Published on September 15th, 2022
When we look at the Asian entertainment industry from a worldwide point of view, generally, these terms come to mind: Kpop, Anime, and Kdrama. Japanese anime has been slowly growing more and more popular for 5 to 6 years. With the recent success of the Korean Squid Game, Kdrama has gained millions of new fans.
Streaming giants like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney Plus are not only producing more and more original Korean dramas and anime, but also trying to get more (already produced) Asian content on their platforms. Disney executives think that Korean content is better than Japan’s.
According to the Japanese website Record China, directors of The Walt Disney Company stated at a recent event that the contents produced in South Korea are “superior” to those produced in Japan in terms of expansion capacity and themes that the rest of the world enjoys.
The chairman of international content and operations at Disney, Rebecca Campbell, is quoted in the article as saying, “The Korean works created by Disney are all fantastic content from a regional and global standpoint.” “It is a piece that the audience can relate to”.
Furthermore, Carol Choi, who oversees the development of the original content strategy for the Asia-Pacific region (at Disney), claimed that “Korean material is superior to Japanese content in terms of expansion power, in which particular content is loved in multiple areas outside of one country and evokes empathy.”
Korean netizens who saw this article commented, “Sometimes I want to enjoy Japan’s unique sensibilities, but Japanese works indeed lack global expansion” and “I haven’t seen much Japanese content since “Love Letter (1995)”. The current content lacks realism and is unpleasant“; “Japan is an isolated island and probably too unique to be adored in the global marketplace”; “The only thing South Korea is losing to Japan today is total population”; “Apart from content, South Korea has surpassed Japan in all aspects, such as baseball, soccer, figure skating, the Olympics, semiconductors, consumer electronics, and smartphones, not to mention K-POP.“; and “The popularity of webtoons has made Korea a “comic powerhouse”. What remains is the business of video games and characters“.
Others said, “It’s still too early to say that Korean content has surpassed Japan. However, it is true that Korea’s competitiveness is rising and Japan’s competitiveness is declining.” “Korea will soon become like Japan. It’s because Japan is the fastest aging country in the world,” some said.
It is still too early to say which content will win out in the end. Both Kdramas and Anime has a different set of audience. Disney has not yet “abandoned”, as previously reported, Disney is working on producing both original anime and Kdrama. According to reports, the upcoming Bleach Thousand Year Blood War anime streaming rights are also won by Disney, but we are yet to get official confirmation.
On the other hand, Korean webtoon’s popularity is also on the rise. Just recently, Solo Leveling Webtoon got the announcement of an anime adaptation, which was thought to be impossible given the past between South Korea and Japan.
Source: Record China