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Old 2009-07-30, 03:29   Link #61
Toyosaki Aki
Join Date: Nov 2007
Originally Posted by TJR View Post
The root problem is overproduction. Since most anime productions lose money, banks won't lend money directly to the studios, who must then rely on the middlemen for financing. At the same time, the middlemen don't want to pay more than the minimum for most shows since odds are that the series will tank.

To break free, you need a system in which the studios finance their own work, take responsibility for market performance, and earn money (hopefully used to pay employees better).

A solution might be for the industry to shrink and focus only on surefire hits. However, that would put many animators out of work.......
I don't really think that overproduction is the issue here. If that were the case, then studios would be going out of business, when in reality, new animation studios are expanding, for example: Princess Lover! is produced by a relatively new studio on their first independent project. Canaan is only the second project for its studio, the first being True Tears. There are many, many animation studios, we just never hear about them because they work under bigger studios like Sunrise.

Financing is indeed the real issue here, upfront costs for anime are massive, costing ~$300,000 USD for big name productions like Gundam...per episode. They don't make it back for a while (if ever), DVDs need to be released and marketed, various goods need to be designed and manufactured, which take at least a few months. It's all about credit, and that's as valuable as gold in today's economy.

There isn't a single industry today that produces 100% "surefire hits". "90% of everything is crap" (Sturgeon's Law) isn't ironclad, but applies for a LOT of things in this world. Even with the most moe girls and the best animation, there will always be haters, espcially in a volatile community like 2ch's otaku.

Those aren't even the worst that face Japanese animators today. Despite their low pay, there are thousands willing to work for a fraction of what they're paid. Ever notice the Korean and Chinese names filling the credits for "animation staff"?
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Old 2009-07-31, 10:44   Link #62
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Philippines
Age: 42

My sarcastic comments:

Oh, this is interesting, although it's also bad news.

Although one will blame that industry's downturn on the ongoing economic recession and the scapegoat of unceasing video downloading and P2P networks, the thing is, for the past 10 years the face of that industry has changed, from edgy and original storylines, to stuff that tends to pander too much to the whims of a niche audience. There's too many wide-eyed girls right now, along with the merchandise. The guys who enter that industry wind up getting a reality check of low pay (no thanks to some of the so-called "committees" who control much of the production and marketing) and longer working days in one of the world's most expensive cities.

In other words, a decline in quality despite increased quantity, and genuine hits are few and far between (and the exceptional rock island of Hayao Miyazaki) in an overwhelming sea of cute.

As a guy who once considered anime as alternative entertainment to what the networks are spewing LCD crap insulting my intelligence and good taste, I hate to say this but this Yamaguchi honcho has to wake up and see what's really wrong with themselves and with the general direction of the anime industry is heading.

On the ANN forums, this guy's comment on the state of affairs also rang true. Consider the renewed strength of Evangelion after the "You Are (Not) Alone" movie came out, which has also became a box-office hit. However, is it those hard days now where fans are pining for old times and nostalgia and the classic mystery and intelligence of Rei Ayanami? Or is it fan pandering so that Gainax can try to milk more cash out of that saga?

(How appropriate and timely: Evangelion came out at a time when Japan was stuck in its first recession after the bubble burst.)

So I hardly wonder why the current heads and committees of those studios haven't considered what a good anime series really works as a hit. They should be doing their homework and look at past history, instead of thinking up of anything -- T&A and striped panties -- that can be considered marketable for the niche otaku crowd.

They should also be very original, which is why anime became popular a long time ago.

Damn, they still have yet to break out of that delusion and start rethinking about their system.
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Old 2009-08-01, 05:45   Link #63
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Join Date: Dec 2008
^ I disagree with the reason. The article about the shrinkage does not detail at all where the shrinkage occurs. It could by in specific kinds of shows or it could across the board. In addition, there is evidence that the opposite of what he suggests is in fact more true.

We know that the Key, KyoAni, Kadokawa stuff does very well, in addition to shows like Strike Witches whose sales were through the roof for the Japanese market. We know that ratings for current shows like Phantom are pretty bad. So it could very well turn out that the sales shrinkage occurs in what some consider to be the higher quality shows like Konnicha Anne, Porfy no Nagai Tabi and the like, as unfortunate as that may be.

I don't have any numbers but I very much doubt they sold as well as what he railed against, the "sea of cute", while costing much more to produce. Likewise Phantom is a great show, but will it do better than Strike Witches, Lucky Star and the like, especially given its already terrible ratings?

I also don't share his sentiments about a decline in quality from decades past. It's seriously looking through rose colored glasses. Yes, there are some gems from the past but for me, as someone who grew up on the old stuff starting with Robotech, Voltron, etc. looking back, I have absolutely no nostalgia for most of the older shows. In fact, I think that the overall quality has actually improved significantly when we compare within the same genre. i.e. action shows now are better than before, romance shows now are better than before, ecchi comedy shows now are better than before.

