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Death of Anime-Economics Discussion
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12-17-09, 7:25 PM

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This thread is very educational, thanks for making this YV :)

BTW I'm a 1st year Economics student so I really like this thread. Can I ask questions?

1. Is the anime/manga industry significant to Japan's GDP compared to the automobile and electronics industry?
2. Does Japan earn more locally or internationally?
3. How much does the U.S. contribute to the anime/manga industry and does the 2008 economic crisis directly affected it?

If there are no answers it's okay.
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12-17-09, 7:56 PM

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Alright, I'm just going to ignore Sohei's attempts at thread derailment and petty Internet squabbling from here on out. Everyone else is writing thoughtful posts about the subject. He's the lone exception, thankfully.

danceljoy said:
This thread is very educational, thanks for making this YV :)

BTW I'm a 1st year Economics student so I really like this thread. Can I ask questions?


Of course; I'm trying to learn myself, and naikou's observation about the difference between a Monster and a Cowboy Bebop was really illuminating.

danceljoy said:

1. Is the anime/manga industry significant to Japan's GDP compared to the automobile and electronics industry?


Not even close. Even the US movie industry is (in terms of revenue) roughly 100 times smaller than our automobile industry, and at least 1000 times smaller than the consumer electronics market.

And the US movie industry is still something like 100-1000 times larger than the Japanese anime/manga industry! It's really a drop in the bucket in terms of national GDP.

danceljoy said:

2. Does Japan earn more locally or internationally?


Locally. In the US, no one is going to buy over a million copies of a single manga in a week, or several million total manga volumes overall. That being said, from what I understand, the US market is an important one, although primarily, for anime DVD sales, not manga.

I actually have no clue how DVD sales in the US compare with those in Japan. Another vital piece of data we're missing to this puzzle.

danceljoy said:

3. How much does the U.S. contribute to the anime/manga industry and does the 2008 economic crisis directly affected it?


I don't know what effect the depression has had. I know that for films, the 2008 economic crisis has led to a BOOM, since films are the cheapest form of night-time entertainment (a lot cheaper than a restaurant, club, bar, etc.), and people want an escape from the real world.

I recall seeing some graphs which showed that the high mark for US anime DVD sales was 2006, and it has been steadily going downhill since then. (So a few years before the crisis)
 
12-18-09, 3:11 AM

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YoungVagabond said:
We've already been over why Aoi Bungaku is not seinen; namely, each artist/creator involved in it is a shonen manga author. Bleach IS a shounen. Prince of Tennis IS a shounen. Death Note, believe it or not, IS a shounen.

Er.

Watch it first before you say anything about it. It's not like designers are confined to working in a single genre - yes, designers, because the authors are Dazai, Souseki, Akutagawa and Sakaguti (that mature enough?), the design is entirely superifical and not relevant to the genre, which regardless does not depend on the author, but the work.

YoungVagabond said:
Alright, I'm just going to ignore Sohei's attempts at thread derailment and petty Internet squabbling from here on out. Everyone else is writing thoughtful posts about the subject. He's the lone exception, thankfully.

Perhaps you should read his posts.

Who knows, he might say something relevant in them. Like for instance something about who has money to buy DVDs, which kind of curious creatures inhabit Akihabara, the definition of seinen and other quite relevant things.
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12-18-09, 3:50 AM

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Kaiserpingvin said:

Er.

Watch it first before you say anything about it. It's not like designers are confined to working in a single genre - yes, designers, because the authors are Dazai, Souseki, Akutagawa and Sakaguti (that mature enough?), the design is entirely superifical and not relevant to the genre, which regardless does not depend on the author, but the work.


So you would characterize the show as seinen-influenced despite it's creators' backgrounds? I'll give it a look. More importantly, is it doing well in terms of DVD sales?

Kaiserpingvin said:

Perhaps you should read his posts.

Who knows, he might say something relevant in them.


I glanced through each one and saw nothing except juvenile insults, irrelevant discussion of shounen, and poorly thought out "arguments" from someone unhappy that his favorite moe shows were described negatively.

Kaiserpingvin said:

Like for instance something about who has money to buy DVDs,


DVDs are hardly an expensive commodity, and as the last 5 years have shown, consumers in the 8-16 year old age bracket produce a lot of its business in something like movies, let alone anime.

Just because a child gets his parents to order the newest Bakemonogatari (as an example) DVD for him, or uses their cash to purchase Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 at the local store does not mean they are being bought by adults.

This was only my experience, but at 14 years old, just starting high school, myself and all my friends were all buying DVDs regularly. At least one a month. That's way more than any of us do now. It makes sense, too; advertisers traditionally consider the young teen demographic an especially lucrative one.

I can't imagine it would be any different for young Japanese teens, who are even more into entertainment media than we are.

Kaiserpingvin said:
the definition of seinen and other quite relevant things.


He seems to be under the belief that NGE is seinen, or at the very least non-shounen, even though it was the major television program for a generation of 7-13 year olds.

Explaining anything further to him would be a waste of time, especially since he wouldn't read it, anyways.
 
12-18-09, 5:42 AM

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Seeing as you're inclined to view my posts as insults (which, fair enough, they were turning into, but honestly, you can't expect much when you start insulting someone for being "childish" and "offtopic"), as you're not inclined to read through them i'll just take the core points out of them and stay cordial.

Firstly, let me state again that my "favorite" shows can hardly be considered moe (check out my profile?), and that i'm hardly defending them either.

Onto the sales for DVDs and Bluray in Japan.

