AnimeSuki Forum (
-   General Anime (
-   -   Is the (English/American) Anime Industry Dying?! (

Padd100 2012-02-23 14:48

Is the (English/American) Anime Industry Dying?!
I know this has probably been discussed before, but this is the best video I've seen on the whole state of the anime industry:

It's a nice, digestable, sharable encapsulation about the industry. It's not really meant to incite the same, tired argument, but does a good job dispelling general ignorance and informative for people who don't know.

In any case, spread it around as much as you can, so that people know there are options and can make their own decision about what they want to do.

Akuma Kousaka 2012-02-23 15:50

I'm not too sure if a website that has fansubbing as one of its main features is the best place to post a video encouraging people to go legal. Well AnimeSuki labels stuff with (CR) or (Licensed) anyway, but still.

And how much of the Internet fandom (basically, every anime fan who at least semi-religiously watches online) makes up the entire western fanbase? How many of the western fans actually pay for what he or she watches?

I also don't think fan attitude is the only factor though. There's been kind of an economic problem lately... :S

And I swear I recognize that guy's voice.

Triple_R 2012-02-23 16:05


Originally Posted by Akito_Kinomoto (Post 4021575)
I'm not too sure if a website that has fansubbing as one of its main features is the best place to post a video encouraging people to go legal.

Um... what would be the point in posting such a video up on a site where everyone is already going legal? :heh:

Sure, posting this video on a site like Anime Suki may stir up a bit of a backlash, but that's the sort of risk you have to take if you want to try to persuade fans to do more to support the anime industry. I can respect it, even if I don't necessarily agree with it. I can certainly see where the guy talking in the video is coming from, even if I don't agree with him 100%.

Now, putting aside fansubs vs. legal streams and all that, I found the video interesting in what it's saying about the current Anglosphere marketplace (that's probably the best way to put it) for anime.

Yeah, that probably is dying. I'm inclined to agree with him there. You don't get this many companies of note dropping out of a niche entertainment industry unless its pointing to real problems in that industry.

OTOH, I'm not so sure that the domestic Japanese industry needs the foreign support as much as the guy in the video is arguing. In Japan itself, DVD/Blu-Rays sales seem to be consistently up across the board over the last 12 to 16 months. Anime may well be bouncing back there, although I certainly admit I don't know for sure.

Where I found the most relevance in that video was in what it said about anime shows like Cowboy Bebop, Outlaw Star, Trigun, Baccano!, etc...

Yeah, these sorts of anime shows really aren't being made any more, at least as far as I can tell. So if these are the sorts of anime shows that people would like to see more of, well, they're not going to be saved by the Japanese fandom. Just saying...

TheFluff 2012-02-23 16:23

cool astroturfing

the anime industry is dying, yes, but this is a Good Thing and has little to do with what western fans do or do not do

Chaos2Frozen 2012-02-23 17:00

All I'll say is that anybody who thinks the Anime Industry is dying needs to haul their asses down to the Dvd/BD sales thread and recognize.... >.>

relentlessflame 2012-02-23 18:09

I edited the thread title to add (English/American), as that is really the subject of the video and the conversation. (And yes, I don't necessarily disagree with TheFluff that this reeks a bit of astroturfing, nor even with the OP that points out this topic has been done before. It's not unlikely that this thread may get locked at some point.)

What I will personally say is to agree mostly with Triple_R's underlying point. When the English/American anime industry struggles, it means that there are less shows made with American/English audiences in mind. Now, for some people (like myself), that doesn't seem so bad, because the sorts of shows I like most are very rarely the sorts of shows that have been traditionally popular among English-speaking audiences. When they focus more on the Japanese market, I seem to find more shows I like. But I can see how other people who came to like anime because of those other sorts of shows would have something to lament if the English/American industry were to crumble. But given that the revenue model was based on purchasing physical media, I wonder if there wasn't really any alternative to this transformative cycle.

