He is at his weirdest in The Wind Waker, wherein he refers to Link, a nine/twelve-year-old child, as "Mr. Fairy", and forces his brothers—and one random guy who's in debt slavery to him—to dress exactly like him and perform slave labor. He also forces the player to pay him ridiculous sums of money in exchange for information on where to find eight MacGuffins. With all of his annoying traits, it's no wonder that fans joke about him being a sex offender when they're breaking him out of prison as part of the plot of the game (his canon crime was just petty theft). In addition, people have taken the skulls in the room where he hid the Pictograph (through the small tunnel at the back of his prison cell) to mean that he's not only a sex offender, but also a kidnapper and serial killer. Yeah, Americans hate him that much.
Joking aside, the main reason why Tingle is hated so much is that he is basically a Man Child, a character archetype that Western audiences have little sympathy for. He was tolerable in Majora's Mask because he managed to fit in the general tone of that game.note Though it was no less creepy – As it turns out, there's a small side-quest where guide of the local swamp reveals himself to be Tingle's father. He acts worried and embarrassed, lamenting the fact the his son acts like a child despite his age. In The Wind Waker, though, he gains a lot more spotlight, is considered far more obnoxious (he was never this rupee-grubbing before now) and you literally cannot complete the game without him, as explained above. Even Word of God is aware of this as shown in this article. He hopes to make Tingle popular one day.
One of the bigger changes for the HD edition of The Wind Waker was that they got rid of five Triforce charts, meaning that you only need to visit Tingle three times in the game to get them translated, as opposed to eight times. To a lesser extent, the Tingle Tuner was replaced with the Tingle Bottle, which also makes him less prominent than in the GameCube version.
Amusingly, Ricky the kangaroo from the Oracles games isn't too fond of him, either.
Neon Genesis Evangelion is one of the most respected and influential anime franchises in its homeland. Overseas, however, though still respected for its willingness to push boundaries, the show itself is a very strong case of Love It or Hate It thanks to its Gainax Ending and Mind Screw nature. Shinji Ikari is a far more polarizing character in the West than he is in Japan, often derided as a whiny weakling by casual fans.
Gintama has been in serialization in Japan for almost a decade, earning positive sales and receiving one movie and three TV series. In North America, only the first 23 volumes of the manga were released before the series was cancelled. The anime only had its first 52 episodes released on DVD (subtitled) plus the movie (sub+dub).
Toshiro Hitsugaya is the most popular Bleach character in Japan but not so much in America, mainly because of his bad habit of jobbing in fights as well as having an even more dispassionate nature than Ichigo. The rest of the world seems to like him just fine though.
The intense ship-related hate toward Masaya of Tokyo Mew Mew for which Western fans are infamous doesn't seem to exist at all among Japanese girls; Nakayoshi, in fact, ran a character poll, and he ranked far above Ryou and Quiche.
Sasuke Uchiha is much more divisive in America than in Japan, and was hated by large segments of the American fanbase long before his Face-Heel Turn. This is because he's seen as a one-note 'brooding' character. As a result, American fans were absolutely not surprised by the Face-Heel Turn.
Sakura Haruno, along with Sasuke, is one of the most hated characters in Western Naruto fandom, particularly due to her Tsundere-ish personality and the subsequent violence she dishes out to Naruto in the anime, as well as pairing reasons. The subject of whether she has been able to improve herself from her uselessness in the early story is fairly controversial. In Japan, however, she regularly features in the top 12 characters in series popularity polls.
This also applies to Naruto himself as well, while he is the most popular Naruto character in Japan, he is something of a Base Breaker in America. Both he and Sakura often get hate from Sasuke's hatedom, as both of them are continuing to try to redeem Sasuke, with Sakura passing up an opportunity to kill him because she couldn't bring herself to do it and having to get rescued by Naruto moments later.
Shizuru Fujino of Mai-HiME seems to be verypopular (albeit with a vocalgroup of haters) in most fandom circles, except in Italy. While they were largely supportive of her feelings for Natsuki, the instant she Kicked the Dog by attacking Yukino and killing off Haruka, Yukino's Most Important Person, her popularity crashed and burned.
There is also the shrine maiden Sylphiel, a demure mage with a crush on the handsome Gourry and very much The Medic to the point that she is completely incompetent in combat. Because of the Real Women Never Wear Dresses attitude in the West, she is hated there, and her anime-exclusive replacement, the headstrong yet haughty Filia, is preferred. In Japan, both females are well-liked, but Sylphiel receives more face time because of the popularity of the original novels.
As a Real Robot multiverse with the series-wide motif of War Is Hell (which, inevitably, brings complaints of Anvilicious treatment), a myriad of Gundam series often result in this happening.
Kira Yamato and Lacus Clyne from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and its successor Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny continues to rank high in the top 10 character polls in Japan (including Newtype) long after Destiny ended and Kira himself beat Char and Amuro for the number one spot in the Gundam 30th Anniversary favorite character poll, but they have a rather large hatedom among the western Gundam fandom. This largely comes from the belief that the pair used their Omniscient Morality License to shove their beliefs down the rest of the Cosmic Era world's throats at gunpoint, all based off evidence which Lacus herself admitted might have been faulty.
In fact, Destiny gets this treatment in the west. Not a specific character, but the whole series. The most basic complaint is that Kira Yamato (and many other characters from the previous show) went from simply cameoing in the series to outright assuming the position of the main characters, and with this also became the "right side" in the conflict (without giving a convincing reason why the new cast was wrong). For a good example, Destiny has a hugehatedom in North America; many consider the series to be the worst Gundam series ever conceived, but in its native Japan, it was the most popular anime for 2 years. Two years after the show ended production, it was still extremely popular. Only after the slightly more popular (in North America at least)Code Geass aired. Even then, this trope still applies, especially in R2.
On a related note, Shinn Asuka is absolutely hated in Japan, to the point where his voice actor gets things thrown at him on the streets. Part of it had to do with him being Kira's replacement scrappy, the other part has to do with him being seen as a whiny brat who doesn't have much justifications to his bratty behaviors. Having the nerve to actual beat Kira, regardless of the circumstances, had a lot to do with it too. This IS the primarily reason why Kira returned as the main character in the 2nd half. Though also disliked in America and not as popular as Kira (a basebreaker himself), his hate is not nearly as profound, perhaps due to anti-heroes of questionable moralities being popular in the West.
As hated as Destiny is, it's actually just one in a dozen as Gundam in itself has always been a Western Base Breaker. For example, during the '90s, Gundam Wing was widely hated in the West because, outside its plot/story/characterization being looked upon then the same way Destiny's is looked upon now, it was the first Gundam series to be broadcast on American cable (specifically on Toonami); as such, Wing was many a young otaku's first Gundam series, something that Elitist/Old Timer UC fans did not appreciate.note To the point that they labeled any newcomers or Wing followers as "Wingers" and treated them as either Not True Gundam Fans, peasantry to their ancien noblesse or both.Division only increased with each Gundam series that came over the Pacific, continuing to this day with AGE and will likely continue with The Origin and whatever series follows that.
On a related note we have Flay Alster, Kira's first girlfriend. Because of her early actions (namely, blaming Kira for her father's death and then manipulating his feelings for her to try and get him killed), a lot of Western fans despise her to the point where her My God, What Have I Done? moment and her attempts to redeem herself fall on deaf ears. The Japanese fans, however, were more willing to forgive. What makes this really ironic is the director's statement in a post-series interview that Flay was intended to be the kind of character who would appeal to Western audiences. Apparently, something went horribly wrong and reversed.
As much as the distributors tried, in Brazil Gundam Wing failed to take off. It had it all – a nice timeslot, a good dub, decent amounts of promotion, yet it just didn't seem to click with the channel's audience who, to this day, can only remember it as "that confusing robot cartoon that was on between Samurai X and Inuyasha". Its disappointing performance ensured that no other Gundam would be licensed to the country, to the dismay of Brazilian Gundam fans (especially of UC).
Death Note: While Japanese fans are more or less accepting of Misa Amane, she's loathed in the West, with her English voice actress's performance being perceived as irritating by most fans, and her character seen as shallow, annoying, and stupid. The large number of fans who prefer otherships also have something to do with it.
North American fans of Sailor MoonhatedRini/Chibi-Usa. In contrast, in Japan, she won the annual character poll in 1993, and in 1994 and 1996 placed second ahead of 51 other characters - meaning she was more popular than almost every other main character. At least partly because of her original portrayal in the DiC English dub (which most North American fans are familiar with) that made her far whinier and brattier than she was in the Japanese version. Her original voice actress was particularly horribly miscast, only exemplifying her annoying nature by her ear-grating voice. Notably, her acceptance by North American fans seemed to increase when the original actress was replaced with a better one, Stephanie Beard, after the show switched from DiC to Cloverway.
Time will tell how perceptions of Rini/Chibi-Usa will change (if they do) now that Sailor Moon is finally getting its long-desired, much-deserved English redub.
In contrast, Chibi-Usa is very hated in Latin America as well, despite having an excellent VA with a very cute and nice voice, mostly because her early brattiness (Mis-blamed to being translated from the North American script when in fact the dub used the original script and was very faithful to the original) can't fly so easily on the local expectations of little girl conduct; and by the time her Character Development seated, it coincided with her role as Plucky Comic Relief in S and her close association with the Spotlight Stealing Character Helios in the very disliked season SuperS, which made the fandom unfairly qualify her as "useless" and "Marty Stu-enabler".
This extends to even ships involving Japan: England/Japan is easily the first or second most popular ship in Japanese fandom. In western fandom... not so much. Some Western fans even seem to dislike the England/Japan ship mainly because of its massive popularity in Japan. Even Greece/Japan, the most popular ship for Japan in western fandom, seems at times to be favored not so much because more Western fans like it than Japanese fans do, but because all other ships for Japan are simply less popular in western fandom than in Japanese fandom, and it just had the good fortune to not conflict with Western fans' most common OTPs. Netherlands/Japan and Turkey/Japan, in particular, have decent followings in J-fen but Western shippers for them are virtually an endangered species. Japan/Taiwan goes a similar way, since J-Fen has it as the most popular het ship for Japan and THE Taiwan ship, but it brings quite the "controversy" in W-Fen circles since it's used to bash Taiwan and mistakenly accuse her of being a Relationship Sue for Japan.
Koreans weren't too pleased with Hetalia's Korea, either. The American fandom adopted him as an Ensemble Dark Horse during the shitstorm, partly in counterprotest but mostly because it made the Koreans mad.
Divine of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, whose methods are far less popular among English fans than Japanese ones.
Ironically, when the successor series, Best Wishes, introduced Piplup's Expy Oshawott, Western fans weren't nearly as spiteful. Besides the fact that he doesn't become as much of a Creator's Pet despite having a similar personality to Piplup, a lot of fans feel that Oshawott's generally less annoying, has at least marginally better Character Development, he doesn't need to show off in Contest battling, and his cuteness isn't quite as force-fed to the audience as Piplup's was. This is kind of funny considering Oshawott the species was originally seen as The Scrappy in the early days.
A similarly sized contingent loathe Pikachu just as much, calling him "Godchu" and "Deus Ex Pikachu" and decrying his alleged plot-warping powers.
May's Skitty and Squirtle. The former for constantly winning battles by spamming Assist, which anybody who plays the game knows is a ludicrously bad tactic. The latter for being overpowered despite being a freshly-hatched baby and having moves that Squirtles aren't supposed to have.
The anime in general has become this in the West, in inverse proportion to the games (which are still massively popular). In Japan, the anime is still well-regarded, with tons of merchandise and regular films, and is enjoyed regularly by children and their parents. Elsewhere, the anime is viewed as a Franchise Zombie and is constantly accused of slavishly adhering to the Animation Age Ghetto.
Lynn Minmay is loathed primarily for her atrocious dub performance, especially her songs. Her Super Dimension Fortress Macross counterpart, Minmei, is somewhat of a cultural icon in Japan, and Mari Iijima (her voice actress) is a beloved personality and decently-respected singer.
