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Is popularity worth it? Balancing quality and quantity.

#1
Feb 16, 1:14 PM
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Popularity in the anime industry, like anywhere else, can certainly be a boon. Increased sponsorship and investment leading to financial security and creative freedom; praise from casual fans and experienced critics? Seems like a no-brainer.

But popularity also attracts... unsavory characters to the playing field. And in the pursuit of popularity, what is lost in the creative process?

And what even is popularity anyway? Is it just about the numbers? Is it somewhere in between being known by the many and being understood by the few? What factors go into how popular a series is?

Am I devoting way too much thought to this? Probably...


Edit: I think we can all agree that ideally creators should pursue both quality and popularity, but what exactly does that mean?
Modified by Camus482, Feb 25, 7:42 AM
 
#2
Feb 16, 1:18 PM

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I guess the more popular you are,the more you are going to attract people that are into you just because of your fame.At some point it’s going to spiral out of control and you’re probably going to find yourself entangled in a multitude of relationships that you simply do not care about.Well at least that’s my interpretation of it,I’ve never been a popular person myself in anything,so take it with a grain of salt.
 
#3
Feb 16, 1:28 PM

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Popularity is bad when the author doesn't have the willpower to pursue his vision. When he submits to the fans.

If you don't particularly care about money or pleasing everybody then gaining popularity should be fine.
Well, at least without bringing toxic fans into the equation.
 
#4
Feb 16, 7:47 PM
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Missaliensan said:
I guess the more popular you are,the more you are going to attract people that are into you just because of your fame.At some point it’s going to spiral out of control and you’re probably going to find yourself entangled in a multitude of relationships that you simply do not care about.Well at least that’s my interpretation of it,I’ve never been a popular person myself in anything,so take it with a grain of salt.


That makes sense. For me, it's like if I owned a restaurant that suddenly blew up. At some point, I wouldn't be able to take care of all my customers as well as I used to, and a lot of newbies might crowd out the regulars.

Popularity is definitely important, but I wonder if there are ways to make sure things don't get out of hand...
 
#5
Feb 16, 7:52 PM
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midascruzer said:
Popularity is bad when the author doesn't have the willpower to pursue his vision. When he submits to the fans.

If you don't particularly care about money or pleasing everybody then gaining popularity should be fine.
Well, at least without bringing toxic fans into the equation.


Agreed. Fan input is important, but you should always try to create something unique to you.

And seriously... It's gonna be really important going forward for all of us to cultivate more civility in the anime community.
 
#6
Feb 17, 12:33 AM

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Yes it is. The more popular a series is, the more content I'll get. It's important.
 
#7
Feb 17, 12:37 AM

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Most of the time, when an anime is popular, it has more freedom to explore and create things.


On the other hand, an anime not popular gets cancelled.


Yes for sure sometimes an anime can get bad because of popularity but everything has a cost I guess
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#8
Feb 17, 6:09 PM
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Shicchi said:
Yes it is. The more popular a series is, the more content I'll get. It's important.


True that. But I also feel like the more popular a series, the more the creator is influenced by external factors. This might lead to the creator to produce content below their usual standards.

e.g. bad spin-offs and adaptations, rushed content, etc etc.
 
#9
Feb 17, 6:14 PM
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AnimeSuckABit said:
Most of the time, when an anime is popular, it has more freedom to explore and create things.


On the other hand, an anime not popular gets cancelled.


Yes for sure sometimes an anime can get bad because of popularity but everything has a cost I guess


Agreed. Popularity is truly a double-edged sword. It can generate financial security for the creator, but it also imposes financial pressures on the creator as well. Money can finance the creative process, but it may also drive the said process in bad directions.
 
Feb 17, 6:36 PM

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I won't say that popularity necessarily harms the creative process in itself, but there are two major ways it can screw over art.

When popularity leads to external financial investment and control, the artistic merit of a work will, almost without exception, get screwed. It's the reason so many film adaptations (and Hollywood productions in general, really) are drab and awful; a producer or some other higher-up with no real artistic talent or vision puts so much money into a film, they decide it's up to them, not the artists, what the end result should be. And what the end result usually ends up as is fucking garbage. It's why I don't watch movies, at least not often.

The other potential problem with popularity is that it feeds the artist's ego. An artist who believes they are already great will not improve.
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Feb 17, 6:41 PM
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Popularity in manga fades, most mangaka know not to just rely on that just to keep their series going
 
Feb 17, 7:03 PM

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Camus482 said:
Shicchi said:
Yes it is. The more popular a series is, the more content I'll get. It's important.


True that. But I also feel like the more popular a series, the more the creator is influenced by external factors. This might lead to the creator to produce content below their usual standards.

e.g. bad spin-offs and adaptations, rushed content, etc etc.

That possibility is unfortunate yeah, however I prefer that over not getting any content ever again. I believe, popular series should have just milk their popularity and keep making content for fans.
As long as the characters are not ruined/act out of character, I'm good.
I can live off fanwork, but canon will always much better.
Boruto is a mistake though. They should have just make movies or spin-offs of Naruto doing Hokage work, etc. Or a spin-off about the Village of Sand (sorry I forgot the name of Gaara's village).
Prince of Tennis is one that I think doing it right. The main series is finished, but the author decided to continue the story. There are plenty of room for spin-off as well as continuation. The team already made spin-offs and movies and stage plays, even character songs. It's huge. And that's the way I like it best ;D
 
Feb 17, 7:13 PM

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Popularity is good but some author doesn't have the ability to handle it. Choose to stick what you are good at or what people want? Quality over quantity? Great author know how to end their series properly like Assassination Classroom. It remains at the top of the Shonen Jump ranking till the end. We know how the series is gonna end since the beginning and that's exactly how it ends. The author could easily let Koro-sensei live so he can continue the series indefinitely but there's no point.
Modified by Kaiser-chan, Feb 17, 7:17 PM
 
Feb 17, 7:27 PM
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InkSpider said:
I won't say that popularity necessarily harms the creative process in itself, but there are two major ways it can screw over art.

