Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by Yuli Ban » Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:39 am

Kid Buu wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:19 pm
Animes always had a limited audience in the Anglosphere, before and after DBZ.
I mean by that metric, even Game of Thrones was a niche show. It's true that there are many more cultural niches nowadays, but something being in the mainstream doesn't mean literally every person in the USA was aware of Doraemon or Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. Hell, there are plenty of people in the USA who have no clue Mickey Mouse or Superman is. The Beatles might very well be the most "mainstream" band in history, but there are literal billions of people who've never heard of them and probably wouldn't care for them. That's a fairly limited audience too.
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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by Kunzait_83 » Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:39 am

MasenkoHA wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:06 pm
Anime was being embraced by American Pop Culture long before Z hit Toonami.

Sci Fi had its own anime block in 1995

Akira was getting critical acclaim in the late 80s by the like of Roger Ebert. It was also influential on Batman Beyond whose show runners were definitely not introduced to anime by the likes of DBZ and Sailor Moon
MTV also was semi-regularly airing anime on their channel by as early as around 1990 or so; and it only increased in visibility by 1994/1995, where they would regularly advertise anime VHS releases, like Yotoden and Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie for just a few examples.

If anyone here wants to try and make the case that MTV throughout the 1990s was somehow a "cult/niche" channel watched only by a select few people... I mean you're by all means welcome to try, but you're going to look absolutely laughably ridiculous and completely ahistorical while doing so.

DBZAOTA482 wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:57 am
The Sci-Fi anime block aired mostly hyper-violent edgy anime which doesn't exactly lend itself to mainstream appeal.
First of all: lets just set aside the fact that Sci Fi aired PLENTY of less violent/non-hyper gory anime like Galaxy Express 999, Robot Carnival, Project A-Ko, Urusei Yatsura, and Iria and whatnot. Because it very much did, and frequently so: so even just on that baseline surface level, this statement is complete and total bunk.

No, I want to tear a little deeper into the implicit framing & assumptions put forth by statements like this (which are insanely and insidiously commonplace around here, and always have been from pretty much nearly day one of this forum's whole existence).

So this is where I once again opine that this community - as a broader, collective whole mind you - clearly has a massive, massive ingrained bias that puts most of its focus and emphasis on children's media: and framing like this is a prime example.

The essential framing of this statement quoted above is that anything that's hyper violent or "edgy" (whatever the fuck that word is even supposed to mean at this point in time: its been so overused and misused throughout recent years that its lost any real solid definition in the current climate) is inherently not mainstream friendly, and is thus relegated to niche status by its very nature.

This of course totally ignores the fact that not just a lot, but an overwhelming majority of a great deal of mainstream media all throughout the 1980s and 1990s tended to skew INCREDIBLY hyper-violent more times than not. Most of the biggest, most mainstream films of the 80s were unbelievably gory horror and slasher/splatter films (Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Hellraiser, etc) and plenty of hard R rated action and sci fi films were massive mainstream hits that spawned huge, huge franchises (Die Hard, Predator, Aliens, Robocop, Total Recall, Highlander, Lethal Weapon, Terminator, etc).

Again, many of these were NOT in ANY WAY "niche" culty little piffles seen only by a handful of folks: these kinds of films played to STACKED multiplex showings every night, sold like hotcakes on home video, and had a MASSIVE mainstream presence on TV, in print media, and just in day to day life, etc. I'm speaking not just from a distant, historical lens, but from my having personally grown up within that very environment at the time.

I was there, and I personally as a little kid saw burnt-faced, knife-fingered, child murderer extraordinaire Freddy Kruger (who's movies, especially the earlier ones, were chock full of all kinds of grisly body horror and hacking and slashing) hamming it up and vamping the night away alongside then-mainstream bands like Dokken, The Fat Boys, and Whodini on MTV in front of millions and millions of people in the late 1980s, as well as Hockey Masked, ax wielding Jason Voorhees (who's movies were filled with arguably WAY more intensely violent and sexual content than Freddy's: enough to where I've gotten into trouble with the mods here a time or two in the past just for posting random gifs from a few of those films) casually chilling out on the Arsenio Hall show at around the same time: Arsenio in the late 1980s being about on par in terms of mainstream talk show visibility with the likes of Conan O'Brien, Stephen Colbert, and Jimmy Falon and whatnot in today's terms.

I was also there for when Robocop, a movie character famous for (among other things) blowing off the male genitals of criminals, for his origin as a normal human cop who is brutally dismembered in grueling, graphic detail onscreen by shotgun-wielding thugs, for slowly, agonizingly melting the flesh off of one of said thugs with toxic waste, and for his robot nemesis ED-209 graphically turning one hapless yuppie into fleshy human paste with high powered gunfire, had spawned a whole line of toys and action figures and a shitty Saturday morning cartoon.

And I was around for Highlander, where violent beheadings are a key, central part of its whole premise (and where weirdly drawn out, graphic sex scenes were something of a bizarre, inexplicable franchise tradition) having been a franchise that was SO mainstream from the getgo that it had Queen do the original soundtrack and had a primetime network TV show that lasted nearly a decade plus spinoffs, and all manner of merchandise.