Americans' traditional hatred of Minmay went weird when ADV commissioned an English dub of the original Super Dimension Fortress Macross series, and Mari Iijima herself – who had been living in California for years by then – reprised her iconic role for it (one of the only times in anime history that that's happened). A few people still complained, mostly that Iijima's accent stood out among the very American cast (though ADV did make an effort to ensure at least Minmay's parents spoke with an accent too).
This can generally apply to the Bobobo-Bo Bo-bobo series in general. For those who do like the series in the West, there's Beauty, the heroine, who is well-liked in Japan, but mostly hated in the West for being the resident Damsel Scrappy throughout. For the sequel manga, Shinsetsu Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, there's Namero Yononaka, who eventually becomes the new emperor for The Empire of the series; he's the most popular of the three new protagonists of the manga (making 9th place in the last Japan popularity contest; the other two came in 11th and 20th respectively) but his nihilism, narcissism, and lack of humor make him despised among the sequel's small western fan-base.
Parts 3 and 5 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure are generally considered the best ones in the series in Japan. In America, they are often the ones hated the most, because they both can be boiled down to almost nothing but fights, especially compared to the other parts, which have more focus on characters. It doesn't help that the parts' JoJos, Jotaro and Giorno are considered boring, flatGod-Mode Sue's that pull new powers out of their asses just to defeat new enemies (Giorno even gets one of the most Game Breaker powers ever created). Most Americans prefer Parts 2, 4, 6 and 7.
A lot of Western fans of Digimon Adventure and 02 hate Yamato for "stealing" Sora away from Taichi because westerners are so used to the main guy getting the girl in the end, even though pairing him with Sora was the creators' intention from the beginning.
Although Puella Magi Madoka Magica itself is abnormally popular in America for a magical girl show, mainly thanks to being Darker and Edgier, a large percentage of these fans hate Sayaka. Though she has a fair share of fans, a chunk of the fanbase considers annoyingly angsty and unheroic, something not helped by her being often positioned opposite Breakout Character Homura. In Japan, she's the most popular character outside of the protagonists, while Americans seem to prefer Kyouko (ironically, Kyouko/Sayaka is very nearly the most popular ship in the fandom).
Hoozuki no Reitetsu is very popular in Japan. But outside Japan, its reception is low considering that it throws a lot of jokes related to Japanese and Chinese folklore and pop culture (though it did throw a lot of Western pop culture too). This ANN review seemed to confirm it.
As any English-language Fairy Tail forum will tell you, Jellal Fernandez is one of the worst characters in the series. However, in Japan and China, he consistently ranks high in opinion polls, coming up just beneath the five main characters. Pretty high, considering he's a side character who isn't even in the titular guild.
In the Pretty Cure fandom, Japanese fans tend to like all or most of the seasons, but fans in the Anglosphere have very polarized views on two sets of seasons. A person who loves Smile for its full-cast character development most likely hates Doki Doki for focusing almost solely on its lead, while someone who loves Doki Doki for its heavy plot usually hates Smile for its filler. English-language fandom also has a heavy divide over Futari wa versus Heartcatch, due to an Old Guard Versus New Blood division that simply doesn't exist in Japan.note The Old Guard Versus New Blood division is due to the fact that, before Heartcatch, subs of the Pretty Cure series were far and few in-between. In fact, Yes! Pretty Cure 5 didn't complete it's subbing until 2014. Heartcatch came in on the wave that was made with the appearances of subs for Kamen Rider Decade and Samurai Sentai Shinkenger and was instantly loved, leading to the term "Heartcatch Newbie Boom".
Similarly, Yu-Gi-Oh! fans in Japan seem to have no real preferences (though First Installment Wins is in effect to a degree). In the West, the fandoms are much more divisive, and fans of the original tend to like it and only it. Yu Gi Oh ZEXAL in particular gets a lot of flak, primarily for its more kid-friendly, Lighter and Softer atmosphere, after the last two shows seemed to be getting progressively more mature. On the Eastern front, ZEXAL was incredibly popular.
Due to the differences in cards that the OCG (Official Card Game, term given to cards that are released in Japan and Korea) and the TCG (Trading Card Game, term given to cards that are released everywhere else) format obtain in Yu-Gi-Oh! it is quite prevalent to see a deck archetype being successful in the OCG format that never catches on in the TCG format.
The codifier for this has to be the TG Agent archetype. The format is so successful in the OCG format that some of its key cards are banned (and for them, it's rightfully so). In the TCG almost nobody plays it, to the point where people of the TCG wonder why those cards were banned and found it to be strange and unfair.
Alpha Flight never got popular in Canada, where the team is supposed to originate from. This might be because the characters seems to have been inspired from stereotypes of Canadians. Which is ironic when you realize the team was created by Canadian artist John Byrne.
The Disney comics are traditionally more popular in Europe than their native United States. However, according to Don Rosa, the confrontation between Scrooge and Soapy Slick in Part Eight of The Life And Times Of Scrooge Mcduck, in which Soapy's riverboat casino was destroyed, was frowned upon by European readers for supposedly making Scrooge look like a Batman-esque vigilante (although Rosa never wrote what exactly happened and constantly maintained that the tale was meant to be exaggerated through legend).
Tintin: Universally popular, even in places you might not expect like Africa, The Middle East, China,... Except in the U.S.A., where it is still more a cult strip. Case in point is Steven Spielberg's 2011 movie adaptation, which was a box office success across the world, except in the United States where the media attention and public interest were very low. Most Americans seem to be puzzled about Tintin's lack of super powers and see it more as a detective comic with a lot of slapstick.
Astérix: Very popular in Europe, where the time period of the comic (Ancient Rome) is more prominent in the culture, architecture and landscape. Still it has been universally translated and sold. Only in the U.S.A. and Japan it never caught on (you can find the comics pretty easily in the US; just don't expect anyone else to be familiar with it unless they're a Europhile). It exists in Canada, but outside of Quebec it's almost exclusively used as a learning aide in French classes. Part of the reason might be that a lot of jokes in the comics are commentaries about culture and modern life, which are way easier to understand for Europeans - e.g. the running gag that fish sold in a coastal village is delivered from the antique equivalent of Paris.
The genres of comic books in the United States tend to be rather narrow. With the exception of Archie, if it's not a superhero story, it will sell poorly. Some like to blame this on the effect of the Comics Code Authority's rules on what is and isn't acceptable, which they say killed off all other genres of comic books in the country and reduced even the superhero series to them fighting a Monster of the Week every issue. This would also explain that new comedy and adventure series tend to be comic book adaptations riding on the coattails of their franchises' successes. The CCA would thus also be responsible for comic books' failure to become mainstream in the United States whereas it is ubiquitous elsewhere in the world (including as manga in Japan), as the restrictions were made with comic books being children's entertainment in mind.
As a counterpoint, others would point out that the Comics Code ceased to be an overwhelming force to shape the industry around 1970note this arguably began with the "drug issues" of Amazing Spider-Man which were released without the Code's approval and led to a relaxing of some of the Code's more heinous rules, (and that starting in the early 90's publishers gradually dropped it until it was officially abolished in 2011) and that it did not prevent the revival of the superhero genre in the early 1960s. In addition, while the Code was still in full force, other genres besides superheroes sold quite well (e.g. Westerns and war comics), and it had little to no effect on genres which were kid-friendly anyway, such as Disney comics or comedy features like Millie the Model. These genres mostly died out around the mid-1970s, and new genres which arose in their wake, such as Sword & Sorcery (Conan, Red Sonja), revived Horror (e.g. Tomb of Dracula, Swamp Thing) never were able to keep up with the ever-growing superhero genre.
Superhero comic books, while extremely successful in America, are a niche genre in the Benelux and France. This is due to the huge success of Franco-Belgian Comics and Belgian Comics in those regions, which were all published by major book stores. European comics usually have everyday average people as protagonists.
They're also extremely unpopular in Japan, which makes sense considering Japan's native comics industry is SO MASSIVE, there's neither room nor desire for anything foreign. Well, the Japanese did briefly take to Spider-Man and Batman, but the former only in an In Name Onlyadaptation and the latter only in his campy Silver Age incarnation. Though on average, film adaptations of American superheroes tend to fare much better in Japan than the actual comics (which ironically, is largely true for America as well).
The popularity ofDisneyin Japan is inversely proportional to the unpopularity of every other American feature animation studio in the country (with the exception of Pixar, occasionally). It's reached the point where a lot of new releases aren't even sent to Japan, while others (such as DreamWorks Animation's newer films) go straight-to-DVD. This is atypical for an east Asian country, where non-Disney animated films are usually very popular.
Disney's Hercules was well-received by critics and audiences alike, and hated by the Greeks; who apparently did not like the film's portrayal of their culture and mythology. Considering how Disney's take on an American legend is generally considered Snark Bait by American Disney fans, it's surprising this hasn't happened with their other non-European fairy tale/story adaptations.
Mulan wasn't much of a hit in China, despite famous voice actors such as Jackie Chan and adapting a local folk tale. Some blame piracy, some worry that the native audience took issue with the extensive reworkingof the original myth, and some point to the fact that the Chinese government was in the middle of a bitter and spiteful dispute with the Walt Disney corporation and forced the film to languish for a year before letting it out with an unfavorable release date just after the Chinese New Year's celebration stuffed the box office with other films. Ten years later, Dreamworks Animation's Kung Fu Panda would prove much more to Chinese tastes, with much less behind-the-scenes drama.
Toy Story 3, while a critical and box-office success everywhere else, was a complete flop in many Eastern European countries. Many explanations have been offered, the less imaginative being that not many people there had seen the other two films because of economic troubles right after the fall of Communism in the 1990s, resulting in 3's Continuity Porn lacking appeal.
Discussed in The Simpsons Movie: Homer's second attempt at an epiphany amounts to "Americans will never embrace soccer."
Films – Live-Action
Indians seem to feel this way about any humorous depiction of Mahatma Gandhi, for very obvious reasons. There was a major backlash on YouTube over the "Gandhi II" clip from the "Weird Al" Yankovic movie UHF, a fake movie trailer that re-imagines Gandhi as a 1970s blaxploitation-like vigilante. The joke is simply a parody of Actionized Sequels taken to such an extreme that even Gandhi gets the treatment.
Roberto Benigni's 2002 Live-Action Adaptation of The Adventures of Pinocchio was lambasted by American audiences and was nominated for 6 Golden Raspberry Awards, including "Worst Picture", both because they saw it as a vanity project for Benigni (who wrote, directed and starred in the film...as Pinocchio), and were somewhat disturbed that the title role, traditionally fit for a little kid, was being played by a man in his forties. It also was a closer adaptation of the book than the Disney Animated Canon version, reinstating Pinocchio's obnoxious personality and such incidents as the hero being hung by a noose at one point, and not surprisingly American viewers didn't find this charming. And the film was initially released by Miramax only in a roundly condemned All-Star Cast English dub (Breckin Meyer voiced Pinocchio, for one thing). The film performed much more favorably in Benigni's home country, where it was nominated for a handful of awards by Italian film critics.
Borat, unsurprisingly, was not at all well received by many ethnic groups, to the point that it was banned in most Middle Eastern countries. Russia discouraged cinemas from showing it, because many felt it would lead to race riots (as Russia has a Kazakh minority population and, unlike the United States, Russians actually know that Kazakhs do not look or act like Sacha Baron Cohen's character). The movie wasn't shown in theatres, but it is available on DVD. Ironically, the Kazakhs loved it.
Slumdog Millionaire was hated by Indian people, due to its obliviousness to the Bollywood cliches that were in it. Elsewhere the reception was almost universally positive, where it won 8 Academy Awards (including "Best Picture"), and the film currently has a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Argo was a major box office success in the U.S. and won the Academy Award for Best Picture but was not well-liked in Canada, Britain, or New Zealand for minimizing the work of those countries' embassies to make the Americans out to be the sole heroes of the rescue. The film even got such a poor reception at the Toronto Film Festival that director Ben Affleck had to go back and recut some of the film (less than a month before opening) to give a fairer portrayal of the Canadians.
