What Has Piracy Done For Anime?
February 2, 2012 5:09 PM   Subscribe

In 2000, the anime industry was on the brink of what looked like a global takeover, and was pushing live action movies to the side. However, trouble began to take hold just a few years later, when labour issues involving long hours and low pay, along with a sharp drop in anime DVD sales, began to cause serious trouble for the industry. Although some government officials pinned their hopes in beefing up exports in order to breathe life into the economy, to industry insiders the situation looked bleak and possibly unresolvable using traditional models. However, other avenues - such as the internet, and even internet piracy - were studied for their economic effects. The results?

Mixed.

A report from the Japanese Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry released in February 2011 came to the conclusion that pirated episodes of anime showed on YouTube did not hurt the sale of anime DVDs, but helped increased sales of them. In addition, in 2011 - when sales of DVDs as a whole dropped by 13.5% - sales of anime DVDs went up by 5.3%, ending a five-year slump.

At the same time, this is just the domestic market. Overseas, the increase of available material on the internet does not appear to have helped sales, as a report the same year from the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) showed anime DVD sales in America had been on an almost steady decline since 2003. Sales have been so low, in fact, that even giants like Bandai Entertainment are shuttering their doors in North America, and Funimation voice actor Kyle Hebert believes piracy has a direct effect on lagging sales.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing (32 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
Interesting, and not too surprising. I remember going to an anime convention around 2000 in California where some folks from the Love Hina anime would be doing Q&A. They were surprised at the turnout for a show that wasn't promoted at all in the US. The show was not yet on DVD, even in Japan, so everyone was there because of fansubs.

But if fans are used to watching shows as fansubs, who buys DVDs? I knew a few guys who would import Japanese DVDs in advance of any US availability, because they wanted pristine video and they had the money, but they were rarities. Most of the fans downloaded episodes, only buying their favorite shows on DVD.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:18 PM on February 2, 2012


I haven't seen any anime I've liked enough to own since the Ghost in the Shell tv series. I own both box sets of that. In my personal pocket universe, anime sales are down because of a lack of a really appealing product in recent years, but I haven't really kept up either. I didn't have to "keep up" to come across Stand Alone Complex. Have I missed anything really good since?
posted by distressingly thick sheets at 5:22 PM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


I suspect piracy has little to do with it. Anime piracy has fallen just as much as anime DVD sales... the only "pirated" shows are fandubs, which are a completely different thing entirely. If these companies are floundering it's because their business model is terrible. A lot of people won't buy DVDs when everything is available streaming for free, sure, but I was under the impression a major target market for American anime was children who couldn't buy the DVDs even if they wanted to, and probably don't know how to pirate anime either. These companies have chosen to willingly stream their shows for free on their websites as well as on Youtube, presumably to sell more Beyblades and card games and such. They seem to be doing alright in the birthday/christmas market for the males under 16 set, which basically hasn't changed since Pokemon Red came out.

From what I can tell, these companies spent a decade cutting every corner to inundate the American market with as much poorly-dubbed crap as possible in an attempt to maximize merchandise sales, and it didn't work out well as was hoped, and so now they're trying to blame piracy even though the companies themselves put all their shows online for free to push merch. Cue world's smallest violin.
posted by mek at 5:25 PM on February 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Fansubs, ahem. Fandubs are really a completely COMPLETELY different thing.
posted by mek at 5:27 PM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also note that Media Blasters drastically scaled back, and is basically a shell of themselves. Speaking of shell, ADV films went bankrupt, and in a bit of account jujitsu, remade themselves as Section 23, getting out of debt, which Funimation is now suing them for, as representative of the Japanese holders of the debt. So not much of a thriving industry.

I would also say that part of the decline has been the rise of streaming sites, and by that I'm referring to the legitimate ones, like Crunchyroll, Niconico, and Funimation's own site.

Fansubs, ahem

Given the amount of content that goes to legit streaming sites, most fansubs are piracy. I think Animesuki is giving up on keeping track of which shows are licensed, because the majority of shows people are interested in show up on one of the streaming sites. It's annoying fansubbers, as it's impossible to faster than their simulcasts.

