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The decline of anime in North America
jalford at 1:57AM, Jan. 10, 2008
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Just to show you how BAD things are going for otaku in the States now, here's some recent news on cancellations of various anime.

*The Anime Network has officially announced its discontinuance of support for traditional round-the-clock linear broadcast. The Anime Network remains accessible via video-on-demand, Sprint mobile phone streaming service, and online.

*Hirameki International Group, Inc. has announced that it “has decided to bow out of publishing Interactive Visual Novels as of January 2, 2008.” The term “visual novel” is used in Japan to refer to a game genre that tells prose stories through interactive software. The interactiveness is limited compared to other games and usually comes in the form of synchronized graphics and sounds with story branching at selected points of the plot.

*Viz Media has confirmed its cancellation of release plans for all future domestic DVD volumes of the Mar anime series. Viz retains domestic distribution rights to the series and is reportedly re-evaluating the series' domestic availability methods.

*Reps of A.D. Vision have contacted retail partners to inform them that the Feb. issue of Newtype USA will be the last. At this time, it is unclear if this refers to the official Feb. issue, which is set to go on sale later this month, or the Mar. issue, which would go on sale in Feb. According to reports from those contacted by ADV, the company is planning to replace Newtype USA with another magazine. No information about the new magazine has been made public. Newtype USA's circulation is estimated to be similar to that of the competing Anime Insider publication, which is in the neighborhood of 50,000 to 75,000 copies per month. No North American anime magazine publishes audited circulation numbers.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:06PM
TheMidge28 at 5:06AM, Jan. 10, 2008
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so what your saying is one cable station which most citizens don't have access to is cutting back on their schedule, One company has decided to stop making interactive anime books which most people barely know about or have interest in purchasing or viewing, one anime distributor has decided to stop releasing a crappy cartoon, and one magazine producer is changing to a different magazine?

sorry but that doesn't seem too much of a decline in anime in North America.

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:23PM
isukun at 5:26AM, Jan. 10, 2008
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Gotta agree with theMidge, here. It wouldn't be the first time Viz reevaluated the release of an anime series that wasn't selling as well as they planned. With the anime network, it isn't much of a surprise they would discontinue their linear broadcast service. There are plenty of alternatives out there for people who don't want to pay that much for their anime. Plus most cable services won't pick it up anyway. I've gone through two standard cable services and both major satellite services in two different parts of the country and I've never even had access to their on-Demand service (not that I'd want it even if I did).

Hirameki is probably just too far ahead of the market. Even pornographic visual novels don't sell that well in the US, plus different cultural standards really limit the appeal of these games in this country. These games really only appeal to a small group of fans within the already niche anime market, many of which get their games from overseas, anyway.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM
Sidwarrious at 9:36AM, Jan. 10, 2008
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Though his reasons weak, the boy did have a point. Look at the increasing number of Sub only dvds being distributed in the last couple years? Geneon's collapse? I mean if Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo can't save your company nor can Hellsing Ultimate then that's doom. I know the market won't collapse because as long as anime is still made in Japan there will be fansubbers but there has been a noticeable decline in America.

And the things he listed were weak, but the weakest would fall first anyways. That's business.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:36PM
kingofsnake at 11:23AM, Jan. 10, 2008
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And yet Kung-fu movies continue to thrive stronger and stronger.

Did anyone see City of Violence? I loved all the violence…AND the urban setting!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM
Ziffy88 at 1:18PM, Jan. 10, 2008
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Go to a borders or Barnes and Nobles then tell me Japanese comics aren't selling…besides aren't the DVDs usually pretty pricey and are not really worth the price.
last edited on July 14, 2011 5:02PM
TheMidge28 at 1:46PM, Jan. 10, 2008
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kingofsnake
And yet Kung-fu movies continue to thrive stronger and stronger.

Did anyone see City of Violence? I loved all the violence…AND the urban setting!

never heard of that.
Just looked it up and that looks cool.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:23PM
jalford at 2:08PM, Jan. 10, 2008
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There's no problem with the manga business in America, but the ANIME business is in a serious decline for the last few years. Whole anime stores have shut down, as well as several anime dealers and distributors, and companies are licensing less titles lately.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:06PM
Hawk at 2:22PM, Jan. 10, 2008
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I don't have any data or percent signs to back me up, but in general it feels to me like the anime phenomenon peaked a while back and has been gently declining. TV networks don't seem so quick to snag rights to whatever anime is popular these days, and there seem to be fewer non-Japanese studios trying to emulate anime styles. In fact, I'd say that most new cartoons seem to be following a 60's or 70's design forumla lately.

If this is what's really happening, I like it. I was feeling like we were getting oversaturated with anime. I don't have a problem with the style specifically, but I just don't enjoy the irritating pacing and extreme pretentiousness that usually accompanies anime. I don't want anime to go away, I'd just like a more healthy mix is all.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
Sidwarrious at 2:34PM, Jan. 10, 2008
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I do't really agree with that Hawk, sorry. It still seems like most every new show that comes on has a rather large anime influence. That being said I don't watch many cartoons other then anime or the really good american comedy ones, but when I hang with my 5-7 year old brother and sisters I see many shows that still feel like anime. Hell, Afro Samurai is getting a second season and Boondocks is in the middle of its second season.

As for shows getting bought up and brought over, well I don't know what network you're talking about so I'm not sure what you're thinking of, but that's certainly not the case at Cartoon Network.

And even when anime was “big” it wasn't the genre that flooded the market but different titles. Yu-gi-oh, pokemon, Shaman King, when they aired they just aired ALOT of them in one day so it seemed like more then it really was.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:36PM
isukun at 7:19PM, Jan. 10, 2008
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Look at the increasing number of Sub only dvds being distributed in the last couple years? Geneon's collapse? I mean if Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo can't save your company nor can Hellsing Ultimate then that's doom.

If sub only DVDs are increasing in number, it must be such an incredibly small number of discs that I haven't even noticed. Even the series I expected to not get dubbed still have dual audio. Go back five or six years if you want a lot of sub only releases. If anything, they're still on the decline.

Geneon was losing steam steadily over the last few years. That's why they had a distrobution deal with ADV. When it fell through, they collapsed. And no, even with popular series, if you can't afford your overhead, you can't afford to keep selling your product. Also, Cowboy Bebop wasn't released by Geneon.

Whole anime stores have shut down, as well as several anime dealers and distributors, and companies are licensing less titles lately.

That's pretty odd considering most of the fansubs I've watched in the last couple of years are currently on store shelves. Most of what I've watched in the last year has already been licensed. If they're slowing down, they really aren't showing it.

Whole anime stores have shut down, as well as several anime dealers and distributors

Apart from porn, how many genre specific video stores do you see out there? It isn't really a common thing when you have so many general video stores competing with them. Also, services like Net Flix as well as televised anime and video piracy through bit torrents all cut into video sales. The actual demand for anime isn't declining, it's just being met through other venues. You also have to consider that many distributors are getting ready for the switch to HD media formats and the transition isn't cheap.

Hell, Afro Samurai is getting a second season and Boondocks is in the middle of its second season.

Afro Samurai isn't made to look like anime, it is anime.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM
Sidwarrious at 8:48PM, Jan. 10, 2008
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Afro Samurai-By what definition? Seeing as who it was co-written in its final form by Samuel Jackson and was released here in America first? Just because Gonzo does the animation? Then by the same definition Boondocks is anime for having Madhouse. Yet when I put my Season 1 on my anime shelf people bitch.

And yes, if you keep up with trends then many anime that have no real chance of making much many are being only subbed on dvd. This isn't something I think is happening, it just IS happening. Whether you have personally noticed it or not is irrelevant. And I know there are more dubs out now, but the trend IS slowly reversing. If you consider Anime News Network a somewhat prominent valued source of information and I think it's fairly well known since many anime use quotes from it on their boxes one of the writers listed this as Biggest Trend of 2007:

Expanded use of sub-only DVD releases. Technically my choice didn't start this year, but 2007 has seen more prominent sub-only DVD releases, and far more frequently, than ever before. It doesn't signal an eventual end to anime dubbing (anime in general doesn't sell well without dubs), but does show that companies are increasingly willing to take the chance that skipping a dub will impact sales less on niche titles aimed only at hard-core fans than the dub would have cost.“



You got me on Bebop, I usually lump it with Champloo for obvious reasons.

