Anime Industry Laments Bust: “We Could Sell Anything!”

kyo-ani-haruhi-yui-konata-kagami

A business article on the burst of the moe bubble explains the trials the industry faces, with an anime industry figure woefully admitting that he could sell anything he dumped on consumers at the boom’s height.

The article, translated from the pages of top Japanese business rag Weekly Toyo Keizai:

Even the representative of the Japanese content industry, the anime industry, is at its wits end over struggling DVD sales.

The management at an anime production company holds forth on the subject:

“In hard times people keep a tight reign on their purse strings. 2-3 years ago, if it was a moe or robot anime, we could sell absolutely anything, but now things have become selective.”

Over 50% of broadcast anime occupies late night slots, but the production costs for one episode alone are from 10-13 million yen ($100,000-130,000).

Publishers have to buy up slots from TV stations [at something like 500,000-3,000,000 each episode for late night broadcasts on typical stations], and most of their revenues come from DVD sales.

Illegal distribution online is an issue, as are business conditions.

With late night anime being a niche market, if revenues are assured even a potential hit won’t secure funding – just making each title is becoming more difficult.

One TV station’s management gloomily expresses their concern: “The number of projects we are seeing is close to half that of last year.”

Selling late night slots, which otherwise cost money to programme for, to anime publishers is a good earner for these stations. Reduced DVD sales thus also harm the stations. Some have reduced prices on their slots, but the effect remains unclear.

Amidst these shrinking DVD sales, some are pinning their hopes on Blu-ray.

But the anime producer interviewed is sceptical:

“The impact is nothing like the move from VHS to DVD. The market’s not going to grow with just the switch from DVD to BD.”

The audiovisual content industry still appears to be facing a harsh future indeed.

Many are now saying the industry is justly reaping what it has sown, with the market collapsing after being saturated with innumerable derivative works of questionable quality.

And the expected scathing 2ch response:

“And what’s left is just ero-moe anime.”

“Who the hell’d watch a bunch of ridiculously censored anime anyway.”

“They’re practically all the same pictures anyway, it’s like playing a visual novel.”

“Just stop making anime for God’s sake!”

“The DVDs aren’t selling because they’re overpriced. You can rent them at Geo for 100 so I’m even less likely to buy.”

“Most anime otaku are downloading rather than buying. They’d be better off just making children’s anime.”

“It’s hard to believe anyone even buys these BDs at 3000 per episode.”

“It’s the middle of a recession so what do they expect?”

“I think it’d be best if they decrease output even more. There’s too many irredeemable anime out there still.

I don’t mean to say ero-anime is no good, but it’d be best if they didn’t bother making drivel like Sora no Otoshimono into anime in the first place.”

“In the eighties it was the anime movie boom, in the nineties the OVA boom. They all end the same.”

“’The issue of illegal distribution on video sharing sites’

Isn’t this free publicity? Otaku in the regions or overseas can decide to buy the DVDs. If they want to expand their audience there’s nothing for it but to harness the Internet.”

“Illegal distribution doesn’t promote them.

Haruhi may have ended up like that overseas, but most of them are just freeloading scum happy at whatever they can get for free. People in the regions can just rent them cheaply, and foreigners hardly buy them at all.

If it promotes them why aren’t they all distributing online?”

“’freeloading scum happy at whatever they can get for free’

How does this differ to people watching for free on TV but not buying?”

“It’s all because most of their anime was trash.

It goes: 2-3 cute girls come on, show us their pantsu, and then give some half-baked loli dialogue.

How the hell can do they expect to expand their customer base with this stuff?”

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173 Comments

  • “If it promotes them why aren’t they all distributing online?”
    Because the guys making and selling anime are just way too fucking stupid to manage that. Just look at the mess that is Daisuki. It’s really sad, but they just can’t keep up with the times. (Who’d want to own BDs anyway.. waste of perfectly fine space.)

  • I buy Japanese stuff that is good, regardless of whether it’s animated.

    So … if Yoko Kanno puts out an album, if Kurosawa makes a movie, if Miyazaki makes a cartoon, I want it.

    Japan makes great stuff.

    If Japan can’t make high-quality cartoons, Japan should make something else that is high-quality. Music, knives, tea, I don’t care.

    Japan is actually amazingly creative because their love of high quality is deep.