Lets not even go into Hellraiser, a franchise that is literally about Sadomasochist, leather-daddy demons who religiously worship pain and gruesome physical disfigurement as a sexual fetish who prey upon the most nihilistic, soul-deadened motherfuckers who open their magic puzzle box, and how that also became a mainstream mega-franchise in the 80s and 90s referenced and spoofed everywhere from The Simpsons to SNL. The list quite frankly just goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on.

I'd say that the idea that "hyper violent = not mainstream friendly" is something that more applies to the 2000s and beyond (where the mainstream film landscape, at least for a time there, DID become more noticeably and relatively more watered down and family friendly for awhile): but that wouldn't take into account non-children's prime time and cable Television, which has only grown VASTLY more hyper violent while remaining as mainstream as ever: The Walking Dead, The Sopranos, Oz, Breaking Bad, Dexter, The Wire, Boardwalk Empire, The Boys, etc. are all incredibly violent (and I guess "edgy"?) shows that are/were as visibly mainstream as it gets.

What this kind of basic framework really betrays is the implicit focus on the American/Western children's media landscape: which has ALWAYS been fairly consistently "non-violent = mainstream friendly and anything the least bit violent is not" right up to this day. By that standard, then yes of course an anime like Akira, or Golgo 13, or Ninja Scroll, or Vampire Hunter D or whatnot would NOT be suitably mainstream-friendly for children: because those kinds of anime were NOT and NEVER WERE intended for children in the first place (either in Japan or anywhere else).

Those anime DID however have PLENTY of "mainstream appeal" for older/non-children audiences in the 1980s and 1990s, who were used to and weaned on films like The Thing, Mad Max, Scanners, Evil Dead, The Shining, Pulp Fiction, Dawn of the Dead, The Killer, La Femme Nikita, Leon: The Professional, and stuff of that nature: and indeed, THAT'S the kind of audience that those particular kinds of anime (like you'd see on MTV and the Sci Fi channel back in the early/mid 90s) were being aimed at at the time, and NOT at small Power Rangers' obsessed tykes.

I mean, you would think that an audience like this one here that's as seemingly obsessed with tearing down the whole "animation age ghetto" (i.e. not all cartoons/animation are solely for kids and can be mature and for adults too!) wouldn't also be so quick to project assumptions that all or most anime are made to appeal to the same "children/Shonen" demographic: or that the children/Shonen demographic is the main/only demographic that's in any way even WORTH appealing to. But that then leads into how ridiculously selectively/inconsistently the whole "animation age ghetto" concept/argument is often used by fandoms like this one, which is a whole other, separate digression in itself.

All of this ultimately begs the general question: in the minds of most community members here overall, as an aggregated net majority - does a non-children's audience that isn't plugged into stuff like Digimon or Power Rangers etc. actually in ANY way count to you as a "mainstream audience" of ANY kind? Or does an audience inherently HAVE to be a very young, elementary school aged audience who's focus in mainly on stuff like Transformers and Yu Gi Oh and whatnot in order to therefore qualify to you as "mainstream?"

If a given work of media (be it an anime or anything else) ISN'T in any way being targeted at toy and merch-buying children/family audiences, if its inherently adult focused in both its content and themes... CAN it thus in ANY respect still be considered "mainstream" in your eyes? Or does it HAVE to be something like Transformers or Pokemon and whatnot in order to be sufficiently seen as "mainstream" in your collective views? By your views, is a film like say, Pulp Fiction for example, therefore NOT actually "mainstream" despite how widely seen it was (and remains) and oft-referenced it is in not just mainstream media, but frankly in fucking day to day life both back then and even still to this day?

If that is indeed the case to many of you, then how do you explain the heavily mainstream presence of many of the above hard R rated film franchises I listed earlier? Or similarly mature modern cable/primetime shows? Is it just "out of sight, out of mind" to many of you because you weren't really alive of cognizant for any of the 80s or 90s examples? Then what about modern TV examples? Hell, what about the Saw or Hostel franchises for a few more recent film examples? Or Kill Bill vol. 1 and 2? Are those somehow still "niche" works that aren't all that mainstream in some way, despite being multi-gazillion dollar grossing, sequel/franchise-spawning blockbuster films in their time that were heavily referenced all throughout pop culture and throughout the mainstream media discourse?

My personal conclusion that I'd come to awhile ago (again, partly from having had WAY too much time and experience talking to countless community members here off the forums) is that for a lot of you (but again not all of you), you either weren't alive yet or weren't really paying attention to the older examples from the 80s and 90s and never actually took the time to go back and see for yourselves what sort of works were actually a big thing in the mainstream of the time, and for the modern examples... a lot of you, even as adults, STILL aren't really paying all that close attention to many of THOSE examples either, and are instead still mostly focused on the same kinds of children's media that you grew up with as a kid. Which, I'm sorry to say this, is NOT actually all that "normal" of a media habit to stick with for most people in the mainstream.

Hell, I've often seen the converse of this from a lot of folks here: where some of you will insist that stuff like Full Metal Alchemist, or the movie The Iron Giant, and stuff of that nature are WAY more visibly "mainstream" (at least in a U.S. context) than they actually are. There was always a lot of this kind of thing going on since back in the day, but it was even readily visible as recently as stuff like the whole Vic Mignogna thread, where there were folks here who were genuinely convinced that Mignogna's anime voice actor roles were a MUCH bigger presence in the Western mainstream media world than they're in any remote way actually even vaguely close to being.