I think the middle of the market is out though. People who want the anime day and date will go to the streaming sites, and the few people who want the DVD will have to pay Japanese prices.
posted by zabuni at 5:39 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Have I missed anything really good since?

Lots, yes, but without knowing your personal taste it's hard to make recommendations. Yoshitoshi Abe's work might appeal to you, especially collaborations with Chiaki Konaka. Haibane Renmei is probably the best of the bunch, but Serial Experiments Lain and Texhnolyze are both wonderful as well.

Masaaki Yuasa (you know what, I'm just listing things I enjoy and maybe you'll like them too!) is also worth looking into. I love The Tatami Galaxy, but Kaiba, Kemonozume and Mind Game are all pretty interesting too.

Wandering Son is worth mentioning also.

There are movies, too--more recently, Summer Wars, Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo and of course Mamoru Oshii has continued to make beautiful films (The Sky Crawlers may be my personal favorite).

Um. There's a lot of interesting animation to come from Japan. It seems like you do have to dissociate "animation from Japan" from "anime-as-a-genre" to find the quality stuff, though. I've found people who are really into anime to be the worst people to talk to about finding animated films I'll like.
posted by byanyothername at 5:39 PM on February 2, 2012 [15 favorites]


Oops, misread. Yeah, I agree that it's difficult to see why people would buy the dvd when you can get HD streaming for low prices.
posted by zabuni at 5:40 PM on February 2, 2012


If you put enough obstacles in between a consumer and what they want, they'll either give up, or find ways to deal with the obstacles. Region coding on DVDs, combined with release dates months to years after the original release date are an artificial constraint which either turns off the casual fan (who turns to youtube), or turns the hardcore fan into a pirate. There was a huge a huge market available in the States, but the continued inability of the anime producers to realize the opportunity available has possibly crippled their chances. Fans in America have either given up or found ways to get it without paying for it. How can you convince people who've never been legitimately able to purchase something to start paying if you still haven't made it reasonable to do so?
posted by Ghidorah at 5:40 PM on February 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


Speaking as somebody who was a sorta big anime fan back in the late '90s/early 00's, the biggest downfall of the US anime DVD market was that the industry all but stopped making shows for anybody except the crazy otaku fanpersons. Whereas there used to be dozens of "crossover" anime series that attracted lots of different kinds of viewers, everything I see now seems to be pitched pretty squarely to the Pocky-and-stuffed-animal-backpack market.
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:42 PM on February 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


Given the amount of content that goes to legit streaming sites, most fansubs are piracy.

FMA:Brotherhood is an interesting example - there were no immediate fansubs, because Funimation actually did them themselves as the show was released (gasp!), so everyone just watched it on Funimation's legit site. Fansubs are "piracy" but they're entirely preventable: they are people volunteering to perform a service the content makers can't be bothered to. It's like torrenting British TV instead of waiting months to get it on BBC America. There exists market solutions that the companies don't care to use, so too bad so sad.

Fansubbers provide a free subtitling service and an expanded audience for the show. They are not the problem, and even if they were, there's an easy solution.
posted by mek at 5:47 PM on February 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


Speaking as somebody who was a sorta big anime fan back in the late '90s/early 00's, the biggest downfall of the US anime DVD market was that the industry all but stopped making shows for anybody except the crazy otaku fanpersons.

Obligatory Neojaponisme link. Five-part series on why Japan seems like a nation of otakus.
posted by chrominance at 5:49 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I posted this link to Twitter and was told that the operation (Crunchyroll) that was pirating Anime to add captions for an American audience and ended up going legit as a distributor.
posted by k8t at 5:53 PM on February 2, 2012


Bandai's gone? Well, damn.
posted by infinitewindow at 6:05 PM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm going to second the comparison to getting British TV in the US. People want thing immediately, and thanks to torrents and the internet they not only know when something is released in its home country, they have access to it almost as quickly due to piracy. How many people aren't watching Downton Abbey on PBS because they downloaded those episodes months ago.

If content producers want to market their product world-wide, they need to release their product everywhere simultaneously. Any delay at all and you're just losing what might otherwise be legitimate customers to piracy.