The makers of Braveheart were very nearly sued by the Scottish government over its depiction of national hero Robert the Bruce (even though he really did waffle back and forth on the conflict several times). The movie is generally regarded with varying degrees of embarrassment and annoyance in Scotland. It's even less popular in England, which isn't surprising since literally every named English character in the movie is evil.
While this is easily averted for the film itself in the Japanese market (Toho themselves heaped praise upon the movie), it's played straight with Godzilla's redesign, which a decent portion of the audience over there consider to be weaker, or, for some people, fatter, than the original.
The movie has gotten a pretty bad rep in places where Godzilla hasn't been established as a pop-culturally relevant franchise, and so most people have grown up with the previous American reboot instead. Being that one of the main focuses of the film was to approach it from a "fan perspective" and distance it as much as possible from the '98 movie, it's easy to see why this strategy backfired in places where audiences harbored no love for the Japanese Godzilla, especially since reviews agreed that its faithfulness to the source material was one of the movie's main selling points. Basically, the two movies' receptions are inverted compared to countries where the brand has had a history.
The film did really poorly in the South Korean market. Box office analysts have compared the South Korean market for this movie with Pacific Rim and noticed how it was an unusual outlier considering Godzilla did better than Pacific Rim in every other territory.
The Bollywood film Gunday is a footnote in most of the world, did well enough in its home country of India, and got okay critical reviews. In Bangladesh, it's generally viewed to be worse than Hitler, for some major Artistic License - History taken with the Bangladesh Liberation War in a brief prologue sequence. The film is actually rated #1 on the IMDB Bottom 100 for exactly this reason, with thousands of angry Bengalis one-starring the film for that prologue.
In most countries, vegetarianism is a big enough cultural force that if there aren't restaurants dedicated solely to vegeratian (or vegan) cuisine, it's easy to find restaurants with meatless dishes. Not so in France. A combination of a world-famous and centuries-old food scene where chefs have total creative freedom, a lack of understanding of why people would choose not to eat meat, and a culture centered around pleasures and impulses whereas vegetarianism is restrictive by nature means it is difficult to find truly meatless options. In fact, some of the only restaurants in Paris that one could plausibly call vegetarian are "ethnic" restaurants (Moroccan, Vietnamese, etc.) where distinctly non-French food is served. The owner of Piccolo Teatro in Kitchen Nightmares found this out the hard way after she moved to Paris, where among other problems, she discovered that only 2% of Parisians are vegetarian.
Tex-Mex has had a hard time finding its way into eastern Asian countries, despite most other types of fast foods having rooted themselves firmly. This is because beans are commonly used in desserts in Asia and have thus been associated with sweet foods. In addition, oriental dishes predominantly have a sweet element to its flavor; Tex-Mex rarely has any at all. Lastly, rice (almost always unseasoned) is an extremely important part of meals in eastern Asia, but Tex-Mex uses seasoned rice if it uses it at all, and while rice can be made into hamburger buns or batter for fried foods, it has thus far been exceedingly hard to turn rice into tortillas. Together, the presence of beans in all-savory entrees that either has no rice at all or rice in unfamiliar forms makes Tex-Mex very off-putting for many Asians.
Harry Potter has an in-universe example: the book Quidditch Through the Ages has a section dealing with the status of Quidditch around the world. Americans apparently prefer the game Quodpot, a sort of hot-potato game involving a Quaffle that has been tampered with and explodes – probably a joke on Americans who prefer American football to soccer and are obsessed with Stuff Blowing Up. In Asia, however, Quidditch is only slowly gaining appeal because Asian wizards have traditionally preferred flying carpets to flying broomsticks. The exception to this rule is Japan.
Henry James wrote two political novels during the 1880s – one novel, The Bostonians, about women's rights movements in America, and another novel, The Princess Casamassima, about labor unions and terrorism in England. Bostonians was a hit in England, but widely denounced in America as cruel and unsympathetic, while Princess was a hit in America, but dismissed as exploitative and narrow in England.
Due to differences in attitudes as opposed to the source material of Super Sentai, Power Rangers has some elements that don't gel with American audiences.
The general rule is that Super Sentai works best while being silly, and Power Rangers works best when being serious. For this reason, the serious Chouriki Sentai Ohranger almost ended Super Sentai; but the silly Gekisou Sentai Carranger saved the series from cancellation. Inversely, when Ohranger was adapted into Power Rangers Zeo, it was and is a season that is well-regarded among Power Rangers fans; while when Carranger was adapted into Power Rangers Turbo, it almost got the series canceled.
Villains also get different treatment. Rescue Sentai GoGoFive had villainess Denus, who is well-regarded in Sentai fandom. When it was adapted into Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue, her equivalent, Vypra, was hated by fans, thanks in no small part to the X-Pac Heat leveled against Jennifer Yen. It got to the point where Linkara, in his review for his History of Power Rangers series, all but cheered when Vypra was absorbed into Queen Bansheera later in the season.
Somewhat tying into the general examples of Japanese character popularity above, Kamen Rider fans in the West tend to dismiss Wataru Kurenai (and, to a lesser extent, Ryotaro Nogami) for being 'weak' and 'unmanly' compared to many of the other protagonists in the franchise.
When MTV's American remake of Skins was cancelled and overall declared a flop, the creators invoked this trope, claiming that Skins was a "global phenomenon" that just wasn't catching on to Americans for whatever reason. But in fact, the original British show does have a strong cult following in the U.S., comparable to its popularity in other non-European countries.
Mash is very much not liked in South Korea. This is based on the view that it portrays Korea as a war-torn, third-world country inhabited by prostitutes, criminals, and primitive morons. In fact, many Koreans seem to see M*A*S*H as a symbol of everything that is wrong with Western portrayals of their country.
Though, to be somewhat fair, South Korea wasn't a first-world industrial powerhouse back in 1950. Once one strips away the crazy, North Korea provides a pretty good example of how it was on the entire peninsula during the colonial period.
Jeopardy! is one of the most popular game show franchises in America. The original version ran from 1964 to 1975, and the current version has been on the air continuously since 1984, usually paired with Wheel of Fortune. However, unlike Wheel and most other American game shows, foreign versions of Jeopardy! are far fewer in number, and far less successful across the board.
Although the ITV show Upstairs Downstairs was very popular in the United States, two early characters – Sarah the housemaid and Thomas the chauffeur – didn't share in the general plaudits. American viewers, who were at the time generally unaware of the "plucky little Cockney sparrow" trope but very aware of the "blackmail is sociopathic" trope, did not share British audiences' appreciation of the two, to put it mildly. Even today when shown in repeats, some American stations leave out most or all of the Sarah and Thomas episodes.
Love/Hate is tremendously popular in in its native Ireland, with one episode enjoying an unheard of 53% audience share. In Britain when it began airing on Channel 5 it attracted middling at best viewership figures.
The Swedish Chef from The Muppet Show is not liked by many Swedes, who find him insulting, or not Swedish. This is because of the muppet not speaking actual Swedish, but a completely unrelated mixed-up language (officially termed "Mock Swedish") in an accent that is not Swedish either (Lampshaded in an episode of Big Bang Theory). The Swedish Chef is basically a Love It or Hate It phenomenon in Sweden. Swedes either feel annoyed by how inaccurate a portrayal he is, or laugh at him for the exact same reason.
The TV miniseries Unsere Mutter Unsere Vater, about five friends in World War II, was such a hit in Germany that it's been turned into a theatrical movie, Generation War, and distributed abroad. Of course, it's having difficulties finding an audience outside of Germany, given that it's a movie that portrays Wehrmacht officers in a sympathetic light. It's proven to be particularly unpopular in Poland, as the series depicts the Polish resistance as anti-Semitic slobs.
This type of reaction was the main problem Venezuelan network RCTV faced when they tried to sell their soap Por Estas Calles to the international market. In the country, the soap was so popular and the characters so loved, it was extended and extended until it finally ended after three years.note In fact, when the original scriptwriter tried to kill an popular Anti-Hero character and end the soap after the standard six months, the network fired him. But the reason the soap was so popular was because it was basically a Roman ŕ Clef of the current state of the country; when broadcast in other countries, they lacked the key, and since the romance plot was very slow and the overall athmosphere so bleak the spectators din't care. Every country that broadcast it cancelled if after mere weeks.
House of Anubis is widely disliked in the Benelux. The main reason for that is that the show it was based on, which is Het Huis Anubis, had already lots of fans there before Studio 100 (which only publishes works in the Benelux due to their limited budget) decided to give the rights to Nickelodeon to make their own version of the show. When Nickelodeon announced to those countries that Nickelodeon was going to air it many anticipated the show in the hope that it was Het Huis Anubis they all knew and love, but what they ended up getting is a show with a completely different cast of characters, plotlines etc. and many disliked the (in their eyes) Flanderization and Cultural Translation that was committed.
The Sex Pistols recorded a UK #1 album with Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols, which never cracked the top 100 in sales in the U.S. It did not help matters that the Pistols' sole US tour during their original run was a publicity stunt concocted by Malcolm McLaren that saw the Pistols touring the Bible Belt (one oft-shown image has a theater marquee somewhere in the South showing the Sex Pistols headlining that week, with the next week's show featuring Merle Haggard!) to generate lots of "rednecks v. punks" news. One of the only shows in punk-friendly territory was the very last in San Francisco – and that one ended with Johnny Rotten leaving the stage, and the band, abruptly. This has to do with the different ways the U.S. and U.K. punk scenes developed. The American scene was more artsy and bohemian, while the British scene was predominately working class. Johnny Rotten openly mocked Patti Smith's performance in London in 1976. On the other hand, The Ramones, an American band, launched the British scene. They firmly believed in Three Chords and the Truth. Same goes for the big protopunk acts (The Stooges, New York Dolls, MC5, The Dictators, etc.), who were widely respected on both sides of the pond.
For a few years in the 1990s, Grunge was huge in the United States. But outside of North America it was widely disliked. In the United Kingdom it seemed like every stand-up comedian had his own Kurt Cobain impersonation. Meanwhile, the upbeat and exuberant Britpop music genre emerged as a backlash against the dourness and pessimism of grunge. However, there were some exceptions: the British band Bush, for example, continued to play music inspired by grunge years after the scene faded in the U.S.
Similar to how Grunge was largely ridiculed outside North America, American indie music in the 90s was largely ignored in the UK, with blur being the only famous British band to draw any influence from bands like Pavement. These bands weren't immensely popular in America, either, but they were even less popular there. This ended when The Strokes released Is This It, which had an immediate impact in the UK that was unmatched in America.
British indie music in The Nineties, in turn, was largely ignored in America, except in music magazines and on College Radio.
In Israel, Richard Wagner's music is very unpopular, mainly due to the composer's virulent (but not murderous) anti-Semitism and, more importantly, his popularity within the Nazi party inner-circle – the death camps were known to blast Wagner over the speakers. After the War, many Holocaust survivors moved to Israel, and took their newfound (admittedly understandable) hatred of the composer with them, allowing it to become official state policy. When a travelling orchestra attempted to play Wagner in Tel Aviv, it was met with massive protests and a boycott. The unofficial ban is slowly being lifted as Holocaust survivors die off, and his music is slowly gaining more acceptance. Ironically, Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism and father of the modern Jewish state, was an admirer of Wagner's music.
Even The Beatles were victims of this, in a few different places, in 1966. The most famous one involved John Lennon's infamous "we're more popular than Jesus" comment, which was more or less dismissed as harmless in the Beatles' native Britain, especially after Lennon clarified it... but this was not the case in America. There, a few radio stations in the South held burnings of Beatles records, and the whole ordeal turned into a media ruckus. The anti-Beatles sentiment wasn't actually very widespread, but there was enough of it in some areas that the Beatles had to cancel a few tour dates due to threats. Far worse was the reception they received that year in The Philippines, when they were essentially chased out of the country for refusing to play for Imelda Marcos, and to a lesser extent, the controversy in Japan from their appearance at the Budokan (which is now a popular concert venue, but at the time was reserved for martial arts, and many saw the Beatles' appearance there as disrespectful). All of these incidents, along with the increasingly complexity of their music, made 1966 their last tour.
