‘Anime Village’ size reflects Saudis’ passion in Japanese anime, ambassador says
Japan's Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Iwai Fumio has been left amazed with the size of the “Anime village” in Jeddah Season as he visited the zone on Monday.
Speaking to Saudi Gazette, the ambassador said: “I am very impressed with the size of Anime village, and this reflects the Saudis’ interest in Japanese anime and culture, and I hope that we will see more exchanges between the countries.”
The ambassador was briefed during his visit to the city walk zone in Jeddah Season on the most important global events and experiences.
Fumio, who’s the ambassador to the Kingdom since December 2020, pointed out that the promising tourism, cultural, historical, and civilizational potentials made the Kingdom a global tourist destination.
He expressed his happiness with the Japanese shows presented within the activities of the season.
“I am only staying in Jeddah for one night, I will not be able to enjoy the shows by Japanese artists, but I imagine this season provides many opportunities to learn about Japanese culture through these concerts,” he added.
He praised the Jeddah Season for its careful geographic arrangement of event locations and its commitment to ensuring that the events held are suitable for people of all ages.
Saudi’s interest in Japanese anime started since the 80s, with the dubbing of many popular animated shows and airs through TV channels.
Such that some Japanese animes were more popular here than Japan like UFO Robot Grendizer, who was extremely popular in the Arab world but not as much in Japan.
Saudi Arabia's interest in Japanese anime dates back to the 1980s, when many popular animated episodes were dubbed and broadcast on television.
Many of them, such as Hayao Miyazaki's Future Boy Conan (also known as "Adnan & Lena") and Captain Tusuba ("Captain Majed"), become part of Saudi pop culture.
The rise of new dubbing houses in the late 1990s and early 2000s increased the anime influence in the region.
Arabs became more interested in watching subtitled anime on the Internet, particularly long-running weekly episodes like Detective Conan and Naruto Shippuden.
The community became larger than ever with the advent of social media platforms, and the presence of YouTubers reviewing anime such as Ai Show, Planet B-612, Maher Mosly, and Filmmer.
In addition, streaming services that cater to those audiences, such as Netflix, too piqued the audis’ interest. They dubbed some of Hayao Miyazaki's films, such as Kiki Deliver Service, and brought back old animes with its original dubs, such as Princess Sarah, and Crunchyroll.
The most well-known anime-based streaming service, MBC's Shahid, provided many current animes as well as old favorites to Saudi Arabia and the Arab world in general.