#011 Why is Naruto Less Popular than One Piece in Japan?

In Japan, One Piece is way more popular than Naruto. In fact, Once Piece is so popular that one time, it occupied the entire top 100 best selling manga. In this episode, I will try to explain why One Piece is so popular, and why Naruto is less in Japan.
It seems that this tendency also exists in Asian countries: Asian countries tend to prefer One Piece while Western countries tend to prefer Naruto.


Japanese author, blogger, YouTuber. Talks about Japan, dating, communication, and travel.

4 thoughts on “#011 Why is Naruto Less Popular than One Piece in Japan?

  1. Great blog, It was nice to hear.

    I also agree with you on the dub! To me, In English Dub, The voices sound out of place with the character –

    So for example, You might have a Rockstar-looking guy, In Japanese his voice will sound sharp and crisp, And in English they make his voice sound more high-pitched, Soft and Feminine.

    Sometimes it just doesn’t capture the image of the character correctly.

    I also find in the original Japanese version, It’s alot more emotional. There’s plenty of emotional content in their speech, Which is one of the biggest and most important parts to me. The English dub just doesn’t capture correctly the emotions the characters are feeling, Especially when it comes to sadness. I’d say, It captures 20% at best.

  2. Yeah, I have the impression that the acting in japanese movies and drama, feels a bit more “fictional”, as in less “bound” to how people act in real life.
    As someone not used to this I find it that it sometimes breaks “the immersion”. I think this is probably a matter of getting used to, but it’s weird to an outsider.

  3. I haven’t watched Naruto or One Piece, but I had the impression from a couple of episodes that One Piece didn’t take itself very seriously, while Naruto was more of dramatic and story-oriented. Perhaps I’m wrong…

    I noticed the fascination of Japanese audiences with Western culture. It was pretty obvious in 70’s anime. I watched some shoujo series like Candy Candy, and they revolve a lot around Baroque or Rococo aesthetics.

    The things about American dubs is that they are often bad quality, but not because it’s fault of the seiyuu/voice actors. I’ve been to several voice actor panels, and they say often they are not give the chance to prepare and study their scripts. They show up and they have to improvise immediately. I think that shows up in the thoughtfulness and quality of the dubbing, which is unfortunate. I also prefer listening to the original Japanese version of anime, rather than the dub.

  4. I really enjoyed to listen to this pod, and I’ve found your conclusions very interesting. This is something very different from our culture. I remember when I first came across anime, I was very structed by it, but nowdays I find it most of the time boring because the stories and characters are very predictable for me. I enjoy stories and characters, which are more complex, so in the end I like Death note and Evangelion and Ghost in the shell a lot, an’sd it not so easy for me to find new interesting anime or manga stories. Although I appreciate the beautiful drawings!

    As for english dub, it is very interesting, that I love to hear to american series in the original sound, but I really just can’t stand any dub they made for anime series. I already thought about that, and I think the problem is the same as it is with hungarian dub. They still think animes are cartoon stories for children, and they just don’t give the effort to make it sound more natural.

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