When popularity leads to external financial investment and control, the artistic merit of a work will, almost without exception, get screwed. It's the reason so many film adaptations (and Hollywood productions in general, really) are drab and awful; a producer or some other higher-up with no real artistic talent or vision puts so much money into a film, they decide it's up to them, not the artists, what the end result should be. And what the end result usually ends up as is fucking garbage. It's why I don't watch movies, at least not often.

The other potential problem with popularity is that it feeds the artist's ego. An artist who believes they are already great will not improve.


Well said. I guess we'll just have to hope for and work towards a system where we curtail the involvement of bad actors + encourage constant artistic growth.
 
Feb 17, 7:36 PM
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Shicchi said:
Camus482 said:


True that. But I also feel like the more popular a series, the more the creator is influenced by external factors. This might lead to the creator to produce content below their usual standards.

e.g. bad spin-offs and adaptations, rushed content, etc etc.

That possibility is unfortunate yeah, however I prefer that over not getting any content ever again. I believe, popular series should have just milk their popularity and keep making content for fans.
As long as the characters are not ruined/act out of character, I'm good.
I can live off fanwork, but canon will always much better.
Boruto is a mistake though. They should have just make movies or spin-offs of Naruto doing Hokage work, etc. Or a spin-off about the Village of Sand (sorry I forgot the name of Gaara's village).
Prince of Tennis is one that I think doing it right. The main series is finished, but the author decided to continue the story. There are plenty of room for spin-off as well as continuation. The team already made spin-offs and movies and stage plays, even character songs. It's huge. And that's the way I like it best ;D


Gotcha. So you place a premium on quantity, as long as quality standards are maintained? I can respect that.

Thanks for sharing :)
 
Feb 18, 5:36 AM
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Gotta respect creators who, in spite of demand and popularity, stick it their vision. I respect creators who know when to end a story without giving in to the temptation of milking the property. I personally prefer shorter series because of this.

Then again, there have been series that have mostly maintained a level quality even after years worth of episodes and arcs. I have no problem with that personally. But that’s rare, I think. And even the best long-running anime series have had some less than stellar episodes and arcs.
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Feb 18, 5:57 AM
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rommelcedric said:
Gotta respect creators who, in spite of demand and popularity, stick it their vision. I respect creators who know when to end a story without giving in to the temptation of milking the property. I personally prefer shorter series because of this.

Then again, there have been series that have mostly maintained a level quality even after years worth of episodes and arcs. I have no problem with that personally. But that’s rare, I think. And even the best long-running anime series have had some less than stellar episodes and arcs.


Yup yup. I was talking with Shicchi ^^^, and while they put a little more emphasis on quantity produced, I personally am probably more like you. I'd prefer to have less content wherein the creator puts everything they have into what they publish. More canon material, alternate adaptations, movies and spin-offs are nice, but I'd also be okay without them.
 
Feb 19, 8:09 AM

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Popularity is good when there is quality. No series becomes popular without quality. It is literally impossible for a show to lack quality unless you have a toxic fanbase.

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Feb 19, 8:13 AM

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Obviously it is, if something is popular that means that a lot people have enjoyed it.
Quality is subjective anyways one persons trash is anothers treasure.
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Feb 25, 7:18 AM
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Nurguburu said:
Popularity is good when there is quality. No series becomes popular without quality. It is literally impossible for a show to lack quality unless you have a toxic fanbase.



I agree with popularity being a boon when it's predicated by quality, but the second thing you said struck me as a bit weird... lol

"No series becomes popular without quality."

It feels like you're suggesting that "quality" is some all-or-nothing phenomenon. It'd probably be better to say that "no series becomes popular without *at least some* quality." We don't just have 0's and 10's on MAL, after all. There are numbers in between.

For example, as a thought experiment, what if we had a situation where an anime with a community rating of 8.7 was less popular than anime with a rating of 7.9? With a gap that large, we can safely assume that there is a significant difference in quality, and yet why is the lower-quality series more popular?

That's the sort of question we're trying to answer in this thread.
 
Feb 25, 7:29 AM
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Xstasy said:
Obviously it is, if something is popular that means that a lot people have enjoyed it.
Quality is subjective anyways one persons trash is anothers treasure.


lol you haven't read through this thread at all, have you?

"If something is popular that means that a lot of people have enjoyed it."

^^^I mean, I guess. But isn't there more to a show's popularity than how much the audience likes it? Advertising and promotion comes into play. The genre and premise of the series also factor in (e.g. more niche anime, despite how good they may be, often attract less viewers). And lastly, pure random luck also counts for a lot.

But what irked me more is the fact that you took things purely in a subjective relativistic way.

"Quality is subjective anyways one persons trash is anothers treasure."

^^^Are you sure that that's the argument you want to be making? That everything is of equal merit, and that there are no objective differences between creative content? I'm not saying that personal enjoyment isn't important. It totally is. But to suggest that quality can't also be defined by communal consensus and general standards rubs me the wrong way.
 
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