Anime & Manga News

Director of CANAAN Struggles With 'Drop by Episode 1' Manner of Audience

by dtshyk
Mar 25, 2010 11:07 PM | 76 Comments
Nikkei released an interview article with anime director Ando Masahiro. He pointed out a recent trend that the audience of anime programs tend to drop a series by the impression of the first episode. In order to reach these audience, he intentionally put excessive descriptions of the characters and the scenes.

Ando said "It's challenging to let people just watch a series. ... Nowadays, young people are surrounded by abundant amusements. They can spare time only for a couple of series. That's why most of the series are dropped only by the impression of episode 1." "It was surprising to know that the audience want a clear presentation of 'What this anime is about' in the first episode." "Super-high density and pace of the story is one of the ideas. I'm still seeking the solution to appeal to such people effectively."

Source: Nikkei BP

Akai Toshifumi (the general graphic director of "Sora no Woto") reacted to the opinions on the internet that
People won't be moved nor consented unless someone dies. Why aren't they impressed by the character's survival? It'll be an easy job to create a war anime from now on. You can make a popular anime by letting the characters kill each other!

Source: Akai's blog

20 of 76 Comments Recent Comments

Torisunanohokori said:
ShootTheBullet said:
You're entertaining yourself the wrong way!


...in Bed.

Kind of what his statement boils down to. Whether animators are artists or entertainers, they don't get to pick their audience. All they can do is work with what they have, and complaining about the viewers doesn't really help.


I honestly didn't read the director's quotes as complaints. When he says "I'm still seeking the solution", I sort of interpreted that as he wants to figure out a way to appeal to these people, not as "I don't like these ungrateful fans".

That said, I think making first episodes more and more flashy is not a good route to go down. While maybe from marketing perspective the first episodes are the most important, and to create demand for a sequel you need a good ending, I feel like the middle episodes of anime tend to sag too much. I'd rather more focus was made on them.

May 10, 2012 10:26 PM by Seabury

I don't know anime can be pretty weird about it's first episodes. Look at Garei 0's (and if you haven't you should) and as others said Haruhi's (loved it. the rest of the show disliked)

Haven't finished Canaan but it's a solid show. the first episode had plenty of mystery and action with some solid animation (which can be somewhat nonexistant in animes) the continuing episodes definitely keep up the interest but Maria is really kinda grating.

Maybe she gets better but somehow I doubt it. Her archetype (the pure hearted bimbo) pretty much stays the same until the end when they provide the hero with some huge motivation to come through and save the day followed by another dunce moment in the epilogue or something.

Jun 19, 2010 12:51 AM by thatguy

dtshyk said:

"It was surprising to know that the audience want a clear presentation of 'What this anime is about' in the first episode."


LOL. Isn't it Writing 101 to have the beginning of your story let the audience know what the blasted thing's going to be about? XP
Obviously your anime series needs a strong hook to get people interested in watching the rest of the show. It's the same with books--if the first chapter doesn't interest the readers, what reason do they have to read the next 39 chapters?

Jun 8, 2010 10:14 AM by Cho_Desu

ReaperEXE said:
I wish I dropped Canaan at episode 1...


Me too... really, this is the third stupidest thing I've ever saw

Apr 19, 2010 11:11 AM by soregashi

ReaperEXE said:
I wish I dropped Canaan at episode 1...


Lol, me too.

But I try to not judge until episode 3 or 4. :P

Mar 30, 2010 11:52 AM by Grimmm

I think the first episode was.. explosive (can't think of another word). The actions were superb and there was so much of them within just the first episode which I felt was amazing. Some might say it was overdone or over the top, but I found it very awesome.

Mar 27, 2010 2:49 AM by AlexSadist-sama

Ando Masahiro said:

"It's challenging to let people just watch a series. ... Nowadays, young people are surrounded by abundant amusements. They can spare time only for a couple of series. That's why most of the series are dropped only by the impression of episode 1." "It was surprising to know that the audience want a clear presentation of 'What this anime is about' in the first episode." "Super-high density and pace of the story is one of the ideas. I'm still seeking the solution to appeal to such people effectively."


...is it me or is that the perfect definition of about 80% of the anime viewers in MAL? I guess this is true internationally and not just in Japan.

Mar 27, 2010 2:40 AM by Ranivus

They are really going the wrong way about pulling people in. Not only do you not need people to be hooked by episode 1 because if the rest is good, people that stick with it regardless WILL spread the word if it's worth watching. Beyond that, the real draw in first episodes should be more foreboding, not flat out action or someone dying.

Mar 27, 2010 2:38 AM by vedicardi

ShootTheBullet said:
You're entertaining yourself the wrong way!


...in Bed.

Kind of what his statement boils down to. Whether animators are artists or entertainers, they don't get to pick their audience. All they can do is work with what they have, and complaining about the viewers doesn't really help.

Mar 26, 2010 9:39 PM by Torisunanohokori

ITT you're watching anime the wrong way! You are rating anime the wrong way! You're entertaining yourself the wrong way!

Mar 26, 2010 8:48 PM by ShootTheBullet

At least with the people I know, watching the first episode of a series to see if you like it is simply called "sampling" it. If you don't continue, that's not "dropping" the series after one episode, you're just not starting to watch the series because it didn't catch your interest. What exactly is so surprising about that?

Samplers work quite well, in my experience. The order I usually use to screen series is: apparent story genre, OPED, 1st episode sampler, then reviews. That last one is key due to First Episode Syndrome, much like Harushi 1st season had, where the 1st episode sucks but popular opinion is very positive.

