Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by Dr. Casey » Tue Jun 09, 2020 2:31 pm

WittyUsername wrote:
Mon Jun 08, 2020 4:28 pm
What even constitutes an adult anime/manga series in Japan, outside of hentai?
To my understanding, Japanese demographics simply mean that x group will likely be the group to enjoy the series the most. The Shonen demographic is, according to Wikipedia, 12-18, so that fits okay for Death Note, I guess. (I watched it at 22 and don't think I enjoyed it any less than I would have when I fell within the shonen age range myself, but eh.)

So I guess there's two ways that demographics can be used, with some malleability depending on the series in question. One version would be "This series is designed for x age group, and anyone outside of that age group will have trouble enjoying it." Blue's Clues and Dora the Explorer would be like this. Perfectly good learning tools for preschoolers, but they don't have much to offer if you're older than four or five.

The second would be "X age group will probably enjoy this the most, but it still has entertainment value for people outside of that group." Dragon Ball and countless anime/manga in general would fall under this heading. Would Dragon Ball be as amazing and exciting an experience now as it would have been when I was 10 or 11? Nowhere even close. Do I still enjoy watching it? Quite a lot, yeah. The same amount that I probably will at 50 or 70 or 90.

That said, the 'Shonen' label for Death Note still feels a bit arbitrary to me. Unlike Dragon Ball (which I don't love nearly as much as I would have as a kid, no matter how enjoyable I find it in the present day), there's no real difference between how much I'd have gotten out of Death Note as a teenager versus how much I liked it as an adult.

I was actually kind of confused whenever Yuli first mentioned Death Note being a shonen series, because I thought the shonen demographic was 6-13. Some people in that age range might like Death Note, of course (especially towards the upper end of that range), but still not the foremost target demographic no matter how you slice it.

For my part, at 6 I would have found Death Note singularly dry and boring and gotten nothing positive out of the experience at all. At 7, I think I would have appreciated the mood and atmosphere, but still generally found it boring; if someone forced me to sit down with them and watch Death Note with them at 7, it wouldn't have been long before I started getting bored and antsy and wanting to run off and play my NES instead. By the 8-10 range, if someone made me sit down and watch Death Note with them, I think I would have enjoyed it (with the level of appreciation increasing each year, and the amount of exposure time required to warm up to it decreasing); and by 11 or 12 I'd have wholeheartedly enjoyed the series from the get-go.

But yeah, the actual age range of 12 to 18 makes more sense. :P
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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by JulieYBM » Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:02 pm

Series like Shin Seiki Evangelion and Cowboy Bebop were violent enough when they were first coming out in the 1990s that they led to parental complaints and in part are what led to violence restrictions becoming more strict. Now we have Dragon Ball Super, which is also made with various conservative markets in mind and done so without an interest in also producing a version of the work with less restrictions. I'd personally prefer for Dragon Ball Super to have more blood and nudity but bare in mind, I'm speaking for myself as an adult alone and not as someone who need to make a cheap commercial.
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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by The Time Traveller » Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:30 pm

They don't say Hercule in games anymore do they? Are they actually using Mr. Satan now?

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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by WittyUsername » Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:44 pm

The Time Traveller wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:30 pm
They don't say Hercule in games anymore do they? Are they actually using Mr. Satan now?
Ever since FighterZ, it seems like the games have dropped “Hercule.” I’m not even sure why the video games kept using that name for so long, but it appears to have completely been phased out at this point. The best explanation I can come up with is that by the time FighterZ was released, FUNimation’s dub of Super was already airing exclusively on Adult Swim, so they probably figured that there was no point in continuing to call the character “Hercule”, when the broadcast dub at the time wasn’t even using that name.
Last edited by WittyUsername on Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by Super Sayian Prime » Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:45 pm

Anime distributors, by and large, have stopped marketing to children in North America. Funimation is guilty of this, but they're not alone. Most of the anime properties promoted at that market are from non-anime distributors. You don't see Viz trying to get Boruto or Sailor Moon in front of kids.
Yuli Ban wrote:
Mon Jun 08, 2020 2:45 pm
Shows like Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Hunter x Hunter, and Kill la Kill, for example, were basically Saturday morning cartoons (and understood as such) in Japan, but Western nerd culture (which is obsessed which children's media) think of them as adult-oriented action shows aimed squarely at the 16+ crowd. (In fact, an example of anime aimed at adults in Japan would be things like Berserk... but also K-On! and Crayon Shin-chan)
Kill la Kill ran at 2AM on MBS. NTV first had Hunter x Hunter (2011) at 11PM before pushed it to 1:30AM. Those are not timeslots for kids shows. Gurren Lagann aired at 8:30AM on a Sunday and not coincidentally, it's the tamest of those three.