  • I tried to watch only good animes like NGE, Elfen Lied, Claymore, GITS…Strike Witches 🙂
    So I watched an episode of Lucky Star and K-ON…and NOW I understand…is there a plot/story at all ??? and the characters are not even really moe/cute – they are simply boring.
    Are otakus really so stupid ? If they can watch and buy the Endless Eight episodes they probably are.
    The otakus are at fault too, because they watch it and buy the DVDs and figures. If the otakus wouldn’t be gays then there would be only good animes.
    I thought otakus are cool, now I think they are totally stupid or gays.
    They should watch NGE again to see how a good anime looks like.

  • One think to say.

    They complain to mutch, but they think that they will steal us in our faces.

    Come On! a BluRay Disc with 3 HD Episodes………… that is a total ripoff. And even more if we take in count that ina DVD we can have 10 to 14 HD episodes via compresion.

    I think is time for them to give us more chapters in one disc, and begin to use compresion as their standards to survive.

    As for me, i Prefer to have a pirate 14 chaper DVD anime than buying an original Bluray with only 3 chaps and meaningles extras for 50 dolars, that is a whole old way to steal from users since the DVD format came out (with 3 o 4 chaps per disc on DVD vs 26 Chaps on a sigle layer DVD with video compression).

    When i see a original anime with enough content…….. them i will agree to buy one of those.

  • They should just turn all anime torrent sharing sites into a paid service, start a legal subbing company, or (and) include commercials into subs. The money would start flowing again. But, they just have too little knowledge of what online sharing is really like to see that.

    • They do have knowlege of this but they choose not to go foward with this idea.They did talk to owner of Crunchyroll.com made a sort of deal with person that if its ok if Crunchyroll streams Animes titles from Japan as long as crunchyroll pays for the rights to show them the said part is they got screwed.

      Torrents can be easy to acess because its P2P Japanese don’t like the idea.

  • People will pay for the good series. If it’s trash, why would they expect it to sell?

    Also, it’s hard for an ero-series to get TV time and they tend to be censored at times. This means they have to rely on DVD sales and other goods. The funny thing is that some full H series probably would do better in the long run…lol..

  • Anime producers don’t really consider the worldwide market when making their productions. I never really felt respected as a consumer or a fan, so hell yeah I’ll download it as long as it’s available.

    • Download if you wish. At least stop manufacturing stupid excuses to make yourself feel better from your guilt.

      I don’t see how the anime not being marketed to your country got to do with respecting or disrespecting you.

      Moreover, there’s Crunchyroll to stream anime for a low monthly fee, so your excuse that “anime producers don’t consider the worldwide market” just went out the window.

  • They should probably start tracking sites to see which animes foreign markets are interested in, then stream them (low quality), and subbed for free. Then put out higher quality dvds/bds (but keep the price under control), and cross their fingers. If they could do this in a timely manner, without trying to bogard titles from subbing groups with C&Ds, they might actually grow their fanbase in foreign markets again……

    Or not, and waste a bunch of cash. Either way, they need to attract MORE than just otaku for the industry to come back (imo).

  • Putting aside moe, mecha….maybe they are getting it wrong. If they can see no one buys a damn blu-ray that contains one episode out of 13 or 20 at a price tag of 30+ bucks? Then, maybe they are pretty stupid.

    Just consider opening a broadcast anime web page (like kadokawa channel in youtube) with a monthly fee (a la crunchyroll) where you can see tons of episodes in HD. problem resolved. less losses, more profits.

  • Well I’m ‘freeloading scum’ and refuse to buy DVDs for one simple reason: Why would I buy a DVD when I can download it at a higher quality? Start releasing anime on Blu-ray outside of Japan then I’ll contribute to the industry.

  • and the boom of shit came rigth after k-on, lots of series suffered from moefication, one good example is railgun, i know index is even better than railgun manga but the anime is now a lot of ramdom shit that forces yuri situations, i also blame moe-shits like idolmaster first of all for putting berserk in hiatus.

  • The 2ch comments cover it pretty well- they’ve got so used to being able to sell ANYTHING that they’ve forgotten how to actually produce quality. Now they can only produce crap, they’re suffering now that crap isn’t selling any more. Well, serves them right. Maybe now we can get the next industry-reviving high-quality megahit (like Evangelion was back in ’96).

  • They are crying about the “freeloading scum” because they have to – they don’t want to admit that the problems they are facing are their own stupidity.

    First off this is the quality of anime they are producing. Better quality = more viewers and more profit. Second is the price of DVDs. The cost of an anime DVD is horrid, if they want to increase DVD sales overseas, they are going to have to reduce the price.

