Netflix is adapting the well-known anime Death Note. Ghost in the Shell didn’t exactly set a new standard, but it was a big budget movie with a big name cast. Cowboy Bebop is on its way to becoming live-action. American production companies are loving the idea of adapting anime properties for American audiences. Right now, the best way to find out about new shows and watch all you want is to get online and find a good streaming service.
With so many cable channels out there and so many stations searching for content, why isn’t there more anime available for American audiences? It seems like a low cost proposition, right?
Well sadly, no. The answer to this question seems to be all about the money: If a Japanese show hit it big in the states, then whatever network was airing it would only benefit from the ratings and would not get a cut of any tie-in products. Another big problem is that some of the things that pop up in anime would be seen as “inappropriate” for U.S.’ mainstream audiences.
The U.S. has strict and sometimes odd rules when it comes to regulating what everyone can watch. The Walking Dead can behead people, but god forbid we are exposed to any sort of nudity or sexuality. Most other countries have stricter limitations on violence than sexuality, but over here in the U.S. it’s the opposite. Fortunately, the internet seems like the answer to most problems these days. More and more people are cutting the cable cord and going to streaming only entertainment. Streaming services can see the worldwide value in all these wonderful Japanese shows and they don’t have to worry about all of that censorship or questionable content. The online audience gets to choose what we watch and when we watch it.
Our friends at Anime News Network go into more depth with this premise and delve into some of the history of how Japanese animated series ended up on American television.
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