noitminA Has Nothing on the Nihon TV Tuesday 24:50 Slot

One of the fruits of digging into the adaptations of manga produced in 2011 has been a treasure trove of TV anime ratings data. Which, in turn, holds heaping helpings of unrelated but utterly fascinating information.

My favorite tidbit so far? Timeslots that get designated to run a certain kind of show are much more prevalent than I, at least, had thought. People may deify noitaminA for its stellar pre-Fractale record, but if you want to talk anime-focused timeslots with godly 7-year runs, there’s at least one very prominent contender. The Nihon TV 24:50 timeslot (plus/minus 10 minutes, depending on the quarter) hosted the following shows from 2000 to 2011:

Show Title (Airdates) (Ratings for First Episode)

Hidamari no Ki (2000-04) (3.2)
Hajime no Ippo (2000-10) (4.8)
Tenchi Muyo GXP (2002-04) (4.3)
Hanada Shounen-shi (2002-10) (3.1)
Air Master (2003-04) (4.4)
Captain Harlock [TV Airing of Endless Odyssey OVA] (2003-10) (3.4)
Gokusen (2004-01) (3.8)
Monster (2004-04) (3.2)
Akagi (2005-10) (2.4)
Ouran High School Host Club (2006-04) (2.1)
Death Note (2006-10) (3.4)
Buzzer Beater (2007-07) (2.5)
Kaiji (2007-10) (3.2)
Real Drive (2008-04) (2.0)
One Outs (2008-10) (2.5)
Souten Kouro (2009-04) (2.6)
Kimi ni Todoke (2009-10) (2.8)
Rainbow (2010-04) (2.2)
Kimi ni Todoke [cut reair] (2010-10) (2.1)
Kimi ni Todoke Season 2 (2011-01) (2.1)
Kaiji Season 2 (2011-04) (2.3)
Chihayafuru (2011-10) (2.4)

Note in particular the period from 2004 to 2011. That’s some serious all-around ass-kicking, a double whammy of ratings that aren’t bad (especially for 12:50 in the morning) and maximal critic-pleasing potential. By all accounts, this timeslot is currently plugged; Chihayafuru’s second season aired at 25:59, and I can’t find anything currently airing in it. But still, phenomenal run. I guess I’m adding timeslots to the list of industry-related things that really ought to be looked into.

Edit: Corrected the title to reflect the actual day of the timeslot.

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Manga Chapter of the Week: One Outs Chapter 168 (Last Game – Laurels)

I’ve been slacking on my CotW features recently, and I apologize. There are 2 excuses I have. First, I’ve been busy, both getting the podcast running again and  Second, sometimes I just don’t end up reading a chapter of manga in a given week that makes me particularly passionate. I only read about 20-30 chapters of current stuff a week and generally have 1-3 marathon series on my back burner. Recently, I’ve been reading Part 5 of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure and Takano Ichigo’s Orange. Both were good manga, and I might have more to say about them in the long run, but there wasn’t one point in either of them that jumped out as self-evident greatness.

But a win-obsessed former bottom-feeding baseball team led by a charismatic pitcher-owner winning the pennant by taking 3 games in a row, on the road, against the team that ultimately finished in second place? While spoiling their opponent’s victory party each time? That’s some fine stuff.

OneOuts-165-1

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Manga Chapter of the Week: One Outs Chapter 141 (Fissure)

Shinobu Kaitani’s One Outs, the story of ace player/owner of the Saitama Lycaons, Tokuchi Toua, is without question the best in an increasingly long list of baseball series I have read to date. It’s set in a professional level, and much like Giant Killing, it features everything that makes pro sports so interesting; contract disputes, arcs of victory and defeat over a long season, and players who are all at least nominally in the top 5% talent-wise (even if the Central and Pacific Leagues are kind of a few miles below the AL and NL). The difference between the two is that where Giant Killing chooses to attack pro sports with realism, One Outs chooses  to fight with showmanship. Toua forgoes all the traditional principles of baseball, getting opponents out at a historic rate with only a slowball/slider and a heaping helping of quick wit in his arsenal. Eventually, a combination of his dominance on the plate and his harsh but performance-based contract makes him filthy rich, and puts him in position to buy out the team his contract bankrupted. And that’s where the real fun, him leading his lackluster team to the pennant, starts. The chapter in question is a part of the Lycaons’ quest for the pennant, as they duke it out with a hilariously top-heavy first-place Mariners team.

