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Old 2012-02-24, 04:28   Link #21
speedyexpress48
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Well, not only are the "otaku" titles popular in Japan, but they also contributed to anime's growing popularity in China and Korea (and no, not just bootlegs either.) And they are still selling well in Japan, so well, you know...

Honestly, was the anime market ever as big as most people thought aside from DBZ/Naruto/Bleach? I mean, come on, Toonami literally lost a ton of viewers when DBZ ended on the channel. Most anime had pretty mediocre ratings on TV even before heavy fansubbing become popular. Add that to the fact that both licensors from Japan and the US act like idiots one way or another, and this is what you get.

Bandai's bankruptcy was at least 90% due to idiotic business decisions. When you release ultra expensive disks that are poorer quality than Megavideo fansubs, what do you expect? Yes, supporting the artists is important...I would love to support the local Chinese restaurant and I know they need cash to live, but I sure as hell am not buying a bowl of noodles with rotting veggies in it. (The ADV shutdown and splitting, on the other hand, was actually a way to take advantage of some legal loopholes from what I heard.)

Also, to compare prices in America with Japan...remember that a Hot Wheels car sells for $10 in Japan...so yeah, Japanese prices aren't that bad if you think about it.
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Old 2012-02-24, 05:13   Link #22
0utf0xZer0
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Mediocre ratings or not, the "core" or "flagship" shows of the North American anime fandom - shows like FMA, Bebop, NGE and Ghost in the Shell SAC - aired on cable TV in Canada and the US, and my own experience suggests quite a few anime fans discovered them that way. There's a surprising number of anime fans out there who are not fansub downloaders.

I can't really think of anything in the past five years that's approached the level of recognition those shows got in the US, even among shows that fit the profile of what has traditionally sold well there.
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Old 2012-02-24, 05:17   Link #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
Mediocre ratings or not, the "core" or "flagship" shows of the North American anime fandom - shows like FMA, Bebop, NGE and Ghost in the Shell SAC - aired on cable TV in Canada and the US, and my own experience suggests quite a few anime fans discovered them that way. There's a surprising number of anime fans out there who are not fansub downloaders.

I can't really think of anything in the past five years that's approached the level of recognition those shows got in the US, even among shows that fit the profile of what has traditionally sold well there.
Adult Swim is probably an exception, but even then it's a select few shows. The majority of anime has little appeal to Western viewers...and that was before "the moe culture" even existed.
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Old 2012-02-24, 05:28   Link #24
Dhomochevsky
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There is a simple, known, working model:
- raise demand for anime in general and awareness of a certain show by showing it on TV. Start this at an early age, ie target children first and then keep at it
- make money off the resulting fan base with sales

This is how it works in Japan, this is how I was hooked as a child, this is about the only way it can work. Customers don't have a demand for something they don't know it exists. And you can't market otaku shows to a population that has never experienced anime before.
But the western industry has no control over content, they just use what Japan produces. And Japan produces shows aimed for older audience on the pretext, that these are people who have known anime since childhood.

This is why shows aimed at children and basicly everything that ran on TV at some point works in the US and anime shows that come out of the blue crash.

If there is any justification for "western anime industry", then it would be this. Raising awareness and creating a market.
But this is a decision the anime industry as a whole has to support and it needs some serious investment. Just offering DVDs in stores will do nothing. That just caters to the already existing fanbase (which only exists because of investments that have been made in the past to get anime on US TV... oh and because of fansubs).
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Old 2012-02-25, 03:41   Link #25
asaqe
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The major problem is appeal. My personal opinion is how the industry overseas have been too focused on rejected eroge adaptations. Some may say I am biased but there is a good reason why I feel anime is dying; not enough appeal to the new crowd. Few here would be able to enjoy the new stuff coming from Japan and worse, the content can get you marked as rather creepy. The only the American Anime Industry can survive is if the native country starts taking a tougher stance toward certain things.

