Anime Programming in the US
Making a Living in Manga in Japan with Felipe Smith
Lost in Translation
Welp, the results are in from last week's Webcomic poll. I got a lot of submissions, so I'll just post the most common ones I got. Some of these might have NSFW content, you've been vaguely warned.
Errant Story by Michael Poe
From reader KZK:
"It's not about anime per se, but it is in manga format. It also has much better artwork than most manga (that I've read anyway, which is quite a lot). In any case it is my belief that it would make for a interesting animated show. "
Sodium Eyes by Alfred Lam
From reader Bluestreak2:
" It is a really new comic, only got started around November of 07 with 2 comics per week. It's not exclusively anime, but it is clear that the creator is a fan."
Mistakes of Youth by "Wildarmsheero"
From reader Barry R:
"Pretty much just a running commentary on anime, but I do appreciate a lot of the opinion."
I believe this one appeared on the back page of the first issue of Otaku USA magazine (and I've been told the author hates my guts, which is common).
No Need for Bushido by Alex Kolesar and Joe Kovell
From reader Ian S:
"Don't let the rather cheesy parody title fool you, once the comic gets going (about 20 strips in or so), the writing gets really good, and the art . . . well it takes a bit longer, but eventually it gets quite pretty. Once it gets up to speed, great writing, quirky humor, surprisingly likeable characters, and a lot of anachronisms make this one of (imho) the best comics on the net."
Thanks to those who wrote in with their suggestions, and a mild scowl to everyone who wrote in saying "this has nothing to do with anime but this is my favorite webcomic!", especially the people who wrote in praising Dominic Deegan. Dominic Deegan, seriously. Good lord, people.
Do you have to be a fan to work in the US anime industry? How many people in the anime industry are fans? The majority? Is it expected that if you work at an anime company you are a fan?
You certainly don't have to be a fan, but if you appear at public events and work in the industry, you damn well better act like it.
There are a lot of fans in the industry; some of the biggest anime fans I can think of. People like Lance Heiskell at Funimation and voice actor Greg Ayres are two of the most enthusiastic and vocal fans I can think of. ADV was started by superfans David Williams and Matt Greenfield. At every level of these companies I've had exposure to, there are fans who incidentally also had the right qualities for the job they're doing. I couldn't say it's a "majority" because I don't have any numbers for you, but most of the people I work with directly inside the industry are certainly fans (then again, I usually deal with PR and marketing people, who were hired partially because they know how to deal with fans, which often includes behaving like one).
But then there are a lot of folks who aren't fans, and that they work with anime for a living is coincidental. Smart companies hire people with the right skills, not simply because they like Japanese cartoons a whole lot. And those people tend to not really show up in public to things like conventions, nor do they deal directly with the fans. The reason is simple: fans want to know that the people handling their favorite shows are also fans. This demand can be suffocating at times, and often unreasonable; I've seen some fans behave as though if the company rep they're talking to isn't a superfan, they must be an incompetent greedy shill who's going to ruin their anime. Sometimes, I've seen incredibly incendiary responses from fans online when they detect that the company rep isn't a fan; it inspires anger.
The result is that while most every company rep you talk to will come across like they love this stuff as much as you do, the truth is that for a lot of these guys, it's just a job. They don't watch anime for fun, they watch it for work. They talk about the show knowledgably not because they're huge fans, but because it's part of their job to be familiar with the product. There isn't anything at all wrong with that, no matter how much some fans might complain about it. I can't get behind the reasoning that it's always better to hire someone who really loves anime to manage a business rather than someone with really great business sense who's ambivalent toward the product but dedicated to selling it. I suppose ideally you'd have both, but I'm not certain how common people like that are.
I love this guy!
just got 2 say it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here's last week's question:
First, from "Squeegey Bechenheim":
I have watched many anime series, and the thing is, I really haven't ever watched one that I didn't think was worth watching. Not yet, at least. I have watched a few that took a little while to start off, but I watched those until the end. Another thing to note I suppose would be that most of these series have the normal 24-26 episode range that I think is the best length to have a great story in an anime. The number of episodes in a series may effect if i watch it or not, I think the longest series I watched all the episodes from start to finish was about a 50 episodes anime. For instance I have been wanting to watch Bleach and Naruto all the way through as I never really watched them that much, but I am overwhelmed by their sheer amount of episodes that I have been holding off for later.
I have stopped watching a couple series about half way through, though. With those, I was watching the episodes real slow, maybe one every day or so, and I just wanted to watch something else and come back to them, because I do plan on finishing them. I'm not sure how other people choose what animes to watch, but I have a list, and if I read about an anime and find it sounds interesting, or if someone recommends it to me, I put the anime on my list. Then, when I want to watch a new anime, I just randomly choose one from my list, or sometimes I just watch them even if they aren't on there. I don't think I'll ever finish the list, it's got 100+ series on it and I am always adding more. Maybe I have just been lucky enough to so far not start watching any animes that I haven't liked. Or maybe I just enjoy a broader range of content. But in the end I will probably watch the entire series to determine if it is worth watching or not.
From BJ Waters: