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TeleportSandwich

The U.S. Anime industry is in deep shit

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http://www.animedream.com/ad/commentary/view/2964

I'm an angry person. I'm angry with the fans. I'm angry with the industry. And, most important, I'm angry with myself. Every single one of us has helped to lead the state of anime to where it is today. More and more, I hear a growing sense of apathy arising. I have to put my foot down and speak my mind now, lest I do so too late.

Through the internet: the forums, the chat rooms, and comment sections, a growing sentiment has come forth. A spoiled, self-entitled sentiment that constantly screams "Me! Me! Me! More! More! More!" This sentiment has manifested into a disgusting, twisted "I've got mine, so go to hell!" mentality that pervades many fans today. These "fans" happily glorify fansubbers as new-age Robin Hoods, while simultaneously demonizing companies like FUNimation. They chant in unison: "Paying for anime, lol" and decry industry figures as "greedy," claiming to be seen as "walking wallets." Ironically, these same people seem to make the most demands when said figures appear at conventions, but I digress. These "fans" will do anything to avoid supporting their hobby.

These "fans" are the worst of the worst. they're insular, elitist, and hateful towards anything that threatens to change their "elite" hobby. Much like the Trekkies, these people are absolutely insulted with the idea that someone who has no clue what loli is, or who Osamu Tezuka was may actually enjoy some of the things they do.These individuls are trapping anime fans in a tiny box, which shrinks more and more with each passing day. This is a mentality that extends from both kids to adults, mind you. Sadly, there are few cures for being a snobby, self-entitled douchebag.

I've never been to a con and I hardly ever interact with other anime fans outside of the internet (particularly 4chan) so is this REALLY how a lot of "fans" act now? I figured this type anti-social elitism was restricted to sites like 4chan and weren't really carried out by people in real life.

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Actually oddly enough most people I run into at cons support dubs and Funimation, etc, in fact I went to a Funimation panel which was jam packed with around 500 people this past Saturday where they made some announcements at Anime Boston. People were going crazy, though there is still a large group that downloads fan subs and doesn't buy the product I was unaware how poorly the market in the US was doing as I thought since Best Buy's DVD racks got much larger and the manga sections at B&N increased that they were rising.

I download series and buy the ones I like, with Manga I buy everything.

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It really is the overwhelming impression I get from a lot of people. There a lot of really snobbish anime fans out there. They don't want people to intrude on their hobby without being a part of their little world. I can't even begin to count the number of times I've seen asshats and douchebags call someone out during a conversation about whatever show because they were confused by a term or name.

The ridiculous thing is that a lot of those asshats are also the people who have never, ever bought anything from the American anime/merchandise providers.

I'll be the first person to admit that I download a lot of Anime. I mean, a lot. I have over 800GB downloaded from a single tracker I use regularly, the others I use don't keep track. That said, I also own about 75-80 actual real non-bootleg dvd's, numerous figures, model kits, some posters, ost's, a few real manga volumes, and the etc. If I enjoy it and the localization had some thought and care put into it, I'll generally buy something.

That's the running problem with Funi, honestly. They're a bad example for this sort of thing. Every time there's some news about a financial woe they're facing it can be traced back to their first several years of operation when they were licensing anything and everything for absurd sums and then butchering already terrible shows and trying to pass them off. A lot of the old anime licensers did the exact same thing, and that's why they washed out so hardcore. I mean, how often do you hear about Bandai Entertainment nearly shutting down? Never - because they don't license really awful shows, and they don't waist the consumers time with terrible localization work (GitS SAC/2nd GiG has easily the best dub cast EVER. Hell, one of the best voice casts in animated work period.), and they flat out don't waist time dubbing shows they don't expect cartoon network/Fox to want to run.

Another thing worth thinking about is that despite all the whining, moaning , and groaning the most concerted effort put forward to deal with the problems presented by Fansubbers was getting a COUPLE of show up on Crunchyroll - as much as three days behind the fansubs and in lower quality. That aspect reminds me a lot of the music industries losing battle with piracy.

Blarg. I'm rambling.

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Another thing worth thinking about is that despite all the whining, moaning , and groaning the most concerted effort put forward to deal with the problems presented by Fansubbers was getting a COUPLE of show up on Crunchyroll - as much as three days behind the fansubs and in lower quality. That aspect reminds me a lot of the music industries losing battle with piracy.

I thought Crunchyroll simulcasted many of their shows now? Also other online content streaming websites such hulu and even funi's own site offer episodes to watch for free. Its a step in the right direction I think but the piracy problem still exists and must be dealt with if companies want to stay afloat (though at this point they can only do damage control as opposed to stopping it outright).

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Part of the problem is that distributors don't license things fast enough and don't price anime reasonably. Over a hundred dollars for an anime boxset of 26 episodes is ridiculous. Oh sure, the unpopular animes can be found new and secondhand for in the 20-30 dollar range, which is a lot better. Still, my $100+ example was still probably under what you'd actually pay if you bought individual discs every time a publisher like Funimation put out a new disc. And some anime extend of 100 episodes. I love the manga Monster, but I haven't seen the anime version because I just can't afford to kick out the kind of cash it takes to buy a 100+ episode series of an anime from legit channels.