Animation takes a lot of space in terms of memory on a DVD or bluray disk, meaning that usually a series is released by having between 1 and 4 episodes on a disc, with 2 or three becoming the norm in the modern market (better animation means more DVD space taken up). I believe that for Bakemonogatari it is being released per story arc, meaning 6 DVDs, each around the cost of an equivalent of 40$ (in Japan, but i've gone through the effort for you and found a US deliverer):



40$ per disc gives you a grand total of around 200$ to buy the entire series. However, this can get worse with Bluray. Let me just link you a well selling seinen title:



That's right, 200$ for half a season, do the math and it will cost you 400$ for a full season. And this is for a series that has already sold decently well. More obscure anime cost even more, for example, it has been reckoned that buying the entire LoGH saga would cost you upwards of a few thousand US dollars.

My point? I don't know about you, but as a high schoolder I certainly didn't have a few hundred to a few thousand dollars lying around to buy anime DVDs, which brings me back to what I said earlier: most revenue on anime DVDs is made from those with jobs and larger disposable incomes, furthermore, as I also said, the public of places like Akihabara (and Den Den Town in Osaka, I believe, but i've never been there, this would be an assumption) is mainly adults in their 20's-30's.

Anyway, that's that for the revenue part, onto seinen semantics.

NGE was originally shonen title, aired in the evening, but the broadcast changed due to the content and it was moved halfway along to a different time slot, even later in the evening. It's funny how you say 7-13 year olds. Even in Japan, they don't show implied sex, mutilated bodies (albeit EVAs) or psychologiucal traumas to say, 8 year olds. Pokemon is the norm at that age. By the way, 7-11 is the kodomo age group, not shonen. Of course, you are free to counter me and provide me with the time schedule for when NGE originally aired. If it was a 7-13 year old agegroup, i'm sure it aired around 7-8, right before the start of school.

Also, it's interesting that you say that Tokyo Magnitude et al is shonen. here, let me provide you with the original airing schedule of a lot of titles which you qualify as shonen.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noitamina

0:45 - 1:15 in the morning. I don't know about you, but where I live, not many teenagers would be up every night watching anime at that age. It may also be silly to use info from wikipedia, but on this case it's warranted.

"It was launched with the intention of expanding the target audience beyond the typical young male demographic"

If it's airing shonen.. then it's not really being sucessful at expanding the target range beyond shonen, is it now?

I'll provide you with my argument against your hypothesis by the way, seeing as you didn't bother reading my posts. Perhaps you will stop decrying me for being off-topic.

Sohei said:

Anyway, as for regressing in anime over the past 5 years. Let's see, 5 years ago was 2004.. What seinen titles have been released since then.. off the top of my head; Mushishi, GiTS:SAC (at the very least, second gig), Ergo Proxy, Baccano, Monster, Hellsing, Beck, Detroit Metal City, Mononoke, Samurai Champloo, Genshiken, a lot of Shinkai Makoto's works, Kurozuka and more (i'm out now, but i'm sure that list could continue if i bothered looking in the database). Perhaps there isn't as much cyberpunk as one would dare hope for, but seinen and anime in general certainly aren't regressing.


That was that.



danceljoy said:
This thread is very educational, thanks for making this YV :)

BTW I'm a 1st year Economics student so I really like this thread. Can I ask questions?

1. Is the anime/manga industry significant to Japan's GDP compared to the automobile and electronics industry?
2. Does Japan earn more locally or internationally?
3. How much does the U.S. contribute to the anime/manga industry and does the 2008 economic crisis directly affected it?

If there are no answers it's okay.


I'll be taking these figures from wikipedia, but in this case I doubt them to be inaccurate. The manga market in japan is worth 3.6 billion dollars, with the major importing market, the USA and Canada, worth 200 million US dollars (in 2006). The export of anime for Japan brings in a revenue of 4.35 billion dollars, and that is only a fraction of the Japan market, which I'd guess should easily be up to perhaps 40 billion or more, with pokemon alone being a multi-billion dollar franchise. In contrast, Toyota's yearly revenue (not profit) is around 240 billion US dollars.

Japan GDP is around 4-5 trillion US dollars, do the math and the anime and manga industry is worth about 1% of Japan's GDP. It might seem insignificant, but is is quite a lot.

As for the 2008 financial crisis, yes, it has affected it. The best way to measure this is in the number of airing shows this year compared to last year or the year before that. I believe that the amount of airing anime has fallen drastically (upwards of 20%, but these are numbers off the top of my head, hardly what you can call factual), which can be attributed to the state of the economy. I can't be too sure about hard facts though, so take everything I say with a grain of salt.

I hope that answers your question.

edit: I believe the figures for anime include the selling of promo items, dolls and other related merchandise of the series, not solely DVD and bluray sales.

post edit: ignore the 1% of GDP figure i contrived. If i use all the figures mentioned, i'd be measuring Gross National Product (GNP), not Gross Domestic Product (GDP), meaning the figure should be somewhat lower.
Modified by Sohei, 12-18-09, 6:30 AM
 
12-18-09, 6:57 AM

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Alright, the post above (to my surprise) actually looks reasonable and on topic, so I'll address it;

Sohei said:

Onto the sales for DVDs and Bluray in Japan.

Animation takes a lot of space in terms of memory on a DVD or bluray disk, meaning that usually a series is released by having between 1 and 4 episodes on a disc, with 2 or three becoming the norm in the modern market (better animation means more DVD space taken up). I believe that for Bakemonogatari it is being released per story arc, meaning 6 DVDs, each around the cost of an equivalent of 40$ (in Japan, but i've gone through the effort for you and found a US deliverer):



40$ per disc gives you a grand total of around 200$ to buy the entire series. However, this can get worse with Bluray. Let me just link you a well selling seinen title:



That's right, 200$ for half a season, do the math and it will cost you 400$ for a full season. And this is for a series that has already sold decently well. More obscure anime cost even more, for example, it has been reckoned that buying the entire LoGH saga would cost you upwards of a few thousand US dollars.

