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Old 2013-10-26, 21:07   Link #121
Frontier
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I like to believe I'm impartial when it comes to dubs and subs.

Doesn't mean I can't prefer one performance over another though .
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Old 2013-10-26, 21:17   Link #122
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Baccano, Black Lagoon and Hellsing are also good English dubs.
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Old 2013-10-27, 02:57   Link #123
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I prefer watching subs because that's how the director of the show created it to be watched.Foreign dubs are merely interpretation of the original work and rarely are they ever better.
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Old 2013-10-27, 03:16   Link #124
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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
The larger point, though, is that because BONES doesn't follow the conventional marketing strategy that wins the day - i.e. target otaku or fujoshi and sell as many discs as you can - they need to be forward-thinking and creative if they're going to survive commercially. They've always been ahead of the curve at marketing to a Western audience, but that's even more vital to their survival now.
GONZO tried this approach, too, look at where they are now. I'm not complaining too much because it's this approach that gave us Gankutsuou, but let's face it otherwise they weren't successful, neither at home or in the US (which is what they usually mean by "West"). And as far as I'm aware Bones' Heroman was a pretty loud flop, too, both at home and in the US.

I tend to be wary when I see a series that's obviously trying to sell itself to foreign (=American) audiences, because in my experience they tend to be trying way too hard.
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Old 2013-10-27, 03:20   Link #125
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Originally Posted by kuromitsu View Post
GONZO tried this approach, too, look at where they are now. I'm not complaining too much because it's this approach that gave us Gankutsuou, but let's face it otherwise they weren't successful, neither at home or in the US (which is what they usually mean by "West"). And as far as I'm aware Bones' Heroman was a pretty loud flop, too, both at home and in the US.

I tend to be wary when I see a series that's obviously trying to sell itself foreign (=American) audiences, because in my experience they tend to be trying way too hard.
I get the problem, but what other suggestions do you have? Are the only alternatives financial collapse or to join the ouroborous of pandering that's slowly draining away the diversity and creativity of anime as a medium?
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Old 2013-10-27, 03:27   Link #126
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That "ouroborous of pandering" has existed for decades now in some form or another.
Fact is that making commercial products that try to be "creative" and "diverse" has always been less economically feasible than joining the ""ouroborous of pandering", regardless of medium, genre, or country-of-origin.
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Old 2013-10-27, 03:40   Link #127
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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
I get the problem, but what other suggestions do you have? Are the only alternatives financial collapse or to join the ouroborous of pandering that's slowly draining away the diversity and creativity of anime as a medium?
Making shows tailored to the perceived interests of the American audience and then ending up with shows that don't sell anywhere is not what I consider a solution, though? American fandom won't save anime, shows pandering to American audiences tend to fail either financially or in originality/creativity. Space Dandy could be an exception because it's got very big names attached to it who will sell some copies just by being on the credits list. But that won't help if the actual content is not compelling enough. (We'll see about that, but the trailer didn't make me excited at all.)

Frankly, at this rate things will go as they go, and the situation will eventually resolve itself in one way or another. The underlying problem in Japan is multifaceted and my suggestion is that the industry should collectively sit down and take a long, hard look at the situation, conduct a thorough market research to get to know their audience better, including potential audiences, and decide to change their attitude toward many things, including marketing and pricing. But this is unlikely to ever happen, so...

In the meanwhle, anime is business and businesses in general try to be profitable. As Kaisos Erranon said, this has been going on for ages, it's just the exact nature of the pandering that is changing.

Last edited by kuromitsu; 2013-10-27 at 03:51.
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Old 2013-10-27, 04:51   Link #128
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Originally Posted by kuromitsu View Post
Making shows tailored to the perceived interests of the American audience and then ending up with shows that don't sell anywhere is not what I consider a solution, though? American fandom won't save anime, shows pandering to American audiences tend to fail either financially or in originality/creativity. Space Dandy could be an exception because it's got very big names attached to it who will sell some copies just by being on the credits list. But that won't help if the actual content is not compelling enough. (We'll see about that, but the trailer didn't make me excited at all.)

