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NEWS: Producer: No Square-Enix Anime Lost Money in 8 Years


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minakichan



Joined: 12 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:34 am Reply with quote
He seems to be someone in the industry who actually understands the customers and fanbases too.
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LKK



Joined: 31 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:52 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Square Enix has made about 30 titles in the last eight years, but not a single one lost money for Square Enix.

That statement might be true for Square Enix itself. But I find it hard to believe that it's true for all of Square Enix's partners on those 30 anime titles. Zombie-Loan comes to mind as a possible money-loser.


Last edited by LKK on Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:52 am Reply with quote
I wonder though, while "have not lost money" is always good.. how much profit is made? I think from overall sales charts that I've seen that most productions simply set their goal of breaking even.

(It might sound sad, but it's not bad considering that it means everyone's salaries and wages are paid for, loans paid off, so people can continue to still have a job.)

Quote:
In addition, the publishers have to pay the sponsoring fee for the timeslot, which can cost about 50 million yen (US$560,000) for a late-night timeslot on five to seven stations for two cours (six months). However, sponsoring a timeslot on UHF stations cost about half of that.

Wow, it makes me wonder if it's even worth it at all, especially for smaller, more niche shows, to bother with airing them on TV, given that ratings (viewership) for practically all late night shows are extremely low in the first place.

Quote:
.. After Fullmetal Alchemist aired, Fullmetal Alchemist and Naruto were among the top-selling comics in America. However, their American sales were about 1/20th to 1/10th the size of their Japanese sales.

Taguchi explained that the first reason for this difference is the higher price of overseas manga due to smaller print runs. His second reason is the relative lower amounts of cash that children have. The third reason is geographics — Taguchi said that a typical Tokyo resident can reach about three bookstores by bicycle, but children overseas have to go to a shopping mall on weekends with their parents. As a result, TV anime is extremely popular among many people, but not as many actually buy manga.


The much higher price in the US for manga certainly dissuades people. Buying manga is more expensive than buying anime! But I haven't though about the accessibility issue. It makes sense that you're more likely to buy manga when you have cheap manga easily within walking distance around you.
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mdo7



Joined: 23 May 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:54 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Taguchi noted that Japan Expo in Paris and Comic-Con International in San Diego each attracted over 100,000 people every July. However, he also said that he thinks that comics as a business is not faring well overseas.


I think it's dong way better then what he think. I have notice that manga are doing a good job in US probably near the same level as in Japan.

Quote:
Taguchi noted that Shueisha, Shogakukan, Kadokawa Shoten, and Square Enix announced at last month's Tokyo Game Show that they will distribute manga on Sony's PlayStation Network for Japanese PlayStation Portable consoles. Taguchi thinks that similar distribution methods will lower the barrier of ownership in places without bookstores in Europe and America.


I think people in US will probably get more manga online then going to the bookstore. Sometime, I couldn't find the manga I want because they sold the last copy. So, I think people in US would probably buy manga by digital distribution then buying the hard copy.

I got another idea Taguichi. Since Square Enix has acquire Eido Interactives, why don't you follow Microsoft and turn these American game into anime anthologies:

Tomb Raider-you could have one of the shorts using Crystal tool Engine or FF7: advent Children graphic and give Lara a nice design. Make sure you get Studio 4C, Madhouse, GONZO, BONES, and Sunrise to get involved also.
Deus Ex-that game has "make me into a anime"

That's how you can reach out to your western fan. A lot of people are excited about Halo Legends, and EA's Dante's Inferno anime. Just follow suit.
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omoikane



Joined: 03 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:10 am Reply with quote
configspace wrote:

Wow, it makes me wonder if it's even worth it at all, especially for smaller, more niche shows, to bother with airing them on TV, given that ratings (viewership) for practically all late night shows are extremely low in the first place.

Did you read the Saki example in the article? Seems to answer this question resoundingly in the positive direction. And Saki is quite niche if you didn't know.

But yeah, this is coming from a cross-media marketing perspective. The story is less cut and dry from some of the other producers.
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TatsuGero23



Joined: 18 Nov 2008
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Location: Sniper Island, USA (It's in your heart!)

PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:30 am Reply with quote
Another fish analogy I like to think of is while Japan has a large lake to fish in; international markets has an ocean, and even less fish. So I can see why, at the least, Square has never lost money on their anime ventures.

The geological analysis makes a lot of sense. In japan its probably easy just to walk to a store or on the way back from somewhere to pick up manga. We have to hit up big brand bookstores for the best odds of finding manga. Local comic and book stores may carry a handful but usually all you can get consistently are Anthology sets like Shonen Jump or Shojo Beats monthly books.

And I'm sure Taguchi's opinion of the US manga market is more based on actual number comparision rather then ratio or what not. And the US is different since our anime is drastically cheaper then Japan's so when you compare collections of an anime and its manga counterpart, it'll always be cheaper or slightly cheaper to have the anime most of the time depending on the series and series run. But in japan, its generally the opposite.