But in any case, I think overall it's less to do with content and much more to do with how the business is structured. Contrast this to R1 news with how Funi actually exceeded sales expectations, and what appears to be the stabilization of the the DVD and goods market in the US. You going to have a really hard time growing your customers when you charge $60-$70 for two freaking episodes on DVD or +$10-$20 more for BD.
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Old 2009-08-02, 13:34   Link #64
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Philippines
Age: 42
Yeah, I'm a guilty old-schooler, so despite advances in animation and video technology I couldn't relate well with the current crop of shows that seemed to be too generic for me, hence feeling a bit of cynicism about them as if they were akin to agricultural cash crops.
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Old 2009-08-02, 20:13   Link #65
Bittersweet Distractor
Join Date: Nov 2007
Age: 27
In my opinion, the anime today (After early 2007) is progressively becoming less inventive. The last truly great and creative show I remember is Baccano! and that wasn't ground breaking by any means either (Early 2007?).

Though the animes this season are a little bit refreshing such as Cross Game, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, and some others... I kind of feel like we have yet to see a truly great anime year like 2006 again. I don't know why, but I blame studios like KyoAni.
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Old 2009-08-02, 21:51   Link #66
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Age: 30
Personally, I found the narrative structure of Strike Witches to be quite innovative...Clannad too. They both deal heavily with the fall of the "Grand Narrative" in post-modern times, and post-Google rise of a new "database/game-like reality." You just have to analyze it instead of simply dismissing it as "dumb otaku shit."

Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Though the animes this season are a little bit refreshing such as Cross Game, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, and some others... I kind of feel like we have yet to see a truly great anime year like 2006 again. I don't know why, but I blame studios like KyoAni.
Considering 2006 was the height of anime profits, before they started falling, if one defines 2006 as one of the last great years in anime, that does support the "anime is getting weaker because of low DVD sales/piracy" hypothesis.
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Old 2009-08-20, 09:36   Link #67
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Suburban DC
Generally speaking, I read that as years go by, the cost of making films (animated or not) rose for various reasons.

This has been fascinating. I had no idea licencing cost so much. I am still not totally sure about what the "troubles" were at ADV but I suppose it was basically about being in the red.

Unfortunetly these high licencing costs preclude many shows being released that dont fit the "anime fan demographic". Anything older than 5 years ago that wasn't released during the golden age of US anime DVD (late 90s-early 2000s) ain't coming here. (No L-Gaim)
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Old 2010-04-05, 06:37   Link #68
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Norway
Age: 26
What is the hardest part for the anime industry (economy)?

I know its's a bad title. I will appreciate any suggestions to improve it :)

I would love to hear about all aspects about anime ecnomies, but since I don't know much about, I have no idea what to ask. Please don't be afraid to provide more details then what I am asking for!

I have heard that some anime cost more then their budgets allowed for, but I have been wondering for a while: "How much can it really cost to produce anime?".

I was actually shocked to find out that that the "key animations" is what costs the most to produce. So can someone explain why making the key positions costs more money to get higher quality? Wouldn't it cost the same if the animators decided to take it cool, and draw sloppy, or of he decided to really consentrate when he drew?

Thanks in advance! :)
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Old 2017-02-02, 21:30   Link #69
Join Date: Mar 2014
Interesting thread.... I have a few more to read on the industry... too bad these aren't updated, but not much has changed it seems, from the financials to the creative elements present or absent in the current crop for this or any season, and isn't that always the case? In any cultural 'art' form, it's always the exceptions that stand out... and they are rather generational... part of the cycle of life... Rise and Fall of Civilization, (West as Spengler put his title for this concept) The Ages... gold, silver, copper, iron etc... seasons etc.. the new form is born, develops, matures and then ages until a new seed gets replanted and starts the cycle over again.

It seems, in summation, that the anime business is, as many have said, a 'niche' market, and not often a popular one... same here in the States.. the main films of Disney/Pixar and then all the kiddie tv stuff... that's about it really, at least that I know... I don't see most of it outside the films... the Japanese anime stuff is much deeper, or even more 'cuter' with the whole moe thing, the use of pop music etc.. I haven't seen that trend in the States., and when anything breaks through and becomes popular, many others later copy it to 'ride the coattails'... and sometimes, they are the ones that make the most money.... copies are cheaper to make and sell once a market has already been developed... so it always comes down to sales, and in today's streaming market, the product producers need to rethink their business model... this has been an ongoing problem with the music business here in the States for years and years now... coming up with laws and regulations and trust between all involved to develop a business model that allows creativity to fuel the mostly commercial marketplace.

PS.... those DVDs in Japan seem WAY overpriced from the beginning.... so this problem isn't new... but like in any path, we have a tendency to keep on it until realizing we aren't going where we want to go... usually pain is the awakening agent of change.
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Old 2017-12-15, 00:29   Link #70
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Visual Art's/Key President Reveals Cost to Turn Visual
Novels Into Anime:

"The Japanese popular culture website KAI-YOU posted an interview with Visual
Art's/Key President Takahiro Baba on December 1. In the interview, Baba discussed
the Kud Wafter anime film project. Baba said that the reason Key decided to use
crowdfunding to fund the anime is that there has been a sharp rise in the production
cost of anime, and investments for anime adaptations of games have become scarce.
Baba said:

Productions costs for visual novels like Key's can cost from tens of millions of yen to
100 million yen, but almost 400 million yen are needed for a one-cour anime, so it
becomes a big risk. If it's a major company, they can produce an anime with even one
sponsor, but we can't easily do that. Because of that, we thought we'd try making an
anime this time while experimentally using support from fans.

With the difficulty of obtaining about US$3.5 million in mind, the gamble paid off in a
big way for Visual Art's/Key. The project's Japanese and international crowdfunding
initiatives flew past their initial goals."

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