In the Northeast and other "blue state" parts of the US, being a fan of country music carries many of the same connotations as being a fan of NASCAR – unless it's a hip alternative country band, a crossover pop artist (e.g. Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum), or a legend with universal appeal (like Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, or Patsy Cline), admitting to being a country fan will most likely get you called a redneck, a hillbilly, or some variation thereof. The New York City area, for example, did not have any country stations whatsoever between 2002 and 2013, despite it being the largest radio market in America and country being, by some measures, the most popular genre of music in America.
It's similar outside America. When the Country 2 Country music festival was held in Britain, for instance, many critics'discussions of the event focused on the "American" nature of the music and its association with stereotypes of Type 2 Eagleland. There are only a few other countries that can be said to have significant country fandoms — Ireland (whose own tradition of folk music fed into Appalachian folk, which is an ancestor of modern country), a few parts of West Africa (possibly due to the popularity of the banjo), Brazil (a mishmash of American and local subculture, including rodeo acts and even the descendants of ex-Confederates), Canada, and Australia (both of which have frontier histories and vast rural areas not unlike those found in America). Country music is also surprisingly popular in the Caribbean, where from the 1950s-1970s it was some of the only American music imported into the area.
In Canada you tend to find either a gentler brand of country (i.e. Anne Murray) or a more folk-infused style (like when Great Big Sea or Barenaked Ladies make occasional forays in to the genre) being heard universally – although country stations exist and more hard-core country groups are out there, they tend to stay in and around Alberta, which likes to identify with the culture (it's not called "Canada's Texas" for nothing) There is, however, a curiously large aboriginal following of country music.
Power Metal bands often do well in the Europe, placing high on the charts and playing stadiums and arenas. They do even better in Brazil and Japan. In the U.S. however, they're lucky if their CD gets a release, let alone charts, and the few bands that do tour the States are reduced to playing small clubs. DragonForce is the exception, having been made popular thanks to Guitar Hero. A prominent example is Kamelot, a power metal band founded in Florida. In their native US, the band has an enthusiastic but still niche following, while in Europe, it's one of the biggest names in music alongside such well known giants as Nightwish and Helloween.
The British rock magazine MOJO acknowledged this trope in their list issue, where they listed 10 British artists/groups who wouldn't get free drinks at any American bar, and 10 American artists/groups who wouldn't get free drinks at any British pub.
PSY's memetic hit "Gangnam Style" has been popular everywhere in the world... except Japan, where he received a horrible reception. This article explains this as being due to PSY not fitting the stereotype that the Japanese have of Korean pop stars being incrediblygood-looking, on top of anything that isn't mainstream not doing well (PSY's song was a parody of K-Pop, and he normally does genres that aren't mainstream pop), as well as a surge of nationalistic flame wars between Japanese and Koreans.note Motivated by a South Korean Olympic soccer player demanding that Japan return a number of disputed islands to South Korea, as well as South Korea's President saying that the Japanese emperor should apologize on behalf of Japan for its past colonial rule of Korea.
British boy bands have had a notoriously tough time breaking into the American market. Take That, for example, were the biggest boy band in UK history. While they didn't have the same popularity worldwide, they were at least able to have some moderate success internationally...everywhere except the United States, where their 1995 album bombed and they got lucky with one top 10 hit with "Back For Good". Five actually had a platinum album in the US, which means they got further than Take That, but at the time a platinum album only meant a minor hit. It went no further than #27 and their big top 10 "When The Lights Go Out" became their only hit as well. Boyzone and Westlife, although Irish, also fell to the curse in 2000, as their albums went no further than #167 and #129, respectively, and although "Swear It Again" was a minor hit for Westlife, "No Matter What" was a complete dud for Boyzone. That proved to be the end of the boy band craze.
Then a revival started in 2010. The X Factor finalists JLS sent their song "Everybody In Love" across the Atlantic, only to find another commercial disaster. Social media then kicked in and brought The Wanted and One Direction overseas. The Wanted scored with "Glad You Came," and One Direction with "What Makes You Beautiful." How did they fare in America this time? The Wanted found themselves following the same path as Take That and Five. One Direction, on the other hand, more closely followed the path of two different 90's boy bands: Westlife and Boyzone? Wrong. The Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC.
1814, an American Rock opera about the War of 1812 toured Canada, only to find the audience cheering the Red Coat character's songs, and booing American characters, despite the fact that the Americans are written as the opera's heroes, and the Red Coats are the villains. This is because in the War of 1812, Canadians fought on the British side against the Americans. What makes this a sticky subject for most Canadians is that Canada was an important front in that war, which American depictions rarely even hint at.
The Tragically Hip have a career that spans 30-plus years, and are hugely successful and revered in Canada, but are treated with outright indifference or irrelevance in the United States. They've never been able to break through into the American market (besides Michigan), despite appearing on at least one episode of Saturday Night Live and doing several American tours, and have more or less given up on trying to make it south of the border. Part of this likely has to do with their songs, which are heavily dependent on references and plots taken from Canadian poets and historical events.
Although BEMANI unit Prim is particularly popular amongst Japanese players, they cause quite a Broken Base amongst Western BEMANI fans.
Although Glam Rock bands had a lot of success in their native England, many Americans just found their look much too effeminate for their tastes. On the other hand, T.Rex managed to have a hit with "Bang a Gong (Get it On)". David Bowie and Roxy Music also had a couple of hits in the U.S. later in The Seventies. Americans in The Seventies generally preferred more macho British hard rock acts like Led Zeppelin and The Who. Glam had a following on the East Coast, particularly New York City, as reflected by native artists like solo Lou Reed, The New York Dolls and Wayne (later Jayne) County. It didn't get much traction out West, although LA produced Sparks. The American bands naturally were much more popular in Europe. San Francisco's The Tubes had glam tendencies but were too late and too out-of-the-loop to capitalize.
Music in languages other than English is a tough sell in the U.S. Even singing in languages with a recognizable accent, such as ABBA, is enough to get a backlash. British acts tend to sing in an American accent (though plenty of UK-based singers do this naturally without any thought of making it across The Pond). There is some room for novelty hits, such as PSY's "Gangnam Style". The occasional exception to this is Spanish-language acts due to the USA's massive (and massively-growing) Hispanic population. English-language media, however, prefers to ignore it if they can. Every once in awhile, though, a Spanish-language song – often from Puerto Rico but sometimes from Mexico or a Hispanophone enclave within the States – will become an unexpected crossover hit. A good example is the Macarena.
Cirque du Soleil troupes have travelled well over most of the world, but there are two countries in particular that it has struggled to appeal to.
France: For all the jokes about the "Frenchiness" of the company that originated in Quebec, after an initial, critically-roasted visit to Paris in 1990, Cirque didn't bring another show to the country until Saltimbanco in 2005. The books 20 Years Under the Sun and The Spark point out that circus has been a staple of French entertainment for so long that a)Cirque's style wasn't particularly new to them and b)it just takes a lot to impress critics there with so much competition.
China: After 30 years, only three tours have even made it to mainland China: Saltimbanco, Quidam, and Michael Jackson The IMMORTAL World Tour. (Another show, Alegria, visited Hong Kong in addition to the first two.) An attempt at a non-touring production there, ZAIA, limped through a four-year run in gambling resort mecca Macau, consistently playing to half-full houses. Even Michael Jackson's enormous international popularity couldn't keep IMMORTAL World Tour from completely bombing in its Bejing and Shanghai stops (selling, respectively, only 28% and 41% of its available seats according to Wikipedia). Again, huge competition from native circus companies keeps a foreign troupe from finding much traction there – and bad publicity over IMMORTAL World Tour using a literally Banned in China image of the Tianamen Square "Tank Man" in a montage likely won't help.
While pinball was a huge hit in the United States, and is still seen as an icon of American arcades today, it has had a cult following at best in Japan, where pachinko is much more popular.
Pachinko is as popular in the US as pinball is in Japan. For a lot of people in the US, playing pachinko does mean about as much as watching it, or rather, watching balls roll towards their destination.
Between 2007 and 2009, Stern attempted to market pinball to China. It ultimately flopped due to a combination of using franchises the Chinese were not familiar with (such as Big Buck Hunter Pro and the NBA) and a lack of familiarity with pinball as a whole, which to the Chinese equates with "not interested".
For some reason, Gottlieb's Bone Busters was roundly rejected by players in France. The backlash was so bad that Gottlieb produced 200 kits to convert Bone Busters tables into Amazon Hunt III instead.
Hulk Hogan was one of, if not the, biggest WWF star of all time... but when he brought the flexing, no-selling, All-American character to WCW the fans were lukewarm at best at first, and progressed to booing him and throwing his merchandise back into the ring. He got over with them as the villainous Hollywood Hogan, but when he returned to Hulk Hogan, the fans still weren't impressed. This was largely because most WCW fans were fans of the old NWA and hated the WWF's campy, story driven style compared to the NWA's hard action (which was why wrestling ratings on TBS tanked for the brief time that the WWF was on there). Ironically, the WWF/E tried to bring Hogan back as Hollywood in 2002 but had to revert back to Hulk Hogan because their fans refused to boo him, even after he plowed a truck into an ambulance that had The Rock inside it.
Samoa Joe has caught surprisingly negative reactions from Japanese fans, who see him as a ripoff of many Japanese wrestlers from the '90s. It doesn't help that they tend to dislike TNA's usage of Okada Kazuchika as Samoa Joe's second banana.
Shawn Michaels, in large part due to his role in the Montreal Screwjob, isn't exactly a popular figure in Canada. To the point that when Michaels would make an in-ring appearance in Canada in his heyday, thousands of normally placid Canadians would be howling for his blood as soon as his music hit. Shawn Michaels: Arch-Nemesis of Canada.
The only time it didn't apply was whenever he was in DX, due to the fact that it gave him uber-Popularity Power.
For whatever reason Ken Shamrock was nearly booed out of whatever Canadian city in which he was wrestling.
Famously, football, or soccer as it is known as, in the United States.Disclaimer For the sake of this entry, we'll defer to the American terminology, so we don't confuse football and American football.
Far and away the most popular sport in the rest of the world, with The World Cup being the most popular international sporting event outside of the Olympic Games, soccer today remains a niche sport in America. Probably the only place soccer is considered popular in America is in a school or youth community group, and even then, it's only used as a measure to keep kids from getting fat and/or teach them that there's more to life than spending your free time with computers, video games, texting, committing petty crime, taking selfies and twerking (as if baseball, football, or basketball couldn't also distract from those activities). It is particularly infamous for many Americans dissing on soccer, which usually isn't well accepted overseas, although American opinions regarding the sport gradually changed and the 2014 World Cup earning record ratings for ESPN. The fact that America's national team has vastly improved also is an important factor to soccer's rise in the country.
Transversely, women's soccer is pretty popular as it is traditionally one of the most-played sports by female athletes in the US, and thus they have one of the most powerful teams in the world (winning two World Cups and four Olympic gold medals).
Although the United States is invariably the country to get flak from Europeans for not liking soccer, the sport is even less popular in Canada, where hockey is king (followed by Canadian Football and, of all things, curling). Incidentally, Canadians also call it soccer.
The Philippines is also notable for the lack of enthusiasm for soccer in contrast to other nearby Asian countries. While there has been a surge of popularity in the sport with the help of the Younghusband brothers, the sport has always been seen with low regard due to its perception as an expensive game and perceived difficulty. Lack of major victories from its national team can also explain the lack of popularity of the sport. It does not help that whatever sport Americans likenote Remember that the Americans controlled the islands for much of the early 20th century and had a profound effect on the type of popular culture The Philippines receive. (basketball, baseball, boxing, etc.), Filipinos will end up trying to idolize it. Other countries in East Asia where The Beautiful Game isn't considered the most beautiful – Japan (fanatical about baseball), China (prefers badminton & basketball), Taiwan (baseball & basketball), Indonesia (loves badminton), Malaysia (ditto), Thailand (native sports).
