Anime Programming in the US
Making a Living in Manga in Japan with Felipe Smith
Lost in Translation
The Japanese broadcaster TV Tokyo published its 2008 annual report which states that Masashi Kishimoto's Naruto manga has been published in 23 countries, while the anime version (pictured at right) airs in over 60 countries. The overall franchise has been licensed in more than 90 countries, and the first four Naruto feature films have been seen in theaters over four million times. According to TV Tokyo, Naruto and Gintama - Samurai in Space contributed to robust sales of overseas rights in the last fiscal year which ended in March.
The report also notes that the Pokémon anime series is watched in 68 countries. This franchise has earned two trillion yen (about US$18 billion), although most of that comes from the original videogames. Last year's feature film, Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai, earned 5.02 billion yen (US$47 million) as the top domestic movie at the Japanese box office.
Another franchise, the Yu-Gi-Oh! brand based on Kazuki Takahashi's manga, has sold 18.1 billion cards so far. When the franchise reached 15.88 billion cards in 2006, the producers applied to have that record included in the Guinness World Records. Other titles that TV Tokyo highlighted include Sergeant Keroro (Sgt. Frog), Bleach, and Blue Dragon.
© 2002 Masashi Kishimoto
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