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The Death of Anime??


taksraven
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Again, why buy episodes of a show when I can download it for free? Why do I have to waste my money on buying something I can just get for free? And if I want a piece of merchandise, I can just wait for it to come down in price or wait for a store to put a 10%-off sticker on it. I don't waste money on a show and I get merchandise for cheaper.

I have most of the Macross Frontier DVDs...but I bought them used. Am I part of the problem?

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Again, why buy episodes of a show when I can download it for free? Why do I have to waste my money on buying something I can just get for free? And if I want a piece of merchandise, I can just wait for it to come down in price or wait for a store to put a 10%-off sticker on it. I don't waste money on a show and I get merchandise for cheaper.

Then raise the prices and offer something exclusive that downloading can't provide in terms of quality or extras. Stop trying to sell anime trough large retailers that will dump the product for bargain prices and ruin the market.

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Again, why buy episodes of a show when I can download it for free? Why do I have to waste my money on buying something I can just get for free? And if I want a piece of merchandise, I can just wait for it to come down in price or wait for a store to put a 10%-off sticker on it. I don't waste money on a show and I get merchandise for cheaper.

Any proposed solution must over come that same hurdle. It's not a revelation, as detailed in my post. The idea is to create enough incentive in a still workable business model that anime becomes attractive to buy rather than download. Merchandise discounts, point-of-release availability, superior quality, etc are some of those factors that are workable and more importantly, have proven market value consumers are willing to pay for. Few would argue that official English subtitles available at point-of-release would be a very attractive offer worth paying for over slow and inaccurate fan subs. But as I also specifically wrote, the modern anime fan is not an easy sale, especially given the acclimation created by the current industry status quo. It's not known if the profit point can be met against such a tough, flexible consumer base and no one will know unless there's action.

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Few would argue that official English subtitles available at point-of-release would be a very attractive offer worth paying for over slow and inaccurate fan subs.

The item in bold... that can be argued these days. Considering some groups get out subs out in 24 hours or less, and accuracy...well, that's a matter of opinion.

Merchandise discounts, point-of-release availability, superior quality, etc are some of those factors that are workable and more importantly, have proven market value consumers are willing to pay for.

And that's the thing, what is that "thing" that is worth paying for? What is that item that make people go out and actually buy it. And Bri is right, it can't be something that something quality-wise that downloading over the 'Net would replace. Merchandise discounts can work, but is it enough to attract?

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I didn't need a professional news cast to tell me the industry is in trouble, I've seen it happening over the years at conventions and stores that sell anime. There has been less and less for sale because people just aren't buying it. The same is happening to manga at the moment and for the the same reason that anime died out.

The companies that were bringing this stuff to the western markets stopped caring about quality and flooded the market with everything they could get their hands on since the fans were hungry for it and were buying everything they could get their hands on. Unfortunately this meant that for every good series there were 5 really bad ones which in turn means the fans were getting burned when taking risks buying these things. So what happens? They start downloading the stuff since at least they won't lose any money if it sucks.

The problem is that once you get used to getting the stuff for free you never want to go back to paying for it. There is also the value factor. Once you download anime for free you stop giving it its value since its free so you always think its not actually worth money and refuse to buy it. This actually happened to me with music when i started downloading it. I no longer value music at all since it was so easy to download and I could never actually spend money on it.

Basically the companies killed their own market by flooding it with bad product. Plus there are many people like myself that would rather not see this stuff than actually have to pay money for it. The companies can't win.

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Most of these shows are made to sell merchandise anyway. They're on Japanese TV for free so why would you want to pay to see something people just watch.

It's like those dorks who buy every season of Friends.

Didn't someone already mention that it's not on Japanese TV for free? There are things like commercials, and the messages of sponsors. Take Macross F for example, in all of the fansubs and raws that I've seen, NONE of them contain commercials. Some of them have the sponsor message splash screen, but not all. And those messages are not translated.

