Fun With Numbers: Various Case Studies of Oricon Manga Charts Versus Copies in Print

Oricon manga reports tend to fall well, well short of the “actual” values reported by publishers. I’ve written before about one of the most extreme cases (Yuruyuri’s one million copies with 0 weeks in the charts), but there are plenty of others out there. This isn’t a comprehensive look at it (and these series may or may not represent “average” cases of underreporting); it’s just me picking a couple confirmations and counting up the total (i.e. total on weekly charts from last week a volume appeared) Oricon reported sales up to the point when the publisher reported a given number.

Some of these may simply be unsold copies, another part may represent copies sold at a 10k/week rate in the long-tail shadow of the charts, and a few may come from the overseas sales Oricon chooses not to count. How to separate those three is anybody’s guess. I’m not trying to do that, just give some idea of how big these gaps can be.

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Fun With Numbers: Amazon Rank Progression for US Releases (March 11)

Now that a week has elapsed since the 9 releases from 5 March 11 titles (Accel World, Digimon, Ikkitousen s4, Psycho-Pass, Sakurasou) have been released, it’s time to dump the data plots of their daily performance.

As before, here’s the rankings up to this week in Aria the Natural part 2, featuring one total copy sold and the majority of days spent ranked 120,000th or higher:


Chart is date, rank, # in stock

1 sale per day does seem to boost a series up into the 70,000th-90,000th range, perhaps for a relatively brief period. It would be kind of nice if I were able to code and could track these hourly, but that’s way beyond my ability level. At any rate, the observation made last week that 120,000th or worse means zero sales seems to hold up.

Plots (and some commentary) are posted after the jump.

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

Way back in December, I started a rough, bare-bones look at a bit of publicly available data; US Amazon TV/Movie bestseller list rankings for anime releases. That data collection is mostly done, pending K’s release this Tuesday, and it yielded some potentially interesting nuggets (expect that summary post to happen before this next weekend). Enough so that I plan to do the same at least for the month of March. This is a list of the releases I’ll be tracking over the next 30 days, with their release dates, prices, and initial rankings. All series were accessed via amazon’s upcoming anime releases page.

Two points before the list itself:

-I compiled my February list too early (several titles were only announced for release after I built my list), and missed the opportunity to track some releases that way. Since most titles tracked in the February sample were relatively steady and very low on the list until a week before release (save for Robotics;Notes’ ridiculously discounted edition), I’m going to start tracking monthly rankings approximately one week prior to the first set of releases from now on.

-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.

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Manga Olympics for Bloggers (Shojo/Josei Round 1c): Undervalued International Female Fans See a Lack of Shojo Anime

I’ve mentioned before how I often I see misconceptions about shojo manga in my group of anime-fan friends. The most common misconception that pops up is that shojo is a one-note genre (rather than a demographic, which it is by definition), but a close second is the assumption that female fans are a small minority among those that follow anime. While that’s somewhat true in Japan, it couldn’t be further from the truth in America. Indeed, female fans may make up the majority of manga buyers in the United States. So why so few shojo anime? I’ve got a take on that.

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First Reactions: Psycho-Pass Episode 22 (End) and Quickie Scores (7/10)

For all the trappings of morality and exploring social constructs, this show came down to a 1-on-1 cop vs. criminal staredown. I’d be lying if I said I was impressed with the way chips fell down as Psycho-Pass came to an end.

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First Reactions: Psycho-Pass Episode 21

Seeing as Psycho-Pass had the first real final battle episode of the season, I went into it pumped. Stayed that way for most of the episode, too; it did a very good job of keeping tension on a knife’s edge.

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First Reactions: Psycho-Pass Episode 20

No matter what happens in the ending of Psycho-Pass, Urobuchi Gen and his star power will get too much credit, and the director, Katsuyuki Motohiro, will get too little. Considering this episode was almost all dialogue, half of it internal, it’s easy to see how the things it’s doing visually right will be overlooked.

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First Reactions: Psycho-Pass Episode 19

This episode represented to the first real rest-stop in what has been a lightning chain of events stringing the past week of in-series time together. Which means it was a nice chance to more thoroughly examine some characters, and spread hints as to how exactly the finale will play out.

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Psycho-Pass: Some Thoughts on Episodes 1-18

Psycho-Pass is straight-up science fiction. It takes an idea (computers can tell which people are mentally unstable enough to commit a crime, thereby allowing quick and easy enforcement of the law) and expounds upon it, looking at a variety of both forseeable and unexpected consequences of this technology. It’s also (separately) the story of the hardening of a rookie cop, who has her own ideals confronted with harrowing experiences that show her it’s not possible to maintain order and enforce justice perfectly at the same time. Both of these are fairly standard devices, sufficient fuel for a good story which, after a non-negligible waiting period, pulled me in very nicely.

Oh, and having amazing fight scenes like this didn’t hurt either.

Beyond the choices it’s made as a science fiction and character story, Psycho-Pass as an anime breaks down fairly simply. The first 9 episodes, with their episodic presentation of different murder cases (albeit ones with a common underlying connection), were distinctly aimed at world-building and creating a sense of familiarity with the noticeably unfamiliar society. Everything since has been a combination of dynamic thriller/action, with many of the thriller elements derived from the world the beginning of the show built up. I don’t disagree with that choice of presentation. Rather, my issue comes from the fact that buildup itself was less interesting than it could have been. I feel, at least on some level, like Urobuchi Gen was more focused on the climax which needed the buildup than on the buildup itself, which resulted in a less interesting beginning than, say, Fate/zero. In the modern anime industry, where a show competes with 30 others in any given season for attention, that’s an uncommon mistake.

[HorribleSubs] PSYCHO-PASS - 11 [480p].mkv_snapshot_19.54_[2013.02.25_22.21.23]Even with the wait, this scene was still totally worth it

I’ll definitely be finishing Psycho-Pass, and it’s definitely one of the shows I enjoy more right now, but I don’t think I’ll be able to give it full marks largely because of that less captivating beginning third. Still, I’d be perfectly happy to be eating these words come April.