Tingle's role in the main series has been largely reduced; He doesn't appear in Twilight Princess (Purlo's appearance was based on him, but they have vastly different personalities) and gets only non-speaking cameos in Phantom Hourglass, Spirit Tracks, and Skyward Sword (on a wanted poster, a statue/portrait, and a doll respectively).
He is at his weirdest in The Wind Waker, wherein he refers to Link, a twelve-year-old child, as "Mr. Fairy", and forces his brothers—and one random guy—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 for the crime of petty theft as part of the plot of the game. 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 (though it was no less creepy: As it turns out, there's a small sidequest 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, his presence is made far more obvious, he is 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 then in the GameCube version.
Amusingly, Ricky the kangaroo from the Oracles games isn't too fond of him, either.
Anime in general had been hated by Dutchmen in the 1990s. Back then, they were well-known there under the term "manga-movies" and used as a term for series whom only had violence and sex in them. Because of this, anime got terrible publicity there. Dutch anime fans were able to correct the imago of anime later on in the 2000s (Spirited Away, whom had won international prizes, also helped with that) but the influences are still there, such as the fact that Dutch still have the term "animephobia" in their dictionaries and the fact that many anime still don't get exported to the Netherlands.
Much of the same is true, although on a lesser scale, in some Middle and Eastern European countries, especially since anime and manga is so different from the media they've grown accustomed to under under the former Soviet regime. While there have been slight anime booms, and a few series (mostly Dragon Ball) have managed to attract small mainstream notability, anime releases are rarely imported in some of these countries nowadays, several TV networks outright refuse to air such productions, and DVD releases are rare and mostly go unnoticed. Of course, fandoms do exist just like everywhere else, but their overall public acceptance hasn't changed much since the '90s, and their numbers are still far too low, thus media distributors ignore them in favor of importing live-action productions and western animation. Anime is easily one of the most neglected and underrepresented types of media in these areas.
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.
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 22 volumes were released and the series was cancelled. The anime only had its first 52 episodes released undubbed in DVD and only the first movie dubbed.
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 Kish.
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.
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 could also apply 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 Naruto 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.
The voice given to her in the English version might have also had something to do with it. As someone once said of it when comparing voices: "It left you wanting to punch her, as opposed to wrapping her in a blanket and shipping her off to a mental hospital."
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, who is popular in Japan, at least partly because of her original portrayal in the 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. 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 USA 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 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". Oh well.
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 (i.e. America/England, France/England, Russia/America, Russia/China...). 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.
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.
Most of the Brazilian's fans and others from Latin America despise Ash. He is commonly as "no one's favorite character". He is called, weak, stupid, annoying, useless and a loser that cries upon defeat. Even after so many seasons his Hatedom is still solid.
The anime in general has become this in the west, in inverse proportion to the games. In Japan, the anime is still well-regarded, with tons of merchandise and regular films. Elsewhere, the anime is viewed as a Franchise Zombie.
Similar to the Sailor Moon example above, Lynn Minmay of Robotech fame 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 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 fanbase.
Yubel from Yu-Gi-Oh! GX was so despised by American audiences, that the 4th season where she merged with Jaden was dropped in favor of 5Ds. Keep in mind that Japan has a much higher tolerance for androgynous characters than America does, where they're seen as overly feminine and often gay stereotypes.
Sports anime and manga are perennially popular in Japan, Latin America, and many parts of Europe. They perform poorly in North America. There are a number of theories as to why, mostly boiling down to America's sports and nerd subcultures having a longstanding mutual distrust and extreme hatred of each other. In addition, anime/manga fans in America who do like sports have stated a preference for watching the real thing over a fictionalized version. And most sports anime/manga revolve around school clubs. Sports in America, even at the high school level, is far more organized and professionalized, thus the barrier to entry is much higher.
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 hate Matt for "stealing" Sora away from Tai because westerners are so used to the main guy getting the girl in the end.
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 the 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 2011 movie adaptation, which was a box office success across the world, except in the United States where the media attention and public interest where 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 a lot more closeby, than in the rest of the world. Still it has been universally translated and sold. Only in the U.S.A. and Japan it has never caught on. It exists in Canada, but, outside of Quebec, is 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. For example the running joke that fish sold in a coastal village is delivered from the antique equivalent of Paris.
Films — Animated
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 history. 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 even became a massive hit in China.
Toy Story 3, while a critical and box-office success pretty much 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.
