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The Business of Anime

CmdrTaco posted about 9 years ago | from the still-haven't-seen-howl's-castle dept.

Anime 523

buckminster writes "Planet Tokyo's Talking Anime Business Blues is a great roundup and analysis of recent articles detailing the behind the scenes aspects of the anime business. By all accounts 99% of Japanese anime never makes it to America. Some of the arguments why might surprise you. There are still many in the industry who believe that fan subs are killing the anime market in the US."

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The buisness of anime (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12953060)

Some of the arguments why might surprise you

I always thought it was the soccer moms against 8 tentacles in a vagina...

Re:The buisness of anime (1)

Captain Poopypants (720974) | about 9 years ago | (#12953083)

Now why would the sex-starved soccer moms be against a tentacle fantasy?

Re:The buisness of anime (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12953084)

Score +5, Funny

Re:The buisness of anime (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12953315)

Thats what I was shooting for, but posted anonymous for fear of troll mod. That and if someone searches my name they won't get "tentacles in vagina" now.

Re:The buisness of anime (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12953104)

no shit. give me 3 well-hung niggers any day.

Kathleen Fent.

Anime subculture (1, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 9 years ago | (#12953063)

Is the problem with Anime in America:

A) Japan doesn't export enough Anime
B) Fansubs are killing the business
C) Not that many people in the US are actually interested in watching movies where the women are portrayed as children with blue hair, guys are always "cool" (in a Japanese-thinking sort of way), everyone's eyes go huge and bug out, saliva is everywhere, all the characters overreact, all monsters have tentacles, and the story lines are shrouded in inexplicable nonsense/lack of backstory?

Raise your hand if you've seen Street Fighter Alpha: The Movie? C it is then.

It has always amazed me that the Japanese can be amazing animators, yet consistently hold to the same tired cliches in all of their animated series. I understand that the Japanese think that underage girls are the height of sexual prowess, but it just doesn't jive with American ideas of how life actually is. I realize that an Anime fanbase exists here is the US (and in many other countries), but this fanbase is not a tremendously large majority. It's enough to keep Cartoon Network's night time programs in business and that's about it. The majority of people tune it out despite the occasional gem like the Ghost in the Shell series. (Which I think is significantly better than the movie, BTW.)

That being said, the article doesn't quite clarify the difficulties in actually creating an English sub for most anime movies. Dubbing is definitely difficult and expensive, but subbing is a relatively simple task. If most DVD movies came with english subbing (as American movies tend to come with Spanish subbing), then many retail companies here in the US would take care of the issues of importing from Japan. No special marketting or foreign shipments required. (This is similar to the Fanicom imports from way back when. That stuff was big business.)

Re:Anime subculture (5, Insightful)

adam.conf (893668) | about 9 years ago | (#12953111)

Or D) Its their culture, and their shows / movies... not ours. While some Americans will watch Anime, not that many will
Anime is designed for the Japanese culture, and will be better accepted in Japan. US animation is designed for Americans, and hence will be better accepted than Anime. Products do what they are designed for (excluding a certaing clear-glass-pane-inspired-OS)

Re:Anime subculture (3, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 9 years ago | (#12953128)

That was basically my point. Anime is heavily tied to Japanese culture (although I can't understand how they can put up with the repetitivness), and inroads are only going to made in the American culture if it appeals to the average American.

Re:Anime subculture (1)

MikeMacK (788889) | about 9 years ago | (#12953171)

I don't know if these count as "anime" but I loved Speed Racer, Star Blazers and Marine Boy when I was a kid.

Re:Anime subculture (4, Insightful)

pinchhazard (728983) | about 9 years ago | (#12953202)

Anime is heavily tied to Japanese culture (although I can't understand how they can put up with the repetitivness)

Of course, American movies and TV shows regularly feature novel plots and fresh ideas!

Just kidding. For example, if you haven't noticed, summer brings lots of action movies (usually a monster action movie, a disaster action movie, a terrorism/military action movie, a space action movie, or a horror-zombies-fantasy-undead action movie.) I think a point of the article is that so much anime DOESN'T make it here, that you can't fairly judge anime in general just by what you see on Cartoon Network or even what you get on DVD from a niche store. But I do agree with a lot of what you said in the OP.

Re:Anime subculture (3, Funny)

Abcd1234 (188840) | about 9 years ago | (#12953228)

(although I can't understand how they can put up with the repetitivness)

No kidding! I mean, look at hollywood. No repetitiveness there! No siree, none at all. The paragon of originality, Hollywood is...

Re:Anime subculture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12953256)

Nice original comment there..

Re:Anime subculture (5, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 9 years ago | (#12953271)

That's why Americans don't generally understand anime's unstated backstories, the iconic imagery, the standard storylines. It's not surprising.

What is still surprising is Japan's embrace of American pop culture, which is of course exactly the same kind of product as anime, with different forms and content. Maybe America's postwar pop culture is more universal, having been produced by and for a population from every global culture, including Japan's. Maybe Japanese culture has more experience of swallowing a foreign culture whole, especially after being "conquered" in a war. Maybe American culture resists influences from cultures other than the "Old World" of Europe and Africa. Maybe it was a unique combination of other factors. What exactly is the difference that makes American culture's foreign popularity a one way street? And does anime find any easier acceptance anywhere else outside Japan, or is America just like everywhere else, puzzling over peculiarly Japanese cultural references?

Re:Anime subculture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12953336)

You are correct, for some strange reason Westerners cannot understand giant tentacle cocks coming out of everything and raping schoolgirls!

Re:Anime subculture (0, Flamebait)

fatboy (6851) | about 9 years ago | (#12953355)

This is *SO* flame bait, but I can't resist. Maybe Anime (We used to call it Japanimation) sucks.

God. There. I said it. Now I know what it feels like to be one of those whiney guys complaining about ham radio articles :)

Re:Anime subculture (2, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | about 9 years ago | (#12953126)

I understand that the Japanese think that underage girls are the height of sexual prowess, but it just doesn't jive with American ideas of how life actually is.

The pr0n industry disagrees with you.

Re:Anime subculture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12953159)

ez there pedo.