The 90s business model for anime distribution in North America - slowly cranking out dubs and charging an arm and a leg for a few episodes at a time - is no longer a feasible business model. They lost to the fansubs. If Japanese production houses want to make money in the US, they need to translate subs in-house and distribute simultaneously with Japan.
posted by thecjm at 6:07 PM on February 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


Having a business model where your biggest customers are the very people most likely to engage in piracy -- teens and college students with a lot of tech-savviness, a little entitlement, and not much disposable income -- means it's hard to be surprised at how poorly the anime market is doing.

An acquaintance who's really knowledgeable about the industry in and out of Japan attributes a lot of the problem to the collapse of the manga market in the early '00s. Previous to that, a huge percentage of anime were adapted from popular manga, but now anime are more likely to be adapted from video games and light novels -- which gave rise to anime that were more haremy and fanservicey. (I've also read the Neojaponisme article, which I found very insightful.)

These days I spend more time reading Japanese novels than watching anime, so I'm grateful for my old-school anime fandom but kind of disconnected from it at the same time. Tatami Galaxy got me reading Morimi Tomihiko, though, and Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica was all kinds of great (even as I criticize the how widespread that particular kind of aesthetic is.)
posted by Jeanne at 6:09 PM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is a good (if extreme) example at what happens when companies keep content locked up and try to take shortcuts through greed.

Anime companies have a bad name for themselves at taking months if not years to license a show and then screwing it up famously. Not to mention if you're outside R1 you may as well not fucking exist.

If you want to get ahead of the curve you need to actually run ahead of it. Anime companies need to be looking at distribution into the US market during intial development and even start having sister channels ready for distribution of new anime. Start a new cable network if you have to and stick it on basic cable. DVDs should be coming out weeks after the airings not months.

Australia has the same problem. Shows that are incredibly popular in the US sometimes take months (i.e. every Australian knows the feeling of watching "first run" Christmas episodes in fucking August). As a result we'd just pull it down over BitTorrent instead. TV channels would eventually license it based on buzz but it's too late. We already have not only seen it but we have pirate digital copies that we give to all our friends because it's the only way we can physically watch the content.

But whatever. Piracy is the problem here.
posted by Talez at 6:10 PM on February 2, 2012 [10 favorites]


My wife and I used to watch a lot of anime, mostly fansubs because that was where you could get the interesting stuff (like slice of life, josei, weird things like Cooking Master Boy). We'd always check out was was going on in the Noitamina slot. Then we started knitting, and it's hard to knit and watch subtitles, so we stopped. Now all the good stuff seems to come to hulu and crunchyroll and other legit sites right away! Which would be great if we weren't knitting. We tried watching Cross Game, which was totally worth it (even managed to make baseball exciting), but it made us knit crosseyed. I guess we could watch dubbed stuff, but it's so rarely well done.
posted by rikschell at 6:14 PM on February 2, 2012


I used to be into anime in a big way, but not so much anymore. I don't even download many fansubs - so that doesn't explain why they've lost *me* as a customer.

The main problem I have right now is that the quality is so bad. Sure, Sailor Moon - the show that got me into anime - wasn't an animated version of *The Wire*, but it was fun and endearing in a way that few animes are these days. Now it seems that most anime that is actually being marketed is more about gimmicks than characters.

The second problem is that the internet has changed the way we consume our media. We hear more about what is being produced in Japan before it ever reaches the US, and when it does reach the US, we aren't willing to pay $20 for four episodes of a show. It comes to the US (legitimately) too late and when it does, it's too expensive for its current market.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 7:01 PM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


byanyothername, thanks for the recommendations. I like Haibane Renmei and Wandering Son quite a bit, so it's good to hear other, similarly good things.
posted by jiawen at 7:43 PM on February 2, 2012


Sure, US anime DVD sales have been down since 2003. DVD sales in general have been trending down as the streaming market grows. Besides which, 2003 was the middle of a popularity bubble for anime in general in the US. As that anomalous bubble evens out, and DVD's in general are on the wane, I'd expect to see a downward trend.

And it doesn't help that the Japanese response to slumping domestic sales has been, essentially, to heavily play to their most loyal viewer base. If they were deliberately trying to alienate their female viewers in the US (a non-insubstantial percentage), they couldn't have done much worse.