I also do agree that people should be aware of the legal options and consider them. I've seen a lot of people on AnimeSuki with very shallow and misinformed opinions in this area, a lot of it either hearsay or based on one or two bad experiences years back. People choose to stick to their beliefs because it's convenient to them, not because the arguments otherwise are truly compelling or even factual. If people are going to choose piracy, I think it behooves them to do it with their eyes wide open, and without pretending that it's someone else's fault or due to some poorly-defined or possibly-nonexistant problem. Those just reek of excuses, particularly when they're not even based in truth.

Anyway, as said, this topic has been done many times, so we'll see if there's anything new this time around...

Dhomochevsky 2012-02-23 19:04

What is the western anime industry?
They are merely distributers that live off the japanese producers, they don't produce anything of value to me themselves.
In this day and age we need less distributors who take their share of profit from the actual producers, not more.
They are just not needed anymore with modern distribution methods, an unnecessary extra step in the distribution chain, that just costs money.
So good riddance I say.

solomon 2012-02-23 21:43

Hey I admit, I live off piracy. (Mainly, I do look at Crunchy Roll sometimes though)

I know it's not good for the industry. And I've read many interesting arguments about it on both sides.

I don't hold myself up as some vaunted iconoclast though.

Fact is, I have little money right now. And I'm not spending money on something I am not sure about when I can just watch American produced stuff on TV.

Plus, I don't like most stuff the industry is making now, so I am not spending money (or much time) on it. Real simple.

Anyways, more broadly to the larger topic....

I think there will always be an industry stateside for Anime. I mean Kung Fu movies never DIED OUT........ and there is always a certain hunger for foreign media, especially now with the world shortening internetz.

It's just that it's going through a protracted stage of upheaval and transitition, being pulled on two opposite ends...(western market and Japanese focus; I mean business AND consumer practices).

While I don't share Dhomo-chan's chagrin for 3rd party intermediaries (I respect the people who actually work to bring it here legally and translate it), I can understand his thinking in that there likely needs to be more direct sales of the product (how that is facilitated, is another tale).

Random32 2012-02-23 22:33

You might as well be posting a rant about how the entertainment industry is dying on a private tracker's forum. AnimeSuki is a very pro-fansub forum from what I've seen and this video came off as fairly hostile. This won't end well.

I sort of like Dhomo's thinking though can't agree with it 100%. There are three roles of the Western Anime Industry, to translate, to distribute, and to promote as I see it. There are fans who are more than willing to translate anime as made obvious by fansubs, thus it renders one of the roles of the industry pointless. But fansub's don't help the Japanese companies make money since few people are both capable and willing to spend thousands a year importing DVD's and BRD's from Japan. Within the anime community, specific shows can be promoted by fansubbers and fans, but the industry really does the promotion outside the established community. A lot of people that like anime came in because they watched Naruto or something and liked it a lot, fansubs could have never done that.

I think that the Western Anime Industry should reconsider its role and relationship with the Western Anime Community and we should reconsider our relationship with the industry. Ideally, it should be hard to tell the line between the fandom and the industry.

speedyexpress48 2012-02-23 23:26

Well, the people that are fans of Naruto probably won't be looking at moe shows much...

The reason why anime is loved (it's niche) is also it's downfall since it's not "mainstream" enough...a lot of other niche hobby industries are suffering the same crap...not just anime.

Chiibi 2012-02-23 23:51


Originally Posted by TheFluff (Post 4021633)

the anime industry is dying, yes, but this is a Good Thing

I'm the hell can this possibly be a "GOOD THING"!?:eyebrow:

speedyexpress48 2012-02-24 00:04


Originally Posted by Chiibi (Post 4022291)
I'm the hell can this possibly be a "GOOD THING"!?:eyebrow:

I'm not sure I even read that right...tho maybe he meant the "American" anime industry...while that's still pretty bad in my opinion, it makes far more sense (still nonsensical, but knowing the actions of some companies in the industry, I can see an arguement made there...)

