Why do Arab fans continue to follow Japanese anime?



For many people who grew up in the Arab world, watching Japanese animated series dubbed into Arabic was an essential part of their childhood. Some of the area’s most beloved titles include “Adnan wa Lina”, “Captain Majed”, “Al Mohakek Konan” and, of course, “Pokemon”.

A YouGov survey conducted by Arab News confirms celebration in the Japanese comic book genre region, as 75 percent of respondents across all age groups rated the long-running Japanese manga series, “Captain Tsubasa.” , known as “Captain Majid” in the Arab world. world, like their all-time favorite anime.

Another popular series, “UFO Robot Grendizer”, was also voted the favorite by 56% of respondents aged 40 and over.

While the anime dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, it has become a symbol of Japanese culture.

The Arab world’s fascination with the genre was celebrated when 13 episodes of a Saudi-produced anime titled “Lumberjack’s Treasure” first aired on Japanese TV in 2018, in Arabic and in Japanese.

According to Maaz Sheikh, CEO and founder of STARZPLAY, the anime’s strong presence in the Arab world goes beyond its stories. “Anime concerns Arab viewers on a whole new level,” he said.

“It blends the individuality of established comic book series and animation with the unrivaled style originally derived from manga comics in Japan, creating a unique world that allows any fan to escape into this world.”

Sheikh said comments from STARZPLAY subscribers since 2018 indicated a large number of followers in the region and demand for its current top-ranked series.

“From the feedback we’ve received, the ‘escape’ element of anime seems to be the biggest social aspect of what makes them so appealing,” he said.

“The anime allows viewers to live vicariously through the weird characters in a way that would otherwise be impossible to see with a live-action Hollywood series.”

Fans have also expressed a keen interest in theatrical releases of blockbuster animated films in the MENA region, which Sheikh says only confirms that there is a huge appetite for the comic book genre in. cinemas, and on a larger scale.

Among the younger generation aged 16-24, animated series such as “Dragon Ball” were found to be commonly watched by 59% of those surveyed, with less appeal to older groups.

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The survey also showed that 42% of young people declared their interest in manga and cosplay, seeing them as one of the top attractions in Japan.

Arafaat Ali Khan, owner of Domain Entertainment and co-founder of Middle East Film and Comic Con, said the trend among young anime followers was primarily a result of the genre targeting not only a mature group but also a younger audience through books, comics. and movies.

“While you can get addicted to anything, if consumed in acceptable amounts, I think anime can inspire young minds as much as traditional art forms,” he said.

For Fatin Samir Al-Khuja, 24, a young Saudi graphic designer and illustrator based in Jeddah, her earliest memories of watching anime date back to elementary school. “I started watching ‘Card Capture Sakura’ and it made me fond of the anime,” she said.
“My love for Japan grew and it made me want to learn more about their culture and understand their language. “

Al-Khuja was first motivated to sketch anime drawings in college, but it wasn’t until college that she learned to draw digitally, realizing that she wanted to explore the world of illustrations.

“Anime has positively influenced me and made me want to learn to draw in a traditional and digital way. It also influenced my way of thinking and I gained more knowledge because unlike cartoons some anime series teach important life lessons, ”she said.

Al-Khuja, along with 62% of people his age, associate the anime with Japan, and 86% share a desire to someday visit.

“I have visited Japan three times and during my trip I discovered that just like the Arabs, the Japanese have kept their customs and traditions,” she said.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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