That said, maybe I should fully embrace the Korean Wave.
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Old 2012-02-25, 07:23   Link #26
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As a long-time fan, anime is ridiculously cheap these days. I've paid more for fansubs, when I was a broke high school student, than it costs for legit releases these days. Back in the day, to get fansubs, it required either trading, or purchasing "cost plus shipping" VHS fansubs, which worked out to about $6 for a tape of four episodes. Many shows still cost more than that, but the normal pricing of many shows these days (26 episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood for $25?) and sale prices (26 episodes of Princess Tutu for $6???) it's far cheaper to be a legit purchaser than it was to watch fansubs back in the day. Even after the VHS days, but before the proliferation of broadband internet, it took a lot more time/effort than now. I spent so much time and money copying CDs/DVDs of anime fansubs and priority mail shipping to trade for other shows, it's mind boggling.

Fansubs still definitely have a place, though: If I haven't already watched and like a show, there's no point in buying it. The whole buying thing has just gotten exponentially easier.

Now as for the kinds of shows being produced, yeah, I tend to only find a few shows per season that I really want to watch, but that's all I really have time for.
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Old 2012-02-25, 07:48   Link #27
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The only reason it's most likely dying is they're just far too slow to do anything and don't even bother trying to localize many of the shows even though they have a big fanbase outside of Japan (yes I'm talking Moe stuff here).

They try to target the mass market with the anime they localize and not the geek market which is who they should focus on. The reason it works in Japan is they know what their fans will buy and they charge over the odds for it as geeks are so easy to exploit when it comes to sales.

Take a look at some of the DVD/Blu-Ray releases we get over here, by the time it's finally released the shows pretty much already forgotten about since it aired about a year ago or it has a massive fanbase and the second season has already finished airing.

If you want to be a proper fan you need to watch it as it's airing to get the full effect IMO and you can't do that while waiting for the American/English releases since they take so damn long.
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Old 2012-02-25, 10:21   Link #28
Random32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asaqe View Post
The major problem is appeal. My personal opinion is how the industry overseas have been too focused on rejected eroge adaptations. Some may say I am biased but there is a good reason why I feel anime is dying; not enough appeal to the new crowd. Few here would be able to enjoy the new stuff coming from Japan and worse, the content can get you marked as rather creepy. The only the American Anime Industry can survive is if the native country starts taking a tougher stance toward certain things.

That said, maybe I should fully embrace the Korean Wave.
1. Anime in its native country is a niche category already. Unless you watch shows aimed at kids, they will have to pander to the otaku market to survive.

2. If they took a "tougher stance" against things that normal people find creepy, I probably will stop liking anime. There's a reason why I read lolicon manga and watch eroge adaptations. I like them. If people find my tastes creepy, its their damn problem.
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Old 2012-02-25, 13:08   Link #29
asaqe
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What I mean by that is to reach out a bit to the actual adult male crowd rather than the Otaku. To do so you have to start with the artists, make them pay a license fee to get started if their background check reveals questionable content. Nowadays, anyone who can draw a naked girl (and possibly having sex) can make instant cash. Then use said money to encourage more artists who didn't start off from such origins. A case of seperating the chaff from the wheat.
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Old 2012-02-25, 13:23   Link #30
Random32
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What's wrong with an artist starting out drawing porn? I don't see how they are somehow inferior to artists that don't draw porn.
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Old 2012-02-25, 13:26   Link #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asaqe View Post
What I mean by that is to reach out a bit to the actual adult male crowd rather than the Otaku. To do so you have to start with the artists, make them pay a license fee to get started if their background check reveals questionable content. Nowadays, anyone who can draw a naked girl (and possibly having sex) can make instant cash. Then use said money to encourage more artists who didn't start off from such origins. A case of seperating the chaff from the wheat.
Honestly, I'll get out of the anime fandom if that was the case. That will turn the anime industry into something like the American cartoon industry, where shit only gets produced to fill blocks and sell toys. Also, you think that artists are actually paid decently in the first place. (Hint; they aren't paid much more that minimum wage.)
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Old 2012-02-25, 13:30   Link #32
Klashikari
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qikz View Post
They try to target the mass market with the anime they localize and not the geek market which is who they should focus on. The reason it works in Japan is they know what their fans will buy and they charge over the odds for it as geeks are so easy to exploit when it comes to sales.
That's sort of contradictory though: the reason why Japanese companies can fare "remotely well" with their prices is that they know hardcore fanbase will buy first press release, goods etc.

