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  1. #16
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJBopp View Post
    Arbitrarily cherry picking out the most obvious example seems...arbitrary.
    I disagree about it being arbitrary, more removing the obvious low hanging fruit. Anime is, well, animated. Easier to dub convincingly. Doesn't have to worry about special effects because animated. Comes from a first world nation that has the money to if not compete with American and British productions at least better able to hold their own animation-wise. And it has always had greater ties to the West than most other non-Western countries. Basically, it'd be way too unfair to compare anime to the chances of any other country we might discuss here. It'd just be "Anime /thread" which is hell of a boring discussion and really kind of defeats the purpose of the spirit of the thread at least - aka can your standard small Asian/African/South American/Island/etc. nation ever produce a superhero thing that can penetrate western pop culture enough to be considered mainstream? Japan might be small and Asian, but it sure as heck ain't standard. Even other nations of equal or greater import in the region such as China and South Korea are more interesting in this discussion because South Korea's pop culture penetration is only just beginning while Japan's is many decades old, and China is only now beginning attempts at big CGI spectacles that might appeal to non-Chinese.

    So less arbitrary and more acknowledging that Japan's always been more of an outlier, and that animation is a far different medium and most other nation's are more likely to go forth through live action and comparing anime to live action attempts is just...not similar at all.

    I mean, you can disagree and still think it's arbitrary, but at least I put forth my reasons why I don't think including it would have been very conducive to the discussion and topic. And hell, you could say removing Britain from the discussion is just as arbitrary, but again there's so many reasons why it has advantages to help it keep pace with the US in establishing mainstream pop culture it'd be unfair to include it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Comic-Reader Lad View Post
    It's hard for foreign ANYTHING to become big in America -- not just superhero movies.

    In order for something foreign to have any real type of success in America, it would have do the following:

    - do something America isn't already doing
    - do it better than America would be able to do it

    This is what made anime so popular in America, but even that's not as commonplace as, say, Tom and Jerry or Scooby-Doo for most American kids.

    Once you take England and anime out of the equation, the chances for success for a foreign product are significantly lower.

    Sure, a project or two might pop, but ongoing, long-term, mainstream success is pretty impossible -- not only because of a language and culture barrier, but simply because America already produces the best of the best in terms of pop culture.
    Not even as the cost of CG goes down while the quality goes up, and more and more people complain about how American actors aren't trained to, well, act?

    Quote Originally Posted by XPac View Post
    If you count Dr. Who and 007 as super heroes, we can say it's at least possible.

    Godzilla in the Showa era was SORT OF a superhero. Sort of.
    Britain was already left out of the intended discussion for being too big/mainstream/English-speaking/like America as is. If you could name say a French or Spanish example that'd be more along the line of the general idea. For example I think France made that Miraculous Ladybug show - although again cartoons have an inherent advantage since dubbing them into English is so easy.

    Godzilla is kind of a toughie. As said Japan does have stronger ties to the West and USA than most other non-Western countries, and Godzilla as a giant monster doesn't talk or have much character. On the other hand a lot of the older movies had pretty horrible dubs. Definitely a very interesting case certainly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Killerbee911 View Post
    You eliminate the prime examples of yes it can happen? That does make any sense to me. They are literally the playbook
    Not really a playbook any other nation is likely to be able to use though. Unless the only option countries have to produce such mainstream content is to embrace and rely on animation more that can be dubbed well into English.

    A. Small amount of American people pick it up in it native form and become a cult hit
    I don't know if easily dubbed cartoons on Saturday mornings count as either native form or picked up by a small amount of people...

    B. It is super popular in its home country
    C. It pops on Hollywood radar because of America fans liking it
    D. Hollywood actually has respect for the material and put big budget into it and that is the most important thing imo
    C and D are pointless to the discussion - by the time Hollywood takes notice it's already popular enough to be considered at the very least marginally mainstream. If something has enough American fans it's already a part of pop culture to some extent. The question is how can a country achieve point A really, as that's the only one on the list that matters - how to get American fans. What is the playbook for that that other countries can follow?

