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Old 2012-04-04, 03:44   Link #1
Eragon
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Why shows like Baccano, Samurai Champloo etc. not produced anymore?

Like the title says, this thread is for discussing the possible reasons why shows such as Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Baccano, Gungrave, Ghost in the Shell etc... not produced anymore.

Here is what I think,

The anime industry is shifting towards creating shows for a small group of its audienceThe reason for this shift I think is that they constitute a major(if not the entire) part of the sales of BDs, DVDs, Anime figurines and other anime stuff. And since online anime streaming sites are aplenty much of the fandom can get their fix of anime for free.

So, that's what I think. What are your opinions?

EDIT:
One small request: Please have the grace to explain why I'm wrong if you think I'm. Sarcastic one liners are funny and all but they don't tell me "why" what I think is wrong.
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Old 2012-04-04, 03:56   Link #2
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Oh my...
Let me get this straight. Are you implying that Baccano, Cowboy Bebop, Samurai champloo, Gungrave, etc,etc are not show for otakus?
What exactly is your definition of otaku then? And what do you think cater to them?
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Old 2012-04-04, 04:04   Link #3
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These kinds of shows can still be shown on noitaminA, but lacks popularity and usually have low sales.
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Old 2012-04-04, 04:13   Link #4
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Shows of that quality aren't being produced anymore? I must have missed the memo.
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Old 2012-04-04, 04:41   Link #5
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Quote:
Like the title says, this thread is for discussing the possible reasons why shows such as Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Baccano, Gungrave, Ghost in the Shell etc... not produced anymore.

Here is what I think,

The anime industry is shifting towards creating shows for only the otakus.
Failed in the first few sentences

THOSE series were also produced for otaku. Otaku interests shift and change over time. And they were and are produced for otaku IN JAPAN. They were great series... but there are fair numbers of great series being produced now. Almost all anime outside of children's anime is produced for otaku and has always been. Possibly you don't remember the "90% of anime is crap" also applied back then? The "10%" is easier to remember. It may also be that what *you* like isn't being produced as much.

I'd like to see more series that involve adults, workplace, or college settings. I got a bit of that with Usagi Drop last season and prior we got Honey&Clover, Hataraki Man, Working!, Youkai Otome Zakuro, and others --- so I'm not totally out in the cold with all the "cute kids doing cute things" fad going on (not that I don't enjoy some of those). Something like Kurozuka or Moribito would be nice to see more of. TTGL was an interesting subversion of mecha (and I'm not really fond of mecha though I liked Martian Successor Nadesico)
But you have to wade through a fair amount of what you don't like to find the occasional gem you like.

Quote:
online anime streaming sites are aplenty much of the fandom can get their fix of anime for free.
Those are for foreigners.... who don't and have never really counted for much in the business plans of the anime/manga/swag industry in Japan.
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Old 2012-04-04, 04:48   Link #6
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Well...there is always Space Battleship Yamato 2199.

It may or may not be something like any of those thing.


But it will be fun to find out.
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Old 2012-04-04, 04:51   Link #7
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While I can see some similarity in Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo even if they are fairly different still; I have to ask how Ghost in the Shell relates, what exactly are you using to mark these series together(besides doing well in the States), that makes them so different from anything now? (I am asking cause I getting the feeling you're just overlooking newer series in similar genres due to nostalgia, imo).
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Old 2012-04-04, 05:12   Link #8
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I don't even know what's showing now because it's such a pain to sift through the chaff to find the grain. Madoka was the last thing I gave a shit about, but that's mostly because my time's being eaten up by other things and I don't have the energy to look for stuff that fits my admittedly very narrow tastes.

I don't think I'm "outgrowing" anime, nor am I accusing the market of pandering strictly to moeblob siscon fanservice blargh. I'm sure there's good stuff being produced now, among a gigantic pile of shovelware titles--just like any other entertainment media. Video games are the same way.

All will be affected by Sturgeon's Law.
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Old 2012-04-04, 05:17   Link #9
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Quote:
Sarcastic one liners are funny and all but they don't tell me "why" what I think is wrong.
I can't tell you your opinion is wrong, which is basically what your post is, opinion. I'm not sure what you mean at all when you say such shows aren't made anymore, except that they were all high quality shows. Hence my response: they still make high quality shows. Now on the other hand, if you're implying some sweeping generalization of "moe" and "fanservice" or what-have-you, all I can say is that such anime have always existed, will always be popular, and there are plenty of shows that come out every year that are nothing like them.