Frankly, at this rate things will go as they go, and the situation will eventually resolve itself in one way or another. The underlying problem in Japan is multifaceted and my suggestion is that the industry should collectively sit down and take a long, hard look at the situation, conduct a thorough market research to get to know their audience better, including potential audiences, and decide to change their attitude toward many things, including marketing and pricing. But this is unlikely to ever happen, so...

In the meanwhle, anime is business and businesses in general try to be profitable. As Kaisos Erranon said, this has been going on for ages, it's just the exact nature of the pandering that is changing.
I suppose I should have specified "realistic solution"...

I don't buy the whole "this has been going on for decades" line, because it's kind of a throwaway dismissal that can be inserted in any situation regardless of merit. Yes, anime producers have always tried to make products that they think will sell. So have soap manufacturers, car makers, publishers, sushi chefs and anyone else who's ever been in a commercial enterprise. That doesn't change the fact that the commercial reality of the anime business has changed dramatically, and the buying habits on an unprecedentedly narrow niche audience now control what gets produced to a far greater extent than ever before.

As for BONES specifically the solution I refer to, as I think you know, is not just to produce anime specifically with an American audience in mind - which I think we can all agree isn't sustainable financially - but to take an approach aimed at appealing to a broad audience rather than jump into the clown car with everyone else trying to sell to the same sliver of potential consumers.
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Old 2013-10-27, 04:53   Link #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
I suppose I should have specified "realistic solution"...

I don't buy the whole "this has been going on for decades" line, because it's kind of a throwaway dismissal that can be inserted in any situation regardless of merit. Yes, anime producers have always tried to make products that they think will sell. So have soap manufacturers, car makers, publishers, sushi chefs and anyone else who's ever been in a commercial enterprise. That doesn't change the fact that the commercial reality of the anime business has changed dramatically, and the buying habits on an unprecedentedly narrow niche audience now control what gets produced to a far greater extent than ever before.

As for BONES specifically the solution I refer to, as I think you know, is not just to produce anime specifically with an American audience in mind - which I think we can all agree isn't sustainable financially - but to take an approach aimed at appealing to a broad audience rather than jump into the clown car with everyone else trying to sell to the same sliver of potential consumers.
I never did understand why anime companies can't take an approach similar to the game industry in the way they sell their goods: have regular editions for the normal folks that are released at a high price but slowly come down and special editions that go for ridiculous prices for the more dedicated fans.

But we're getting off-topic here and I think there's already one or more threads to discuss this topic in the general anime forum.
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Old 2013-10-27, 05:52   Link #130
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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
I don't buy the whole "this has been going on for decades" line, because it's kind of a throwaway dismissal that can be inserted in any situation regardless of merit.
But it's true. What changes is not the guiding principle but the demographics the creators target and the nature of the pandering. And it's driven by changes in society and consumer habits, and the industry clinging onto an outdated business model because trying new things is risky and they can't (and/or don't want to) take that kind of risk.

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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
That doesn't change the fact that the commercial reality of the anime business has changed dramatically, and the buying habits on an unprecedentedly narrow niche audience now control what gets produced to a far greater extent than ever before.
The problem is that there are about a million factors that caused the current situation, including changing consumer interests (and producers finally realizing that women are a legitimate target audience as well, I'll never be sorry for that), changing financial context, and so on and so forth, so it's not something that can be solved simply by saying "from now on we'll make different anime!"

Really, this is any entertainment ever. Something sells -> people make more of it -> at one point something else emerges as the new trend -> people will make more of that. But there will always be people who go against the tide, or ride it in a way that is creative and interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
As for BONES specifically the solution I refer to, as I think you know, is not just to produce anime specifically with an American audience in mind - which I think we can all agree isn't sustainable financially - but to take an approach aimed at appealing to a broad audience rather than jump into the clown car with everyone else trying to sell to the same sliver of potential consumers.
In the current financial climate that's a huge risk that most producers can't, or don't want to, take unless success is 100% certain. Bones usually tries to appeal to a wide audience, but even when they succeeded artistically, how successful were they financially? Fullmetal Alchemist and Eureka 7 getting a reboot and a sequel, respectively, tells me they thought that at that time there was more merit in reviving old, successful franchises than creating new things and hoping they'd catch on. Even now, the three new anime Bones has announced seem to sort of balance each other out so there's no disaster in case one fails.

