AP Story by Yuri Kageyama about SpongeBob in Japan
My story again and another photo
The problem that SpongeBob (or any marketing) faces in Japan is that cycles come and go so quickly it’s almost impossible to be hip and mass at the same time. This goes against the stereotype that Japanese are conformist and do everything everyone else does and is hence by defintion always “mass.” Being ahead of the crowd plays out as a cutting edge version of conformity. It’s hard work to be cool.