While most Japanese know of a new Disney or Pixar film by its brand first, learning of the title and story later, Americans and other non-Japanese fans of anime and manga, with a few diehard exceptions, generally have little to no awareness of the studio names behind the medium. Instead, they bounce from one title to the next, possibly pursuing an artist, but developing no sense of a studio’s character or identity, and thus no brand loyalty. Indeed, if there is a brand associated with anime and manga, it’s national. Japanese pop culture is branded as “Japan”: Cool Japan, J-Pop, and the former coinage, Japanimation.
By Roland Kelts.