Re:Anime subculture (3, Insightful)

Bluesy21 (840772) | about 9 years ago | (#12953165)

I agree, I think the problem is that the Anime market is too small for most companies to distribute it. Businees is always out for profit one way or another and I just don't think most companies see it as being profitable to bring the majority of this stuff over to the States.

I know a lot of geeks, nerds, whatever that are into Anime, and are constantly complaining that they can't find a lot of it here and even fewer retailers actually carry it. However, I also know a lot more geeks, nerds, whatever (including myself) that really have no interest in anime. A lot of it has to do with the constant storylines that all seem pretty much the same to someone that isn't really that into anime.

Re:Anime subculture (2, Informative)

xWastedMindx (636296) | about 9 years ago | (#12953188)

Japan doesnt export enough? Who needs to export when we have the internet. Who cares if you can't go to your local Blockbuster and rent/purchase it. Go to an online anime shop [] , and buy it there..

Re:Anime subculture (2, Insightful)

Iriel (810009) | about 9 years ago | (#12953201)

I think a major problem with Anime in America is twofold:

1. The influence of the anime subculture cliques in the US have created a slew of American cartoons that try to appease everyone by becoming "Amerime" as I've heard it called. It's a little bit of American animation and a little bit of Anime, so it's won't make the purists really happy, but it may keep the majority quiet enough to stop barking for the authentic imports.

2. Some anime fan groups really do live up the title of otaku. For example, I absolutely hate Inu Yasha and I've never even seen it. The only reason that I can't stand it is because the anime fan club in my college talked about it so much, non-stop that I already knew the whole thing. In fact, within a week it was already like an overplayed radio single that made me want to smash things. I don't have anything against the story or characters or style, but the overload from the fans was so much that I couldn't stand hearing about it anymore and I still can't to this day.
Not all fans are this bad, and some are much less than this bad or not even bad at all, but there are enough fans that can be true otaku: Obsessed to the point that the average person doesn't want to hear it anymore.

I, for one, don't like to talk about anime anymore for fear that I will be crucified by some purist for watched the unclean dubbed version of whatever.

Personally, I think these two things really hold back anime from becoming truly mainstream in America. Correct me if you want.

Re:Anime subculture (5, Insightful)

gnownaym (705075) | about 9 years ago | (#12953212)

"It has always amazed me that the Japanese can be amazing animators, yet consistently hold to the same tired cliches in all of their animated series. I understand that the Japanese think that underage girls are the height of sexual prowess, but it just doesn't jive with American ideas of how life actually is." As a fansubber and, thus, viewer of much anime, I would like to point out that the above statement indicates a general lack of awareness regarding the diversity of the product as a whole. To say that "all" series adhere to these alleged Japanese beliefs is a) ignorant and b) a bit racist. Just as with Western television there is quite a range in offerings with respect to both quality and content. Generalizations like that simply don't hold. Furthermore, in the West, the "Disney era" as it were established our, meaning western, current viewpoint regarding the nature of animation and the target audience, hence why most adults don't watch cartoons/animation/whatever you want to call it. As per the "why not release sub-only" argument, that'd be fine if it weren't for one (amazingly stupid) thing: a lot of people, for whatever reason, hate to read subtitles. A dub/sub combo release caters to both potential audiences and thereby has a higher possibility of profit, which they may or may not make.

I agree (3, Interesting)

ZosX (517789) | about 9 years ago | (#12953223)

Too much anime is certainly cliched to HELL and back.

Blue hair. Check.
School girls with gigantic breasts. Check.
Everyone looks like they are 14 or younger. Check.
Big robots. Check.
Oversized, western styled eyes. Check.
Small overly cute inexplainable cat-like animals with blue fur. Check.

I mean, who is this stuff really supposed to appeal to? As an adult, I find that most anime is waaay to cheesy or childish for my likings. Clearly I'm not going to like Sailor Moon or the millions of copycats. The few good examples of what anime should be are few and far between. The first ninja scroll comes to mind as well as Ghost in the Shell. Cowboy Bebop was fantastic in so many ways. I did like Gundam and yes, even Gundam Wing was SPECTACULAR IMHO. The constant struggles over the validity of war were great in Wing. I also really liked Akira, though I thought the ending was entirely too bizarre and over the top.

Don't get me wrong. I love the Japanese vision of the future. In a lot of ways, I think they are indeed the most foward thinking people on the planet, but even their concept of what the future will look like is now so cliched, it has become thouroughly predictable. I mean it was great 10 years ago when I first started watching anime, but now I look at the series that some of the anime channels are showing on cable and every single last one of them is terrible.

Re:Anime subculture (3, Insightful)

spyrral (162842) | about 9 years ago | (#12953269)

There's so much wrong with the above post, I think it almost qualifies as flamebait. Where do I start?

Fansubs are not "killing the business". Fansubs are merely a symptom of a failure to properly respond to a demand. The demand is for subtitled digital files of the latest anime from Japan. The proper response is to sell those files at a reasonable price.

The rest of the post is merely Sturgeon's Law [] . Anime is television from Japan. It's mostly cliched crap for precisely that reason, just as American television is mostly crap. Guess what, that doesn't stop people from watching American TV, or from buying it on DVD.

That last point about importing Japanese DVDs clearly shows that AKAImBatman has no knowledge of the subject he's oh so insightfully posting about. Japanese DVDs made for the Japanese market are very, very, very expensive(Yes, that many verys!). Their DVD purchasing habits are very different from ours.

Re:Anime subculture (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 9 years ago | (#12953362)

Fansubs are not "killing the business".

Did I say they were? Nice job of putting words in my mouth.

The rest of the post is merely Sturgeon's Law.

That still doesn't change the fact that Anime is not generally accepted by the Amercian public. As long as it's not generally accepted, then it's unlikely to be generally imported.

That last point about importing Japanese DVDs clearly shows that AKAImBatman has no knowledge of the subject he's oh so insightfully posting about.

Again with the words in my mouth. Did I, or did I not say that "I don't understand why...". Seems pretty clear to me.

Japanese DVDs made for the Japanese market are very, very, very expensive(Yes, that many verys!). Their DVD purchasing habits are very different from ours.

Instead of attacking my post, how about providing some insightful details on this. Why are Japanese DVDs so expensive? What are their purchasing habits? Would American Anime fans be willing to pay the price of imports? Answering these questions would be a lot more helpful to others than taking a condescending position.