Basically what I gather from your opening post is that you prefer a specific type of anime, you don't see that type produced anymore (in your opinion), and see anime you don't like being produced in larger amounts, which creates the illusion that one group is being catered to and others (like yourself) are not.

So you'll have to specify before I can reconsider my opinion of your opinion.
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Old 2012-04-04, 06:01   Link #10
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They were shows of their time and of a wave of completely different material. On a title to title level, Champloo and Bebop were both Watanabe's projects. Both shows were dropped on their first airing runs in Japan then eventually were screened on other stations. Champloo was never popular in Japan and Bebop wasn't long term but short term it did rack up 40k sales in a reaction to its success in the West. Bebop would not be a show newer fans within Japan would recognise, most likely. Baccano, like Durarara, was adapted from Narita's novels but Baccano didn't do that well within Japan due to fans of the source material feeling there was too much divergence/not enough adherence to source content within the anime and that it could have been better. Ghost in the Shell was a long-running popular manga from Shirow and did quite well within Japan in its two TV series.

Comparing those isn't that fruitful because they're catering for different styles and genres. However, if you're asking why there aren't as many action or sci-fi titles these days, the simple answer is they're not selling. The current crop of fans generally like something very different from that, which isn't necessarily wrong. People are entitled to like what they like within the realms of law.

The point of catering to otaku? Um, hold on - isn't that the whole point of the anime industry? To...SELL?! If you're upset about what type of shows/characters now sell, then that can be justified to a degree. But really, what else can you expect studios to do? We're talking about an industry where the success rate odds for a series are 1 in 3 at best and where managing to register any profit is a good result. Certainly there is a gap between what was made/popular during the wave where the U.S. and other Western countries jumped into the fray more and what is being made today. But let's get one thing straight - this is an industry to cater to what the Japanese want. And if you look at the sales for the last decade and a bit, sales within that period popular with the West happens to be a considerable trough within Japan. I.e. That wasn't a successful period for the industry. The last five years have been considerably better in terms of sales within Japan, particularly 2011.

And that probably is due to a considerable change in the styles and genres of shows being made. Which is fair enough - it's their product and one of their biggest sources of revenue. Furthermore, it's not like anime will ever be mainstream within our countries, most likely. It would be nice to see it do better than niche fandom, but that will require appropriate marketing strategies within those countries and good licensing choices. However, that doesn't help Japan much since they don't gain much revenue from selling off licences overseas under the current system. They get the majority of their revenue within Japan. So of course they're going to primarily cater for them - it makes sense.

And if you look through each decade or generation, each of them had their pros and cons in terms of art styles, genres, content, characters, etc. There are reasons to have legitimate gripes with any era of anime. You deal with it and figure out which shows you like and don't like. Unless you can somehow get involved in the industry, you'd only ever be able to influence your own country's licensing companies at best by what you purchase.

However, if you were trying to insinuate that the current crop of material being produced is clearly doing great within Japan but not great internationally, that has some factual basis. Sales figures back that up. And another thing I've discussed with some AS members via MSN and Skype is that such a thing isn't restricted to anime itself, but within several industries and forms of media. Within the SE Asia region, there's several countries really developing/growing well (Singapore, China, India just to name a few) whereas Japan isn't having growth like that. The industries Japan used to be able to have a siginficant hold on to cater for are now being supplied by aforementioned countries and others. Korean dramas and music are growing in popularity within the region considerably while the same couldn't be said for Japan. There are opportunities for Japan to grasp and to miss them by not aclimatising to the times would be folly. Japan has always had a reluctance to be involved with the outside world much, but economic factors as well as others would indicate pride and belief that decades gone past were the country's best days won't solve the bigger problems at hand. And considering manga and anime are amognst their biggest revenue sources within Japan AND internationally, it would be silly for them not to capitalise on that when there is the potential to cash in on other markets.

Back within anime, simply what is wanted most by buying fans is not what was popular 10, 20 or 30 years ago, which is also the case in literature, music, etc. Times change, society changes, each generation values and wants something different. You cope with it, find what you can like within current material and deal with it. What's popular today doesn't mean it's bad because it's not what was popular/respected in the past. However, just because it's popular doesn't mean it's necessarily good, either. Selling well is as much catering to an exclusive fanbase (usually pre-existing), securing merchandise deals to go with it and catering to what is expected from certain studios, writers, directors or authors.