    Yes foreign superhero films can crack mainstream status,In India,Japan and China we are starting to see stuff that is about at Hollywood level. I should real show this RA.One trailer but this movie is on Netflix(But I can't resist showing off this clip)



    A better example is Wandering Earth which is the currently 7th highest gross movie of 2019 which made 700 million(691 million in China) this movie is also on Netflix. It is showing you example of how close other countries are getting with CGI and the budget(50 million). It is not hard to imagine in the future China going after some US stars to get the US audience in much in the same way US companies is doing the same thing now to get that audience. You are also seeing some small stuff other countries sneak in like The Protector which is a Turkish superhero show basically a Turkish Iron fist and I also saw Shadow which is basically South African Luke Cage . Once the money gets better they will do better in America

    Where you are going to see most success is with the Asian stuff we are already accepting of martial arts and subtitles from that area. So the biggest hurdles are mostly out of the way. It is not going to be a surprise in the next couple of years if a Korean show or movie break out in the US. I have seen some interesting looking normal dramas that have way better action for show of that genre I am not going to be surprised when one of them break out in the US. Finally I was watching the Wu Assassins on Netflix and 1 episode in It was easily better than Iron Fist so far and it has Iko Uwais(The Raid) Katheryn Winnick(Vikings) Lewis Tan(Enter the Badlands,Deadpool 2) Byron Mann(alter Carbon,The expanse) ,Mark Dacascos(John Wick,Brotherhood of Wolf). I am pretty sure the production is US but it has feel of type of project that could have been done as co production for a property from somewhere else.

    At some point a street level superhero character of batman/arrow style of show or Martial art superhero ala Iron Fist is going to break out from another country. The other styles of heroes is going to take a little longer because of the money but a couple years back The Guardians caught people eyes and if it is done right I don't see why people in America won't like it.
    Now this is very informative and gives a lot more to think about!

    So China/South Korea/Japan are the most likely to produce a mainstream foreign superhero film/show/franchise you think because the have the most money/advanced technology to compete with Hollywood level CGI then? So cracking the CGI thing is key to live action mainstream success? Also obviously it seems like appearing on Netflix seems to be the best in to get eyes on foreign stuff?

  2. #17
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaastra View Post
    Yeah japan does show they can. Heck the last dragonball film was the first anime to hit first place at the American box office in years and it was only in limited release yet was a huge hit for a anime and highest ever fathom event in history. (the other one that made first place was pokemon the first movie.) Yes it was only for a day but it was a huge step for anime. Ponyo had a chance as Disney had ads everywhere for it but no one could find it as Disney only put it in a few showings! Why would you do a huge ad push then make it where no one can see it?

    Spirited away and your name could have done well but were buried also in limited release! Your name is getting a live action American movie remake by jj adams also.


    But your name and spirited away are not from comics (or manga) however one piece, our hero academia, bleech, Naruto, sailor moon, sword art online, attack on titan, death note, gundam, cowboy beboop and others are and have done well here with limited film releases (naruto's first film got a wide release as did tenchi's!) and toys, posters and other things! I can get a our hero academia and hunter x hunter poster at my Wal-Mart right now!

    One piece may pass batman's worldwide sales this year! Batman may get beat by a manga series!

    https://comicbook.com/anime/2019/03/...-record-manga/

    You can't just say "no japan" because they have tons of heroes based on comics (manga) and many have done well here. They show they can do well here! Japan is the big "they can work in America" Heck tom hanks was in a lone wolf and cub inspired movie!

    Japan cannot be thrown out here!

    For china we had tons of monkey king films and smurfs and tintin were based on comics from other countires and both have had movies here. Not a comic but harry potter is a book series from the uk right? It did well here complete with two lands at universal studios!

    Smurfs (if they count) had a high rated cartoon series that lasted over 9 years and one season was on for a hour and a half with over 8 prime time specials. Smurfs and the magic flute was the highest grossing non Disney movie of all time when it came out and the first live action film was a huge hit! (that awful smurfs 2 however---)
    I never said "no Japan" I said "no anime", there's a difference. Has a live action made in Japan superhero movie made it mainstream? Comparing animation attempts to live action ones just really doesn't seem fair in my opinion. If you want to argue for Japan I'd say the live action AoT and Shin Godzilla films are your best argument here.

  3. #18
    Incredible Member 5Eyes's Avatar
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    What about The Power Rangers?? I think you could consider them as one.. More famous as a TV show but the original U.S group did have a film.. Then again it is not the original foreign film .. so maybe not

    The closest would be dubbed martial arts fantasy film..
    Last edited by 5Eyes; 08-11-2019 at 02:39 PM.