Re:Anime subculture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12953287)

Cliche? anime or what you think anime is?

Re:Anime subculture (2, Informative)

Total_Wimp (564548) | about 9 years ago | (#12953304)

Yeah, it's C).

My daughter is a big time anime fan and I enjoy anime as well, but a lot of the anime she likes is just plain grating to me. She absolutely loves it when the characters scream in anger or delight and go 'chibi' but I find it very annoying. IT'S LIKE SOMEONE WRITING WITH ALL CAPS AND USEING LOTS OF PUNCTUATION!!!!! It's just not something the majority of Americans want to see.

Notice that it happens in a _lot_ of anime, but not very much in the anime that is legitimately popular in America. Even Pokemon didn't spend that much time on massive emotional displays compared to a lot of anime popular in Japan.

I hope anime studios are paying attention: If you want to hit it big with your anime on American soil, look at what Americans actually want. If it's a story that's compelling to Americans, we'll buy a lot of it. Period.

Re:Anime subculture (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12953309)

The majority of people tune it out despite the occasional gem like the Ghost in the Shell series. (Which I think is significantly better than the movie, BTW.)

I disagree entirely.

Both movies presented and explored some deep concepts of personal identity, the nature of existence, the blurring of the lines between real/virtual and thinking/mechanical that our technological trend is producing, and so on. Both movies were disturbing and thought-provoking, and dealt with concepts that are deeply significant.

I watched the first four episodes of the series, and saw not a trace of any of this. Just a familiar cast (with slightly less serious personalities) a group of insufferably cute robot companions, and some interestingly-demented criminals. The series wasn't crap by any means, but it utterly failed to live up to the movies in depth and significance.

Though, I suppose if you watch TV just to veg out on something kind of trippy, the series may seem least you don't have to think as hard to follow it.

But perhaps I should ask, rather than assume. What, specifically, made the series better, in your opinion?

Re:Anime subculture (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12953354)

Warning, incoming fanboy response, take necessary precautions.
B) Fansubs are killing the business
The vast majority of fansubs are of titles that have not yet been released in America (that's why they're done by fans), and so there is no English version for people to buy.
Without fansubs, much fewer people would be introduced to new series, and so sales of the few series released in America would also be much less. With some more recent series, the (relatively) huge popularity of a fansubbed series has lead major TV networks to license and show them in America (Naruto, for example).
Not that many people in the US are actually interested in watching movies where the women are portrayed as children with blue hair, guys are always "cool" (in a Japanese-thinking sort of way), everyone's eyes go huge and bug out, saliva is everywhere, all the characters overreact, all monsters have tentacles, and the story lines are shrouded in inexplicable nonsense/lack of backstory?
It has always amazed me that the Japanese can be amazing animators, yet consistently hold to the same tired cliches in all of their animated series.
I feel like I'm stating the obvious, but like any genre or art form, there are higher and lower quality things within it. There is plenty of awful anime (like movies), that are clichéd, dull and made purely for money (like movies). However I don't think the proportion of good stuff to bad stuff is any different to movies, to stay with the example.

If you look hard enough, and manage to sift through the awful series, there are some good series to discover. Otherwise I guess anime is not for you :)

Here's why... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12953065)

Tentacle rape has no place in conservative, Christian Amerikkka.

Re:Here's why... (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | about 9 years ago | (#12953213)

The problem with your statment is that MOST anime doesn't have tentacle monsters raping 4 year olds. People have this stereotype that a lot of anime is gross and unwatchable when it really isnt. Now, there is a lot of crap anime out there, but there are also a LOT of really good anime. Most of which at least rival anything that comes out of the US in terms of quality, story, and un-lame-ness :/

But does it all look the same? (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | about 9 years ago | (#12953307)

"Most of which at least rival anything that comes out of the US in terms of quality, story, and un-lame-ness :/"

But does it all look the same, with the gigantic Archie Comics eyes and the jerky never-fluid "5 frames per 2 seconds" animation? "Speed Racer", those card cartoons, and even "Howl's Moving Castle" all pretty much look the same. Is there some sort of diversity of style in anime? Compare this to US cartoons, where you have a very wide variety of drawing styles.

Anime's not coming here either (-1, Troll)

nairnr (314138) | about 9 years ago | (#12953071)

Nothing for your to see, please move along...

Correct me if I am wrong... (5, Insightful)

LoganAvatar (869001) | about 9 years ago | (#12953085)

... but aren't the fansubs happening mostly because the anime isn't commercially available in the US? If so, then make it available, and the fansubs go away... Unless I am missing something?

Re:Correct me if I am wrong... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Custard (587661) | about 9 years ago | (#12953112)

The other side of the arguement is that anime distributors won't bother with the US because they have to compete with the fansubs.

Re:Correct me if I am wrong... (3, Insightful)

GryMor (88799) | about 9 years ago | (#12953138)

And the edge of the coin is there wouldn't be any market to compete over without the fansubs.

Re:Correct me if I am wrong... (1)

LoganAvatar (869001) | about 9 years ago | (#12953273)

Well, that makes sense, and is pretty much what the original topic says, but when I go to suncoast (a video purchasing store), there is a whole section for anime, not a small section either, indicating that anime does well selling. It seems like there are plenty of people out there that are willing to purchase instead of pirate when a good series is available to purchase. I just believe that if a good series is available to purchase, that the fansubs for that series will fade. Maybe not fade completely, but to a much lesser extent.

Re:Correct me if I am wrong... (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | about 9 years ago | (#12953161)

It could easily be the case that if series A is commercially available, and series B is freely available via fansubs, that people will choose to watch series B over series A because of the cost. Thus, the fansubs could impact the sales of a different, commercially available series.

problem is "previewing" (1)

ashpool7 (18172) | about 9 years ago | (#12953250)

If you suddenly kill the fansubs and put everything on DVD, who knows what they're buying anymore. They just need a widely available Japanese tv channel already.

Re:Correct me if I am wrong... (1)

Man in Spandex (775950) | about 9 years ago | (#12953301)

many kind of drugs are illegal but you don't see drugs go away now do you?