My broader point is: what some of you personally put your focus on and what actually IS a thing in the mainstream zeitgeist aren't always necessarily the same thing, or even close to it. Having the implicit framework that "violent content = not mainstream-friendly" isn't just ahistorical to previous decades like the 70s, 80s, and 90s, its frankly completely ignoring basic media reality of TODAY, RIGHT NOW.

Hyper violent content has ALWAYS had a mainstream appeal for as long as I've been alive (and for a fair bit longer frankly), and just because the kinds of "edgy" more Seinen-y anime that aired on mainstream outlets like MTV and Sci Fi back in the day weren't suitable for the Kids WB and Nickelodeon crowd that this community calls its home turf doesn't therefore mean that there existed NO sort of mainstream audience out in the broader world back then to whom that stuff was being targeted towards: there ABSOLUTELY was for a stone cold historical fact, and frankly there absolutely STILL is such a mainstream audience for that kind of stuff today. This community not having either been aware of it or ever really been a part of that audience doesn't therefore mean that it doesn't/didn't exist or that it isn't somehow "mainstream".

There is - and always has been - a MASSIVE underselling of how mainstream (or mainstream palatable) a lot of non-children's properties are around here (many of which are INSANELY violent), along with a likewise massive overselling of how "mainstream" plenty of children's properties actually are when push comes to shove.

The average person on the street probably has FAR more familiarity with something like a classic Arnold Schwarzenegger action flick like Conan the Barbarian (chock full of plenty of splatter and gore) or with a piece of Italian Mafia media like Scorsese's Goodfellas or The Sopranos or the Godfather (all of which again, are INCREDIBLY, brutally violent) than they would something like My Hero Academia or Digimon: Tamers - yet to hear it from plenty of folks here, Joe and Jane Average apparently have never even heard of movies like Aliens or Saw or Taxi Driver, but can somehow or other quote you every other episode of season 12 of the Pokemon anime chapter and verse, can name every original Power Ranger, and knows all the character dynamics & relationships among the core cast of Naruto.

Its absurd and idiotic on its face, and its totally disconnected from the reality of where the mainstream not only is now presently, but where its ALWAYS been since more than 30+ years ago.

DBZAOTA482 wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:57 am
Akira was a cult film that had an extremely limited showing so it isn't surprising someone as media savvy as Roger Ebert would acknowledge it.
Akira's U.S. theatrical run was extremely limited: its home video/VHS release however was quite literally ANYTHING BUT limited. Akira VHS tapes were ABUNDANTLY distributed and available front and center in pretty much every major retail chain or mom & pop outlet that sold movies. Blockbuster, Hollywood Video, FYE, Suncoast, you name the 90s retail outlet: they ALL had dozens and dozens and dozens of copies of Akira. And they sold. People watched that fucking movie all throughout the 90s. Not necessarily in theaters obviously, but DEFINITELY on home video/VHS without a doubt. Not in Avengers: Endgame numbers, but CERTAINLY in Reservoir Dogs numbers: and that ain't nothing to scoff at.

Again, the fact that giant swaths of this community has seemingly never heard of a media phenomenon or popular work of the 80s and 90s that is largely within the domain of home video and non-children's TV airings rather than children's TV airings exclusively in no way detracts from the fact that WAY more people than not, on average, back in the 80s and 90s got most of their media either from home video or from non-children's TV outlets.

Unless people here legitimately believe, sincerely, that the average 15 to 40 year old throughout the 1980s and 1990s was glued almost exclusively to Nicktoons and Fox Kids and whatnot after work or college or what have you, simply because that's what many of YOU were glued to as little kids back then: and it seems, very much for real, that there are a ton of folks on here who seem to ACTUALLY unironically believe that to be the case.
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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by Kid Buu » Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:31 pm

Yuli Ban wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:39 am
Kid Buu wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:19 pm
Animes always had a limited audience in the Anglosphere, before and after DBZ.
I mean by that metric, even Game of Thrones was a niche show. It's true that there are many more cultural niches nowadays, but something being in the mainstream doesn't mean literally every person in the USA was aware of Doraemon or Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. Hell, there are plenty of people in the USA who have no clue Mickey Mouse or Superman is. The Beatles might very well be the most "mainstream" band in history, but there are literal billions of people who've never heard of them and probably wouldn't care for them. That's a fairly limited audience too.
Whole lot of citation needed there. Also it doesn't
even make sense to compare a single band or TV show to a submedium.
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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by Yuli Ban » Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:01 pm

Kid Buu wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:31 pm
Whole lot of citation needed there.
YOU'RE the one who needs citations when you argue "anime wasn't mainstream until Toonami," an objectively false statement that MULTIPLE people have told you is false.
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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by ABED » Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:28 pm

Yuli Ban wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:39 am
Kid Buu wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:19 pm
Animes always had a limited audience in the Anglosphere, before and after DBZ.
I mean by that metric, even Game of Thrones was a niche show. It's true that there are many more cultural niches nowadays, but something being in the mainstream doesn't mean literally every person in the USA was aware of Doraemon or Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. Hell, there are plenty of people in the USA who have no clue Mickey Mouse or Superman is. The Beatles might very well be the most "mainstream" band in history, but there are literal billions of people who've never heard of them and probably wouldn't care for them. That's a fairly limited audience too.
Game of Thrones was seen by 10s of millions. That's mainstream by any reasonable metric.