Films — Live-Action
Indians seems 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 hero. This is doubly funny as many seem to be attacking the person who posted the clip as though he's the one who created the video, not realizing it's from a movie that's more than 20 years old. Also since the whole joke is how completely and utterly it misses the point, to the point of having him order a rare steak at a restaurant.
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 to show 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.
Superhero movies have a history of underperforming outside of the U.S. However, the box office successes of The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises suggest that this trend is coming to a close.
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 due to the large number of inaccuracies made to the story to make the Americans out to be the sole heroes of the rescue (according to the former Canadian ambassador to Iran Ken Taylor, who was involved with the actual rescue, the Americans only did about 10% of the work while Canada handled the lion's share of what went on). 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.
It wasn't only Canadians whose ire the movie incurred — it also depicts the British and New Zealand embassies to Iran as having locked the American hostages out. In fact, the hostages were originally sheltered at the British Embassy before the Brits and New Zealanders decided they would be safer at Canada's. New Zealand diplomats also drove the American hostages to the Tehran airport and thence to their escape. On March 12, 2013, the New Zealand House of Representatives passed a unanimous motion to censure Affleck for Argo’s failure to acknowledge their role in helping the American hostages.
Marie Antoinette was the recipient of disapproval from French reviewers. One complaint was that despite the film portraying French characters and taking place almost entirely in France, all the actors and the director are Americans. Others were critical of its treatment of the historic figures and events and found them to be inaccurate. And despite being an American film, it was the first movie that was allowed to be filmed in the palace of Versailles. It did get some positive reviews, though, so the hatedom on the part of the French is not completely universal.
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.
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 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 it's 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.
While Australian musician Kylie Minogue is one of the best selling pop artists in history with massive worldwide popularity to the point that she's known by only her first name, she has never been able to crack the United States. After scoring three top-40 hits in 1987-88 with "Locomotion", "I Should Be So Lucky" and "It's No Secret", she dropped out of the charts and into obscurity until experiencing a Career Resurrection there when "Can't Get You Out of My Head" became a massive hit in 2003. Since then, however, she hasn't been able to garner more than a cult following in the US market.
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.
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 his popularity within the Nazi party inner-circle. Many Holocaust survivors moved to Israel, and the Nazi death camps were known to blast Wagner over the speakers.
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 surprisinglypopular 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. 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.
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.
While The Wanted's popularity is extremely local to the United Kingdom, they were able to score a major international hit with "Glad You Came." However, in no country did their career tank harder than in the United States. When their single "Glad You Came" was released stateside, it was very well recieved and went to the top 10. However, rivals One Direction had a dedicated American following that was growing much faster than The Wanted's, and were ready to be sent into the US. When 1D hit the American scene, they generated a Beatlemania-like response, even outshining the Fab Four by becoming the first British band to have a debut album ("Up All Night") enter at number-one on the Billboard 200. When The Wanted released their album, it debuted at number 7 and wasn't even able to sell more than 1D that week. Their album fell out of the top 10 the next week, and the week after that was out of the top 40 (in comparison, "Up All Night" spent its first sixteen weeks in the top 10, was number 11 the next week, and went right back in the top ten for seven more weeks afterwards, bringing their total to 23; It went platinum in July, the The Wanted's EP has yet to sell more copies than "Up All Night" did in its first week).
Their next single, "Chasing The Sun," failed to make the top 40, while 1D's "One Thing" hit #39, and around the time it peaked, "What Makes You Beautiful" passed "Glad You Came" to become the best-selling song by a boy band in digital history.
They haven't done much better in awards shows either, with 1D winning up all of their nominations at the Teen Choice Awards, Video Music Awards, and Kid's Choice Awards. The Wanted went home empty-handed all three nights (they weren't even nominated for the latter award).
When 1D's "Live While We're Young" was released on iTunes, it went straight to the top of the charts, debuted on top of the Billboard Hot Digital Songs with 341,000, and hit #3 on the Hot 100, surpassing their highest peak ("What Makes You Beautiful" hit #4) while matching the peak of "Glad You Came." "I Found You," released a few weeks later, failed to go top 10 on iTunes, fell short of the top 40 on Digital Songs, and barely made it onto the Hot 100 that week.
The performance of One Direction's sophomore album "Take Me Home" only adds insult to injury to The Wanted's fading American stardom. It sold more than 500,000 copies in its first week, hit one million five weeks later, and was the fifth best selling album of the 2012 — and it was released in November. The Wanted still don't have a number-one or platinum album in the US, while neither of One Direction's albums have failed to accomplish either. It's obvious America doesn't want The Wanted.
