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Just how bad is this "slump" they say anime is in?

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Just how bad is this "slump" they say anime is in?

Old 08-03-12, 11:08 AM
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Re: Just how bad is this "slump" they say anime is in?

I'm sure the distributors would have loved to keep their stuff on TV. Heck, Funimation had their own network for a while. But Cartoon Network went after their own series and basically pushed anime out, I'm not sure the distributors had a say in it. I'm not even sure the basic networks even have cartoons anymore, whereas as a kid pretty much every station had a morning cartoon block, an afternoon block, and a Saturday morning block. Sure, now there are dedicated cartoon channels, but a lot of their stuff is at least partially owned by the network that runs them, so that they get a cut in merchandising. I'm actually curious to see how the new Toonami is going to do.

I'm sure the terrible ratings of stuff like the original Mobile Suit Gundam and Escaflowne also contributed to this. But bottom line, I don't think the distributors had much of a choice, it's not like they intentionally kept their stuff off of TV so that they could boost their DVD sales.

The comic industry is doing ok, but I wouldn't say that comics are doing well. DC's new 52 initiative did bring a boost in sales but even that's leveling off. Like anime, the industry is pretty much relying on a niche fanbase spending more and more money on their product. Those massive crossovers aren't to get new people into comics, they're to get the existing readers to buy more titles. The intellectual properties are doing well, and I think Disney and WB will continue to fund comics if only for that purpose, but the medium needs a way to broaden it's appeal (or, in some cases, to just get the word out there). Also, like anime there is rampant piracy; people who scoff at paying 2.99 or 3.99 can easily find stuff for free.
Old 08-03-12, 11:36 AM
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Re: Just how bad is this "slump" they say anime is in?

I'm still amazed that (abiet with commercials) there are official subtitled releases of popular shows like Naruto and One Piece the week after they show in Japan.

That's a big improvement over when I was downloading fansubs in college. The quality is so much better. Oh and they're both in HD on Hulu Plus, IIRC. Definitely a "Well, Back in MY day!" moment.
Old 08-03-12, 12:00 PM
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Re: Just how bad is this "slump" they say anime is in?

Originally Posted by RobLutter
I'm still amazed that (abiet with commercials) there are official subtitled releases of popular shows like Naruto and One Piece the week after they show in Japan.

That's a big improvement over when I was downloading fansubs in college. The quality is so much better. Oh and they're both in HD on Hulu Plus, IIRC. Definitely a "Well, Back in MY day!" moment.
Downloading fansubs in college? "Well, Back in MY day" we did tape trading, and we liked it! I remember having to buy a blank tape, mail it to some guy, who would then put some episodes of Gaogaigar or Legend of the Galactic Heroes or whatever on it, then mail it back to me. You can imagine what the quality was like.

But yeah, officially subbed shows a week after they air in Japan is great... we're also getting shonen jump manga two weeks after it comes out in Japan (although it's not free). And I don't think either of those happen without the fansub/fan-translated stuff.
Old 08-03-12, 12:12 PM
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Re: Just how bad is this "slump" they say anime is in?

Originally Posted by fujishig
Downloading fansubs in college? "Well, Back in MY day" we did tape trading, and we liked it! I remember having to buy a blank tape, mail it to some guy, who would then put some episodes of Gaogaigar or Legend of the Galactic Heroes or whatever on it, then mail it back to me. You can imagine what the quality was like.

But yeah, officially subbed shows a week after they air in Japan is great... we're also getting shonen jump manga two weeks after it comes out in Japan (although it's not free). And I don't think either of those happen without the fansub/fan-translated stuff.
Ha. I can remember as far back as buying fansubbed Dragonball Z at the shady comic shop in the mall on VHS. It was like $40 and we'd share the tapes. We weren't smart enough in middle-school/high-school to find tape traders.

CHA LA HEAD CHA LAA!

Now I've got Dragon Box 1-6... which are perfect. Just need to get around to picking up the last one. Never in a bajillion years did I think Funi would recreate those for America.
Old 08-03-12, 01:38 PM
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Re: Just how bad is this "slump" they say anime is in?

Originally Posted by RobLutter
Ha. I can remember as far back as buying fansubbed Dragonball Z at the shady comic shop in the mall on VHS. It was like $40 and we'd share the tapes. We weren't smart enough in middle-school/high-school to find tape traders.

CHA LA HEAD CHA LAA!

Now I've got Dragon Box 1-6... which are perfect. Just need to get around to picking up the last one. Never in a bajillion years did I think Funi would recreate those for America.
SPARKING!

Yeah, I'd go done to the local Japanese book store and rent the tapes of the unsubbed broadcasts (and pick up the untranslated tankoubans). And my Japanese is very poor, which is probably why I fell in love with mainly shonen jump-like stories for kids, that are easy to read/watch without relying on understanding the words...

You thought Funi would miss a chance to milk DBZ one more time?
Old 08-03-12, 04:11 PM
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Re: Just how bad is this "slump" they say anime is in?

Originally Posted by fujishig
SPARKING!

