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Old 2017-04-05, 20:47   Link #201
relentlessflame
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
Honestly, all I want is for anime to be as accessible as games on Steam. You own a permanent copy of a show you buy, licenses aren't dropped on the fly, and you can buy it from everywhere in the world. I mean, Gaben has thought of such a cunning idea, but why can't Japan devise a similar concept? They're leaving America to take most of the licenses, promote it as a "WORLDWIDE" license, then prevent most of the world from streaming it from their devices.
It just takes time. Keep in mind that international licensing is a major business to a lot of these companies (that's why they participate in the production committee to begin with), and the people who work in those arms of the companies have entire careers based around brokering those sorts of media deals. (And likewise, various licensing companies around the world exist to make those sorts of media buys, and market themselves based on the services they can provide to the license holders.) Of course in this day and age that's increasingly antiquated, and we're slowly seeing that model break down, but there needs to be a clear path forward for the industry. The idea of studios going direct-to-consumer and bypassing all the established local and international players they've been working with for years and decades... it's an enormous leap. Especially when a lot of the anime the International markets care about is based on existing media properties owned by some of the major industry stakeholders.

And there have actually been various attempts over the years to sell digital anime licenses by various means and at various price points. Most of them failed miserably. It's only really been streaming (and premium subscriptions) that really caught on in any sort of meaningful way. It's probably an idea that will come around again as people start getting sick of seeing shows they like removed from streaming services, but it's not as though there was this ready and proven-successful path forward that they just didn't want to take.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
The industry is flawed as of this moment. They stick to such expensive goods to survive, and it's a mistake that's slowly biting their sorry ass. As DVD/BD sales plummet, Anisong sales are also taking a hit.
Honestly, a lot of this is just a shift away from physical media and towards events. People's consumption habits are changing, but it's not like the core audience is spending that much less money on the whole. People are just less interested in owning disks, and that shouldn't be surprising. This is why a lot of the Japanese anime BDs/DVDs now include event tickets and other incentives, because there just isn't an overwhelming desire to "own" most anime.

Meanwhile, the production committees are making up for the lost physical media sales with overseas streaming licenses. In the end, this sort of diversification is probably for the best, even though the market arguably still hasn't really settled. And if anything, companies like Aniplex are demonstrating that they can extend their strategy on both ends by providing both expensive goods for the collectors while also providing more plentiful streaming options than most. I guess I'm just not convinced that selling "reasonably-priced" digital licenses will ever be big enough to supplant their other revenue sources -- though it's probably good to complement it.
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Old 2017-04-05, 21:11   Link #202
Marcus H.
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Quote:
It just takes time. Keep in mind that international licensing is a major business to a lot of these companies (that's why they participate in the production committee to begin with), and the people who work in those arms of the companies have entire careers based around brokering those sorts of media deals. (And likewise, various licensing companies around the world exist to make those sorts of media buys, and market themselves based on the services they can provide to the license holders.) Of course in this day and age that's increasingly antiquated, and we're slowly seeing that model break down, but there needs to be a clear path forward for the industry. The idea of studios going direct-to-consumer and bypassing all the established local and international players they've been working with for years and decades... it's an enormous leap. Especially when a lot of the anime the International markets care about is based on existing media properties owned by some of the major industry stakeholders.
Time is also an enemy to some. Older anime like Fullmetal Alchemist become totally unavailable after a certain amount of time, and some shows become so "uninteresting" to the license holders that they decide to just not release the rest of the series—the latter applies so hard to manga and LN releases.

Quote:
Honestly, a lot of this is just a shift away from physical media and towards events. People's consumption habits are changing, but it's not like the core audience is spending that much less money on the whole. People are just less interested in owning disks, and that shouldn't be surprising. This is why a lot of the Japanese anime BDs/DVDs now include event tickets and other incentives, because there just isn't an overwhelming desire to "own" most anime.
Event tickets are no sign of the change in spending habits. They have been there since the early days of LN adaptations. Event tickets are the one of the only sources of substantial sales boosts for certain anime series. In fact, this bundling of extra products in a two-episode DVD/BD volume is a contributor to the issue with anime discs being such a luxury good for anime fans.