(Besides we've seen this before and it pretty much devolved into "same old, same old" after a while, because the broad audience usually wants something comfortable. You're stuck with either adapting a currently popular manga/novel/whatever where you already have a built-in audience, or take a gamble with an original story. Where this gets personal for me is actually Bones' Ayakashi ayashi. It was an original story built on an intriguing premise with an older main character, and it could've been awesome, had it not been cancelled because apparently the "broad audience" just wanted more Gundam Seed and Fullmetal Alchemist.)
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Old 2013-10-27, 06:07   Link #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuromitsu View Post
Even now, the three new anime Bones has announced seem to sort of balance each other out so there's no disaster in case one fails.
But isn't that the best case scenario? Studios keep doing "what works" but mix it up with a couple of long shots along the middle. For me that sounds like a great approach that balances keeping food on the table and still trying out new and interesting stuff that may catch on and become popular. Did I get it wrong? I have to admit that I'm not too familiar with what Bones is up to these days since the disappointment with the Eureka Seven "sequel".
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Old 2013-10-27, 06:20   Link #132
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I prefer watching subs because that's how the director of the show created it to be watched.Foreign dubs are merely interpretation of the original work and rarely are they ever better.
Nope. Barring a few excepts, no director intends for their work to be watched subtitled in a foreign language; they intend for it to be watch by someone who understands what is being said. If you're watching it subbed, you're not part of the original intended audience.
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Old 2013-10-27, 06:21   Link #133
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But isn't that the best case scenario? Studios keep doing "what works" but mix it up with a couple of long shots along the middle.
Sure, but what I was trying to point out is how this reflects on their expectations for the series. It seems that in case of Space Dandy they're counting mostly on the American audience (we'll see how that works out), they're not so sure about Captain Earth (which will either become a sensation or fade away without much of an echo), but Noragami which seems the most conventional of the three and is an adaptation will probably do well enough.
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Old 2013-10-27, 07:02   Link #134
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BTW, for those from Singapore Junichi Suwabe and Yurin will be guests at AFA 2013 to promote Space Dandy
Details here:

http://www.animax-asia.com/afasg/spacedandy
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Old 2013-10-27, 07:03   Link #135
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Nope. Barring a few excepts, no director intends for their work to be watched subtitled in a foreign language; they intend for it to be watch by someone who understands what is being said. If you're watching it subbed, you're not part of the original intended audience.
I strongly disagree with this, if you mean it for movies as well. European directors have always made films knowing a large percentage of their audience will watch them subtitled.

As to the question of BONES and their marketing strategy, Space Dandy and how it applies to the industry as a whole - I've yet to see anyone offer a viable alternative other than to argue that the industry model as it stands isn't a problem to begin with. The fact is that anime in TV form has found a way to survive using a model that's largely analogous to the porn industry in the US before the omnipresence of the internet. You can debate whether that's sustainable, but even if you believe it is, it would nice to think there are people who aren't satisfied with what that does to the industry creatively and would look for another way.
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Old 2013-10-27, 07:15   Link #136
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I strongly disagree with this, if you mean it for movies as well. European directors have always made films knowing a large percentage of their audience will watch them subtitled.
Who says I mean it for movies? Movies are more often than not sold internationally with no foreign dubs to speak of, only subtitles.
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Old 2013-10-27, 08:14   Link #137
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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
As to the question of BONES and their marketing strategy, Space Dandy and how it applies to the industry as a whole - I've yet to see anyone offer a viable alternative other than to argue that the industry model as it stands isn't a problem to begin with. The fact is that anime in TV form has found a way to survive using a model that's largely analogous to the porn industry in the US before the omnipresence of the internet. You can debate whether that's sustainable, but even if you believe it is, it would nice to think there are people who aren't satisfied with what that does to the industry creatively and would look for another way.
I think we're talking past each other. Nobody is arguing that the current state of the industry is good. What I'm saying is that relying on foreign audiences won't help; and that the situation is too complex for a "viable alternative" that magically solves the issues, but that in the current state of the industry (and it's not even just anime, manga magazine readership is dropping, individual volumes are getting more expensive), it's no wonder companies aren't trying harder but rather focus on the needs of the consumer groups that they can make a profit off. As I said, I see nothing of long-lasting importance happening unless the industry is willing to do some soul-searching and face the problems on their side.

