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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Lists Are Fun to Make: Favorite Episodes of 2013 By Title

I find anime episode titles lined up to be aesthetically pleasing. There’s an art to picking a good title that really speaks to the content of the episode. Here I tired to keep things simple, and limited myself to one episode per show to keep Gatchaman Crowds and the non-racist parts of Space Brothers from dominating the chart and keeping some other interesting ones out.

10. Change the World (Samurai Flamenco)

9. Autumn of Arts, Appetite, and Attack (GJ-bu)

8. Soccer… Soccer? (Outbreak Company)

7. Because It’s Fun (Yuyushiki)

6. Everyone has Close Calls. Learn from Them and Keep the Workplace Healthy. (Servant x Service)

5. Shocking No Breathing (Free)

4. Muromi-san and the Ryuuguuju (Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san)

3. Qualifications of a Hero (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure)

2. Excitement of My Youth (Space Brothers)

1. Crowds (Gatchaman Crowds)

First Reactions: Free! Episode 2 (Plus Too-Long Footnotes on Why Summer 2013 Will End Up Being a Better Season Than Spring 2013)

Based on what I’ve seen of reactions to Free on the internet, it seems like a large quantity of people are ruling it out with one glance at the promo material rather than 20 minutes of episode time. It’s becoming increasingly obvious how much of a shame that is, because this show is complete in ways it didn’t even have to be to be an enjoyable ride.

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Anime ONA Slaparound: Kyousogiga 2012

In 2011, Toei Animation and Banpresto collaborated to fund a mediocre 20-minute ONA based on an awesome trailer. In 2012, Director Rie Matsumoto returned to the fray to do it right, cranking out a new five-episode ONA. We watched the latter, and are ready to dish in the latest “us-doing-whatever-we-want” feature!

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First Reactions: Muromi-san Episode 13 (End) and Quickie Scores (9/10)

This episode had everything I liked about the show stuffed inside. What a great way to go out for what’s definitely been my favorite show of Spring 2013.

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First Reactions: Muromi-san Episode 12

I really wish Fuji and her giant boobs were out of the cast. They represent one very weak link on an otherwise strong chain of comedy. A jealous female friend isn’t out of the question in a comedic cast, but it kind of feels like she’s just an excuse for the show to not be worksafe.

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First Reactions: Muromi-san Episode 11

This show really does love to depend on new character introductions to provide a weekly hook. At first I was doubtful as to whether or not it was really feasible for a small-world type of show with only a few characters shown in the opening/on the boxart to maintain this approach for a full 13 episodes. This week was going to be critical, since every character from the opening had finally been introduced. So the makers this show faced a choice; if they didn’t want to lose their momentum, skim the bottom of the barrel or start building deeper relationships around the current cast.

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Or do both at the same time, what do I know?

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First Reactions: Muromi-san Episode 10

That the show opened with a bizarro dream sequence was interesting, a nice little noirish contrast with the rest of the show. It says something about the rich flavor of Muromi-san’s oddball comedy when a dream sequence about deep-frying and eating a mermaid is less bizarre than the rest of the show.

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And they say fish can’t fry…

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First Reactions: Muromi-san Episode 9

It’s pretty clever that this show waited until the episode dealing with aliens to take a page from Japan’s most popular sci-fi franchise. A little bit of Doraemon flavor goes a long way.

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Plus, the gags are all stretched to just the right length

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