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.