And as for the whole ”Stores bit" I know many places, mostly local comic shops, that used to sell anime, but stopped after making less and less money off of it. They now are pretty much selling off their remaining extra product for almost cheaper then they bought it for. Though they are keeping 1 copy of everything to rent at one shop.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:36PM
Ziffy88 at 9:47PM, Jan. 10, 2008
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Well has there even been a really great anime series that is setting trends in Japan or here…I mean what do we even have Naruto? It's not even that good. I tend to only like good shows. My problem with Naruto besides not killing the children is too much exposition. It's a big problem with fantasy and sci-fi.
last edited on July 14, 2011 5:02PM
Sidwarrious at 10:37PM, Jan. 10, 2008
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What? YES! Death Note for one. DN is huge like The Hoff man. It had two major motion pics and a third is in dev. Besides Naru there is Bleach. Or Sergeant Frog(*Shudders violently*). There have been tons of huge anime to come out recently. C'mon-The Meloncholy of Haruhi Suzumiya(loved that one). That's several shows to come out. OH! Luckystar as well. Hate it, but it has a HUGE following.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:36PM
lastcall at 3:17AM, Jan. 11, 2008
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Hawk
If this is what's really happening, I like it. I was feeling like we were getting oversaturated with anime. I don't have a problem with the style specifically, but I just don't enjoy the irritating pacing and extreme pretentiousness that usually accompanies anime. I don't want anime to go away, I'd just like a more healthy mix is all.

Agreed. Give me Bugs Bunny over Spike Spiegel anyday.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:27PM
TheMidge28 at 4:45AM, Jan. 11, 2008
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If there is a decrease in anime dvd sales then its because most would rather rent them once then actually own them. That is not to say there is a decline in there popularity. Also if there is an increase in sub-only anime dvd's its because a large majority of the American populace hates to read sub-titles and the distributors or whoever is in charge of the subbing production decided that it wasn't worth releasing it in its original language. Plus, I have noticed a higher production in the subbing with the hiring of more well known voice talent to do the subs. Now for the hard-core fan many prefer the fan-subs because from what I have heard the sub done is more accurate to the actual dialogue and tone, which when the corporate machine gets there hands on it to dub they go for a more wide appeal and looser translation.

All in all I don't see a decrease in anime's popularity here in the states, but rather a change in sub-production and distribution. isukun's right in that people are just finding more suitable routes to purchase and view their anime.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:23PM
kingofsnake at 6:38AM, Jan. 11, 2008
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I want them to release the new lupin series so badly
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM
Sidwarrious at 6:58AM, Jan. 11, 2008
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TheMidge28
If there is a decrease in anime dvd sales then its because most would rather rent them once then actually own them. That is not to say there is a decline in there popularity. Also if there is an increase in sub-only anime dvd's its because a large majority of the American populace hates to read sub-titles and the distributors or whoever is in charge of the subbing production decided that it wasn't worth releasing it in its original language. Plus, I have noticed a higher production in the subbing with the hiring of more well known voice talent to do the subs. Now for the hard-core fan many prefer the fan-subs because from what I have heard the sub done is more accurate to the actual dialogue and tone, which when the corporate machine gets there hands on it to dub they go for a more wide appeal and looser translation.

All in all I don't see a decrease in anime's popularity here in the states, but rather a change in sub-production and distribution. isukun's right in that people are just finding more suitable routes to purchase and view their anime.

O__o….WHAT!? Lol, Midge you are aware doing a Sub means subtitled. Right? That implies that there is NO voice talent involved.

But yeah check out ANN, in the last 5 reviews up everything has been Subbed only.

And I can't comment further because I don't really understand what you were saying.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:36PM
isukun at 7:16AM, Jan. 11, 2008
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Afro Samurai-By what definition? Seeing as who it was co-written in its final form by Samuel Jackson and was released here in America first? Just because Gonzo does the animation?