The release of "Best Song Ever" is yet another 1D accomplishment that makes The Wanted look bad. "Best Song Ever" broke Miley Cyrus's 24-hour VEVO record, giving One Direction back the title that they previously had with "Live While We're Young." It was the only song during the Summer of 2013 to have outsold "Blurred Lines" during any given time, and most importantly, its #2 placing on the Hot 100 pushed them past "Glad You Came"'s peak.
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.
In spite of what is depicted in the media, Shakira's popularity in her native Colombia is lukewarm at best; Shakira is mostly criticized for her gradual disassociation from her Colombian roots (and assimilating her boyfriends' nationality lisps — Argentinian with Guillermo De La Rua — Spanish with Gerard Pique). She was later lambasted for botching the lyrics to the Colombian National Anthem.
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.
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.
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.
For whatever reason Ken Shamrock was nearly booed out of whatever Canadian city in which he was wrestling.
Famously, soccer — sorry, "football" — in the United States. 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 Olympics, 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, or committing petty crime.
Similarly on the American example, the Philippines is notable for the lack of enthusiasm for football/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. Especially basketball, where it is considered Serious Business to the point that this troper has been endlessly asking why the Philippine government has yet to recognize basketball as the national sport of the Philippines.
Transversely, women's soccer is pretty popular as it was one of the most popular sports played by female athletes in the US.
Soccer is also noticably 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.
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 individuals 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 (even 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. The first verse of Yoon Min-Suk's hit song "Fucking USA" was all about Ohno — the rest was about Bush threatening North Korea. They thought what Apolo did was worse than a potential war. They even sold toilet paper with the multi-time medalist's picture on it. They apparently also released a game where you could shoot Expys of Ohno. It got so bad that a year after he won not only Apolo 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 even entered the lexicon as meaning "dirty trick". The hatred against the Dancing with the Stars champion swelled up again during the 2010 Vancouver games after 2 Korean skaters took each other out and Ohno won Silver, however 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 Apolo his first Gold. 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?"
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 results (as a General Rule of thumb, any region in the Southern US with a large enough population of Canadian 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 deviding line between the the region of the US where hockey is popular, and where it isn't, so 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 certain parts of the area. Meanwhile, in parts of 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 African Americans, even in the north, compared to say, Basketball, Baseball, or Football, 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 almost certainly related, it's unclear wheather the game has fewer black fans because it has fewer black players, or the other way around.
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 there has not been a US Grand Prix in years. (Note: There will be one at the end of 2012) 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 hasn't been Olympic since 1904... although it will return for Rio 2016). 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 islands in the Pacific Ocean, and pretty much nowhere else.
Heck, American Football is only really popular in the United States with a limited fandom in Canadanote A local variation is played and hence called Canadian Football there. and Mexico,note There are a few collegiae leagues but no professional leagues there. and that's pretty much it.
There are pockets of popularity throughout Europe and the NFL has hosted international games in London to sellout crowds.
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, pretty much 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.
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, and 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 U.S. and Canada than even Soccer.
Cricket never caught on 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 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.
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.
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 heeverywhere?" 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.
Aside from Final Fantasy and Pokémon, or the brief surge of western popularity generated by FFVII, JRPGs have generally sold poorly outside of Japan. One of the reasons may be the prevalence of both androgynous males and tween prepubescent characters that appear to not translate well with some Western audiences.
JRPGs are so big in Japan that any console without enough of them (such as the Mega Drive, Nintendo 64, GameCube , Xbox, and Xbox 360) is pretty much doomed to fail. Elsewhere it's a niche genre.
A very notable example is Dragon Quest. It is said to be the most popular game franchise in Japan (every release of a new Dragon Quest game is practically akin to a Japanese holiday), and it is both critically and commercially successful there. Everywhere else, the series still earns critical acclaim, but the series merely has a small cult following, probably due to the "kids' stuff" issue, since the games generally have a colorful art style. Square Enix is aiming to turn this around, though, as they rereleased Dragon Quest IX which was already under their name, hired in a team that repolished its graphics for the rerelease and heavily marketed the title to make it one of the best-selling games of July 2010 in the US.
Not to mention that because Japanese publishers don't expect JRPGs to do well in the US (their main market, for really complex cultural reasons) and other Western countries, they don't properly promote or market the games effectively, resulting in low review scores from gaming journalism sources; and in many cases they don't even bother localizing them. As a result, gamers aren't motivated into buying them (Or even knowing about them!), which led the publishers into further thinking there's no market for JRPGs, creating a vicious cycle.