Just because an anime gets licensed in North America doesn't mean every fansub team will stop working on it. They aren't suppose to, but they do.

Re:Correct me if I am wrong... (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 9 years ago | (#12953303)

The 99% figure is off.

A large percentage of anime made in the 90s is released in the US now, and well over 50% of the anime (maybe more) of the anime made in the last 5 years is available. At the same time, the fanbase has exploded.

If you go back past the early 90s, then you'll see percentages approaching 90% for never released here, but that tends to be because of painful licensing legalities and simple "it's too old" fears.

The irony of that article is that it completely ignores the international side of things, especially the irrational demands many Japanese licensors make of foreign licensees that cause many series to be passed on, ignored, or licensed in part and not whole (songs missing and the like.)

Now if you want to apply that 99% to something and be more accurate, I'd suggest you look at the manga import business. Several hundred different titles are out in the US and abroad now, and that's barely ANYTHING that's been released in just the past 5 years, never mind the 3 preceding decades.

Re:Correct me if I am wrong... (2, Insightful)

no_opinion (148098) | about 9 years ago | (#12953319)

You mean like the availability of music on CD made limewire, etc., go away? Oh, wait...

The fact that you can buy anime on DVD isn't going to make fansubs go away if it's free/easy to get on-line. Anyone who questions that can look at p2p and the music situation. +90% of the music traded is available on CD.

What about fansubs killing the industy? (4, Insightful)

DJ_Tricks (664229) | about 9 years ago | (#12953093)

im sorry but some shows would have even gotten popular if it wasnt for fansubs. Like for example Love hina, Azumango diaho, and Naruto owe all of there popularity in the USA due to Fan subbers who brought it to the community in america first!

Re:What about fansubs killing the industy? (2, Interesting)

drskrud (684409) | about 9 years ago | (#12953218)

I for one don't think you can hold fansubs responsible for "killing the industry." Even if you download fansubs for free, you don't even have the option of legally purchasing your favourite anime until it does in fact get exported. The money that production companies aren't making from fansubs doesn't constitute much loss of potential profit, because it's not a market that can buy the anime anyway - so it's not money that could be made to begin with.

Like Scott in the article, I'd like to think that I would buy series like Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien if they ever get released here - but the chances of that happening are slim to none as the series hasn't even been licensed and likely never will be. Plus, seeing as how I don't speak fluent Japanese, buying Region 2 DVD's and an all-region DVD player isn't much of an option for me. (I'm pretty sure I can do that in Candada - but isn't that illegal in the US?)

Re:What about fansubs killing the industy? (1)

TheCyko1 (568452) | about 9 years ago | (#12953238)

Also, Fansubbers tend to do a much better job at subbing than what the industry gives us. The only saving grace for the anime industry in America is that they dub the series, unfortunatly 99% of those dubs suck due to the hiring of cheap or inexperienced voice actors and poor casting.

Re:What about fansubs killing the industy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12953253)

That only works for series that are unlicensed. Now we see situations where Naruto is licensed and scheduled for broadcast, yet it is still being fansubbed anyway. Fansubbing loses its credibility as a way for series that would otherwise go unseen to build an audience when fansubs are continually made and distributed for shows that are soon to be widely available, or that already are widely available.

What about marketing killing the industy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12953268)

Well seeing as to the fact that I've never heard of any of them. I'd say that fansubs isnt a sure thing either.

Re:What about fansubs killing the industy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12953341)

Exactly. Some of these shows are a million times more creative than anything produced in the US. Fansubs make these accessible and build up a market that otherwise wouldn't exist.
I mean, c'mon. An anime about baking bread?! (Yakitake! Japan) Nobody here would ever come up with something like that.

Re:What about fansubs killing the industy? (1)

Perryman (882190) | about 9 years ago | (#12953356)

True that. sometimes in azumanga daioh, they are taking ENGLISH class, and all the jokes are about japanese culture. a dub would screw this up. America is too americanized right now, so i don't see any progression happening until Cartoon network or some other major [american] company broadcasts good anime with subtitles. lets say... something good that hasn't come out in america yet? If fullmetal alchemist was released in theaters here with subtitles, i would see it in a heartbeat, even if i had to pay $20 admission.

Fansubs more or less started it... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 9 years ago | (#12953110)

If it weren't for fansubs, much of the commercial direct-to-video business wouldn't exist. Broadcast is too limited, even the cable & satellite channels that get it seem to want to dumb down anime.

That said, many people do seem to use fansubs as a crutch such that it does not support the creation of what they watch.

Fan subs are responsible? (1, Troll)

winkydink (650484) | about 9 years ago | (#12953127)

There are still many in the industry who believe that fan subs are killing the anime market in the US.

I think it has more to do with the fact that it looks very cheap and chintzy in comparison to traditional animation.

Re:Fan subs are responsible? (5, Insightful)

pyrrhonist (701154) | about 9 years ago | (#12953295)

I think it has more to do with the fact that it looks very cheap and chintzy in comparison to traditional animation.

Yeah, because "Ed, Edd, and Eddy" is animated so much better than "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex", and the stories are so much more interesting and insightful.


Outsourced Fan subs are responsible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12953328)

"I think it has more to do with the fact that it looks very cheap and chintzy in comparison to traditional animation."

Well see what happens when a company outsources it's marketing to a bunch of fans.

not enough... (1)

blew_fantom (809889) | about 9 years ago | (#12953131)

there's just not enough tentacle pr0n to keep american fans happy.

nah, just kidding. seriously, one would think this is a classic example of supply vs. demand. anime is so obscure to the general public and its such a niche market, is it worth it to the japanese companies to export? what with the licensing issues and the like in the u.s., if they don't have a solid distribution company state-side, as the article mentions, the artists may not want to be bothered by it since they don't want to be bogged down by the business side of things...

Big eyes + Adult voices == Weird. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12953137)

Those big eyes just creep me out. Big eyes are biologically wired into our brains to mean "BABY". Seeing characters that look like 5 year olds - but hearing them speak with adult or teenage voices is just creepy. ...and all the stuff about tired cliches, underage girls...yeah - that too.

