Inquiring Minds Want To Know #35: What do you think of Chinese Co-Productions?

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Another week and another fantastic question. I’m still seeking questions to keep this series going a little longer so if you have something you want to know, be sure to fill in the simple survey below and I will definitely get to it.

Question: What do you think about Chinese co-productions? Do you think they’re necessary for anime to reach a global community? From Aria


I honestly haven’t given much thought to co-productions either between Japan and China or Japan and America or Japan and anywhere else for the simple reason that I like stories when they are told well so I’m more concerned with the quality and entertainment of the finished product than who may or may not have been involved in its production. However, after getting this question and thinking it over, I have to admit, a lot of the shows I know to have been Chinese co-productions have been very rough around the edges (even Spiritpact which I ended up thoroughly enjoying).

That said, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the idea of co-productions. I love anime for the wide variety of stories it tells and different ways it presents them and co-productions bringing in different people from different backgrounds and cultures seems like a great way to ensure the medium continues to include a large variety of ideas. Whether or not individual co-production efforts have yielded anything good is a subjective discussion and it is kind of like discussing whether live action anime adaptations are good or bad because there will be a lot of different opinions and sure there’s plenty of evidence of ones that don’t work but occasionally there’s one that does and there’s hope that going forward they’ll improve.

As to the second part of the question, I don’t believe they are necessary for anime to reach a global community but I do think that money coming into the animation industry from outside of Japan may very well help long term given we all know there are issues in the industry and co-productions can certainly help with distribution of a title. There’s plenty of benefits from collaborating and very few benefits from assuming the closed position some anime purists might that anime much be produced in Japan by Japanese people.


Another great question and as I always, I’d love to know the thoughts of my readers so be sure to let me know in the comments below what you think of Chinese Co-Productions. And if you have a question for me, be sure to fill in the survey below. 

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James


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9 thoughts on “Inquiring Minds Want To Know #35: What do you think of Chinese Co-Productions?

  1. I haven’t seen that many Chinese co-production in animation. The one that comes to mind is Flavors of Youth which showed plenty of potential that China can match the animation quality of Japan. Other than that, wasn’t impress with the movie.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing China animation industry expanding, and creating their own work on the quality of Japan. Something like Big Fish & Begonia demonstrated to me China has what it takes to compete with everyone else.

    Right now their biggest issue is like Korean animation for me. Korea, and China do plenty of co-production, but don’t have a firm identity established in their animation industry I feel. I think overtime once they become more experience in this field, and create a bigger catalogue of noteworthy works they’ll have more of their own distinguishing traits come through instead of simply coming off as a series of inspired works.

    1. Definitely about gaining some experience and I think anything that allows more people and ideas to come together to create is not a bad thing.

  2. There’s actually a long history of co-production in anime and the animation industry in general, and I appreciate the fact. You’re correct to think that the influx of additional income should help to build and better the industry; more importantly, the influx of ideas and talent should greatly expand the variety of productions.

  3. I only have a few issues with non-Japanese anime. First is other cultures (the West) getting outraged at everything, it feels like every season there is at least ONE anime that blows up online, and I’m usually left scratching my head as to why (my stance is, if you don’t like it don’t watch it). That being said, I’m sure this is also over-exaggerated by non-anime viewers who aren’t used to fan service or certain tropes that anime uses often.

    Second is VA. Japanese VA has spoiled me too much.
    There have been a few anime where I thought the synopsis was very interesting, but then I got into the anime and it was Chinese VA. I just can’t do it!
    I can’t even listen to English VA over animation anymore!

    Other than that, I can’t think of any other reason why I’d be against non-Japanese anime. And if its just a co-production like in your question here, I guess those two points are diminished anyways.

  4. I’ve noticed there are quite a few Vietnamese animations on board for several projects so I expect China and other asian countries trying to help expand anime into a more global market can only mean better-looking shows. Wasn’t Phantom in the Twilight a joint Japan/China production? I didn’t watch much but that show seemed to be quite well animated.

    Either way, any chance for Anime to be brought to more eyes is welcome, but I do hope America/The West keeps it’s hands far away from that, the last thing we need is American studios trying to call the shots on stuff. That’s a -gate level crisis just waiting to happen.

    1. Much the same answer. I don’t really mind as long as it ends up being fun to watch. That said I’ve only watched a few and quality has varied.

      1. Mmm, yeah. I got a Chinese friend that watches mainly Chinese anime and reads mainly manhua(Chinese Manga/webtoon), since she is from China after all. Some of them are cheesy and some of the characters have an afro, unliterally, they just have giant bangs. Like how my friend teases her, there are a lot of crown people!

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