On that note, I know that anime isn't the only Japanese American industry failing right now...while it isn't visible, the larger electronics and automotive companies from Japan are also seriously suffering in America...idk how much that has to do with the topic but still.

Tempester 2012-02-24 00:07


Originally Posted by Dhomochevsky (Post 4021833)
What is the western anime industry?
They are merely distributers that live off the japanese producers, they don't produce anything of value to me themselves.
In this day and age we need less distributors who take their share of profit from the actual producers, not more.
They are just not needed anymore with modern distribution methods, an unnecessary extra step in the distribution chain, that just costs money.
So good riddance I say.

I generally agree with you, but I think that in order to eliminate the long chain of distribution, the Japanese companies would have to put in their own effort to reach out to international fans. They would have to finance overseas advertising and directly pay translators to sub their BDs and internationalize their packaging. I think that most of the time they wouldn't be bothered to do this since revenue from overseas is usually negligible in the face of total revenue. Not only that, they would have to significantly lower the prices of their BDs and DVDs, because their extravagant pricing won't fly outside of Japan.

One of the most important roles of foreign distributors of anime is to get your normal everyday man interested in anime, through normal everyday advertising and distribution. Many of us have gotten into anime through watching TV, and only later we started watching it through fansubs. I haven't watched TV in half a decade now, and I love fansubs, but I don't think my interest in anime would even exist nowadays if it wasn't for TV.


Originally Posted by speedyexpress48 (Post 4022259)
Well, the people that are fans of Naruto probably won't be looking at moe shows much...

Many of us got into less mainstream anime because we were watching simplistic children's anime such as Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon, and Pokemon, and we wanted to see more. What makes Naruto any different? There will always be stubborn people who refuse to watch anything that isn't Naruto or Bleach, but I can guarantee you that a great deal of more experienced anime fans started through anime similar to them.

speedyexpress48 2012-02-24 00:22

[mod edit: removed off-topic]

Anyways, returning to the topic at hand...another problem is that the quality of fansubbers equal or even beats the industry standard, IMO. People are going to have a hard time saying no to free stuff with better quality than the paid stuff.

AbZeroNow 2012-02-24 00:35

I only made it through the first 3 minutes, but I could already tell that there was some seriously faulty information in that video.

Regarding Bandai and fan reaction: Bandai hardly licensed anything last year. The biggest thing they did license and release for 2011 was K-On, and they did it in 4 singles and they changed a song and they went with lossy audio on the Blu-Ray when they could have went with lossless but didn't because TBS told them not to, and they didn't release some JP extras that fans really wanted. I did purchase all four singles, and I will purchase whatever Sentai releases of the second season. Bandai also released the Girl Who Leaped Through Space, subtitle-only and used the broadcast version instead of the home video version because Sunrise didn't give it to them. Looking at those two examples, is it any wonder why it was fading away. And the most critical thing not mentioned in the video(it could have been mentioned later): the parent company in Japan shut them down because they though they weren't profitable enough. Now they could have continued on for a few more years, but the parent company took the ball and went home. I doubt fans could have done anything differently.

As far as Japan's anime industry goes: anime sales were at their all-time highest in 2011 in Japan. Anime is of course, first and foremost and will always be catered towards Japanese audiences and the Japanese domestic market. If they incidently release something that Western audiences really like, then that's just gravy to them. The American audience doesn't really enter their minds except as an audience that gets their product at a major discount and more often than not, Japanese companies delay our getting our anime on Blu-Ray because they, rightly or wrongly, believe that reverse importation is a major threat to their domestic market. You see, us getting 12 episodes for $60 on Blu-Ray is a much bigger problem than any fansubs that we see. I suspect that we may see more Japanese companies releasing Japanese Blu-Rays with English subs at their prices to keep the price of the BDs in their country to the level that keeps the industry profitable. Of course, they can only do glorified imports on certain properties(Type Moon series for instance) and they'll probably keep delaying Funimation from releasing DVD/BD combos of things like Strike Witches 2 so they can keep milking that series domestically.

