Anime Decade: From Japan Cool to Cooling Off

Posted by MattAlt 
>anime is over

If you're serious, then find a new hobby. IOr just stick with old mecha shows that you haven't seen yet.

There's a half a dozen shows on that list that I'll potentially watch. Granted, the spring season is kind weak (I'm only going to watch Hyouka because it's Kyoani. It's plot is certainly not grabbing me).

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I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".
I want to watch Train Hero by Pat Lee.
>I want to watch Train Hero by Pat Lee.

Wow. People still want to give him money? He's the Rob Liefield of the 00's.

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I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".
VF5SS Wrote:
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> [www.animenewsnetwork.com]
> ic.php?p=2031197#2031197
>
> this is totally someone from here
>
> I mean look at that
>
> that's Steve right

Wait, what?

:reads:

Oh.

If the only thing that people have gotten out of all my discussions is 'Suncoast' then I have indeed completely failed.

NO, that's not me, I don't post on ANN, I don't have a login at ANN. If I did I'd be getting Justin mad at me for pointing out logic flaws in his current "this is the anime industry" series.

(look, it's simple. really. the MAJOR reason for the decline in the American anime biz is because, yes, Suncoast is dead. That company bought a MINIMUM of 6000 copies of ANYTHING released. That one single retailer allowed for the profitability of an entire industry. Sales are down because there's fewer stores SELLING not only anime but mainstream DVDs in general. Simple, yet a fact ignored.)
Well, I can say for one that the loss of Suncoast partially did that for me. That and both of the local shops that either rented Anime or sold Anime-related goods in the early part of the last decade. Been nothing even remotely like that around here since. I personally find it very hard to randomly find new things to watch without the "browsing" experience and there's just nothing online that I've found that even comes close.

More serious than thou
fujikuro Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Well, I can say for one that the loss of Suncoast
> partially did that for me. That and both of the
> local shops that either rented Anime or sold
> Anime-related goods in the early part of the last
> decade. Been nothing even remotely like that
> around here since. I personally find it very hard
> to randomly find new things to watch without the
> "browsing" experience and there's just nothing
> online that I've found that even comes close.


Well, that's the thing, and I think people in their rush to be the NEW NEW HOTNESS forget how most people work.

I'm not anti-internet. For those that have credit cards it can be a magical place for finding EXACTLY and SPECIFICALLY what you want. It still pretty much sucks when it comes to the concept of 'browsing'.

The experience that Suncoast (Best Buy, Circuit City, whatever) provided was the ability to just look thru the shelves, see what else is there, pull out a DVD, see if the cover attracts your interest, read the blurb on the back. Sometimes you find things you didn't expect to find. Sometimes you pick up something on a whim. It's THERE, in you hand and you can decide. You can compare it to other things. You can judge if it's worth the money. You can dither and put it back and come back to it and look again. You can ask a person (employee or fellow customer) their opinion. If you were one of those "gotta have it right when it comes out" people you might haunt the store on New Release day and see what other people are buying. All that is gone now.
Well, I can't think of the last time I actually watched a "new" anime. I periodically go back and watch some Galaxy Express 999 or something like that. Maybe a Brave show. Oh, I have it - Black Lagoon. That was the last show I saw that reminded me of what was (for me and my wife) a real nice period of time there in the late 90's/early 2000's. I'm sure someone might have some suggestions for me, but I'm now far more interested in live-action shows like Kamen Rider. I think it's because I'm missing what I used to really like about anime.

More serious than thou
fujikuro Wrote:
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> Well, I can't think of the last time I actually
> watched a "new" anime. I periodically go back and
> watch some Galaxy Express 999 or something like
> that. Maybe a Brave show. Oh, I have it - Black
> Lagoon. That was the last show I saw that
> reminded me of what was (for me and my wife) a
> real nice period of time there in the late
> 90's/early 2000's. I'm sure someone might have
> some suggestions for me, but I'm now far more
> interested in live-action shows like Kamen Rider.
> I think it's because I'm missing what I used to
> really like about anime.

Then get yourself ready for Space Battleship Yamato 2199, which, while there's no American release planned (at this time, don't hold your breath) I'm very highly confident will end up pirated, translated, pirated again and posted all over the Interwebtubes.

