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Mikeski



Joined: 24 Sep 2009
Posts: 608
Location: Minneapolis, MN
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:10 pm Reply with quote
It happens. My brother has a friend who's a big ironman-triathalon type. Constantly working out. And must have a blast-furnace metabolism on top of that.

He's got the size and physique of a middle-school kid (he's in his 30s). And claims his "maintenance" diet has to be 7000 calories a day to offset all his physical activity. If I ate like that, I'd be dead already.
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 9295
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:53 pm Reply with quote
agila61 wrote:
GATSU wrote:
So that Japanese dude who keeps winning in those hot dog eating contests is the exception, and not the rule, then? Laughing

Stands to reason ... if he was the rule, it wouldn't be that Japanese guy, it would be those Japanese guys that always win the eating contests.


The guy developed the technique for getting the hotdogs down and because his belly can distend freakishly.

"Kobayashi expands his stomach for a competition by eating larger and larger amounts of food, and then exercises to ensure that fat will not impede expansion of his stomach during a competition.[20]"
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Jose Cruz



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
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Location: Serra Gaucha/Minnesota
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 5:24 pm Reply with quote
Mister Ryan Andrews wrote:
I don't like sports much but love sports anime because they're stuff like this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piXjxfUAO0c

That'd be right at home in One Piece or Naruto, man.


That made me laugh out really hard.

I guess the main explanation for lack of sales of sports anime in the US is simply that in Japan, manga and anime (specially manga), are mainstream activities and thus reflect all the facets of society, including sports, while in the US, anime and manga are niche nerdy stuff, so stuff that nerds like such as science fiction and fantasy, are overrespresented in the US manga/anime market while stuff that they don't care much about such as sports, are underrepresented. In fact, the idea of anime as a genre comes from this distortion in a sense, since there is a small subsets of genres of anime that comprise most of the anime sales in the US.
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yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
Posts: 2966
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 5:52 pm Reply with quote
John Thacker wrote:

And in fact the anime is available subbed by Viz (and on Hulu as a result).

Great show, like all of Mitsuru Adachi's work. Very mainstream, even for Japan (no late night airing for this show, which got decent ratings in its weekend timeslot), and I think that makes it harder to bring to the US, as people mentioned.


Cross Game included items for younger viewers like the draw Nomo game. Some of the entries came from kids as young as three. It also took on sexism in sports as we watch Aoba's options to play baseball narrow considerably upon reaching high school. There was also a cute promo where Aoba "visits" with some members of what was then called the Girls' Professional Baseball League and "pitches" batting practice.
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ParaChomp



Joined: 10 Dec 2010
Posts: 1018
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 6:25 pm Reply with quote
Jose Cruz wrote:
Mister Ryan Andrews wrote:
I don't like sports much but love sports anime because they're stuff like this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piXjxfUAO0c

That'd be right at home in One Piece or Naruto, man.


That made me laugh out really hard.

I guess the main explanation for lack of sales of sports anime in the US is simply that in Japan, manga and anime (specially manga), are mainstream activities and thus reflect all the facets of society, including sports, while in the US, anime and manga are niche nerdy stuff, so stuff that nerds like such as science fiction and fantasy, are overrespresented in the US manga/anime market while stuff that they don't care much about such as sports, are underrepresented. In fact, the idea of anime as a genre comes from this distortion in a sense, since there is a small subsets of genres of anime that comprise most of the anime sales in the US.
Pretty much, that's when there are Japanese cartoons on television, it's almost always aimed towards a male demographic and is action oriented. There is the odd exception like magical girl shows which appeal to a female audience and the odd title that is more psychological like Death Note but again, that show has a male demographic.

Inazuma Eleven is an adaption of a video game and with all of its silly powers it fits right at home on American television. Last time I checked, episodes were streaming on the 3DS's eShop (of all places). Forced dub and translation nitpicks aside (it's not present in the 3DS game which is excellent), the series is fun with its over the top powers.

