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Manga Answerman - Do Foreign Manga Sales Matter to North American Publishers?




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Blanchimont



Joined: 25 Feb 2012
Posts: 1636
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:20 pm Reply with quote
As a Finn, I can provide some insight, as you mentioned an anime adaptation may play a role, and indeed it aired on television here and was even released on vhs on several occasions a few decades back.

I doubt it draws that much of the youth, it's likely more a case of a nostalgia trip for the crowd who saw it in their younger days...
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Spastic Minnow
Bargain HunterBargain Hunter


Joined: 02 May 2006
Posts: 3746
Location: Central Florida
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:34 pm Reply with quote
Did Deb forget to theorize the reasons it was popular in Finland?

I mean, it seems like a natural fit, a dog and his pack surviving in a snowy wilderness. Not to say Finland is just snow and wild bears... but there's a lot of snow and wild bears.
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grooven



Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Posts: 1295
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:57 pm Reply with quote
As for Ginga Legend Weed series by ComicsOne they only got to volume 3. I had seen it in Japan in 2001 and was curious about it (we all know how much "information" the internet had.back then.) So when I saw it translated I picked the up right away and bought up to 20 in Japanese.
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residentgrigo



Joined: 23 Dec 2007
Posts: 1487
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:21 pm Reply with quote
They only reason why the Simpsons comic line lasted over 2 decades is due to it being so big in Europe, specifically Germany. Bongo owns the rights to these though and produces them, for (mostly) the foreign audience. The OP´s example on the other hand is harder to get one´s head around.
The topical wild dogs manga are really weird btw.
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ninjamitsuki



Joined: 15 Sep 2007
Posts: 288
Location: Anywhere (Thanks, technology)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:04 pm Reply with quote
I'm hoping that at least the two Ginga anime will one day be licensed in the states, it has a very strong cult following.
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Weazul-chan



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 601
Location: Michigan
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:18 pm Reply with quote
ninjamitsuki wrote:
I'm hoping that at least the two Ginga anime will one day be licensed in the states, it has a very strong cult following.
yeah, or at least get legally streamed. if only so there can be a better English sub translation out there. I've seen two different subbed versions for the first and both had issues, including one suddenly having three almost gagsubbed episodes in the middle, with lines like "mass naked fight event."

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ninjamitsuki



Joined: 15 Sep 2007
Posts: 288
Location: Anywhere (Thanks, technology)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:19 am Reply with quote
Yeah, the fansubs for Ginga Nagareboshi Gin were REALLY bad, it made the whole thing infuriating to watch.
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Jinbei



Joined: 12 May 2014
Posts: 17
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:21 am Reply with quote
As for additional insight, the original Ginga Nagareboshi Gin was dubbed into Finnish in 86-87 and at the time, all cartoons and animated films were deemed as entertainment for kids and thus, the effort spent on dubbing cheap cartoons was minimal. Some wild stories circulated in my youth, that a certain chain of retail stores sold Urotsukidoji(yes, the infamous tentacle-rape hentai) casettes right next to Winnie the Pooh in the mid-90's..

Silver Fang("Hopeanuoli") had a crappy dub, but it became a legend anyways... Hell, I remember playing a dog fighting bears in kindergarten even before I saw one single episode, hearing the wild story from another kid who got the VHS on christmas. We even jumped on a tractor and kicked it, imagining it to be Akakabuto, the monster bear and main antagonist of the show... I might've been 5 or 6..

The real Ginga-fever rose in late 2010 or early 2011, when Punainen Jättiläinen("Red Giant") announced the publication of the original manga. I think it was also deemed as "The Cultural Deed of 2011" or something... Soon, we had fans making musicals about the series and in the convention where Takahashi came to visit, he was given the best seat and apparently he loved the show.

Takahashi himself, if I remember correctly, always was a little baffled by the wildfire of fame his series got in Scandinavia, but he has said he likes to tell stories of samurai-like courage and honor and never gets tired of it. If you've read even half of Silver Fang, you know what I mean...
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VampireNaomi



Joined: 30 Aug 2010
Posts: 97
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:04 am Reply with quote
Jinbei wrote:
Silver Fang("Hopeanuoli") had a crappy dub, but it became a legend anyways... Hell, I remember playing a dog fighting bears in kindergarten even before I saw one single episode, hearing the wild story from another kid who got the VHS on christmas. We even jumped on a tractor and kicked it, imagining it to be Akakabuto, the monster bear and main antagonist of the show... I might've been 5 or 6..


I was also playing dogs vs bear battles with my siblings and cousins. Absolutely everyone had seen the anime when I was growing up and as a teenager I remember even my classmates who usually mocked anime were willing to admit that it was cool. It had that much nostalgia value.

But nostalgia alone probably doesn't explain the success. Maybe animal stories just appeal to people in Finland since there is a surprising number of animal-related manga available here, some of which are pretty obscure titles.
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GeorgeC



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 611
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:27 am Reply with quote
Apples and oranges, guys.

Whatever is popular in Japan, may not necessarily be popular in your country!

And like anything in pop culture, popularity will rise and fall in waves sometimes unpredictably, other times a result of fan weariness if they see too much of the same thing from a creator.

Manga licensors glomp onto fads and trends like any other business to make money. That's the operative word -- BUSINESS. It's not about love or being a fan of everything because I'm sure licensing employees have wanted to license things that they liked but realistically couldn't because of legal issues and the fact that they've TRIED to sell certain creators' works in their territory in the past but they've never found an audience for that creator!

For instance, Go Nagai. No matter what they've tried, he's never been more than niche in the US no matter what series it was -- Mazinger, Cutie Honey, Devilman, etc. There's a perception ALL his work is perverted and "out there" (a stereotype that's arguably true to a point!) but the fact is a lot of mainstream anime works have been influenced by his creations. Mazinger Z, arguably his most successful creation, pretty much defined the modern super robot genre around giant robots controlled by humans operating them from WITHIN the robot instead of physically riding on the shoulder of the mecha (Giant Robo) OR controlling the mecha from a distance with a remote (Tetsujin-28 and Giant Robo again, from the 1960s). It seems like such a small thing but there was this little show that was influenced by Mazinger Z to a degree that came along 6 years later. It was called Mobile Suit Gundam! Gundam became even bigger than Mazinger Z by the mid-1980s. Getter Robo and (of course!) Great Mazinger were more immediately and directly influenced by the original Mazinger Z.
Still no question Nagai has his fans. I personally like Mazinger and Cutie Honey quite a bit!

Monkey Punch is another manga creator that has had difficulty breaking in the US with his creations. We pretty much all associate him with Lupin III but he's done more than that character and his crew. (Honestly, I just own most of the Lupin III North American DVD/Blu ray releases and the Cinderella Boy anime.) Nevertheless, a few companies have braved the occasional dry spells and licensed more than just Castle of Cagliostro. We're probably in an era right now with the more recent TV series (Lupin III Parts 4 and 5) where Lupin III is far more popular in the West than he was in the 1990s or 2000s. It's taken a while but it seems like Japan's "Anime Bond" is finally catching on with some anime fans.
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