Samuel may have tweaked the translation (I only see him listed as a co-producer for the English version, though), but it's originally written by two Japanese scriptwriters, based on a Japanese manga, directed by a Japanese director, and made by a Japanese studio. Sounds pretty Japanese to me. I don't consider a dub to ever equal the “final form” of any anime. There is American money that went into the project, likely because the character has more appeal over here than in Japan, and that would explain the earlier American release. It wouldn't be the first time an American company pushed for an idea to be made into an anime and then had it released in America first.

Technically my choice didn't start this year, but 2007 has seen more prominent sub-only DVD releases, and far more frequently, than ever before.

That's BS. Like I said, go back five years and you'll find far more. Especially when companies like Bandai and the Right Stuff were pushing all their old VHS libraries to DVD you were getting box sets galore with sub only. Plus you had AnimEigo releasing limited box sets based on consumer demand with no dub tracks for Macross, Kimagure Orange Road, and Urusei Yatsura. Companies opting for sub only releases on low profile products is hardly new, either. You actually see it quite often out of companies like Viz and even Sony Pictures. It isn't something that just started this year because Media Blasters decided it wasn't worth it to dub their low profile TV series.

And as for the whole “Stores bit” I know many places, mostly local comic shops, that used to sell anime, but stopped after making less and less money off of it. They now are pretty much selling off their remaining extra product for almost cheaper then they bought it for.

I know several store in the DC area that did the same. In some cases I know the managers and they all pretty much agree that the main cause is lower priced videos at Best Buy, dedicated video retailers, and internet sites as well as cheap and easy internet rental services like net flix. There are still some stores which remain open, however, who are willing to cut costs to compete or who focus on alternative products (like models, shirts, toys, HK videos, etc). People taking their business elsewhere doesn't indicate a decline in interest or demand.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM
Sidwarrious at 7:42AM, Jan. 11, 2008
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Did you ever watch Afro? The dvd extras? They talk for an inordinate amount of time about idea swapping between the writer and Jackson.

I KNOW that. BUT with the market of dvd most things have been dubbed and we are returning to that state of having most everything being subbed again. The spiking of anime selling super well has gone down significantly. I showed you someone else saying it. Don't say it's BS when I prove you wrong with outside material. Just because something is your opinion does not make it right.

And the stores bit was still right. We know what you are saying, but the fact remains that the stores are still going under or changing format. Yes, we know that wal*mart sells anime Isu, but that doesn't change the fact that people more hardcore into the subject looking for more obscure titles will have trouble getting them now.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:36PM
Hawk at 8:45AM, Jan. 11, 2008
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I do't really agree with that Hawk, sorry. It still seems like most every new show that comes on has a rather large anime influence. That being said I don't watch many cartoons other then anime…

I guess it's pretty dependent on what we watch and thus a matter of perspective. I'm basing my opinion off of what I see happening on the Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. If you were to watch different networks that me you'd get a different impression.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
Sidwarrious at 9:38AM, Jan. 11, 2008
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Cartoon Network still has tons of shows that are anime though. DBZ is gone, but there's still Naruto, Big O, Bleach, Fullmetal Alchemist, Ben 10, Cowboy Bebop still on rare occasion, FLCL on rarer occasion, Inuyasha til we die. I think YUGIOH and it's ounterpart are gone now but im not sure but coninueing-one piece, Zatch Bell is gone now.

Anyways, there still seems to be alot.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:36PM
TheMidge28 at 9:41AM, Jan. 11, 2008
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TheMidge28
If there is a decrease in anime dvd sales then its because most would rather rent them once then actually own them. That is not to say there is a decline in there popularity. Also if there is an increase in sub-only anime dvd's its because a large majority of the American populace hates to read sub-titles and the distributors or whoever is in charge of the subbing production decided that it wasn't worth releasing it in its original language. Plus, I have noticed a higher production in the subbing with the hiring of more well known voice talent to do the subs. Now for the hard-core fan many prefer the fan-subs because from what I have heard the sub done is more accurate to the actual dialogue and tone, which when the corporate machine gets there hands on it to dub they go for a more wide appeal and looser translation.

All in all I don't see a decrease in anime's popularity here in the states, but rather a change in sub-production and distribution. isukun's right in that people are just finding more suitable routes to purchase and view their anime.

O__o….WHAT!? Lol, Midge you are aware doing a Sub means subtitled. Right? That implies that there is NO voice talent involved.

