Fun With Numbers: Anime as Light Novel Advertisments in 2010

2010 was a year with fairly thin pickings in terms of light novel/novel adaptations. I counted less than 15 new series with books as a source, and 4 of them (Tatami Galaxy, Katanagatari, MM, and Shiki) were done before the adaptation came out, limiting our ability to measure their impact. Thankfully, there was only one series that ran through the anime and didn’t chart; Asobi ni Ikuyo. There’s a wealth of data for the other 9, though.

In any event, the pre/post-anime two-week sales totals of the light novels for which they’re available are recorded here and plotted below.

Note that, for Shinrei Tantei Yakumo, I was tracking the editions of the volumes reissued under Kadokawa; it was originally published by Nihon Bungeisha in the early 2000s, and later had one new volume (9) released before the reissuing finished. It’s irregular for a lot of reasons. Continue reading

Advertisements

Get Behind the Bandwagon: The Added Fun Value From Loving Shows Some People Hate

To some extent, I’ve always been cogniscent of the fact that I’ve gravitated towards of a variety of indicators for the success of anime, rather than just word of mouth, because I have idiosyncratic tastes and using said variety of indicators helps illustrate that the case for or against many shows isn’t as clear-cut as many narrative-spinners would have you believe.

For the record, If there’s a worse anime blogger than Rick Reilly is a sports columnist, I’ve never met them. But I’ve read too many terrible columns by sanctimonious 70-year-old baseball writers about how Yasiel Puig has zero class and too many terrible columns by sanctimonious anime bloggers about how Kill La Kill is somehow “saving” an anime* industry that isn’t actually dying or lacking for fresh content not to see a lot of similarities between the two groups. I’m not saying that all writers who take a critical perspective on anime are like this, but far too many of them are more interested in grinding an axe against a genre rather than actually having a serious discussion about it.

But something hit me after I read this recent Andrew Sharp piece (he’s also the writer of the #hotsportstake series that mocks the aforementioned type of writing) about the appeal of bandwagoning on playoff football teams. One of his criteria that jumped out at me; “Does this team piss off Phil Simms and Jim Nantz?” I hadn’t thought about it for a while, but the Rex Ryan Jets were some of my favorite bandwagons for that very reason (plus the fact that those Jets played a defense best described as a shower of linebacker-shaped meteors backed by Darelle Revis eclipsing the sun). While my appreciation of a show is maximum when a show is great, my enjoyment of a show in a holistic sense is more of a 60-20-20 combination of 3 factors:

1. How much I enjoy it.

2. How well it performs commercially, usually in disk sales but potentially in other categories. It has to at least be a lock argument for having had break even sales.

3. The presence of a persistent group of (for lack of a better word) haters. Not just people who sort-of dislike and avoid it, but people who can’t resist taking paragraph-long potshots at it any time it gets mentioned.

This means that, as good as Attack on Titan was, it’s not a max-entertainment bandwagon. No one of any consequence particularly hates the show, and it’s just done really well. By contrast, Girls und Panzer was a near-perfect bandwagon show, putting up megahit numbers in the face of a number of vocal and hilariously ineffectual critics (it would be on my shortlist already if I weren’t currently watching it). There is really nothing sweeter in fandom than watching a show pile up vocal critics and subsequently both be good and sell well in spite of them. This post contains my personal shortlist of series I’ve had the privilege of being a fan of long enough to watch them do the Shaq thing and dunk all over the place.

To clarify before I actually get to the list, I don’t believe it’s a bad thing to hold any particular set of opinions. I do believe it’s a bad thing to constantly spend time talking scrap about stuff you don’t enjoy, and more generally about the way things are, rather than actually doing something about it. If you’re so upset about the majority of anime that get made nowadays, put up and post links to the BDs of the series you do like on your blog, or just buy them yourself. It’s trivially easy to use amazon for that sort of thing in this day and age.

That said, here are my personal bandwagon favorites of the past several years:

Continue reading

Fun With Numbers: Ecchi is not a Growth Industry

One bit of seemingly ubiquitous conventional wisdom is that makers of anime often face a choice between making works that sell and works with integrity. However, one thing I’ve learned over the years is that it’s usually worth taking the time to test conventional wisdom against actual numbers, because it can be wrong fairly often. So I took a look at the performance of Ecchi anime relative to the rest of the market over the past 8 years. Sure enough, the picture is a bit more complicated than “otaku only buy boobs”.

Continue reading

Summer 2013 Slaparound: Uchoten Kazoku Week 3

Drew: This episode had a fairly simple premise; the main character goes around trying to get his hands on a sky boat, once owned by his teacher but now in the hands of Benten. I want to say that up-front, because this was probably the least-comprehensible episode of anime I watched this month. They introduced a bunch of things from nowhere, like the seaside clocktower that Benten apparently owns. The worst part was the one conversation between Tengu that dropped a bunch of terminology with minimal context, one that I would have been totally lost for if I hadn’t encountered the term Kurama Tengu before. It’s still a visual feast, but the visuals are often a lot less tightly targeted than, say, a Tatami Galaxy. I’m starting to worry (admittedly just a little) that this might be a TV anime with movie problems rather than a TV anime with movie benefits.

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

Adventures in Sound Direction: Your Folk Blues Are Real

So a while ago I wrote about veteran Sound Director Katsuyoshi Kobayashi’s wizardly handling of Space Brothers’ audio. At the time, I had to look up his name on ann, but I didn’t check his specific creator page. The other day, I went back and finally did. It turns out this isn’t the only anime-of-the-decade candidate* he’s worked on with a director named Watanabe. In celebration of this individual who’s handled a number of sublime auditory anime experiences and yet has to date zero comments or favorites on his myanimelist page, I’m going to spend this column by talking about the musically crafted battle sequence to trump (almost) all others, the last 6 minutes of Cowboy Bebop.

(This post contains obvious ending spoilers for a 15-year-old show that you either have watched or will find yourself watching the moment you inform someone who has that you haven’t. So there.) Continue reading