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Old 2011-07-27, 14:21   Link #1
Last Sinner
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History of Anime Panel I performed at AVCon 2011 + the Mecha panel my mates did

Okay, basically the last few months I had been working on a panel myself and a couple of friends were presenting at Adelaide's annual anime and video games convention, AVCon 2011. The panel was History of Anime. The reason for this choice of topic was because this year's theme for AVCon was Retro. After inquiring to the AVCon comittee in May about doing some panels, they were pretty keen for us to do one as well as a mecha panel my mates wanted to do. So once secured, preparation began. And on the Sunday that just passed, we presented our panels.

Close to 50 people attended the History of Anime panel, which was definitely above our expectations considering Internet hero LittleKuriboh was presenting a repeat panel at the same time. About 30 people attended the mecha panel, which was also quite good considering lineups for the cosplay competition crowds were starting at that point. (You have to be willing to wait about an hour in line if you want to be in the main theatre to see the cosplay competition) AVCon was a huge success and had 14k attendance over the weekend, which was a damn good result considering Adelaide is one of the smaller captial cities in Australia.

But I digress - I know some people on Suki were quite keen to see the panels. So here they are.


History of Anime - Part 1
History of Anime - Part 2
History of Anime - Part 3
History of Anime - Part 4


G is for Robots: An Explanation - Part 1
G is for Robots: An Explanation - Part 2
G is for Robots: An Explanation - Part 3
G is for Robots: An Explanation - Part 4


Both panels ran for about 51 minutes, so fair warning about viewing time. We didn't end up having enough time to show the charts/diagrams of sales figures, series budgets and studio revenues that I had assembled, but there are links to the images for those figures, budgets and revenues in the description box of the History Part 4 video. So check them out as well, as I know some people on this forum have quite a vested interest in discussing figures such as those.


As for why I decided to do a panel, several reasons I guess. Firstly, I've had a major journey into the earlier days of anime lately and have really found it fulfilling. But I know it's a time/area people find hard to access, so I thought since I know something about it now, that I ought to find a way to tell others about it, since my two mates that did the panel with me sent me on that journey. Their knowledge despite being in their early 20s is astounding. Secondly, at last year's AVCon, I saw a god-awful Yuri panel and thought 'Now surely I could have done something better than that...' Thirdly, after seeing someone else on these forums do a Sakuga/How to draw anime panel and do a good job of it, the idea that a good panel is actually possible to do fuelled my intent. Finally, after hearing some people around my parts say they had never seen a good panel at a convention before and doubted they would, I felt this would be a good challenge and took it up.

Initially I had planned to start from the 60s and Tezuka, but after coming across some rare footage of 30s shorts, a 40s movie and even a 1917 short, along with some really obscure blogs talking about festivals that these early shorts amongst others had screened at, I then decided to go all the way back to about 100 years ago, where it all began, since I eventually found enough solid information to provide a description of the very early days. I figured this would reduce the time I could speak about more recent times, but how often do you get to talk about or show footage that old?! It was too important to not include.

Covering the history of anime in 50 minutes - hard...I really wish I had more like 90 minutes, but in the end, the realistic goal of just making it to the 00s and havingdiscussed them a bit once the 50 minute mark was reached, so we were quite pleased. Probably the most time consuming aspect for me was the amount of clips I had to create. Deciding which shows to talk about was a bit of a balancing act - my mates and I were never going to cover all the big ones in 50 minutes. So we took the approach of focus on the 60s-90s and make sure we covered them properly along with the early days and spare a bit of time for the 00s. Because realistically, most people in the current fandom would have relatively more knowledge about the 00s than other decades. The main aims of the panel ended up being:

1. To inform people more about the times/series/directors/authors they didn't know much about, as well as focus on key people at respective timepoints/decades.
2. Have enough footage to keep them awake/amused. I had somewhere between 20-25 minutes of footage to play in 22 clips. Ended up playing 18 of them.
3. Have fun. The three of us aimed to have a good time throughout and just be ourselves. The plan was, as is usually the case during normal days, for me to be the foil for those two to expand on or crack jokes. That proved to be a good method in the end.

Something worth nothing - If you wondered why mecha content wasn't covered in depth as much as you may have expected in the History of Anime panel, it's because my mates did the mecha panel an hour after this one finished, so I felt that I should pick content that wouldn't encroach upon theirs too much and consider both panels as a unified effort. Furthermore, their knowledge of Gundam, Macross and the like was far better than mine - plus they know how to be comical and witty about it, so I picked the bits they thought I should mention then left the rest to them for their panel. That way we could cover more material combined.

Ensuring that the tech side of the panels would work, since we were very keen to record both panels, was the biggest hurdle on the day. Thankfully, the convention's events coordinator had allowed us to come in 2 hours early since we didn't get any chance to test stuff on Friday due to tech setup of the con being a bit behind. And it's a good thing we did come in that early. There were several software issues and sound issues that required fixing, plus my mates also had to sort out near-disasters that arose with one of the video games tournaments in that time. But come presentation time, everything was good to go. Aside from the camera used for recording going a bit blurry in the first few mins of Part 1 of History of Anime and my mates having some of their clip content for the mecha panel corrupted (which they more than compensated for with manly win!), things went fairly smoothly.

Crowd reactions to both panels were great. We even ended up doing an interview with a nice young woman from a local radio station who saw the latter part of the History of Anime panel. So it was a busy but fulfilling and fun day. Yesterday I finally had the time to begin editing and uploading. Upload speeds to Youtube are so darn slow. But everything is up now.