In a nutshell on what the OP said, those shows he mentioned were what fitted within a different point in history. Fans of the current crop want something quite different. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily, there's still some good shows/movies being made. However, if you have a beef with a lack of genre/style content and that for a show to to be successful, it has to have a very particular style of character and content, then that is a valid criticism. But really, until somehow is able to figure out how to make something different popular, you'll have to put up with what is being offered at this point in time. Which is how it's been at any point in history.
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Old 2012-04-04, 10:04   Link #11
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Those titles remind me a bit of titles that were explicitly mentioned back in the "Is the English/American Anime industry dying?" thread.

At least some of those titles mentioned were really only popular with the Western audience and completely failed in Japan. If the Western market can't support a series completely dedicated to it, there won't be more series like Baccano or Bebop.

I would say that there have been a lot more anime I loved in the 2000's than there were in the 1990's than there were in the 1980's. That is a good trend and suggest great things about 2010's.

The fact that you don't think anime is headed in a good direction might be nostalgia filter kicking in. Not every anime is great and you really only remember the great ones. You don't remember the crap series from the era of Bebop since they were crap and quickly forgotten. I don't remember the crappy series from the 90's and 80's, I remember some from the late 00's, and I clearly remember the series I didn't like in the season or two just passed.

Also, anime for adults has always been targeted at the otaku market. You have what you like, I have what I like, and it seems like the paying otakus like something closer to what I like than what you like. What they like isn't static, it shifts, so series aren't just being made for the otaku market, they are being made for the modern otaku market. Which makes perfect sense since they are the people who keep the anime industry alive with their hard earned cash.
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Old 2012-04-04, 10:26   Link #12
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Baccano is still pretty new, compared to the other shows you grouped it with. Give it time, I'm sure there will be another....
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Old 2012-04-04, 10:53   Link #13
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Most of the titles you mentioned, Eragon, were probably created with the North American anime marketplace in mind, if not as the primary target audience for the show.

But the North American anime marketplace imploded nastily a few years back. The anime industry thus understandably decided that they'd be better off focusing strictly, or at least primarily, on the tastes of their domestic customerbase than focusing on the tastes of fans in the North American anime marketplace.

If you're a North American anime fan who really likes most current anime, it's honestly a bit of a happy coincidence for you. If you're a North American anime fan with major issues with current/very recent anime but you used to love anime, the main reason is probably a bit of a content shift brought on by the North American anime marketplace imploding. It's not really that the modern anime industry didn't care as much about domestic/Japanese otakus before - They always did care a lot about them - It's that they probably care less about foreign markets now than before, particularly less about the North American marketplace.


The entertainment industry is like a form of politics where people vote with their wallets. If the "votes" for certain causes dry up, then it's not long before those causes become obsolete.

Entertainment is the same way - If certain types of entertainment cease to sell well, then you're not going to see much of it anymore. This is the primary value in following anime DVD/Blu-Ray sales figures, in my opinion - It gives you a clearer picture of where the anime industry is, and where it's likely to be going in the future. For example, people who closely follow anime DVD/Blu-Ray sales figures can understand well why noitaminA has shifted considerably in recent years in the sort of content it airs.
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Old 2012-04-04, 12:07   Link #14
Eragon
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I understand very well that the anime industry produces what sells. I also understand that, since its highly unlikely that anime will become mainstream entertainment in western countries or for that matter anywhere outside of Japan, the anime industry won't bother itself with anything other than what Japanese fans want. However, complete closure(correct me if I'm wrong) to producing shows that are different from the usual stock seems a bit extreme to me. It's not like the industry is going to go bankrupt if it produced a few shows like that - that are different - or is it
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Old 2012-04-04, 13:00   Link #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eragon View Post
I understand very well that the anime industry produces what sells. I also understand that, since its highly unlikely that anime will become mainstream entertainment in western countries or for that matter anywhere outside of Japan, the anime industry won't bother itself with anything other than what Japanese fans want. However, complete closure(correct me if I'm wrong) to producing shows that are different from the usual stock seems a bit extreme to me. It's not like the industry is going to go bankrupt if it produced a few shows like that - that are different - or is it
The industry might not go bankrupt, but the companies involved probably won't be making profit, they probably won't even break even, and not making money is fundamentally against the reason for the existence of companies in the first place. Producing an anime that is guaranteed not to sell in the Japanese market with hope of it selling in the Western market is extremely risky. Japan tends to be very risk averse and slightly xenophobic, but there are occasional experiments. The next time something seems like its taste testing the mainstream western anime market, mainstream western anime fans that want more should take advantage of that to tell the companies loudly with their wallets.
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Old 2012-04-04, 13:52   Link #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eragon View Post
However, complete closure(correct me if I'm wrong) to producing shows that are different from the usual stock seems a bit extreme to me. It's not like the industry is going to go bankrupt if it produced a few shows like that - that are different - or is it
How do you define the "usual stock"? Because this just seeming more and more like selective nostalgia causing ignorance on newer series .