  4. #19
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5Eyes View Post
    What about The Power Rangers?? I think you could consider them as one.. More famous as a TV show but the original U.S group did have a film.. Then again it is not the original foreign film .. so maybe not

    The closest would be dubbed martial arts fantasy film..
    Not sure, while the Power Rangers is a foreign property, the "mainstream" version is the American version, so whether that counts or not is kind of iffy. I personally wouldn't, but that's just me, and hey maybe someone can argue why it should count, I don't know. Maybe the key to success for foreign properties is to get a heavily Americanized version of your product done, who knows.

  5. #20
    Astonishing Member AJBopp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vakanai View Post
    Not sure, while the Power Rangers is a foreign property, the "mainstream" version is the American version, so whether that counts or not is kind of iffy. I personally wouldn't, but that's just me, and hey maybe someone can argue why it should count, I don't know. Maybe the key to success for foreign properties is to get a heavily Americanized version of your product done, who knows.
    Well just to me, it sounds increasingly like you're just discounting as social conditions anything that doesn't fit your narrative.

    I'd argue also that Godzilla is as much a hero as wolverine or Batman.
    Why yes, I AM a Mark Goodson/Bill Toddman production.

  6. #21
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJBopp View Post
    Well just to me, it sounds increasingly like you're just discounting as social conditions anything that doesn't fit your narrative.

    I'd argue also that Godzilla is as much a hero as wolverine or Batman.
    Not really discounting it, but do you really consider a show made in America for American children with American actors and actresses foreign? I mean if that's discounting social conditions, well, it's a hell of a freaking huge social condition. It's almost to the extent of counting Godzilla as an American character because he was inspired by the American King Kong and Beast from a 1,000 Fathoms, or saying Robocop is Japanese because he was inspired by several "armored" type tokuatsu (sp?) series. Power Rangers isn't quite the same as that, but it's pretty similar. Hell, how many kids growing up had no clue the show was technically a Japanese property? I sure didn't.

    But again, that's just my personal opinion, and I never said it didn't count - just that I personally wouldn't myself.


    Godzilla however is a pretty good argument.

  7. #22
    Astonishing Member AJBopp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vakanai View Post
    Not really discounting it, but do you really consider a show made in America for American children with American actors and actresses foreign? I mean if that's discounting social conditions, well, it's a hell of a freaking huge social condition. It's almost to the extent of counting Godzilla as an American character because he was inspired by the American King Kong and Beast from a 1,000 Fathoms, or saying Robocop is Japanese because he was inspired by several "armored" type tokuatsu (sp?) series. Power Rangers isn't quite the same as that, but it's pretty similar. Hell, how many kids growing up had no clue the show was technically a Japanese property? I sure didn't.

    But again, that's just my personal opinion, and I never said it didn't count - just that I personally wouldn't myself.


    Godzilla however is a pretty good argument.
    In my defense, auto correct replaced "special" with "social."

    I was a teen when Power Rangers first aired, and I knew before I saw the first episode it was a Japanese import. YMMV.
    Last edited by AJBopp; 08-11-2019 at 03:46 PM.
    Why yes, I AM a Mark Goodson/Bill Toddman production.

  8. #23
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJBopp View Post
    In my defense, auto correct replaced "special" with "social."

    II was a teen when Per Rangers first asked and I knew before I saw the first episode it was a Japanese import. YMMV.
    Special sounds a lot better and less awkward than social, although it doesn't change my argument any really.

    As for me, I was still a very little kid when PR came out in the early 90s, so I can't speak about how easy it is for a teen to have known it was a Japanese import or not - plus I never caught the first episode, just a random order of them. I know none of the kids I knew who ever spoke about them or played with the toys ever mentioned them being from Japan. I just know it was American teens who were in a very distinctly American location who turned into costumed heroes and fought monsters, and then got in dino-themed vehicles that combined to form a giant robot to fight a giant version of the monster they just killed every episode. Which yeah now that I'm older is very obviously Japanese tropes and themes, but no reason a little kid before the internet was ubiquitous would know that.

