way I see it, this is what happens when the content producers stay focused on the hard core. Sales plateau as the industry effectively narrows its audience. What needs to happen is for someone to “pull a Nintendo” and expand it again.

  • “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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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. 🙁

        • 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.

    • KajunBowser says:

      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…

  • 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.

    • 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…

        • 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.

        • >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.)