Plenty of series of recent times have gone outside of what I would think of as the "usual stock", some even did so while being fairly successful. For example Katanagatari was very different from the "usual stock", imo, and it sold around 7~8k per volume.
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Old 2012-04-04, 14:03   Link #17
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Originally Posted by Last Sinner View Post
However, if you're asking why there aren't as many action or sci-fi titles these days, the simple answer is they're not selling.
Actually that doesn't seem true when you look at DVD sales figures. The top sellers in 2011 include Madoka, Persona 4, Infinite Stratos, and Steins;Gate, all science-fiction titles broadly speaking. These titles all sold well over 10,000 units per release. Most typical shows have sales more in the 1-5,000 range. I suspect there's a rather large audience of casual anime fans who might buy a couple of shows per year and create these much larger sales figures. However, the industry needs to sell 150 or so shows each year, so they focus more on the reliable, but much smaller "otaku" audience who buy many more shows and merchandise as well (see below).

So that leaves us with the question why aren't more shows like these being made rather than ecchi titles like Astarotte no Omocha (average sales about 1,200 units). I suspect there are a couple of different factors at work here. One is that well-made science-fiction or fantasy shows probably cost more to produce than simple comedies with limited on-screen action. I also think that the merchandise "tail" might be wagging the anime "dog" here to some degree. Ecchi comedies lend themselves to figurines, dakimakura, mouse pads, and the like. I'm guessing that production costs play the greater role here, but I do wonder about the extent to which decisions about which material to adapt to anime depend in part on what kinds of merchandise sales those shows can generate.

I'll just observe that Hobby Search doesn't have any items from Hyouge Mono.
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Old 2012-04-04, 14:14   Link #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
... One is that well-made science-fiction or fantasy shows probably cost more to make than simple comedies with limited on-screen action. I also think that the merchandise "tail" might be wagging the anime "dog" here to some degree. Ecchi comedies lend themselves to figurines, dakimakura, mouse pads, and the like. I'm guessing that production costs play the greater role here, but I do wonder about the extent to which decisions about which material to adapt to anime depend in part on what kinds of merchandise sales those shows can generate.

I'll just observe that Hobby Search doesn't have any items from Hyouge Mono.
There still seems to be a booming market in mecha figures (at least in the Big Name items like Gundam) but I'd have to do more research than I have time for to see what is actually selling on the swag market. Intuitively, I'll bet that eroge/ecchi/bishoujo market is simply a "consistent predictable return" and therefore safer in a rough economy. Also the source material (and the potential to boost manga or LN sales) is probably a driver in what gets made.
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Old 2012-04-04, 16:36   Link #19
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Actually, I don't see much evidence that action/sci-fi titles are on the decline.

If anything, I think they've been making a bit of a comeback over the past year and a half.

2011 had plenty of action/sci-fi titles - In addition to the ones that SeijiSensei mentioned, there's also Guilty Crown, No. 6, C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control, Sacred Seven, Kamisama Dolls, and Tiger and Bunny.

Right now, there's Aquarion EVOL, Rinne no Lagrange, and Mouretsu Pirates.


The thing is that the sort of grittier action/sci-fi shows that Eragon is referring to are ones that are indeed a bit in decline. I sympathize with anime fans who miss those sorts of shows because they really are a lot harder to find than they were a few years back.

But we shouldn't blow it out of proportion - It's a very specific type of anime show that has fallen into decline. It's certainly not action/sci-fi in general, which is partly why I'm pretty pleased with the anime that's out there right now.


And you know, now that I think about it, there is Fate/Zero. To me, that show has a lot of the same sort of appeals to it that the shows that Eragon mentioned. Maybe you should check it out, Eragon? It's probably the recent anime that comes the closest to matching the sort of shows you mentioned in the OP of this thread.

Edit: Silly me. I just noticed your sig, Eragon. I take it that you probably are already watching Fate/Zero then.
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Old 2012-04-04, 18:38   Link #20
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^ I already watched it Waiting for season two.
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