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Japanese Animation: An American Market Powerhouse

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Japanese Animation: An American Market Powerhouse

In 1954 an adventurous and upbeat cartoon called Astro Boy captured the imaginations of all children under the Rising Sun. This vivid type of drawing style inspired a cult following of idol worshiping fanatics. The existence of such enthusiastic consumers, known as otaku, has come under the attention of current international trade markets (mainly the North American market) for their "loyal customer" status. Otaku have attached anime to American culture like "white on rice". In the United States, the largest video and comic market is anime and manga; however, many conflicting culture issues and stereotypes have created problems for said markets to maintain a healthy profit margin.

One of the key issues keeping the anime industry from succeeding in the United States as it does in Japan is the belief, in the U.S., that cartoons are strictly for children. This stereotype hinders any chance of appealing to the actual age group that generates income. A large contributor to this problem is the censorship of American television. The few anime programs that make it to syndication are children animes, such as Pokemon, or animes that are censored to such a degree that prime-time slots fall below their grasp. This "propagandish" like view of anime in the American household will diverge adults from even considering the possibility of their being intellectual anime.

Violence in anime has also deterred consumers. It is true that some anime (Fist of North Star & Ninja Scroll) are notorious for dreadful acts of violence, but not all anime advocates such ideals. Americans must realize that all forms of media make use of gore and intense action. Japan has had anime for decades now, and a sampling of the shows might produce the following: a baseball anime, an anime for little girls about some friends with magical powers, a comedy anime, and yes, one fantasy anime with guts and gore. To many fans these diverse genres of anime only further prove the fact that anime is a fine art, an art that must be respected and accepted.

Modern and traditional American competition in the animated market has pushed stresses on Japanese trade with loyal U.S. otaku. Currently within the U.S. anime industry,

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