  • It’s funny, any other industry, prices will drop if demand drops. Yet Japanese cling to their absurdly expensive CDs and DVDs to their dying breath, and make it even worse with BRs. Fools…

  • I have no idea if this is in any way related, but I want more Seikon no Qwaser ep 4, possibly with Sasha dead and with the story completely going on around the pussy licking pervert and her queen.

  • gamingikari says:

    The problem is the “sell anything thing” in the first place. Shovel enough crap and even the most spend-happy Otaku is going to start getting a little more discerning.

    It’s their own fault. They flooded the market with too much low quality garbage and now everybody is wary of buying new stuff. They have to wait for the next generation of Otaku to get into the “spend anything” hype before they can just flog whatever crap they want.

    I have zero pity for these assholes. They knew they were able to sell a lot of goods, so intead of being discerning and selling high quality goods to build brand recognition, they sold everything they could make a mold for and sent as much to overseas animation studios as they could instead of relying on quality studios for their anime.

    And it shows. These days, people are a lot more critical of upcoming work. The companies have nobody to blame but themselves.

    • I agree. Greedy Executives and shareholders have killed the market, by drowning it in garbage!

      The same thing happened to Sci-Fi/Fantasy movies (a couple of years after Star Wars & Empire came out).

      Marvel comics did the same thing in the late 80s. Every character had a dozen different comics that you had to buy (if you wanted to keep up with the various storylines). There were all the different x-over titles, as well.

      Both those sectors took years to recover.

      lehnerus2000

    • “The problem is the “sell anything thing” in the first place.”
      I agree totally. They killed “the goose that laid the golden egg” by drowning it with low quality rubbish.

      Two examples:

      I used to buy Marvel comics back in the 80s. Then they started doing multiple x-overs and every character started to have 12 different titles (ie 12 different Spiderman comics, 12 different X-Men comics, etc). I only used to buy about 6 or 7 titles, but when they started doing that, I stopped buying everything!

      It’s just like when the original “Star Wars” came out and was a huge hit. Every other studio said, “Who cares what it’s about as long as it has lasers and spaceships.” The market was saturated with garbage SciFi/Fantasy movies.

      Greedy executives and shareholders basically killed those markets and they took years to recover.

      lehnerus2000

  • they need to do what crunchy roll does

    have free anime to watch, and make a profit off the ads and traffic on the sites they run.

    this way, fans can just load up a page, at any time, to see their favorite shows. . .

    • …that’s so damn true…
      oh wait, why ? they could simply play the origin one on TV in the whole world and make a proper marketing for it.
      And the new EVA movies can’t reach the obsession of the series, because the movies come out once a year -it’s too long.
      Imagine…if they would remaster the series in the graphic the movies are…wow (-in the words of otakus fap,fap,fap 🙂

        • They are Japanese. If George will touch something it will turn into crap. I.e the first two episodes of NGE are boring but in the movie Eva1.0 (1.01, 1.11) its great, only because it is remastered. I bet if they would only remaster the graphic of the series and don’t put new things into it (i’m looking at you Mari) or change things (Shikinami) or use too much CG and leave the dialogs and story untouched – it would be so damn good. I would have much more fate that Japanese could do it really good, if they would want it to be good of coarse. But if they would only want fast money it would turn into crap -StarWars 1,2,3

          If their purpose is of George’s origin, it will fail.
          But if it comes from Gainax, you cannot defeat them 🙂

  • Don’t worry guys, I’ll fix the anime industry.

    1. Slap the fat cats around to drop the price of DVD/BD down, if it can’t be done without a loss due to overhead, start something like a netflix or download to own thing.
    2. Stop producing so much anime
    3. Make good anime, I’ll watch anything so long as it entertains me

    Nearly everything they’ve put out in the last few years is trash, plus the recession the Japanese like Bakemonogatari, look at it’s sales, make more anime that the Japanese otaku like, and you’ll see dvd/bd sales go up.

  • drunkspiderman667 says:

    the problem is crappy anime. 90% of the stuff i see is complete crap, its all slice of life BS. we need more code geasses and monsters.

    anime is all about creative ideas and story telling.

  • Wait a minute. They are saying they are paying 80% or more of their costs to put their shows on TV! There is no way in hell that is an optimal business model if anyone is even glancing at the price tag when they buy your product.

