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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Fun With Numbers: Anime as Light Novel Advertisments in 2012

Compared to 2011, 2012 represents an upswing year for the industry; more overall TV anime was being made. In addition to simply seeing more light novel adaptations, we saw several adaptations of finished series (Kotenbu/Hyouka and Chuu2koi) and single novels (Another, Shinsekai Yori). Those four are notable, but not within the LN data I’ve been using for my sample.* Perhaps because of the minor resurgence in the industry, we do see a bit of an increase in the number of series that performed in unexpected ways. The performance of light novels which were adapted in 2012 in relation to the time frame their adaptation aired is charted below. The raw data is on this doc, and can be compared with the 2012 sample for manga.

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Charactology: The Animetics Non-Answer to “Who Was the Best Anime Character of 2012?”

Charactology-2012-r1

There are times when we at Animetics like to slow down, get serious, and look at the finer points of what defines excellence. This, much like our seasonal anime previews, is not one of those features. There’s no objective way of determining who the best anime character actually is, and we don’t claim to be any more accurate than a series of purely random coin flips. That said, welcome to Charactology 2012, the Animetics bracketology-inspired character polling feature.

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New Directors: What’s In A Resume?

Aside from perhaps the hair episode of Yami Shibai, the 5-minute preview for Go Nagai’s Robot Girls Z was the most impressive, repeatable five minutes of animation I watched last month. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s over here. Short version: it’s a 5-minute comedy which, but for the more modern cutesy character designs, could totally have been written by Go Nagai. Its style of humor, featuring excessive violence and heroes doing more damage than the monsters they fight, is what he’s always been all about.

Being that I was excited about the project (this was only the 0th episode), I flew over to ann to check the profiles of the freaks involved. As it turns out, the director, Hiroshi Ikehata, has only ever handled one TV series before (Ring ni Kakero), which isn’t a very good sample size to judge a director on. But he has held the position of episode director numerous times, on all manner of series (from A-Channel to Yuyushiki).

There are no less than 8 new directors making their debut in this Summer 2013 season with similar information about their early careers available.* One of them is Hiroko Utsumi, the director of Free! Others run the quality gamut, from C3-Bu’s Masayoshi Kawajiri to Neptunia’s Masahiro Mukai. And, lest I forget, Shishiou Igarashi made a smashing debut with The Unlimited this winter. It’s definitely possible for first-timers to post veteran-esque performances, but far from guaranteed.

This observation led me to a question; what, if anything, can we glean from a first-time director’s experience in the bullpen? If it that experience is important, what part of it is? Is it better to have worked as an understudy to a great creator on a memorable show, or to build up tons of experience grinding out lots of support roles? To attempt to answer these questions, I pulled up resumes for the 11 directors who first got their hands on a serial anime project in 2012 and combed them over to see if anything in particular was a good indicator of their respective performances. This article outlines a number of the potential performance I examined, some better than others.

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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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