In the 1980s, the two anime products that punched through into the West and made it big were:
Akira (start at 2:30)
Both of these are vehicles of unmatched masculinity (in its day). You can just see the testosterone dripping off the Akira video. War. Violence. Macho stuff. This is what made anime cool to the West.
But Japan does not realize this. They keep going for cute, for pastels, for chibi. Is it more than a coincidence that Nintendo’s classic games that are best received are the most violent and aggressive of its Nintendo stable?
Above: “Hi! I’m Metroid. I am loved in the West but not in Japan!”
Above: “Greetings! I am Zelda 1. There is much fighting and combat in this game. Scary!”
Above: “Salutations! I am Super Mario Brothers 3. Evil is represented in my game! You have to go against nasty airships, tanks, laser spewing lazers, and armies of hammer brothers that march around the map. This is the LEAST cute Mario. It is the BEST Mario!”