2

For example:

  • Gintama:

    enter image description here

  • Oregairu: I can't think of any examples I can back up right now, but for Oregairu you just need to watch any episode and you'll see Yui's flip phone.

  • Haganai

    enter image description here

  • Black Rock Shooter

    enter image description here

Is it because the authors are just from an older generation than the fanbase? No way, right? They have to have smartphones.

This says it's because smartphones aren't popular in Japan. I don't think that's true (bad evidence alert).

Several Reddit posts also agree that flip phones are more popular. Why are flip phones still so popular, (if you can endeavor to answer) in both society and anime/manga?

  • 2
    FWIW there's a discussion here (which I was linked to from here), which I personally find pretty convincing. – Maroon Dec 6 '16 at 2:28
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Of the shows you cite, Haganai was animated in 2011; Black Rock Shooter was animated in 2012; and Oregairu was animated in 2013. The source material for each is even older (albeit kind of irrelevant for Black Rock Shooter). I omit Gintama because it's long-running and I don't know when your screencap is from.

Smartphone adoption in Japan is hugely up between 2013 and now, and even more so between 2011 and now. According to the CIAJ (as cited in a whitepaper titled "Japan’s Smartphone Surge and Its Impact on the Mobile Marketplace"), smartphone penetration in the Japanese market was a mere 9% in 2011, rising to 39% in 2013, and skyrocketing to 84% in 2016.

Figure 1 "Smartphone penetration in Japan, 2011-2016"

Is it any wonder, then, that anime set in "the present" that aren't from the past year or two would tend to have more non-smartphones ("feature phones", as they're called) than smartphones?

(I specify "the present" because we should exclude from discussion any shows set in the future. They tend to have fanciful notions of how telecommunications would work that don't tend to involve feature phones or what we would consider "smartphones".)


Is it because the authors are just from an older generation than the fanbase? No way, right? They have to have smartphones.

This effect may exist - according to the Pew report "Smartphone Ownership and Internet Usage Continues to Climb in Emerging Economies", in 2015, Japanese people age 18-34 were about 2.5 times as likely to own a smartphone as Japanese people age 35+.

I doubt it is a substantial effect, though. Any animated production involves multiple people with creative input (not just the author of the source material), and I would imagine that at least some of them would know what kind of technology youngsters use.

I don't think that's true (bad evidence alert).

Best Korea is proud of the way you confirm your priors.

Why are flip phones still so popular, (if you can endeavor to answer) in both society and anime/manga?

The article @Maroon linked in the comments is a good overview of why smartphones were not common in Japan (prior to 2014 or so).

And why were smartphones not common in anime/manga? Because smartphones were not common in Japan. Simple as that.

  • the OVA of Black Rock Shooter, if i recall correctly, came out in 2010 while the Anime Series came out 2012. – Memor-X Dec 6 '16 at 3:13
  • @Memor-X True - I thought that screencap was from the 2012 anime, though. I could easily be wrong; it's been a long time since I watched them. – senshin Dec 6 '16 at 3:21
  • Mato and Yomi appear in both the OVA and anime so it could be either so it could be either – Memor-X Dec 6 '16 at 3:26
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    +1 for invoking Best Korea. All the best evidence comes from Best Korea. – Torisuda Dec 6 '16 at 4:44
  • I still want a frog phone like Misaka has in Railgun. Or the DOCOMO sharp limited edition Evangelion Rebuild phones lol. – NZKshatriya Dec 6 '16 at 6:03

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