My point? I don't know about you, but as a high schoolder I certainly didn't have a few hundred to a few thousand dollars lying around to buy anime DVDs, which brings me back to what I said earlier: most revenue on anime DVDs is made from those with jobs and larger disposable incomes, furthermore, as I also said, the public of places like Akihabara (and Den Den Town in Osaka, I believe, but i've never been there, this would be an assumption) is mainly adults in their 20's-30's.


I appreciate you providing links, and trying to construct a logical argument. There's just one major problem.

Your numbers are completely wrong.

Forget this nonsense about $400 for a single anime season from a random site that probably spends $300 of that to ship it. The industry would go completely bankrupt if that were the case. No one is going to spend that much money on a complete season.

Let's look at Amazon, for example?

Know how much an "obscure anime" costs? Not just 13 episodes either, but all 48 of them?

20 bucks. That's right. Not several thousand dollars. Not $400. Not $200. 20 bucks.

Well, maybe that one in particular is especially low. And indeed, we find that something like FMA 1 costs more. How much more?

Oh, $50 for 26 episodes.

My point is that even if we assume that entertainment merchandise are marginally more expensive in Japan, your "few hundred dollars for 13 episodes" is ludicrous. It's an order of magnitude cheaper.

And yes, when I was in high school, I could spare twenty bucks for a huge DVD. In fact, you know the only time I ever bought anime?

When I was in high school.

Sohei said:

Anyway, that's that for the revenue part, onto seinen semantics.

NGE was originally shonen title, aired in the evening, but the broadcast changed due to the content and it was moved halfway along to a different time slot, even later in the evening. It's funny how you say 7-13 year olds. Even in Japan, they don't show implied sex, mutilated bodies (albeit EVAs) or psychologiucal traumas to say, 8 year olds. Pokemon is the norm at that age.


Hokuto No Ken was the dominant shounen title of the 80s. There can be no argument against this. I've even talked to a few Japanese people who were only 6 years old then, some of them FEMALE, and they still remember how much they loved that show.

Yet, Hokuto No Ken had explicit torture, implied RAPE, explicitly violent mutilation, dozens of bloody kills per episode, mass genocide, etc.

And honestly, I've heard your argument above so many times now, once even in real life, that I feel like I should save a copy of my response in Word.

The problem is that the people arguing this don't remember their childhoods at all. 8 years old is not the same as being 4 years old. And the one time I heard this argument in real life?

It was made by an angry, fatass, pimply faced, stereotypical otaku with a poster of Haruhi on his bedroom wall, upset that I mocked most anime as "just for kids" to someone else. Sorry man; you're in poor company on this one.

Sohei said:

Also, it's interesting that you say that Tokyo Magnitude et al is shonen. here, let me provide you with the original airing schedule of a lot of titles which you qualify as shonen.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noitamina

0:45 - 1:15 in the morning. I don't know about you, but where I live, not many teenagers would be up every night watching anime at that age.


This is so funny. You know why I started watching anime in high school? Because I would stay up until midnight or later every night, and there was nothing else on except Adult Swim's anime line-up.

I don't know about you, but where I live, most teenagers can stay up as long as they want. Hell, I would CALL friends on their cell around 1 am sometimes, since we were both up.

12:45 am is actually a GREAT time to attract teenage viewers.


Anyway, as for regressing in anime over the past 5 years. Let's see, 5 years ago was 2004.. What seinen titles have been released since then.. off the top of my head; Mushishi, GiTS:SAC (at the very least, second gig), Ergo Proxy, Baccano, Monster, Hellsing, Beck, Detroit Metal City, Mononoke, Samurai Champloo, Genshiken, a lot of Shinkai Makoto's works, Kurozuka and more (i'm out now, but i'm sure that list could continue if i bothered looking in the database). Perhaps there isn't as much cyberpunk as one would dare hope for, but seinen and anime in general certainly aren't regressing.


I defined the best period of anime as being from 1998 to 2004. The last five years is 2005-2009.

Interestingly enough, that eliminates quite a few of the shows you mention. Samurai Champloo and Monster, just off the top of my head.

Sohei said:

I'll be taking these figures from wikipedia, but in this case I doubt them to be inaccurate. The manga market in japan is worth 3.6 billion dollars, with the major importing market, the USA and Canada, worth 200 million US dollars (in 2006). The export of anime for Japan brings in a revenue of 4.35 billion dollars, and that is only a fraction of the Japan market, which I'd guess should easily be up to perhaps 40 billion or more, with pokemon alone being a multi-billion dollar franchise. In contrast, Toyota's yearly revenue (not profit) is around 240 billion US dollars.


Much like with the price of DVDs, you're drawing completely random numbers, with no set criteria, and not surprisingly, getting another incorrect conclusion.

The entire manga industry might be valued at $3.6 billion, including the price of their assets, but their yearly REVENUE is much, much lower. And it is the revenue that is a part of the GDP, not their total assets.

The estimate of $4.5 billion a year for anime exports sounds a little high, but okay, I'll accept it. However, where do you get the idea that the Japanese market is TEN TIMES the rest of the world combined?! That's absurd.

Just because anime is made in Japan does not mean they are the primary source of revenue for it, and in fact, I've seen numerous charts and figures which show the opposite; that total anime exports are as much as, or greater, than total sales within the country.

Take Hollywood films for example; they make as much money internationally, or even more, as they do in the US market.

Sohei said:

Japan GDP is around 4-5 trillion US dollars, do the math and the anime and manga industry is worth about 1% of Japan's GDP. It might seem insignificant, but is is quite a lot.


Yes, let's do a better job of actually investigating the math. Based on the number of total manga sold in a year, and an assumption of roughly $10 a volume, that comes out to something like $550 million sales in Japan, plus the $175 million in sales in Canada and the US, and let's add $100 million for the rest of the world. That's a little over $900 million.

Anime sales in the US and Canada of $4.5 billion, and as much in Japan. (Sounds real fishy, but whatever) That's $9 billion. Together with the manga, that's roughly $10 billion. Total Japanese GDP is $5 trillion.