Soccer is also noticeably less popular in Ireland than in most of Europe, mostly due to competition from Gaelic Football and hurling which nearly totally dominate domestic games. The explosion in popularity of rugby over time has done it no favours either. Though every country in Europe has a national soccer/football team, the sport is less popular in colder countries – Russia, the Nordic States (Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland), the Alpine states (Austria, Switzerland), etc. – where winter sports get more attention.
Soccer is also quite unpopular in South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka), where cricket is king. Most other sports are relatively unpopular or don't have the crazy fan following of cricket, largely due to hardcore marketing activity in favour of it. In urban areas, though, soccer has plenty of fans, and in a few states there is a long-running soccer infrastructure. American sports, on the other hand, are not so popular, except basketball.
Oceania as a whole isn't big on soccer either (yes, they also call the sport that; it's not just an American thing, folks). New Zealand likes rugby, as does Papua New Guinea. Half of Australia prefers Australian Rules Football, the other half prefers rugby or cricket – it's a regional thing, see below.
Soccer is also curiously unpopular (or at least less popular than on the mainlands) in Caribbean countries. For instance, most of the former British West Indies – Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana, etc. – prefer cricket; Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela love baseball; Panama loves basketball.
American Football is only really popular in the United States and its neighboring countries. Canada plays a local variation called Canadian football with its own league and rules (similar to, but distinct from, the US's), and Mexico has a few collegiate leagues and a sizable fandom for the Dallas Cowboys (the only team whose games are consistently available on Mexican television) but no professional leagues. Outside North America, while there are pockets of popularity in Europenote The NFL has hosted games at Wembley to sold-out crowds, and has long been considering an expansion team in London, it is even more niche a sport than soccer is in the US; an attempt by the NFL to form a European American football league, NFL Europa, folded in 2007.
In the United States, speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno is thought of as a national hero, the USA most decorated winter Olympian ever, and one hell of a dancer. However, in South Korea the Japanese-American champion is one of, if not the, most hated athletes in the nation and nicknamed "The King of Fouls". It started after the 2002 Salt Lake City games when he won a gold medal after Korean skater Kim Dong-Sung was disqualified for blocking him, and he happily celebrated afterward. There were massive protests against the United States after he won (though US servicemen accidentally killing a couple of Korean schoolgirls probably also had something to do with that) and the United States embassy had to be closed the next day because of threats against them. They thought what Apolo did was worse than a potential war. The first verse of Yoon Min-Suk's hit song "Fucking USA" was all about Ohno (the rest was about Bush threatening North Korea), toilet paper with Ohno's picture on it sold like hotcakes, and somebody released a game where you could shoot expys of Ohno. During the 2002 World Cup, the South Korean team scored on the U.S. team and re-enacted Ohno's "bump" as a part of their celebration. South Korea erupted in laughter. America essentially said "lolwut?"
It got so bad that, a year after he won, not only Ohno but the entire US speed skating team did not enter the nation due to death threats – and after that, he only entered the country while surrounded by armed guards. In South Korea, "Ohnolike" has entered the lexicon as meaning "dirty trick". The hatred against Ohno swelled up again during the 2010 Vancouver games after two Korean skaters took each other out and Ohno won silver, though by the end of the games it was the Australian embassy that was being shut down because of death threats because of a controversial decision to disqualify the women's relay team made by Aussie referee Jim Hewish, who just happens to be the same judge that disqualified Dong-Sung in 2002 giving Ohno his first gold.
Then there's Korea's close tracking of figure skater Kim Yuna and the manufactured rivalry with Asada Mao, a Japanese competitor who she beat on the way to winning the 2009 Grand Prix. When she set a new record, Korean media just had to mention that Asada's score was pretty unimpressive.
Traditionally, Ice Hockey is only popular in Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and the northern US, with those eight countries producing the most NHL players, and winning the most hockey metals in the winter Olympics. The obvious reason is because it's traditionally a winter sport. Attempts to spread it outside of those regions have not had much success. The National Hockey League, for instance, added or relocated a number of teams to the Southern United States, with mixed resultsnote As a rule of thumb, any region in the Southern US with a large enough population of Canadian and Yankee snowbirds tends to have a hockey team that at least does well enough.
Taken Up to Eleven with the St. Louis Blues. Missouri is right on the dividing line between the the region of the US where hockey is popular, and where it isn't. In the northern half of Missouri, the team is popular and among the top ten in attendance nearly every year, while in the southern half of the state, they get less coverage than high school basketball and their popularity is limited to only a handful of towns. Meanwhile, in Canada hockey is a year-round major news source, eclipsing not just all other sports combined but also politics, religion, and the arts.
While we're on the topic of hockey, it's infamously unpopular with Black Americans, even in the north, compared to say, basketball, football, and baseball, something which a number of black stand-up comics have noted. This is also true with NHL players, of whom few are black. While the two facts are almost certainly related, it's unclear whether the game has fewer black fans because it has fewer black players, or the other way around. Which is amusingly ironic in the case of American football, since the sport itself also happens to be a winter sport (the season starts in the autumn and ends in mid-winter and yet there's a large amount of black players in the league).
NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) is easily one of the most popular forms of auto racing (CART used to be one of the top until the CART/IRL split) in the United States, and if you consider it a sport its popularity is up there with the NFL. While it has fans from other countries in North America, it has a niche fanbase in the rest of the world at best, because even in the US it's often considered a "redneck" sport (detractors often using terms like "Non-Athletic Sport Centered Around Rednecks"). In the Prohibition era, people would occasionally set up races between each other to see who had the better car set-up for transporting moonshine, which eventually evolved into NASCAR. It was invented by people considered to be "hillbillies" or "rednecks", and the majority of its drivers also tend to qualify under such names.
Conversely, Formula One is often coined as the "Pinnacle of Motorsport" and is up there with the FIFA World Cup in popularity in most of the world. In the US however, it has little love, hence the US Grand Prix has been an on and off deal. One of the turn-offs in F1 to most US racing fans is the difficulty in passing, which is something that happens a lot in NASCAR and CART/IRL (then again, passing is easy on oval tracks, which F1 cars never race on). This is deemed by most American racing fans to make Formula One races much less exciting.
It doesn't help that because of time zones, most races are on only in the early morning in the US.
Another difference is that Formula One has fewer limits on the equipment, and in many ways is considered a showcase of technology, resulting in a larger gap between the top teams and bottom teams, whereas the major US auto racing racing series have more limits on the cars and the engines in an attempt to make the driver a bigger factor.
Likewise, another sport that is governed by the FIA, namely Rally, is followed by a great portion of the world except the United States. One might think that a car careening at full speed through rural areas, Tokyo-Drifting through half the trek would attract attention to speed junkies everywhere, specially since there is no discernible alternative in the US at all. Hell, even Ford has a great team that competes every year!
Lacrosse is only really popular in the United States and Canada, which is fitting as it was created by Native Americans, and even then it is very regional, being mostly popular in the Mid-Atlantic States and Quebec. In the UK it's thought of as a girls' school sport, albeit a brutal one – see the St Trinians cartoons/films. Lacrosse is also almost solely a girls' sport in Japan, where it's currently experiencing a surge in popularity, especially the box version of the game in the hockey-mad Upper Midwestern USA. Even in the United States, lacrosse is mostly associated with rich East Coast prep school kids, and isn't played much by poorer people.
Curling is big in Canada (where even the smallest town usually has a curling rink), but not so much in the rest of the world, which wonders what the heck those people are doing with brooms on the ice. Curling is known in Scotland (being that's where the sport was invented) and isn't viewed as peculiar and unusual as it is elsewhere in the world, but its popularity is not nearly as big as it is in Canada. That being said, it does score big ratings during the Olympics, probably because it's the only native Scottish Winter Olympic sport... and for the longest time was the only distinctively Scottish Olympic sport in general (shot put, hammer throw, and rugby sevens, although originating in Scotland, aren't distinctively Scottish, and golf spent 112 years outside the Olympic program). In the Northern US, where winter sports like hockey, cross country skiing and tobogganing are considered traditions, curling is seen at best, a winter activity akin to horseshoes and bocce ball. Oddly enough, curling is also developing a following in Washington, DC.
Baseball is popular in North America, parts of Central America, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, a few USA-influenced islands in the Pacific Ocean, and almost nowhere else. Europeans in particular find it as incomprehensible as Americans find cricket.
Even within sports, different teams/individuals can have differing reputations from country to country. Diego Maradona, for example, is idolised in his native Argentina and is a byword throughout the rest of the world for a supremely skilled individual. Except in England, where, due to the infamous "Hand of God" goal, the word "Maradona" is synonymous with "dirty cheat". (in Maradona's neighbor country Brazil, he's divisive: they like his football abilities, and hate both his pretentiousness and how Argentinians idolize him to the point of deification; add both him and the fans having the guts to consider Maradona better than Pelé...)
When playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby is very popular among the hometown fans, as is expected for a team's star player. When it comes to international hockey, though, every American hockey fan hates his guts because of his gold medal-winning goal for Canada against the United States at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010. It was such that after those Olympics, some fans of the Detroit Red Wings – one of the Penguins' biggest rivalsnote Historically, they weren't major rivals, but after their back-to-back matchups in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2008 and 2009 ... – created a Facebook page titled "Now ALL of America hates Crosby!"
Italian footballer Paolo Rossi was the hero of the 1982 World Cup championship... and absolutely loathed in Brazil, as he scored the 3 goals in the game that eliminated the best Brazilian team in years. (when Rossi visited Săo Paulo, once a taxi driver recognized him he kicked Rossi out of his car)
French footballer Thierry Henry falls into a similar conundrum to Maradona. While he's well respected in England and his native France, he ended up becoming hated in Ireland for handling the ball in the run up to scoring the goal that kept their team out of the 2010 World Cup.
Uruguayan footballer Luis Suarez falls even harder than Thierry Henri, as he is very much loved and respected in Uruguay and in Liverpool F.C. and admired everywhere as a gifted striker, but he will be forever marred everywhere else and in every other team in the Premier League for his unsportsmanlike behavior on the pitch, his brutal tackles and his tendency for biting rival players. His country's appeals to reduce his ban of four months from anything football after a biting incident at the World Cup were crushed by FIFA.
In Sri Lanka, Muttiah Muralitheran is the greatest spin bowler in the history of Cricket. In Australia, he's a cheating chucker who stole Shane Warne's Test wicket record. The rest of the world just doesn't care. (incidentally, Warne and Muratitharan themselves are good friends)
Gaelic games such as hurling or gaelic football are huge mainstream sports in Ireland, attracting massive media coverage and crowd attendance in the tens of thousands. Elsewhere they are almost entirely unknown outside Irish immigrant communities.
In the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, when the St. John's Maple Leafs hockey team of the American Hockey League (AHL), the farm team of the Toronto Maple Leafs, moved to Toronto in 2005 as its sister team the Toronto Marlies, St. John's got a replacement hockey team in the form of the St. John's Fog Devils, an expansion team of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL, otherwise known for short as "The Q"). Although its first season had decent ticket sales, the Fog Devils did poorly in its overall gameplay record, and actually lost money in its second season, to the point where the QMJHL franchise was sold to Montreal businessman Farrell Miller in 2008, who renamed the team the Montreal Junior Hockey Club. It was sold a second time in 2011 to a group led by former NHL defenseman Joel Bouchard, who moved the team to the northern Montreal suburb of Boisbriand, where it became renamed the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.
It's been speculated that the move of the Fog Devils may have happened because, while the Maple Leafs were a fairly popular AHL team for 14 seasons (1991–2005), the QMJHL, despite having a strong presence in Atlantic Canada since 1994 (when the Halifax Mooseheads were first introduced), the QMJHL may not have been looked as much positively in Newfoundlanders and Labradorians' eyes. As a result, Newfoundland and Labrador is the only province in Canada without a team in the Canadian Hockey League (CHL, which the QMJHL is one of three leagues it's part of), and it was the only province without a professional ice hockey team until 2011, when the AHL returned to St. John's through the move of Winnipeg's AHL team, the Manitoba Moose, which became the St. John's IceCaps, the farm team of the new Winnipeg Jets.