Don't let Funimation's garbage fool you. Shin-chan is a family show. The anime has never aired later than 7:30PM. Mentioning it in the same breathe as Berserk and K-On!, which both aired after 2AM, tells you there's a significant difference in intended audience. There are plenty of Shin-chan toys aimed at literal kids for a reason.
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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by Robo4900 » Tue Jun 09, 2020 4:35 pm

Super Saiyan Prime wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:45 pm
Anime distributors, by and large, have stopped marketing to children in North America. Funimation is guilty of this, but they're not alone. Most of the anime properties promoted at that market are from non-anime distributors. You don't see Viz trying to get Boruto or Sailor Moon in front of kids.
Indeed.
Again, I think the problem is just that North American outlets aren't interested in anime -- even if the distributors wanted to market their shows to kids, no outlets are interested these days. Maybe they could get the odd thing if they really pushed for it, but it's probably just not seen as worth it to even try that hard anymore.
Dragon Ball is a goofy kids cartoon from a long time ago. You take it too seriously at your own peril.
Debate the plot, characters, adaptations, dubs, etc., criticise the home video, but never lose sight of the fact that it's all just entertainment. You're supposed to enjoy it. If you're not enjoying it, just walk away.

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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by JulieYBM » Tue Jun 09, 2020 5:07 pm

The kids' market in the US is just not suited for Japanese cartoons anymore. The big networks only want their own IP so that they have full control over them and Japanese production committees would literally need to work together to form a massive conglomerate that could compete with CN, Nick and Disney, all three of which are also moving into streaming. Basically, it just won't ever work. You might as well just focus on the 14+ crowd, which is already going to be increasingly aware that 'anime' is Japanese and simply watching these works in Japanese. Any teenager that walks into a Barnes & Noble, Hot Topic, Spenser's, Game Stop or Think Geek is going to know what anime is and if not Google it.

Besides, so much of this shit is violent and sexually-charged, I wouldn't want to even think about my kids consuming it.
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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by WittyUsername » Tue Jun 09, 2020 5:25 pm

Are there any anime outside of Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh that are still marketed to kids in North America?

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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by Hellspawn28 » Tue Jun 09, 2020 7:09 pm

It's easier to keep anime uncut in the US than have it be badly edited for NA networks. I still consider DB and most Shonen Jump series to show for kids. Something for kids can still have swearing and even blood in them as long if they don't go too far with them. People who are in power behind Broadcast Standards and Practices are living in the stone age and act like kids will become violent or be traumatized for life if they see one drop of blood. Even my generation went from "Fuck Jack Thompson" in the 90s & 2000s to "You are a monster if you have your kid watch action movies like Deadpool!!".
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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by WittyUsername » Tue Jun 09, 2020 7:31 pm

Hellspawn28 wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 7:09 pm
It's easier to keep anime uncut in the US than have it be badly edited for NA networks. I still consider DB and most Shonen Jump series to show for kids. Something for kids can still have swearing and even blood in them as long if they don't go too far with them. People who are in power behind Broadcast Standards and Practices are living in the stone age and act like kids will become violent or be traumatized for life if they see one drop of blood. Even my generation went from "Fuck Jack Thompson" in the 90s & 2000s to "You are a monster if you have your kid watch action movies like Deadpool!!".
A kid watching the Deadpool movies can be fine, as long as the kid’s parents understand that just because they’re superhero movies, doesn’t mean they’re geared towards kids. That’s what the R rating is for.

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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by JulieYBM » Tue Jun 09, 2020 8:15 pm

Wow, the Deadpool movies? There's copious amounts of sex (or heavily alluded to) scenes in the first one alone. I can't really see myself letting anyone younger than sixteen see one of those. :lol:
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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by Hellspawn28 » Tue Jun 09, 2020 9:58 pm

WittyUsername wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 7:31 pm
Hellspawn28 wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 7:09 pm
It's easier to keep anime uncut in the US than have it be badly edited for NA networks. I still consider DB and most Shonen Jump series to show for kids. Something for kids can still have swearing and even blood in them as long if they don't go too far with them. People who are in power behind Broadcast Standards and Practices are living in the stone age and act like kids will become violent or be traumatized for life if they see one drop of blood. Even my generation went from "Fuck Jack Thompson" in the 90s & 2000s to "You are a monster if you have your kid watch action movies like Deadpool!!".
A kid watching the Deadpool movies can be fine, as long as the kid’s parents understand that just because they’re superhero movies, doesn’t mean they’re geared towards kids. That’s what the R rating is for.
I think having a kid enjoy something that not for kids is fine as long if they have the right parental guidance. I do think kids should be exposed to other art and more mature themes.
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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by The Time Traveller » Wed Jun 10, 2020 11:14 am

JulieYBM wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 8:15 pm
Wow, the Deadpool movies? There's copious amounts of sex (or heavily alluded to) scenes in the first one alone. I can't really see myself letting anyone younger than sixteen see one of those. :lol:
I still think it's funny that they made an edited version of Deadpool 2, that was a 15 rated film, which was still rated 15 in the UK so kids still couldn't see it in theatres.