Still, I admit that so far as their R1 market goes, they're on the horns of a dilemma.

Their ideal situation was what they had in the early 2000's: low-res fansubs available through piracy to helped sell DVD's. Everyone could see the show for free. Anyone who liked it enough to want a clean copy had to buy the DVD. All was good.

But now that a normal fansub is 720p, they do actively compete with DVD sales. From, say 2006 until a couple of years ago, they were in a situation where "No piracy = no demand because no one knows the show" but "Rampant piracy = no demand because everyone has good copies a year before the first DVD rolls out of the plant." A losing proposition either way.

Along come Hulu/Crunchyroll, etc. At that point they don't have much choice. To get cash out of the system somewhere, they are then forced into deals with Crunchyroll, et al, but if you think fansubs cannibalize DVD sales, Crunchyroll just obliterates them, because it highlights how many people just wanted to watch a show, vs. permanently own it.

What the studios want, of course, is for people to buy DVD's as the only way to watch it at all, to go back to the days of buying a VHS tape sight unseen. But that model's been broken for good now.

As an aside, Crunchyroll even finally got me recently: I've been watching one or two animes a year for a long time now. Not a rabid fan, just a dilettante, but an old, old hand at it. A couple of years back I would have downloaded a fansub, because I didn't want to wait a year or two. Then I'd likely just delete it, or if I liked it enough to want to keep it, buy the DVD when it finally came out. Now? The show I'm currently following, Crunchyroll offers in 1080p, professionally subbed, an hour after it airs in Japan. Why am I going to go through the hassle of tracking down fansubs?
posted by tyllwin at 8:22 PM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


The show I'm currently following, Crunchyroll offers in 1080p, professionally subbed, an hour after it airs in Japan. Why am I going to go through the hassle of tracking down fansubs?

To add to this, there are subgroups that are just as professional as Crunchyroll's, with episodes ready in about the same time frame, but they're not operating through streaming sites. This naturally depends on the series' popularity, but there are a lot of means to reach consumers not being tapped here.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:42 PM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've found people who are really into anime to be the worst people to talk to about finding animated films I'll like.
cool thanks for the info
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 8:42 PM on February 2, 2012


"Have I missed anything really good since?"

I learned about Puella Magi Madoka Magica thanks to Mefi. It's just... insane. In a good way.

Very strange and ultimately captivating.
posted by Kevin Street at 8:46 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


To add to this, there are subgroups that are just as professional as Crunchyroll's, with episodes ready in about the same time frame

Absolutely true -- I could pick from at least 4 fansub groups. 720p and maybe better translations, actually. (Or better for someone who's half-ass trying to learn the language at least.) Were I a starving student (who couldn't afford DVD's anyway), or if the studio were to not license it at all, I would absolutely be watching one of them. I suppose I'm trying to make the point that the DVD model can't even hang on to me -- the guy who can afford to buy a DVD, and would prefer to be legit. I'm their ideal guy -- able to pay, and demonstrably willing.

But since Kevin Street brought up Makoda Magica (terrific show, BTW), have you guys seen the info about the DVD release of that:

Aniplex of America announced Puella Magi Madoka Magica will be released in three parts, each with three format options: a special DVD/Blu-ray combo limited edition ($94.98 SRP), a standard Blu-ray edition ($49.98 SRP), and a standard DVD edition ($39.98 SRP)


So, a year after the show ends, $10 per SD episode? $12 for HD? Seriously? In the current economy? And they find sales are slipping? Color me shocked.
posted by tyllwin at 9:06 PM on February 2, 2012


I suppose I'm trying to make the point that the DVD model can't even hang on to me -- the guy who can afford to buy a DVD, and would prefer to be legit. I'm their ideal guy -- able to pay, and demonstrably willing.

I'm in much the same boat. Although Crunchyroll is currently airing only two of the six series I'm following right now, their subs are good, and I have turned to them for series I know I'm not going to want to hang onto. I like the flexibility involved in how I watch and what I watch. I'd gladly pay a subscription fee to any of these groups, to be honest.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:15 PM on February 2, 2012


Warning: Thoughts from someone who doesn't really know a lot...