But yeah check out ANN, in the last 5 reviews up everything has been Subbed only.

And I can't comment further because I don't really understand what you were saying.

my bad, I was talking about dubbed anime.
I had confused the terms.
I suffer from being a retard.
I have seen an increase in dubbed anime being distributed with more well known voice talent. Most are being distributed by bigger companies…this is why some of these smaller companies are either changing their libraries or folding.

But all of this is to say that I don't think these different news bites are sufficient to show a decrease or decline of anime in North America.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:23PM
Ziffy88 at 9:45AM, Jan. 11, 2008
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I can see Naruto but does Death Note really have the same influence. How long have the comics been out and the anime has been released about what a year ago…what's the sales on their DVDs. Also I really think a problem with buying anime is the dubbing and the price. I don't know but a lot of their DVDs seem kind of pricey for 2 hours of entertainment with next to none extras…well that's how I remembered them from years ago. I don't really have any anime series that I'm really excited about. I kind of like Bleach and Naruto but then it just got annoying. Death note was neat and had some great moments but I just stopped watching.
last edited on July 14, 2011 5:02PM
TheMidge28 at 10:00AM, Jan. 11, 2008
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Cartoon Network still has tons of shows that are anime though. DBZ is gone, but there's still Naruto, Big O, Bleach, Fullmetal Alchemist, Ben 10, Cowboy Bebop still on rare occasion, FLCL on rarer occasion, Inuyasha til we die. I think YUGIOH and it's ounterpart are gone now but im not sure but coninueing-one piece, Zatch Bell is gone now.

Anyways, there still seems to be alot.
I agree there is still a lot of original anime being played. but I think that only shows that there is a market for it. That is why it is still being played. DBZ is still being played by the way and there is also Blood Plus and Deathnote being played late night on Fridays/Saturdays.

Anime is still quite strong in America.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:23PM
Sidwarrious at 10:05AM, Jan. 11, 2008
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Trust me, Death Note is huge. Go to a con. Hell it has the boost of being banned in China!

Thanks for helping out. I thought of DN almost as soon as I stopped the list but decided enough was enough. Shin-Chan as well too I guess.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:36PM
TheMidge28 at 10:10AM, Jan. 11, 2008
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I only started watching deathnote 3 months ago and it is freakin' amazing.
Not your average Anime.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:23PM
Sidwarrious at 10:19AM, Jan. 11, 2008
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I like it and everything-I have the 1st dvd and all the manga, but after the middle it goes downhill
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:36PM
mlai at 12:47PM, Jan. 11, 2008
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Yup after that pivotal character event in the middle of the DN series, it basically jumped the shark. Without that great character dynamic, everything became boring. I think Light got bored too, because he began taking way too many risks that a chessmaster would never take.

The only reasons he was so invincible were that he had the element of being in the dark, using methods no one could suspect/trace, and never taking risks. He threw all of that away and the second he did that, his downfall was inevitable.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
isukun at 1:01PM, Jan. 11, 2008
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Don't say it's BS when I prove you wrong with outside material. Just because something is your opinion does not make it right.

Quoting someone who you haven't named or linked on ANN doesn't really qualify as “proof” to me. Even if you had named or linked the article, it still doesn't qualify as “proof” to me. Quite honestly, I value my own opinion over those of the majority of writers on ANN.

And the stores bit was still right. We know what you are saying, but the fact remains that the stores are still going under or changing format. Yes, we know that wal*mart sells anime Isu, but that doesn't change the fact that people more hardcore into the subject looking for more obscure titles will have trouble getting them now.

I disagree. Most of the hardcore fans I know got sick of the comic shops in the DC area not having much of an anime selection and switched over to Best Buy, Suncoast, FYE, and Borders where they had a much easier time finding the obscure series they were looking for. Those that were more money conscious stuck with places like amazon where they could find just about everything and get it pretty cheap.

Also, as I said before, just because comic stores pull anime from the shelves, that doesn't mean demand for anime is declining. If you want to take arbitrary numbers, look at the registration rates at Otakon and Anime Expo for the past years. Both sell more badges every year (and Otakon didn't even sell single day badges this year AND their prices went up) and get more dealers every year.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM

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