I took these data yesterday, so the rank data tracking for November releases starts on October 27. I’m kinda down and swamped at work right now, so this is just going to be a post without much comment. If any of them looks like a possible to chart, or actually does, then I’ll be talking about them again.
P.S. Sherlock Hound/CCS got their releases pushed back a week and require an extra month of tracking as a result. I hate that.
“How many pages long is the average light novel?”
A friend of mine flat-out stumped me with this question a few days ago, and I’m willing to bet even odds it stumped you too. Neat, right? People familiar with anime likely have at least some vague inkling about what light novels are. But anime-focused writers who offer sweeping takes on light novels often don’t have the answers to those sorts of basic trivia questions, and I’ve forced a few acquaintances to google over this in the past week.
Granted, this particular question is sort of misleading; wordcounts are more accurate quantifiers of length than pagecounts, since the latter depend on size and typeface. Still, it underscores how little people can know about something which plays such a big role in the anime industry. Too, the question is also ridiculously basic to answer; I only had to spend about an hour on amazon compiling a list of links to the first volumes of novels adapted into anime in 2013 (excluding sequels), and taking down their given pagecounts. And while I was at it, I did the same for manga. The data, source links included, can be found here, and is summarized below. Note that Uchouten Kazoku, a single-volume novel, was counted as a novel along with the other multi-volume series.
Didn’t even take 12 hours. As expected, Attack on Titan’s second set ranked on the US charts, selling a little over a thousand fewer copies in the first week than set 1 did, but still putting up solid numbers.
This time, my guess (9841 copies) was only off by 8 percent. That qualifies as a pretty successful test. If the S=(6944*(R^-0.4))-60 formula can ballpark the rest of this list successfully (at least, for the ones that chart), I think we may have a keeper.
Since late February of this year, I’ve been tracking the daily ranks of various anime releases on US Amazon to see if they could be used to get an idea of how releases were selling in the US, since that data is sparsely available for modern titles (especially unpopular ones). In March, I made my first stab at a formula which might tie thos edaily ranks to sales totals. In May, I realized that first model was based primarily on Holiday season sales charts and thus severely overestimated the market, and introduced a simpler one making use of more data. That model seemed for a time like it would be serviceable, pegging the sales of DBZ’s season 3 BDs to within 20%, but then it overestimated Attack on Titan part 1 by a factor of 3. Since I had no other test cases for my model available for the next few months, I was able to put off refining that model, but with data for the second part of Attack on Titan, the surprisingly successful Steins Gate rerelease, and DBZ Battle of Gods set to come out over the next few weeks, it’s a good time to use the data I’ve gathered to try and test a different model.
Note 1: Corrected to account for more typical anime framerates (8-12 fps), rather than 24 fps.
If you’re going to be making a piece of animation, you’re obviously going to need some animators to draw some things. But anime budgets are tight, and the production costs in the industry are such that animation might not always be the best way for directors to maximize the bang they get for their buck. Anime salary data is pretty sparse, but I found enough information on certain costs to do a quick, naive calculation comparing the relative worth of in-between animation and voice acting.
I’m not scanning Anime Insider Issue 50 (the Nov 2007 issue). The reason for this is that someone has already done so for the entirety of the magazine, which would make redoing specific pages in black and white pretty redundant:
[Thanks to fredofirish for the tip.]
In lieu of scanning the articles, I will note that there are several interviews in there which you may find interesting to look at:
-Mitsuo Fukuda on Gundam Seed Destiny (p. 24)
-A piece on Kaze no Stigma with comments from director Junichi Sakata (p. 34)
-A 3-page interview with Black Lagoon director Sunao Katabuchi (p.40)
-An interview with US VA/ADR Director Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (p.76)
-An interview with US VA Travis Willingham (p.77)
-An interview with US Publisher Vertical’s executive VP, Ioannis Mentzas (p. 84)
A piece on Appleseed: Ex Machina which includes an interview with John Woo, who talks about his involvement in the project.
Ex-President of Broccoli Takaaki Kidani and voice actor Yuna Inamura talk about the Galaxy Angel franchise and the possibility of localization.
An interview with Aniplex head Koichiro Natsume. He talks about music tie-ins, discusses how his own career in Sony Music Entertainment’s corporate department led to his being assigned to Aniplex (then SME Visual Works), and estimates the approval rate for projects pitched to Aniplex at 30-40 percent. Note, though, that this interview was conduced well before a conscious decision was made to cut down on the total number of anime being produced yearly, so the figure may well be lower now.
Yen Press co-founder Kurt Hassler talks about the weak market for Seinen/Josei titles in the US.