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Old 2018-08-27, 22:28   Link #1
schuch.mx
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What do you think can improve the anime industry?

Hello, my names Mike and I'm currently working towards creating a new streaming service to host this amazing art form. I love anime and just want it to be the best experience possible for all those involved.

There are a few reasons why I want to do this, one is the studio's are kind of struggling and I want to support them so we get higher quality anime. Another is that the current leaders in the streaming/community management department are lacking any real innovation. Back when crunchyroll was first founded, it was revolutionary. No one had created a service like this other than those who were just downloading anime and they wanted to bring this world to everyone and allow them to also support its creators. But, no one has really innovated since they have.

So, what I'm asking you guys is; what would you like to see in the industry change? How would you improve it? What are its flaws? I'd enjoy hearing everyone's opinion on this topic so I can get a better understanding of everything. Don't worry if it's already been said or if it feels redundant to say. I've put a lot of thought into this and before I launch this project, you guys may point out something I either missed, overlooked, or didn't even think of!

Thanks for hearing me out.
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Old 2018-08-28, 08:26   Link #2
Akuma Kousaka
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Give studios as many episodes as they need for an anime instead of predetermining it to 1, 2, or even 4 cours. It will liberate any writers shackled by time constraints or padding pressure and shatter the barriers between seasons. And in turn, this tips the balance to artistification over commercialization; future releases are rescheduled to an indeterminate date and resources are then focused to the project at hand instead
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Old 2018-08-28, 12:56   Link #3
0cean
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Anime got a little bit too big and hence diluted. Things would improve with fewer fans and less exposure world wide. There's still the core audience in Japan, which is paying high prices for BD and kind of keeping it together by deciding which shows will be profitable. But services like Netflix are prying this apart and in the process of making the money of casuals available to production committees will destroy everything that made anime great. Anime is best when the West keeps their filthy hands off of it. Then there will be great shows with crazy-loli-yuri-sex. Also: incest. And all the other good stuff, like half-nude attractive girls murdering strangers indiscriminately and having their innards flying around while also fighting over who gets to marry the protagonist.

Anime isn't for everyone and it shouldn't be. You have Ghibli for that already.
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Old 2018-08-31, 00:48   Link #4
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I really doubt you can change the anime industry from the outside through this kind of innovation. Keep in mind that "studios" don't generally make anime; production committees do. The studios may or may not even be part of the production committees that fund anime. The key to Crunchyroll's success was many, many years spent carefully building relationships with Japanese licensors (and a big infusion of venture capital to help buy their way in the door at the start). Having a large selection of current anime (including some of the most popular shounen titles), and same-day releases of new first-run shows, is what built up their audience. A "plucky upstart" isn't going to be able to easily displace them at this point with innovation alone -- more important than ideas, you need connections/relationships and lots of money.

If you do have lots of money (tens of millions of venture capital would be a good start), I suppose you could try to work with creators to fund your own productions, but that won't really displace Crunchyroll (or Netflix, who is doing this kind of direct production investment). Otherwise, you can try to secure licensing deals, but you really need people on the ground in Japan networking with the players. Still, doing this is not necessarily going to help the struggling studios, exactly.

If you want to help studios, it seems to me that the most important thing would be to build relationships with the studios and ask them what they need. I'm sure many anime studios have ambitions to rise above the stress of simply surviving and become masters of their own destiny (no longer slaving away while people at the top of the food chain keep almost all the money for themselves), but most lack the capital to set out on their own, and the production committee system still runs almost everything. The idea of using direct-funding models (Kickstarter, Patreon, etc.) so that individual viewers can directly pay studios to create anime is impossible at scale. And unless you're working with the major rightsholders with proven properties, original productions are a huge risk -- just like the anime industry itself, you're going to (hopefully) have a few hits and (almost certainly) a lot of moderate (or worse) flops. The production committee system, for all its flaws, helps insulate the anime studios from risk when a production flops by spreading the load over many investors. Although many anime studios would probably like to rise above the mire, and many of their key artists probably have dreams of the sort of anime they'd love to make, many of them will lack the business savvy to pull it off.

I think many would say that the biggest problem the anime industry faces is that animators aren't paid well enough for their work. But that's an incredibly hard structural problem to solve. Even if you did somehow manage to raise animator salaries throughout Japan to a livable level, is that going to just drive more outsourcing to countries where rates are cheaper? Meanwhile, skilled labor is becoming impossible to find, and the amount of productions being made remains incredibly high. If you somehow convinced the whole industry to reduce the volume of productions to focus on "quality," that isn't going to increase innovation at all -- it'll make everyone more risk-adverse and take on more on "safe bets." Some would argue that it's the "outside the box" works, flawed though they may be, that make anime most interesting.

