AnimeEXPO AX 2007 | ANN Reports Bleak Future For Anime

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ANN Released their AnimeEXPO AX 2007 coverage yesterday. All anime fans should checkout ANN’s detailed report especially the Keynotes. Its a rough outline of the state of anime, manga, and where it’s all heading.

Anime in the US

The staggering figures for anime and manga?

“According to JETRO figures, In 2006, the US market for anime is $4.35 billion; the market for manga another US$200 million.” –ANN

JETRO’s CEO, Keizo Tsuchiya credits piracy for promoting anime.

Tsuchiya states that one of the reasons Japanese animation has been so successful worldwide is that pirates bore much of the cost of experimentation and promotion. –ANN

However, piracy also negatively impacts the industry by cutting into profits. Meaning? Less anime created due to small profit margins and may go the way of Hollywood where studios only produce big blockbuster, formula hits killing diversity and passing over other possible hits. But Tsuchiya does note to prevent stagnation requires the joint venture of Japan and US to seek out new revenue sources.

Manga Mania

Panelists covered a wide range of issues facing the manga industry. The lack of shelf space from the retail sector, lack of marketing, overpriced manga, and content controversy were covered. Scanlations were praised for spreading and promoting manga by one panelist. They also commented on psuedo-mangas and the “stigma” for being non-Japanese.

“Manga just means comics.” Furthermore, the hair-splitting over what can be called manga was considered mostly a futile exercise, with printing presses in China, international artists selling in Japan, Japanese and global artists collaborating, and so on.” –ANN

The panel is right on. However, the problem is manga consumers want Japanese titles and equate the word “manga” with “Made in Japan”. Retailers shove anything that mimicks the look of Japanese comics in between Death Note and Naruto which makes them look ignorant and deceptive not to mention irritate the hell out off consumers. Hopefully the Nippon phase will pass and kids will start asking “Where’s the Japanese comics?” since that’s what it mean you nitwits (if enough people ask then maybe the retailers will categorize the comics properly, too). Then we can all move on with our ceasless mass consumption to French and Belgium comics and start splitting hairs over “bande dessinée”.

The Future of Anime

FUNimation Entertaiment’s Sr Vice President of Marketing and New Media, Debra Kennedy spoke about emerging trends in the anime industry.

The anime viewer base continues to grow while sales plummet, clueless retailers don’t know what to buy and market properly, need for new advertising/promotional venues to reach consumers, changing business practice between US business and Japanese anime producers, and cashing in on digital distribution.

US distributers understand the best way to combat fansubs is to bring anime series over ASAP which means direct involvement with the anime developement. Translation: they plan to choke fansubs at the source. It’s all out war on the subbing community.

Seems to me the future is a battleground for profit. What else is new?

Source: ANN

Copyright 2007 DoAnimation.

One Response to “AnimeEXPO AX 2007 | ANN Reports Bleak Future For Anime”

  1. Dan209 Says:

    Inside I think I have just died a little.

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