To quote a movie: "It will make you feel...young" :)
SteveH Wrote:
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> (look, it's simple. really. the MAJOR reason for
> the decline in the American anime biz is because,
> yes, Suncoast is dead. That company bought a
> MINIMUM of 6000 copies of ANYTHING released. That
> one single retailer allowed for the profitability
> of an entire industry. Sales are down because
> there's fewer stores SELLING not only anime but
> mainstream DVDs in general. Simple, yet a fact
> ignored.)


That's putting all your shitty eggs in one basket. How much of that was total shit DVDs nobody wanted about disposable shows few people cared about.

We don't need that anymore. You can browse just fine on the internet, old man~

If your entire market is based on trying to sell things that were never meant to be treasured by repeat viewings and only make into the shelves of OCD collectors, you pretty much fucked yourself.

Tell me again how Gorg would sell better than Layzner, ojiisan.
I can't believe you fuckers just re-derailed me and microbry's beautiful moe sociology thread into the goddamn demise of Suncoast.

I was all ready to expound upon a new philosophy of productive, positive otaku behavior.


VF5SS Wrote:
>
> That's putting all your shitty eggs in one basket.
> How much of that was total shit DVDs nobody wanted
> about disposable shows few people cared about.

But yeah seriously, retail chains ordering thousands of copies of every new anime release isn't actually a good thing if those series aren't selling. I mean that's how running a retail business works. Buyers are supposed to use their experience with the market to stock what their customers want, so that they can sell enough copies to make a profit.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
asterphage Wrote:
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> I can't believe you fuckers just re-derailed me
> and microbry's beautiful moe sociology thread into
> the goddamn demise of Suncoast.

It reminds me of the ending of The Big Lebowski.

"God damn you, SteveH! You fuckin' asshole! Everything's a fuckin' travesty with you, man! And what was all that shit about Suncoast? What the FUCK, has anything got to do with Suncoast? What the fuck are you talking about?"

It's like poetry, they rhyme.

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I want YOU for Moé Sucks Army



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/09/2012 04:37PM by Scopedog.
<<productive, positive otaku behavior. >>

Snicker.

---------------------------------
[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
Scopedog Wrote:
>
> It reminds me of the ending of The Big Lebowski.

ok so who's Donny

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
asterphage Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Scopedog Wrote:
> >
> > It reminds me of the ending of The Big
> Lebowski.
>
> ok so who's Donny

aNIMU

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I want YOU for Moé Sucks Army
Ha ha... it's okay, Paul, I've been busy these last two days and am chomping at the bit to get my next reply out, but it's gotta wait until tonight or tomorrow. We can continue our beautiful, suteki-na moe' conversation then. :3 In the meantime, yeah Suncoast, eggs in one basket, and the internet era. Good stuff.
Scopedog Wrote:
> asterphage Wrote:
> >
> > ok so who's Donny
>
> aNIMU

Oh, RIGHT! I forgot that animu was dead.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
asterphage Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I can't believe you fuckers just re-derailed me
> and microbry's beautiful moe sociology thread into
> the goddamn demise of Suncoast.
>
> I was all ready to expound upon a new philosophy
> of productive, positive otaku behavior.
>
>
> VF5SS Wrote:
> >
> > That's putting all your shitty eggs in one
> basket.
> > How much of that was total shit DVDs nobody
> wanted
> > about disposable shows few people cared about.
>
> But yeah seriously, retail chains ordering
> thousands of copies of every new anime release
> isn't actually a good thing if those series aren't
> selling. I mean that's how running a retail
> business works. Buyers are supposed to use their
> experience with the market to stock what their
> customers want, so that they can sell enough
> copies to make a profit.


But here's the sad secret. It was all a shell game, and all the players knew it, but they all kept playing.

See, Suncoast didn't GIVE A SHIT if a title was good or bad or crap or brilliant. It was all, ALL just fodder to fill the shelves. Big Hollywood tentpole movies were sure to sell, you could count on some specific kidvid like Disney films to churn, blah blah but most of the stock existed simply to have full shelves. They knew it, the vendors knew it. The usual deal went like this: Suncoast would order 5000 units with a 30 day F.O.B. billing. In other words they nominally had 30 days to pay for those 5000 Units, dig?

They also had a very large return allowance, which they could return product to the vendor for credit, to be charged against outstanding bills. Still with me?

