The Japanese TV series, dubbed “Love Live!” has become a huge hit for US anime fans and is the third largest anime series in the country, according to Nielsen.
However, there’s a problem: its been adapted for American audiences, too.
“It’s one of those shows that you can’t help but fall in love with,” says Jeffery Shugart, an associate professor of Japanese at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“It’s a show about a band, but it’s a little bit more than that.”
That’s the point.
is about friendship, love, and the desire to find happiness in your life.
It’s also a very American concept.
“If you watch it and you’re a fan of the Japanese anime industry, you’ll get this impression that it’s not about the show itself, it’s just about the characters,” Shugard says.
“That’s what the show is really about.”
And if you’re not a fan, there are still plenty of other reasons to watch Love Live!, like the fact that its popularity has spread to other countries.
is also the second highest-grossing anime series of all time in Japan, according a new report from Naver, which tracks anime revenue worldwide.
In the US, Love Live!’s success has prompted anime and manga creators to make more anime and films.
One of those is American studio Sentai Filmworks, which recently launched a series called “LoveLive!: Live Tokyo” which stars Aika, a member of the popular LoveLive!.
It is set in Tokyo and centers around the love of a high school student named Kazumi, who is obsessed with being a idol.
The show has a budget of around $30 million and has already aired on Japanese TV.
Shugart says that Japanese creators like his and his colleagues at Sentai have always had an affinity for American television shows.
“I think it’s important to be a little more American-centric,” he says.
“Japanese culture is a little different from ours,” Shukart says.
That’s why he says it’s been difficult for Sentai to adapt its series for American viewers.
“They had to get the Japanese audience to really care about the Japanese culture,” he explains.
And while he says that he thinks American viewers are “pretty much indifferent” to Japanese animation, Shugar says that’s not necessarily the case.
“The Japanese audience is incredibly intelligent,” he notes.
“There are people who are really into anime and want to know what’s going on in the world.”
What about American animation?
It’s been tough to adapt American animation to Japanese audiences.
According to Naver data, anime revenue in the US has fallen from an average of $2.8 billion in 2009 to $1.2 billion in 2017.
Shugartz says that this is partly because Americans have stopped paying for Japanese content.
“The American anime industry has been very competitive in the past,” he adds.
“We’ve had a really great run of TV shows and movies over the last few years, and so there’s no way for us to keep up.”
There’s also the matter of how American audiences view American animation.
Shukartz says he and his team have noticed a correlation between how American viewers view American anime and how they view Japanese anime.
“I think they see it as an interesting and challenging way to tell a story,” he told Business Insider.
Shukart’s team has been working to adapt LoveLive!, but that hasn’t been easy.
“We’ve been talking about doing it for years and years,” he said.
“Now we’re doing it in a more creative and more innovative way.”
Shukard’s team says they’re still figuring out the logistics for the adaptation, but they’re hoping to be ready by the end of this year.
In the meantime, they hope American viewers will “get a little love” for the show.