Anime fans are noisily gloating over the fact that official attendance figures for the pro-censorship Tokyo International Anime Fair show a huge 40% drop in public attendance from 50,000 to a mere 30,000, and a massive 60% drop in press attendance.
Public – day 1
61.77% of 2010
Press – days 1 & 2
2010: 641 / 266
2012: 265 / 113
41.34% / 42.48% of 2010
Business attendees (the event was always primarily a trade fair) show a more modest decline – 5%, from 13,076 to 12,402, on the first day, and 11%, from 13,887 to 12,348 on day 2, although as these are essentially invitees and there is at least some evidence the organisers have been lowering their standards of entry, this apparent resilience may be engineered.
A further day of public attendance remains before the event closes.
Some disappointment has been expressed that competing pro-anime event ACE was not able to be held on the same day so as to truly drive TAF into the ground, but there seems to be little doubt it will do vastly better – the only question being just by how much.
Shots of the public day show that as well as being rather sparsely attended, the event has apparently also lost all late night and shonen titles and instead been given over to kiddy anime – the impression of those attending are that the business days have now been given entirely over to commercial affairs, and the public days to families, leaving everything else to ACE as part of the new arrangement:
Online there is much rejoicing:
“It’s even worse than we hoped for!”
“Frankly, I doubt they got even 30,000.”
“Down to half? It felt like there were fewer.”
“They will be just counting people who go back in after leaving the hall or something like that.”
“Finally the revolt of publishers and authors hit them hard. They have no allies left at all.”
“All the exhibitors are just dodgy Chinese rip-off companies now.”
“More people came than I thought would.”
“Well, it was getting a bit crowded there.”
“What happens next year is the key. They were going at each other, but after the quake they all got ruined together and soon stopped bickering.”
“Sankei interviewed them and they basically said they have sort of divided off into their separate spheres, agreed to stop fighting and decided to hold them on different days.”
“I bet a lot of people were just going to see how bad it was…”