Anime & Manga News

Kara no Kyoukai Marks An Epoch: Anime Shakes Off TV Broadcasting

by dtshyk
Nov 8, 2009 8:16 AM | 18 Comments
The chief editior of AnimeAnimeJapan reported the recent trend of the anime business. Bandai Visual's decision not to air Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn on TV showed their determination to abandon the conventional strategy for the promotion of anime. The combination of the old media (theater release) with the new media (online streaming) is their solution to overcome the decline of the anime media sales.

The midnight broadcastings have been playing a indispensable role for the promotion of anime since 1990's. However, it's obscure that such late night programs have any appeal to the first time viewers. Moreover, the large amount of the programming fees paid to the TV companies has been a great burden to the anime producers. In 2000's, anime producers tried online streaming as an alternative to TV broadcasting but only saw the failures of Night Head Genesis, Wings of Rean, Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto, and Xam'd: Lost Memories. They reconfirmed the power of TV to reach the audience.

In 2008, the miraculous success of Kara no Kyoukai astonished the anime producers. The limited theater release of OVA brought about enormous profits, which well exceeded those of the major TV series. Kara no Kyoukai created a festival-like atmosphere among the audience and it was sublimated into a sense of unity. The purchase of DVD was regarded as a sort of "certificate" of the participation in the festival.

The strategy of Gundam UC is surely intended to follow Kara no Kyoukai phenomenon. Anime producers shake off TV broadcasting and try to rebuild a new business model by shuffling the order of theater release, online streaming and Blu-ray & DVD release. Nobody knows the answer, yet.

Source: Anime!Anime!

18 Comments Recent Comments

dont talk about the japanese like that

Nov 9, 2009 2:18 PM by renjikuchiki1

No freaking suprise, the japs will eat up anything Nasu puts out no matter how godawful it is...

Nov 9, 2009 12:22 AM by Dozer

I agree with Sohei.
KnK was really something special. Each movie was a story by itself, and didn't completely depend on each other because, it was still good even if one didn't know the plot.
I can't imagine how they'd pull it off with something like Gundam.

And it'd really suck if the future anime series are going to be all movies...it'd take the originality out of KnK, even though it did start all this.

Nov 8, 2009 9:07 PM by Tsukanda

I think they're missing the fact that TM has a huge fanbase and KnK is an exceptional story with far above average production values, which all contribute to its huge success. I have my doubts much else could do as well as it has in theatrical releases. Though moving away from broadcasting might be a decent move as long as they speed up the release of stuff on DVD/BD instead of six+ months after the theatrical release.

Dumping broadcasters with their idiotic censorship, schedules, crops and other issues is perfectly fine by me, but it will slow the availability of anime which is unfortunate. But I guess there will still be plenty of stuff aired to fill the holes between good releases.

Nov 8, 2009 9:05 PM by Asako

We'll start labelling major series as ONA rather than TV series. Intriguing. But I highly doubt a 26 episode theatre release...Imagine a One Piece length OVA - 400+ theatre release. Nah - waste of my money...

Nov 8, 2009 7:59 PM by TsukikageRan

this also could mean that sub par shows will end up on tv while high quality ones end up being distributed in this way. it would seem though that tv broadcasting still hold supreme when it comes to holding unto audiences. if other distribution methods are exploited, tv broadcasters may find themselves on the defensive.

Nov 8, 2009 6:46 PM by kisami

yeah stay the fuck away from shitty quality streaming (except xam'd since it was all ps3 uber quality)

Nov 8, 2009 3:33 PM by simo000

Interesting move by Bandai. I hope we get releases frequently, though. Although, I do think that KnK had so much success due to it being what it is. On the other hand, Gundam Unicorn may have some struggles, or at least that's what I make of it.

Nov 8, 2009 2:42 PM by HappyPear

Sohei said:
I believe some are not seeing the difference though.
A story such as KnK is good for theatre adaption.

Something as action packed as Gundam, I have my doubts.

Remember the fanbase. The fanbase would adore to see it on the big screen.

Nov 8, 2009 2:15 PM by ladyxzeus

Oh my. Kokutou <3

Nov 8, 2009 2:12 PM by Hakua

It doesn't matter which anime it is i guess it's all upto the strength of the contene

Nov 8, 2009 2:05 PM by dPsychc

So, will they adapt TV series to movies?

That could be interesting...better quality and animation. Good bye censorship. xD

Nov 8, 2009 1:00 PM by LaOveja

Well.. it's KnK and KnK is exceptional. Wonder if you can apply this concept to other animes THAT good..

Nov 8, 2009 12:32 PM by auraMAL

Basically what Jacut said. The KnK was already popular beforehand, no? So fans already knew that they would be getting something good, and thus, the advertising wasn't really needed. Of course, that definitely isn't the case for all the series that didn't do well that are listed above. They are all first time series names that your average fan won't hear about and thus, advertising is needed for those series to attract an audience.

Makes sense to me. I would expect the new Gundam series to also do relatively well when you compare it to the anime that failed if only because the anime carries the name "Gundam." Fans are already familiar with what will be offered and don't need special advertising for them to watch it.

Nov 8, 2009 11:48 AM by VK11

Jacut said:
Interesting point of view from the part AnimeAnime.jp's chief rditor. One should argue that Kara no Kyoukai would have worked on any support and any format (just like Unicorn will succeed in the near future since the licence is so strong and renowned), and if you add to that the failure of Xam'd for example, I'm not sure his point has been proved for now, but well, it's always good to try new things, especially in the current market. And if anime producers can gain more money instead of TV channels, I'm definitely favourable to the idea.


As long as they don't screw it up.

Although I think what applies to Kara no Kyoukai doesn't not apply to other anime. Still, this may indicate that less crappy anime will be made in the future... I hope.....

And streaming in future will be HD anyway.

Nov 8, 2009 11:36 AM by wakka9ca

Interesting point of view from the part AnimeAnime.jp's chief rditor. One should argue that Kara no Kyoukai would have worked on any support and any format (just like Unicorn will succeed in the near future since the licence is so strong and renowned), and if you add to that the failure of Xam'd for example, I'm not sure his point has been proved for now, but well, it's always good to try new things, especially in the current market. And if anime producers can gain more money instead of TV channels, I'm definitely favourable to the idea.

Nov 8, 2009 9:05 AM by Jacut

I believe some are not seeing the difference though.
A story such as KnK is good for theatre adaption.

Something as action packed as Gundam, I have my doubts.

Nov 8, 2009 9:03 AM by Sohei

Interesting choice.
So,basically this means that in some years we won't have weekly episodes ?(if this thing works for them).
Or we can have bad quality streaming.Nice.

Nov 8, 2009 9:01 AM by Blackstar7

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