It all comes down to money, the distribution industry of Japanese cartoons and comics doesn't make much of a profit so in these slice of life genres you have to hit home and hard.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 8305
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:40 pm Reply with quote
I seem to be watching a lot of sports anime recently, with KuroBas, YowaPeda, Ace of Diamond, Eyeshield 21, and Slam Dunk all on my list, and I've noticed several things that might help explain why sports anime don't appeal to other than niche American audiences who understand the tropes and cultural differences and are at ease with them. (note: sweeping generalizations about mainstream America ahead)

1) there is a blatant disregard for the rules of the game, whatever game is being played. For example, in KuroBas, they have entire conversations on the court while dribbling or even just holding the ball (seems to be no 5-second rule), the refs are blind to injury producing fouls and technical fouls don't exist, baskets are void if they don't go in before the buzzer, even if already airborne, etc. Eyeshield has a benched player run onto the field during a play, colliding with an active player, yet with no penalty to his team. Soccer teams almost never get called for blatant offsides. Things like that can drive a sports enthusiast to distraction (and that's not even touching on the superhuman moves and other shounen tropes, and balls that warp into ovals and soccer balls that spin in the net for 5 seconds after a goal. Smile).

2) there's no crying in baseball...or basketball, or soccer, or football or any other sport, unless you're an anime athlete - then there's crying all the time, and by the heroes no less. Manly tears, yes, but still too many tears for Americans' comfort.

3) in a related note, there's not enough "no homo" disclaimers in sports anime to keep all that camaraderie from seeming too gay for general American audiences. While Free! had deliberate homoerotic subtext as fanservice, Oofuri certainly did not, but was constantly being labeled as gay, and not in the "lame" use of the word. Butt-slapping is ok, but holding hands in a sports anime? No way, dude.

4) I think there is also a fundamental difference in how Americans expect their sports stories to be structured. In American sports stories, it's usually either about a coach who raises up his team or an underdog player who rises to stardom though hard work. In both of these, the emphasis is on the leader. The team could not win without the MC; the team needs the MC. But in anime the emphasis is reversed. The format is the same, but the lesson is that the MC could not win without the team's support (and usually does not win until s/he acknowledges that). The MC needs the team. And I think even subconsciously that emphasis on the team over the individual bothers a lot of American viewers.

I'm not explaining that very clearly, but compare Rocky to Hajime no Ippo, both boxing stories, where presumably there's not even a team. Rocky's victory is perceived as something he did all by himself (with the support of a good coach and a good woman). Ippo's victories are shown as something he achieved (with the support of a good coach and a good woman) by working alongside better boxers at his gym and learning from their experience and advice. Americans love Rocky, not so much Ippo. :/

tl:dr: Americans don't like the Japanese take on sports. Smile


Last edited by Gina Szanboti on Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Chagen46



Joined: 27 Jun 2010
Posts: 4377
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:42 pm Reply with quote
ParaChomp wrote:


Inazuma Eleven is an adaption of a video game and with all of its silly powers it fits right at home on American television. Last time I checked, episodes were streaming on the 3DS's eShop (of all places). Forced dub and translation nitpicks aside (it's not present in the 3DS game which is excellent), the series is fun with its over the top powers.

It all comes down to money, the distribution industry of Japanese cartoons and comics doesn't make much of a profit so in these slice of life genres you have to hit home and hard.


What? The Inazuma Eleven on the 3DS shop uses the dub names, doesn't it? I refused to buy it for that very reason.
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PansyWansyLinsy



Joined: 08 Jul 2007
Posts: 41
Location: US of A
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:17 am Reply with quote
I'm probably in the minority, but you couldn't pay me to watch a sports anime or read a sports manga. It probably makes me a pariah in the fujoshi community because you can guess how popular Free is amongst my fellow brethren. Guess Mr. Answerman is spot-on in that aspect (for me anyway) because I'd much rather watch the actual sport.

Despite his flippant remark about an intellectual separation that supposedly prevents Americans from enjoying both the actual and fictionalized version of sports, the answer lies in the reality. Isn't much of the enjoyment from watching a sporting event derived from not knowing the outcome? It's actual, real-time competition. It's not fiction, it's not decided, and it's unpredictable. Anyone have a college basketball team? Watch them in the tournament and get caught up in the one-and-done, anyone can win situation? No form of re-creation or re-imagining is the same. Maybe it's because we have so many die-hard sports viewers and participants in the States that we can only appreciate it in its purest form or vice versa.

