Timed Comment Breakdowns: Cinderella Girls Through 6

The 2011 Idolm@ster anime was kind of a big deal. It was a work made with heart, effort, and finesse, with boom-spectacular dance sequences, cute comedy, and soulful drama (sometimes onscreen simultaneously). It enjoyed nigh-unprecedented success for an anime adaptation of a non-VN video game – aside from slightly-bigger P4A, no other game adaptation comes within 15000 copies per volume of Im@s’s 28,892 copy average. No matter how you slice it, that’s a tough act to follow.

Follow, though, is exactly what the staff of Cinderella Girls, were tasked with doing. This crack team, led by director Noriko Takao (a deputy on the original series) have come out of the gate swinging, offering a different flavor of the franchise that may surpass the original in terms of inner shine. Unlike the original, Cinderella Girls has to this point largely eschewed full episodes focused on individual characters, instead dedicating the bulk of the time to shoving the cast into situations together and letting the organic chemistry go blam like a room stuffed with methane and lit matches. This approach to composition is par for the course for the series’ head writer, Takahashi Tatsuya, who, in addition to heavy involvement with the first anime series, pioneered a revolutionary character-centric method of visual novel design while creating To Heart. This process has two key steps; first, characters are designed and fleshed out by the creative types. Then, once the characters have been fully shaped, the individual scenes and overarching stories are made to evolve out of the cast continually interacting with another in various combinations and contexts. By all accounts, this adaptation has been well-received by fans so far, and a steep uptick in dramatic tension at the end of the series’ 6th episode represents a good opportunity to take a timed-comment look at how viewers have been responding to bits and pieces of the show.

(Spoiler Alert: Episode 6 was a kind of a big deal. I’ll be talking about moments from the first couple of episodes here, obviously.)

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Fun With Numbers: Statlines for the Video Game-Anime Adaptations of 2011

I may have mentioned this before, but nailing down the impact of anime on video games (released on irregular timetables and with less baseline-dependent variance in stats) is much harder than ballparking the same effect for manga or light novels (where volumes are released at regular intervals and can generally be seen to follow a pattern in the absence of strong outside stimuli). Too, while sales tools exist for measuring the success of console video games in Japan, those tools are much less viable when it comes to measuring the effects of typically PC-based visual novels. Still, roughly 10 anime are adapted from games every year, and it’s a very important part of the market to understand.

In order to get some idea of how existent and/or strong the video game franchise popularity -> anime popularity -> added video game franchise popularity chain is, I pulled a pair of stats for each of the 9 video game adaptation anime made in 2011 that I have data for. The 2 stats I chose to measure video game popularity were maximum yearly rank of the franchise on popular VN retailer getchu (mildly NSFW) and total console game sales for games released within one year of the anime’s initial airdate, via vgchartz. While it should be noted that this was a small sample taken in a year with slightly fewer new shows, the results are potent fuel for speculation. Data is archived here, and summarized on the chart below.

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Unstoppable Hype Machine Spring 2014 #1 – Puchimas! Season 2

Download it!

There are going to be people who disagree with the Machine. People who are going to say that other shows are better then the second season of literal idol moeblobs.

But the Machine is (probably) never wrong.

And the Machine is ready to show you why Puchimas! Season 2 is something to be hyped for.

Fun With Numbers: One Season Without a 20k (or even 10k) Hit Isn’t Particularly Meaningful

Making a smash hit anime involves a number of steps. Typically you have to have to get solid source material, assemble the right staff, and do well on the PR front. But most importantly of all, you have to, to some extent, simply get lucky in getting engaged with your target demographic. This is at the heart of the discussion regarding the recent dearth of hit anime this past Fall and current Winter being the first shows in a while to potentially have no series averaging above 20k and 10k in disk sales, respectively. But how unexpected is that outcome really?

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First Reactions: Devil Survivor 2 Episode 10

Colossalcon 2013 was beyond awesome. Thanks to everyone who came to one of our panels. We had a blast and learned all about why Kamen Rider and Idolm@ster have the best fanbases. Now back to your regularly scheduled anime blog!

I feel like the entire staff of AIC Plus ate some infected raw cookie dough or something about midway through episode 6’s production and didn’t get better before making the second half of this episode, because it was *such* a return to form for the biggest trio of bros in anime production.

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