Curiously, Australian Rules Football is not popular everywhere in Australia. While it is huge in South Australia, West Australia, Tasmania, and practically the state religion in Victoria where the game began and where the national league is headquartered – it has traditionally been unpopular in New South Wales and Queensland. Which is why the AFL has spent most of the last two decades moving teams from Victoria to those states, or just starting new ones entirely. Some of the gap has been made up, but the national game still isn't that national.
New South Wales and Queensland tend to prefer Rugby and Cricket.
Rugby and Cricket are very popular throughout many former British territories (especially South Asia), but are far less popular in the United States and Canada, where the latter sport is considered a curiosity at best and the former is, well, see below.
Cricket never caught on in the USA due to their splitting from the Empire so early on, thus developing their own sporting traditions completely independent of the Brits. Besides, Cricket Rules are seen as absolutely impenetrable even by the few Americans who actually know what it is.
Unlike cricket, many Americans at least know what rugby is, even if they've never played it or seen it played (perception = "football without the pads or timeouts"). It has a fair degree of popularity on college campuses and in some high schools as an intramural sport.
Cricket is also not very popular in Ireland despite having one of the oldest national teams in the world (founded 1855), mostly because it was seen as a sport for upper class Anglophiles and fell out of favour in an increasingly nationalist Ireland in the late 19th century. When the Irish team beat cricket giant Pakistan in the 2007 World Cup the general public reaction in Ireland was one of surprise that the country even had a cricket team.
Drop goals, one of the ways teams can score points in Rugby Union, is unpopular in New Zealand. Fans see it as a boring copout, and their national team doesn't use it very often. In fact, their lack of good drop goal kickers was a factor in their elimination from two World Cups, both of which they entered as favourites. Their extra-time loss in the 1995 final came after a missed drop-goal attempt from Andrew Mehrtens, and in the last 10 minutes of their 2007 quarterfinal, they were camped in French territory but unable to score.
Stand Up Comedy
While not exactly beloved in America, Neil Hamburger seems to be hated by British audiences, possibly because Jerry Sadowitz has been playing a similar character on the UK comedy circuit for years before.
In his earlier American tours, Hamburger usually opened for rock bands or much bigger comedy acts. Which meant trouble in front of audiences who didn't get the joke. If you looked up reviews for the shows he opened up, chances are you'd see complaints about him.
Believe it or not, even William Shakespearewas subjected to this for a time. For roughly two centuries, the French dismissed Shakespeare as a hack, and viewed the English embrace of him as one of their greatest writers as proof of England's boorish culture and lack of sophistication (and, to be sure, even by today's standards there is much in Shakespeare's plays that would generally be considered lowbrow). Voltaire, for one, spoke of "dreadful scenes in this writer’s monstrous farces, to which the name of tragedy is given," describing Hamlet as being about "drinking, singing ballads, and making humorous reflections on skulls". It was only in the 18th century when translations of Shakespeare became successful in France (the first performance of Hamlet was in 1769), and even then, it took longer for his comedies to catch on.
Disney Theatricals has several blockbuster Broadway musicals to its credit, and they tend to do well internationally – but across The Pond in the U.K., the West End has not been quite so hospitable. Beauty and the Beast ran for over 13 years on Broadway, but only managed a little over 2˝ years in London even after winning the 1998 Olivier Award for Best New Musical. Mary Poppinsbegan its life in the West End as a co-production with super-producer Cameron Mackintosh, yet ran for barely over three years while the subsequent Broadway staging ran for over six, only closing to make way for Aladdin. Only The Lion King became a certifiable West End blockbuster, having been running there nonstop since 1999. One reason for Beauty and the Beast underperforming was that, to the eyes of Brits, it was little more than a glorified, sentimental Pantomime, a concept virtually unknown in the U.S. but a Christmastime tradition in theatres across the U.K. Why take the time and expense to see a Disney fairy tale when you can stay home and check out a local fairy tale farce instead?
Ah, Duffy the Disney Bear. Apparently a huge hit when he was introduced in Tokyo Disneyland, he was brought to America in 2011 to many delighted cries of "Who the hell is that?" and "Why is he everywhere?" It appears as though America does not get the appeal of Mickey Mouse's little plushy friend, in part because he doesn't appear in any other Disney media (the animated canon, shorts, TV shows, etc.).
An earlier version of Duffy was Never Accepted in His Hometown: The Disney Bear was introduced at Walt Disney World's Downtown Disney in 2004 as an attempt at breaking into the Build-a-Bear market, but it came "pre-built", and the reception was lukewarm at best. Plans for his introduction at Disneyland (which had an actual Build-a-Bear store in their Downtown Disney by then) were cancelled, and he was pulled from Disney World (which now has its own Build-A-Bear store) just three years later.
Dragon Quest is by far the #1 Cash Cow Franchise in Japan, but in the US its sales are dismal. People usually say that it is because it is immature and childish because of the way it treats its subject matter (Keep in mind anyone that it came around the time that there were pretty mature CRPG's such as Wasteland already on the market when this game hit US store shelves). Europe does however seem to go for a middle-ground though, perhaps because of the game's medieval European setting.
Rinoa from Final Fantasy VIII is a very popular character and a pop culture icon in Japan. In the West, she's something of The Scrappy due to her personality and getting herself into trouble.
Likewise, Tidus from Final Fantasy X is very popular in Japan, but in the west he's a divisive figure, mostly because he looks exactly like actress Meg Ryan and because he spends most of the game whining, which is only made worse by James Arnold Taylor's over-the-top delivery.
Final Fantasy XIII itself, as well as Lightning, are this in the West. A Japanese publication wanted to give the game a 120 out of 100, while Western reviewers tended to blast the game for its linearity, among other issues. The company even came out and said that the game was reviewed poorly in the West because of different cultural expectations of RPGs. Lightning herself is a symbol of the game, and also some of its flaws, such as her unintentional Supporting Protagonist status. What makes this worse is how sequels, references to Lightning, and cameos keep popping up, making it impossible for those who disliked the game to avoid it.
Sprite-based games are appreciated in Japan about as much as high-quality 3D-graphic games, and hand-drawn sprites are common. However, outside of Japan and some other countries, they get seen as kiddy, are criticized for being "primitive" and being called "SNES Sprites", without regards for how much work actually goes into the creation of sprites. Only handheld and indie games seem to be able to get away from this "outdated" or "kiddy" stigma, leading to an interesting Double Standard, where games like Dust: An Elysian Tail are praised for having such a beautiful artstyle while other sprite-using games are criticized for looking "dated." This is more related with The Generation Gap, since sprite-based games were the rule in the 80s and 90s and younger audiences from the 2000s-2010 cannot remember them anymore, and older fans of video games from the 90s tend to appreciate sprite-based games more than younger audiences.
Mexicans really hate T. Hawk in Street Fighter, perhaps because he's apparently supposed to be Mexican but obviously isn't. El Fuerte has gathered better reception from them. The Jamaican kickboxer Dee Jay, who was added to the Street Fighter II roster under the suggestion of American playtester James Goddard, is beloved by the North American fanbase (and also in his home country). In Japan, he rarely appears, and when he does, he doesn't do much of anything. Humourously enough, Dee Jay and T. Hawk both happen to be the only new characters from Super Street Fighter II left out from the console versions of Street Fighter IV (which included Cammy and Fei Long); however, both ended up returning in Super Street Fighter IV.
The Polish World War II/Time TravelFPSMortyr 2093-1944 spoiled the Polish press in its day, while it was regarded as a laughingstock abroad, especially in comparison to contemporary FPS games like Half-Life. Penny Arcade notably took a jab at the game in this strip. In somewhat of a contrast, however, its sequel got some flak from the Polish press that time around (didn't help that, by that time, the Polish game industry was wowing the world with Painkiller), while some foreign reviewers regarded it as passable at best.
Raiden wasn't as hated in Japan as much as he was in America and Europe when Metal Gear Solid 2 first came out. Most of the complaints players had in Japan wasn't with Raiden himself per se, but from not being able to play as Solid Snake. This is probably because being Bishōnen, as Raiden is, isn't a big deal to Japanese gamers, whereas in the West, such characters are seen as overly effeminate, especially in an action game. It helps that Kenyū Horiuchi, Raiden's Japanese VA, actually made him sound like a real adult (giving him a voice almost as deep as Akio Ohtsuka's performance as Solid Snake) instead of the approach that Quinton Flynn went with.
Mighty Kongman/Bruiser Khang is very popular among Japanese Tales of Destiny fans, especially after his personality got expanded in the game's remake, where he becomes something of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. But since many of these Tales remakes and spin-offs never leave Japan, North American audiences, meanwhile, get stuck with the Jerkass Khang seen in the PlayStation version, and don't understand why he's appeared in so many spin-offs.
Barry Burton of Resident Evil, despite being a minor character, has achieved praise and Memetic status in the West for his ham-handed acting, cheesy lines, and his family man values (even if they're only shown in the first game), while in Japan, he's mostly ignored. The opposite is true for Rebecca Chambers, with her being the closest thing the series has to a Moe character. In the West, to this day, she's still divisive.
Emil Castagnier of Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World also has a case of this. In the 5th Tales of Character Popularity Poll (in Japan), Emil came in 12th (out of every character in every Tales game). The majority of overseas fans hate him for being whiny, cowardly, and annoying. It certainly doesn't help that up until a certain point, in every fight he has to rely on his Superpowered Evil Side to fight for him, or that he takes over for Lloyd, who was, by contrast, brave and optimistic and immensely popular. That said, there are some American fans who want to give Emil a hug.
Similarly, Reala does not have many western fans. As well as her ridiculously girly appearance (which is so unrealistically thin that it reaches Uncanny Valley levels), there's the fact that her story makes many Western fans cry Mary Sue: She's a one-woman Spotlight-Stealing Squadwho also happens to be the daughter of a goddess, on a mission to find a "hero", who is doomed to be erased from time if she kills her mother, but comes Back from the Dead anyway just so she can be with Kyle. Japan is far more tolerant of her or simply liked her for those traits in the first place.
Cheria is another good example. She's very popular in Japan, but a lot of American fans dislike her for her Damsel in Distress behaviour (even though she only gets officially kidnapped once) and the perception that her only important characteristic is her awkwardly executed crush on Asbel, who she constantly mistreats to the point where even Asbel calls her out in it. Still, as with Emil, she has a few passionate defenders.
Asbel himself gets a bit of this. He usually ranks about third in the Japanese popularity polls. In the West, he's not outright hated, but he tends to get ignored, as all the main heroes — especially Yuri and Lloyd, but also Milla and Luke to an extent — are considered far more interesting and effective as protagonists.
Kairi and her counterparts Naminé and Xion are mildy unpopular in the US. Oddly, Nomura worried that Aqua wouldn't become as well-received as she is because she was different from Kairi, Namine, and Xion; a notion that's laughable in the West.
The games themselves do poorly in Europe. It just is so noticeable due to the huge gap in sales between Europe, compared to Japan and North America. It's bizarre, as Disney-licensed games are usually very big in Europe, to the point that Sega used the Mickey Mouse license to create Mickey's Castle of Illusion to make sure that the Mega Drive had a good European launch.
The Monster Hunter series, despite being one of the most popular gaming franchises of all time in Japan, has only established a small, dedicated following in North America, particularly Mexico and the US. Some American and Western gamers dislike the games because you can't lock-on to targets, or because monsters have no health indicators.
Lyra from HeartGold and SoulSilver, while fairly popular in her home country, there are many Western fans who hate her for her Moe appearance, and others who hate her simply for not being Kris, although she still has supporters.
