A Challenge to Hollywood? Japanese Character Goods Hit the US

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A Challenge to Hollywood? Japanese Character Goods Hit the US is a 2000 academic paper by Anne Allison that looks at how Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Sailor Moon came to the US, and why Sailor Moon was unsuccessful there.

  • Japanese execs consider that Sailor Moon was successful in Canada, Hong Kong, and Italy due to marketing.
  • American execs (and Bandai) consider that Sailor Moon was unsuccessful in America because it was too foreign.
  • Sailor Moon was an attempt to ride the success of MMPR for the girl demographic.
  • The sexualisation of the Sailor Scouts and the feminine-as-consumer
  • Sailor Moon dolls as competition for Licca-chan and Barbie - Sailor Moon's "action figure"-like backstory once made the dolls sell more than Licca-chan.
  • Why fans liked the show: the otherness of the Japanese setting was combined with familiar characters and relationships.
    • Sailor Moon was a flawed heroine, the girls' ordinary lives were shown often, and the girls were fashionable.
  • Why people did not like the show: either something in the Scouts' duties or the girls' ordinary lives did not gel with them. The Japanese-ness of the show (e.g. kanji onscreen) was rarely mentioned.

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