Monday, November 28, 2005

Anime in Fortune magazine

It's rare for the mainstream media to write about anime without lapsing into stereotypes. I always cringe when I read statements like "anime, imported cartoons from Japan that feature graphic violence and sex" in newspapers and magazines. If you watch "ER" it doesn't mean you like "Debbie Does Dallas" but there's a tendency among people who aren't familiar with it to treat anime more like a genre than an entertainment medium. But Fortune has an article about the anime industry that avoids that and it's actually an interesting read, although it doesn't offer any amazing insights.

The article does imply that anime distributors in North America are making a lot of money, but it doesn't mention ADV's recent layoffs or the fall-off in region 1 licenses this year. I went to Animesuki's license database to see how 2005 stacks up against 2004 for licensing, and it's a pretty steep drop. Last year, 116 series were licensed between January 1st and November 28th, 2004. This year's total through the same dates? Just 51. It worries me a little that there's that big a drop off--what if next year only 20 series get licensed? Where's the bottom of the curve? Sure, just about everything is fansubbed, but all it takes is one R1 distributor to decide fansubbing is the root of their ills for the cease and desist orders to start flying.

On another note, Paniponi Dash 15 was pretty good, although it kind of felt like they had half the usual animation budget this time. Miyako reaffirmed her place as my favorite character (I know I'm in the minority here) by dealing with their situation by going into deep denial. She's probably the most sane member of the cast, and I've liked most roles Yui Horie has played.

And no, this picture of Yuma and Yuna from Paniponi has nothing to do with the article in Fortune, I'm just taking a cue from Anime on my Mind's fanservice week.

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