I have always known of anime and manga and the likes and enjoy reading the books backwards at the local book shop (teeheehee!)

My favorite film I (still think: ever) that used to be my "blanky" film when I was little was Laputa a.k.a the Floating Island from studio ghibli.

It was just ... just amazing. There was an entire world with magical flying ships and exciting pirates and falling in love with princesses and it was just perfect. I loved it and must have seen it going on 20 odd times now. Still I find slight nuances in the production as I grow up watching it regularly (the first time being about 16 years ago).

Then my red-headed ex girlfriend told that me this beautiful film came from "Studio Ghibli" as she had bought a DVD collection of them and her brother was a big anime fan.

So we watched all of them, each one so magical and whimsical and with almost every emotion one could want from a film.

Then I moved to Malaysia with family when I was little and a lot of my chinese friends were anime-heads and enjoyed watching Evangelion - to me it was just such fun to watch; and quite grown up - at least, a lot more than my "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and other such similar programs I watched.

So without a big list of episodes to watch, the funds to appropriate them or indeed the knowledge of where these things come from (I petitioned the parents once to see if we could import tapes from Malaysia: didn't work :( )

So I returned to the UK and carried on watching the Ghibli films and the occasional anime episode of whatever my Hard-core-anime friend happened to have at the time (Absolutely LOVED the Hellsing series: shivers down my spine just thinking about it. Akira was a little too hardcore for me but I can appreciate it entirely). Then Disney (it was Disney right?) put their beak in and twinned with the studio to release spirtied away / howls moving castle and ... the other one I don't remember. Then it became a little main stream. Still I clocked on with the odd piece (movies especially); ghost in the shell , sky crawlers, steam boy etc..

It was around then where I turned on the television and started seeing kids cartoons adopt much more of a anime feel. Pokemon, Digimon, the new X Men, Ben 10, Kim Possible, dexters lab, powerpuff girls (although theres a special place in my heart for those young girls - am I allowed to fancy them?) - all these hip n' trendy american cartoon shows just looked like spawns of the anime that I watched back in Asia.

I think now that most kid/young adult shows have some element of "anime-like design" in them. Perhaps this is satiating the need for the kids to watch traditional anime?

As they have so much on offer, at such a moldable younger stage in their lives they will simply turn on the TV and watch whatever is there? Am I justified (or not) in saying that the current trend of Western cartoons are filling the anime gap that would otherwise exist?

For me personally (and perhaps for others) I become attracted to Anime when people pull me into it. My hardcore friend, my ex, my nana recording Laputa when I was little - and more recently a new aquaintance I have met: "You have GOT ... to see Cowboy Bebop..."

So a month ago, my current (and much better) girlfriend bought me the Cowboy Bebop series on DVD.

For me: Piracy does nothing to encourage or discourage anime. BUT if piracy causes people to download more - then they procede to tell me how wonderful it is? Ill buy the DVD ...

And as such, I would love to hear any reccomendations that people would extoll and I would like to thank everyone who has listed some Anime series' in this thread to bring people like me back from the brink of Pirating something that someone has put a lot of hardwork into :)
posted by Cogentesque at 1:58 AM on February 3, 2012


Cogentesque, if you like studio Ghibli movies, you may want to check out Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai (We still don’t know the name of the flower we found that day), which hits the same spot for me and I've been slowly watching the past few months.

It's a short series about a group of friends who used to be much closer as children, until the day one of them died in an accident, who has now returned to haunt the protagonist. She's still the same age she was when she died and she feels she can only "move on" if a wish of hers is granted, but she herself doesn't know what that is. It's moving without being sentimental, with the only supernatural element that ghost.
posted by MartinWisse at 4:13 AM on February 3, 2012


Also sort of in line with liking Studio Ghibli, Cogentesque, though for differing reasons:

Haibane Renmei (a series), mentioned upthread, gives me that same warm inner glow.

Paprika (a movie), has, for me, the same level of being visually interesting

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (another SF movie) also has a very Ghibli-esque feel for me.

All three are really accessible and don't require any sort of exhaustive knowledge of anime or Japanese culture.