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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by JulieYBM » Wed Jun 10, 2020 11:27 am

The Time Traveller wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 11:14 am
JulieYBM wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 8:15 pm
Wow, the Deadpool movies? There's copious amounts of sex (or heavily alluded to) scenes in the first one alone. I can't really see myself letting anyone younger than sixteen see one of those. :lol:
I still think it's funny that they made an edited version of Deadpool 2, that was a 15 rated film, which was still rated 15 in the UK so kids still couldn't see it in theatres.
Wow, that's hilarious. I really think most if not all PG-13 films here should be PG myself. The middle rating just seems too segmented.
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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by ABED » Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:31 pm

PG-13 is partly marketing. Temple of Doom was deemed too dark for PG, but not scary and violent enough for an R. Some young moviegoers are turned off by a PG rating, but still not old enough to go to an R rated film unaccompanied.
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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by WittyUsername » Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:45 pm

Since we’re on the subject of MPAA ratings, I was actually pretty surprised back when Dragonball Evolution was given a PG rating. Even in 2009, a PG-13 was the default rating for those kinds of movies, so I assumed that would’ve applied to DBE as well, especially since the trailer seemed to emphasize the action, to the point where Bulma appeared to be a gun toting action hero. Of course, the movie would’ve been bad regardless, but Fox must’ve agreed that Dragon Ball is strictly kid’s stuff, if they didn’t even bother shooting for a PG-13.

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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by JulieYBM » Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:05 pm

WittyUsername wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:45 pm
Since we’re on the subject of MPAA ratings, I was actually pretty surprised back when Dragonball Evolution was given a PG rating. Even in 2009, a PG-13 was the default rating for those kinds of movies, so I assumed that would’ve applied to DBE as well, especially since the trailer seemed to emphasize the action, to the point where Bulma appeared to be a gun toting action hero. Of course, the movie would’ve been bad regardless, but Fox must’ve agreed that Dragon Ball is strictly kid’s stuff, if they didn’t even bother shooting for a PG-13.
Superman Returns was shooting for a PG rating in 2006 but still got stuck with a PG-13. The MPAA makes no sense.

Hell, a PG could have been a mandate from Shueisha for all we know.
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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by ABED » Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:42 pm

MPAA ratings are arbitrary. The difference between a PG-13 and an R can be a matter of as little as a few frames or an impassioned speech to the board members that convinces them revise their rating.
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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by Robo4900 » Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:11 pm

Yeah, I don't think there's any actual criteria or standards for what makes what rating, it's just a matter of the board making a decision based on their own opinions, and sometimes having a conversation with the filmmakers about it.

I hear the same is true of video game ratings; it's essentially whatever the board feels like. At one point, there was a school of thought about games in a first-person perspective... I can't remember the details, but it was something crazy like, if a game is a first-person perspective, it would get an automatic M rating, no matter what the game was.
Dragon Ball is a goofy kids cartoon from a long time ago. You take it too seriously at your own peril.
Debate the plot, characters, adaptations, dubs, etc., criticise the home video, but never lose sight of the fact that it's all just entertainment. You're supposed to enjoy it. If you're not enjoying it, just walk away.

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Re: Is it fair to say that Dragon Ball is no longer marketed to kids in North America?

Post by LostTimeLord » Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:33 am

WittyUsername wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:45 pm
Since we’re on the subject of MPAA ratings, I was actually pretty surprised back when Dragonball Evolution was given a PG rating. [...] Fox must’ve agreed that Dragon Ball is strictly kid’s stuff, if they didn’t even bother shooting for a PG-13.
The in-progress version they initially showed the BBFC would have been a UK 12A rather than a PG and they toned down some of the violence in post.
Gun threat to, and violence against, a woman should be reduced; a close-up and slow-motion impact shot in kick to face should be removed; a leaping kick to face in a fight scene should be removed; dismembering of fantasy creatures in fight scene should be made largely indistinct; the 'horror' effects in the transformation of the hero into a creature should be reduced; and the focus on throttling of a character should also be reduced. When the finished version of the film was submitted, amongst other limited changes, all these reductions had been made satisfactorily and the film was classified 'PG'.
https://www.bbfc.co.uk/releases/dragonb ... ution-2009
Actually, the Dragon Ball anime's often gotten off lightly from the BBFC; the first 74 episodes of DBZ (up until Ginyu's defeat) are only PGs, as is DBS Broly and most of Super (which was later heavily redubbed and edited for TV). Episodes 1-6 of DB got the franchise its only 15 rating for "sexualised nudity and frequent moderate sex references".

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