Fun With Numbers: August 2014 US Amazon Data (Initial Numbers)

July’s almost over, and while I’m not totally done tracking releases for that month, I think it’s reasonably safe to say none of them are likely to snag an elusive top 20 BD/top 30 DVD slot – Naruto and Hetalia were the only series to spend multiple days in triple digits and neither cracked the top 500.

This August looks pretty thin in terms of series likely to chart: the only releases currently better than 20,000th are DBZ’s sixth BD set, Love Lab, and Shinsekai Yori’s second half. Tracking them, as always, to add to the dataset and hopefully eventually enable analysis of the US market.

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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: Anime as Manga Advertisments in 2013

The commercial impact of anime goes well beyond its disk sales. Manga may sell to more people, but anime is extremely visible, airing on TV (albeit often late at night) and propagating around the internet at a very rapid pace. This visibility very often can lead to an increased strength of the franchise in general, propping up sales of print material, figures, and any various other related goods. Sometimes, anyway. 2013 was no exception, and saw a number of manga adaptations have anywhere from minimal to explosive effects on the sales of their source material.

I collected the manga sales history, including thresholds for series which charted sporadically, on this doc, and plotted it below. Note that these sales are not total, but the total number reported in a roughly fixed time period. Comparing sales tail length is a whole other issue, and I’m trying as much as possible to compare like figures.

One important difference from similar breakdowns of 2011/2012 series is that here I’ve opted to use the total sales from a series’ first 2 weeks of release (the highest reported total in that time interval), to attempt to minimize the effects of a bad split in creating artificial variations. It’s still an issue either way, but the difference between 9 and 14 days is a lot less than the difference between 2 and 7 days.

Two important series-specific notes prior to the plots. First, Maoyu is plotted here, in the manga section, because the manga charts more consistently than the light novel did and, more importantly, has available data from both before and after the anime aired (the LN ended just prior to 2013). Second, I can’t parse impact for series that don’t have at least one volume which released after the anime began to air. I thus will not be covering Servant x Service here, though there is data available. I will cover it in an addendum post come September when volume 4 has been out for 2 weeks.

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First Reactions: WataMote Episode 12 (End) and Quickie Scores (7/10)

The ending for this series was very much its twelfth episode. It opened with a recap and ended with a loop to the beginning, showing a main character who made no real progress as a person. It wasn’t a conclusion that was difficult to predict, but it does again highlight the biggest weakness of a show that expects one character to carry the entire show on her back with only a bunch of situational humor as a sidekick. As it is, it’s a fun show, but by no means the best comedy of the year (or even the season).

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First Reactions: WataMote Episode 11

Amidst all the vomiting and the awkward attempts to feign business to avoid attention, this episode probably had the most social incarnation of Tomoko thus far. Which led to some rather nice moments with her astoundingly not tripping over her own feet. But it also clarified some points that are preventing me from enjoying the show as much as I would otherwise.

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First Reactions: WataMote Episode 10

I’ve seen shows lead into their ED credits with the first few notes, (to nearly universally impressive results), but this is only the third or fourth show I’ve seen do so with the opening credits. Between that and the decision to plug Tomoko into class chat central, the second semester got off to a running start.

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First Reactions: WataMote Episode 9

After 2 phoned-in performances in 3 weeks I’m a lot less high on the show than I was at the end of episode 5. Were 6 and 8 ultimately hiccups in the larger scheme of production, or do the writer/source material have some skill flaws that weren’t as evident early on? If they do, will Oonuma Shin be able to keep covering for them? The next couple of weeks should be telling.

To its credit, this episode opened strong, with Tomoko showing a fairly innocent combination of looking forward to her plans with Yuu and doing prep on the sly to make sure things went well, all before Yuu’s call took her expectations out like a sniper. You could see that twist coming, but it was enjoyable in the way the first half of the show was; more of a rodeo clown tumbling than a puppy taking a horrific 10-story fall.

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First Reactions: WataMote Episode 8

WataMote is fun to watch when it’s primarily about Tomoko self-destructing on her own. It gets less fun when she gets others wrapped up in her pathetic bluffs, especially when they believe in her. The style of humor this week wasn’t that different from normal, and the episode in general was way stronger than 6, but the subject matter straddled the barrier between funny sad and sad sad.

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Though the vacuum scene was still appreciably fun

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First Reactions: WataMote Episode 7

The montage segment at the beginning was a great way of demonstrating just how hard Tomoko was wasting her summer vacation. Each individual action she took was a different kind of low-brainpower activity, and her internal feelings about the day afterwards provided rock solid confirmation that that moment six minutes in where she looked like a Cleveland fan circa January 17, 1988 was coming. My favorite part of that segment was her commenting on the video, a little piece of satire directed at people no doubt commenting on the episode the same way. Mashing w is definitely a thing that happens, and he facial expression was a great example of someone showing exaggerating their sarcastic response to ridiculous internet crap.

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It’s debatable whether or not its subjects got the joke

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First Reactions: WataMote Episode 6

This week’s episode didn’t start out up to the show’s usual standards of quality. The sex jokes at the beginning felt like they were there more for the sake of bringing the topic up than in the effort poured into making scenes independently funny. It was still fun, but it was succeeding less on creativity and more on audacity. That problem could really have just been a one-skit thing. With the way the punchlines started rolling in, though, the whole operation seemed to get back on the rails; the second half of that skit was full of decidedly basic slapstick material that worked really well. Odds are it succeeded because of its simplicity in contrast with the earlier grand delusions and cheap usage of the word “sex”.  Maybe the writers knew from the start what they were doing.

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