For me it's not about being close-minded and not wanting to try reading a different genre because I consider myself fairly open-minded. It's just that sports on paper bores me to tears. Hey watch me shoot this basket, wait for it, wait for it, (look at that dramatic tension) and oh here it is in the next panel going through the hoop. Yah, no thanks, there's just no appeal for me. It's probably the same reason why I don't read shounen either. Just a lot of posturing and action that I often times can't follow. Not to mention the filler, dear God the filler.

On a different note, I would be interested to see a poll from people who watch sports anime and whether or not they do or don't watch/participate in sports.

And on a different tangent, my favorite sports movies are Remember the Titans, The Mighty Ducks, The Sandlot, and A League of their Own, which goes to show that I can appreciate some sports films Wink. Just none of late.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 8305
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:30 am Reply with quote
You make a very good point about the difference between the fiction and the real thing, but that's sort of true in general. Though excellent exceptions abound, in fiction, unlike real life, you know most couples will get together in the end, you know the cop will usually catch the murderer, the hero will thwart the villain, the lawyer will win the case, Dorothy will make it back to Kansas, etc. The interest lies in not being able to foresee how they'll get there, and in good stories (good because they're smart or good because they're just over-the-top fun) that can be almost as unpredictable as life.

But then again, I don't watch fictional sports for the same reasons I watch real sports. About the only time I watch sports is when I personally know someone on the team I can root for - I can't get invested in my city's team just because my tax dollars bribed them to be here, and I can't muster any loyalty to them when theirs is to the highest bidder. I do enjoy highlight reels though. Smile

But I don't watch fictional sports for the outcome of the game. I watch for the character interactions, the same way I watch any other genre. Sports is the just venue for the character conflicts and goals, like high school, or a space ship. Who wins or loses a game is the same as who wins or loses a fight or battle or who gets the guy/girl.

In real sports winning or losing the game is pretty much all that matters (aside from seeing spectacular plays). In anime sports, winning or losing itself hardly matters at all, at least to my enjoyment of the series. What matters is how winning or losing affects the characters.
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HeeroTX



Joined: 15 Jul 2002
Posts: 2046
Location: Austin, TX
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:39 am Reply with quote
I think Gina's view on the "team" vs the "individual" is very interesting and on a subconscious level probably has some merit. I'd honestly be interested to see a study on the spychology of Western vs. Eastern entertainment vis a vie the collective/individual dynamic.

Another possibility is that Japanese sports anime don't often work in America because it uses (for American audiences) the WRONG sports. Baseball is on the wane (has been for a long time) and altho Soccer is gaining popularity, does not have a strong following in the US. Those are the two biggest sports in Japan (and the two most common anime sports). Other things like Tennis, Cycling, etc. are all olympic sports and yes, the US doesn't care about them outside of the olympics (and recently, maybe not even then).

Slam Dunk was too old when it finally got released in the US, otherwise it MIGHT have had a chance. I'm curious for the numbers on Eyeshield 21. I have no doubt that it didn't do well, but I'm curious how badly it did. Altho, in its defense, I don't think there was ANY effort made to market it, but that seems like one that could have had a chance if done just right.
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Gilles Poitras



Joined: 05 Apr 2008
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Location: Oakland California
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:49 am Reply with quote
PansyWansyLinsy wrote:
I'm probably in the minority, but you couldn't pay me to watch a sports anime or read a sports manga.

I strongly suggest you check out the Cross Game manga. it is about the characters not about the sport.

As for food portions in Japan I recommend folks eat breakfast at one of the Yayoi-ken branches. A traditional breakfast just like you seen in anime and manga. The portions are normal Japanese portions, and the meal is comparable in size to breakfast in the US. Plus Yayoi-ken has a bottomless pot of rice, you just get up and help yourself.

I once had breakfast at a branch when I visited Tokyo each day for two weeks, had a different selection for the main entre each day.

http://www.plenus.co.jp/english/yayoi.php
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Dunks



Joined: 31 Jan 2014
Posts: 11
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:53 am Reply with quote
I notice that in America, Anime about real-life activities don't have any popularity...in Europe and Latin countries, Kids grew up with Slice of life stuff, and some series about basketball and soccer.