Who in the USA doesn't know who Mickey Mouse or Superman are? That feels like some arbitrary assertion

Mainstream is a nebulous term. What do you consider mainstream?
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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by Kid Buu » Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:50 pm

Yuli Ban wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:01 pm
Kid Buu wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:31 pm
Whole lot of citation needed there.
YOU'RE the one who needs citations when you argue "anime wasn't mainstream until Toonami," an objectively false statement that MULTIPLE people have told you is false.
Show me where in the thread I said Toonami made anime mainstream.
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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by Yuli Ban » Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:36 pm

Kid Buu wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:50 pm
Yuli Ban wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:01 pm
Kid Buu wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:31 pm
Whole lot of citation needed there.
YOU'RE the one who needs citations when you argue "anime wasn't mainstream until Toonami," an objectively false statement that MULTIPLE people have told you is false.
Show me where in the thread I said Toonami made anime mainstream.
Sorry, I must've been thinking of someone else and directed it at you. My bad!

ABED wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:28 pm
Yuli Ban wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:39 am
Kid Buu wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:19 pm
Animes always had a limited audience in the Anglosphere, before and after DBZ.
I mean by that metric, even Game of Thrones was a niche show. It's true that there are many more cultural niches nowadays, but something being in the mainstream doesn't mean literally every person in the USA was aware of Doraemon or Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. Hell, there are plenty of people in the USA who have no clue Mickey Mouse or Superman is. The Beatles might very well be the most "mainstream" band in history, but there are literal billions of people who've never heard of them and probably wouldn't care for them. That's a fairly limited audience too.
Game of Thrones was seen by 10s of millions. That's mainstream by any reasonable metric.

Who in the USA doesn't know who Mickey Mouse or Superman are? That feels like some arbitrary assertion

Mainstream is a nebulous term. What do you consider mainstream?
That's exactly my point, though not exactly that last point.
Game of Thrones and fantasy is mainstream.
There are indeed people who are ignorant to Mickey Mouse and Superman; just because you think they're universally known doesn't mean they actually are. But no one would say that Superman isn't mainstream, that superhero comics aren't mainstream or haven't been since the 1930s, and that only a tiny niche cared until the Superman movies in the 1970s.

Yet for some bizarre reason, people believe this exact same thing about anime entirely because of a constructed revisionist history that it was Toonami (and almost Toonami alone) that made anime mainstream in the USA (except it might not even be revisionist history because that would be implying they're actively trying to rewrite history; it's more like they genuinely don't know and never cared to actually learn the actual history of it). As if, if the schoolyard kids weren't geeking out about it, no one cared about it because adults didn't watch cartoons back then and only America had any animation industry of note besides Japan before the 2000s, save for maybe weirdo Russian art films that only sad communists ever watched.
Kunzait_83 wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:39 am
If anyone here wants to try and make the case that MTV throughout the 1990s was somehow a "cult/niche" channel watched only by a select few people... I mean you're by all means welcome to try, but you're going to look absolutely laughably ridiculous and completely ahistorical while doing so.

...

So this is where I once again opine that this community - as a broader, collective whole mind you - clearly has a massive, massive ingrained bias that puts most of its focus and emphasis on children's media: and framing like this is a prime example.

....

This of course totally ignores the fact that not just a lot, but an overwhelming majority of a great deal of mainstream media all throughout the 1980s and 1990s tended to skew INCREDIBLY hyper-violent more times than not. Most of the biggest, most mainstream films of the 80s were unbelievably gory horror and slasher/splatter films (Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Hellraiser, etc) and plenty of hard R rated action and sci fi films were massive mainstream hits that spawned huge, huge franchises (Die Hard, Predator, Aliens, Robocop, Total Recall, Highlander, Lethal Weapon, Terminator, etc).

Again, many of these were NOT in ANY WAY "niche" culty little piffles seen only by a handful of folks: these kinds of films played to STACKED multiplex showings every night, sold like hotcakes on home video, and had a MASSIVE mainstream presence on TV, in print media, and just in day to day life, etc. I'm speaking not just from a distant, historical lens, but from my having personally grown up within that very environment at the time.

....

Those anime DID however have PLENTY of "mainstream appeal" for older/non-children audiences in the 1980s and 1990s, who were used to and weaned on films like The Thing, Mad Max, Scanners, Evil Dead, The Shining, Pulp Fiction, Dawn of the Dead, The Killer, La Femme Nikita, Leon: The Professional, and stuff of that nature: and indeed, THAT'S the kind of audience that those particular kinds of anime (like you'd see on MTV and the Sci Fi channel back in the early/mid 90s) were being aimed at at the time, and NOT at small Power Rangers' obsessed tykes.

I mean, you would think that an audience like this one here that's as seemingly obsessed with tearing down the whole "animation age ghetto" (i.e. not all cartoons/animation are solely for kids and can be mature and for adults too!) wouldn't also be so quick to project assumptions that all or most anime are made to appeal to the same "children/Shonen" demographic: or that the children/Shonen demographic is the main/only demographic that's in any way even WORTH appealing to. But that then leads into how ridiculously selectively/inconsistently the whole "animation age ghetto" concept/argument is often used by fandoms like this one, which is a whole other, separate digression in itself.

