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Old 2013-04-12, 03:36   Link #21
Traece
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Touching on some of the really nitty gritty as Relentlessflame has, I think that in order to get a really good idea of where the anime market is at you have to look at Funimation.

You know, that company that basically single-handedly runs the whole U.S. anime market right now. The quantity of anime they license prior to it airing in Japan is obscene, and action this rapid from publishers was unheard of years ago. Not to mention their willingness to display their licenses online both with dubs and subs is interesting. They go a step further by showing a lot of their material on Netflix too. That's just my personal experiences with them as well. I don't doubt that they extend their reach to many other venues as well. They push far and fast.

I'm not fully aware of Funimation's financial situation, but it seems to me that a lot of the newest material that hits the states is under their name. I think what I find most surprising is that years ago there were several different names on our side of the industry, but that list has dwindled dramatically from what I've seen. I'm sure someone on Asuki has an intimate knowledge of the U.S. anime publishing scene and can shed some light on what the industry really looks like financially and otherwise. From what I can tell it looks great for at least one company.
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Old 2013-04-12, 03:44   Link #22
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
The more you enjoy a product, the more you would want as many people as possible to enjoy it like you do. That's only natural. Why would I want to deliberately keep something niche? That smacks of elitism, which isn't wrong in itself, but it's worth asking why anime should be so "exclusive" a product that only the "special few" should be allowed to enjoy it.
I'd love for some of the stuff I like to be popular. I was happy that the Madoka movies sold out the local screening I went to, for example.

But I'm less enthusiastic about the idea of anime going "mainstream", because to me the term evokes an image of the sort of anime fans who look down on the shows I like as "girly" or "for lonely losers" bringing their friends. Because I see their taste as much more "mainstream" then mine. And that's not a scenario I care to bring about.

(Though I'd love it if admitting to being a Madoka fan was as easy as admitting to being, say, a Lord of the Rings fan... it would make talking about hobbies at social events so much easier. But again, my fear - and I'm guessing that of many other fans - is that isn't the end result. Looking at some of what is highlighted as "mainstream" for the western market in Relentless' post isn't inspiring in this regard either.)
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Old 2013-04-12, 03:45   Link #23
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I'm not really interested in allowing anime to go mainstream. Going mainstream means sacrificing quality for either profit or easier entertainment. It's like internet memes in 4chan. The more people know about them, the less amusing it becomes.
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Old 2013-04-12, 04:09   Link #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
That's a somewhat silly question. It's like asking why we would want video games to be "mainstream". Video games have come a long way from its earliest days as 8-bit or even text-only products, when only the "nerdiest of the nerdy" would love them. Triple-A titles today rival Hollywood movies in terms of scale, budget and presentation, and have become much more sophisticated products as a result.
Yea, and look what happened to the video game industry.

It's long gone from the early ages, when games were actually innovative and imaginative. Now, they're nothing more than flashy, hollowed out versions of its predecessors. Hardly any game these days can be deemed as "revolutionary".
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Old 2013-04-12, 04:16   Link #25
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Under what circumstances is anime accepted by a more mainstream audience?

I don't know.... But too much of something is bad.... The same thing why there are different types of shows that targets different kinds of people...
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Old 2013-04-12, 04:56   Link #26
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You know everything that those western fans have been complaining about? Those three-four shows that they have only seen as kids?

Make nothing but only those.

Oh, throw in lots of dark and gritty, and must be mostly serious business.

Bonus points if you can make it Shakespearean and edgy.

Last edited by Chaos2Frozen; 2013-04-12 at 05:54.
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Old 2013-04-12, 05:40   Link #27
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Originally Posted by Kyuu View Post
Yea, and look what happened to the video game industry.

It's long gone from the early ages, when games were actually innovative and imaginative. Now, they're nothing more than flashy, hollowed out versions of its predecessors. Hardly any game these days can be deemed as "revolutionary".
I think we can argue till the cows come home over our subjective opinions about whether "mainstream" games are mostly bland or innovative.

I'll just point out that with broader appeal also comes a broader spectrum of opinion over what is good or bad about any one title, be it a game or anime. In any case, Triple R and relentlessflame have put forward the better case about the specific things that must change for anime to be more "mainstream" in the American market.

Let's just say that I don't see it as a lose-lose situation. With a broader audience comes more revenue, and with more money comes the possibility of doing more projects, some innovative, some maybe not as much. Sure, a lot may still be crap, but that's simply Sturgeon's Law at work, which applies regardless of the actual volume of production.
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Old 2013-04-12, 07:41   Link #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Let's just say that I don't see it as a lose-lose situation. With a broader audience comes more revenue, and with more money comes the possibility of doing more projects, some innovative, some maybe not as much. Sure, a lot may still be crap, but that's simply Sturgeon's Law at work, which applies regardless of the actual volume of production.
With a broader audience comes the desire in producers to pander to larger potential markets. Titles such as Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, and Puella Magi Madoka Magica are deeply rooted in otaku culture and may not have been produced by a mainstream-centered industry. That's not to say normal people don't enjoy these anime, but they're obviously not the target demographic. These anime are made for dedicated fans of their genres and tropes. Changing elements in order to pander to a larger potential market (don't pretend this doesn't happen, read my previous post) can drive away your dedicated fans.
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Old 2013-04-12, 08:36   Link #29
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Something that I think should be mentioned here is that even at the height of anime's popularity in the west, there were still plenty of anime shows made primarily for the hardcore anime fandom in Japan. In fact, it's highly doubtful that there were ever any more than a handful of anime shows that were made primarily with western audiences in mind.

