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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    Comment by Anonymous
    09:47 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    maybe now they'll start making quality anime again.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:37 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Too much noise for little thing

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:04 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    All we are asking for is story. Is that such a hard concept to grasp?

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:30 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I bet there is anime with stoty for you, keep searching

    Avatar of knuclear200x
    Comment by knuclear200x
    11:10 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    If they're cartoons arentt doing so well, why dont they take some of ours?

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:29 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Because they are trying to REDUCE the amount of bullshit in the industry.

    Avatar of motaku96
    Comment by motaku96
    09:31 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hey! I like sora no otoshimono. One of the few actual good shows that came out last season.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:17 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    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.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:16 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    “In hard times people keep a tight reign on their purse strings."


    I don't see why more needs to be said.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:44 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Because everyone else wants to place sole responsibility on their own personal pet peeves?

    Avatar of Cosplaying God
    Comment by Cosplaying God
    12:26 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    censors really gotta go.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:38 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    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.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:37 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    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.

    Avatar of BlaqCat
    Comment by BlaqCat
    11:57 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    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).

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:27 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    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.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:36 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    No thanks. Digital distribution FTL.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:25 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Maybe instead of pumping out tons of shit moe anime, this will push them to make a small number of anime with better quality?

    Avatar of acesofthesky
    Comment by acesofthesky
    07:36 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh god.
    *hugs Miku collections*
    Good luck, anime. *shrugs*

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:45 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    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...

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:26 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    remake Ideon.

    that is all.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:40 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Making too much crap was the cause of all of this.Just because a few titles from a certain genre made alot of money,every Tom Dick and Harry jumped onto the bandwagon.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:31 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    why must they be in the mind night?

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:32 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Then hike up the anime license fees. Asian countries outside of Japan are willing to do buy license fees even if they are expensive and they dub very well.

    Avatar of zeniselv
    Comment by zeniselv
    08:29 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    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.

    Avatar of MidnightTide
    Comment by MidnightTide
    07:53 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    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.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:01 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    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).

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:15 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    So basically you're saying Gainax should pimp the "megahit" Evangelion more? How .. brilliant. That's like teaching a dog how to bark.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:18 10/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)


    Nude Loli Sir?



    Comment by Anonymous
    23:13 10/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Nude K-ON, nude Haruhi+Nagato, nude Miku - these are the things that would save the anime industry :)

    Avatar of Riiku
    Comment by Riiku
    23:29 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    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.

    Avatar of Myballz
    Comment by Myballz
    12:13 10/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    They do have knowlege of this but they choose not to go foward with this idea.They did talk to owner of 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.

    Avatar of Ido
    Comment by Ido
    23:45 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Freeloading scum?! (TωT)

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:38 10/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    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.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:34 11/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    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 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.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:39 11/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    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.

    Avatar of Ben
    Comment by Ben
    14:34 14/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    All I have to say is that cartoons and comics are basically the country's biggest source of money, you'd think somebody could find a method for getting things going again.

    Avatar of Chen-04
    Comment by Chen-04
    02:08 27/07/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    "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.)

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:38 08/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I always had the naive impression that 2chan was filled with buyitall Otakus. Nice to read some translated intellectual posts.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:49 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Maybe they'd save a bit of money by not animating 2-3 seperate versions of each episode for the different formats? That's insane.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:05 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Needs more moe. That's the last thing keeping the industry alive. Another im@s, lucky star or k-on will kick start a fresh wave of sales.

    They're problem is they're expected stuff that isn't that popular to generate high sales. Look at the k-on merchandise. That's quality sales volume.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:32 12/03/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Eat shit. Moe is the problem.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:43 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    "...if it was a moe or robot anime, we could sell absolutely anything, but now things have become selective."

    The answer is simple. Make an anime that is moe AND robot.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:18 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Moengelion - moe and mecha that's the future on anime, guys :)

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:27 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    ...that would mean a new series of Mahoromatic :)
    or a moe version of GhostInTheShell ? - Lucky Ghost or Ghost Witches :)
    ...or at least Strike Witches should use jet turbines in the new series and anti pantsu missiles

    PS: moe+robot = mecha musume

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:30 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    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

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:47 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    ...if their purpose is of moe origin, it will fail :)

    Avatar of Chen-04
    Comment by Chen-03
    03:25 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Please anime industry,.. go and die. Then revive as something better. Or just drop all that moe, ecchi, bla bla shit bla bla and start promoting interesting anime like bokurano or noein.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:28 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    ALso its because of the internet I found touhou and now I have a billion figures.

    Avatar of funkybovinator
    Comment by funkybovinator
    03:30 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'd buy DVDs straight from Japan... if they weren't 70+ dollars for a couple eps :P

    Avatar of Gale
    Comment by Gale
    03:23 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Sadly, Full Metal Alchemist seems to me like one of the few only titles that will possibly enjoy some success.

    This may be the last title I'll really have fun watching for a while..

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:20 09/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    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 :)

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