Imagine if they release regular versions of the DVD/BD that has totally no additional freebies. They can sell it for less. High-rewatch value anime can get more sales that way. But nooooo, they just have to make DVD/BD in two versions: Limited Edition and Exclusive Edition, both costing way too much for the average Japanese to own. (Hey, at least anime don't use DLC, but I digress.)

Quote:
Meanwhile, the production committees are making up for the lost physical media sales with overseas streaming licenses. In the end, this sort of diversification is probably for the best, even though the market arguably still hasn't really settled. And if anything, companies like Aniplex are demonstrating that they can extend their strategy on both ends by providing both expensive goods for the collectors while also providing more plentiful streaming options than most.
It is a step in the right direction, but the ones who are making the bigger steps are clearly making their respective mistakes. Amazon with their double-paywall Anime Strike is one example. The region blocking is also another issue.

Quote:
I guess I'm just not convinced that selling "reasonably-priced" digital licenses will ever be big enough to supplant their other revenue sources -- though it's probably good to complement it.
I disagree. Technology has been slowly shifting towards smartphones and internet TVs. People are also spending more on mobile-based apps and content than before. I mean, entire books can now be downloaded on Google Play. Only time will tell if the idea that they can provide episodes of anime and making a good buck out of it will finally make it into their heads.
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Old 2017-04-05, 21:54   Link #203
KanbeKotori
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post

Honestly, all I want is for anime to be as accessible as games on Steam.
There's anime on Steam? Not from here as I can see.
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Old 2017-04-05, 22:27   Link #204
IceHism
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KanbeKotori View Post
There's anime on Steam? Not from here as I can see.
Yes there is. They are like partnered with Crunchyroll so you can rent or have in your library anime on steam now.
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Old 2017-04-05, 22:35   Link #205
relentlessflame
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
Imagine if they release regular versions of the DVD/BD that has totally no additional freebies. They can sell it for less. High-rewatch value anime can get more sales that way. But nooooo, they just have to make DVD/BD in two versions: Limited Edition and Exclusive Edition, both costing way too much for the average Japanese to own. (Hey, at least anime don't use DLC, but I digress.)
It's not like they've never tried other price points, but I've never seen any substantial evidence that any of the experiments in Japan ever really worked there. There just has never been a wide general interest in owning "cheap" discs -- you're either a collector, or you're a viewer. People who are in the viewer camp might buy other forms of inexpensive merchandise like manga, novels, character goods, whatever. Renting discs has also always been an accessible option in most cases, and nowadays you can also stream on smartphones. But the proliferation of the media mix in Japan means that most people have other options for buying things other than owning discs.

In the rest of the world, where the media mix has traditionally not been so prevalent, there was always more of an emphasis on anime as a standalone thing (as you couldn't really buy anything at a variety of price points, since they weren't available at all). That and the fact that rental has never really been an option has fueled a demand for discs at lower price points.

You'd really have to demonstrate first that there is this large untapped market of people who want to own anime discs in Japan, and I don't think any of the sales tracking demonstrates this at all. I think they've made an awful lot more money as an industry by keeping the discs at a high price point so that when the big-deal "high-rewatch value anime" hits, you'll get your tens of thousands of people buying it at 6800+ yen/disc (x7+ volumes). One success like that can cover a multitude of low-sellers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
In fact, this bundling of extra products in a two-episode DVD/BD volume is a contributor to the issue with anime discs being such a luxury good for anime fans.
I think it's the other way around. These inclusions aren't really there to justify the high price or as some sort of effort to "increase the value proposition", they're to market the discs to an another audience who otherwise wouldn't buy the discs in the first place. Getting into the limited event is the entire value proposition to that group, and the discs are just the means to an end. If anything, it increases the asking price of the event ticket.