So... is it for free? No. Are us viewers of these things living up to our end of the bargain... you know, watching and understanding the commercial messages? No.

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Didn't someone already mention that it's not on Japanese TV for free?

Yeah, me.

http://www.macrossworld.com/mwf/index.php?...st&p=847941

The same is happening to manga at the moment and for the the same reason that anime died out.

Funny you should mention manga cuz someone noted this response with the first half concerning manga:

http://doalchemy.org/2010/04/bowing-and-be...gh-fan-loyalty/

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I can't find a link that talked about the manga industry, but to sum it up:

The manga industry is blaming declining sales on the readers themselves. They don't like how readers are able to read manga online and then only buy the ones they like. They want buyers to buy blindly so the companies get their money. If this isn't the wrong approach to the problem then I don't know what is. They don't like smart shoppers and are trying to blind consumers.

I'll post the link if i can find it again.

The comic industry will die out in the future anyways, especially the heavily independent manga industry. Why share your profits with a large company when you can post your manga online with ads on your website and get all the money yourself. Its only a matter of time. Same with the music industry, its only a matter of time before artists go independent and sell their works themselves.

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I can't find a link that talked about the manga industry, but to sum it up:

The manga industry is blaming declining sales on the readers themselves. They don't like how readers are able to read manga online and then only buy the ones they like. They want buyers to buy blindly so the companies get their money. If this isn't the wrong approach to the problem then I don't know what is. They don't like smart shoppers and are trying to blind consumers.

You've misunderstood the situation. Smart consumers have access to means to learn about the contents of a publication before purchasing.

Here's the website for Shonen Jump: http://www.shonenjump.com/j/ (which took all the time to type in the name into google to find).

In some bookstores, smart consumers can also sample publications via tachiyomi. Of course, as bookstores are not libraries, some are wrapping products in plastic to prevent abuses of the generosity (and keep items from becoming unsaleable due to tachiyomi mangling). Nevertheless, if you ask a store clerk to look inside, most will open it for you to have a look (not a read).

So, you're arguement holds no merit, as the manga industry isn't telling people to blindly buy, but they are telling them to not abuse IT that make IP theft possible.

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About fansubs, I'm actually very grateful for them. I only discovered their existence on the internet about 5 years ago and have been downloading them ever since whenever a show i'm interested in is available like macross frontier etc. They have also exposed me to other shows that i may not have considered before. Eventaully I would buy the dvd versions of the shows i like direct from Japan or where ever cos i don't like watching movies on a computer and i always prefer hard copies.

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Didn't someone already mention that it's not on Japanese TV for free? There are things like commercials, and the messages of sponsors. Take Macross F for example, in all of the fansubs and raws that I've seen, NONE of them contain commercials. Some of them have the sponsor message splash screen, but not all. And those messages are not translated.

So... is it for free? No. Are us viewers of these things living up to our end of the bargain... you know, watching and understanding the commercial messages? No.

I see your point but the whole idea of broadcasting it on television is to hook people and make them buy the DVD/BR and or merchandise. In that respect fansubs works the same way. Allowing an option to see (even if it's at a small cost to the TV audience) before you buy. If it wasn't for fansubs some of the more obscure anime would never have been licensed. Also some (if not most) anime is broadcasted in distinctly lower quality and sometimes left unfinished (SHAFT is quite adept at that) to give people an incentive to buy the end product.

What is really damaging and far more morally dubious then fansubs of TV broadcasts is the people that rip the DVDs and BR (like Thora or KAA) and put those versions on the net. Note that these groups copy the translation work from the fansub groups to put on their versions as well. This difference IMO separates fansub groups from pirates.

Edited by Bri
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I think some people are misinterpreting the "freeness' claim of anime that airs on tv in Japan. Yes it has adverts and sponsor messages but bar it being in some pay per view format/straight to dvd there is no direct monetary cost to the end viewer. Some people would consider that free and I would be one of those people. When I watch Stargate on syfy for instance I do not attribute any direct cost to it but just for clarification I do not expect to have it digitally for free necessarily and I have bought all the dvds up until but not including SGU. I only bought them because I watched the series for free and decided it was worth the money (money being $34 a season!) to own the dvds though.