Strangely enough, in Germany JRPG's are pretty popular, Dragon Quest 9 got decent sales and Dragon Quest Monsters 2 was once in every German game store. The main reason behind its popularity has probably to do with the fact that a colorful art style is more appreciated there.
On the other hand, First-Person Shooter games generally do poorly in Japan. Probably due to the macho-like man, bland adults, and the in-general Darker and Edgier atmosphere.
To a lesser extent, Cloud may also count. He remains relatively popular in the United States, though emphasis on his emotional issues has alienated some American fans. In Japan, he remains among the most popular Final Fantasy character of all time, and among the Top 5 most popular video game characters ever.
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 become some sort of inverse Replacement Scrappy. 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 bishounen, 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 Kenyuu 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 spinoffs 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 spinoffs.
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 Distressed Damsel 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 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 above is not strictly true. Kairi is actually a love her or hate herBase Breaker character. Here's why: Kairi's vocal hatedom comes entirely from hardcore yaoi shippers, same story with her counterparts. Everyone else has neutral to positive feelings about her. Basically, Western KH fans who hate yaoi fangirls tend to like Kairi and her counterparts, almost out of spite.
Sora too. He's the most popular character of the series in Japan (after all, he's the protagonist), but is a Base Breaker in America.
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. Some American and Western gamers dislike the games because you can't lock-on to targets.
On the other hand, the franchise is very popular in Mexico, to the grade is very probable to find someone in Mexico playing that game in a PSP rather that any other game in that same console.
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.
General opinions on the creatures themselves differ in Japan and America. Japanese fans tend towards the "cuter" Mons such as Pikachu (the series mascot) and Jigglypuff, while American fans tend to prefer the Badass types such as Charizard, Mewtwo, Rayquaza and whatever new uber-powerful legendaries are being hyped at the moment.
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 of Black people. Changing Jynx's skin tone to purple in all future releases hasn't made the stigma go away, either.
Relating to Pokemon, 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 mechinics 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 has 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 pretty much 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 consoles are banned in mainland China (they're legal in Hong Kong & 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 with FPS games like Xbox360; and the fact that many Japanese find PC games to be "too expensive" and would rather keep their gaming console and computers 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.
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 Joshikusei 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, revile reviews 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 Fire Emblem 4, 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.
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.
Similarly in the Netherlands, where 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.
Which is probably a perfect illustration of one of the main reasons why JRPG's typically don't do very well in the West (they tend to have few or no options whatsoever).
Though the biggest reason for it had to do with the differences in culture, which reflects character and story trends. Many Japanese gamers actually like visual novels, which can be jam packed with options and multiple story paths (most of them, however, do make noticeable distinctions between choices, resulting in clear-cut Golden Paths and/or Golden Endings). Another important factor is simply the games' country of origin, which does play a very big impact on people's impression of games and other media.
Bad localizations are also a major factor in why Western games don't do well in Japan. (As much as westerners constantly complain about bad English dubs of Japanese products, in truth English -> Japanese dubs have an even worse reputation in Japan.)
Psygnosis was a very popular and loved publisher in the UK, where all of their games on the Amiga were very well liked. In Germany however, most Psygnosis games on the Amiga are disliked. The common German attitude towards their games is that, while the graphics and cover art are amazing, the games themselves are terrible.
Ironically, German technicians also complained that their games never used the amiga special chips, because that made their games about as graphically presentable as they would be on an Atari ST. The complaints about those practices kept on until the release of "Shadow Of The Beast"
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 DanceDanceRevolution 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.
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).
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 interest 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 prevelant in Japanese arcades, never caught on in the West, where people were already hooked to other versions, such as the iconic 1989 Game Boy version.
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 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).
FiM took a very long time to come to Japan, and was largely written off by otaku observers when it finally got there. That's because, unlike in America and Europe, Japan already has several native franchises designed to cater to young girls — Pretty Cure most notably — so it was entering a tough, crowded market in a country infamous for cultural nativism. Furthermore, in Japan talking animal cartoons are considered to be exclusively for preschoolers, while FiM is aimed at the tween demographic (and is best known for its adult male Periphery Demographic) — a rare example of the Animation Age Ghetto working against an American show in the Japanese market. There are fans in Japan, moreso now that the Japanese dub has come out, but it's not the culture-defying hit it's been in North America and Europe.
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. 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.