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Ask John: Could Rizelmine Come to America?

Question:
What do you think about having Rizelmine coming to US?

Answer:
With the particular way you’ve phrased your question I can’t tell if you’re inquiring about the likelihood of the Rizelmine anime being licensed for American release, or if you’re asking for my prediction of how the show would be received by the American market. So I’ll answer both questions.

TOKYOPOP has released the Rizelmine manga in English, where it’s been almost entirely overlooked. In the fansub community, the Rizelmine anime television series has likewise been virtually forgotten. Both of these conditions are excellent predictors of the show’s American potential. Rizelmine is a saccharine sweet, exceptionally superficial romantic comedy. A lot of America’s fan community has developed a vehement distaste for this variety of anime because it’s exceptionally cliché and virtually condescending. Since the series is short, it may be relatively inexpensive to license. Since it’s cute, it may be easy to market. So I can envision a domestic distributor choosing to license the series just because it’s available. However, I can’t envision the show selling well in America. It’s too cute to appeal to mainstream consumers, and too cliché and sappy to attract a significant audience of hardcore American anime fans. Rizelmine may be moderately successful in Japan where the fan community is more receptive to bubbly cute “moe” anime than America’s fan community is, but I perceive the show having virtually no market potential in America, which may be why it remains unlicensed for American release.

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