Pikachu, just like in the anime. It's undoubtedly the most popular Pokémon in Japan and a huge cultural icon. But it gets shafted by Western fans for being one of the "cutemons" and a symbol of the anime (which is listed above), and for its Spotlight-Stealing Squad tendencies. Pikachu earned a mediocre ranking in no less than two Pokémon popularity polls hosted by American gaming websites, with almost all of the top slots being dominated by more Badass species.
This was the case for Charizard in the English-speaking competitive battling until Pokémon X and Y came out.note More accurately, Smogon, the most well-known and well-played metagame community in the English-language regions. This was due to Charizard actually being not very useful until the buff for Generation 6 - which in itself isn't really much to hate about. What caused the hate, however, was Scrubs atempting to use Charizard notwithstanding the above - ironically because Charizard was otherwise loved in the very same language regions. See the Tier-Induced Scrappy, and The Scrappy entry within the Pokémon pages. Of course after the buff for Gen 6, Charizard has been much better loved.
Legendaries aren't immune either. In Japan, Reshiram is the more popular of the two Generation V legendaries, and Pokémon Black (where you obtain Reshiram) sells more than Pokémon White (where you obtain Zekrom). In the US, it's the opposite: Zekrom is the more popular and White sells more than Pokémon Black, while Reshiram is a Base Breaker.
Jynx was a big one for this. Americans disliked it intensely because, although it was based on a Japanese style, to Americans it looked like a blackface stereotype. Changing Jynx's skin tone to purple in all future releases hasn't made the stigma go away, either.
The French translations of the games don't do very well in Quebec, the only place to where they were officially exported from Europe.note Pokémon X and Y are multilingual, so now this is more a question of language selection options than different-language copies. This is largely due to the (relatively short-lived) French-Canadian dub of the anime using the English names rather than France's French names, and the province only having English-language games (including at the height of "Pokémania") until 2010. See this Tumblr post (which labels the French names as Snark Bait) and this French-Canadian review of Pokémon X and Y (which is based on the English version of the game and doesn't even mention it).
Due to the popularity of sites like Smogon and Serebii.net, unofficial competitive Pokémon battling is done largely as single battling, whereas in Japan, there is roughly even popularity between single battling, double battling, triple battling, and rotation battling. This has lessened over Generation V, however, due to Nintendo hosting numermous online competitions (with prizes) where only double battling is allowed. This has prompted many (but not most) of the formerly singles-only battlers to give double battling a chance, though good comprehensive coverage of double battling strategies is still difficult to find.
The anime and trading card game are well-recognized in Poland, but you'd be hard pressed to find someone who has played the video games.
Relating to Pokémon, but also other games with this mechanic: One Game for the Price of Two is widely considered a Scrappy Mechanic in the West, while Japan loves it and considers it a Socialization Bonus. This comes down mostly to handheld gaming in general being much more popular in Japan, combining with higher population density and higher use of public transport equating to easier access to others with the game. Since the games with this trait tend to be developed in Japan, a lot of them feature mechanics like this, and even before StreetPass was introduced, Expies of it showed up in games like The World Ends with You. Furthermore, Japanese games often have achievements that involve trading with people X amount of times, or passing people X times, which nearly always become That One Achievement in the west. The hate is even evident in the trope title itself, which shows that, while Japan considers it an encouragement to socialize, westerners see it as an encouragement to buy both games and two consoles.
It also doesn't help that, unlike Japan, most Western cities are spread out and are rarely condensed, which makes it harder for people to find other people in public that have the same game they do so that they can exchange characters or items. There's also the notion of people using common sense by keeping their handheld consoles out of view in public since waving one about can make you a prime target to get mugged.
In the Sengoku Basara universe, the Japanese fans certainly love Oichi and she is theEnsemble Darkhorse of a series seemingly tailored for Yaoi Fangirls. In America? She's considered a useless whiny emo girl, made even worse by the fact that the only "English" SB franchise that features her and can be reached by western audiences is the anime, which downplays her powers severely.
Similarly, PC gaming in general, when compared to western countries as well as other Asian countries like China and Korea,note Traditional gaming consoles are Banned in China (they're legal in Hong Kong and Macao) and generally unaffordable and/or run into nationalism issues in Korea, is a very small niche in Japan and when it really comes to down to PC games in Japan, it is often Visual Novels. According to a Kotaku article, this is mainly because PC games are often associated withFPS games like Xbox 360 is; and the fact that many Japanese find PC games to be "too expensive" and would rather keep their gaming console and computer functions as separate.
Living space in Japan is infamously expensive, so Japanese consumers tend to prefer more compact devices like consoles, handhelds, and laptop computers. The original Xbox had a memetic girth, and desktop gaming PC's tend to be very large as well.
The Dynasty Warriors series of games are huge sellers in Japan. The UK is more forgiving, but in America it's considered a cult series at best, with complaints like repetitiveness. It's basically the Asian version of Call of Duty – even down to the fact that most people hate it on-sight, reviewing without even bothering to play it.
Character-wise, the Two Qiaos. The complains are majorly because they're not contributing to anything to the story, only existing as "Sun Ce and Zhou Yu's wife." The Japanese have no problem with those, their young look fit well to their fandom of Joshikousei and Token Mini-Moe sorts. In the western areas? They, especially Xiao Qiao, is accused to be bratty annoying little girls that has no place in the battlefield and due to Values Dissonance, they're creeped out with their presence because it's making Sun Ce and Zhou Yu look like pedophiles, for them anyway.
The SaGa series has been praised in Japan and just about every installment has sold over the million mark over there. Other than the first three games (which were all given a Final Fantasy Legend moniker to boost sales), SaGa has been hated in the west. While SaGa Frontier sold well in the states, critic and fan reviews are very split (and both a weird translation and its confusing stories don't help), and reactions to Unlimited Saga in particular were polar opposites to one another (good reviews in Japan, reviled in the West).
Due note though, that Famitsu's scores are not necessarily reflective of the Japanese fans themselves and the 4th entry is actual well-received among the fans there, setting most of the standards and concepts of the series today.
Regarding Genealogy of the Holy War, the low Famitsu score might be case of 8.8, since the January 2012 Famitsu Top 50 Nintendo Games poll has it as a highest Fire Emblem game at number 11.
Twisted Metal is extremely popular in America but poorly-received everywhere else, where it is considered to be brainless and requiring no strategy. A good example of this is when the PlayStation 3 sequel closed Sony's E3 2010 conference, where it was considered a crowd pleaser by American gamers and bad everywhere else, especially France, possibly because TM2 let you blow up the Eiffel Tower. Which doesn't make sense since the first game focused only on destruction in America.
Probably the biggest Base Breaker and cultural split is over Persona 3'sYukari Takeba, courtesy of being the game's closest instance of a Designated Love Interest (and if you do opt to be her lover, she can be a clingy and jealous one) and due to cultural dissonance that's shown in her Social Link (being both insecure and abrasive; often spilling her life story out at random and telling the protagonist not to worry about it). The biggest citation for the split in the West is her behavior during The Answer portion of the game, whereas in a Japanese popularity poll, she ranked 20th overall for the series as a whole. The hate has been receding however, as her inclusion in Persona 4 Arena 2 was met with much fanfare on both sides of the world.
You'd think the proclaimed mascot of Persona 4, Teddie, would be loved. He is critically acclaimed... in Japan. In America? The fanbase there sees him as nothing more than a childish, annoying nuisance that can't seem to lay his hands off of any girl. Many people wonder if he has any purpose in the game other than being the token mascot and doing absolutely nothing to contribute to the team once Rise Kujikawa, the new navigational support, joins the Investigation Team.
The King of Fighters characters Ash Crimson and Benimaru Nikaido are off-putting to some western audiences, both due to their mannerisms (Benimaru evokes imagery of stereotypical gay men and Ash has some very effeminate quirks). Likely this is caused by the opinion that a fighting game character should look like they could actually hold their own in a fight, of which both characters do not exude.
Cream the Rabbit is a popular enough character in Japan that she's become a mainstay in the series, whereas in the west she is hated almost as much as Big the Cat. A likely reason is because Cream is ultra-polite, submissive, and somewhat withdrawn. Also, she has a really high-pitched voice. These same traits make her irritating to many western gamers.
The Legendary Starfy is among the best-selling Nintendo franchises in Japan, but only one game was ever released in America, and was among the worst-selling Nintendo DS games ever. This is likely due to the cutesy title character, and it being one of the few games not subjected to American Kirby Is Hardcore. Despite positive reviews and an extensive marketing campaign, US gamers' tendency to favor manliness over cuteness caused the character to be dismissed. Even his Assist Trophy in Super Smash Bros. Brawl is met with derision rather than praise.
Many Rated M for Money games, such as God of War, sell horribly in Japan. While God of War III was a massive hit in America, where it sold over two-and-a-half million copies, it barely made it past 100,000 copies in Japan. Maybe Japan just doesn't want to play as Kratos. Likewise, Kratos is popular for Rated M for Manly and excessive Gorn, the things that wouldn't click very much on the Japanese although it'd be wildly popular for Americans. In the Netherlands, they are sold like Vanillaware.
Americans often consider the Sega Saturn one of the worst mainstream video game consoles ever released due to its poor line of games, its lack of a proper Sonic the Hedgehog game (which was the Killer App for all other Sega consoles), horribleadvertising, its horrifically botched North American launch, and the introduction of the PlayStation and Nintendo 64. In Japan it's often listed as one of the more remembered consoles and generally was a lot better received. It doesn't help that the Saturn suffered from a major case of No Export for You; many of its best games didn't get released internationally, and in Japan it had an awesome advertising campaign in form of Segata Sanshiro.
The Sega Pico is one of Sega's most successful consoles and had support in Japan for well over ten years, however in America and Europe it didn't even last five. It's an edutainment console geared at young children, and made before consoles like Leapfrog and V-Tech came along, so it was guaranteed from the start to not have much popularity.
While the Nintendo Entertainment System was the icon of The Third Generation Of Gaming in North America, it was rejected in the UK where the technically-superior home computers already dominated the market by the time the console was distributed in 1987. (Rare, despite being based in the UK, had to produce its early NES games mainly for the North American market) This video further elaborates on why the NES wasn't successful in this region.
Sam & Max: Freelance Police is one of the most popular franchises in the PC gaming industry in America. European critics, on the other hand, tend to have a strong dislike for the series. For example, while Season 1 of the Telltale reboot was critically acclaimed in America, it was widely panned in Europe.
Just to make the critical reception even more confused, all three seasons of the reboot were generally well reviewed in the UK, with critics responding well to the additional sarcasm and cynicism Telltale had given the characters since their previous incarnations. The casual and needless violence, usually an instant game-breaker for UK adventure titles, was considered so comically excessive (and bloodless) that it was viewed mostly as a parody of violent American media.
The StreetPass feature of the 3DS is still struggling to get any use outside of Japan however, due to cultural differences. As mentioned above, the feature is designed mostly with a highly-urban, densely-populated nation like Japan in mind, which makes things harder in a mostly suburban region like many parts of the US. Nintendo later made changes to their hotspots to serve as a relay, but depending on where you live those aren't easy to come by.
The Sony PSP is an odd example. The PSP itself sold amazing in Japan but it was niche outside of Japan compared to the DS and iOS devices, though American-made games for the PSP sold well in the United States, but with the exception of certain games like Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Dissidia: Final Fantasy, and Persona 3 Portable, the JRPGs do not sell as well. Perhaps as a result, while new games of all kinds are still being produced in Japan, in North America it is considered a dying market.
The successor of the PSP, the PlayStation Vita, seems to be sort of like this in the US, lacking American titles. It's backwards compatible with PSN versions of PSP games to eliminate the PSP, but otherwise, the 3DS seems to be doing a better job as a handheld, even in Europe which usually loves Sony products.
The Wii U system is noticeably having a bit of trouble selling more units in North America and select parts of Europe. Sales boosts are noted whenever a new big name first party release comes out (such as Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze ), and admittedly it is a bit too early to tell if the system could eventually manage to turn itself around in a manner similar to the 3DS, but for the time being the system's most successful countries include Japan and France.
