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Answerman - What Makes An Anime A Crossover Hit?


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Snakebit1995



Joined: 25 Apr 2015
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:22 pm Reply with quote
I actually agree with the person who asked the question, I also think AOT is annoyingly popular, I'm never sure if it's just some inner hipster or what but i don't really see what other people see in it.

But yeah i think the guidelines are pretty spot on, people was something that has action and is relatable, things like Dragon Ball, One Piece, Fairy Tail, people get this stuff and it's turn your brain off fun.

People in the west don't really care for slice of Life and Sports anime, of course there are always outliers like FREE but most shows that really "Blow up" in the west are the big action shows.

I find that Toonami is a good gauge, you'd likely never see a SofL or Sports show on there, the ratings just wouldn't show up. But what do you see as the ratings grabbers, action shows like DBZ, One Piece, SAO, Naruto AOT, Kill la Kill etc. The only "Non-action" show to blow up big on there was Dandy, and to some extent Matchiko and Hatchin.
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Selipse



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:26 pm Reply with quote
Subjective "goodness" aside, the action part seems to be really important and something to keep in mind when Attack on Titan's second season comes out.
I've already seen countless people complain that there's "too much talking" in the later parts of the manga (not to mention all the criticism of the first season for being "too slow"). We'll see how its popularity holds up when that gets animated. I just hope the popularity stays in Japan.
I personally prefer talking much more over non-stop action (though I do love action very much, Gurren Lagann is one of my all-time favorites).
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WashuTakahashi



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:28 pm Reply with quote
I'd add in that it has to be pretty gender-neutral. Shojos are never big hits since you can only hit half of the fanbase. The same goes for the types of shonen shows that are super heavy on the blood and guts and fighting and not much else. And harem animes will never be big, falling under the "not too pervy" category most of the time. Anything that strikes it big has to be something both genders can enjoy. Plenty of action for the boys, some emotional conflict/drama and a bit of romance sprinkled on top for the girls (but not so much that it's drive the boys away). That's why most anime that hit it big tend to be shonen, since in general girls are more willing to sit through the action scenes than guys would be willing to watch two characters go gaga for each other.

I think they also need to be not so...weird, for lack of a better word. Fantasy lands are welcomed and loved, but start getting too crazy and the audience numbers will dip pretty quickly. (The only exception I can think of off the top of my head is Bobobo...how that ever got on TV I'll never understand)
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TnKtRk



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:55 pm Reply with quote
What makes one a crossover hit?

Too me, when I see anime t-shirts at metal concerts, both local and big name. Those AoT shirts with the big titan are so Cannibal Corpse/Iron Maiden/Iced Earth/Megadeth, FMA sig shirts, so Slayer. HotD, at least the hand print design...who doesn't like zombies.

A crossover hit does just that, it crosses over not just animation fandom but others as well: music, literature (with the manga side of the equation), games, etc...

AgK so grindhousey...for fans of Starship Troopers (the movie versions) and over the top action movies.
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Saffire
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:05 pm Reply with quote
WashuTakahashi wrote:
I think they also need to be not so...weird, for lack of a better word. Fantasy lands are welcomed and loved, but start getting too crazy and the audience numbers will dip pretty quickly. (The only exception I can think of off the top of my head is Bobobo...how that ever got on TV I'll never understand)
FLCL for sure. I don't think Super Milk-chan (ugh) qualifies as a crossover hit but it did last a couple years on Adult Swim from what I remember.

Maybe I'm thinking of "weird" differently but I don't think it's necessarily an obstacle. Anime by default tends to stretch weirdness boundries so the audience tends to have certain understandings regarding it.
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John Thacker
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:12 pm Reply with quote
Another notable issue is when shows are more popular in the US than Japan. Some of those are American comics inspired, like The Big O, Trigun, Vampire Hunter D, etc., all of which had additional anime made solely because of the US market.