Yeah, I'd go done to the local Japanese book store and rent the tapes of the unsubbed broadcasts (and pick up the untranslated tankoubans). And my Japanese is very poor, which is probably why I fell in love with mainly shonen jump-like stories for kids, that are easy to read/watch without relying on understanding the words...

You thought Funi would miss a chance to milk DBZ one more time?
Hey, ya know what they say... the 5th time's a charm!
Old 08-03-12, 10:30 PM
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Re: Just how bad is this "slump" they say anime is in?

Originally Posted by fujishig
I'm sure the distributors would have loved to keep their stuff on TV. Heck, Funimation had their own network for a while. But Cartoon Network went after their own series and basically pushed anime out, I'm not sure the distributors had a say in it. I'm not even sure the basic networks even have cartoons anymore, whereas as a kid pretty much every station had a morning cartoon block, an afternoon block, and a Saturday morning block. Sure, now there are dedicated cartoon channels, but a lot of their stuff is at least partially owned by the network that runs them, so that they get a cut in merchandising. I'm actually curious to see how the new Toonami is going to do.
I don't recall seeing afternoon blocks of cartoons for years, although I don't remember any other stations besides Fox having them. I'm sure there were others, but Fox was the only network I really paid attention to because they had the Spider-man and X-men cartoons.

Speaking of Toonami, how's it doing? I haven't seen much activity in the Toonami thread besides the bump saying they acquired Samurai 7.

I'm sure the terrible ratings of stuff like the original Mobile Suit Gundam and Escaflowne also contributed to this. But bottom line, I don't think the distributors had much of a choice, it's not like they intentionally kept their stuff off of TV so that they could boost their DVD sales.
Besides Wing, I don't think any of the Gundam shows did well over here. That probably put a damper on Bandai's plans. When they began bringing Gundam over, I think they thought they had a cash cow on their hands, but it seems like Gundam, for the most part, didn't make much of a splash over here.

The comic industry is doing ok, but I wouldn't say that comics are doing well. DC's new 52 initiative did bring a boost in sales but even that's leveling off. Like anime, the industry is pretty much relying on a niche fanbase spending more and more money on their product. Those massive crossovers aren't to get new people into comics, they're to get the existing readers to buy more titles. The intellectual properties are doing well, and I think Disney and WB will continue to fund comics if only for that purpose, but the medium needs a way to broaden it's appeal (or, in some cases, to just get the word out there). Also, like anime there is rampant piracy; people who scoff at paying 2.99 or 3.99 can easily find stuff for free.
The part I made bold, you could easily apply that to the anime industry as well. Ever since the crash, I have not seen any marketing push to let people know that anime was still around with the exception of advertisements for Naruto and Bleach. This is the reason I haven't really bought or watched any anime in the last four years. I have no idea what's being released in North America right now besides what occasionally pops up on this site.

Comic books may not be the best thing to compare to anime. Yes, like anime comic books are not a "major" industry but they are an industry that has reinvented itself over the years. The anime industry, on the other hand, seems like it doesn't want to get out of this comfort zone it built around itself. In the '80s you could see more sophisticated shows popping up and in the 90s you had all these really great series coming out from the mid 90s to early 2000s, but since then the industry seemed to gravitate around harem shows, moe, and these cutesy romantic comedies. At least from what I can see, the industry is not doing a whole lot to appeal to non-otakus.
Old 08-04-12, 04:18 PM
  #183  
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Re: Just how bad is this "slump" they say anime is in?

The comic book industry seems to be targeting a niche market of older readers and collectors, while ignoring younger readers. As a kid in the '60s I began reading comics as soon as I could read and kept reading them through my college years. And I knew lots of other kids who did. I don't know how many kids today follow that pattern.

Today, young readers are more apt to be reading manga, which offers stories and artwork that are more interesting to them and not just dark, adult, tortured superheroes. I don't know current sales figures, but it seems to me that manga has been doing much better than anime in the U.S. in the last few years.
Old 08-04-12, 04:25 PM
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Re: Just how bad is this "slump" they say anime is in?

Manga is even worse... heck, Tokyopop closed its' doors. Viz is now pretty much the only game in town.

My local comic shop recently had a $0.50 TPB sale on Manga and none of it was moving.
Old 08-05-12, 09:07 PM
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Re: Just how bad is this "slump" they say anime is in?

I agree with RobLutter. The Manga industry as a whole appears to be doing a lot worse in North America than anime, although I never paid attention to manga and was never that interested in it, so I can't really comment on it. The Sailor Moon manga seems to be doing well, but besides that and Berserk I don't know of any other manga that is being released in North America. I know there's more out there but, like I said, I was never interested in manga, so I never paid attention to the industry.
Old 08-06-12, 06:38 AM
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Re: Just how bad is this "slump" they say anime is in?

That's because manga is boring. Sure the story is good and sometimes the pictures are very pretty, but at the end of the day you're still just....*reading*, as opposed to being stimulated by a moving image and sound coming from your TV. I never did get all the hype and attention manga gets. It's a novelty at best. Anime doing much better in NA comes as no surprise to anyone.
Old 08-06-12, 08:52 AM
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Re: Just how bad is this "slump" they say anime is in?