The Mass Effect games, while extremely popular in the West, did poorly in Japan. This may be due to the fact that there are many long-running video game franchises in Japan with similar mechanics. This combined with the fact that it's mainly made with a Western audience in mind and thus doesn't place much advertising in Japan for it might be the reason why it has low sales in Japan. The series does however wreck up high scores at Famitsu.
While Company of Heroes 2 was well-received in the West, gamers in Russia and other Eastern European countries hated it so much that it was pulled from sale. Most of this has to do with perceived Unfortunate Implications regarding the portrayal of the Soviet army and the Eastern Front of World War II, especially compared to the first game's lionization of the Western Allies. Even the Nazis got more sympathetic portrayal in 1 in their campaigns than the Red Army in 2. Elaborated here.
Shadowgate, its NES port especially, is viewed as a classic in much of the Western world, praised for its eerie atmosphere among other things. In Japan about the exact opposite is true, with the NES game frequently showing up on "worst of all time" lists. (An iffy localization that traded in a lot of the game's atmosphere for dumb, goofy-sounding lines seems to have "helped".)
In The Groove, a clone of Dance Dance Revolution meant to provide a fresh experience for players tired of DanceDanceRevolution EXTREME (following EXTREME, there were no more new arcade DDR games until SuperNOVA four years later). Part of ITG's infamy in its home territory is the absurd difficulty of charts; ITG charts rated 12 and 13 were extremely hard for their time, putting DDR boss songs to shame.note At least, until the advent of DDR bosses such as "Valkyrie Dimension", "PARANOIA Revolution", and "Elemental Creation" in The New Tens. While it proved very popular amongst arcade Rhythm Game enthusiasts in its native territory of North America, it failed to find an audience in Japan, where DDR originated from; Japanese players cite the differing songlist and philosophy in step chart design as turn-offs to ITG.
Metal Mario. Americans think he's a worthless and unoriginal Mario clone, while Japanese players love giving him Alternative Character Interpretation, playing as him in Mario Kart 7, and treating him as The Rival to Mario. It's also the case in Mario Kart 8 with Rose Gold Peach (a completely new addition that left a lot of players dumbfounded).
Although Reflec Beat has somewhat of a fanbase in its native territory of Japan, Western BEMANI fans have a very low opinion of it, citing the randomized and chaotic-looking way the notes fall. Amongst a certain section of the fanbase that likes to crack BEMANI arcade software, Reflec Beat gets the least development of any active BEMANI series (although this could have more to do with there being an iOS port that's very close to the original sans screen size). However, this has changed in 2014, as the crack of Reflec Beat colette was released to very popular reception, encouraging many fans to buy multi-touch screens to play the game.
Although DanceEvolution was big enough of a hit in its native country of Japan to have an arcade version that continously gets updates, the same cannot be said in North America (where the game is known as DanceMasters), where the arcade version does not exist and the Xbox 360 version flopped due to having to compete with fellow Kinect Rhythm GamesDance Central and Just Dance, which easily smoked Dance Masters in sales and popularity.
DJ YOSHITAKA, while popular in Japan, is reviled by many Western players who see his songs as tiresome and too similar to each other. It's not helped by his position as the director of several BEMANI series (Sound Voltex, pop'n music, beatmania IIDX, Reflec Beat), which has been met with negative reception by the same demographic.
While Death Smiles is seen as yet another CAVE game in Japan and amongst the more hardcore parts of the shmup fanbase, when it was introduced in America it was NOT well-received due to the "loli" art and the tagline on the back of the box ("Death smiles at us all – Lolis smile back!").
The Professor Layton series of video games, whilst not that successful in America, is at least successful inside Japan and Europe, with perhaps the exception of one country, Belgium. This has mainly to do with the fact that Dutch people in general like the series so much that Level 5 decided to give the series Dutch dubs to boost the sales in the Netherlands. Something Belgian people absolutely hated. In fact, the Belgian people that get interested in the series still don't want to buy it because that's how much they hate the work put into the Dutch dubbing.
SEGA's iterations of Tetris, while prevalent in Japanese arcades, never caught on in the West, where people were already hooked to other versions, such as Nintendo's iconic 1989 Game Boy version.
Metroid: Other M sold about as much as Metroid games usually do in Japan and received fairly positive reviews. In America, it was a sales disappointment, failing to break half a million (the previous game, Metroid Prime 3, had sold twice that), and quickly became the most loathed game of the franchise – this was due to a massive cultural backlash started by certain people in the gaming media who accused the creators of forcing Chickification onto Samus. (However, some analysts have suggested that the Japanese didn't much care for it either; they just didn't have the same venomous reaction that Westerners did.)
There's also a weird example here: Litchi Faye-Ling. In Japan, she might always get low scores amongst the ladies in popularity, but she's always a popular choice for cosplays, a respected character and always considered an example of Tragic Heroine, whose relations with Arakune considered to be tragic and tear-jerking, even as she makes drastic decisions, Japanese still held her with respectnote (also helped further that in gameplay, she's the quintessential Difficult but Awesome, as beautifully proven by Garireo in EVO 2014). In American base, it's a bit of a Broken Base, some have actually understood the plight she's in, like the Japanese (and still a popular cosplay subject and also enjoys some fanarts), some just dismiss her as "Boring cliche big boobs lady" and/or hate her for constantly doing bad things like a 'blind idiot because of love' to save Arakune, who was considered to be a lost cause and should just be dumped in favor of the aforementioned fan-favorite Bangnote The idea of shipping Bang with Litchi in Japan, however, has been little to non-existant despite his rising popularity in Japan. Probably didn't help that while she is buxom and is a Badass on her own, she wasn't that snarky or cranky, but more like a Chinese Yamato Nadeshiko... and compared to the other big guns, she looked like a hapless B-Lister and Unwitting Pawn.
This seems to have been averted and played straight several times in Denmark in recent years. The Sony PlayStation was a bigger console hit than the Nintendo 64. The PS2 was more frequent in Danish homes than the Xbox or GameCubeAlthough... The PS2 outsold both consoles by a long-shot almost everywhere. Even during the 7th generation of consoles, the PS3 was a highly-sold console in Denmark, even after the Xbox 360 have had a longer and cheaper run. Still, Denmark seems to be favoring the American consoles over the Japanese longrunner after the Xbox 360's larger library of 7th generation titles. As for the 8th generation, it's rather unclear since the Xbox One is delayed in Denmark* Danish Gamestop stores are importing the UK Xbox One to aid its run in Denmark, since the Xbox have been Gamestop's most sold gaming console. and multiple European countries until October, but Sony has recognized their European fans, releasing their PS4 internationally in most, if not all, European countries.
Steam is extremely popular amongst Western PC gamers, who hail it as the greatest thing to happen to the PC gaming market, but it is quite obscure in Japan. Most of Japan's PC game output consists of MMORPGs that are not on Steam, as well as doujin games, and doujin game fans in Japan prefer physical copies to digital ones. Its popularity differs in other regions as well, in part due to pricing policy, and in part due to how the internet availability fares in those regions, much like any other digital platform.
While the PlayStation is well recognized, and the Xbox is at least acknowledged, Nintendo consoles in Poland constantly fly under the public's radar. Nintendo didn't sell their consoles in the country for a long time. A Polish entrepreneur in post-communist Poland took advantage of this by importing and selling the Pegasus, a Taiwanese Famiclone. This led to many Polish people recognizing franchises like Super Mario Bros. or Contra while having no idea what a Nintendo Entertainment System is. Eventually Nintendo started selling their newer consoles in Poland, but lack of interest from consumers led to the consoles slowly being phased out of stores.
In India, there was mass protest over Clone High's portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi as a womanizing party-freak, where in America he has achieved meme status. He wasn't actually meant to be the real Gandhi anyway, but a clone who acted that way because he had to live down the intense pressure put on him from being the clone of such a great man. Apparently for a lot of Indians, though, the irreverence in his portrayal was just a bit too strong.
There was an episode of Ed, Edd n Eddy called "Shoo Ed" that lampshaded this, where the Eds train Johnny to be the most annoying person in the world so they can charge the kids to get rid of him. However, Rolf the immigrant kid practically falls in love with him. Even taking his belching in stride: "You are full of pickles and beets today, my friend." Double D's response to this is the page quote.
This has happened to the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in Japan. While the 1987 Turtles were very popular back then, the Japanese audiences were expecting the newer Turtles to be like the 1987 Turtles and got Darker and Edgier Turtles instead. The newer cartoon didn't catch on and 52 episodes were dubbed before it got canceled.
In the United States, Nickelodeon goes toe-to-toe with Disney Channel as the top performing kids channel, but in many countries, Disney Channel and even Cartoon Network are considered the more popular kids' channels. This is especially true in Denmark and Poland, where Nickelodeon is in dead-last place. Taken Up to Eleven in Turkey and Japan, where Nickelodeon isn't even available as a channel.
While Avatar: The Last Airbender is considered to be one of the greatest shows that Nickelodeon has ever produced in the Western world, Japan hated Avatar. It's possible this is because the Fire Nation was heavily based on Imperial Japan, and Japan doesn't like to acknowledge the war crimes they committed in World War II.
In contrast to Fluttershy, the Japanese fandom of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic doesn't like Trixie much,note Although since Trixie is an antagonist in the first place, the trope is somewhat downplayed as arrogance is viewed very negatively in Japan, which is why it's a popular trait in many villains depicted in Japanese media. By contrast, Trixie is popular enough in her native North America to get her own entry in the main toyline (the first MLP antagonist in the 30+year history of the franchise to do so), and was the focus character in a few issues of the official comics (though by this point her ego was the subject of C Haracter Development).
FiM has spectacularly failed to gain any staying power in the United Kingdom, at least among the target demographic.note The Periphery Demographic is a much different story, though, with British fans making up a disproportionate share of the creative side of the fandom (the largest MLP-themed image site in the world is UK-based). British TV only aired the first season (on the Cartoon Network, since there's no UK version of The Hub. Although it could happen). Compare this to the rest of Europe, where most countries have aired all currently-made episodes (My Little Pony has always been more popular in Europe than America, and as happened in The Eighties – Hasbro released most of this generation's early merch in Europe first). The series finally returned to British TV in 2013 via Tiny Pop, a channel targeted at preschoolers. It was later moved to the Tiny Pop's freeview sister channel Pop which is aimed at the same audience demographic as Nick Toons.
Most Canadian cartoon series, no matter how popular they are in Canada, tend to be unpopular in the US. A lot of this has to do with their cheap Adobe Flash animation and Grossout Show tendencies, as well as the fact that they tend to define Animation Age Ghetto. Some exceptions include Grojband and the Total Drama series, and even those have noticeable hatedoms.
The Simpsons episodes that take place in (and poke fun at) countries other than America don't tend to be popular in the given countries. While aware of this phenomenon, Simpsons writers have stated that they never consider how a new episode will be received by a non-American audience.
One episode in particular – the one where Homer becomes a gun nut and breaks every safety rule in the book (plus rules that weren't known to need to exist before this episode happened) – was banned from broadcast in the UK, which normally loves the show, due in part to their well-known squeamishness about handguns. (Which is more than a little absurd, because that episode took an explicitly anti-gun point of view.)
In non-western countries, The Simpsons can only hope to be a Widget Show at best due to the overwhelming western-ness in its setting, humor, characters, and plots, leaving it incomprehensible to someone who isn't already knowledgeable in western culture. In Thailand, for instance, The Simpsons is a late-night program, in its native English but with Thai subtitles, its audience consisting mostly of people who are already fans of American television.
Bart was undeniably the Breakout Character early in the show's run in the United States, but he was loathed in Japan. This is because Bart's rebellious, loud nature clashes strongly against Japanese culture's emphasis on obedience and quiet politeness, especially due to how most authority figures in the show were powerless to stop him. The Japanese localizers knew their audiences would hate Bart, however, and downplayed him in favor of Lisa, whose studiousness and gentleness made her a more relatable protagonist than Bart even though, in her trademark passive-aggressive way, can be every bit as smug and rude as Bart is. Being more subtle in your snark helps in Japan.