What is today’s most popular (in term of audience) Japanese animated TV show in the US? What genre does it belong to? What is the general storyline? On what platform is it distributed? Why do you think it resonates with American audiences? Is it as popular in Japan?
One of the most popular Japanese animated TV shows in the US would be Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, it is highly regarded by both fans of the series and anime enjoyers alike because of how the show is able to remain consistent with its pacing, the quality of animation, being faithful to the source material and how it explores its themes in a satisfying manner. The animated show’s genre is a mixture of steampunk, action/adventure, fantasy, drama but is able to capture an adolescent audience or Shonen. The series would be distributed and broadcasted by Adult Swim on its Toonami block from May 2012 through December 2014, it can still be watched in other platforms such as Crunchyroll, FUNimation, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.
The story of Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood follows the Elric brothers, Edward and Alphonse, who attempt to resurrect their diseased mother which results in the experiment going horribly wrong; with Edward losing his arm and leg while Alphonse became a walking suit of armor as his actual body disintegrated. After years passed, the two went on a quest to find a sorcerers stone, which can potentially restore them back to their original selves again.
I believe that the reason why American audiences seem to resonate with the series has to do with the way they see the growth of the main protagonist and his brother throughout their journey, how they continue to push through even when they’re going through hardship and suffering, as well as how well-written the antagonists and side-characters which can make audiences be more immersed with the world itself. While FMA:B has some popularity in Japan, it isn’t as big as the western audience and it possibly has to do with the creator, Hiromu Arakawa, being heavily influenced by the industrial revolution of Europe, which can possibly be a factor for why western audiences enjoy the series.