The whole thing follows niche market/collectors rules that are about creating desirability though exclusivity/rarity, the way luxury brands do. For those types of goods, sometimes you can actually increase the demand by having the price go up, if the perception of prestige is higher. The fact that the vast majority of anime sell a piddling quantity is justified to them because it preserves the perception of discs as a desirable/rare good, rather than a cheap commodity. Particularly now that the accessibility of streaming is becoming an increasing commodity (granted, not the world over yet), I think that distinction is more relevant than ever.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
Only time will tell if the idea that they can provide episodes of anime and making a good buck out of it will finally make it into their heads.
Like I said, it's not like they haven't tried -- repeatedly. And in Japan, most of the streaming services are actually already like this to some degree. But I'm not convinced there's a large market of people around the world who want to "own" digital licenses of entertainment these days. Even music has now moved to streaming services, along TV and movies. There'll always be some crowd who wants to collect the discs, or who will be willing to pay a small sum for a digital license, but people today generally see seem to see entertainment as more transient, and anime is no exception. Perhaps this perception is even more acute in North America and Europe where streaming services have really taken over.


Quote:
Originally Posted by KanbeKotori View Post
There's anime on Steam? Not from here as I can see.
In North America they have a Videos section with streaming anime, but you pay for a license to the stream (either by episode or by season), and for the newly-added stuff you can't actually get a download either. So objectively speaking it seems like a much worse deal than an "all-you-cat-eat" subscription service like Crunchyroll (although their catalog can change at any time).
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Old 2017-04-05, 23:03   Link #206
Marcus H.
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You'd really have to demonstrate first that there is this large untapped market of people who want to own anime discs in Japan, and I don't think any of the sales tracking demonstrates this at all. I think they've made an awful lot more money as an industry by keeping the discs at a high price point so that when the big-deal "high-rewatch value anime" hits, you'll get your tens of thousands of people buying it at 6800+ yen/disc (x7+ volumes). One success like that can cover a multitude of low-sellers.
http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2014/...-in-japan.html

Closest thing to what you wanted is in the linked article. Holy shit, Japan really is an alien place in comparison when it comes to deal with merch. I mean, a minimum price limit of 2500 yen for a CD? WTF? And a lot of the market rent and rip the latest albums?

This is all fucking weird to me.
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Old 2017-04-06, 05:17   Link #207
karice67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2014/...-in-japan.html

Closest thing to what you wanted is in the linked article. Holy shit, Japan really is an alien place in comparison when it comes to deal with merch. I mean, a minimum price limit of 2500 yen for a CD? WTF? And a lot of the market rent and rip the latest albums?

This is all fucking weird to me.
Even if they drop the price of a Japanese CD to say, 1500 yen (or less on special), people will rent and rip.

Why? Two major reasons, I'd say: first, you can borrow a new release for 300 yen for a day. That market doesn't seem to be going away. In fact, there are sometimes special rental-only discs. Your Lie in April had some (and believe me, I am frustrated that I will probably never see the extras on those discs), and I've actually borrowed some rental-only radio show CDs because I was lucky enough to be in Japan when they were available.

And second--the more important reason IMO--people just do not have space. Japanese houses are tiny, so the average person wouldn't buy stuff that they'd have to take to a second-hand store sooner or later. So the bare-bones entry-priced CD or BD/DVD just wouldn't sell. There's simply no point. As relentlessflame pointed out, the Japanese market is a lot more like a luxury goods market, and I suspect that the premium on space is one of the main reasons why.

As for digital media to own: I'm not as familiar with it. I do know that getting Japanese iTunes cards from overseas and using them is a bit of a pain, but I have been grateful to find some of the songs I've looked for on Spotify. I did also look up Aniplex's viewcast once, and learned that they have plans to extend it overseas, but I haven't been keeping tabs on that, since I'm a collector anyway.

But again, all of this is about 'owning' media. My own experiences in Japan and interacting with Japanese fans of anything suggests that fandom there is more about the experience of being a fan. At the end of the day, it's a different market. And we simply cannot expect most companies to cater directly to the few of us overseas who would buy their products because of how complicated and expensive shipping, licenses etc would be.