Originally Posted by RobLutter
Manga is even worse... heck, Tokyopop closed its' doors. Viz is now pretty much the only game in town.
Huh? There's Yen, Vertical, Seven Seas, Kodansha USA, Dark Horse -- and unlike TP, most of them are owned by larger companies, reducing the chance of them going out of business because the CEO's an idiot.

If you look at the graphic novel bestseller lists, manga typically makes up a quarter of the Top 20, and Sailor Moon in particular has been doing as well as the big name superhero comics.

Originally Posted by OutRun2
That's because manga is boring. Sure the story is good and sometimes the pictures are very pretty, but at the end of the day you're still just....*reading*, as opposed to being stimulated by a moving image and sound coming from your TV. I never did get all the hype and attention manga gets. It's a novelty at best. Anime doing much better in NA comes as no surprise to anyone.
Well, imagine this, some people like to read.
Old 08-09-12, 01:04 PM
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Re: Just how bad is this "slump" they say anime is in?

Originally Posted by OutRun2
That's because manga is boring. Sure the story is good and sometimes the pictures are very pretty, but at the end of the day you're still just....*reading*, as opposed to being stimulated by a moving image and sound coming from your TV. I never did get all the hype and attention manga gets. It's a novelty at best. Anime doing much better in NA comes as no surprise to anyone.
What the heck? Are you serious?

If you are, I'll say this; Especially for longer series, I much prefer manga, even more so if manga is the original story. You don't get filler episodes where nothing happens because you have to keep the status quo while the manga gets more of a lead on the anime, you don't get radically altered endings because the manga is going to outlast the anime, and it's much easier, IMHO, to revisit things in manga form than rewatching the seasons of anime.

I think manga tends to do a lot better at bookstores than at comic book stores, hence the broader appeal, so I'm not surprised that a comic store blowing out their manga stock wouldn't make much of a dent. It's true that Tokyopop closing down was a bit of a shock, but the remaining players have closer ties to the Japanese publishers (this is similar in many ways to the remaining anime distributors). The Shonen Jump stuff Viz puts out does particularly well. Overall, manga has also settled down, but I'm not sure it's going away any time soon, and it does seem to have broader appeal than traditional superhero comics (but also has a problem in that how many of these kids reading stuff on the floor of bookstores are really spending money).

Sales charts from this year from bookscan
http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/23308.html
Old 08-09-12, 01:56 PM
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Re: Just how bad is this "slump" they say anime is in?

Originally Posted by fujishig
What the heck? Are you serious?

If you are, I'll say this; Especially for longer series, I much prefer manga, even more so if manga is the original story. You don't get filler episodes where nothing happens because you have to keep the status quo while the manga gets more of a lead on the anime, you don't get radically altered endings because the manga is going to outlast the anime, and it's much easier, IMHO, to revisit things in manga form than rewatching the seasons of anime.

I think manga tends to do a lot better at bookstores than at comic book stores, hence the broader appeal, so I'm not surprised that a comic store blowing out their manga stock wouldn't make much of a dent. It's true that Tokyopop closing down was a bit of a shock, but the remaining players have closer ties to the Japanese publishers (this is similar in many ways to the remaining anime distributors). The Shonen Jump stuff Viz puts out does particularly well. Overall, manga has also settled down, but I'm not sure it's going away any time soon, and it does seem to have broader appeal than traditional superhero comics (but also has a problem in that how many of these kids reading stuff on the floor of bookstores are really spending money).

Sales charts from this year from bookscan
http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/23308.html
I've been reading Miyazaki's Nausicaa manga (I have one volume left) and it's magnificent, probably the best manga I've ever read. It's even better than the NAUSICAA movie. It may be Miyazaki's best work ever. I definitely see myself re-reading it over the years. I wish that, instead of making the movie, Miyazaki had instead made a TV series based on the manga and given it as many episodes as the story required.

I was in Book Off's Manhattan location yesterday (a Japanese franchise in the U.S. that sells used books, DVDs, CDs, comics, etc.) and a clerk was telling a customer that they hardly get any anime DVDs anymore. On my way out I watched the staff unpack a box full of pristine manga editions that they'd just bought from a customer.

Here's the relevant quote from the bookscan sales column that Fujishig linked to:
The number of manga titles in the "Top 20" grew from just 4 in May to 7 in June led by two volumes of Tite Kubo’s Bleach from Viz Media. Viz plans to publish two volumes a month through the end of the year in order to catch up with release of the trade paperback collections in Japan (see "Viz Plans Speed-Up of 'Bleach' Manga"). Two volumes of Bleach finished at #6 and #7, followed by one of the top shojo series, Black Bird Vol. 14 at #8. Other manga titles debuting on the list include the latest iteration of the popular anime/TCG/manga property Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal Vol. 1 at #14 and Alice in the Country of Clover at #19. The latter is the first volume in the series published by Seven Seas, which took over the property from the now defunct Tokyopop.

Last edited by Ash Ketchum; 08-09-12 at 02:01 PM.

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