    On the flip side I knew Godzilla was Japanese because everyone onscreen was Japanese, their voices were dubbed instead of naturally speaking English like in the Americanized Power Rangers, and the locale was distinctly not American. So Godzilla being popular is kind of a more impressive feat to me I think, because outside of Raymond Burr there's really no American-izing going on there like there was with the Power Rangers.

  9. #24
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    Sorry, double post!

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by G. Boney View Post
    Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yeoh I agree with, but Jackie Chan? You must've been living in a different 90s than me, lol. That's the decade he did break out in the u.s. If you would've said 80s that would be on point.
    "mainstream" being the operative word. yes, I can remember waiting 10 minutes in line to see one of his films in Seattle back in the 90s... and yet, he never really got a broad fanbase or truly mainstream appeal. it seemed like more people were still watching Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, or even Pauly Shore at the time. maybe I'm not remembering the 90s too well. yes, Jackie Chan had a huge cult following... but I don't think he ever became truly mainstream in the US.

  11. #26
    Extraordinary Member Cyke's Avatar
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    I just want to point out that Steven Spielberg lobbied Tsuburaya HARD to use Ultraman in Ready Player One. However, even he couldn't get them to budge as Tsuburaya was underway with another major legal dispute over Ultraman's ownership, and so the Iron Giant was used instead.

    But my god, Ultraman directed by Steven Spielberg would've done so much for the Ultraman brand, pushing it just a bit further into the mainstream and maybe even revitalize Western interest in the franchise. Plus, above all else, Ultraman is an institution.

  12. #27
    Astonishing Member AJBopp's Avatar
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    Depends on how you define superhero, and how you define foreign, but here's a few.

    Transformers - Japan
    Harry Potter - England
    Lord of the Rings - England
    Judge Dredd - England
    Why yes, I AM a Mark Goodson/Bill Toddman production.

  13. #28
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyke View Post
    I just want to point out that Steven Spielberg lobbied Tsuburaya HARD to use Ultraman in Ready Player One. However, even he couldn't get them to budge as Tsuburaya was underway with another major legal dispute over Ultraman's ownership, and so the Iron Giant was used instead.

    But my god, Ultraman directed by Steven Spielberg would've done so much for the Ultraman brand, pushing it just a bit further into the mainstream and maybe even revitalize Western interest in the franchise. Plus, above all else, Ultraman is an institution.
    While it sucks that Ultraman couldn't be used in Ready Player One, and it probably would have given him more exposure here in the west, you can't really blame Tsuburaya much for that one. But the good news is that legal dispute is over and they won, so there's no reason to fear them ever missing another opportunity like that again, should one come along. And now that they don't have to deal with that ownership dispute anymore, we might actually see more Ultraman content get released here - I know Ultra Q and the original Ultraman series are coming to DVD/Blu-ray here in the west officially finally, along with all the other series eventually, and there was some sort of spin-off anime on Netflix. There's also the upcoming Shin Ultraman movie, with any luck if it's big enough it might get some limited screenings over here like Shin Godzilla did. Plus for the first time, if they really wanted to, there's nothing to stop them from trying to get a Hollywood Ultraman movie made. Ready Player One was just bad timing, but Ultraman is a better chance here in the west than he's had for decades with that legal battle over.

    Quote Originally Posted by AJBopp View Post
    Depends on how you define superhero, and how you define foreign, but here's a few.

    Transformers - Japan
    Harry Potter - England
    Lord of the Rings - England
    Judge Dredd - England
    Transformers is a tough one - you could argue it's an anime, but the live action versions are more successful than any other live action anime attempt ever, plus they were just as much a toy line as they were a cartoon. I'd probably count it as a pretty good example, especially now with all the live action movies. Yeah, Transformers is a pretty good example I think. So discounting anime, Japan's got two with Godzilla and Transformers.

    I already kind of discounted England as being both the other major arbiter of Western English speaking culture along with America and on fairly competitive if not even footing with Hollywood.

  14. #29
    Mighty Member stargazer01's Avatar
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    Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jet-Li are action stars that made it big in America.

  15. #30
    Silver Sentinel BeastieRunner's Avatar
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    I could see a big budget Metal Men, Ultraman, or other sentai that is not inspiration to Power Rangers do amazingly well.
    "Always listen to the crazy scientist with a weird van or armful of blueprints and diagrams." -- Vibranium

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