    It’s the difference between paying $70 dollars for a movie or $14 dollars for the movie. We shell out $14 dollars toward anything that might be interesting on a regular basis. It takes an extreme fandom for a SEASON to cost $70 in the United States, let alone for two episodes (that are quite possibly the same episodes as the last two you just watched *cough* endless *cough*).

    This goes beyond supply and demand. Its cost vs worth. When you don’t have an infinite supply of money the cost become much more important.

  • Like the 2ch people say if they made anime available to buy, i would. Tons of motherfuckers sub stuff in english in japan. If they did and sold that shit (online or physical) i’d buy it happily to support them, because i’m like that.

  • It’s all the stupid, unnecessary censorship that terrestrial TV networks in Japan are practising nowadays.

    About 20 to 30 years ago, anime shows were almost all over the schedules and almost all had fanservice shots a plenty. Barbie-style female chracter nudity was commonplace.

    But now, it’s on the “endangered species list”!

    Other factors at fault:
    Radical feminists there and abroad especially Equality Now! and their girlfriends in CEDAW,
    religious zealots on the rise,
    PTAs,
    conservative government officials,
    the downspiralled economy,
    UNICEF Japan and Agnes Chan!

  • i’m not droping 30 bucks a disc for something IDK if i’ll like i did it once after seeing a few episodes of a series went and bought the series and was BORED for 90% of the rest of the series

    and there is also a LARGE prtion of anime that is good but won’t EVER make it to the states for one reason or another

    • Exactly. And the difference in how much content you get for the same money is humongous. I mean, an entire volume for 5$ VS a dvd with 1-2 episodes for 30$. And the manga is usually better…

  • Wow, different lanauges but I bet people overseas think the same thing. Nowadays however, mostly what sells for overseas are dubbed anime like it or not. People aren’t going to buy subbed anime if they can get it for free online for basically the same price unless:

    it’s uncensored

    it’s has tons of “goodies” with it

    or they really want to watch it on tv and lack the ability to do that through downloads or configuration, etc..

    Most people who buy dubbed anime and find out the anime they want to buy isn’t dubbed and only subtitled are less likely to buy it usually, but not always. There are some people who will say “well dubbed anime sucks” etc, but market figures show it sells a hell of a lot more than subbed anime, which is ironic considering subbed cost more in the past..

  • The otaku calling downloaders “freeloading scum” aren’t any better. Rather than downloading it, they just don’t buy any of this craptastic moe-flood either. Either way, the anime industry isn’t getting enough revenue.

    The anime industry needs to recognize a few things:

    First, their writers are shit. When the collective whole of anime writers are making good stories about as often as a blind man shooting the broadside of a barn, perhaps its time to invest in sending them back to college to learn how to write a fucking story worth reading/watching.

    Second, quit with the sexual titillation. I quit watching this shit for the same reason that I don’t go to strip clubs. If I want to jerk it, I’ll watch porn. I’m watching your show for a good story. Titillation is more frustrating than anything else because you can’t rally use this shit as spank material. You can’t jerk to it, and it’s not even a good story – it’s irredeemable overall.

    Third, recognize that you have a global market. Not only the USA, but countries all over the world. Perhaps you should try simultaneously producing the Japanese tracks along side the English/Spanish/French/whatever tracks. At the very least, there should be an English/other language script prepared and ready before the anime even goes into production. Simultaneous release worldwide would help increase revenue. Take a cue from Hollywood: you guys get to watch Harry Potter in Japanese on the same day Americans get to watch it for that reason.

    • Right, good luck getting the localizations to not butcher whatever they get their hands on or release anything in an acceptable time frame. With the fine margins the industry has to deal with, multi-lingual audio is quite frankly, an utter waste of time, money and any other resource.

      Harry Potter doesn’t get released on a weekly or even monthly schedule. It’s far easier to hold off releasing a movie. You don’t need to buy time slots to air your movie, and how airtime is sold differs in different regions. Net distribution? Maybe when the media quality hasn’t been raped over, doesn’t require live streaming, distributors stop trying to put up retarded region locks (anime blurays tend to be region free btw) and generally stop making you feel like you’ve been completely ripped off for content you paid for.