Well, hope you enjoy what is on offer. Peace out.
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Old 2011-07-28, 03:04   Link #2
Akito Kinomoto
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The shameless One Piece promoting was rather amusing to see, although I'd be pretty boastful myself about being a fan of such a long-running series. But somehow I feel its longevity (62 tonkobons as of today) is just a result of the current state of the industry, because Bleach (50) and Naruto (56) also have an impressive volume count. Compare this to Dragon Ball (48), and the fact the former three will likely go on for quite a while more, and it's really apparent, IMO, that the game field is completely different from what it was back then. Indeed, the continuously increasing output of the industry makes me think it'll be harder for any work to be remembered in the long run. It's unfortunate since I want to see how KyoAni and Shaft will be remembered a decade from now since they became so prominent in the ten years prior.

Spoiler for Something from the video:
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Old 2011-07-28, 03:32   Link #3
Last Sinner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akito_Kinomoto View Post
The shameless One Piece promoting was rather amusing to see
More like Adam being troll. He tends to do that a lot. Once you know him, you learn when he's having you on and when he's being serious. But that's a major part of Adam's appeal.

Quote:
But somehow I feel its longevity (62 tonkobons as of today) is just a result of the current state of the industry, because Bleach (50) and Naruto (56) also have an impressive volume count. Compare this to Dragon Ball (48), and the fact the former three will likely go on for quite a while more, and it's really apparent, IMO, that the game field is completely different from what it was back then.
Very true. Like Sam said, when Toriyama was doing Dragonball, there were plenty of other titles from other authors to go with it, like Rurouni Kenshin and the like. If you look at current sales figures for manga, 2010 sales were 6 billion volumes. 1995 - the year manga sales peaked in Japan - 24 billion volumes were sold. That's an alarming difference. Perhaps more alarming is the huge gap between One Piece to other top tier titles then the very big gap to the next tier. One Piece sold over 23 million volumes in Japan in the 1st half of 2011. If you combined the sales of the titles that were #2-#10 (Naruto, Bleach, Gintama, Kimi ni Todoke, etc.), the combined total still falls well short of One Piece's combined sales for that time period. One Piece's highest single volume sales are above 3 million. A few after that are capable of 1 million. You then have a few more capable of raking in around the 500-750k mark. Then it's a sharp drop to the 100-200k level.

And on your point of longevity - it's because manga-ka generally only get a contract that gets them good money when it's a VERY LONG title with at least 20 volumes. A scary fact I learnt last year was that the author of Death Note was broke shortly after he finished writing it. Did it sell well - of course. But his contract entitled him to such a small part of the revenue! Hence why he parodies that side of the manga industry in Bakuman, because it's what happens to most of the manga-ka out there. Rumiko Takahashi was the first model for success in the manga industry because Kazou Koize made her focus on characters as well as refine a formula to make a manga series have 30+ volumes. It's why she's a billionare. However, Oda's One Piece juggernaut trumps her now.

Quote:
Indeed, the continuously increasing output of the industry makes me think it'll be harder for any work to be remembered in the long run. It's unfortunate since I want to see how KyoAni and Shaft will be remembered a decade from now since they became so prominent in the ten years prior.
Indeed it shall. When you compare the pre-2000 series that sold over 10k and the 2000-today series that sold over 10k, you see only one studio that was very successful in both those periods - Sunrise. In the TV series realm, Sunrise are still the ones to beat because they've been doing this for close to 4 decades are are still going strong. KyoAni struck gold early and have maintained it. Their real challenge will be whether moe remains relevant. When you look at that 2000-today list and see the series from 2011 on that list (ones with a blue star next to them because at the time, no 2011 series had been fully released due to the 2 episodes per volume format used in Japan), it's not the moe shows getting the big sales, really. KyoAni still have K-ON and Haruhi to last them a while longer, but they will need to either find another couple of big titles in that genre or change their content/target audience, which is what J.C. Staff have done in recent years.

Shaft - there's a tricky one to call. They have the #1 and #2 shows of the 2000-today period (in terms of average sales per volume) - Bakemonogatari and Madoka. But what you notice is, out of the 80-odd titles on that list, those are the only 2 they have. So Shaft have had 2 huge successes but have bombed on a lot of others while SZS, Arakawa and Hidimari Sketch were slight profits. They're not consistent. You also notice they've been around since the 80s. It's taken them a long time to step up to the plate. Really, if Shaft didn't have Shinbo, they would be in trouble. Their biggest challenge is to stop wasting the collateral Shinbo has earned them with his better successes and get consistent. Because you're still chasing the coattails of Ghibli, Sunrise, Gainax and Toei in the meantime.

Quote:
Spoiler for Something from the video:
As Adam said, it was a proven formula for success! Remember the Land Before Time? :P
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Last edited by Last Sinner; 2011-07-28 at 03:58.
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Old 2011-07-29, 00:40   Link #4
Mr Hat and Clogs
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Join Date: Apr 2007
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Have only watched the History panel so far and found it to be pretty informative. Gave me some ideas of shows to try and watch, and rewatch! All in all it was a pretty entertaining panel with some good humor.

I like older stuff, but sometimes older stuff can be a bit too dated which can make it hard to appreciate. Especially when you are spoiled with today's tech. Although older stuff is a little more original in the plots.. at least at the beginning. These days, like movies, so many things are almost remakes. Having said that though, I did like the comparison of styles through the decades. I think it'll make a good distraction to go back and watch some of the really early stuff you mentioned to be able to see where what we have today came from.
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