Anime & Manga News

Japanese Anime Producers Realize They Released Excessive Titles

by dtshyk
Mar 23, 2009 12:24 AM | 74 Comments
According to Mainichi Online, the number of visitors to Tokyo International Anime Fair 2009 were 130,000, which was the largest since its start in 2002. The event itself was successful, but the anime producers share a sense of crisis. The main concern is that the sales of anime DVD have reached the ceiling.

Here is the graph of the anime DVD sales in Japan between 1997 to 2008.

Created by dtshyk based on JVA data
The number in 2008 is the sum of DVD and BD sales.


The gap between the sales of successful and failed titles are increasingly large. In 2008, the sales of some successful titles were more than 100,000 copies per volume but the failed titles were sold only a few thousands or less. The anime producers regretted that they had been blinded by the competition and had released excessive number of titles. The number of titles to be aired this spring will be decreased by 30% compared to the last year.

Source: Mainichi
Source: AV Watch

Ref. TV Anime DVD Total Sales Ranking for 2008 (the total sales of the first volume)

20 of 74 Comments Recent Comments

Surefire way to make any anime profitable (this should be applied to all future shows to ensure that they sell regardless of an oversaturation of the market):

-Add a new female character to your show
-Depending on which direction you believe the fetishists in your target audience lean, either make her 19-22 years of age with enormous breasts and glasses, or make her eleven. Her choice of dress and ultimate design is up to you but should stay true to the fetish you are targeting and the overall look of your series
-This character, while not having any importance or relation to the other characters or the plot, will show up once an episode, prefereably in a very "random" moment
-When she does, she will say four things:
1. A somewhat ditzy, airy and offhand comment about the current situation taking place in the show as of her arrival
2. Something vaugely and unintentionally sexual
3. Something vauge and seemingly unrelated that later turns out to be tangential to or expositional of what is about to happen in the story very soon
4. A Japanese or internet pop culture reference
-After fulfilling these purposes you are free to have her exit the scene. You may choose to give her a catch phrase to do so with.
-Merchandise, merchandise, merchandise

Mar 25, 2009 11:15 AM by SenzuriChampion

gonna go ahead and agree with the above post

Mar 24, 2009 8:22 PM by SenzuriChampion

I would have bought Kaiba. Just send it across the sea with some fansubs attached. Preferably in a pretty box set.

Mar 24, 2009 8:11 PM by naikou

[22:43] ope2002: i think what little chance there was of kaiba being released here just dropped
[22:43] SciNsboy: that's too bad, why's that?
[22:43] ope2002: http://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=74567
[22:44] ope2002: apparently there were 91 vl.1 dvds released in japan last year
[22:44] ope2002: they list the top 65, then the ones that didn't even rank
[22:44] ope2002: that would be kaiba
[22:45] SciNsboy: that's really fucking funny
[22:45] ope2002: i knew it wasn't popular, but man
[22:45] SciNsboy: that's really fucking funny
[22:47] SciNsboy: not that kaiba did so poorly so much as the anime industry evaluating itself as a whole like that because it means that everything really does admittedly boil down to business and marketing and there's no such thing as being independant, artistically or financially
[22:47] ope2002: that too
[22:47] SciNsboy: haha everyone should be ashamed

Mar 24, 2009 7:48 PM by SenzuriChampion

zeroc0ol said:
Cost Vs Profit margin


Animation is a business. You figure it out.

Mar 24, 2009 6:07 PM by Torisunanohokori

If it's not saying too much, I would like to know IF, in 2010, or in Winter 2009, the series that are going to be dropped, discontinued or not even created are the ones that already have one season released and a second season in "production" or ones that already have a Second season planned but still in development...

Because if that happens, I think that the sales will lower even more...

But, it's just my assumption ^__^

And, if they start to lower the number of released Anime series, where are they going to get their basis? On the number of Manga-books sold for that volume? On the number of the previous seasons revenues? Cost Vs Profit margin?

Mar 24, 2009 5:59 PM by zeroc0ol

Protoculture said:
Neverender said:
well then spring better be a fucking good season


i hope so too


I'm going to put my money on mediocre xD
But we can still hope.

Mar 24, 2009 5:08 PM by Bluesnow

Neverender said:
well then spring better be a fucking good season


i hope so too

Mar 24, 2009 2:03 AM by Corpse69

Well, Japan has a high GDP so obviously cost is much higher too, so Japanese consider paying 5000 yen for a DVD normal... I think.

I also agree with the fansub thing. It's good that companies like Gonzo realised this and is streaming anime for free, but I'd still like a pay-to-view service offering HD streaming for a reasonable price.

Mar 24, 2009 1:57 AM by BasakaNZ

windy said:
Ketuekigami said:
audiodoll said:
if they're worried about their dvds not selling, maybe they should do something about the ridiculous prices. r2 anime dvds are the biggest ripoffs ever.
I dont think the buyers cared since R2 sold the second most :/
But that will bring up the point that "they will cut back on the series that dont sell well and only produce what they know is a sure thing like R2" leaving the risky yet sometimes unbelievably amazing series's out.
i think she meant r2 as in the region, not code geass r2

If that's what she meant then my bad :X
But even so, I still hold my original stance about Jap consumers not paying much mind to the price most of the time... At least for the series they know.

@just-away
And 100% agree with you ... but the problem with contributing with the industry in other places is different then in Jap mostly because of the fansubbing element. For those who cant read/understand Jap, fansubbing and streaming/torrenting is the only way for us to obtain alot of these series in a way that allows us to watch and understand. In that element anime is respectively different then VNs since you can buy the original VN (which I do) and have the ability to translate it, but with anime thats not an option.

Mar 24, 2009 12:28 AM by Ketuekigami

Ketuekigami said:
audiodoll said:
if they're worried about their dvds not selling, maybe they should do something about the ridiculous prices. r2 anime dvds are the biggest ripoffs ever.
I dont think the buyers cared since R2 sold the second most :/
But that will bring up the point that "they will cut back on the series that dont sell well and only produce what they know is a sure thing like R2" leaving the risky yet sometimes unbelievably amazing series's out.
i think she meant r2 as in the region, not code geass r2

Mar 24, 2009 12:08 AM by windy

On the contrary, it's the dumb moe shit that sells. If companies are worried about their DVD sales, then Bluesnow is right, anime studios will be taking less risks on creative and original shows like Kaiba.
ghostphace said:
windy said:
finally. plz stop making dumb moe harem shit so people can retrain themselves to recognize good anime when they see it and not let anime like kaiji and real drive not even make the charts while strike witches and kanokon do.

that is one hell of a runon, but i'm too tired to fix it.


On the contrary, it's the dumb moe shit that sells. If companies are worried about their DVD sales, then Bluesnow is right, anime studios will be taking less risks on creative and original shows like Kaiba.


Well I think it's a matter of preference(Windy's first comment) but you also have to realize that the general audience (Japan&Out) that watches shows like as you mentioned Kaiji and Real Drive are the ones who just stream without buying. If you want to blame lack of sales on something, blame it on the general demographic that watches your preferred genre.
On the otherhand, Otaku culture in japan has really developed a sense of creative support and loyalty. The people know that they have to contribute to the business if they want their favorite stuff to continue being made. It is definitely a fact that within the Otakus in Japan, consumerism of products/related products of an anime/VN is part of the culture while DLing media isn't taken in too well.
Honestly unless you actually contribute to sales, no one has the right to talk any shit about their favorites not selling (I'm not saying you are).

Pretty much, the freedom and ease of accesibility of media over the internet is killin both viewship and sales of anime, and everyone knows that the problem is present in pretty much all media. Honestly I don't mind more series being made myself because it's just more stuff to possibily get into.

Mar 23, 2009 11:35 PM by just-away

audiodoll said:
if they're worried about their dvds not selling, maybe they should do something about the ridiculous prices. r2 anime dvds are the biggest ripoffs ever.
I dont think the buyers cared since R2 sold the second most :/
But that will bring up the point that "they will cut back on the series that dont sell well and only produce what they know is a sure thing like R2" leaving the risky yet sometimes unbelievably amazing series's out.

Mar 23, 2009 10:42 PM by Ketuekigami

if they're worried about their dvds not selling, maybe they should do something about the ridiculous prices. r2 anime dvds are the biggest ripoffs ever.

Mar 23, 2009 9:43 PM by ufufufu

This is both good news and bad news depending on where you stand.

For anime producers, it is definitely good news.

For the seiyuu, this is bad news because lesser titles means lesser work and lesser work means lesser salary. In some cases, some seiyuu may end up unemployed because there will be a reduction in the number of animes to be released. Quality over quantity tend to mean reducing employees. Excessive titles naturally mean more employment available.

As for the general public such as myself, I think it doesn't matter. Excessive titles mean a bigger variety to choose from, whereas limited number of titles means lesser choices to pick. Thus, I think excessive titles is actually beneficial to both the anime and manga community, as well as the VAs themselves. However, it does harm to the profits of the anime producers, obviously.

Mar 23, 2009 9:08 PM by Kira01

Rebella said:
Quality over quantity<3

Mar 23, 2009 8:59 PM by kizu

I thought Kaiji was dirt cheap and didn't need huge numbers to make a profit? It's still a fucking shame though since it was awesome.

Mar 23, 2009 6:33 PM by kuroshiroi

Keira said:
Rebella said:
Quality over quantity<3


I'm honestly doubtful. It's understandable, no doubt, as the bottomline has always been business. But good-selling anime doesn't necessarily equal quality anime. In fact, it's quite the contrary. The treasures are usually found at the rubble of the pile or at the middle, as they do not contain the typical mainstream elements.


You said it. I'd like them to get rid of the moe harem slurry, but guess which genre gets the most sales? Hint:To-Love is in the 10,000s.

Well, I've got enough on my OH/PtW/PtR lists to hold me over for a few years until the recession stops and they start making good anime again (in the event of a total moe-ltdown). The biggest downside (to me) is that Kaiji's low sales plus the lower number of seasonal slots means that my chances of getting a Ten and/or 20CB anime are virtually nil.

Mar 23, 2009 6:25 PM by Torisunanohokori

It's sad how moe has such a negative connotation these days...

Mar 23, 2009 5:31 PM by Yuunagi

Actually one thing came to my mind... What if they actually make good Anime with Moe Stuff and the random crap but that ends to be at the same time a good anime that most of the viewers can enjoy? Less money, you will need to be less specific in whom you want to target your anime. On the other hand generalization usually ends up bad.

Mar 23, 2009 5:31 PM by Static