So it's 0.2%. A fifth of a percent. Not bad, actually. More than I expected. But not very significant, either, even with the most generous of assumptions.

Sohei said:

As for the 2008 financial crisis, yes, it has affected it. The best way to measure this is in the number of airing shows this year compared to last year or the year before that. I believe that the amount of airing anime has fallen drastically (upwards of 20%, but these are numbers off the top of my head, hardly what you can call factual), which can be attributed to the state of the economy. I can't be too sure about hard facts though, so take everything I say with a grain of salt.


The depression has certainly negatively impacted distribution and production, I will agree with you on that point.

But danceljoy was asking how it affected SALES. And for that, I don't know.

Sohei said:
edit: I believe the figures for anime include the selling of promo items, dolls and other related merchandise of the series, not solely DVD and bluray sales.


Yeah, this would partially explain the extremely high-sounding $4.5 billion figures you mentioned above.
Modified by YoungVagabond, 12-18-09, 7:02 AM
 
12-18-09, 7:58 AM

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Alright, time to type out a reply.

I looked into the figures some more, and as expected, there is a huge discrepancy in prices. Here are some results I found (blogs and yahoo answers, perhaps not the most relaible ones, but it's better than nothing):

http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080907111604AAWFB4X
http://www.cartoongallery.com.au/component/content/article/25-home-page/105-japans-anime-industry-in-crisis

Especially the last one is interesting:

"Westerners have never paid much for anime, certainly compared to the prices which the poor sods in Japan have to pay. My first trip to Japan was about 13 years ago, in the days before DVDs. A client of mine just had to have the Armitage movie on VHS. I told him it would cost about AUD$120, he said just buy it, which I did. That was $120 for one VHS tape, and that was the going price. A quick look at some Japanese anime prices on the Net shows that now you will pay about 5,000 Yen or so, which is still about AUD$65, and that's with the Aussie dollar being strong now. You also need to be aware of how many episodes there are per disc. It is not at all uncommon for Japanese DVDs to have only 2 episodes per disc."

This certainly supports what i've said before, and furthermore the prices i've seen in Japan first hand. Of course, then there still is the problem with the prices you found. The most logical assumption I can make would be that amazon is simply trying to clear stock, or bought the series in cheap as no one wanted to buy it, reducing price levels.

Onto revenue and profit.

I don't know if you've taken Economics before, but let me illustrate something for you. GDP is the total of Consumption, Government Investment, Private Investment, Exports minus Imports. Stating that only revenue would be part of GDP is therefore not true, as consumption includes consumers buying manga. Exports includes all revenue made abroad, not solely profit. Therefore, 3.6 billion dollars is completely part of GDP (or GNP, to be more precise). As for the anime industry, again I stated that my measure for the japanese market was an assumption. The figure i picked up for the american market includes the sales of anime merchandise, only 700 million dollars of the 4.5 billion dollars is actually made from selling DVDs in the USA.

Now then, the Japanese anime.

http://www.jmr-marketing.com/user/495/Big_bucks_manga_pop_influence_economics_marketing/

Honestly, I don't need to say more at this point, because it is even my numbers were an underestimate, 100 billion US dollars. I don't know if this is solely the Japanese market or the global market though, not very well explained. This is a figure from a consultancy firm, hardly something deemed inaccurate by all accounts.

Your point on Hokuto no Ken is valid however, and by all means, I know a few of teenagers who still watch/read it over in Japan. few is however different from generalized preference, which nowadays goes towards shows like Bleach. Also, it is a show from the 80's hardly a norm at this point in time for currently airing shonen titles. Also, I don't see how it is relevant to NGE, because, as I pointed out, NGE was reclassified in the middle of its season. Furthermore, i was only talking about NGE in reference to KnK.

The discussion was originally aimed at anime released this year, which is why i made the comparison between KnK and NGE. You haven't discussed that, nor attempted to say that KnK is shonen.

As for titles that dropped off in 2004 if you don't count them; you're right. Keep in mind however that these are all titles off the top of my head, if you really wanted me to, I could increase that list to many more seinen titles aired at a later date.

The total sales of anime, i don't know about either. however, records on DVD and Bluray sales have been broken multiple times this year, K-ON and Bakemonogatari to list a few. This is of course no indicator of the total amount of sales, and i'm inclined to agree that the larger percentage of anime do not make profit.
 
12-18-09, 9:01 AM

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Sohei said:

This certainly supports what i've said before, and furthermore the prices i've seen in Japan first hand. Of course, then there still is the problem with the prices you found. The most logical assumption I can make would be that amazon is simply trying to clear stock, or bought the series in cheap as no one wanted to buy it, reducing price levels.


I was pretty sure we were trying to have a discussion with verifiable facts and figures, not what some random dude on Yahoo UK wrote.

Worst of all, even this highly irrelevant, hand-picked evidence doesn't support your statements. Nowhere is there a mention of $200, $400, or several thousand dollars for a complete anime season.

A random VHS sold for about $100 13 years ago. So what? How is it relevant to prices today?

Find some actual credible information on this, not a random user comment. The only credible evidence I see is $20 for 48 episodes of an unpopular show, and $50 for 26 episodes of a blockbuster hit.

Sohei said:

I don't know if you've taken Economics before, but let me illustrate something for you. GDP is the total of Consumption, Government Investment, Private Investment, Exports minus Imports.


See, this is how I know you don't really read my posts, despite your protests to the contrary. In the first few sentences of my first post, I mention that I've done research and have a degree in economics.

Sohei said:

Stating that only revenue would be part of GDP is therefore not true, as consumption includes consumers buying manga. Exports includes all revenue made abroad, not solely profit. Therefore, 3.6 billion dollars is completely part of GDP (or GNP, to be more precise).


