I’ve read a post on how and why for some reason authors like James Tiptree Jr are more popular in Japan than elsewhere. It could also be due to my limited exposure to Japanese information on such things but there are inevitably things more popular or important in some places (or sometimes equally just as important). Comes to think of it, it’s not that Yu Yu Hakusho lacked importance in Japan but it’s one of the more memorable classics in recent Philippine memory.
For another matter, Disney comics are still widely read and published in Continental Europe despite their American origins. Now as for why James Tiptree Jr might be more memorable in Japan than in America, I haven’t read her stories much other than excerpts of it but given Japan’s a highly collectivist society the story of a heroine who has to sacrifice herself for the greater good for everybody else plays into it.
Again, YYH’s not entirely forgotten in Japan but it’s one of the more seminal anime in the Philippines along with Voltes V and Candy Candy. YYH’s popularity in the Philippines gives good insight (however imprecise) into how and why The Only Neat Thing matters in Japan.