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: July 2014 US Amazon Data (Initial Numbers)

Another month, another set of anime releases to track on amazon. Of particular note are Hetailia The Beautiful World (~5000th with 4 weeks to release, big US fan presence) and Deadman Wonderland (~3000th with 3 weeks to release). Those two have legitimate shots at the big charts, though any series should have to rank 500th or lower for multiple days to have a realistic chance.

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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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Lists Are Fun to Make: Favorite Episodes of 2013 By Title

I find anime episode titles lined up to be aesthetically pleasing. There’s an art to picking a good title that really speaks to the content of the episode. Here I tired to keep things simple, and limited myself to one episode per show to keep Gatchaman Crowds and the non-racist parts of Space Brothers from dominating the chart and keeping some other interesting ones out.

10. Change the World (Samurai Flamenco)

9. Autumn of Arts, Appetite, and Attack (GJ-bu)

8. Soccer… Soccer? (Outbreak Company)

7. Because It’s Fun (Yuyushiki)

6. Everyone has Close Calls. Learn from Them and Keep the Workplace Healthy. (Servant x Service)

5. Shocking No Breathing (Free)

4. Muromi-san and the Ryuuguuju (Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san)

3. Qualifications of a Hero (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure)

2. Excitement of My Youth (Space Brothers)

1. Crowds (Gatchaman Crowds)

Lists Are Fun To Make: Clutch BGM of 2013

I haven’t been writing much on it lately, but I’m a firm believer on the power of a soundtrack (and good sound direction) to either give a show the last little push it needs to get to 10/10 quality or kneecap a show that could’ve been a contender. With that in mind, here are 10 tracks from 10 different 2013 anime I thought turned particular scenes into memorable standouts.

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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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Animetics’ Drunken Vegas-style Spring 2013 Anime Preview

If the anime blogoshpere were a field of corn, and each post that summarized the spring 2013 season were a corn husk, then you could stand in the middle of it and toss a match in any direction, and end up with something on the order of 10 gallons of popcorn. And some third degree burns. Um.

So, what I mean to say is this; seasonal anime preview posts are really a saturated field. But we like anime, and we want to cover it, too. Thus, we labored hard to find a hipster angle, and we found it; instead of putting up a dime a dozen post, we’re putting a dozen dimes on the post. In simpler terms, we’re taking mad bets on the upcoming Spring 2013 lineup, Vegas-style!

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