The anime industry puts out more than 100 shows a year. Even if it does go mainstream, I really doubt you'd see the whole of anime change drastically to suit the tastes of the mainstream. You'd see some change, but probably only amongst a small corner of the industry (percentage-wise). So I do think that fears over what anime going mainstream might do to it are a bit overstated.


That being said, the benefits of going mainstream can also be overstated. Yes, it's nice to be able to talk a bit more about your hobbies with others that share them, but it's not something I'd attach massive weight to.
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Old 2013-04-12, 09:08   Link #30
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When most of the anime are accessible to people multitasking. In America, mainstream entertain usually has something to keep the audience's attention even while they're using the Internet, eating dinner, or making out.
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Old 2013-04-12, 11:18   Link #31
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Under what circumstances?

Probably being Japanese.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
That's a somewhat silly question. It's like asking why we would want video games to be "mainstream". Video games have come a long way from its earliest days as 8-bit or even text-only products, when only the "nerdiest of the nerdy" would love them. Triple-A titles today rival Hollywood movies in terms of scale, budget and presentation, and have become much more sophisticated products as a result.
Yeah, and that's a serious problem. Video gaming going mainstream and acquiring Hollywood-sized budgets may actually end up killing the entire industry.

http://www.notenoughshaders.com/2012...all-of-gaming/

This article has a hell of a lot of truth to it. The industry is not-so-slowly killing itself. You can't apply a Hollywood paradigm to the game industry--the numbers just aren't there. You can't have a game with a multi-hundred-megabuck budget and expect to do well. You'd have to sell millions of copies just to break even--and selling millions of copies in gaming is... unlikely.
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Old 2013-04-12, 11:25   Link #32
Chaos2Frozen
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
The anime industry puts out more than 100 shows a year. Even if it does go mainstream, I really doubt you'd see the whole of anime change drastically to suit the tastes of the mainstream. You'd see some change, but probably only amongst a small corner of the industry (percentage-wise). So I do think that fears over what anime going mainstream might do to it are a bit overstated.
.
Thats because to become mainstream in the west it has to already be pumping out nothing but dark, serious, gritty and edgy shows.
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Old 2013-04-12, 11:50   Link #33
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This video game analogy seems downright weird to me.

The original Super Mario Bros., which came out way back in 1985, went on to sell over 40 million copies.

Folks, that is as mainstream as it gets!


So where is this complete and utter myth coming from that video gaming only recently went mainstream? Video gaming has been mainstream since the mid-80s!

The only difference is demographics - It's largely shifted from being mainstream with kids to being mainstream with adults. But in any event, video gaming has been pretty consistently mainstream from the mid-80s until the modern day.


Yes, Hollywood-sized budgets may well end up killing the entire video game industry. But that has nothing to do with video gaming being mainstream. Video gaming was mainstream decades before video games gained Hollywood-sized budgets.
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Old 2013-04-12, 12:41   Link #34
Utsuro no Hako
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What will it take for anime to be as common as other media?
It'll take someone in the marketing department at Sentai or Funimation looking at Moe School Girls Doing Cute Things and saying, "Hey, Bob, why are we trying to market this show to geeks? Why don't we get a good dub cast -- like professional actors, not the usual assortment of squeaky voiced girls -- and convince Disney to put this on with their teenybopper shows?"

Let's face it, if you show K-on or Squid Girl to an American and ask them who the target demographic is, they're going to say, "Ten year old girls." And yet that's not who the shows are marketed to -- companies assume that if the show is aimed at adult men in Japan, it should be aimed at adult men in America, never mind cultural differences.
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Old 2013-04-12, 14:29   Link #35
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
This video game analogy seems downright weird to me.

The original Super Mario Bros., which came out way back in 1985, went on to sell over 40 million copies.

Folks, that is as mainstream as it gets!


So where is this complete and utter myth coming from that video gaming only recently went mainstream? Video gaming has been mainstream since the mid-80s!

The only difference is demographics - It's largely shifted from being mainstream with kids to being mainstream with adults. But in any event, video gaming has been pretty consistently mainstream from the mid-80s until the modern day.