Re:Big eyes + Adult voices == Weird. (2, Informative)

sanosuke001 (640243) | about 9 years ago | (#12953347)

Well, first off, only dubbed anime uses weird sounding voices. Original Japanese vioces, at least to most people I know, don't sound at all bad; especially compared to dubbed anime. Second, not ALL anime is based on "tired cliches, underage girls" There are a lot of really good anime out there that have envolving plots and are probably better than the crap that is made in the US. I will again say that there is anime like what you brought up, but not ALL of it is. I really wish people would get off the stereotype train most americans seem to be on...

What about MST3K?? (1)

hcob$ (766699) | about 9 years ago | (#12953140)

I think if they would have given the anime to a series like MST3K for anime, they would have had a much grander audience..... of course it would probably have ended up on something like the Spice Channel for G33KS.

Popular with the younger generation (2, Insightful)

Vonotar82 (859920) | about 9 years ago | (#12953146)

First, a little background. I was born in '82. So I grew up with anime flavored cartoons like Thundercats and Transformers. I remember my friends later on telling me how great ampire Hunter D and Akira and Ninja Scroll were. I think most of the adults from my generation were not ready to accept a feature-leangth cartoon that wasn't geared towards children. I'll call them the Disney generation. My parents grew up with Winnie-the-Pooh and the Jungle Book and Sleeping Beauty. I had Voltron.
My friends and I were more of the opinion that if it ROCKED, it didn't really matter what it was. Then CGI got really big when TRON came out, Nintendo took over our lives, and everything had that touch of anime. It just became a part of our culture. The Playstaion consoles have solidified this with all those that were born after me. Ask any 10 year old about Pokemon or Yu-Ji-Oh or MegaMan and he'll talk to you for DAYS.
So it doesn't come as much of a surprise to me that Anime is coming over here to stay. Look at Princess was proven to Hollywood that it can work with the right translation and voice cast. I expect to see much more in the future....especially after Final Fantasy: Advent Children hits in September.
....'Course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

Dumbing down (2, Insightful)

DarthVeda (569302) | about 9 years ago | (#12953194)

A lot of what does manage to come over is dumbed down for the 8-13 crowd.

Simplified dialogue is traded for formerly complex situations. "Constipated west-coast surfer dude" is the voice-acting style preferred by many dubbing companies.

Maybe if they stop trying to pander to a young audience and put proper effort behind importing these into the United States. I mean, Princess Mononoke was very well done and its content was intact.

Anime doesn't have to be exclusively for kids!

Re:Popular with the younger generation (1)

budcub (92165) | about 9 years ago | (#12953251)

Let me add to it, I was born in '66, and grew up on Speed Racer, Marine Boy, Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion, StarBlazers, and I forget what else.

I always liked most (but not all) Anime, before we had a word for it. We just called it Japanese animation. Then someone came up with "Japanimation". Now its Anime. And it all seems to get better over time.

Fansubs (1)

sport_160 (650020) | about 9 years ago | (#12953148)

I can understand why you would need a fan on a submarine, they do get a bit hot and sutffy. But what has that got to do with Anime?

Re:Fansubs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12953183)

Mine has a screen door.

Re:Fansubs (0)

Rude Turnip (49495) | about 9 years ago | (#12953197)

"I can understand why you would need a fan on a submarine"

The Polish solved the ventilation problem on their submarines; they just installed a screen door.

Sorry, that one just wrote itself.

Re:Fansubs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12953350)

Don't laugh. It keeps the fish out...

A brilliant business strategy.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12953152)

Pay $20-60 per on DVD (general Australian rates) to see an anime where the episodes are only worth watching once? And do that 13 (or 26) times? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhh.....

Fansubs and Anime (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | about 9 years ago | (#12953153)

Well, I know that if I see an anime and like it, if it is licensed, I will buy it on DVD if it's brought to the US.

I dunno where they're getting their facts, but most people I know are like this.

No market vs not Interested? (1)

nairnr (314138) | about 9 years ago | (#12953155)

Considering the state of animation that North American audiences have been exposed to is it any wonder? Yes Anime is intricate, but how does it relate to what we want to watch. For a while animation was Disney, WB aimed at young audiences. It wasn't until things like The Simpsons which had a older target that animation != Saturday morning cartoon.

Re:No market vs not Interested? (1)

Vonotar82 (859920) | about 9 years ago | (#12953237)

There actually does seem to be an intrest out here for Anime done in an American style. If someone across the pond could come up with something that we really GET....they would have more money than they would know what to do with. Maybe hour long Anime series in the vein of CSI? THAT would rock.

Anime sucks (0, Troll)

nuggz (69912) | about 9 years ago | (#12953157)

Maybe people aren't buying it because anime isn't worth the money.

Sure I enjoyed it when I was younger, and to be fair some of it is pretty good.
I won't even argue that people don't buy it, I know many people who do.

But I don't think the market of people willing to pay for it is large enough.
There will likely continue to be a number of smaller importers and grey market imports, for a while.

Of course when Video On Demand takes off a bit more, we'll have international VOD and then we'll have the same stuff available everywhere.

Appleseed the movie (1)

coopaq (601975) | about 9 years ago | (#12953162)

Just rented Appleseed (2004) and I can say that it rocked! Good action and great graphics!

dvd []

More like these would do well I think.

It seems all Anime has some crazy-voodoo-magically-mystical-psychic-makes-no-s ense-brain-f*ck to explain the whole plot to every story which can get kinda annoying.

Think Matrix 2 and 3.

A time for change (1)

Infinityis (807294) | about 9 years ago | (#12953163)

You're right. They need to come out with some new anime, change things up a bit. Maybe they could use pink hair or they could do something that involves both girls AND tentacles. That would certainly revive the industry...

Fansubs generally help (1)

Kyru (836008) | about 9 years ago | (#12953168)

There are a number of shows I would have never thought to buy if I hadn't seen the fansubs of them, Scrapped Princess, Gunslinger Girls, RahXephon and Love Hina to name a few. Watching so many new shows as they air in Japan also helps me to give recommendations to friends looking to pick up new anime, I know what is good, what is bad, and what shows are usually about.

Fansubbing? (2, Insightful)

RickHunter (103108) | about 9 years ago | (#12953172)

Fansubbing isn't killing anime any more than airing it on TV does. Because if you air it on TV, people don't buy the DVDs, they just record it. On the other hand, almost everyone who watches fansubs will buy DVDs of shows they like.

