While baseball is popular in Japan, it's so popular in India, as the Indians don't understand why you need a glove to catch a ball.
As such, the baseball anime is being repackaged so that the spot of baseball is now the spark of cricket.
I have about 12 jokes running through my head, but I'm going to pass on them.
To be called "Suraj: The Rising Star", it will first appear on TV in India on December 23, 2012.
In the original Japanese version of Kyojin no Hoshi, the plot revolves around Hoshi Hyuma (surname first) who wants to be a star with the professional Japanese baseball team, the Yomiuri Giants.
In the India-version, which is being produces as a joint venture between the two countries, the story is now adapted so the plot revolves around Suraj, a boy who wants to become a star cricket player (I assume NOT for the Yomiuri Giants). In this story, Suraj will have a special breaking ball and a bodybuilding aid that helps the boy to become a strong player—two plot devices that appear in the Japanese version (and, in many case in real life supposedly akin to Roger Clemens. Supposedly. Unless I misremembered).
Suraj: The Rising Star will be presented once a week for about six months on Indian television - check your local listings.
The show will be sponsored by five Japanese-affiliated companies, including Maruti Suzuki Co., a subsidiary of the Suzuki Motor Corp. In fact, a rival to Suraj, Hanagata Mitsuru (surname first) will drive around in a Suzuki car - probably something 'sporty'.
Suzuki, which recently had its share of financial problems in the U.S., appears to be doing its best to expand its market in India.
India has seen a tremendous growth in Japanese animation recently thanks to the popularity of such classic stand-by's as Doraemon and Crayon Shinchan, both of which I used to amuse myself with 20+ years ago in Japan. Doraemon ran from 1969-96 while Crayon Shinchan ran from 1990-2010.
Check out the image above... is it just me or do these guys playing cricket look non-Japanese and non-Indian? Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course...