In terms of anime fans feeling entitled to free anime because of fansubs... While I'm sure that's partially true, in my area of America at least it's not uncommon to pay around $15 at release if you shop around for brand new big budget movies on dvd. I'm pretty positive that doesn't help establish a $30 anime dvd as being necessarily a great value. (I'm sure this will incite the usual it's a niche market they sell less so consumer cost is higher, apples to oranges etc)

@Bri

I totally agree that an anime pirated is not necessarily anime that would have been purchased should the free option not have been available. This could pretty much be said for the videogame industry too, not that piracy isn't a serious problem obviously.

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You've misunderstood the situation. Smart consumers have access to means to learn about the contents of a publication before purchasing.

Here's the website for Shonen Jump: http://www.shonenjump.com/j/ (which took all the time to type in the name into google to find).

In some bookstores, smart consumers can also sample publications via tachiyomi. Of course, as bookstores are not libraries, some are wrapping products in plastic to prevent abuses of the generosity (and keep items from becoming unsaleable due to tachiyomi mangling). Nevertheless, if you ask a store clerk to look inside, most will open it for you to have a look (not a read).

So, you're arguement holds no merit, as the manga industry isn't telling people to blindly buy, but they are telling them to not abuse IT that make IP theft possible.

Ok, I should have been more specific in my post. I was actually talking about Manga in North America not in Japan but I realize now that I didn't mention that in the post.

The way I see this is that they don't want the readers to know what they are buying since they will pick and choose. They don't want scans so you have to buy blindly. For them the internet sucks since it creates smart shoppers.

Here is the text. The website has some questionable material so I'm not sure if I'm allowed to link to it on these boards but you can do a search through sankaku complex if you want. I have bolded the part I am referring to.

Much of the blame for a 20% drop in North American manga sales is being pinned on scanlation.

The annual report originates from “pop culture” industry information peddlers ICv2.

Their white paper describes how manga sales in the US and Canada fell 20% in 2009, down to $140 million from $175 in 2008. In 2008 sales declined as well, dropping 17% from their all-time peak of $210 million in 2007, meaning the market declined in size by one third in from 2007-2009.

An excess of titles and the industry’s failure to successfully market josei manga to maturing fans of shoujo manga are cited as reasons for the decline, along with a decline in TV exposure “[keeping] hot new titles such as Rosario + Vampire from achieving the kind of success that previous Shonen Jump hits have enjoyed.”

However, the bulk of the blame appears to be reserved for scanlation and fansubs, the perennial publishing industry bugbears:

Another key factor in the slowing sales of manga is the presence of so many volumes of manga in translated form on the Internet.

Just as the anime market in the U.S. was gutted by fansubbed downloads available on the Net for free, manga is now facing its own crisis created by the availability of free unlicensed scanlations on the Web.

Manga readers lack the “collector mentality” of comic book fans and also tend to be both young and tech savvy.

The fact that manga is “long-form” entertainment, with many series running to dozens of volumes (Naruto Vol. 48 is due out in June), even taking into account the fact that manga is very attractively priced compared with traditional American graphic novels, it is very expensive to collect the entire series in paper.

Increasingly retailers who saw their once strong anime sales shrink away to nothing are telling ICv2 that manga readers are sampling new series online and only buying their favorite one or two series in printed form.

The almost total lack of digitally distributed manga capable of competing with such versions by now hardly needs mentioning – strong demand for convenient digital manga is apparently something publishers in both the US and Japan are desperate to ignore.

Oddly, the report completely fails to mention that there was a major global recession commencing in 2007 – apparently macroeconomic climate has no effect on manga sales worth mentioning, just like in Japan.