And in the meanwhile it's not like every anime is the same drivel, every season still has series that aren't the usual "clown car." Even if they don't always do well they're still there.
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Old 2013-10-27, 09:15   Link #138
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Who says I mean it for movies? Movies are more often than not sold internationally with no foreign dubs to speak of, only subtitles.
I wasn't sure what you meant by "directors". In anime terms it's certainly a much more dubious question, but given that there are countries where anime is quite popular (such as France) in subtitled form, I wouldn't necessarily assume directors (and writers) are automatically assuming no one will watch their work that way.

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I think we're talking past each other. Nobody is arguing that the current state of the industry is good. What I'm saying is that relying on foreign audiences won't help; and that the situation is too complex for a "viable alternative" that magically solves the issues, but that in the current state of the industry (and it's not even just anime, manga magazine readership is dropping, individual volumes are getting more expensive), it's no wonder companies aren't trying harder but rather focus on the needs of the consumer groups that they can make a profit off. As I said, I see nothing of long-lasting importance happening unless the industry is willing to do some soul-searching and face the problems on their side.

And in the meanwhile it's not like every anime is the same drivel, every season still has series that aren't the usual "clown car." Even if they don't always do well they're still there.
But that number is getting smaller every year, I'd argue. And even among the really good series we're seeing less diversity in terms of content.

I agree, certainly, that there are no easy solutions, but I applaud BONES for at least trying a different model. I don't see some kind of soul-searching meeting of the minds in the industry happening, so the only thing that's going to change this situation is when the current economic model no longer works, as far as I'm concerned.

For better or worse, I think that's going to happen and maybe soon. Effectively, the anime industry as it currently stands (apart from the weekend-morning and dinnertime kids and family shows) is almost exclusively producing work for the 30-40K people who buy the Monogotari discs and - separately - to the 15-20K people who buy KuroBas discs. It's like a wild population of an endangered species that's too small to sustain genetic vigour - it's doomed. That tiny group can't sustain the industry forever, but by targeting them exclusively the industry is alienating everyone outside that tiny group. Once in a great while a show like Shingeki comes along that reaches large amounts of people outside those isolated population groups, almost by accident. It can only help, but it doesn't happen often enough to make a real difference.

Last edited by CrowKenobi; 2013-10-27 at 10:06. Reason: Please use the "edit" button to add content to your post instead of double posting.
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Old 2013-10-27, 10:07   Link #139
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As was alluded earlier, we are way off topic of the Space Dandy anime. Please direct the off-topic to the appropriate threads in the General Anime forum.
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Old 2013-10-28, 09:01   Link #140
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The issue is that finding a solution within Japan without relying on a greater foreign audience is suicide. If you look at the growth and development of the anime industry, by targeting to a growing japanese populace and a growing japanese economy, the industry grew. But, the current japanese population is shrinking, growing poorer, and growing older. Suddenly there aren't enough children to market these too. I'm sure you know all of this already, but the point I am trying to make is that by not turning towards the largest possible market (US, India, China) there is no solution besides stagnation and targeting an increasingly smaller set of demographics, much like the current fate of the american comic book industry.

You will also find that the industry is much smaller now. In 2011 I read a report that he anime industry had lost 1/9th of it's total value, and was continuing to decrease. It's business model relies almost entirely on DVD sales from a domestic audience. Yet, back in 2005 or so anime was in a peak period. Its is because for a brief period it managed to penetrate US markets, reaching a vastly larger consumer base.

They know there is money abraod. They know there isn't money at home. Some companies may be content with a smaller piece of the pie, but Bones has always been a rather ambitious studio. And they are banking on Space Dandy to be a worldwide hit.

Slightly presumptuous? For sure. In the current environment without the Toonami era, and with the anime fad having died out it will be tough to sell anything over here. For it to work it needs to be both a visible enough splash AND it needs to be good enough to warrant attention. But, Bones is smart enough to realize that if they don't want to make increasingly small and unpopular shows, they need to do it. Now it's our responsibility as the people they are targeting to follow through and help move the hype train to america, and get passive anime viewers informed of the series. Space Dandy is too big to fail.
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