These days people from the west tend to think of Japan when then they think of animation from Asia, and there’s no doubt that Japan produces a large percentage of the animation that comes out of the region today. But several decades ago, especially before the Internet put every bit of information at our fingertips, it was easy to get the wrong idea about where a particular show might have come from, with viewers being surprised to learn that what they thought were home-made productions actually came from foreign lands.

And, in this case, it’s particularly easy to understand why these Korean Internet users might have been confused — the anime in question include titles like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer! Read on to see what other animated classics caused confusion.

While the idea of not knowing where your favorite show was made may seem strange now — after all IMDB and Wikipedia are a few clicks away — that wasn’t always the case. But how could these Korean Internet commenters have completely missed that their childhood favorites were actually made in Japan? Easy! Many of them were set in the west!

As one commenter wrote, “Japanese animators must have had a fondness for Europe, since so many anime titles are set in Europe.” Another commenter added that “Many of Miyazaki’s films are set in Europe.”

One of the shows the commenters cited as leaving them surprised was The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, which was released in Japan in 1980. The show is, obviously, based on the Mark Twain novel — a quintessentially American book.

Another show that surprised our Korean friends was Arabian Nights: Sinbad’s Adventures, which ran from 1975 to 1976 in Japan. We can see how people might suspect this was made somewhere besides Japan.

One show that seems to have really surprised the commenters was Dog of Flanders, a Japanese animated series which ran in 1975. The show was an adaptation of a novel by the English novelist Marie Louise de la Ramée, so we reckon this is an easy mistake to make!

For this next series, it turns out the commenters weren’t exactly wrong to think it was from Europe. The Mysterious Cities of Gold was produced as collaboration between Japan’s Studio Pierrot and France’s DIC Entertainment and ran from 1982 to 1983. It also has nothing to do with France, but is instead about a Spanish boy in the New World — we have Wikipedia and we’re still confused!

▼ And he seems to be flying a pre-modern fighter jet…

The final anime cited as leaving Korean commenters surprised was Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, which originally ran from 1990 to 1991. It was apparently inspired by Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

Other commenters shared their thoughts on the Japanese anime of old.

“I watched Nadia when I was a kid. It was awesome!”
“A brilliant future with hope. That was what those old Japanese anime had.”
“I almost feel betrayed finding out that Dog of Flanders was made in Japan!”
“There are a lot of works that became famous around the world after being made into Japanese anime.”

We can definitely see how it might be confusing for people to realize a story set in Europe was made by a Japanese studio — especially kids who probably don’t have a very clear understanding of imports and exports! But it does kind of makes you wonder what other series and movies were made in unexpected places. Next we’ll find out that James Bond isn’t British at all!

Sources: Focus Asia, Hachima Kiko
Image: Amazon Japan