Consumption IS revenue, in this case. The 3.6 billion dollars is the value of the entire industry; the buildings the larger magazine companies own, the back catalogue of their various titles, etc. It's staggeringly more than just the revenue alone.

I'll even give you a small economics lesson; the "value" of an entertainment company is usually about 5-10 times higher than its actual revenue.

A basketball team valued at $600 million might only make about $100 million in revenue per year.

A company that only makes $10 million of revenue might get sold for $300 million, thanks to its patents and IP, among other things that aren't directly calculated for by GDP, or are undervalued there.

Sohei said:

As for the anime industry, again I stated that my measure for the japanese market was an assumption. The figure i picked up for the american market includes the sales of anime merchandise, only 700 million dollars of the 4.5 billion dollars is actually made from selling DVDs in the USA.


That makes even less sense, actually. The sales of anime MERCHANDISE in the US (or North America; you keep interchanging these) is 3.8 billion dollars? What?

Do you realize what an astronomical figure that is?

Sohei said:

Now then, the Japanese anime.

http://www.jmr-marketing.com/user/495/Big_bucks_manga_pop_influence_economics_marketing/

Honestly, I don't need to say more at this point, because it is even my numbers were an underestimate, 100 billion US dollars. I don't know if this is solely the Japanese market or the global market though, not very well explained. This is a figure from a consultancy firm, hardly something deemed inaccurate by all accounts.


See, this is why searching for information on the Internet, while a valuable tool, becomes meaningless when you don't understand what you read.

For starters, it doesn't even say that the industry is worth $100 billion; only that it is "expected to".

More importantly, you once again confuse "market value" and "revenue". They're different. Like I wrote above, revenue is at least ten times less than total market share.

And, surprise surprise, an estimate of $10 billion in yearly revenue is very close to what I wrote earlier.

Be honest with me; you've never taken an economics class in your life, have you?

You're just trying to piece together stuff from Wikipedia and Google, and hoping it's right?

Sohei said:

Your point on Hokuto no Ken is valid however, and by all means, I know a few of teenagers who still watch/read it over in Japan. few is however different from generalized preference, which nowadays goes towards shows like Bleach. Also, it is a show from the 80's hardly a norm at this point in time for currently airing shonen titles. Also, I don't see how it is relevant to NGE, because, as I pointed out, NGE was reclassified in the middle of its season. Furthermore, i was only talking about NGE in reference to KnK.


Again, all totally irrelevant.

You mentioned the mature content of NGE as a reason why it's not shounen, and then I pointed out that one of the most popular shounen titles ever, Hokuto No Ken, had FAR MORE mature content.

Unless you're arguing that Japanese standards changed drastically from about 1987 (end of HnK1, start of HnK2) to 1995 (NGE), your quoted portion above has nothing to do with the discussion.

Sohei said:
The discussion was originally aimed at anime released this year, which is why i made the comparison between KnK and NGE. You haven't discussed that, nor attempted to say that KnK is shonen.


KnK, while not a classical shounen, is clearly shounen-inspired and has nothing to do with seinen.

Sohei said:
however, records on DVD and Bluray sales have been broken multiple times this year, K-ON and Bakemonogatari to list a few. This is of course no indicator of the total amount of sales, and i'm inclined to agree that the larger percentage of anime do not make profit.


Bluray sales records are going to be broken no matter what because it's a brand new format.

But if DVD records are being broken, I'd say that either the recession hasn't hurt sales, or like movies, has actually helped them.
Modified by YoungVagabond, 12-18-09, 9:09 AM
 
12-18-09, 10:38 AM

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Oh god.

Firstly, where did you get your "degree"? Patriot Bible University? Or some other mid-west community college? I'm honestly on the verge of just ranting; trying to escape through loopholes is not a great way of having an argument.

Anyway, i won't just yet.

The market for anime and manga is worth 100 billion $, meaning, the market demand for that product will be exactly that. Now, I assume that supply will meet that demand, meaning that revenue will be equal to 100 billion $. You seem to be making the distinction between market and industry worth, or perhaps the contribution of an industry to an economy, including fiscal multipliers et al. However, in this case the market is the market demand, not the worth of the industry.

I agree that it is only a prediction of worth, but obviously it wouldn't be up there if the prediction was off, would it now?

Furthermore, I don't see why you're arguing with me on prices for DVDs or Bluray didcs in Japan. I've lived in Japan, i've seen the prices, and i've explained to you why they are as they are. yet for some reason you seem to persist that prices aren't what they are. As I said earlier, the price of those DVDs on amazon are not equivalent to prices in Japan, unless they're simply clearing out old merchandise, which is what this looks like. Unless you're telling me that all the prices in japan which i've seen first hand are fake and just delusions to my head, accept that prices in Japan are much higher than in the USA and that therefore the market demand for such products is aimed at those with higher disposable incomes.

As for Hokuto no Ken, if you're inclined to make an argument on that, let me just point to berserk, which you listed as a seinen. If Berserk (the anime) is considered seinen by your standards, Hokuto no Ken would be too. it's futile to hold an argument on what is shonen and what is seinen by simply relying on oner show and from there basing the entire difference between shonen and seinen.

By the way, stop bashing my numbers please? If you have a problem with the statistics, please go complain to the Japan External Trade Organization, because it's them that made the numbers.
 
12-18-09, 3:27 PM

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Thanks for the answers to my questions YV and Sohei, they are more than I expected. I apologize cause right now I have nothing to contribute except ask more questions once I think of one. :)
"One way, Jesus, You're the only one that I could live for! You are the way, the truth and the life. We live by faith and not by sight... "
 
12-18-09, 5:47 PM

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Sohei said:
Oh god.

Firstly, where did you get your "degree"? Patriot Bible University? Or some other mid-west community college? I'm honestly on the verge of just ranting; trying to escape through loopholes is not a great way of having an argument.