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Ok, I should have been more specific in my post. I was actually talking about Manga in North America not in Japan but I realize now that I didn't mention that in the post.

Ok.

Increasingly retailers who saw their once strong anime sales shrink away to nothing are telling ICv2 that manga readers are sampling new series online and only buying their favorite one or two series in printed form.

There's nothing in this sentence that expressly states that it is because of scanlations that sales are falling. Nor does it say that publishers are trying to sell their product without the purchaser being aware of the content in it.

Also, as has been the case for well over the past decade, Diamond Comic Distributors Inc.'s Previews catalogue still offers previews of upcoming comics. (Personally I prefered the Advance Comics order catalogue, but Marvel comics gets the blame for the demise of that much more anime import friendly company.) Publishers like Dark Horse Comics also offer online previews of their products - which I interpret the quote as implying.

So, again, smart consumers have access to means to learn about the contents of a publication before purchasing.

strong demand for convenient digital manga is apparently something publishers in both the US and Japan are desperate to ignore.

The writer appears to not be aware of manga published in Japan digitally for the mobile phone internet.

Oddly, the report completely fails to mention that there was a major global recession commencing in 2007 – apparently macroeconomic climate has no effect on manga sales worth mentioning, just like in Japan.

This is a very big point that I felt screaming in my head as soon as I read the dates of the market "decline".

Edited by sketchley
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The item in bold... that can be argued these days. Considering some groups get out subs out in 24 hours or less, and accuracy...well, that's a matter of opinion.

And that's the thing, what is that "thing" that is worth paying for? What is that item that make people go out and actually buy it. And Bri is right, it can't be something that something quality-wise that downloading over the 'Net would replace. Merchandise discounts can work, but is it enough to attract?

Agreed, but to be fair, the market is fluid and will not remain static. Once official subtitles are available at release, the primary impetus for fansubbing disappears. Fansubs become redundant. Will they disappear overnight? Of course not. Will there be resistance? Absolutely! Will fansubs remain more active now than if English subtitling were available early in the internet distribution age? Of course! But official subtitling is just the blow anime companies could strike that would get revenue flowing in the right direction once again. Over time, piracy will naturally fall to manageable levels. Understandably, piracy levels won’t be as low as pre-internet, but again, what industry hasn’t been affected by the realities of internet distribution?

Modern distribution is all relative. Costs go down because companies need not produce a portion of their products on physical media like DVDs. Non-physical products can be sold online without incurring manufacturing or shipping costs. Yet the ease of piracy allows a greater proportion of potential consumers to illegally download. However, the NET EFFECT should be a viable business model.

The only mistake most companies made was opposing the new reality of distribution rather than embracing it (and blaming consumers for it). That inaction created and perpetuated a new variation of self-sustaining piracy that has thrived and grown for many, many years far beyond what should have been. Overcoming that monster isn’t easy but it's not impossible either.

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I didn't need a professional news cast to tell me the industry is in trouble, I've seen it happening over the years at conventions and stores that sell anime. There has been less and less for sale because people just aren't buying it. The same is happening to manga at the moment and for the the same reason that anime died out.

It's also possible consumer tastes between Japan and other international markets are simply diverging rather than aligning. The Japanese care about producing anime for Japan and not anyone else. At one time, niche consumer markets internationally found anime stories attractive despite cultural barriers. That situation might not always exist. There are those that argue the self-referential, insular nature of certain new styles of popular anime are simply not appealing to international audiences and are thus producing fewer options for cross-over viability. If true, that's not a problem for the Japanese anime industry but only a problem for international anime industries and consumers such as ourselves.

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The item in bold... that can be argued these days. Considering some groups get out subs out in 24 hours or less, and accuracy...well, that's a matter of opinion.

Adding onto the accuracy comment, if there is a mistake, fansubbers usually make a newer version or patch the original file. Not to mention, the majority of fansubs nowadays are soft-subbed so if you have the right (free) tools and some basic know-how, you can change the subtitles yourself. If you buy a DVD and find mistakes in it--even how uncommon they are--you're stuck with it. Though with the advent of BD-Live, that might change.