And sometimes an anime isn't even available without piracy of some sort. This REALLY gets to me with manga. A certain manga company (rhymes with WIZ) has had the license to Lum: Urusei Yatsura for a freaking age. Urusei Yatsura has been called "the japanese Simpsons." It was an incredibly popular media sensation which has influenced pretty much every anime or manga to this day (if you're not sure what I'm babbling about, it's thematically VERY similar to Futurama). Know what "WIZ" did? Put out about 10 volumes (not numbered), then kicked off to drink beer or something. As far as I know they still have the license but refuse to finish translating the series. For a while there was a site where they were fan-translating the series, but as far as I know that got taken down.

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I had about 4 grand worth of anime dvds in my room at one point, but that phase is gone.

I haven't bought anything anime related in years, and I have sold most of those dvd box sets and I'm still looking to sell more of them off.

~

As far as Manga? I own the Suikoden novels. I want to buy all of Berserk, but it's just so gawd damn huge and expensive I don't see myself actually doing that any time soon...and past that the only other Manga I want to purchase is Blade of the Immortal. That's it!

~~

The appeal is gone, and these new shows or whatever they air just don't do anything for me anymore.

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Mike Ferreira's article mirrors what I have heard a lot of people say in the last few years. However, while people clearly fansub but I have never run into the attitude he is describing. At least not in the community that I take part in.

In terms of greed there was a little bit of greed before the bubble burst. The fault is on the Japanese companies for being tied to the model they have been used to in Japan. The Japanese consumer is willing to spend $70 for two episodes. The American consumer is not. Then American licensors were spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on series that barely made back the cost to print the discs. The industry didn't die because of piracy. The industry died because the people involved didn't know how to run a business. Funimation, for all the faults you can attribute to them, know what they are doing. They licence based on the fan response to shows. They have smart people involved that actually love the content and want to treat it with respect. The most interesting part about Funimation's Anime Boston panel is that they acknowledged fansubs. For shows not yet released they said, something to the effect of, "If you've seen the show we hope you'll check it out again."

At the very worst the model would need to shift to delivering the content for free and making money based on merch. If I didn't have to spend hundreds of dollars just to own a series I love than I'm going to buy merch not to support the show but just because I love it. I own merch for series not yet released in the States and I'm sure a lot of fans do.

This article also points out legitimate complaints, which makes the whole thing sound like whining instead of an actual market analysis:

"I'm sure most people roll their eyes whenever somebody pipes up and says "No dub, no buy" or "I refuse to buy anything that's not on blu-ray!" The show is going to be the exact same damn thing, whether it's in 1080p or not!"

If a fan doesn't like watching a show in subtitles.. he won't buy a show without a dub. Also, now that most shows are broadcast (and fansubed) in HD resolutions if you bring the show to the States I want it in an HD resolution. Why would I want a downscaled version of something I probably already have? I waited an extra six months for Evangelion 1.11 on Blu-ray. That's the product I want to buy. Put it to market and you will have my money.

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I'll buy stuff if I have money and it is available. I don't care if the dub sucks, I'll just change the language. If I can't, whatever. I watched most of Love Hina in english, I can take anything. Coincidentally, this thread make me, for some reason, really want to go out and buy Excel Saga.

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tl;dr

However, here we are in 2010. Central Park's gone. Pioneer's gone. ADV is gone. Bandai and Media Blasters both laid off a large number of their workforce. And all the while, the fans scream, whine, and shout when things don't go juuuuuust right.

maybe. juuuuuust maybe this has more due with many companies putting a $20-$30 price tag on a four episode dvd for years.

anime is a niche audience as it is, trying to mass market it to a new audience isn't going to work with that pricing structure. here in the US we're already accustomed to paying $30-$60 for a full television series. and it took Funi this long to figure this shit out for some reason by releasing a full season or half season of a series for about $40-$50.

granted i'm just one person, i have no idea how many people share the same view, but pricing on a series makes all the difference to alter my interest.

i'm down with $40 for the first 13 episodes of Soul Eater, but spending $27 for only four episodes of Queen's Blade? no fucking way. both because there's very little content, and if i'd want to see the rest of it'd cost $80.

no.

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I've always taken the stance that people just need to relax. Sure, anime will never achieve the success it had during the early 2000's boom, but it will always continue to exist over here in some form. Whether it be the cheaper DVD boxsets of now or internet services like Crunchyroll, anime isn't going anywhere.

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CP, Pioneer, and ADV all died because they spent ridiculous amounts of money licensing unpopular series.

The industries entire problem is that there's not a lot of business sense going around. It's sad, but 4Kids is the only licenser with any brains about what they're doing.

License awful low cost shows

Butcher them

Market to children

Cash in on merch sales.

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CP, Pioneer, and ADV all died because they spent ridiculous amounts of money licensing unpopular series.

The industries entire problem is that there's not a lot of business sense going around. It's sad, but 4Kids is the only licenser with any brains about what they're doing.

License awful low cost shows

Butcher them

Market to children

Cash in on merch sales.

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^double post is double!

Also you may be praising 4kids for actually being more successful then the others but even they are losing a ton of money now. I blame Twilight. I always blame Twilight

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it only really matters in the short term. 3-6 years from now everything will probably be distributed digitally anyway.

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3-6 years from now everything will probably be distributed digitally anyway.

I really hope this doesn't happen.

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