Catnip for Industry Wonks

Chad Kime, formerly of Geneon, is the special guest at Anime News Network’s podcast this week. It doesn’t take hosts Zac Bertschy and Justin Sevakis all that long to coaxe him into tell-all confessions of inventory, minimum guarantees, sales figures, returns, and honest-to-God numbers. Seriously, if you have any interest in the way the anime business actually works, if you really want to get a handle on the upheavals of the last five years, then put this week’s episode on your MP3 player and listen in wonder. Kime is this blog’s Man of the Year, for essentially delivering an annotated edition of Schoolgirl Milky Crisis, but with all the real names.

People are going to write dissertations about this one-hour interview. Kime makes a humble show like Heat Guy J the epicentre and looking-glass of the entire industry in the 2000s, talking the listener through the many recurring issues and problems that have hampered anime for as long as I have been observing it. He does so with humour, grace, and most importantly, real-world numbers about the years he spent “riding a glowing star, that transformed into a giant black hole.” Listen if you dare, and then go back and read Schoolgirl Milky Crisis again with a whole new perspective!

Now, none of the shows he cites are the *actual* shows mentioned in my book… but that’s even better. It just goes to show that the experiences I was chronicling were recurring all over the anime world.