So what we've really got here is the same complaint as the movie industry. They can't get people to buy crap sight unseen anymore, and it's killing their business model.

Re:Fansubbing? (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 9 years ago | (#12953371)

Well no, TV showings are paid for by advertisers. You also have to deal with the edits and english audio that the TV airings get, which you may or may not be OK with. I personally hate both so I never watch it on TV.

The problem with fansubs is that people who watch fansubs generally (in my experience) use every excuse they can to not buy shows. I've completely stopped watching fansubs because I think the crowd that mills around it falls into that collective "entitlement" attitude. Unsuprisingly, many fansub fans also collect and trade DVD rips. Asking for high quality cover scans is common (so they can have something nice looking without having to put down the money for it.)

So I watch everything raw without subs like I did the year I was in Japan, and buy several times what your average fansub watcher does (sometimes sight unseen.)

Never mind the online bootleggers who are a dime a dozen, that they keep trying to smack down but are having trouble. (Oh, and notice that not once has any US anime publisher ever filed suit against a fansub group.)

99% never makes it across the ocean? Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12953180)

I used to complain that most anime never got imported.. Now that I've seen more fansubs, I'm happier that so much doesn't get imported.

Seriously, following Sturgeon's Law, a lot of it is crap. Some of it would never make ANY sense, even AFTER they try to translate it. Some of it would offend our delicate American sensibilities. And then, some of it, even after it gets imported, gets its episodes shown out of order on a television network, really limiting the amount of storytelling the show can do.

The end result is, we're better off only seeing the cream of the crop.. Trust me.

In related news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12953190)

99% of Japanese anime sucks.

Sick of the staple... (3, Insightful)

sinner0423 (687266) | about 9 years ago | (#12953199)

That all geeks must love anime. I'm glad 99% of the stuff doesn't make it here - why? Probably because it's crap. The story / dub quality on the anime on adult swim really sounds like it was done by a bunch of middle school students - the "plot" lacks form and any amount of depth for an adult to take seriously.

I'm 25 and in the prime of my geek life - Where is the appeal in Anime? I can't even take the art form seriously after it's been bastadized and role played to death by 'hardcore' geeks. Sorry, I just dont see the connection between anime & my technology based lifestyle. If anything I can relate to american cartoons (family guy, futurama, etc.) than anything else.

I can't connect with some guy named Onimaro that discovers he can shoot laser beams out of his nipples, because the ghost of his great aunt told him he could while he defeated the skateboarding ghost pirates from another planet. That's about how far out and abstract some of this stuff is.

Re:Sick of the staple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12953290)

Hear hear!

What about anime done American? (2, Interesting)

Vonotar82 (859920) | about 9 years ago | (#12953310)

Let's postulate a script written by the Anime people over across the Pacific that is specifically made to cater to an American audience? Something like...oh I don't know..."24" done in a realistic, gritty style....but anime. Something thought provoking, not utterly fantastic. Hell, I bet you could do a passable "X-Files" anime series, if you kept it believable. There's a market, it just takes someone willing to do it.

Closing my Anime store today (5, Interesting)

lazuli42 (219080) | about 9 years ago | (#12953203)

Today is the last day that my anime store, Otakurama, will be open. I've felt pressure from many directions over the years, but the two biggest factors working against my business are 1: competition from mass market retailers like Best Buy and Borders, and 2: piracy.

Number 2 is a big one--I would guess that at least half of my customers download anime from bittorrent. I've had hundreds of people tell me, "oh that series is great!" before it's even come out. Of course, once they download it they don't want to buy it.

The only anime that sells in my shop are the most popular titles. Anything cool but unusual just sits and rots on my shelf.

A smaller (but important) factor is that anime publishers change the prices of their products so quickly that discs 'expire' while sitting on my shelf waiting for a buyer. Six months after the last disc of a series comes out they release the entire box set for 50%-66% off. That causes orphans to clutter up my inventory.


Bye-bye, Otakurama

Re:Closing my Anime store today (2, Insightful)

ewhac (5844) | about 9 years ago | (#12953359)

...the two biggest factors working against my business are 1: competition from mass market retailers like Best Buy and Borders, and 2: piracy.

Number 2 is a big one--I would guess that at least half of my customers download anime from bittorrent. I've had hundreds of people tell me, "oh that series is great!" before it's even come out. Of course, once they download it they don't want to buy it.

Y'know, I think you're being a little disingenuous here. From the front page on your own site, we find:

Otakurama was opened to fill a niche in Indianapolis: a store devoted to anime, manga, and Japanese pop culture. In the past three years the popularity of anime DVDs and manga have swelled, but from my experience it seems that most fans prefer to "get their fix" online, at conventions, or at the big retail stores. Well you know the saying: if you can't beat 'em, join em. Over the summer, Otakurama will be transforming into a specialty e-retailer and convention exhibitor. [emphasis mine]

So it sounds to me like, rather than being "killed" by "piracy", you've noticed a change in the market landscape, and are adapting to try and meet the change. In other words, you're responding to your market rather than whining about the way things "should be."

That's the way it's supposed to work, and bravo to you, sir, for having the presence of mind to recognize it, and the courage to act on it. I don't imagine the transition will be at all easy -- navigating uncharted territory rarely is -- but the fact you're willing to give it a go, in my book, puts you ahead of the game.

Best of fortune to you.


Here's what I think (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12953209)

Anime is horrible and annoying and wish it would disappear along with all of it's fans.

Flawed argument (3, Insightful)

Spazmania (174582) | about 9 years ago | (#12953221)

think about just how many anime DVDs have you purchased recently compared to the number of shows you've downloaded for free.

This is the same flawed logic that the RIAA, MPAA and BSA use. The correct question is:

How many anime DVDs have you bought only _after_ seeing a large part of it for free?

For me the answer is: several dozen discs. I've bought a couple other anime discs based on other criteria, but with only one exception the ones I bought before watching turned out horrible or mediocre.

Many times I saw them for "free" on television or by borrowing from friends. But if the owners of minor anime titles think they're going to somehow get those titles in front of me via TV, they can dream on. Far and away their best bet of getting new titles in front of me where I might make a buy decision is to make sure the first couple episodes are readily available on the Internet in an unencumbered format I'm willing to use.