...though the average anime watcher doesn't care about accuracy.

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Here's another point that I think is worth considering:

Is it even possible to talk about the "anime industry" at ALL?

What do I mean?

Well - there seem to be lots and lots of shows out there - and I would wager that while all of us might say we're "anime fans" - many of us think different things when we say that. I love Macross, Mobile Suite Gundam (original series), Haruhi Suzumiya and Gurren Lagann....Evangelion...

I LIKE Ideon. A lot.

But beyond that - I pretty much don't care. I liked what I saw of Zambot 3 - true.... But then again...it's not like I went ape over it...

I haven't really been very into anything else beyond the above - I sampled some stuff, tried it out and found it wanting...

Other people might be fans of other things...

Is it really possible to generalize and say that ALL anime experiences the same fluctuations in supply and demand? (I'm abstracting from the "the economy in general sucks" point here)....

This is the part where it's important to be careful when discussing a whole industry. Many individual fans could care less is particular anime that they don't like fail or succeeds - they care about the anime that THEY personally enjoy...

I dunno.... I guess I'm just wondering about how it's possible to homogenize "anime fans" and the "anime community" when it seems that there are some major differences within the anime genre itself that deserve attention.... I mean... I'm not trying to put down anybody's favorite anime - I'm not saying that if it's not on my list then it's "not" anime -- but surely all of these shows don't do EQUALLY well or EQUALLY poorly?

And surely the anime that is unique and thoughtful is quite possibly few and far between?

I dunno....

I'm just never sure about such generalizations...

Pete

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No, VFTF1, I think you make a good point. Every industry goes through its phases... Most of us here, I think, could be classified as mecha fans; we like our anime to have giant robots or power armor and stuff like that. And after the "real robot" boom of the '80s (and after the Japanese economic bubble burst), there was a real lack of robot shows out there...from about 1990 to 1994, I lost interest in anime completely...nothing really grabbed me. And even since then, I've been pretty selective. And then when I was IN Japan in late 2007/early 2008, well...I saw Eva 1.0, and I sampled a lot of series (generally on late-night TV or on Animax), and none of them really grabbed me ("Denno Coil" came close, though).

Nothing, that is, until Macross Frontier Deculture Edition aired (on my birthday, no less).

So yeah...most of what was out there didn't seem terribly interesting to me. Which is fine, since I'm not an "average" anime consumer. But it follows logically that if there's more stuff out there that I like, there's more stuff I'll buy. Personally, I'm glad there isn't...I spend too much money on anime already.

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So yeah...most of what was out there didn't seem terribly interesting to me. Which is fine, since I'm not an "average" anime consumer. But it follows logically that if there's more stuff out there that I like, there's more stuff I'll buy. Personally, I'm glad there isn't...I spend too much money on anime already.

Maybe less anime is not actually a bad thing? The quality pool will be deeper and the quality of scripts/animation might improve as a result?

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Maybe less anime is not actually a bad thing? The quality pool will be deeper and the quality of scripts/animation might improve as a result?

Maybe...or else they'll go with what's "safe" and discourage risk-taking and innovation.

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That's sort of what they've been doing - at least if the merchandise end of things is any indication. I might be wrong, but I get the feeling that 60% of the anime-related goods that producers have announced for 2010 were all hentai/moe/erotic goods.

Now - I am NOT saying this to suggest that moe is evil or hentai is bad. I am in many ways a fan of moe, since I love Ranka and love the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. But - then again - Ranka from Macross Frontier and the Haruhi gang might be 'moe' - but they are also so very much more than that. Meanwhile, something like Strike Witches seems to be just primarily moe oriented - with nothing beyond "hot hot young girl in panties with guns" going for it...

Prior to this year, there were a lot more offerings that were not necessarily erotically oriented. The point I'm making is that the "anime industry" (to run with that term even though it's not necessarily the best out there) seems to have retreated into the "sex sells" foxhole, where they are fighting to hold their ground....

