Why did Italy and France grew up on cool anime like Maison Ikkoku, Kimagure Orange Road, Touch and Creamy Mami?
All the anglo and germanic countries got nothing till Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball
They didn't have Heidi neither.
France has been historically one of the most weeaboo nations on earth.
both had numeruos WMT series
But Kimagure Orange Road is shit
English countries had a strong American cartoon and merchandising companies already in place.
In the 80's we had stuff like Voltron and Robotech come over and show up in relatively hard to watch time slots, not the prime Saturday morning and after school time slots. Also had some really bad localization of for example Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind in the mid 80's
We instead had merchandise driven series take the prime slots, like Transformers, He-Man, My Little Pony, GI Joe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, ect, along with Afternoon Disney series.
Anime was damaged from very very bad translations when it did come over into the US, they did not fully control merchandising so there was less drive for them. It was also even more damaged by the stuff that did come over here, which higher quality late night OVA's and other shows that were not fit for afternoon television.
France and Japan have had close relations for a long time. France also has it's own sizeable comics industry, meaning anime and manga from Japan had an easy time getting into people's hands. Countries nearby, like Italy, had a few properties drift into them from France.
Anime didn't make it's way into anglo countries until the animation renaissance of the 90s.
Anime was showing up in English countries as reworks since at least the mid 60's. (Speed Racer)
Just low cost, crap quality american animation, replays of older higher quality animation and merchandise driven brands kept it off the airways.
Not to mention a lot of shows in the 80's for American audiences were animated by Japanese studio's