Morons like yourself are so tedious. After arguing normally for a while, they can't help but launch lame insults the moment someone proves their facts and figures wrong.

I also like how you never answered whether you've actually taken an economics class or not. I think we all know the answer to that, Mr. Wikipedia.

Sohei said:

The market for anime and manga is worth 100 billion $, meaning, the market demand for that product will be exactly that. Now, I assume that supply will meet that demand, meaning that revenue will be equal to 100 billion $. You seem to be making the distinction between market and industry worth, or perhaps the contribution of an industry to an economy, including fiscal multipliers et al. However, in this case the market is the market demand, not the worth of the industry.


This is total bullshit, and you don't even need any background in economics (which you clearly don't have) to figure it out. Just basic common sense, something you also lack.

You're telling me that the anime industry makes $100 billion of revenue a year?

Fucking Hollywood makes less than $10 billion in theatrical revenue a year

Anyone who isn't an argumentative idiot can quickly realize that $100 billion is an absurd, astronomical number.

Sohei said:

Furthermore, I don't see why you're arguing with me on prices for DVDs or Bluray didcs in Japan. I've lived in Japan, i've seen the prices, and i've explained to you why they are as they are. yet for some reason you seem to persist that prices aren't what they are. As I said earlier, the price of those DVDs on amazon are not equivalent to prices in Japan, unless they're simply clearing out old merchandise, which is what this looks like. Unless you're telling me that all the prices in japan which i've seen first hand are fake and just delusions to my head, accept that prices in Japan are much higher than in the USA and that therefore the market demand for such products is aimed at those with higher disposable incomes.


You don't get it, do you? I agree the Japanese market prices are higher than the figures on Amazon. I wrote as much in a post above.

I just don't agree they're $400 or several thousand for a full season or whatever you wrote. Maye as high as $60-$100, but not $400.

Sohei said:

As for Hokuto no Ken, if you're inclined to make an argument on that, let me just point to berserk, which you listed as a seinen.


I feel like I'm arguing against a brick wall here. You said that NGE was not shounen because of "mature content".

I showed that HnK, one of the three most popular, iconic shounen series EVER, had far more mature content, and was watched primarily by 6-14 year olds in Japan in the 80s.

The purpose of this was to prove your original argument wrong by a counterexample, the conclusion from which is that NGE is indeed shounen. Of course, this totally went over your head.

Sohei said:

By the way, stop bashing my numbers please? If you have a problem with the statistics, please go complain to the Japan External Trade Organization, because it's them that made the numbers.


Do $3.8 billion in annual exports of anime merchandise, as opposed to only $700 million in DVDs, even sound remotely reasonable to YOU?

You do know that just because you read something on the Internet, it's not automatically correct, right?
 
12-18-09, 8:05 PM

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Why not think about how people used to like Arnold but now they're into the Ben Afflecks...

The change has more to do with the rise of metrosexuality then anything to do with otakus maybe...

And also how before nobody gave a shit about Art but now everyone and their mother is interested in that kind of thing (in regards to movies, etc.)

I mean like cartoons were entertaining before...Giant Robots. Fuck Yeah! Now people are more interested in looking at pretty pictures and relating to things (angst)

not sure that made sense... but ^_^
 
12-18-09, 9:09 PM

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mekanik said:


Why not think about how people used to like Arnold but now they're into the Ben Afflecks...


Ben Affleck has been in Hollywood exile for the last 6 years, dude. He's considered box office cancer, and his career is in complete ruins. That being said, I totally get what you're saying.

You think it has to do with the feminization/infantilization of people's tastes in all areas of entertainment, not just anime.

Honestly, I probably wouldn't go that far. Like, sure, it might explain the rise of increasingly juvenile shounen, or its greater popularity, but moe? I don't know. There certainly hasn't been anything remotely similar to that aesthetic in other areas of entertainment.

mekanik said:

I mean like cartoons were entertaining before...Giant Robots. Fuck Yeah! Now people are more interested in looking at pretty pictures and relating to things (angst)

not sure that made sense... but ^_^


Yeah, good point. No one wants to see traditional action anymore.
 
12-19-09, 4:37 AM

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YoungVagabond said:


Morons like yourself are so tedious. After arguing normally for a while, they can't help but launch lame insults the moment someone proves their facts and figures wrong.

I also like how you never answered whether you've actually taken an economics class or not. I think we all know the answer to that, Mr. Wikipedia.


So after insulting me half a dozen times, quite personally, you resent it that I do so too? Anyway, do tell me, where did you actually get your degree? That, or you simply didn't pay attention in introductory economics..

Anyway, I don't have a degree in economics. I have however taken IB Economics HL (which in the US would allow me to skip the first one and a half year of university), so from there, you could perhaps say i've got half a economics degree? Considering that a Bsc is 3 years. But American university education isn't too great anyway (except perhaps at MIT), i'd rather spend my time in the UK's university system.

Of course, I wouldn't be arguing about economics if i'm solely relying on a higher level secondary education economics course. I've read a number, if not most (well, it's debatable really, economists release so many analyses and research papers, at the very minimum, i've read the most important ones) of Keynes, Ricardo's, Friedman's et al (perhaps lacking in heterodox economics, but so be it). Furthermore, i'm befriended with a number of authorities on economics, who do enlighten me, such as Mr. Rischard.

That is off-topic though, but seeing as you incessantly asked for my background in economics..

YoungVagabond said:

This is total bullshit, and you don't even need any background in economics (which you clearly don't have) to figure it out. Just basic common sense, something you also lack.

You're telling me that the anime industry makes $100 billion of revenue a year?

Fucking Hollywood makes less than $10 billion in theatrical revenue a year

Anyone who isn't an argumentative idiot can quickly realize that $100 billion is an absurd, astronomical number.


