Date: 2006 October 05 11:00
Posted by Joe
Regular readers of Otaku News will no doubt be unsurprised to find that anime is popular around the world. The Yomiuri Shimbun has an interesting article that reports on how popular anime is, with Captain Majed the soccer anime (better known as Captain Tsubasa) being a big hit in Iraq. The Japanese government used Tsubasa's popularity by putting his image on Japanese supply trucks in Iraq, this proved popular with Iraqi children and it shows that anime characters can be goodwill ambassadors.
The article then moves to Simona Stanzani Pini an Italian translator of manga, who states that she grew up watching anime on her local television, and how Japanese animation has become a part of Italian culture.
Interesting facts are also revealed, with an Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry estimate stating about 60 percent of the worlds animation coming from Japan. Which leads on the Japanese companies moving into foreign markets, mentioning that in 2004 Toei Animation Co, (now 50 years old), opening local offices in Los Angeles and Paris acting as a direct sales contact instead of through a third party. It's interesting because many industry insiders in the west have predicted that anime companies would one day cut out the middle man and sell directly to their foreign markets.
Toei has also created an anime version of the Powerpuff Girls, giving them a distinctly Japanese look. Called Demashitaa! Powerpuff Girls Z, the series is currently showing on TV Tokyo and is scheduled to be shown worldwide on Cartoon Network in the near future.