      Then we have buying the actual DVDs and Blurays themselves. So far, every anime bluray I’ve come across is region free, which is probably the smartest thing they could have done; but are you going to buy a series you’ve never seen? Not likely. The way they’re sold and priced at the moment, they are pretty much collectables, not consumables. So, there needs to be exposure first. In Japan, there are plenty to ways to get that exposure, but internationally? Hah. By the time a show airs on a foreign channel, enough time would have lapsed such that limited edition items worth collecting would have likely sold out. But, say you decide to import them; well, then you get to enjoy whatever fucked up import regulations, censorship, complete failure of a postal system or whatever ways your country decides to fail in today.

  • ’freeloading scum happy at whatever they can get for free’

    How does this differ to people watching for free on TV but not buying?”

    for some reason,this one had an unexpected impact on me,i mean,he’s kind of right in a way….and you can still record you tv program… >.>

    of course,it’s all different when people are downloading the “ultimate” uncensored dvd version.

      • Okay. Put commercials for American products on internet distributed anime. Oh wait, they can’t because no one wants to be associated with shows that have ecchi and sexualized children.

        Anime companies think ero is the way to go but its actually limiting their market.

        • “Lolicion has a long history, measured by the time anime exists. America don’t, measured by the time civilisation exists.”

          What an incredibly idiotic statement. Are you SERIOUSLY using tradition as a justification for moral behavior? So, by your logic, slavery is a-ok since slavery has existed since humans could first beat up their neighbors, as is burning witches. And, hey! We should bring back Divine Right Feudalism, because, being old, it is INHERENTLY SUPERIOR to modern government systems!

          But hey, why stop there? Bloodletting was used in medicine for centuries! It’s far superior to modern medical practices JUST BECAUSE IT’S OLD! Screw you, Germ Theory, we don’t need to sanitize tools or food or have antibiotics! That’s just not right! Come to think of it, the Scientific Method looks a to be a new kid on the block. Clearly, baseless superstition and Pythagorean whole numbers are the key to a brighter, better future!

        • Some butthurt pedophile down voted this post when it makes sense. Please tell me how on god’s green earth will any American company even think of putting commercials on erotic renditions of children and any anime with pedo undertones.

      • Flawed logic is FLAWED. It assumes that A) people even watch the commercials (i.e., they don’t leave the room during the commercial break, or that they don’t use TIVO to out right not record them) and that B) people actually buy the products advertised, or that if they do buy them, that it was due to the advertisement.

        Anecdotally speaking, I’m usually so offended by the ads I see that I make it a point NOT to buy their products, and look for an alternative.

        • did you notice that most commercials are from retards for retards ? and because most people are retards they buy the products. The TV is payed from commercials so if no one would buy the products there would be no TV station you could watch for free.

  • If they would focus on the world market…but that means less ecchi, more quality.
    If the animes are only a bit erotic they will not be shown in most countries – that means you are restricted to Naruto and Pokemon = so what do you await.
    And if there is some violence they will be censor massacred.
    You can see some better anime only in pay/cable TV.
    And who will buy DVDs if the guys don’t even know that the animes exist + the price.
    There is a huge anime market in the world – they problem is, they see only Japan and the rest of the world is uninteresting.
    …WAKE UP Japan 🙂

  • “Free loading scum”

    When I watch a series on the internet I go out and buy it if I like it. If it wasn’t for the internet I wouldn’t have all the Gurren lagann merchandise or Evangelion merchandise I have now. If it wasn’t for the internet I won’t have gotten all the Higurashi and Umineko things I have now and I’m currently buying all the works by Tsutomu Nihei. I certainly do not free load and the internet gives free publicity. If it wasn’t for the internet titles like Kodomo no Jikan, Utena or ultra bloody and awesome anime won’t even get to this side of the pacific. Stop hating.

  • They could both broaden and refine their animes.

    How about… a purely serious story, with no boob jokes/panty jokes/sexual harassment jokes, no male fan-service shots, no teen-aged heroes/heroines-will-save-the-world-themes, and not too much violence … that the WHOLE family could watch?

    Same thing for comedy.

    Haven’t you ever watched an anime that you really loved, and knew other people who’d probably love it, too — except that it had teen-aged titty shots in it, or whatever, and you DON’T recommend it, or even mention it, because your friends and family would automatically assume you’re some kind of dangerous pervert?

    There is, I think, a Japanese tendency to mix everything together, and doing that limits its titles’ success in foreign markets.

    But maybe they don’t care. Maybe their attitude is, “Japanese anime for Japanese audiences, and fuck the foreign markets!”

    • Of course they don’t care about you gaijins. Considering the fact that the gaijin generally only buy DVDs for a third of the price the Japanese pay, I really don’t think the attitudes of foreign markets are material enough to be worth catering to.

