Bonjour and Konnichiwa! In recent years, there has been an undeniable surge in the appreciation of all things Japanese in France, ranging from books, films, television series to video games and traditional arts. Rakuten France, Rakuten Viki, Rakuten TV and Rakuten Kobo recently teamed up and conducted research on consumer behavior in the fascinating realm of Japanese entertainment and culture, as seen through the discerning eyes of the French.
Manga – A thriving realm of Japanese pop culture
The growth of manga in France has been nothing short of spectacular, with a remarkable 31% increase in 2022 compared to 2019. Manga books account for a significant portion of total sales, with iconic series like “One Piece” making up 5% of the books sold.
While Manga-related books make up a whopping 98% of sales in France, the French passion for Japanese culture extends beyond this genre. Novels and culinary books have carved out their place in the hearts of readers, offering them a chance to explore and savor the richness of the land of the rising sun.
Exploring Japanese series and movies
French enthusiasm for Japanese television series is on the rise too, further affirming the country’s deep fondness for Japanese culture.
The fictional romance series “Silent” has soared to the top as the most-watched Japanese series on Viki worldwide, while in France, “My Beautiful Man,” a drama based on a manga, has won over viewers, highlighting the growing attachment of the French audience to the Boys Love (BL) genre.
Rakuten TV, the go-to platform for French cinephiles, has witnessed a genuine passion for Japanese films. “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” become the most-watched Japanese film on the platform across Europe. In France, “Belle,” a captivating virtual crossover between Beauty and the Beast, has enthralled audiences, solidifying Japanese content’s position as a favorite on Rakuten TV.
Embracing Japanese games
French consumers have developed a profound fondness for Japanese games including playing cards and video games, forging a passionate relationship with these interactive forms of entertainment and a dedicated fanbase eagerly awaits each new release.
Notably, the beloved franchise “Pokemon” dominated the card-playing category with an impressive 62.8%, while 18% of Japanese game franchises sold come from Nintendo’s legendary “Mario” franchise.
The unwavering rise of Japanese entertainment in the French cultural landscape is a testament to the enduring love and fascination the French hold for Japan. Rakuten continues to be the driving force behind this cultural exchange, making sure that the spirit of Japan continues to blossom on French soil. So whether you are a die-hard manga enthusiast, a J-drama lover or a Japanese cinema buff, Rakuten has something special in store for you to revel in the magic of Japan’s vibrant culture.