Fun With Numbers: Anime as Manga Advertisments in 2013

The commercial impact of anime goes well beyond its disk sales. Manga may sell to more people, but anime is extremely visible, airing on TV (albeit often late at night) and propagating around the internet at a very rapid pace. This visibility very often can lead to an increased strength of the franchise in general, propping up sales of print material, figures, and any various other related goods. Sometimes, anyway. 2013 was no exception, and saw a number of manga adaptations have anywhere from minimal to explosive effects on the sales of their source material.

I collected the manga sales history, including thresholds for series which charted sporadically, on this doc, and plotted it below. Note that these sales are not total, but the total number reported in a roughly fixed time period. Comparing sales tail length is a whole other issue, and I’m trying as much as possible to compare like figures.

One important difference from similar breakdowns of 2011/2012 series is that here I’ve opted to use the total sales from a series’ first 2 weeks of release (the highest reported total in that time interval), to attempt to minimize the effects of a bad split in creating artificial variations. It’s still an issue either way, but the difference between 9 and 14 days is a lot less than the difference between 2 and 7 days.

Two important series-specific notes prior to the plots. First, Maoyu is plotted here, in the manga section, because the manga charts more consistently than the light novel did and, more importantly, has available data from both before and after the anime aired (the LN ended just prior to 2013). Second, I can’t parse impact for series that don’t have at least one volume which released after the anime began to air. I thus will not be covering Servant x Service here, though there is data available. I will cover it in an addendum post come September when volume 4 has been out for 2 weeks.

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Fun With Numbers: April 2014 Amazon Data (Initial Numbers)

US amazon data may not be a perfect source, but it is a very interesting one, with a lot of organic components. I’m just about done collecting data for March releases (data for the 18th will be up when my schedule permits, data for the 25th still needs to be collected), and while these datapoints have managed to shed some light on a few of the narratives I pulled out of the February data, they’ve also raised still more interesting threads to be explored.

That means it’s in my best interests to continue collecting data both to broaden the sample and to give predictions a viable testing ground. All numbers posted here were collected on March 25th, via amazon’s upcoming anime releases page, one week before the earliest releases on the list.

Note: The price I note is the series’ MSRP price. If the series becomes listed at more than 50% off that price at any time during the amazon solicitation, I will note that both now and during the final analysis. The February part 1 release of Robotics;Notes had such a discount, along with Psycho-Pass and One Piece (all Funimation releases, which is probably noteworthy at this point).

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Fun With Numbers: Inu x Boku SS and Square Enix Doing Something Right

So yesterday morning, I was reading through the newer articles on ANN, when I spotted one that piqued my interest: a comics ranking with Inu x Boku SS’s ninth volume at the top. I didn’t spit out my coffee*, but that was a fairly surprising result. And this wasn’t getting to the top in a total off-week, either. It sold about 220,000 volumes, more than the next two new volumes on the list (Deadman Wonderland 12 and Blast of Tempest 9) combined. That put it near the top, if not *at* the top, of the manga Square Enix is currently publishing. So I started to wonder; considering this company was publishing Fullmetal Alchemist just a few years ago, isn’t this kind of a notable downgrade? The answer, unearthed after some digging, was several kinds of interesting.


Though nowhere near this interesting

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First Reactions: Cuticle Detective Inaba Episode 12 (End) and Quickie Scores (8/10)

My biggest criticism of this show as a whole is just the fact that it hasn’t been able to constantly harness its potential and occasionally throws in a long-dull skit that breaks up the action. It became a lot easier to rate after the final episode, which was one of the highest-energy ones of the show.

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First Reactions: Cuticle Detective Inaba Episode 11

In sports journalism, the term goat is often used to refer to a monumentally bad player. However, it often gets confused with the newer term G.O.A.T. – Greatest Of All Time. When I think of villains in comedy series, my first thoughts inevitably turn to Violinist of Hameln due both to the sheer breadth of villains exhibited in that show and specifically how amazing Vocal was. While he’s not quite at that level, Don Valentino is undoubtedly a capital G goat.

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First Reactions: Cuticle Detective Inaba Episode 10

The characters in this show are basically the inverse of characters like Desert Punk’s Mizuno Kanta and GS Mikami’s Yokoshima Tadao. While those guys are tight in the clutch and useless everywhere else, these guys are clever strategists who manage to screw up at the most critical juncture. I have an overall preference for the former apprach; it works better for all-around shows that mix comedy and drama. Still, the latter approach definitely works for comedy.

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Animetics Podcast: The Winter 2013 Season

Live from what may or may not be a filing cabinet, we bring you the Animetics Podcast, a (presumably) monthly recording of our panelists jawing over various topics. If the very thought doesn’t scare you, you can download it from the following link: (94 minutes, 85 MB)

In this inaugural episode, we’ll be talking about the Winter 2013 Anime season. This discussion is a two-pronged assault. First, we cover the shows we’re watching, trying hard but not too hard to stay on topic. Second, we discuss the season in historical context with recent previous Winter seasons, taking on the oft-disseminated “worst season of all time” rumors.

If you’re strapped for time or only want to follow a certain portion of the podcast, you can find each particular segment at the times listed below:

Tamako Market [0:50]

Maoyuu [5:58]

Blast of Tempest [12:13]*

Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman [17:05]

I Don’t Have Very Many Friends Next [20:07]

Sasami-san@Ganbaranai [26:42]

Cuticle Detective Inaba [32:38]

Senyu [35:40]

GJ-bu [41:12]

Koutoura-san [44:12]

Mangirl [54:00]

Problem Children [55:24]

Puchimas [58:32]

Vividred Operation [60:56]

The Unlimited [63:30]

Comparison with past Winter seasons [72:47]

Seasonal Charts We Used:

Winter 2010

Winter 2011

Winter 2012

Winter 2013

Winter 2011 full chart (w/ Madoka)

*Blast of Tempest is technically a Fall 2012 show. It’s in there mostly because Sam and I wanted to hash out a topic we had argued over the past week. One that I proved myself wrong about 2 days after emphatically declaring that studios didn’t really matter.

First Reactions: Cuticle Detective Inaba Episode 9

It was time to see how this show will resolve last week’s sudden dip into drama. Would it stay true to its comedy roots? Or would it delve still deeper into the abyss of Soumei’s past? I was prepared for it to take either tack, and I certainly found the one it chose entertaining.

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Cuticle Detective Inaba: Some Thoughts on Episodes 1-8

For reasons I will never fully understand (at least, I haven’t yet understood them), this show seems to be the biggest source of love/hate controversy this Winter 2013 Season. Personally, I could never hate a comedy about a bunch of quirky individuals driving each other nuts, especially when one of them is a cute goat+mafia don and another is a psycho constantly trying to murder characters from the background. That’s really all this show was before it showed it could do pseudo-serious in episode 7 and heavy serious in episode 8.

CDI-1Poetry in motion, this scene

I would have called the direction for this series a bit plain prior to episode 7. I felt like I could re-piece the manga this was adapted from with little to no effort just from the anime storyboards. That said, it does the job for comedy, and the characters carry the rest. The dramatic portions were legitimately just well-done bits of heavier atmosphere; the first being intentionally exaggerated, the second being a serious story.

My current read on this show is “enjoyable quirky character comedy with some dramatic pull”. I don’t have much else to say about it because its formula really is as simple as a cast that works well together. We’ll see how the dramatic portion of the show plays out, but I’d say it’s earned its comedy chops.