Anime Research Paper Questions



  • Dear FUNimation,

    I am writing a research paper on anime for my Senior English class, and I wanted to have a few questions answered by somebody who knows about the industry. Here are the questions:

    1. What makes a successful anime so good?
    2. What is the general target audience for anime?
    3. Is there a difference between people who watch anime in America and people who watch it in Japan (besides the obvious, i.e. location, subs/dubs, etc.)? If so, what are the differences?
    4. Why is anime basically shunned in American culture?
    5. How does FUNimation market anime towards Americans?

    Please answer them to the best of your ability. Thank you very much for your time!



    1. in the 80s it was lasers. in the 90s it was fight scenes that lasted 17 episodes. In the 2000s it was grit. Today it's moe and panty shots.

    2. Lonely 20-30 somethings, elderly women.

    3. Otaku sub-culture is more prevalent in Japan, and anime is more mainstream.

    4. Because people in America think anime is either hentai or pokemon.

    5. Funimation owns the rights to Dragon Ball and its universe of series. That's pretty much the gateway anime for a lot of people. Then there are the shows that run/ran on Toonami. From there, curiosity and the internet takes over.



  • @Wuggles:

    3. Is there a difference between people who watch anime in America and people who watch it in Japan (besides the obvious, i.e. location, subs/dubs, etc.)? If so, what are the differences?

    Anime fans in Japan are not as open about being an anime fans as Americans.Being call an otaku in Japan is something to be frowned upon.
    @Wuggles:

    4. Why is anime basically shunned in American culture?

    Because it's a cartoon and most people think cartoons are for kids.



  • Hi, Wuggles! I spoke with our Acquisitions Department, and they have some answers for you.

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    I work in Acquisitions and will give you my personal opinion on each of your questions. Please note that my personal opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views or position of FUNimation.
    Your FUNimation Acquisitions Guy

    1. What makes a successful anime so good?

    In the end what makes an anime great comes down to well developed characters experiencing an interesting story combined with great animation so that the anime stimulates a person emotionally/visually while giving them something to think about. Great stories stay with you long after you finish watching them.

    2. What is the general target audience for anime?

    This really varies from brand to brand. Japan makes anime aimed at almost every age group from very young people all the way up to adults. In America anime has traditionally been associated with boys from elementary school age up to college age due to the anime brands that first popularized anime in the US. These brands ranged from Naruto, Dragon Ball, and Pokemon on the younger end of the scale to Cowboy Bebop and Death Note on the older end of this scale.

    Every year at FUNimation we have seen a wider and more diverse audience enjoying anime. On our website we still have lots of teen boys, but we also have a lot of girls and a lot of people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s who have either been fans of anime since the 80s and 90s or have recently discovered anime and are working their way through our back catalog of content via a FUNimation.com subscription. We"re responding to this widening and diversified fan base by working hard to offer more content with greater variety every anime season.

    3. Is there a difference between people who watch anime in America and people who watch it in Japan (besides the obvious, i.e. location, subs/dubs, etc.)? If so, what are the differences?

    I think there are similarities and differences. People in both countries enjoy a great story and great characters. I think the difference lies in what viewers personally bring to the show.

    In Japan, a viewer is watching a reflection of his or her own culture in anime, so that element of a brand is not exotic to them. In the US, our fans are often learning about Japanese culture by watching these brands, so that aspect of their viewing experience is different from the experience of someone watching it in Japan.

    4. Why is anime basically shunned in American culture?

    I don"t think anime is really shunned today so much as it is considered a niche entertainment option. All kinds of international entertainment have grown more popular in the US over the past ten years. This is probably due to the combination of increasing diversity in our country and the fact that there is a lot of great entertainment content produced around the world that is more accessible than ever before due to the Internet.

    When anime was first widely seen in the US in the 1980s most people hadn"t seen much entertainment content from other countries besides maybe something British like Monty Python. Today we have all kinds of international music, movies, and TV shows being enjoyed by Americans. You can see evidence of this in the niche (but growing) popularity of K-pop, Asian dramas, and foreign films. We are currently living in the golden age of being able to experience foreign cultures through their entertainment and media.

    5. How does FUNimation market anime towards Americans?

    This is a bit hard to answer because the Marketing is customized for every single brand. We target the audience that a brand is aiming for and try to explain what is unique about the brand to that audience. This involves various tasks like coming up with taglines that have to be approved by the Japanese company who created the brand, creating an English title/logo if the situation calls for it, and highlighting aspects of the brand that we think our fans will enjoy in the advertising. This advertising is combined with Public Relationships (PR) events at conventions and movie theaters to offer fans a chance to connect with us and other fellow fans in person.

    Please answer them to the best of your ability. Thank you very much for your time!

    I hope this helps you write your research paper. Research is an important aspect of the work we do because we have to research what will make fans like you happy and then make sure we succeed at that goal. Many of us read our forums here on the website and we are listening to you.

    Best Wishes on an A+,

    FUNimation Acquisitions Guy


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