So, the clock is ticking. 30 days is actually not fast enough to 'turn' most niche product so Suncoast would ask the vendor to extend the billing to a longer date, from 30 days to between 45 days to 90. Now they have (usually) an entire quarter to move that product. BUT in order to extend the open-to-buy money they would go and pull for return around 80% of that order or to simplify of 5000 units ordered they might return 4000 for credit, paying for the 1000 units that (may have) sold. Usually that 'pull' would take place 10 days before the billing cycle was due. and THEN Suncoast would turn around and order ANOTHER 5000 units, often the same ones just returned.

this constant revolving credit cycle kept the shelves stocked with a variety of titles at little actual cost to the retailer. This is a business model that goes back to the days of the vinyl record.

The vendors bit back the dislike because at least they were selling SOME products. Those constant steady orders allowed them to get bank credit to keep the production line going. The numbers 'sold' allowed them to convince the Japanese licensors that Anime was HUGE in America.

It was a house of cards. Any disruption would cause the entire thing to fall apart and that disruption happened Christmas Season 2005 when Suncoast's turnaround company (Sun Captial IIRC) pulled the plug on funding, causing vendors to stop extending credit, which caused a couple of weeks of nothing being shipped to stores, which caused Suncoast to not be able to pay for product due to declining sales, and boom.

That's home video econ 101 for today, turn in your papers at the end of the week. :)
So when you said "That one single retailer allowed for the profitability of an entire industry." what you meant was "That one single retailer allowed an entire industry to create the unsustainable illusion of profitability."

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
asterphage Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So when you said "That one single retailer allowed
> for the profitability of an entire industry." what
> you meant was "That one single retailer allowed an
> entire industry to create the unsustainable
> illusion of profitability."

It was both illusion and reality. I know it's hard to wrap your head around, it's hard for ME to wrap my head around it. Product was turning. Sales may have seemed unrealistic yet it was those orders from Suncoast that allowed the other, lesser sales (unknown if anyone else used the shell game business model. Tower Records likely did) to be actual sales as THOSE retailers were generally ordering to stock levels that were realistic in regards to sell-thru.

things got a little better profit-wise once the American anime companies got in on the pre-order system. Reservations were solid sales and no returns to vendor for credit, but they had to give up a bit more margin so Suncoast could offer the lower price without losing profit.
SteveH Wrote:
>
> It was both illusion and reality. I know it's hard
> to wrap your head around, it's hard for ME to wrap
> my head around it.

It was a magical time, a mysterious time... and a dangerous time. Perhaps we may never understand it.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
Thank you Suncoast-san for ruining anime for everyone with your lies.
The thing that sucks about that whole thing for me is that I still haven't recovered from that as an expectation of a way of finding media I like. The whole "Customers who bought this also like this..." kind of crap on Amazon is only mildly helpful, and the ratings of top anime or whatever definitely aren't either. I suspect I had my anime viewing heyday back then and never will return to any semblance of it again.

Then again, having an actual local anime-only rental place run by otaku who actually got paid in video rentals by the owner didn't hurt. These people really knew their stuff and could give you truly good recommendations. Of course, the fact that one was only paying 3 bucks to rent something rather than 25 to own it was a big help in me and my wife being able to really indulge in watching a lot of shows. There's just no way we would have run across much of what we watched in any other way.

More serious than thou
Well, I understand that Netflix does have some anime, but the anime companies SUCK BALLS when it comes to getting placement with them.

And of course of the product that's been released here in the U.S. none of it is of any interest to me so I can't help much there.

There is some good stuff out there. And some is coming soon, like First Series Lupin III from Discotek.
fujikuro Wrote:

> Then again, having an actual local anime-only
> rental place run by otaku who actually got paid in
> video rentals by the owner didn't hurt. These
> people really knew their stuff and could give you
> truly good recommendations.

Well you're in luck. We have an entire internet of people who will give you their opinion without the pressure of having to spend money.

Just like this website
WHO WANTS SOME OPINION?! me and Veef are full of it :y

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
asterphage Wrote:
>
> With regard to population control, I assume you're
> being facetious. Anyway...

I do think lowering worldwide population growth through voluntary effort is a good thing (I am certainly not talking about state-controlled forced birth control/abortion or worse), but I also am aware of the issues with the dwindling birth rates in Japan. I do hope it helps encourage a more permissive attitude toward immigration, but fear it will have the reverse effect.