Attack on Titan is super popular in Japan as well. Popular enough that despite being a late night show, it is well-known among ordinary Japanese, features in mainstream commercials and segments on mainstream shows (like SMAPxSMAP), sold a ton of discs, etc. Granted, things that are "too Japanese" can be smash hits among ordinary people there and fail here (such as the hugely popular Mitsuru Adachi based sports anime), but it's still a good sign.

WashuTakahashi wrote:
I'd add in that it has to be pretty gender-neutral. Shojos are never big hits since you can only hit half of the fanbase. The same goes for the types of shonen shows that are super heavy on the blood and guts and fighting and not much else.


I don't know about the "not much else," but a lot of the anime that at least in the late '80s and early '90s penetrated casual consciousness in the US were definitely super heavy on the blood and guts and fighting. Ninja Scroll, Akira, etc. Ultraviolence was what most Americans associated with Japanese animation.

Romance is a pretty common theme in anime based on shoujo and josei manga, and that does tend to limit its audience for some of the same reason as sports anime-- it tends to be "too Japanese" and have too many embedded cultural references and assumptions. But you certainly can't say that shoujo anime is "never" a big hit, considering how Sailor Moon has certainly outperformed most anime in the US.

(Also, it's a pet peeve of me for people to say "shoujos" the way you did there. Just strikes me as incredibly wrong and jarring.)
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bobob101



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:17 pm Reply with quote
I mean this is the million dollar question. I think I'll add one more criteria: The first episode has to completely sell the show AND cannot pull a "you thought the show was about this but actually..." Think of Attack on Titan, the first episode you see humanity in the shitter, then the Titans come up, but only after even more despair. Or cowboy bebop, a show that is intensely stylish from episode one to the closing. And both shows are exactly what you think they are going to be after you watch the first episode. I feel this rule does apply to most hit TV anime.
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JTHomeslice



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:19 pm Reply with quote
I think the point about hits not being pervy is interesting when you look at the success of Kill la Kill. It hits most of the other points, but is packed with boobs n butts n glowy man nips. It's not as crazy huge as AoT, but did well on Toonami. (I actually think the DBZ lead in was smart on their part) Granted, I don't know how much Toonami has penetrated the "mainstream", but I think it's an interesting exception.
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Pipoko



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:27 pm Reply with quote
Selipse wrote:
Subjective "goodness" aside, the action part seems to be really important and something to keep in mind when Attack on Titan's second season comes out.
I've already seen countless people complain that there's "too much talking" in the later parts of the manga (not to mention all the criticism of the first season for being "too slow"). We'll see how its popularity holds up when that gets animated. I just hope the popularity stays in Japan.
I personally prefer talking much more over non-stop action (though I do love action very much, Gurren Lagann is one of my all-time favorites).


Yeah, of course not all people will probably like it, either way, as it is with everything, but there's plenty of action in season 2. I think part of the "slow" feeling is that it's monthly. The first half of season 2 is basically just a collection of continous action scenes. The second half becomes less action-focused, but has a few really great action chapters that could blow away when given top animation. I think it'll maintain popularity since it caught popularity despite the "slow" parts in season 1. I hope they plan the pacing of the series better, cutting down the pacing issue - extending the action for example, instead of the slower, non-actiony stuff, it'll work out really well.

I agree with the final point in this answer, especially. Specifically I feel like it does have to at least *start* good. I dislike Bleach, Naruto and Fairy Tail currently and dropped them all, but they did manage to grab a huge audience with their starts and I think that's because all of them did what they set up to do really well at first, just having at least alright writing. SAO had a good first episode, wasn't anything extremely offensive for it's first season's first half. People always just complain that the series jumped the shark, not that they were always bad. Whenever AoT and Tokyo Ghoul get their criticism it's always "it wasn't as good after -insert certain twist/point at the story- happened." Death Note gets this, too.
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Wrial Huden



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:28 pm Reply with quote
bobob101 wrote:
...cowboy bebop, a show that is intensely stylish from episode one to the closing.