The Japanese and American anime markets are different. The American market is starting to go for legal streams like Hulu and Crunchyroll where the American consumer can preview(or watch the whole series) a series before they buy it(like they do in Japan). The Japanese market sells anime in singles at something like $500 to 1000 per cour(this is a rough guess from what I've read in threads here, feel free to correct me on this). The American market tends to sell series for $40 to 70 per cour and they sell anime in half-season or full season boxsets. Somehow if the American market could sustain enough people buying at Japanese prices, then the West would certainly be an audience that Japanese companies would pay heed to. But given how little anime is shown on television these days, and how sales here still pale to sales over in Japan despite our lower prices, Japanese companies will cater to the audience that supports them the most: the otaku.

I see fansubs being scapegoated here, and I have read here and elsewhere that people who watch mostly fansubs end up supporting the Japanese industry in their own way by buying thousands of dollars worth of anime merchandise. Merchandise is often what Japanese companies use to make tons of profit on anime(which is used as like a advertisement for the merchandise) and buying legitimate anime merchandise does support the industry. I think the anti-fansub people ought to keep this in mind when they loudly decry that fansubs are what's wrong with the industry. And I should add that I tend to buy my anime from R1 licensors and I watch my anime on licensed streams.

Again, if those more knowledgeable in some areas wish to correct any mistakes in facts, please feel free to do so.

0utf0xZer0 2012-02-24 02:06


Originally Posted by AbZeroNow (Post 4022349)
The Japanese market sells anime in singles at something like $500 to 1000 per cour(this is a rough guess from what I've read in threads here, feel free to correct me on this).

While Japanese market prices are much, much higher than in the west (although home video used to be a lot more expensive in the west too), $500-1000 sounds high. Even given that import sites tend to charge more and that the US dollar sucks against the Yen right now, most single cour series barely break $500 from what I've seen, and multi-cour shows tend to be less per cour because of lower per cour disc counts - most two cour shows are 8-9 volumes compared to 6-7 for one cours. Kadokawa stuff like Gosick and Nichijou is an exception and can get into the $650 per cour range, they charge a significant premium per volume and insist on making their two cour shows 12-13 volumes.

Kyuu 2012-02-24 02:47

Just stream direct from Japan. Add English subtitles. Done.

Saves time on distribution.

Sad for anyone aspiring to do English voice-acting. But y'know what? This is the current business model that would work from here on out.

Chiibi 2012-02-24 03:00

Well, I don't know about you guys but I like having high-quality DVDs and NO, I'm not shelling out a fortune to get the R2 regions of every single series I fall in love with! :rolleyes:

So I don't want to see the industry fail here. I want my DVDs that are so much cheaper compared to Japan's!

Sides 2012-02-24 03:58

Western Anime Industry dying? Nah, it just went into the wrong direction. But I partially blame the japanese model as well. Instead of coming up with new things, most shows are just refinement of others, resulting that you have extreme hardcore otaku titles, that no one else would buy, even in japan. Watching on TV/streams yes, but buying, no.
Problem with western companies is that some of them are trying too hard and wasting money in pointless areas, like pushing american/english voice actors into stardom. They need to realise that the majority of people don't care about it who is doing the english voice of whom, just like no person cares about the voice of Speedy Gonzales.
Also marketing is another issue, where as in asian countries anime is threat as any other animation/cartoon, in the west it is separate, but why?
And they should really stop selling series in single DVD/Bluray and just chunk them out as boxsets, threat your costumers fair and you can still make a profit. Yes I know that some consumers do have komodo dragon eggs for breakfast, but most people have to work two or three part-time jobs just to get some toast on the table/cardboard box.
But as for anime movies, that are screened on the big screen, last time I check most of the screening were sold out. So there you go. Industry definitely not dead, just went into a jam.

Vexx 2012-02-24 04:09

More like the industry is committing suicide with an aggregation of over-expansion, lack of reliability, poor customer treatment, and poor decision making. So... duh?

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 00:14.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions Inc.