I think they do good on the afternoon/evening/morning slots where it airs right along other things that kids like, Dragon Ball etc.

I think Slam Dunk woudn't have done bad had it aired in Toonami back in the day.

Overall tough as a title to go out and buy, it's pretty much hard to sell anyway.
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ParaChomp



Joined: 10 Dec 2010
Posts: 1018
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:58 am Reply with quote
Chagen46 wrote:
What? The Inazuma Eleven on the 3DS shop uses the dub names, doesn't it? I refused to buy it for that very reason.
Look at Pokemon, almost every character and creature uses a dub name and does that make us pass up on picking up the series? No and the same can be said for Inazuma Eleven...unless you're talking about the show.

Speaking of real life activities, Watamote!, the comic is published in North America and is great but it's probably because of how out there and spot on it is at pinpointing the worst possible situation.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 13715
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:43 pm Reply with quote
Mikeski wrote:

While sports anime, for the most part, all follow the very traditional chumps-to-champs storyline. We've got plenty of that here already, from The Bad News Bears to Rocky. We don't have to import it.


America is blessed with plenty of sports. And there's more than enough fantastic storylines around those sports that they don't need fantastical spins to make it more interesting. It's not just confined within the game itself; it's all around - the Curse of the Bambino, the Manning and Harbaugh Bros, LeBron's The Decision, the college fan celebrations, the Penn State cover-up, the NHL lockout, etc. We have multiple 24-hour sports channels of sport storylines to have our fill! There's more than enough stuff to talk about without delving into the make-believe.

Heck, we're currently going thru the March Madness brackets. Multi-billionaire 4th-richest-man-in-the-world Warren Buffett out of the blue offered $1 Billion --that's 1,000,000,000 dollars!-- just for anyone who fills out a perfect bracket, no qualifications asked. (Of course, it only took till the 2nd day of matches to break all millions of brackets, but the guy didn't become rich by not being smart. Laughing )

But see, that's the kind of scenario that you'd probably encounter in anime some CEO offering out to buy an island if a protagonist wins an impossible strategy card game tournament. It's already happening in the real world (with a $1B ya can buy your own island)!


Echo_City wrote:

BTW, is Girls und Panzer really doing all that well for Sentai? The show was "all the rage" when it aired, but now that it is here I haven't heard much about it. (*all emphasis added)


It's kinda passe now. It's a light above average show that caught people's imaginations at the right place at the right time (girls and tanks something fresh). But it's not so profound that you'd ponder much about it after the show's over. Happens all the time.


SnaphappyFMA wrote:

As for Justin's statement on how much food he eats, I think he's having us on. I've seen him at conventions and he's not fat.


Have ya seen the Nathan Hot Dog Eating champions (Japanese and American)?! Smile


Mikeski wrote:

It happens. My brother has a friend who's a big ironman-triathalon type. Constantly working out. And must have a blast-furnace metabolism on top of that.

He's got the size and physique of a middle-school kid (he's in his 30s). And claims his "maintenance" diet has to be 7000 calories a day to offset all his physical activity. If I ate like that, I'd be dead already.


When greatest swimmer Michael Phelps was still competing, his daily diet regiment requires 10,000 calories. Laughing
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eyeresist



Joined: 02 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:05 pm Reply with quote
Answerman wrote:
And that's to say nothing of FREE!, which I suspect is mostly popular due to its muscular, bare-chested male cast -- they could be painting fences instead of swimming and it'd still be a hit.

Well, forget sports - I am sure we are all now looking forward to the big fence-painting anime show in the new season, about a bunch of young guys who decide to team up to make some money over the summer.
You'd have all the types, including the older cynical guy who rediscovers his passion, the snooty kid who's trying to escape the pressure of his elite fence-painting family, and the young punk who knows nothing about fence-painting but turns out to be the best fence painter ever.
Also, along the way, we'd learn a lot about the history of paint, paint brushes and fences, as well as the laws applying to fences and other legally enforcable boundary markers.
The lean shirtless guys sweating in the summer sun would just be a nifty bonus.


I think we should stop confusing the issue of sports anime by including Bamboo Blade in the discussion. Yes, it's about physical competition, but it's based on a martial art, not a sport, and is more about enjoying kendo culture than winning the big game.
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