All of this ultimately begs the general question: in the minds of most community members here overall, as an aggregated net majority - does a non-children's audience that isn't plugged into stuff like Digimon or Power Rangers etc. actually in ANY way count to you as a "mainstream audience" of ANY kind? Or does an audience inherently HAVE to be a very young, elementary school aged audience who's focus in mainly on stuff like Transformers and Yu Gi Oh and whatnot in order to therefore qualify to you as "mainstream?"

If a given work of media (be it an anime or anything else) ISN'T in any way being targeted at toy and merch-buying children/family audiences, if its inherently adult focused in both its content and themes... CAN it thus in ANY respect still be considered "mainstream" in your eyes? Or does it HAVE to be something like Transformers or Pokemon and whatnot in order to be sufficiently seen as "mainstream" in your collective views? By your views, is a film like say, Pulp Fiction for example, therefore NOT actually "mainstream" despite how widely seen it was (and remains) and oft-referenced it is in not just mainstream media, but frankly in fucking day to day life both back then and even still to this day?

.....

There is - and always has been - a MASSIVE underselling of how mainstream (or mainstream palatable) a lot of non-children's properties are around here (many of which are INSANELY violent), along with a likewise massive overselling of how "mainstream" plenty of children's properties actually are when push comes to shove.

The average person on the street probably has FAR more familiarity with something like a classic Arnold Schwarzenegger action flick like Conan the Barbarian (chock full of plenty of splatter and gore) or with a piece of Italian Mafia media like Scorsese's Goodfellas or The Sopranos or the Godfather (all of which again, are INCREDIBLY, brutally violent) than they would something like My Hero Academia or Digimon: Tamers - yet to hear it from plenty of folks here, Joe and Jane Average apparently have never even heard of movies like Aliens or Saw or Taxi Driver, but can somehow or other quote you every other episode of season 12 of the Pokemon anime chapter and verse, can name every original Power Ranger, and knows all the character dynamics & relationships among the core cast of Naruto.
.....


Unless people here legitimately believe, sincerely, that the average 15 to 40 year old throughout the 1980s and 1990s was glued almost exclusively to Nicktoons and Fox Kids and whatnot after work or college or what have you, simply because that's what many of YOU were glued to as little kids back then: and it seems, very much for real, that there are a ton of folks on here who seem to ACTUALLY unironically believe that to be the case.
Now that I see it all myself and have long since followed many of these properties, I'm also baffled by it. I mean, I WOULD be more forgiving considering Dragon Ball is a franchise for little children and would naturally attract little children who have little to no pop cultural frames of reference... but that's not the case. Most fans of Dragon Ball in America have to be in their twenties by this point. It's the sheer number of grown adults who herald children's media of the past 30+ years as high art and can only frame their understanding of pop culture through said children's media that gets me. When it isn't children's media, it's always the shallowest example of "adult media," which they can then point to and say "why bother watching non-children's stuff when adult media is so shallow?" It's never Taxi Driver or any of the Dollars Trilogy; it's Keeping Up With The Kardashians and the latest generic shaky-cam infested sci-fi action thriller. If that's your only alternative, then I can see why you'd want to stick with Steven Universe and Hilda never look beyond them artistically... but that's absolutely not even close to your only alternative; it's just an excuse to not leave one's comfort zone.

It's not even all of them, mind you, and again, I can get it: in a lot of cases where I feel you jump the gun, using references to children's media is more or less just using references to things that everyone knows everyone else will get; if I reference an Ed, Edd, n Eddy episode right now, perhaps saying something to the effect of "Life has many doors," I can be relatively guaranteed that at least 3/4 of the people who respond know what I'm talking about and probably even the exact quote. Yet if I referenced something like Once Upon a Time in America, I shouldn't be surprised most people on Kanzenshuu don't even know that this is the name of a film, let alone an ultraviolent gangster movie, admittedly a fairly niche one.
But I could at least understand if it ended there. It doesn't!
Last edited by Yuli Ban on Fri Jul 24, 2020 12:01 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by Kid Buu » Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:43 pm

No problem, for what it's worth I actually agree with most of what you're saying anyways.
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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by ABED » Fri Jul 24, 2020 5:42 am

Yuli Ban wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:36 pm
There are indeed people who are ignorant to Mickey Mouse and Superman; just because you think they're universally known doesn't mean they actually are. But no one would say that Superman isn't mainstream, that superhero comics aren't mainstream or haven't been since the 1930s, and that only a tiny niche cared until the Superman movies in the 1970s.
What is your basis for such a statement? Unless you are living under a rock, there is no way you don't know who Superman or Mickey Mouse are. They are ubiquitous. You might be right about a number of issues, but this point doesn't hold up to scrutiny.
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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by Kunzait_83 » Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:00 am

Yuli Ban wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:36 pm
When it isn't children's media, it's always the shallowest example of "adult media," which they can then point to and say "why bother watching non-children's stuff when adult media is so shallow?" It's never Taxi Driver or any of the Dollars Trilogy; it's Keeping Up With The Kardashians and the latest generic shaky-cam infested sci-fi action thriller. If that's your only alternative, then I can see why you'd want to stick with Steven Universe and Hilda never look beyond them artistically... but that's absolutely not even close to your only alternative; it's just an excuse to not leave one's comfort zone.
Absolutely fucking NAILED it with this one. Dead to rights. Spot on. :clap: :clap:

Yuli Ban wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:36 pm
It's not even all of them, mind you, and again, I can get it: in a lot of cases where I feel you jump the gun, using references to children's media is more or less just using references to things that everyone knows everyone else will get; if I reference an Ed, Edd, n Eddy episode right now, perhaps saying something to the effect of "Life has many doors," I can be relatively guaranteed that at least 3/4 of the people who respond know what I'm talking about and probably even the exact quote.
Ed, Edd, n Eddy is actually a pretty damn perfect example of what I was referring to earlier when I said that people in this community massively oversell how mainstream many of their favorite children's properties are whilst underselling how mainstream a lot of adult-skewing works and properties are.