      Seriously, you’re asking them to take their time and money catering to you, a foreign audience, yet you don’t even bother to support an R1 company whenever it localizes a “quality” title, and instead resort to just watching the fansubs. You guys keep complaining about how the anime industry is saturated with moe/crap titles, yet neither you nor anyone hardly ever give any sort of support to buy the titles that don’t fall into those categories. Regardless of your bitching about the abundance of moe titles and the lack of “deep” titles, you only bring it on yourself because the money you spend ultimately determines what a company wants to produce. No wonder they don’t care about “foreign audiences”–The foreigners don’t even give them enough support to show them that a “deep” title is worth investing in.

      Newsflash: If they decide to produce “deep” titles like you guys say, they’re not going to end up appealing to a “wider” audience, they’ll only end up appealing to YOU. If they try to appeal to artsy folk like you guys, then they’ll only produce an overtly complex title that only you’ll like. If they try to appeal to a “family” audience, they’ll only end up producing a kids show. Not everyone can produce a Miyazaki-quality title–Having a title that truly appeals to everyone is akin to finding a diamond in the desert.

      You’re forgetting that you “deep story” types also happen to be just as much of a niche audience as the moe/ero otaku. The only difference is that you’re obviously too smart to spend your money on titles–You show a lack of willingness to spend your own money on their products, yet whine complain about how there’s a lack of “quality” or “innovative” titles, and somehow expect the Japanese companies to turn head over heels towards you guys when their own audience shows its limits? You bitch when you see something that makes you bitch, but you don’t buy when you see something doesn’t make you bitch. You guys are idiots, you know that?

    • Hence the reason everyone love Miyazaki.

      I have an idea maybe if some studios partner with American animation companies they’d be able to pull off a successful business partnership that woul reach wider audiences in the states. That’s why everybody loves miyazaki. He makes Japanese anime that can sell well in America.

      I’d like to see a Gainax and DC production of the Sinestro crops war. Tengen toppa Green lanterns “The darkest night who the hell do you think we are?” Nerdgasms for everybody.

  • What I’d like to see is some kickass original anime and not inferior, barely animated rehashes of original manga/light novels/vns. I have no reason to watch anime if there’s already a superior original version in another format. But I guess actually hiring writers and designers is pricier than licensing something, uh? well, if companies are going to be cheapasses, so will I.
    And of course I agree that the seinen offering (the only one that matters to me) is chock full of ero and moe crap only good for fapping and not even that.

    • It could have been better; they wouldn’t have to be 100% faithful to the manga but they still could have done the story more justice. I’d still be happy to buy the DVD/BDs whenever they are available over here, just to support the franchise as a whole. They could use to make that process a lot faster since people have instant access to newer shows online so if you take too long they will forget about the older ones by the time they are released in their region. Also, buying hard media nowadays is more symbolic or a donation than anything else because it’s never long before the technology is obsolete and you would have to buy everything all over again in the newer format. I suppose they expect to make more money this way, but they neglected to consider that people would grow wise to it and stop bothering to buy much of anything, as it quickly becomes worthless anyway.

  • Compared to movies that retails for about USD 10, anime dvd prices are a rip off. Bakemonogatari vol.4 Nadeko Snake arc. 2 episodes inside so you get 50 minutes. MSRP is 6,300 yen or 70 USD.

    Yes, movie prices can afford to be low since they sell to the mass market. But the difference in pricing is simply too ridiculous. If I want to buy all 5 Bakemonogatari dvds, I’m looking at a MSRP of 32,550 yen or 364 USD. Unlike a whole bunch of people who claim they are anime fans but won’t spend a cent to support the industry, I want to help the anime industry grow. But USD 360 for an anime series is just insane.

    I think anime producers need a different revenue model. Maybe a netflix model.

    • The really ridiculous thing is that when these series get brought over to the US, they often get sold as box sets for much, much less. I’ve bought many new series for under ~$100, and older ones for under ~$30. One wonders if Japanese fans are just waiting for the US releases to buy these days.

  • Maybe if they actually put some effort into making quality anime then freeloading scum like me would be more willing to buy the DVDs and BD. I never watch most recent anime more than once so why would I want to spend so much money on it?

    • ‘If it is good, it’s worth it.’

      I somewhat understand that, though I am blessed with small anime-related goods market. If it wasn’t for that and the Internet, I’d have probably gone bancrupt.