So overseas fans have two choices, really. Become like the Japanese fans and put down the extra cash. Or wait until overseas licensing companies bring it to you at (hopefully) lower prices.
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Old 2017-04-07, 18:39   Link #208
kitten320
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Film and animation industries in general, don't earn much. Well all the big bosses like directors and producers do, but normal working people get paid very little unless you are with over 10 years of experience, then your wage will be good. Still long working hours. Overtimes are not paid 95% of times.

A standard junior might be paid below minimum wage =/

In a way, the bigger the company the less you get paid, especially if you are just starting your career.

Small company policy: We want to make best work possible and win clients over so we are ready to pay good money for talented artists.

Big company policy: We are so amazing that everyone wants to work for us. Don't like minimum wage salary? Too bad, we'll find a replacement for you. There are many willing.



These industry world is extremely small and competitive. Companies are too scared to lose clients so they accept almost every ridiculous client request and expect artist to meet unrealistic deadlines.

200 shots in 3 months? Sure. Oh, you want 800 shots in 3 months now? Eeeehhhh.... our artists don't need sleep, of course we can do it!

Sad reality of film/animation industries in any country.
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Old 2017-05-14, 20:25   Link #209
gdpetti
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It seems that the American parallel for anime production in Japan, would be the videos produced for songs... music vids... cost money, and meant only to sell the main product, the songs, only the anticipated 'hits' usually get made into vids unless done on the cheap like flat studio footage or concert footage... so it's a little interesting that so much actually gets made... .perhaps a hangover from better times in the bubble years... and with a changing market to digital and streaming, the really haven't figured out what to do about it yet, same everywhere for the most part.
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Old 2017-06-01, 00:52   Link #210
karice67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karice67 View Post
edit: Oh, and for an even more direct way of supporting creators (if by creators you mean those animators who are starting at the very bottom), try the Animator Dormitory Start Up project. The most recent round of funding was a few months back, but there should be another one sometime this year.
This year's fundraising drive has just opened up, in case anyone is interested in supporting animators trying to get their start.


(I'm not sure if it's ok to put this here. If it's not, please remove it -- though I hope it is, because I would hope that all of us are interested in making sure animators get as much support as they can.)
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How Suetsugu Yuki drew the cover for Chihayafuru volume 34

Interview translations etc

You must free yourself from that illusion,
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- Patrick Stokes


Last edited by karice67; 2017-06-02 at 05:52.
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Old 2017-06-01, 19:51   Link #211
relentlessflame
 
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Originally Posted by karice67 View Post
This year's fundraising drive has just opened up, in case anyone is interested in supporting animators trying to get their start.


(I'm not sure if it's ok to put this here. If it's not, if it's not, please remove it -- though I hope it is, because I would hope that all of us are interested in making sure animators get as much support as they can.)
I created a thread for it in our new Classifieds/Projects of Interest section.
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Old 2017-06-11, 01:55   Link #212
Xero8420
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I think these salaries & mediocre living issues among animators need to be solved, if it means one of the ways to keep Japan's anime industry more competitive by boosting morale support.
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Old 2017-06-15, 08:19   Link #213
False Prophet
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Beside merchandise (figures, games, etc.) is there anyway to make anime more profitable? Because TV shows, at least in Asia, can never make a profit by themselves (my father is a TV script writer in Vietnam, and he tells me that the only ways to make money from drama anymore is either by product placement, sponsorship from the government or from someone whose aim is not profit, or licensing the work abroad.)
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Old 2017-06-15, 21:01   Link #214
Destiny_Sword
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Originally Posted by KanbeKotori View Post
There's anime on Steam? Not from here as I can see.
Yup, some JRPG games and visual novel games are started coming to the steam. It seems that the developer is starting to get serious with western market.
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Old 2017-06-17, 00:10   Link #215
AnimeFan188
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A.I. Program Creates Practically Perfect In-Between Animation:

"The ongoing plight of underpaid labor in Japan's animation industry has stirred up different
suggestions, including utilizing computers to take the place of low wage animators. Yuichi
Yagi is developing once such program that creates in-between animation using its artificial
intelligence. The program uses Dwango's deep learning neural network to fill in the gaps
between key frames from Mages' Idol Incidents anime series. The program quadrupled the
frames put into the system to create the animation seen below. The AI animation is
displayed on the right of the screen and the original frames on the left."