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Lists Are Fun to Make: Mangaka Off the Top of My Head

I thought it’d be a fun little exercise to try and pull out as many mangaka names as I could without relying on references. This is that list, written on lockdown mode and complete with the reasons why I remember them.

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Manga Chapter of the Week: Touch Chapter 64 (The Pitcher, Kuroki-kun)

I’m going to belabor this point, but Touch is an amazing, timeless classic manga. It’s also wildly unpopular in the states, something I kind of knew, but became much, much more obvious in my marathon sessions this week. Something I did not expect happened, and I had in no way been spoiled on it. The impressive thing isn’t so much that it happened, but how Adachi Mitsuru gives the audience the inside scoop. Suffice the man is a genius who’s madder than he lets on.

Warning: This article spoils a somewhat important twist in a manga that’s 20+ years old, but one that’s virtually unknown to western audiences. If you don’t want to be spoiled, don’t read this and do read the manga.

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Manga Chapter of the Week: Ace of the Diamond 115 (Self-Awareness)

I’ve talked about Ace of the Diamond before. It’s my second-favorite baseball manga of all time*, and it is so because it a) is not about a team of scrappy underdogs, which allows for b) one of the most interesting dynamics in any sports manga – 4 highly skilled pitchers with alpha dog personalities competing for one starting spot on an elite baseball team. When that dynamic gets folded into competitive baseball matches, the result is a fantastic two-level narrative. This week, we were reminded who was alpha dog prime, and why. Before I go any further into how amazingly unique Tanba is as a character, here’s his “I logged a K against the other team’s ace with the tying run on third and two outs” face.**

DnA-115-1

Which might as well be the rest of my column, but I like to write

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Animetics Podcast: Kickstarting Anime and Speculation

In the long-delayed second episode, we talk about Kickstarter. More specifically, we start by discussing anime and manga it’s funded already, and use what numbers we have (mainly myanimelist statistics) to wildly speculate on what else might be a viable candidate for a Time of Eve-style international BD release.

Show Link / Listen Online

Show Length: 59:40

(Timestamps for each segment in parentheses)

Kick Heart (1:01)

http://www.kickstarter.com/discover/categories/animation/most-funded?ref=more#p1

http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2013/05/27/video-latest-kick-heart-anime-trailer

Time of Eve (4:07)

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/693293489/time-of-eve-the-movie-on-blu-ray/posts

Kickstarting Manga (6:20)

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kansaiclub/limited-edition-translation-of-osamu-tezukas-the-c

Other anime realistically kickstartable (7:29)

-Refer to list after break for data

The “Almost Certainly Would Get Funded” Group (9:02)

The “Maybe But Maybe Not” Group (21:48)

The “Probably Not Actually Happening” Group (44:00)

Anime Sols and the viability of other sites to crowdfund anime (52:14)

http://animesols.com/series?search%5Bmeta_sort%5D=popularity.desc

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Introducing Unnecessary Terminology: The Takeaway and The Moment

Different anime and manga, and really all works of entertainment, have different ways of captivating their audiences. Some of them create mental mementos so strong that they last forever whether you want them to or not, and others leave light footprints that disappear with the first snowfall, but are no less beautiful.

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Fun With Numbers: 10 vs. 110

One of the many controversial features of sites like myanimelist and aniDB that allow users to list their anime is their inclusion of toplists. What’s the proper way to weight scores? Should sequels (which have an intrinsic advantage in 10-point averages) be counted normally? Is there a point to having one at all when it invites as much vitriol as it sometimes does?

Though actual discussions over topics like these tend to descend into unglorified hoopla fairly quickly, these toplists and rankings can be very interesting subjects for study. Especially if you dig a layer below the top and start to look at what they really measure.

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