So first you accuse me of not reading an article properly, and then you go on to make that mistake? First of all, you're pointing to the movie industry, which has an average groos revenue of nearly 10 billion. The article i quoted said the anime market which includes movie sales, DVD and bluray sales, merchandise sales, spin-off game sales and more; so yes, I don't think that number is "out there" for revenue, although I would like to know how they came about measuring it. Why am I even defending this though?

YoungVagabond said:

You don't get it, do you? I agree the Japanese market prices are higher than the figures on Amazon. I wrote as much in a post above.

I just don't agree they're $400 or several thousand for a full season or whatever you wrote. Maye as high as $60-$100, but not $400.


GOOD, you're finally agreeing on something. 400$ was a number I made up on the spot deduced from that Bluray of GitS, however, it isn't far off. A anime DVD or bluray disc in Japan costs around 3000 yen (some are more the endless eight arc for haruhi was released on 4 discs, each at more than 6000 yen). Those discs contain 2 or three episodes. I don't know about the current exchange rates (you can go check it at www.xe.com , i'm too lazy for now) but 1 euro is about 125 yen? Go figure it out for dollars, i'm not too sure about the exchange rate for that. Anyway, 3000 yen for a 2-3 episodes means that a 12 episode series is between 12000 and 18000 yen meaning between 100 and 145 euros (do the math for dollars) for a short anime season. A 25 episode series would be double that, so between 200 and 290 euros. Not far off 400 dollars.

Well then, can you finally agree then that the main audience is an older age group than the average age of a shonen fan, or even a late teenager?

YoungVagabond said:

I feel like I'm arguing against a brick wall here. You said that NGE was not shounen because of "mature content".

I showed that HnK, one of the three most popular, iconic shounen series EVER, had far more mature content, and was watched primarily by 6-14 year olds in Japan in the 80s.

The purpose of this was to prove your original argument wrong by a counterexample, the conclusion from which is that NGE is indeed shounen. Of course, this totally went over your head.


Firstly, again, Shonen is not the 6-14 year old age bracket (how many times have I said that?), it's between 12 and 18. And I didn't say NGE was not shounen due to mature content, you misinterpreted; I said that in the middle of the broadcast, NGE was no longer deemed appropriate for a shounen audience and therefore moved to a traditionally seinen timeslot; conclusion, NGE was not deemed shounen. By the way, one counterexample is hardly enough to disprove something, especially considering that the shows aired in a different deccenium. I provided you with a counter-example to your counter-example, but you conveniently ignored that.

YoungVagabond said:

Sohei said:

By the way, stop bashing my numbers please? If you have a problem with the statistics, please go complain to the Japan External Trade Organization, because it's them that made the numbers.


Do $3.8 billion in annual exports of anime merchandise, as opposed to only $700 million in DVDs, even sound remotely reasonable to YOU?

You do know that just because you read something on the Internet, it's not automatically correct, right?


No, it's not. But it would be quite silly if the figures from an official agency of the Japanese Government were wrong (well, all figures in economics are always somewhat off reality), would it now?

I don't care if it sounds reasonable or not, it's the figures, and since I don't have the balance sheet on how they made the figures up, and looking at the fact that this is a figure from the Japanese Government, i'm not going to dispute it.

Furthermore, I don't see why anime merchandise wouldn't outsell DVDs and such. I'm sure you've seen pictures of bedrooms of certain anime fans. Those posters, miniatures (especially the miniatures!), body pillows, spin-off games, etc cost quite a bit of money.
 
12-19-09, 5:34 AM

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Sohei said:

Anyway, I don't have a degree in economics. I have however taken IB Economics HL (which in the US would allow me to skip the first one and a half year of university),


Just as I expected. You've taken the equivalent of the US's AP course, and based on your argumentation above, obviously haven't done very well in it. I took the same course in high school too, back before I was even particularly interested in the subject.

In college, my classes were all mathematical economics, and my work/research has nothing to do with things like Japan's total GDP, or the amount of anime revenue per year, but I also have a good idea of what comparable numbers in other industries should be.

By the way, your lousy IB class wouldn't even allow you to skip a semester at any decent college, let alone 1.5 years.

Sohei said:
But American university education isn't too great anyway (except perhaps at MIT), i'd rather spend my time in the UK's university system.


This might be the most singularly stupid, douchetastic thing you've written in this entire topic, and there was heavy competition. I'm starting to regret the time I've spent responding to your nonsense.

Sohei said:

So first you accuse me of not reading an article properly, and then you go on to make that mistake? First of all, you're pointing to the movie industry, which has an average groos revenue of nearly 10 billion. The article i quoted said the anime market which includes movie sales, DVD and bluray sales, merchandise sales, spin-off game sales and more; so yes, I don't think that number is "out there" for revenue, although I would like to know how they came about measuring it. Why am I even defending this though?


This is hilarious. The guy seriously thinks that, in his words, "DVD and Blu-ray, merchandise sales of anime" are 10 times greater than the gross theatrical revenue of live action films.

This kid just keeps cracking me up. He honest-to-God thinks that the crummy number of DVDs they sell in Japan (measured in the hundred thousands), plus some merchandise for Tokyo basement dwellers amounts to 10 times more than the theatrical revenue of live action movies, which are only watched by over half the people of the civilized world.

Forget economics. Sohei is plain delusional.

Sohei said:

I don't care if it sounds reasonable or not,


Clearly not. Critical thinking isn't your strong suit.
Modified by YoungVagabond, 12-19-09, 5:40 AM
 
12-19-09, 6:43 AM

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Oh dear, more personal attacks.

Let me spoiler that, since it's completely off topic.




YoungVagabond said:

This is hilarious. The guy seriously thinks that, in his words, "DVD and Blu-ray, merchandise sales of anime" are 10 times greater than the gross theatrical revenue of live action films.