But I actually agree with Marzan - in the long run, someone will come along and say "damn it - it's time for something really awesome! HERE!" and it'll be a revolution like Gundam was towards the Super Robot animes and like Evangelion was towards the anime of its' day.

I think part of the problem here is just bad timing.

Macross Frontier, Haruhi Suzumiya, Gurren Lagann - IMO these are excellent anime. And apparently the EVA 2.0 movies have been doing well too -- but they all came about approximately when the economy tanked - and so it's really hard to say...is anime failing...or is it just that anime is having the same trouble as everyone else...

Right now - everyone is scared of investing in new production-value...they will prefer to repaint, reboot, re-issue or in some cases just wait things out I think...

As to the downloading problem:

Eventually they are just going to have to get smart and think globally. These companies themselves should be using the internet much like they use TV.

When you turn on the TV in Japan to watch Macross Frontier - you as the consumer don't pay a penny. It's "free" because the advertisers pay for it.

Why do they do that?

Because they HOPE that the show will boost sales for their products.

In reality - it doesn't have to. But clearly advertising DOES work since otherwise advertisers wouldn't sponsor shows.

Well...

Just take that model and use it - but with the internet.

Put the damn anime on the internet with official subs - let people download it.

With one caveat - namely have your downloading website full of advertisements...

Just like some fan sites have sponsors advertising ... why not get advertisers to sponsor your on-line downloads?

I dunno - if that's a crummy idea- then homogenize your distribution schedule. Make sure a DVD hits the shelves in every country AT THE SAME TIME - not frickin' 5 years after the anime came out.

I dunno...

Ultimately - I have a sneaking suspicion though that the internationl market is REALLY marginal for Japanese anime - and that the problem is domestic. I mean, I think they focus on the Japanese market and make a good profit there - and then whatever comes from the international market is just added dividends....

Beats me....

Of course - we COULD also entertain the possibility that anime as such is dying.. but... I almost don't want to believe that.

Anime will change - but die out? Like - completely? :o

No way...

Pete

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Downloading Anime just makes good sense for the outside of Japan Anime consumer. If you can't watch it on TV is it worth buying episode after episode? Pretend we are talking about Macross 7 getting a US Release. Some like it and some hate it. Those that like it say it gets good after episode 15 (or about there). Do you really want to keep buying until a show is suppose to get good. Only to find out it completely sucks? Anime can be a huge investment.

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Downloading Anime just makes good sense for the outside of Japan Anime consumer. If you can't watch it on TV is it worth buying episode after episode? Pretend we are talking about Macross 7 getting a US Release. Some like it and some hate it. Those that like it say it gets good after episode 15 (or about there). Do you really want to keep buying until a show is suppose to get good. Only to find out it completely sucks? Anime can be a huge investment.

I don't believe downloading every last episode is necessary to find out if a series is worth buying or not. The first 4 to 6 episodes (sometimes less) is plenty enough for me to determine whether I'm going to like the series or not. Shoot, sometimes just a couple of pics and a short description is all I need to know to make a decision.

For something like Mac7 where folks says it gets better after Episode XX, well, I personally don't care to continue watching or buy something in which the first half the show or a significant front portion is crap. I watched the first 6 episodes of Mac7, and hated it. I later came to like the Valkyries in the show (as toys), but I still don't care for the series. So I haven't downloaded or purchased the Japanese DVDs. I patched in my knowledge of Mac7 by other ways (books, magazines, web, etc).

Edited by Vifam7
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That's sort of what they've been doing - at least if the merchandise end of things is any indication. I might be wrong, but I get the feeling that 60% of the anime-related goods that producers have announced for 2010 were all hentai/moe/erotic goods.

It's been worse. Moe type shows have been the bread and butter for the anime industry for the better part of the last decade, especially for the smaller companies. It's been almost as dominant as mecha was in the 80s. It's already past its peak, but the next best thing has not really been discovered yet. Moe is still very much the safe route, preferably based on a proven visual novel or manga.