That's the complete opposite for Western market, where attractive price tags and all are much more important. Therefore, you need to sell en masse for propre business.
Targeting hardcore fanbase is really not the best bet for western publisher: they need to attract the largest public possible, so they need a proper compromise between targeted audience and strength of the franchise to have as much customers as they can.

Focusing latest series only is arguably not the best marketing choice, especially when you have to factor paid streaming and fansubs. Instead, they need strong franchises and "general public" ones to actually fare well.
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Old 2012-02-25, 14:51   Link #33
asaqe
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What's wrong with an artist starting out drawing porn? I don't see how they are somehow inferior to artists that don't draw porn.
The problem I see is it produces a certain approach to art. It could help make certain arts flourish and thus newer stuff will be more attractive to others.

Of course that may also just be a part of me wanting more mecha manga/anime/LN
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Old 2012-02-25, 15:27   Link #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asaqe View Post
Of course that may also just be a part of me wanting more mecha manga/anime/LN
Ironically, before moe, mecha was seen as the problem in anime...

And that "certain approach" of art earns studios most of their money.
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Old 2012-02-25, 16:06   Link #35
Random32
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Said certain approach makes money. Instant profit just add moe, some time ago it was instant profit just add mecha, some time from now there will be another fad. I think I like moe more than mecha as the fad, not only because cute girls are cute, but moe is a character design choice, while mecha requires more changes to the story to fit in.

Quote:
That's the complete opposite for Western market, where attractive price tags and all are much more important. Therefore, you need to sell en masse for propre business.
Targeting hardcore fanbase is really not the best bet for western publisher: they need to attract the largest public possible, so they need a proper compromise between targeted audience and strength of the franchise to have as much customers as they can.
Anime is a niche media. By definition its not designed to attract a mass audience.

Thus, I think the Western anime industry should price more like the Japanese anime industry.
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Old 2012-02-25, 16:14   Link #36
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Thus, I think the Western anime industry should price more like the Japanese anime industry.
They can only do that, if they provide everyone with a way to watch the show for a very low price, or for free.
No one buys anything blind, much less for high prices. Not even in Japan.

Now I would like to say: fansubs is the way to do this.
But this is not really the case. It's too obscure. It does not reach enough people and maybe not the right ones.
TV is needed, otherwise it does not work.
You can not throw out bluerays of a show that never ran on TV and expect it to sell. I don't understand why they even think that might work.
No one else does this. Not even for "normal" TV shows that have a huge target audience in the west, does that work.
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Old 2012-02-25, 16:16   Link #37
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The very day western publisher apply the same price range as Japanese editors, you can expect a major uproar and drastic sales collapse.
There is no way you can justify the same price range, no matter the goods you may include in there. To begin with, a lot of people already complain when they have to spend something like 20-30$, but 80-100$ for just 2-3 episodes? Even the most hardcore would be deterred by this insane increase.

The fact the market is niche is actually the reason why they have to expand a bit more. Sure, they will never be as mainstream as regular cartoons, but centring only on the hardcore fanbase won't work the same, especially the consummers profile is drastically different than in Japan.
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Old 2012-02-25, 16:29   Link #38
Zetsubo
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Personally I think the voice acting for many English translated anime are no where as cool as the Japanese voice acting.

I guess the voice acting schools in the US aren't as mature as it is in Japan. I doubt it is seen as a lucrative career.

And you can't make mainstream stars out anglo voice actors can you ?

It is kinda sad really.

The English VA for Ghost in the Shell was good.

The English VA for Haruhi (first season) was excellent... even the sing "God Knows" was done well"

But... I ask.

Who would do the voice acting for Senjougahara Hitagi, Mayoi Hachikuji and Koyomi Araragi ?

I can't place how an English actor would bring of those characters let alone the jokes.

Besides many of our most experienced English VA are really getting up in age... Wendee Lee for example.. how old is she now ?

and there doesn't seem to be fresh blood coming in.

For some fans I bet it is kind of a kill joy to see an "older person" do the VA for a younger character... but I don't care

skill is not to be limited by age... so if a 60 year old lady can do the voice for Kirino (Ore no imouto) then fine.

I do think that there is a market for good anime in the west because when shows like Family Guy or BooDocks (boon docks was WICKED !!) are such hits... the you know that the west is mroe than willing to watch Anime.