See:

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/inte...mation/.117588


This should make anime cheaper to produce, but at the same time, it will put a lot of
low-end animators out of work.
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Old 2017-06-18, 16:39   Link #216
AnimeFan188
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A Closer Look at the Problem of Low-Paid
Animators and Suggested Solutions:


"Last week, Japanese public broadcaster NHK aired the latest episode of Close-Up
Gendai+, a documentary program about current affairs in Japanese society. This time the
topic was anime production—specifically tackling the issue of underpaid workers in the
animation industry.

Anime News Network has already run a summary of the contents of the show, complete
with screenshots. But let us look deeper into the problems themselves, and analyze the
solutions that the show suggests.

The topic of low salaries for animators has been of particular concern to the English-
language media in articles making the rounds in the last couple of weeks—following the
backlash on how Ghibli’s hiring ad was showing some really low salary figures."

See:

http://www.anime-now.com/entry/2017/...m_campaign=ANN
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Old 2017-07-14, 15:23   Link #217
kj1980
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As stated long ago, seeing this thread is like looking at my own time capsule. It has been over 10 years since I commented a lot on this thread, but as time goes on, I have felt these realities:

1. Bubble has burst
2. I watch a lot less anime
3. Barely have any interest in video games or PC ero games anymore

As I re-read my own comments, it seems I was right on the industry digging themselves deeper in the hole by going after otakus, the market has become even more of a niche, and the formula has gotten to the point where almost everything seems to be the same plotline. Has anyone noticed the spew of isekai-kei (main character suddenly finds him/herself in a different alternate world, a normie in previous life suddenly becoming a hero, etc. etc.) light novels turned anime type stories and plotlines? It was interesting for a while, but now they re-use this formula over-and-over again and it's meh...

In a way, it's similar to Hollywood where they just do what works, go with sequels, re-boots, and comics. Anime is the same nowadays, it's cheaper to go with what the producers and companies know what works, and right now it's isekai-kei type storylines. To some extent, it's the same with idol anime like Bang Dream!, Aikatsu!, Love Live, IDOLM@STER etc. Yeah, I liked Love Live just as anybody else and liked the character Maki-chan and have several unusual items like Maki-chan sunshades for my car, but all in all, I've cooled down and not really much serious into it, like religiously attending concerts or going to idol-otaku events.

And to me, there really isn't much anime that I've been really "into" lately. Most recent would be Girls und Panzer and Kemono Friends, and as this season the only one I'm watching is Kyoukai no RINNE as I've been a childhood Takahashi Rumiko fan since Urusei Yatsura.

Maybe it's just part of growing up with more real life responsibilities such as paying off mortgage, getting serious about health, looking towards starting a family, taking care of elderly parents, etc. There is a sense of "ok, been there, done that, seen that, what's new" repetition. And in many ways, there are many people in my generation who are at that age who used to be the major buyers of these products when they were in their 20s just moving away from them. And the reality is that Japanese youngsters these days don't have much disposable income. Perhaps that is IMO, one of the reasons why some Japanese companies have started becoming serious towards a wider audience and started looking at the Western market.

Just my rants.
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Old 2017-07-15, 21:11   Link #218
gdpetti
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Not just a Japanese thing, as the same low pay, living with parents issue is here in the States as well... same loss of people to the cities, so less kids in school...half of what it was a generation ago etc. All of which reminds me of that anime, "Sakura Quest".. which is a rather real look at this situation of life outside the main cities in Japan... not much different here in the States... the cities in any kingdom/empire always suck up all the energies, youth etc...