Works for books too. I've made more than a few purchases after reading the first couple chapters online.

Pirate DVDs (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12953239)

I would say the (mostle Chinese AFAIK) pirate DVD market is a bigger threat to the anime market in the US than fansubs.

Most fansubbers are hobbyists who can only subtitle and distribute a few shows at a time.

By contrast, the pirates are able to move at industrial pace, and get shows subbed, burned, packaged, and ready to ship almost as soon as they are shown in Japan. They rip stuff straight off the tv broadcasts. There are tons of shows that never get fansubbed that are readily available on bootlegged DVDs.

Plus pirated DVD's are dirt cheap and very easily available thru websites.

Fansubs (1)

rworne (538610) | about 9 years ago | (#12953241)

What's someone to do then? There were tons of great stuff released back in the late 70's and 80's that are either licensed by some US companies that simply don't care or will never see the light of day.

Reji Matsumoto released some really good SF stories around that time (Harlock, GE999, Queen Millenia) that have great stories. Because they now look "dated" no one will touch them. Compare that to Yamato (AKA Star Blazers), another immensely popular series whose US license holder releases crap quality VHS to DVD transfers and won't put a cent into improving the product.

Buying Japanese DVD releases or getting fansubs of the older stuff is the only way. Even fansubbers tend to go after the latest stuff and ignore the older material.

Some good stuff still makes it out, but most does not. Big boobs and big guns usually make it while great shows like PlanetES don't. At least PlanetES can be enjoyed as a fansub on the torrents.

What is alarming is that fansubs are getting more attention lately because they moved from low-volume tape trading to torrents. That's the issue. It moved from being a way to get free market research as to what was liked by US viewers to a way to kill a license when the entire series is available for free as "DVD Rips" or straight off of Japanese HDTV and usually without any "objectionable" material cut out or altered.

It's hard to compete with free.

downloaded vs bought (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12953248)

from the article:

Make no mistakes about it, fansubs are killing the anime market for the US. If you don't believe me, think about just how many anime DVDs have you purchased recently compared to the number of shows you've downloaded for free.

personally, i've downloaded about 30 different series in the last 6 months. i've purchased 3. that's 10%.

now, while 10% would normally sound bad, let's first look to see how many of those were licensed for release in the US -- oh, 10%. yup, that's right, most of what i downloaded has not been, and probably never will be, released in the US. if it is, chances are i'll buy it.

Some arguments are moronic? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12953249)

"how many anime DVD's have you bought after seeing fansubbed versions?"

None, since the common legal perception among the translators is that it is illegal to redistribute the fan-subbed version if the DVD [or any other form of retail] is available in the language. Unlike the standard pirate, most translators adhere to the law. Finding english fansubs of popular work [the article's 1% released in the US] is near impossible.

Option D (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12953265)

American voice actors are often terrible.

Re:Option D (1)

Yonsen (866784) | about 9 years ago | (#12953340)

not to mention the horrid censoring and story and name editing that takes place on broadcast and in most DVDs. Amerika Fuhrer

Jiggle (2, Insightful)

ShoobieRat (829304) | about 9 years ago | (#12953275)

Having been to Japan and having seen a good example of the 99% that doesn't make it to the US, I would rather think that it is not the US but the Japanese who are killing the US market for Anime. Honestly, the folks who make some of those flicks must need serious psychological help on a routine basis...*twitches*

The North American anime market (1)

Schezar (249629) | about 9 years ago | (#12953278)

As a semi-professional anime promoter, I can tell you that the market for anime in North America is as large as if not larger than the one in Japan. Anime is a HUGE moneymaker, and the article is fairly off-base.

Next month, in Baltimore MD, 22 000 anime fans will descend upon Otakon [] , paying as much as $50 a head, to celebrate anime. There are similar conventions on a regular basis all around the country and in Canada. Media Play [] makes a large portion of its profits from the sale of anime DVDs and manga. Waldenbooks (a mall bookseller) would likely no longer be in business were it not for its reliance on manga (Japanese comic) sales. (The market is so lucrative, they even sell untranslated Japanese comics).

As for the article, far more than 1% of anime make it to the US. Shows are being licensed at staggering rates by many many companies. Some shows are marketed to/released in the United States BEFORE they're debuted in Japan!

Fansubs are dying, but that has more to do with the fact that shows get licensed for US distribution almost immediately now, leaving little time for the semi-legal phase of the practice. (The industry turns a blind eye to fansubs released for non-licensed shows).

Even despite the shady dealings of many fansubbers, anime is wildly profitable, and its market is growing rapidly.

Fansubs++ (4, Interesting)

solios (53048) | about 9 years ago | (#12953280)

All the responses in the thread so far seem to be along the lines of "Fansubs == GOOD" and this is the case to a point... why wait two years to see shitty dub of a series (with commercials) when you can see it now, fansubbed, without?

If anything, fansubs underscore just how fucking awful most dubs are... though a bad fansub can be just as bad, if not worse. (my experience with GITS : SAC hit both extremes - great voice acting, but a few of the episodes I watched had to have been subbed by a fourth grader who failed english)

If anything is "killing anime" in the US, it's one or more of three things:

A. The price of DVDs. Why the fucking hell would I pay 25-30$ for four 22-27 minute episodes, 3-5 minutes of which are credits and intro sequence? This is even more ridiculous with shows like Naruto, which often have many minutes of flashback and shitloads of standing-around-staring-at-each-other.

B. Dragonball. It's a great example of everything that sucks about americanized Anime - overlong credits, overlong intro, overlong "NEXT EPISODE!" overlong "IN THE LAST EPISODE!" and shitloads of nothing happening in between. If you're lucky.

C. The complete gutting / hackjob done on several titles in the process of translating them to "fit" the US market. Who the fuck is going to watch a "cleaned up" series after you've already seen the original, undiluted, unedited version? Editing the series to fit a focus group audience is asinine.

Personally, I dropped my fanboy boner for japanese media a few years ago. I still buy Battle Angel trades, I'll watch the occasional series if it's actually decent (Bebop, Witch Hunter), and I've been waiting patiently for Appleseed V since the 90s.