But yes, sarcasm fully intended.

> I think the difference between a monk in a
> monastery and a fanboy cloistered in his bedroom
> is the justification for their self-seclusion. A
> monk believes that their personal moral/spiritual
> development will benefit from seclusion - they
> take concerted effort towards that improvement,
> and (at least in Christian disciplines) they fill
> their days with productive labor. Today,
> monasteries are more of a spiritual
> alternative/counterbalance to secular society, but
> once they were centers of art and scholarship.

Like doujinshi and other fan-created works. ;)

> A fanboy who removes himself from society,
> however, is in most cases seeing their seclusion
> as the only alternative because of a refusal to
> face the trials and responsibilities of society,
> not because of an outright conceptual rejection of
> society's values. They often couch their retreat
> in language that implies detached value judgments,
> decrying the superficiality and misplaced
> priorities of mainstream society, but there
> usually seems to be an undercurrent of anger that
> society has "rejected" them, or disappointment
> that they failed to fit in.

I'm not sure I see THAT much difference, though when it gets down to it. Many a person historically turned to the "habit" after finding they could not for one reason or another fit into normal society, or out of a fanatical devotion to their literature. I do think that there is a sense from the hikki NEETS that they *ARE* taking a turn toward moral development (on their own insular message board supported terms, mind you) and finding an almost spiritual form of enlightenment through moe' (hence also the need to "elevate" moe' above just being based in carnal desires).

The fan shows their effort through their fan-created works or at least through the purchase of high-priced otaku goods, sometimes in triplicate. I actually don't think it's entirely coincidental that we are seeing increasing overlap of these characters with various aspects of Japanese spiritualism. I'm not suggesting that otaku are literally worshipping their moe' gods and goddesses (though we do see shrine visits, pilgrimages and offerings on the birthdays of these "entities", as well as the self-righteous outrage when the idolized actually is caught exhibiting human behavior), but more that it is a parallel evolution of sorts.


> This is why I believe that most vocal
> self-secluded fanboys are not actually fulfilled
> or satisfied by this choice - they're merely
> pacifying their discontent. The rhetoric of
> "forever alone" generally says "society is not
> fair to me, other people are worthless to me, I
> don't want to deal with them". Those who are truly
> happy alone, pursuing their own endeavors, are
> generally silent about this choice - or if they
> speak out, they generally place their lifestyle in
> a positive light. I guess what I'm saying is,
> there's no hikikomori Emerson preaching emotional
> self-reliance as a path to happiness.

I suppose not, but instead we have the rise of 2ch and such. Rather than having one "spiritual" leader, we have a more collective clique, which may well have its own leaders, apostates, etc, all anonymous to the outside world.

> By the way, I'm quite pleased with how our
> discussion has diverged from the same old "is moe
> evil?" topic, into areas that are just as
> irresolvable but perhaps more interesting.

Agreed, it's a nice change of pace. I do think there are others out there who could possibly argue the positions I'm taking better, but why would they bother coming to a forum which mostly talks about robot toys? :)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/11/2012 12:55AM by microbry.
VF5SS Wrote:

>
> We don't need that anymore. You can browse just
> fine on the internet, old man~

This, so totally this. I would agree more with the sentiment for off the shelf manga, which with the closure of Borders is in a similar situation to Suncoast and anime.

But for anime, the interwebs are a big improvement. You can find multiple reviews, see samples on YouTube, find entire forum threads or even full subforums discussing the merits and demerits of almost any given show. Let alone watch the show off a stream *legally* for most recent stuff (and let's not even go into all the old obscure stuff getting fansubbed in recent years that will likely never be licensed abroad). You can "sample" and browse in far more depth (or just as lightly) than ever before.
Of course one problem with the internet is that it is easier to create a circle-jerk echo chamber with people repeating the same rumors, opinions, and speculative endeavors as fact which in turn can give rise to intellectual blind spots and group think.

For examples look at the Mechwarrior Online forum :3

Or any attempt at discussing a Macross show with a number in its name on MW XD

comedy answer: Koronii Doroppu~

But I think the benefits on the interwebs far outweigh the problems it has.