For those of you here who aren't super-engaged with the deeper Kanzenshuu community off the forums: Ed, Edd, n Eddy is and has long been a MASSIVE personal favorite of a great deal of some of the older, most dedicated, marquee-name community members here. That show isn't just well liked by some of the bigger name users around here, its DEEPLY held to as a crucial, formative, foundationally important show to a pretty decent number of hardcore, old-school Kanzenshuu users: dismiss it at your own peril when talking to a lot of those folks (as I learned the hard way years back).

But whatever your thoughts on that show: its just a stone cold fact of reality that its just NOT all that super mainstream well known of a show in the grander scheme of things when all's said and done. Certainly at least not anywhere near on the same universal level as something like Spider-Man or Batman or Pokemon or even Dragon Ball itself or whatnot. Or not even as much as adult-skewed shows like 24 or Homeland or The Shield or Sex and the City or Seinfeld.

Ed, Edd, n Eddy is certainly a pretty big deal to a certain subset of Cartoon Network obsessives from the late 90s/early 2000s (and that's certainly not exactly a TINY number of folks to be fair): but the average person on the street is simply NOT going to know or recognize what the fuck you're talking about if you come at them with "Life has many doors" or whatnot. Or even if you just straight up namedrop the show's title at them: I can almost guarantee you than more people than not out in the real world will react to the name "Ed, Edd' n Eddy" with utter blank faced befuddlement.

But VASTLY more random, average people will likely know almost exactly what you're referencing if you say "Go ahead: make my day!" or "Are you talking to me?!" or "Heeeeeeere's Johnny!" or "Ezekiel 25:17" or "The power of Christ compels you!" or "I'm getting too old for this shit." or "I love the smell of napalm in the morning!", or "Get away from her you BITCH!" or "We're gonna need a bigger boat." or "Yippee Ki Yay Motherfucker!" etc. Hell, just say "Fava beans and a nice Chianti" (you don't even need the full quote) and you'll get WAY more of an immediate, visceral reaction from most regular people out in the day to day real world than anything vaguely to do with a show like Ed, Edd, n Eddy. I'd even bet that "Have you ever heard of Huey Lewis and the News?" would get more instant recognition (fuck, Weird Al of all people even spoofed that one). I'm barely at all coming remotely close to scratching the surface here.

Even if they don't know the character's name (and most probably wouldn't), vastly more regular people will likely instantly recognize the voice/image of Sergeant Hartman from Full Metal Jacket than they will a turn of the millennium Cartoon Network original show that means the world to a subset within a subset of that channel's viewers from 20 years ago. Hell, any white guy who's ever shaved their head and sported round sunglasses will still to this day (or at least pre-pandemic) often get some kind of "Natural Born Killers" reference popped on them by complete strangers out on the streets or in bars on a fairly regular basis: put three kids together walking around out in public dressed exactly like EEnE's titular trio, and I highly doubt you'll get anything vaguely resembling similar results.

But again: communities like this one have their blinders and biases. And in this case, that bias tends to favor the (often not at all or even remotely correct or accurate) view or implicit framing that these kinds of children's cartoons are WAY more mainstream and embedded into broader, real world/grown up pop culture than they really are, while also holding the converse assumption that a lot of incredibly ubiquitous and universally recognized non-children's works (many of which are also incredibly graphic and violent) are vastly more niche and non-mainstream than they actually are: just because these things often appear that way to many of YOU guys and to all your nerdy friends online doesn't necessarily mean that that same awareness/enthusiasm (or lackthereof) also translates out into the rest of the bigger world. Often times, it most certainly does not.

I'm by no means trying to harp too much on Ed, Edd, n Eddy specifically for any other reason beyond it being just a prime example that perfectly illustrates what I've been talking about here (in part because its such a cherished favorite to the point of rose-tinted blinders within the deeper echelons of Kanz specifically), and conversely I'm also certainly not making the argument that most of the more adult-skewing anime that was more central to the North American anime market back in the 80s and 90s were all necessarily even REMOTELY on the same level of broader awareness as the above films and shows I just referenced (of course they largely weren't).

But they certainly WERE largely being targeted and aimed at the kind of audience that WOULD immediately know/recognize those kinds of movies and shows and might be interested in something similar as an animated film (which would be seen back then as a unique hook or novelty that no one else, aside from Ralph Bakshi and a few boutique European animators, was really going after), and NOT necessarily the kind of audience for whom a show like Ed, Edd, n Eddy, or Powerpuff Girls, or Pokemon, or Transformers, or Gargoyles, or Samurai Jack, etc. is an earth-shatteringly major deal to whilst being utterly clueless about and disinterested in much of anything else going on in wider pop culture.

