I don't have issues with people liking the show. I just get sick of people asking me about it. I'm so over it. I was over it the moment I finished watching it. It just showed to me how much things have changed in so little time and that a generation gap was truly set in stone in 2011.
Not many people here actually HATE Madoka, so you kind of stand out that way.
But still, those are good points you made about what might have factored into Zac's review. I don't doubt Zac really did like Madoka Magica, but he might have gone extra-soft on them to stay in the good graces of Aniplex.
As for people I know who will buy Madoka - it's pretty much all current gen people. The old school people who actually like it don't feel complled to buy it in any way.
What I find amusing is Madman licensed it for Australia and are releasing it at a normal price. Even though I generally don't like Madman's content overall, I at least respect the fact they don't punish anime fans for their fandom. That said, I mainly do business with Siren Visual.
In all honesty - I hate 2011. I don't know if I'll like anything from 2012. Truth be told, at current I'm watching the live-action version of Liar Game. And it wipes the floor with anything I saw in 2011. So, I'm not sure what to think these days.
Figures they get someone to write a glowing review of Madoka then someone who's ill-informed and a hater to review Fate/Zero.
First of all, ANN can go flock themselves with a knife.
Secondly, Zac may be a bit more sensible than some of his colleagues and a bit more open-minded. But this smells more of a reaction that Fate/Zero riled Aniplex and that they are writing this review as an apology. Very much like how all their blogs/comments trashed Oreimo then out of the blue this year, Theron Martin gives it a glowing review. The fact they held off commenting on Madoka in any form for so long is very suspect to me. It's not like they haven't talked about streaming shows before - they did it for most shows in 2011. This seems like convenient timing.
Define success/hot. My friend who buys from Rightstuf said Garden of Sinners had a run of only 300 copies on Rightstuff under Aniplex's pricing model, which was $400 for all the movies. That run did sell out. But that's only 300 copies and I really can't say much for what other stores would have sold. The sad fact of the industry in the US is it's a struggle to crack 1k and to reclaim the licensing and packaging costs, as well as dubbing (which is costly to the point a lot of shows don't get them because it would guarantee a loss). The only shows in the last 5 years to crack the 5k mark in the US are Seikirei and Baccano. Even shows that clearly have big followings like Code Geass and the like simply don't get bought.
Fans of the timepoint I refer to didn't watch Madoka for the reasons the people around Suki did. They watched it for far more sadistic, pragmatic reasons. They didn't think anything was deep or revolutionary. They just liked the body count and the alleged mindflock/WTF factor.
Madoka will sell enough to justify its licence, but at around $285 to buy a 13 ep series at 95 for a 4 volume disc?! That makes Fate/Zero costing $180 look fair in comparison!
If anything, this shows me Aniplex expect their fans to pay through the nose. AKA only the ones with enough money, but mainly enough fanaticism to buy it. Essentially this is applying the Japanese business model to a completely different market. Aka they expect people to be the crazy otakus that exist in Japan. I find that insulting and it makes me want to stop being an anime fan. If other companies take up Aniplex's lead, we will be returning to the dark ages and being an anime fan in the West will become a whole new level of fanaticism and one society will despise.
And that is all I can say politely. Remember that Madoka is #2 on my all-time most despised list. I don't enjoy expending any time or energy on it. Nor shall I spend any more.
*sigh* Why does everyone keep asking me about Madoka...
You might be interested to know that ANN's Zac, of all people, loved Madoka Magica Volume 1.
I actually tend to view Zac as a sort of "gateway to the west". That's not to say that I agree with Zac's tastes all that much, just that I think he's very representative of your North American anime fan who never took to the moe boom (i.e. a large chunk of that late 90s wave of anime fans I've seen you refer to).
Prior to reading Zac's review, I honestly thought that Madoka wasn't going to do that hot in the western marketplace (due to it being an absolute marketing nightmare in most western markets), but now I'm not so sure.
The Steins;Gate-Romance debate has probably gotten a bit out of hand, yeah. Sorry for my part in that.
Truth be told, the more I think about it the more I dislike the idea of one series dominating a lot of genre categories because I'd like to give more room for lesser-known series' to shine. That was an idea I tried to convey in my hypothetical Fate/Zero vs. Another situation when it comes to Mystery/Horror 2012.
I'm probably caring more about this than I ought to, but what can I say, it can make for interesting discussion!