Yes, Hollywood-sized budgets may well end up killing the entire video game industry. But that has nothing to do with video gaming being mainstream. Video gaming was mainstream decades before video games gained Hollywood-sized budgets.
I agree with this. I think eventually the gaming industry will be filled to the brim with FPS' and other unoriginal titles. (not like it already is) But video gaming has been popular for a while, it's just been more present as the demographic has changed.
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Old 2013-04-12, 14:32   Link #36
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
The only difference is demographics - It's largely shifted from being mainstream with kids to being mainstream with adults. But in any event, video gaming has been pretty consistently mainstream from the mid-80s until the modern day.
I think that is the entire difference. Cartoons have also always been "mainstream" for kids, and anime continues to be popular in Japan with kids as well. When people talk about anime going "mainstream", they generally mean that it becomes part of mainstream adult culture -- things that working adults talk about around the proverbial water cooler just like sports, celebrities, and the latest TV shows and movies. Or perhaps more to the point, that adults can say they're an anime fan and not be looked-down upon or thought of as weird. It becomes part of the "public consciousness" and begins to get attention in the media. It becomes "normal".

Of course, I think anime isn't even that mainstream among adults in Japan, so it's a pretty steep hill to climb. And, like I said before, the main issue is why you'd choose animation as a medium for something designed to appeal to a broad cross-section of adults given all the other options at your disposal.


(And also Super Mario Bros. was a pack-in game with the NES system in a lot of countries... so not sure if that should really count.)


Edit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utsuro no Hako View Post
It'll take someone in the marketing department at Sentai or Funimation looking at Moe School Girls Doing Cute Things and saying, "Hey, Bob, why are we trying to market this show to geeks? Why don't we get a good dub cast -- like professional actors, not the usual assortment of squeaky voiced girls -- and convince Disney to put this on with their teenybopper shows?"

Let's face it, if you show K-on or Squid Girl to an American and ask them who the target demographic is, they're going to say, "Ten year old girls." And yet that's not who the shows are marketed to -- companies assume that if the show is aimed at adult men in Japan, it should be aimed at adult men in America, never mind cultural differences.
There are some problems with this:

1. There are already a lot of other shows being produced locally to appeal to this demographic. So the show not only has to be applicable to that demographic, but it has to be deemed better than the other choices specifically designed for that age group.

2. There are still a lot of Japanese cultural elements and references in these shows, and there's still a lot of hesitation to having that much "foreign culture" in entertainment for this demographic. This is why 4kids did what it did to localize the shows, even though it was hated by anime fans for it.

3. A show like K-On is still sequential; it's designed to follow a certain progression. This isn't well-suited to the sorts of shows Disney (etc.) likes to air in their cartoon shots for that demographic.

4. Shows aimed at this demographic are really designed to sell merchandise (toys), so it's fine and good that they bring the show over, but they'd have to have a marketing campaign with merchandise specifically for the local market. Getting all that merchandise and getting all the rights issues worked out can be a pain. (And again, this merchandise angle was something that 4kids specialized in.)

All in all, I think it's a lot easier/more cost-effective for them to just create their own franchises where they produce it and control all the rights than to try to "import" a foreign show and localize it to make it palatable to a different demographic than originally intended. (Because even though they may decide it's a show for young girls at first glance, and it's true young girls can enjoy it, it wasn't created for that demographic in particular.)
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Old 2013-04-12, 16:33   Link #37
Kyuu
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These were cheap and easy to make. In doing so, people were enabled to go ahead and try new things, at low expense. I still remember the days, when hardly anyone knew what Angry Birds was.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R
Yes, Hollywood-sized budgets may well end up killing the entire video game industry. But that has nothing to do with video gaming being mainstream. Video gaming was mainstream decades before video games gained Hollywood-sized budgets.
Because of this, it is rather difficult for anyone other than large studios to develop games these days. Because of this small pool, games are hardly innovative; instead, y'get to see the same old crap over and over again. Of course, that will all change when a new interface comes along.

Last edited by Kyuu; 2013-04-12 at 16:48.
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Old 2013-04-12, 20:48   Link #38
Sackett
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When Hollywood finally tires of filming comic book stories, and looks for a new source of stories to copy, and don't screw it up like they did Dragonball Z.

In some ways it has started happening already: witness the Transformers movie franchise.

We just need to wait 20 years for an Evangelion (or Sailor Moon) fan to get into a position of power in Television to make a series on the Sci-Fi channel or something. Ala Battlestar Galactica (which was certainly a niche fandom 20 years ago).
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Old 2013-04-12, 21:51   Link #39
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Of course, that will all change when a new interface comes along.
Which is less than a year away. Sup Oculus Rift. (That's the first virtual reality console, think it's being released this year)
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Old 2013-04-12, 22:55   Link #40
Traece
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Which is less than a year away. Sup Oculus Rift. (That's the first virtual reality console, think it's being released this year)
I think it's necessary to properly explain what exactly Oculus Rift is. For those of us who know what TrackIR is (it's an IR camera that tracks an IR attachment you wear on your head to give you very precise and customizable control over an in-game camera, most often in simulators), Oculus Rift is basically TrackIR except with LED screens on your face.

You're basically wearing glasses that provide input to your computer to control a camera in video games that support this (which, again, are going to mainly be simulators). We can classify this as virtual reality, but that's a bit of a stretch.

Relentlessflame does slightly touch on a good point about marketing. Do you all remember the major reason why Gundam is popular? It's not just because Mobile Suit Gundam was fantastic.
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