So if it's a generic genre like a harem romance, the OPED is uninteresting and the foreshadowed events look predictable, the first episode had a terrible premise and clearly no character development was going to happen, and the reviews on MAL or the like all complain that it was completely generic.... why would I want to watch it? If it hasn't caught my interest by that point, why waste time on it?

More content is produced in a single minute around the world than any one person could consume in a lifetime. So why waste time on the boring and uninteresting when you could be searching for amazing or even life-changing things? You could watch 150 episodes of Bleach when it bores you to death, or you could join a fansubbing team and forge new friendships, or hone your art skills by producing fanart and meet new people on DeviantArt, or you could do a thousand other things that you enjoy and can personally grow from doing.

At the minimum, you could just watch something interesting.

Yeah, rating a series after 1 episode is bad behavior because you never watched it, but skipping a series because it didn't look good makes complete sense.

Mar 26, 2010 7:37 PM by Phyleron

After reading this thread I think there's a major difference between Internet watchers and Japanese natives that watch it on the TV. While the Japanese are bombarded with the same stuff over and over again, it's the exact opposite for foreigners. It seems like Internet watchers are more apt to watch a few more episodes before deciding if they want to drop it or not where as Japanese people will just flip the channel and watch whatever else is on. Kind of like how in the US all we have is American Idol and stupid CSI like shows. After a while it just becomes the same old shit we watched 4 years ago.

Mar 26, 2010 6:29 PM by DeathfireD

That's why only the 1st episode of CANAAN was good. Jackass.

Mar 26, 2010 6:00 PM by dPsychc

sbyrstall said:
AlexSadist-sama said:
Oh well, it depends. Some people give stuff chances while some don't.

ReaperEXE said:
I wish I dropped Canaan at episode 1...


I actually really liked it.
I did like episode 1, but didn't continue after that BECAUSE of what SatoriTokku said. I have only so mucht time in a day so I select certain animes to watch. It was nothing against Cannan. There was enough in it to keep me interested but not interested it enough.


Cheers! XD

Mar 26, 2010 5:59 PM by SoujimiSatori

I actually never trust the first episode since I long ago realized that they'll make the first episode extra good to hook people into watching it. By that logic, if the first episode, which is supposed to be trying really hard to be good, sucks then the show definitely should be dropped. That is, unless I have reason to believe that the first episode was just setting the stage and it will build up and improve soon.

I'm more quick to drop anime because I don't have as big of an attention span for it as I do for manga. Since I don't have the time or incentive to watch ten series a season I just watch only the series that I really love.

But sometimes I still end up watching things I don't like because I think they'll get better and they never do. ^_^;

Mar 26, 2010 5:31 PM by fdssdfdsfsf

kuroshiroi said:
TJR said:
kuroshiroi said:

I'm in the group that regrets watching past episode 1 of Canaan. Well, the only reason I even watched it was Sawashiro Miyuki so it wasn't all bad, but the anime itself was rather disappointing to say the least. It was based on a game so I guess it was to be expected.


The ball was entirely in their court though. Aside from the basic setting and character concepts, Canaan has nothing in common with the game it was based on.
Seriously? How does the game compare then, story wise?
The game has different story, where though Maria and Canaan appear, but they aren't really main characters. The main characters are rather Maria's twin sister and several other people, including Maria's dad. The basic story is that they are trying to stop a terrorsit group from poisoning people in Shibuya with that if-forgot-what-it-name-was disease.
There was a pretty good blogpost on the original games story and how it connects to Alphard and Canaan, but now I only get 404 >: Well you can still look at the game's wiki page for further info.

Mar 26, 2010 5:12 PM by SunyiNyufi

TJR said:
kuroshiroi said:

I'm in the group that regrets watching past episode 1 of Canaan. Well, the only reason I even watched it was Sawashiro Miyuki so it wasn't all bad, but the anime itself was rather disappointing to say the least. It was based on a game so I guess it was to be expected.


The ball was entirely in their court though. Aside from the basic setting and character concepts, Canaan has nothing in common with the game it was based on.
Seriously? How does the game compare then, story wise?

Mar 26, 2010 4:29 PM by kuroshiroi

Justicles said:
dtshyk said:
"I'm still seeking the solution to appeal to such people effectively."


Boobs


OMG the perfect description for bleach!

Mar 26, 2010 4:25 PM by wabowser

kuroshiroi said:

I'm in the group that regrets watching past episode 1 of Canaan. Well, the only reason I even watched it was Sawashiro Miyuki so it wasn't all bad, but the anime itself was rather disappointing to say the least. It was based on a game so I guess it was to be expected.


The ball was entirely in their court though. Aside from the basic setting and character concepts, Canaan has nothing in common with the game it was based on.

They probably expected the show to sell itself on the basis of the Type-Moon connection (which is very loose) and flashy animation. Like many Hollywood action flicks, content was underprioritized.

Mar 26, 2010 4:07 PM by TJR

Kikimaru said:
Hey guys, how about that "Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya"?

That first episode was weird, I'm not giving the rest a shot.
Looks like the worst series of the season.

*cough*


Well, I was shocked I survived the Endless Eight but the first episode wasn't that bad imo.

I never really drop an anime because I'm opinionless.. or something it that direction. I can't stand not seeing something through.

Mar 26, 2010 3:47 PM by Konataku

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