Haven't seen much of interest actually make it into the US in awhile.

But then, it's been awhile since American comics have had anything interesting to say, either - with Cerebus and Transmetropolitan done, the comic shop is nothing but X-men and merch for whatever anime Fox happens to be running this season. It sucks ass, and I'll be damned if I'm going to spend money on crap. :P

Fansubs have become a market barometer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12953308)

just as MP3 distribution had become an indicator of musician (for lack of a better term) popularity.

If you have 1400 people salivating in a chat room for episode 4 of a unlicensed (in the US) series, that is data companies are going to look at when thinking about picking it up. They might even consider the 10 fat guys that show up at a convention dressed as the lead female character of the series.

I'm so glad I lost weight and now have a life.

If the companies want to use that data to stick buyers (usually teenagers and college kids) with $35 DVDs containing 3 episodes, chances are a backfire will occur and they will then download a ripped DVD, not a fansub.

Best American Magna...? (1, Offtopic)

creimer (824291) | about 9 years ago | (#12953311)

MegaTokyo [] Rocks!

Chicken or Egg (1)

M3wThr33 (310489) | about 9 years ago | (#12953313)

I download fansubs because the actual episodes are ridiculously expensive.

Pokemon is a bitch to find AND they charge an assload for it. I can't afford buying a whole season of it, yet a whole Simpsons season of 24 episodes is $40.

They're charging way too much. If they actually bring down the price to not take advantage of rich nerds, then they might see sales go up.

I don't want to see anymore of this 3 episodes for $10 crap.

cartoons? (2, Insightful)

Karma Sucks (127136) | about 9 years ago | (#12953320)

Why so much fuss about Japanese cartoons? It's not like we get any of their movies or television either, so I fail to see why a dearth of their cartoons in the US market is surprising.

I agree with Joi Ito (1)

Nos9 (442559) | about 9 years ago | (#12953337)

there are three things that have lead to Anime being as popular as it is today:
1) it being concieved
2) DVD
3) the internet.

The first is an obvious one.
The second finally brought the price into the reasonable range for most people. I recall buying Anime at $40 a VHS tape, and not being able to find some shows subtitled 9my preffered method of viewing). Along came DVD making it cheaper to mass produce in small quantities by reducing both the cost to make themedia, and much easier to ship.
The third one has brought many more people into the Anime fan category than anything else I can think of. Word of mouth can get you so far, but you do need to show someone the stuff before some people will get hooked.

I freely admit I DL anime that is not available here, and most places willingly remove the material if it gets a publisher here, but this doesn't stop too many people from buying the DVDs. The article states that they've downloaded more fan subs than they've bought: I can believe that, but I wonder how many anime titles they have bought without having seen them first. I am willing to guess that the number is fairly small. I am also willing to bet that most big anime fans do indeed buy the DVDs, as do I, and have them sitting on their racks despite the fact that they have the entire series sitting on their harddrive (I have bought the first three of the Full Metal Alchemist discs despite the fact that I have the entire series sitting on both DVDs and my HDD in fansub form).
Most of the Anime fanatics I know are used to spendinig obscene amounts of cash on anime, and are very willing to support their hobby. the notion that fansubs and the internet cause sales to plummet is like thinking that radio causes people to not buy CDs. I mean seriously how many people would go to the store and think "hey some band called 'Pissant five' just put out an album, I think I'll buy it." No most people hear a song on a radio and like it then they want to go buy the CD, they don't go out and buy a CD on the first day just becasue it came out! I mean you could end up with something God aweful, like Yanni or Ashlee Simpson!

Example of how anime is killed by American media! (1)

nexusone (470558) | about 9 years ago | (#12953345)

Disney's has the rights to all of Hayao Miyazaki film's current in theater's if you can find one is "Howls Moving Castle".

The movie started in only 36 theater's but in the first week against along list of movies was ranked 13 and grossed as much as some main stream movies showing in 1000's of theaters.

The second week was boosted to a whooping 202 theater screens, as compared to say Madagascar which was in about 3,000 theater and pull in almost the same amount of cash as Howl's moving castle!

It has to be that the these media company's don't want to see oversea's works get more attention then their own?

Example Disney's Madagascar vs. Howls moving Castle. If disney had put Howls moving Castle in as many theaters as there other feature, they would have pulled in more then Madagascar!.

If get a chance and can find a theater near you, Howls moving castle is a good movie for the family. And you don't have to be an anime fan to enjoy's it.

Two problems... (1, Redundant)

Iscariot_ (166362) | about 9 years ago | (#12953351)

Most anime sucks. Just like most movies suck, and most games suck. So that takes care of 80% lets say.

What about the rest? Well, there's no marketing... Pricess Mononoke, Akira, GITS2... all of them had marketing behind them (as in tv commercials that aired in the states), anow now all three are very popular. If the Japaneese really want to sell the shit over here, it's time to advertise.

Why fansubs are needed (1)

Callitrax (462726) | about 9 years ago | (#12953364)

The problem with the argument presented is that fansubs are also the only real marketing that anime has, with the exception of the limited number that make it to Cartoon Network. Furthermore, in my group of friends any anime series that we have watched in its entirety fansubbed and is later released at least one person purchases the series.(and often more than one)

Anime is largely different than any other show or movie available on DVD. Movies and American TV shows can be seen somewhere besides the the DVD, (movie studio, TV, On Demand...) to give a person the ability to make the educated decision about what to purchase. Without fansubs people are being asked to purchase Anime sight unseen which is a prospect not that many people are fans of.
Some studios have taken to affering cheap DVD's with the first episode or two for $5 or $10 which helps solve the issue. If I were the American distributer I would extend this by offering a DVD samplers with the first episode of 5 different series at that price. This would allow people to get a feel for a show prior to making an investment in it.

99% of Anime is Too "Japanese" (1)

Petersko (564140) | about 9 years ago | (#12953372)

Most anime fails to connect with Americans because the two cultures have dramatically different requirements from their media.

Americans like their dotted lines in place. Japanese are much more forgiving of the unexplained.

At the same time, in Anime so much of the implied spiritualism is unexplained (if it really exists at all) that American's are just lost when trying to interpret it.
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