I suspect it may be Xenophobia to some degree... but in my opinion its just the Voice Acting (there are exceptions where even the English VA is better however) that is typically not as good as the Japanese.
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Old 2012-02-25, 16:37   Link #39
AbZeroNow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Random32 View Post
Said certain approach makes money. Instant profit just add moe, some time ago it was instant profit just add mecha, some time from now there will be another fad. I think I like moe more than mecha as the fad, not only because cute girls are cute, but moe is a character design choice, while mecha requires more changes to the story to fit in.


Anime is a niche media. By definition its not designed to attract a mass audience.

Thus, I think the Western anime industry should price more like the Japanese anime industry.
I also happen to like the moe fad a little more than the mecha fad and I really like some character designs. I am a sucker for Noizi Itou's character designs for instance(Haruhi, Shana, Another). And strangely some of my all-time favorite characters do well in Moe competitions. I also like certain seiyuu a lot and I think that adds a draw for some people.

Concerning pricing, the way the western market works for most anime fans is that they prefer boxsets of 12 to 26 episodes for less than $80. I know I have heard a lot of complaints about singles being priced at $25 to 30 for 4 episodes (this was once the standard back in 2005, but it isn't any longer). Singles basically are less popular than boxsets which is why Funimation and Sentai no longer release in singles.

Funimation's strategy is like this: milk Dragonball for all its worth, milk One Piece, license titles with lots of boobs like Rosario & Vampire, Sekarai and such and occasionally license a niche title like Princess Jellyfish. Funimation dubs everything so they have that appeal too. They have started to be more competitive in streaming with their partnership with Nico Nico.

Sentai likes to license ecchi too and they have been licensing a lot over the last couple of months. They subtitle a lot of their licenses so they can put it out for cheap and they only dub titles that they think have sales potential. Basically, they are for people who like to have a cheap physical copy of a subtitled series(or a good dub on a few shows)

NIS America goes a different route than them. They haven't dubbed anything so far, and they offer series in premium boxes with some nice swag for a price point that is only slightly more expensive than their competitors. Although some people may balk at paying $70 for 12 episodes subtitle only. But NISA is geared more towards collectors.

Aniplex of America has a lot of things in common with the old Bandai Visual USA. They offer glorified imports at a slight discount($350 for BD box of Fate/Zero. 13 episodes for $350), they tend to release things in singles($30 for a DVD single of Madoka. I think it's 4 episodes per single. LE single is $75, has some decent swag and offers both a DVD and BD) and they rarely discount and you can only get Aniplex licensed series at a few online retailers.

There are others that license older series or series that nobody else wants but they aren't as big of players on the scene as the 4 I mentioned above. There are a few that like what Aniplex of America does and some that like NIS America's approach while others prefer the Sentai or the Funimation model. It will be interesting to see which model stays around and which ones change. For the record, I like Sentai and Funimation better than the other two but I think there is enough room for all of them to do their thing in the American market.

EDIT: Realized I left off Viz. Viz Media basically milks Naruto and Bleach for all they are worth, screw up other releases(*cough* Monster *cough*) and well, they act almost as an afterthought to the manga division of Viz. I do hope they give a decent physical release to Rinne no Lagrange

I would have mentioned Media Blasters but they hardly license anything these days.

Last edited by AbZeroNow; 2012-02-25 at 16:52.
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Old 2012-02-25, 18:26   Link #40
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Concerning pricing, the way the western market works for most anime fans is that they prefer boxsets of 12 to 26 episodes for less than $80. I know I have heard a lot of complaints about singles being priced at $25 to 30 for 4 episodes (this was once the standard back in 2005, but it isn't any longer). Singles basically are less popular than boxsets which is why Funimation and Sentai no longer release in singles.
There was/is actually another big issue with single releases of series, and that is what happens if one or several volumes are not available anymore? Yeap, you are left with an unfinished collection. It is just a massive pain. Every time I see the two half-finished series on my self it makes me angry.

Dubbing or Subbing, to be fair I have nothing against dubbing, but it is really only useful if a movie is going to be screen in the theaters, or if a series is being broadcasted. If it is only released on DVD/Blu-ray, it is kind of waste of money.
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