So in the end... what is the problem you really want to solve here? What is Crunchyroll doing so wrong that requires innovation to surpass? What is the anime industry doing so wrong that you might have the means to redress, even in some small way? Even if you start with the best of intentions, the most likely of outcomes (if you're successful) is that you will have to be part of the system to change it. And if you're part of the system (and successful), how much will it benefit you to change the system at that point? (That's exactly why innovators stop innovating.) Even if you bring some technical innovation that really improves the end-user experience, why is the "new Crunchyroll" going to be better than the current one for anime? I mean, don't get me wrong: any successful innovator has to have some degree of arrogance and "guts," but "changing the world" requires a powerful vision, concrete mission, and strong internal compass to keep your eyes fixed on the goal. So just saying you want to help struggling studios and bring new innovation is barely table stakes.

In a lot of ways, the anime industry is an absolute disaster that creates remarkable beauty seemingly in spite of itself. So if you're going to wrestle with that chaos and hope to survive, you need to get a true lay of the land. What consumers generally want -- more anime, faster, cheaper, "better," at higher quality, on the devices they want whenever they want it, and all in one convenient place -- seems incredibly straightforward in comparison.
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Old 2018-08-31, 07:20   Link #5
Guardian Enzo
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As long as the production committee system remains in place, anime is condemned to a steady creative decline with an inevitable conclusion. It's admirable to want to change it, but even those few inside the industry who've spoken out and acted in support of change - among them some quite influential people - haven't made a dent. Too many people are making too much money at the expense of the grunts who create the medium and the medium's creative soul for it to change.
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Old 2018-08-31, 16:02   Link #6
RichardFromMarple
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Another area might be improving working conditions for seiyus, it's sad to hear the amount of voice actors who have had to take time out due to illness or have died before their time.
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Old 2018-08-31, 18:35   Link #7
Guardian Enzo
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Seiyuus have a life on the beach compared to animators. If anyone's working conditions are improved it 100% has to start with them.
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Old 2018-08-31, 21:57   Link #8
bakato
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The most pressing issue the poor working conditions of animators. While studios like A1 make their animators commit suicide by overworking them as a result of poor planning, animators are paid a dog's wage. I don't care what anyone says. There's no bigger injustice in this industry that needs correcting.
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Old 2018-09-01, 03:28   Link #9
0cean
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All this talk about improving working conditions is just begging the question as to whether people prefer good anime from bad working conditions or bad anime from good working conditions. Evidently anime as a whole is perceived as good enough to build a fandom around it to care for the working conditions in the first place. But if you change the setup the outcome will inevitably be different, too. Now improved working conditions could lead to good or even better anime, but would you bet a hundred thousand dollars on it? A number that reflects the current cost of making a normal anime series.

I think a sentiment from IT applies: never change a running system.


The best way to go about change is to establish a competitor to what the anime industry currently is. In a sense, Ghibli already is such a competitor, since they work completely different from the rest of the industry. But all they do is to release a movie every now and then. Their business model doesn't exactly scale up to hundreds of shows per year. So "just" create a competitor that can scale up.

Oh yeah, and apparently there are some folks policing other peoples speech for using "begging the question" wrong. Sue me.
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Old 2018-09-01, 05:39   Link #10
Guardian Enzo
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That's a false dichotomy if ever there was one. The idea that good anime can only be produced through effectively slave labor is ludicrous on the face of it. It certainly wasn't always that way - that it is now is only a product of the production committee system, where the powerful interests who make up the committees (recording companies, seiyuu agencies, LN publishers et al) suck up most of the money a series produces, leaving precious little for the studio itself.
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Old 2018-09-01, 17:02   Link #11
0cean
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...and the production committee system was pioneered by Osamu Tezuka back in the 1950s/60s making it possible for the anime industry to be born in the first place. Not sure were you saw a dichotomy. My sentiment of "everything has to be exactly how it is or else it wouldn't be the way it is" is more of a tautology.
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Old 2018-09-11, 12:46   Link #12
Archon_Wing
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If you want me to pick, then I would pick bad anime.

1.) A lot of it is bad anyways
2.) It's not worth sacrificing human lives for cartoons. WTf is wrong with you people?
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