Another quality about Cowboy Bebop is that the majority of the series is episodic. Most episodes can be enjoyed without having to start with episode 1.
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EricJ2



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:33 pm Reply with quote
Cartoon Network. Next question. Razz

Seriously, even without the "Newbies watching whatever's showing for free on broadcast/cable, like this was still 2002" factor, those are the good basic core reasons--
Although Funi's marketing and the universality of genre/localization still can't explain the utter Frozen-like MANIA for Titan on both coasts. Usually, like Naruto or One Piece, or DBZ back in the day, there's the "If you only had to pick one anime you'd heard of to go around saying you're a 'fan'" influence, but when we already have mainstream marketers selling Scout regiment t-shirts, it's already way beyond that.
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WashuTakahashi



Joined: 18 Mar 2015
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:35 pm Reply with quote
Saffire wrote:
FLCL for sure. I don't think Super Milk-chan (ugh) qualifies as a crossover hit but it did last a couple years on Adult Swim from what I remember.

Maybe I'm thinking of "weird" differently but I don't think it's necessarily an obstacle. Anime by default tends to stretch weirdness boundries so the audience tends to have certain understandings regarding it.


I think it depends on the type of weirdness? xD Like, I get the impression Space Dandy is probably really weird (haven't actually seen it, so could be wrong) but it was very popular. But I think there's a difference between say...Family Guy's "weird" and some anime's "weird." I can't explain what I'm thinking very well though. I think part of the weirdness falls into the "can't be too Japanese" category.

John Thacker wrote:
Romance is a pretty common theme in anime based on shoujo and josei manga, and that does tend to limit its audience for some of the same reason as sports anime-- it tends to be "too Japanese" and have too many embedded cultural references and assumptions. But you certainly can't say that shoujo anime is "never" a big hit, considering how Sailor Moon has certainly outperformed most anime in the US.


True, I totally forgot about magical girl shows in my shoujo category. Magical girls are kind of a special sub-category though. You can easily sell Sailor Moon and Card Captor and whatever to little girls and have their popularity skyrocket from them begging for themed toys from their parents. But we don't really see that anymore. Most of the Sailor Moon fans now are in their 20s-30s, and are fans because they saw it back when they were younger. Other areas of shoujo don't tend to do as well. I mean, you had Fruits Basket and Ouran that both got really popular, but not popular enough to make it onto Toonami. Pretty much anything that made it onto US TV besides magical girls was aimed at boys from maybe 10-20. (Not to say it couldn't appeal to others, but that was their target demographic)
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WashuTakahashi



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:40 pm Reply with quote
bobob101 wrote:
I think I'll add one more criteria: The first episode has to completely sell the show


This for sure. Any series that starts weak and you have to convince someone to watch by "It gets good after episode 3" isn't going to make it, no matter how amazing the series may get. People are more likely to stick around for a mediocre series that had a strong start than an amazing series that started slow/weak.
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Zakiel



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:44 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
(feudal Japan is, for all intents and purposes, as implacable and non-specific as your standard issue Tolkien fantasy setting)

Your non-standard use of implacable to mean "unable to be placed" bothers me more than it probably should.

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/implacable
or any other dictionary.

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/unplaceable
would be a better choice.
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Jonny Mendes



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:45 pm Reply with quote
I read this Anserman with very interest.

And is very curious that some of the rules that Justin give that would make a anime a hit in the west for me works in oposite way, are reasons for me to don't be very interested in that anime.

-I like anime that are very Japanese and Japanese related.

-Too much action are a big turn-off to me, i like when are long dialogues and story based developments. And a romance is a must.

-Most of the so called "Otaku" anime are not pervy to me. Well DxD and Shinmai Maou no Testament, Hagure Yousha no Aestetica are a little over the top (in a goood way Twisted Evil ) but most of the rest are not really something that makes me think "whoo this is sooo ecchi".

Well i don't know that is because im European and not a American.
The reasons the Justin give maybe work in the US, but in the Europe anime market that maybe not be true, for example sports anime and magical girl anime works very well here.
Many of my European anime fans friends think like me.

So say that are rules that makes a anime a hit in the West is a little too much. In US maybe but not in the rest of the West.
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