You just have to shape the conversation.
microbry Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> VF5SS Wrote:
>
> >
> > We don't need that anymore. You can browse just
> > fine on the internet, old man~
>
> This, so totally this. I would agree more with
> the sentiment for off the shelf manga, which with
> the closure of Borders is in a similar situation
> to Suncoast and anime.
>
> But for anime, the interwebs are a big
> improvement. You can find multiple reviews, see
> samples on YouTube, find entire forum threads or
> even full subforums discussing the merits and
> demerits of almost any given show. Let alone
> watch the show off a stream *legally* for most
> recent stuff (and let's not even go into all the
> old obscure stuff getting fansubbed in recent
> years that will likely never be licensed abroad).
> You can "sample" and browse in far more depth (or
> just as lightly) than ever before.

I get that this works for other people. But it's not what I PREFER. I actually find the Internet in general, and places like Amazon in specific to be horrible places to browse. It's just me being an old man, for sure. But it definitely has affected my watching.

More serious than thou
fujikuro Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> I get that this works for other people. But it's
> not what I PREFER. I actually find the Internet
> in general, and places like Amazon in specific to
> be horrible places to browse. It's just me being
> an old man, for sure. But it definitely has
> affected my watching.


Ah, sorry to hear that, then. I do mostly agree on Amazon...I'm using it more for buying my manga lately now Borders is gone and the place does seem pretty browsing-unfriendly in the way you describe. I find myself looking up the books on another site that is easier to navigate and then plugging them into Amazon...yuck. @_@;
ANIME IS SAVED
Attachments:
open | download - gonnasaveanime.jpg (360 KB)
I wait with baited breath. ;)

More serious than thou
[www.crunchyroll.com]

robots will save anime!
Strike Witches the movie will save anime!

[www.youtube.com]

Actually now that Shin VS Neo Getter is licensed, I hope that there's a license rescue for Getter Robo Armageddon. I missed getting that when it was out.

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I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/13/2012 01:01PM by Vincent Z..
Sanjeev (Admin)
Shin vs Neo was pretty bad.

Was Mazinkaiser SKL any good?
First volume of Mazinkaiser was fun... get to see the classic `bots in updated anime style action. Later volumes kind of devolve into Go Nagai excessiveness.
Sanjeev Wrote:
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> Shin vs Neo was pretty bad.
>
> Was Mazinkaiser SKL any good?

I dunno. I seem to not be qualified to judge, according to Daryl Surat.

I found Mazinkaizer SKL disappointing. There's some good 'balls to the wall' action but not enough. Not once do the two main protagonists grope, fondle or otherwise molest (in a 'comic' way of course) any of the females in the show. At no point to the Warrior Women of whateverplace offer themselves to the two manly men. I know that's stupid but that's what HAPPENS in Go Nagai joints!

I wanted EXCESS! I mean, it's got SKULL in the title! And in the end it was like a wet fart in a bathtub. The crisis du jour is resolved but there's something even BIGGER going down annnnnnd end credits.

I'm not sorry I bought it but I kinda wish it was more like Shin Mazinger, does that make any sense?
I liked the first EP of Skull but I haven't seen past it. I'm waiting for the opportunity to get it at Rightstuf.

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I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".
SteveH Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> I found Mazinkaizer SKL disappointing. There's
> some good 'balls to the wall' action but not
> enough. Not once do the two main protagonists
> grope, fondle or otherwise molest (in a 'comic'
> way of course) any of the females in the show. At
> no point to the Warrior Women of whateverplace
> offer themselves to the two manly men. I know
> that's stupid but that's what HAPPENS in Go Nagai
> joints!
>


you are the cancer killing anime
SKL was okay for what it was, basically all style, a couple of funky gimmicks, GAR and an external Nagai reference or two thrown in with a wink and a nod, but no real meat to it otherwise. What do you expect for compressing a new Mazinkaizer show into ninety minutes (at least without some genius like Imagawa behind it)? Not that I'm a big Nagai expert by any means.

It had a fast, action-oriented pace, but that came at the expense of not having much in the way of back story or exposition. I don't think that's a bad thing though in this particular case though. I suppose the vintage equivalent would be something like Dangaioh.

Sure, I'd rather have gotten Shin Mazinger Great-hen, but at least it was a fun, if not particularly memorable short ride.
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