The Dire Saga of Japan's Anime Industry Continues

Topic started by gia on April 27, 2010. Last post by sickVisionz 4 years, 10 months ago.
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13

Australian news site SBS sent reporter Adrian Brown to the Tokyo Anime Fair, and Brown came back with a piece for TV's Dateline with perhaps nothing new, but continued confirmation about the troubles of the Japanese anime industry, including the requisite interview with an underpaid animator-- Yuichi Namiki makes $900 a month --talk about illicit downloading, and some of the recent anime porn controversies.

There's an interesting side to it mentioned that I don't see talked about very often: that the shift into more adult, near-pornographic anime on late-night TV can be attributed in large part to the aging of Japan's population. With fewer and fewer young people to add to the pile of anime consumers, the industry has to focus more and more on those obsessive fans. As you can imagine, this is particularly troublesome, because if they're not adding new fans even out of the small pool available now, then when the older otaku pass on, the fandom in Japan will diminish severely, and the industry with it. As such, the industry is having to reach outside of Japan-- yes, to foreign buyers like you and me --in order to grow their audience. We may not provide a significant amount of money to the industry at this point, but foreigners have the potential to be key players.

The article also echoes a theory I already espoused: that the famed "loli ban" of Tokyo is unlikely to actually result in a straight ban of explicit illustration of minors, even if restrictions do tighten somewhat.

Combine all this with increasing competition from China, and we may see the so-called death of anime after all-- even if not as fast nor for the reasons suggested by the president of Bang Zoom! yesterday.    
Post by GWOtaku (8 posts) See mini bio Level 3
These are all very serious issues, although I happen to think that China's rise is overrated. Government regulation and oversight cannot be good for the ability of its animation industry to create, we've seen the way they rip off with abominations like "Astro Plan," and China hasn't produced a single animated work of its own that has been (a) very good and (b) actually met with success outside of the country. The closest thing is the Romance of the Three Kingdoms series, and that was a co-pro with Japan and an adaptation of a very famous literary work. 
Japan may have its industry problems and its creative problems, but China's animation industry has done nothing original.  Until that starts happening, they aren't overtaking Japan.
Post by Oishi_47 (221 posts) See mini bio Level 8
@GWOtaku: Yeah but don't forget that the Chinese market is larger than the markets of Japan and the U.S. combined.
Post by relentlessflame (7 posts) See mini bio Level 1
I like how as soon as they start talking about "late-night anime" it segues straight into "anime porn" and goes directly for Rapelay as a sort of example.  Classic journalism... ^^;
Post by mediaright (75 posts) See mini bio Level 5
According to friends who know more about this than I do, one of the reasons piracy is so big there is that the DVD's simply cost too much. People have been guilting state-side downloaders for years by saying that DVD prices here are cheap. There, you get 3 episodes for...what, $60-70? If that's true, then no wonder people pirate. One person buys, everyone else downloads. 
Maybe there's a lesson in simple economics here.
Post by Frostalicious (44 posts) See mini bio Level 13
Anime animators in Japan have been notoriously underpaid for decades, but with the rise of video games and CG animation, they have other industries to enter. Most anime animators only stay in the industry because they truly love anime.  
As for the mention of illegal downloading and its effect on the industry, I'm not surprised Brown didn't mention that the industry isn't attempting to take advantage of the new markets. Instead he just named it as a reason for its shrinking. If the higher-ups in the industry would just get off their high horses and realize they have the ability to reach their country's (and the world's) youth through the internet, perhaps they could help grow the industry to a point its never seen before.
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13
@Frostalicious: Actually I was more surprised that he talked about Fairy Tail piracy and DIDN'T mention that it's also available legally. 
That said, one has to remember that while I linked to the text transcript, this was originally a video piece for TV news, so everything was shortened for clarity and convenience rather than thoroughness. :\
Post by N15PCA (611 posts) See mini bio Level 13

I saw some the Chinamation at comic-con 2003 in Las Vegas.  They showed a show called the Way of the Warriors. 
It was pretty good, but the Little Monk was not that good.  I think Chinamation cartoons are good if their about China past, but if it's anything to do with mondern times it's going to be heavly censored.  Here an old artcle on ANN about Chinamation.  Chinamation.  

Heres a picture of the box I got from the Chinamation booth that year.  

Post by FrogLegs (11 posts) See mini bio Level 5
No mention of an increasing proliferation Afghanistanimation? Get out... 
But, seriously, I wish there would be a few more "adult-oriented" anime out there, and not the smutty-type. The industry may very well lose me pretty soon, as well, if it just turns into a GunDam rehash, highschool romance rehash, fanservice rehash type of industry. If there were more Nodame Cantibiles, House of 5 Leaves, or something where I don't feel like I missed the boat 10 years ago still, I'd be the first to buy what they're selling. Now I'm stuck with desperate industry execs catering to their core-fans by sticking to the same stories and fan-service they've been peddling for years. Time for something fresh--and not by adding aliens or magic to an existing story. I want something with substance, or I don't know if I can stay being a fan, if I keep feeling like they're aging me out, or perving me out. Either one makes me feel creepy, and that's not what I look for in my entertainment.
Post by sotyfan16 (1,342 posts) See mini bio Level 20
China is also the biggest market for piracy. There was once an alley, it was shut down in 2003 I think, that was packed with vendors selling pirated and knockoff goods to tourists. The place was actually such a famous tourist destination that it got more visators than the Great Wall. The cost of China's piracy alone because the government also lets it slide: billions of dollars in world trade. 
I like my animation from Japan and want to keep it that way. With how Bang Zoom! is acting I wouldn't even want to buy it if I was another anime company.

If only economics was so simple. All problems impact management, marketing, and finance departments of businesses in this situation. Depending on how everything goes we could be seeing a shift and find out which companies can make it and which can't. 
I really like a lot of what has been coming out in recent years and what is out now. I like my classics, too. For more original ideas, that idea is getting harder to fulfill. There are so many scenarios and stories and characters and themes but without spending your whole life coming up with what hasn't been done and trying to come up with something from that that is original. I agree that more adult shows would be great to have. I have a few ideas myself that I feel are at least semi-original in either story, characters, or themes compared to what is seen in anime.
Post by Frostalicious (44 posts) See mini bio Level 13
@gia:  Ahso! 
If that's the case, I wish they would release a more in-depth version.    :-)
Post by drmchsr0 (6 posts) See mini bio Level 2
@oishi_47: And don't forget that almost everything is Made In China nowadays.
@mediaright: DVD prices in R1 countries are relatively cheaper than in Japan. But when people complain about paying 50 bucks for 23 episodes, then I get a little bit angry. That's a fairly good price for 23 Episodes.
Post by sickVisionz (4,327 posts) See mini bio Level 24
That was a pretty interesting video.
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