Fans may suggest Madoka Magica or Suzumiya Haruhi, and those are both really great series, but also very much an "insider game." I don't think you can really appreciate those without intimately knowing the tropes that're playing off of.

Trying to key off of Hellsing would get you really different suggestions, of course. But to go way out on a limb and imagine a combination of a Ghibli movie and bloody death at every corner: Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni
posted by tyllwin at 6:30 AM on February 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think the comments on the failure of the anime industry to create good, popular stuff in recent times is kind of supported by the fact that as I read this thread, and as someone who was once very much into anime about six years ago, I recognize the majority of titles being mentioned.

On the bright side, Cogentesque, if you're just now learning about and enjoying Cowboy Bebop, you got a lot of years of good viewing ahead of you!
posted by Atreides at 7:27 AM on February 3, 2012


"I don't think you can really appreciate those without intimately knowing the tropes that're playing off of."

Not necessarily. I'd never seen a "magical girl" series before, or whatever genre Madoka was using as a template, but the characters (and background artwork) were so compelling it didn't matter after about three episodes. Sometimes you've just got to hang in there for a while and absorb the strangeness until everything comes together. That experience of growing to appreciate a story and set of tropes that's totally different from the everyday is on the best things about foreign films and TV, imo.

"Paprika (a movie), has, for me, the same level of being visually interesting"

Anything by Satoshi Kon is amazing! His loss was a terrible blow to anime. Hard to believe it's been almost two years already.

Another series I've been enjoying is Moonlight Mile. It's sort of hard science fiction in the same vein as Planetes, although not quite as realistic. But it's another one of those shows that takes a while to get going.
posted by Kevin Street at 8:25 AM on February 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


As long as we're tossing out recommendations for newcomers to anime:

Paranoia Agent - Pitch-perfect detective story from the genius behind Perfect Blue.
Mahou Shoujou Madoka Magica - Even if you're not familiar with the whole "magic girl" genre of anime, this is a modern classic. The story starts with a group of sweet loveable high school girls, before descending into a karmic pit of hell, fondest wishes and best intentions.
Eve no Jikan - At six 15-minute episodes, it's a very short series, but explores the moral ambiguity of the near future where robots have become more sentient quite well.
Haibane Renmei - A friend of mine once described this as "if Haruki Murakami directed an anime series", and that's not too far off the mark. Fantasy presented casually, humorously, and sometimes terrifyingly.
Fractale - An overall visually stunning critique of politics and organized religion.
Kino no Tabi - Kid rides talking motorcycle through a series of countries, has fable-like adventures. Slow-paced but worth the payoff.
Eden of the East - The impending apocalypse handled with aplomb, humor, and perfect timing.
Trapeze - Probably one of the most visually radical anime series ever made, we follow a psychiatrist who tries a number of unconventional treatments for her unconventional patients.
Nichijou - To my mind, the finest example of "slice of life" anime; stories about the everyday lives of a group of friends, with some truly absurd comedy.
Serial Experiments Lain - Deeply weird science-fiction series written in the early days of the internet.
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya - This series started a revolution of sorts in the anime world, raising the bar across the board in terms of story and character content. Does take some satirical jabs at the genre, but not so many that the humor and magic will be entirely lost on a new viewer.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:21 AM on February 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


Cogentesque, a lot of why new American tv cartoons have an anime feel is due to the fact that the first generations of kids Western kids raised on cheaply imported and dubbed Japanese cartoons have grown up, and are working in the industry... making stuff influenced by what they grew up on.

There isn't a "need" to watch Japanese cartoons that's being filled. Kids can and will watch whatever crap is on sometimes. And they'll latch onto the damnedest stuff. It's just that nowadays, all the pros grew up loving Japanese stuff as well as Western stuff. Some loved nothing but, and you can see it in their work. Some loved other stuff - for instance, the creator of Dexter's Lab loves 60s limited animation designs, but the regular references made it pretty clear he grew up watching colossal amounts of stuff like G-Force and Speed Racer along with the Yogi Bear.

(And some of the stuff you cite IS Asian. Pokemon and Digimon were both dubbed!)
posted by egypturnash at 12:28 PM on February 3, 2012


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