Harry Potter fans are going wild over the new film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I, which opened here over the weekend bringing in a cool $14 million for the studio. Japanese fans have always embraced Harry Potter in a big way, buying up books and toys and adding a rather unique flavor to Potterian fandom with doujinshi and excellent cosplay. Japan is an important International market for Hollywood — Titanic did 40% of its ticket sales here — and Warner Bros. has been good at massaging Japanese fans by bringing the stars here to appear in variety shows, etc. Being a Harry Potter fan in Japan is not easy: it took a full year for the official translation of the final book to be released, which must have been hell for the waiting fans, and as is common with localized versions of foreign books, it was released in two volumes to maximize the publisher’s profits. As with all movies that cater to younger fans, this Harry Potter film is released in two versions, one dubbed in Japanese and one subtitled, since viewers under the age of twelve or so can’t read the kanji in the subtitles, which is why my kids (who speak English) are always the only ones in the theatre for the subtitled version. I’ll go see the film eventually, but my son is studying for his high school entrance exams and can’t go with me, so I’ve decided to wait and see it with him.
Japanese Harry Potter fans are hard-core; and they love Nekomimi Hhermione.