This kid just keeps cracking me up. He honest-to-God thinks that the crummy number of DVDs they sell in Japan (measured in the hundred thousands), plus some merchandise for Tokyo basement dwellers amounts to 10 times more than the theatrical revenue of live action movies, which are only watched by over half the people of the civilized world.

Forget economics. Sohei is plain delusional.
Obviously you've never been to Japan. Anime fandom in Japan is massive, and it is not unheard of for many fans there to spend their entire wage salary on their hobbies (no wonder no Japanese woman wants them). The fact that entire neighborhoods (and by neighborhood, I don't mean one block) in Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka and more are devoted to it as a culture should tell you something. Furthermore, in the rest of asia, anime is just as large, take South Korea or Taiwan for example (i'm sure you've never traveled there either, have you now?). Anime movies in these countries outsell Hollywood live-action movies by massive margins (just take the latest One Piece movie premiere in Japan, which has outsold the latest Harry Potter release).

And please, could you stop with the derogatory language? This club is about being respectful, proper debate, and you're lacking in proficiency at that level. I can understand that perhaps you disagree with things I say, no man is the same after all, but at least you could disagree in an educated fashion.

Also, I presume you agree with me on the fact that the main target audience in Japan for DVD and Bluray sales is the 20-30 year age bracket then? Seeing as you ddin't disagree there.
 
12-19-09, 11:41 PM

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Sorry for the late reply - had a fucking crazy past few days.

YoungVagabond said:
We should invite him. Considering it's open to everyone, there's even a marginal chance he might join.
Didn't seem too interested. But apparently he didn't know any more about what I was talking about than I did. Guess it was just the censorship and scheduling issues with Bebop, then.

YoungVagabond said:
Dude, I've been a hardcore Jazz fan since 1998. I meant that 15-10 was a good record, all things considered. With last year's disappointments, this year's injuries, and an awful 4-6 start, 5th in the West isn't a bad place to be right now.
Ah, '98. That fateful year.

Yeah, I suppose you're right - 50% more wins than losses isn't anything to be ashamed about... though nothing to brag about either.

Anyway, headed way off topic with this tangent, and I haven't really been following basketball close enough to hold my end of the conversation.
 
05-14-10, 2:46 PM

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I read the first page, but then you started to write too much and I skipped your posts, so I'm sorry if I repeat something.

So instead, they went for small bodied, giant eye, no noses 8 year-old girls, the type that look nothing like the ones in real life.[/quote said:

Dude, you are so old-fashioned... Young looking girls are the past. The current trend is the trap characters.

It's hard to write much without real data, but I have some insights that might be interesting. But first I'd like you to check the chart of the summer releases here:
http://chartfag.wordpress.com/

we have:
4 anime to little girls
3 for the whole family (well, little kids might not get hetalia),
3 toy ad anime (SD gundam included)
3 super ecchi anime
4 sport shounen
2 shoujo (one historical and one rom com)
1 yaoi
7 anime for otaku (moe girls slice of life and harems)
1 adventure shounen
6 mature anime

Now look at the ratings (the site is in portuguese, just look for the percentages)
http://www.animeblade.com.br/noticias/1273782753/
http://www.animeblade.com.br/noticias/1273182030/

Not all anime are in the research. Don't know why.

Now, the whole family anime are low budget and tend to have a lot of viewers. The anime for little girls also tend to have viewers, but more importantly, they sell stuff. I don't even need to mention the why teh toy ad anime are made. I don't think those guys are the problem, though the crisis make people have less money for toys. But that is temporary and the anime industry had problems before the crisis.

The sport shounen are sure hits and are used to sell the manga and other stuff. Kaichou wa maid-sama is a successful shoujo manga, and the anime has good ratings. It'll also sell the manga.

The adventure shounen Heroman is difficult to consider. It has ok ratings, but it doens't have manga and I don't know if they can realy profit with that.

The yaoi probably has its public that will buy it on DVD and stuff.

The mature anime have cosiderable ratings that are somewhat stable, but we can't say if that is enough to make a profit. It probably is, but it isn't enough to grow.

But I ask you to notice. Of the 10 anime for otaku (super ecchi + anime for otaku), only two are there... But some show up in the most sold DVDs...

Overall I think that everybody has space. I can't say who is making money or not witout actual data.

YV, you wrote that 2009 didn't have a single seinen-inspired anime. But K-On! is a seinen manga... Seinen doesn't mean mature, it means targeted to young men.

But I understood what you wnated to say. There were no mature seinen (to create a new category) adaptations, but there were some josei manga adaptations. And there were some manga targeted to adults, like trapeze and Aoi Bungaku (which is based in japanese literature classics and is very boring IMO). 2009 was a bad year for the world economy and its natural to focus on titles that have a better chance to make money.

The biggest problem I see is what people do with that space. While the mature anime try to make new stuff, the majority of anime are re-hashes of the same things. And I'm not only talking about the otaku harem or slice-of-life anime. How many female gunner animes are there out there? Fantasy anime that use all the cliché from the JRPGs?

CB was successful because it was different. Eva was differente to, even if it used the young boy that must pilot a mecha to save the wolrd cliché.

Nowadays I read a anime description and most of the time I notice the patterns. It's rare to see something that deviates too much.
 
05-14-10, 3:25 PM

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Among what you posted, the sports series, shows for little girls, and family stuff has stayed constant from the early 90s.

Adventure shounen has gone downhill big time, as has mature anime.

Meanwhile, "anime for sad Japanese nerds", "gay stuff", and "super creepy pervert series" have gone up significantly in production. (I refuse to use the proper terms for any of those "genres")
 
05-14-10, 7:29 PM

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The anime for otaku have gone up because they are guaranteed profit. They are few, but they spend a lot of money and they are loyal. Even the infamous Haruhi Endless 8 DVDs sold well.

I'm not sure if the original (manga adaptations don't count) adventure anime had a big space in the nineties. I can remember Escaflowne and it had mecha.
 
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