That so many folks on this forum are unable to wrap their heads around that idea (that there might exist ANY sort of market for ANY other kind of anime that isn't neatly within the highly specific Shonen Jump mold that most of you guys have been accustomed to for the last 20 years now) has a LOT more to do with the fact that many folks on this forum are hopelessly trapped in a children's media bubble (to the degree that many of you aren't even aware that you are, kinda like the old adage about a fish not recognizing that its submerged under water because water is all that its ever known its whole life) than it does the notion that somehow a non-Shonen/non-Shojo anime that plays itself straight and earnestly and may or may not contain a lot of graphic content is something that is somehow innately/inherently niche or unappealing to any kind of wider audience beyond folks like yourselves and the online nerd circles that you run in.

Yuli Ban wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:36 pm
Yet if I referenced something like Once Upon a Time in America, I shouldn't be surprised most people on Kanzenshuu don't even know that this is the name of a film, let alone an ultraviolent gangster movie, admittedly a fairly niche one.

But I could at least understand if it ended there. It doesn't!
No it doesn't, and I'll lay down good money that an overwhelming majority of folks who frequent this place likewise wouldn't remotely know or recognize (without the help of Google anyway) what most of the famous/ubiquitous movie quotes I listed earlier were actually from anymore than most normal, average folks would know who or what the fuck Ed, Edd, n Eddy are.

ABED wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 5:42 am
Yuli Ban wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:36 pm
There are indeed people who are ignorant to Mickey Mouse and Superman; just because you think they're universally known doesn't mean they actually are. But no one would say that Superman isn't mainstream, that superhero comics aren't mainstream or haven't been since the 1930s, and that only a tiny niche cared until the Superman movies in the 1970s.
What is your basis for such a statement? Unless you are living under a rock, there is no way you don't know who Superman or Mickey Mouse are. They are ubiquitous. You might be right about a number of issues, but this point doesn't hold up to scrutiny.
Gonna have to side with ABED on this one. As much as I'm totally down with 98% of what you write Yuli, this one's WAY too big of a (frankly bizarre) leap and isn't at all reflected by the real world. Superman and Mickey are about as embedded into the collective conscious as anything in culture ever conceivably gets.

Not to in any remote way trivialize or make any sort of light of the gravely serious conditions in these places, but even people in impoverished, struggling 3rd world nations like Zimbabwe and Haiti tend to immediately recognize who Mickey Mouse is (though partly also for hideously grotesque, heinously awful reasons relating to corporate exploitation of labor in those nations by companies like Disney, but that's obviously a whole other can of worms entirely).

Hell, even Amish communities generally recognize those kinds of characters, just from sheer, overpowering cultural osmosis. I doubt there's a great many souls left on this planet at this point who don't know what a set of big black round mouse ears or the red and yellow S shield mean or stand for, just like how there aren't many people left out there who wouldn't immediately and instinctively recognize a lightsaber or Darth Vader's helmet, regardless of whether or not they'd ever seen even a second of those movies in their entire lives. Those characters are as universally ubiquitous as anything in this world ever gets.

You'd probably have to go to far flung, remotely isolated, indigenous tribal communities like the Sentinelese people and whatnot that are TOTALLY and utterly disconnected from any remote shred of the modern world in order to find people who wouldn't recognize those kinds of universal icons.
Last edited by Kunzait_83 on Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:44 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Journey to the West, chapter 26 wrote:The strong man will meet someone stronger still:
Come to naught at last he surely will!
Zephyr wrote:And that's to say nothing of how pretty much impossible it is to capture what made the original run of the series so great. I'm in the generation of fans that started with Toonami, so I totally empathize with the feeling of having "missed the party", experiencing disappointment, and wanting to experience it myself. But I can't, that's how life is. Time is a bitch. The party is over. Kageyama, Kikuchi, and Maeda are off the sauce now; Yanami almost OD'd; Yamamoto got arrested; Toriyama's not going to light trash cans on fire and hang from the chandelier anymore. We can't get the band back together, and even if we could, everyone's either old, in poor health, or calmed way the fuck down. Best we're going to get, and are getting, is a party that's almost entirely devoid of the magic that made the original one so awesome that we even want more.
Kamiccolo9 wrote:It grinds my gears that people get "outraged" over any of this stuff. It's a fucking cartoon. If you are that determined to be angry about something, get off the internet and make a stand for something that actually matters.
Rocketman wrote:"Shonen" basically means "stupid sentimental shit" anyway, so it's ok to be anti-shonen.

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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by Cure Dragon 255 » Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:13 am

While I despise Ed Edd n Eddy you put way too much thought into this.
MyVisionity wrote:
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It's ill-fitting for me. Dragon Ball is not a bedtime story. And "laid-back old man" is not how I would describe Yanami's narrator. To me he sounds like the kind of uncle that shows up to the birthday party with loads of fruit punch soda and stuffs himself with pizza and ice cream, or takes you out on his boat at the lake in the summer and goes skinny dipping or something.
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19 years ago I was rushing home from school to watch DBZ on Cartoon Network, and today I've rushed home from work to watch DBS on Pop. I guess it's true the more things change the more they stay the same. :lol:

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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by Kunzait_83 » Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:37 am

Cure Dragon 255 wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:13 am
While I despise Ed Edd n Eddy you put way too much thought into this.
Reiterating this part from before:

Kunzait_83 wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:00 am
I'm by no means trying to harp too much on Ed, Edd, n Eddy specifically for any other reason beyond it being just a prime example that perfectly illustrates what I've been talking about here (in part because its such a cherished favorite to the point of rose-tinted blinders within the deeper echelons of Kanz specifically)
Not only am I not spending very much time thinking about a dumb show that I in no way remotely have ever given a shit about in my life, but in point of fact I didn't even immediately think to bring it up as an example - largely because I often tend to totally forget its a thing that exists, even despite what a huge deal a lot of Kanz folks have tended to make out of it - until Yuli had mentioned it first and reminded me of it.
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Kunzait's Wuxia Thread
Journey to the West, chapter 26 wrote:The strong man will meet someone stronger still:
Come to naught at last he surely will!
Zephyr wrote:And that's to say nothing of how pretty much impossible it is to capture what made the original run of the series so great. I'm in the generation of fans that started with Toonami, so I totally empathize with the feeling of having "missed the party", experiencing disappointment, and wanting to experience it myself. But I can't, that's how life is. Time is a bitch. The party is over. Kageyama, Kikuchi, and Maeda are off the sauce now; Yanami almost OD'd; Yamamoto got arrested; Toriyama's not going to light trash cans on fire and hang from the chandelier anymore. We can't get the band back together, and even if we could, everyone's either old, in poor health, or calmed way the fuck down. Best we're going to get, and are getting, is a party that's almost entirely devoid of the magic that made the original one so awesome that we even want more.
Kamiccolo9 wrote:It grinds my gears that people get "outraged" over any of this stuff. It's a fucking cartoon. If you are that determined to be angry about something, get off the internet and make a stand for something that actually matters.
Rocketman wrote:"Shonen" basically means "stupid sentimental shit" anyway, so it's ok to be anti-shonen.

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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by Yuli Ban » Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:29 am

I feel you two took my Mickey Mouse and Superman quote a bit too seriously.

What I was responding to was:
Kid Buu wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:19 pm
Animes always had a limited audience in the Anglosphere, before and after DBZ.
And my point was that, technically, EVERYTHING has a limited audience. If I were to scoop up all 330 million Americans, disregarding those with dementia or profound mental retardation as well as those too young to matter, and asked them all who Mickey Mouse was, by law of probability alone, there will be a sizable chunk who have no clue who I'm talking about, and a much more sizable chunk who do know what I'm talking about but have never bothered to see a single piece of media in the franchise. Similar to Superman. Most Americans probably do know of Superman, but how many have ever read one of the comics, watched one of the movies, played one of the games, or cared enough about the character to even consider doing so? Going by absolutes, that means the character has a "limited" audience and must not truly be mainstream.

But that's a completely ridiculous argument; indeed, both of you just reiterated my central point that it's so mainstream that those who are unaware of it are too marginal to count.
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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by Kid Buu » Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:53 am

But anime almost always gets limited releases here in cinemas. Sure some films like Akira, Ghost in the Shell and Your Name get attention from film enthusiasts, but it's a pretty rare occasion. I doubt a lot of people would say Disney/superhero films are their favourites, but they get a ton more viewers. There's nothing wrong with watching an anime, but the perception of animes popularity in US is definitely exaggerated on this board.
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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by Adamant » Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:04 pm

I have no clue what the bloody hell "Ed Edd and Eddy" even is apart from "some cartoon" and right now I'm pretty happy about that.
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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by MasenkoHA » Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:41 pm

Adamant wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:04 pm
I have no clue what the bloody hell "Ed Edd and Eddy" even is apart from "some cartoon" and right now I'm pretty happy about that.
It’s an incredibly run of the mill cartoon that I’m surprised has any kind of devoted following.

It’s what I always considered a filler cartoon, you watch it as a kid when nothing else is on.

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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by MyVisionity » Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:02 pm

Yeah people may know the names "Superman" and "Mickey Mouse" and recognize the imagery, but that's about it. But really, even that level of recognition for both of them is fading fast. At least Superman is still known to come from the comic books. Mickey on the other hand will continue to be shit upon into obscurity at this point, with the only remnants being his Disneyland incarnation.

I don't see that happening with anime, however. If anything its mainstream appeal will only increase.

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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by GreatSaiyaJeff » Fri Jul 24, 2020 5:28 pm

I'm surprised no one has brought up the Made in Japan morning block on Fox Family. Sure it was reruns of Digimon and Mega Man but it had Flint the Time Detective, Monster Rancher and maybe BeyBlade but that one could have been on the block once Jetix took over.

Also what was cool about the Made in Japan block is that trivia and simple learning for Japanese words.
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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by ABED » Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:41 pm

MyVisionity wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:02 pm
Yeah people may know the names "Superman" and "Mickey Mouse" and recognize the imagery, but that's about it. But really, even that level of recognition for both of them is fading fast. At least Superman is still known to come from the comic books. Mickey on the other hand will continue to be shit upon into obscurity at this point, with the only remnants being his Disneyland incarnation.

I don't see that happening with anime, however. If anything its mainstream appeal will only increase.
Again not true. Even if no one has seen a Mickey cartoon, Disney is the most popular theme park in the world and Mickey is synonymous with Disney.

All you need is recognized imagery. Neither of them will ever become obscure, especially not these days.

And you aren't comparing apples and oranges. Anime is not two specific characters. Anime is practically a medium unto itself.
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Re: Could have Dragon Ball survived in the English Speaking world without Cartoon Network?

Post by MasenkoHA » Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:03 pm

I just want to point out your average rando on the street at least has some idea what anime is.

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