One of the things I love about giving panels/talks at cons is the Q&A component. Sure, every time there’s at least one guy whose question that’s a recitation essay, but you also get a lot of stimulation; observations beyond your field of view from people outside your normal circles of interaction. One of the best questions I got during Ohayocon came after the Myth of Fanservice panel talking about the results of this article. I don’t remember the exact wording, but it was to the effect of “I get from this presentation that shallow fanservice doesn’t sell, but fanservice that’s a component of an otherwise good show actually annoys me more, because it makes it harder to recommend shows. What about fanservice as a minor component of a show, rather than the central one?” At the time, I replied that it was an interesting question, but that I hadn’t tested it and couldn’t come up with a way off the top of my head.
After I thought about it for a while, I realized there’s actually a fairly intuitive way of getting at this question. Since exactly how fanservice/ecchi elements a show has to include before being a fanservice/ecchi show varies from person to person, it was very possible that one could get a snapshot of that spectrum by looking at how two separate databases with varying standards classified a show. As fate would have it, myanimelist (ecchi genretag) and animenewsnetwork (ecchi+fanservice themetags)* classify shows as ecchi in ways that are different enough that one can split shows from my original black/white sample into 3 meaningful categories.**
1. No/Minimal Ecchi (Not tagged under either system)
2. Ambiguously Ecchi (Tagged under one system, but not the other)
3. Unambiguously Ecchi (Tagged under both systems)
Theoretically, if a show is really heavy on the fanservice, it’ll end up being in category 3, and if it’s got naked men wrestling behind one-way glass, it’ll end up being in category 1. If there’s room to dispute how much fanservice a show has and/or how central it is, it’ll more likely end up in category 2. And by comparing those 3 categories, we should be able to get some idea of how much fanservice as a component does for shows with other notable selling points. The breakdowns for the categories can be found on this doc, and analysis can be found after the break.
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.
There are few things more frustrating than loving an anime that has room to grow as a story, but never gets beyond one season of material. It’s arguably even more of an irritance when you know the second season would easily pay for itself. Fortunately, it’s very rare for popular anime to not get sequels (happens only about 20% of the time), and there are ways to predict which ones those will be. I like to think knowing softens the heartbreak.
Redline is the best anime movie I have ever seen. By which I mean it is the best anime I’ve ever seen and the best movie I’ve ever seen. While this summer season is certainly one for the books, it’s not delivering anything quite like that movie (and it wouldn’t be fair to ask it to). But because the movie’s now available free on youtube,* and because this is definitely the most fun season to be a part of since subs of the movie became available roughly 2 years ago, I decided to pay tribute by summarizing how everyone’s doing at (roughly) the halfway hash in the words of Sweet JP and co.
[Warning: Spoilers, if that kind of thing bothers you.]
This time, we cover several topics, including the inspiring success of crowdfunded anime since our last show, several bits of recent anime news (both depressing and intriguing), and the rockin’ Summer 2013 slate of anime.