Ultimately - I have a sneaking suspicion though that the internationl market is REALLY marginal for Japanese anime - and that the problem is domestic. I mean, I think they focus on the Japanese market and make a good profit there - and then whatever comes from the international market is just added dividends....

Your right, for the most part. The international market to the average anime production company consists of just selling a license to a foreign firm. Not that they don't want to go on the international market, but they don't have the resources nor the money, don't have the know-how and most of all don't have the scale to operate internationally. Even something as basic as people who speak English are not easy to find in the industry. Most of the capital generated for new productions flows towards buying broadcasting time from TV stations and advertising. Any innovation in the area of distribution will have to come from the financial backers: the publishers, TV stations, advertising agencies, software houses etc. who fund anime production.

There is one exception: Studio Ghibli, they are like the Japanese answer to Disney Animation, smaller, but without being run by accountants. They can operate on the international market.

Edited by Bri
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There is one exception: Studio Ghibli, they are like the Japanese answer to Disney Animation, smaller, but without being run by accountants. They can operate on the international market.

But wouldn't you say that Ghibli's success in the international market (they're the one studio whose products you can find in any music/dvd store around these parts) is very much tied to Miyazaki's fame? Whenever he goes, Ghibli will suffer as a result.

Moreover, I'd add that Ghibli has the advantage (for the international market) that their films are accessible to children. For the vast majority of people outside the far east, anime still has the stigma of being "just a cartoon" which makes it uninteresting for many potential viewers. Ghibli doesn't have that problem since the majority of people going to Miyazaki's films in the west are parents with their children. Hence their success.

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But wouldn't you say that Ghibli's success in the international market (they're the one studio whose products you can find in any music/dvd store around these parts) is very much tied to Miyazaki's fame? Whenever he goes, Ghibli will suffer as a result.

Yes, Miyazaki is pretty much to Ghibli what Walt Disney was to Disney animation and he is part of the driving force of the studios succes. Still there are more directors working for Ghibli so it is not that they can't make movies without him. I'm sure they have already considered what should happen in terms of succession.

Moreover, I'd add that Ghibli has the advantage (for the international market) that their films are accessible to children. For the vast majority of people outside the far east, anime still has the stigma of being "just a cartoon" which makes it uninteresting for many potential viewers. Ghibli doesn't have that problem since the majority of people going to Miyazaki's films in the west are parents with their children. Hence their success.

Agreed, they primarily make movies and documentaries so it is safe to say that Ghibli pretty much operates in a different market. Still they are the example of the one anime producer that managed to get out of the niche and into mainstream.

Not that other firms could do what Ghibli did, but other studios like Production IG, Bones, Sunrise and Madhouse have learned copied parts of their way of doing business. This of things like retaining rights, less reliance on external capital, less subcontracting, pay higher wages, diversify the portfolio etc. Most of the current problems facing the business come from the archaic business models in use that leave the production studios at the bottom of the food chain fighting for scraps.

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Is he the guy that made that one anime about the trees that came alive and started walking around, busting up some village? I saw that on Cartoon network like 10 years ago and thought it was awesome...

But ok ok... give me some titles and I'll try to check out his stuff :-)

Pete

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Is he the guy that made that one anime about the trees that came alive and started walking around, busting up some village? I saw that on Cartoon network like 10 years ago and thought it was awesome...

But ok ok... give me some titles and I'll try to check out his stuff :-)

Pete

Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind

Castle in the Sky Laputa

My Neighbor Totoro

Kiki's Delivery Service

These are his early films, and (I think) the best way to get into his work. If you're in the mood for something a little dark, watch Nausicaa. If you want a full throttle fun action film, watch Laputa, If you feel like something sweet tinged with sadness, watch Totoro. And if you want something that it just plain charming and adorable, watch Kiki.

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