94% of the job 'growth' in the States is fake... BLS numbers utilize 'birth/death of business' models to manipulate the numbers... been doing it for years.... that's why it seems all those 'jobs' were bartenders and waiters.... Like everything else, it's all propaganda.. keeping the puppet show alive until they 'pull the rug out'.

So, obviously, less money to buy merchandise etc... the 'culling of the herd'... typical for 'end times'... which is why civilizations rise and fall... But growing up is definitely a big part as well.... same with each 'graduation' in life ,from one grade to the next... The industry is stuck in a trap of their own creation.
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Old 2017-07-20, 03:52   Link #219
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kj1980 View Post
Maybe it's just part of growing up with more real life responsibilities such as paying off mortgage, getting serious about health, looking towards starting a family, taking care of elderly parents, etc. There is a sense of "ok, been there, done that, seen that, what's new" repetition.
As much as I don't like current anime as much as I liked shows in 2005-2008 and 2011-2013 (both good eras for me), adult responsibilities and the associated lack of time and energy have done way, way more to kill my enthusiasm for anime and other hobbies than anything else. It's not even a close call.

My interest in cosplay photography is especially demonstrative. My girlfriend has cosplayed for years (I asked her out because I thought her cosplays were cute), but since we got into Love Live she's been doing more elaborate costumes and we've been making more friends on the cosplay scene than we used to back when we were mainly into obscure stuff. Most of my recent events we've attended have been fantastic, but I don't find myself excited until the actual event day, whereas I used to anticipate them well in advanced. Too many distractions.
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Old 2017-07-20, 08:04   Link #220
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
As much as I don't like current anime as much as I liked shows in 2005-2008 and 2011-2013 (both good eras for me), adult responsibilities and the associated lack of time and energy have done way, way more to kill my enthusiasm for anime and other hobbies than anything else. It's not even a close call.
The same is exactly for me.

Although it is true that anime seemed "better" for me during the 05-08 and 11-13 periods, it's not like there wasn't any fantastic stuff outside those years. What really killed my enthusiasm is working 10-12+ hours a day 5-6 days a week. Really puts a toll on you the point where, if you have free time at all, it really isn't to watch anime.

And if I do watch the few anime I do (the last few 2 years I haven't even managed 10 shows per year to even do a top 10 list really)... well lets just say my preferences have "degraded" because I'm almost never in the mood for "smart" or "intellectual" shows anymore. The shows I watch on a weekly basis are now ... Dragonball Super and Aikatsu Stars. One's a mainstream shonen show which I can just turn my brain off and enjoy Goku and co be idiots and stuff (DBS is much more akin to the Dragonball than DBZ where theres heaps of goofing around and tournament based rather than DBZ's SRS BZN) and the other is ... well ... at first it was a guilty pleasure but I'm pretty sure that isn't the case anymore because one does not simply watch something 220+ episodes of a franchise for guilty pleasure reasons. Everything else I haven't started or are behind... some series VERY behind.

Yes, I do watch "better" anime very occasionally (e.g. Uchoten Kazoku S2 and King's avatar AKA Chinese E-sports/game anime that's actually better than every Japanese game anime out there, no joke) and very recently read an absolute superb VN duo in fault milestone due to a Steam Sale (which is currently my avatar) but thats very rare for me now.

Quote:
My interest in cosplay photography is especially demonstrative. My girlfriend has cosplayed for years (I asked her out because I thought her cosplays were cute), but since we got into Love Live she's been doing more elaborate costumes and we've been making more friends on the cosplay scene than we used to back when we were mainly into obscure stuff. Most of my recent events we've attended have been fantastic, but I don't find myself excited until the actual event day, whereas I used to anticipate them well in advanced. Too many distractions.
Funny enough, although I'm not into Love Live the franchise or anime that much, I'm in a discord server where a lot of Love Live fanart (and Idolmaster) gets spammed... and let's just say a lot of is good eye candy
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