      I live in Central Europe. Many, many years ago I had chance to watch The Vision of Escaflowne and was stunned. Since then it became my all-time favourite, so I decided to buy something – anything related to that. After about five years I found original DVD of this show on auction, the second volume. I bought it. And it didn’t even matter that I couldn’t watch it (it was from Australia and didn’t work on my DVD), I have it even now and am happy because of that.

      Why? Because it was good. So good, that I wanted to show I approve it by buying the DVD.

      And that was how it worked for me until I got my hands on fansubs from teh Internet. Sure, thanks to that I watched many good series, but with every new it was less and less exciting. I took watching it for free for granted – whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, excusing myself from buying the DVD by having problem with deciding which show to buy.

      The sad conclusion I came to is, that even if I were to watch something as good as VoE (yes, there are better shows, I watched them too, but that’s not the point), the amount of shit I have to watch to find something that suits my tastes would spoil the whole fun of engaging in the story.
      The second conclusion is, that free and easily available shows aren’t so fun for me anymore and never were as fun as those that I had to buy first. It’s all compliant with microeconomic theory.
      The third and final conclusion I came to is,
      that nowadays most people buy dvds only to have more fun and engagement from watching a show, no matter how good or bad it is. That’s how the companies came to conclusion that every shit can be sold: the customer will cherish it more if the price is higher, and that’s a fact, because the customer himself wants to believe that. They didn’t bother with focusing on doing quality shows anymore and, unfortunately, they forgot that trends are cyclic and customers reaction will change, as it happens now. Buying anything habituated and doesn’t give fun anymore, thus, I guess, they will have to do something really good so that people buy it thinking ‘it’s so awesome I want to capture that feeling’ instead of ‘It will be even better when I buy the whole collection and 10 figurines’.

      I’m afraid they forgot how to do anything good though. Now is my right time to stop watching anime for ~5 years.

    • ‘If it is good, it’s worth it.’

      I somewhat understand that, though I am blessed with small anime-related goods market. If it wasn’t for that and the Internet, I’d have probably gone bancrupt.

      I live in Central Europe. Many, many years ago I had chance to watch The Vision of Escaflowne and was stunned. Since then it became my all-time favourite, so I decided to buy something – anything related to that. After about five years I found original DVD of this show on auction, the second volume. I bought it. And it didn’t even matter that I couldn’t watch it (it was from Australia and didn’t work on my DVD), I have it even now and am happy because of that.

      Why? Because it was good. So good, that I wanted to show I approve it by buying the DVD.

      And that was how it worked for me until I got my hands on fansubs from teh Internet. Sure, thanks to that I watched many good series, but with every new it was less and less exciting. I took watching it for free for granted – whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, excusing myself from buying the DVD by having problem with deciding which show to buy.

      The sad conclusion I came to is, that even if I were to watch something as good as VoE (yes, there are better shows, I watched them too, but that’s not the point), the amount of shit I have to watch to find something that suits my tastes would spoil the whole fun of engaging in the story.
      The second conclusion is, that free and easily available shows aren’t so fun for me anymore and never were as fun as those that I had to buy first. It’s all compliant with microeconomic theory.
      The third and final conclusion I came to is,
      that nowadays most people buy dvds only to have more fun and engagement from watching a show, no matter how good or bad it is. That’s how the companies came to conclusion that every shit can be sold: the customer will cherish it more if the price is higher, and that’s a fact, because the customer himself wants to believe that. They didn’t bother with focusing on doing quality shows anymore and, unfortunately, they forgot that trends are cyclic and customers reaction will change, as it happens now. Buying anything habituated and doesn’t give fun anymore, thus, I guess, they will have to do something really good so that people buy it thinking ‘it’s so awesome I want to capture that feeling’ instead of ‘It will be even better when I buy the whole collection and 10 figurines’.

      I’m afraid they forgot how to do anything good though. Now is my right time to stop watching anime for ~5 years.

      • Dirty_Dingus008 says:

        I bought some of Gonzos’ work like that six part tree huggin’ “sci fi” underwater show because it was originally produced with CG and pretty characters.
        I bought ‘Last Exile’ for the original steam punk feel.
        I bought ‘Vandread’ because it was also unique, and the hinted possibilities promised by a developer for the sequel.. I saw a picture in Newtype(Japan Edition) of two girls made by One Man with Two women! What tale was to be told? Never will know because it was screwed by the upper chain playing it safe. Vomiting out the sequel. You wonder why it never had another season? Watch it and see why.
        ‘Full Metal Panic’ was a buy too.
        But by then they started to cough up more and more series and production failed in story/animation/originality; then the libatard gaia worshiping creator made that awful retarded movie about crazy plants destroying humanity. I believe gonzo died financially when they green(heh)lite that turd. They pulled a ‘~Spirits Within’ move that crippled Square soft.

