60 Minutes of Ranting

The Czechs have uploaded my keynote speech “Wrong About Anime” from Animefest 2012 in Brno, which they have impressively shot on two cameras and then subtitled in both English and Czech (press CC).

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2 thoughts on “60 Minutes of Ranting

  1. I was interested in hearing about the Bible black sales on Tesco’s. While anime has always been a niche genre I’d really like to know how a title such as Bible Black even came close to getting on the shelves. If the name it self wasn’t dodgy enough, a half naked girl on the front cover didn’t spark warnings? What about the certifcate? And 4000 people in one day? Are we sure on this? I expect this to be over all Tesco’s? It can’t be one branch? That is just unbelievable.

    Also While a just an example that was given surely a half decent “moe” title would get more than 500 viewers? This is Japan here and while I know that anime over there too is a niche, compared to prime time televison, it’s still a lot more “popular” and “common” around the country that 500 people seems like a very, very small figure. I’d have thought at least minimum a couple thousand. Still a small figure but a substantial increase over 500, give or take a hundred or two.

    Overall interesting viewing, some topics were heard before (from you no less I believe) but good viewing never the less.

    • It was a mistake that it got into the Czech Tesco’s — and it was indeed nationwide, not 4000 copies in a single branch. However, by the time anyone realised this (when the complaints began to roll in the next day), all 4000 copies in circulation had sold out.

      Looking at last year’s Japanese sales figures for anime, I see several well-known titles that struggled to climb above one thousand units in Japan, and it is strongly implied that their later instalments failed to do so and only sold in the hundreds. Of course, there are other titles, like Madoka Magica, that sell in six figures and make everybody happy. The industry only celebrates its successes, and really doesn’t like it when anyone points out just how miserable the failures are. But as the captive market of rental stores (which used to be worth four or five thousand instant sales) dwindles to nothing, anime sales begin to rely solely on the fans. So yes, I would say that sales of 500 for a Japanese box set are much more commonplace than you might think.

      However, as I said in the speech, 500 sales are not a failure if it is monetising in the way the producers want it to. Someone who pays £400 for an anime series, and another £80 a month on merchandise (which is the ideal otaku as envisaged by some Japanese pundits) can easily keep their particular moe interests afloat, as long as they can find 500 others who like it as much as they do. Yes, those numbers are shockingly low. It’s why I predict crowd-sourced anime productions within two years, because the number of interested fans in some niches is getting so small that you might as well make them producers!

      What continues to shock me is how much fans in Japan are prepared to pay. Season one of Persona 4 in Japan, on Blu-ray, will set you back £460.

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