        One day I might buy their final huzzah (Tower of Druga) because the first season was wonderful, but sadly.. they butt fucked the sequel and played it safe with the characters again.

        • I’m talking to the guys that are bitching about the saturation of “moe” titles, numbnuts. The “stupid otaku” like what they see and spend their money on moe titles and moe goods–They support the companies based on their preferences. The artsy Type-As bitch about how companies like to cater to the otaku, but they don’t even try to buy any DVDs from Gonzo when they produce a title that breaks the mold.

    • Sora no Otoshimono was/is very enjoyable and I for one am looking forward to the 2nd season.

      I even pre-purchased the 1st season from Amazon (already have the 1st and 2nd DVDs), although it is disappointing so far that the Episodes didn’t have any *extras* compared to the TV broadcast (the 3 postcards are interesting 🙂 ).

      any way, am going to support SnO with my money and hopefully they will decide on the 2nd season (I am looking forward to the BD box set for it as well).

    • Dirty_Dingus008 says:

      The island episode solidified my enjoyment of that series, darn shame like all the rest, it never had a cohesive story or ending. That was why I loved ‘Itazura na Kiss’ with a hilarious narrative that completed itself.

      Also; I can also hook onto a show that had fully Animated fight scenes. A show like ‘Tears to Tiara’ where in an early (stealing a ship) episode, there was a sequence that aped the style of ‘300’.. simply Awesome shit. All sword fights where done without poses of characters + speed lines in background + flash and a fall of one opponent. The usual shit was dropped, but the Moe wouldn’t disappear and I still had to deal with that.

  • I would be more then willing to buy my Fav anime instead of DLing it, But at $30-$100 a DvD…..Im sorry but no not going to happen, and on top of that half the time its a Dub soundtrack without the Jap One on it.

  • twin blades says:

    I feel bad for the industry but I knew this was coming a long time ago. I think that one guy is right if it means they have to save what little the anime industry has left they should just cut back on realsing goo gobs of anime. And run a stricter anime lineup with more quality shows that can also have a better impact outside japan. The ero stuff I’m not sure of but the mainstream I feel can at least pull this off. Because if not they’ll have to focus on reaching a younger crowd to boost the future of the anime industry and you know what that means some new pokemon bullshit.

    • I don’t feel sorry for them at all.

      When they switched over to producing anime with computers rather than hand-painted cels, the production costs dropped significantly, and they were able to start pumping this stuff out like there was no tomorrow.

      Any sane person COULD assume that video/DVD prices would thus similarly drop, but they didn’t, or if they did, only marginally and insignificantly.

      They like to keep blaming the “freeloading scum” but it’s not a valid argument. The RIAA failed to make this argument valid, so why would the anime industry make it any more valid? Simply put, there is not a 1 to 1 ratio of downloaded content to lost sales. Not even close. Assuming that you successfully stopped EVERYONE from downloading your stuff, you would see no statistically significant rise in sales whatsoever.

      If they want to increase revenue, they need to break away from the following formula: Shit Anime + Too Expensive = ??? (not profit).

      • I don’t agree that killing all piracy somehow wouldn’t impact sales significantly. While there are some who would not or could not buy all the crap they produce, there are also those who just leech just because they are cheapsakes who put no value in their entertainment.

        It’s true that the media industry is overrating the impact on digital copyright infringement. We don’t agree with how license holders handle it, but that’s not reason to call them liars.

        Torrents didn’t appear out of nowhere. There are reasons behind them and the only way to get rid of them is to address those reasons.

  • The sad thing really, is the number of good shows that have been so buried in the pure moe trash that they get insufficient publicity so fewer people get the chance to enjoy them. How many people miss out on shows like Eden of the East or Natsume and the Book of Friends? Who has seen Kara no Kyoukai? Instead everything is drowned out by shit like K-On and Saki. The chances of the former titles being licensed is slim because people don’t even know they exist. Personally I was surprised Spice and Wolf got licensed, but I guess the moe of Holo played a part.