The series where anime cost more then manga are usually big series like DBZ, Naruto, or Inuyasha; each running beyond other series' 26 some episodes. Like for DB & DBZ you have about 42 volumes that for simplicity sake are around $9 with tax. Thats around $378. If the DVD sets average $40, you look at about $520+. But that's still way cheaper compared to Japan. Man we are spoiled a bit. Yeah for us.
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BleuVII



Joined: 19 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:41 am Reply with quote
Hmm... this was a really interesting article. I think another good example is Soul Eater. Before the anime, it was basically unheard of. Now, you can find it in every single store.

But Square-Enix is a market leader for a good reason. A lot of people in the USA might not realize that their games are actually only a percentage of their business; they do a lot of publishing too.

The one thing I wonder about which the article didn't address was DVD sales. Or would profits from those sales go to other companies?
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Tyrenol



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:50 am Reply with quote
This guy mentioned the anime Saki. (I thought it was pretty good for a "quota" title until Kyoutarou had been treated poorly. So I'm convinced that people like him hate blonde guys.)

And also: Just because you see a bunch of people dancing in the streets to some anime chick does NOT a hit anime title in the West make.
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neocloud9



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:14 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
the fujoshi anime Kuroshitsuji


Haha, that's a fun way to describe it. There are a lot of male fans out there, too. Anime hyper

But I think what he said about manga sales in the US rings true. Manga's just more convenient to purchase in Japan...
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mglittlerobin



Joined: 28 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:40 pm Reply with quote
Tyrenol wrote:
This guy mentioned the anime Saki. (I thought it was pretty good for a "quota" title until Kyoutarou had been treated poorly. So I'm convinced that people like him hate blonde guys.)

And also: Just because you see a bunch of people dancing in the streets to some anime chick does NOT a hit anime title in the West make.


Indeed, One Piece is one of the most illegally downloaded animes and it's not selling like hotcakes and it's "popular" by those standards.
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:28 pm Reply with quote
omoikane wrote:
configspace wrote:

Wow, it makes me wonder if it's even worth it at all, especially for smaller, more niche shows, to bother with airing them on TV, given that ratings (viewership) for practically all late night shows are extremely low in the first place.

Did you read the Saki example in the article? Seems to answer this question resoundingly in the positive direction. And Saki is quite niche if you didn't know.

But yeah, this is coming from a cross-media marketing perspective. The story is less cut and dry from some of the other producers.


Well the only thing you can derive from that is exactly what he said: after Saki aired, they got increased manga sales.

But I wonder that if it's just a matter of exposure, that streaming would be a more viable alternative so that you don't have such massive expenditures to get them on TV, especially for other titles that don't sell well in the first place, or don't have manga.

So I don't think you can extrapolate anything from Saki's ratings or TV ratings in general for other shows. Example for one week from Kanto (larger Tokyo) area:
Code:

Ratings for the week of September 7 - 13:

18.3%(16.8%) 09/13 18:30-19:00 CX* Sazae-san
13.1%(11.8%) 09/13 18:00-18:30 CX* Chibi Maruko-chan
11.2%(12.0%) 09/11 19:00-19:54 EX* Doraemon
11.2%(11.1%) 09/13 *9:30-10:00 CX* One Piece
*9.1%(*9.3%) 09/13 *9:00-*9:30 CX* Dragon Ball Kai
*8.7%(*8.4%) 09/12 18:00-18:30 NTV Detective Conan
*8.0%(*6.8%) 09/10 19:00-19:30 TX* Pokemon DP
*7.6%(*7.2%) 09/13 *8:30-*9:00 EX* Fresh PreCure!
*5.7%(*4.3%) 09/10 19:30-19:57 TX* NARUTO Shippuden
*5.6%(*4.8%) 09/07 19:00-19:28 TX* Lilo & Stitch
-------------------------------
*5.1%(*5.2%) 09/09 19:26-19:55 TX* Inazuma Eleven
*4.9%(*5.1%) 09/13 *7:00-*7:30 NTV Yatterman
*4.9%(*4.9%) 09/09 19:00-19:26 TX* Mainichi Kaa-san
*4.7%(*4.5%) 09/12 11:20-11:45 EX* Atashin'chi
*3.9%(*4.3%) 09/12 *8:30-*9:00 TX* Oha Coliseum
*3.8%(*4.3%) 09/12 10:00-10:30 TX* Keroro Gunsou
*3.8%(*2.9%) 09/07 19:28-19:54 TX* Hikaru no Go Selection (End)
*3.6%(*3.6%) 09/13 22:54-23:24 TX* Golgo 13 Best Selection
*3.5%(*2.7%) 09/13 *8:30-*9:00 TX* Metal Fight Beyblade
*3.4%(*2.8%) 09/10 18:00-18:30 TX* Gintama
*3.3%(*3.9%) 09/12 *9:30-10:00 TX* Shugo Chara!! Doki
*3.1%(*2.5%) 09/13 *6:30-*7:00 EX* Negibouzu no Asatarou
*3.0%(*3.8%) 09/12 *9:00-*9:30 TX* Gokujou!! Mecha Mote Iinchou
*2.9%(*4.4%) 09/10 24:45-25:15 CX* Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
*2.9%(*3.6%) 09/08 18:00-18:30 TX* BLEACH
*2.9%(*2.6%) 09/13 17:00-17:30 TBS FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST
*2.9%(*2.0%) 09/12 23:20-23:45 TX* Shin Mazinger Z-hen on television        <--
*2.8%(--.-%) 09/13 *7:00-*7:30 EX* Battle Spirits: Shounen Gekiha Dan (New)
*2.7%(*2.7%) 09/08 25:29-25:59 NTV Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji (Rerun)
*2.6%(*3.6%) 09/12 10:30-11:00 TX* Kateikyoushi Hitman REBORN!
*2.4%(*2.8%) 09/09 18:00-18:30 TX* Yugioh 5D's
*2.3%(*2.7%) 09/13 10:00-10:30 TX* Cross Game
*2.1%(*2.0%) 09/08 24:59-25:29 NTV Souten Kourou
*2.0%(*2.5%) 09/11 16:30-17:00 NTV Soreike! Anpanman
*2.0%(*2.3%) 09/09 17:30-18:00 TX* NARUTO - Shounen Hen
*2.0%(*2.0%) 09/08 17:30-18:00 TX* Uchi no San Shimai
*1.8%(*1.2%) 09/10 25:59-26:29 TBS Taishou Yakyuu Musume
*1.7%(*2.2%) 09/10 17:30-18:00 TX* NARUTO - Shounen Hen
*1.5%(*1.6%) 09/12 *7:00-*8:00 TX* Yugioh Duel Monsters GX (Rerun)
*1.4%(*2.4%) 09/11 25:55-26:25 TBS Basquash!        <--
*1.4%(*1.9%) 09/13 26:00-26:30 TX* Saki        <--
*1.4%(*1.2%) 09/10 25:29-25:59 TBS PandoraHearts        <--
*1.3%(*2.6%) 09/07 17:30-18:00 TX* Inazuma Eleven Nekketsu Encore!
*1.3%(*1.7%) 09/13 25:30-26:00 TX* Kanamemo
*1.3%(*1.7%) 09/13 *9:30-10:00 TX* Jewel Pet
*1.2%(*2.5%) 09/07 18:00-18:30 TX* Dora
*1.2%(*1.2%) 09/10 24:45-25:10 NHK Tytania
*1.1%(*1.5%) 09/11 26:25-27:55 TBS Umi Monogatari ~Anata ga ite kureta koto~
*1.1%(*0.8%) 09/10 26:15-26:45 TX* Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom~
*1.0%(*1.9%) 09/11 25:23-25:53 TX* Hayate no Gotoku!!
*1.0%(*1.0%) 09/11 26:45-27:15 TX* Arad Senki
*0.8%(*1.4%) 09/13 10:30-11:00 TX* Live-on Cardliver
*0.5%(*1.3%) 09/09 26:59-27:29 TBS Mobile Suit Gundam 00 (Rerun)


Saki's ratings are just as low that week as the ton of other shows airing late night. Notice Basquash right above it at 1.4% rating and Pandora Hearts right below it also at 1.4%. Also Note Shin-Mazinger Z at 2.9%

Here are the figures for Vol.1:
Shin Mazinger-Z = 1,835 Vol 1. DVDs (two eps) + 1,260 BD (nine eps) as of 2009/08/25
Basquash = 564 BDs as of 2009/09/16
Saki = 6,996 DVDs as of 2009/07/15
Pandora Hearts = 7,593 DVDs as of 2009/07/24

They have manga serialized on other magazines and I don't know how well they did or how you'd count TV's influence when it's combined with other titles in the same magazine.

I simply raise the question because I am not sure if money spent on Shin-Mazinger-Z or Basquash to get them on TV was worth it. But who am I to say. Maybe they had to else DVD/BD sales would be worse. Maybe not enough people who would watch it online?


neocloud9 wrote:
Quote:
the fujoshi anime Kuroshitsuji


Haha, that's a fun way to describe it. There are a lot of male fans out there, too. Anime hyper

yeah I didn't think of Kuroshitsuji as particularly fujoshi material myself (yes bishies present, but still nothing that would turn off most guys I think)
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Richard J.



Joined: 11 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:56 pm Reply with quote
configspace wrote:
But I wonder that if it's just a matter of exposure, that streaming would be a more viable alternative so that you don't have such massive expenditures to get them on TV, especially for other titles that don't sell well in the first place, or don't have manga.
It would be nice to see some company stream a few series and crunch the numbers. Considering the costs of putting a show on TV vs. using a stream, it seems like it would be worth trying at least a few times to find out.

If it worked, it would likely lower production costs by quite a bit given the numbers used in this article.
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relentlessflame



Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 168

PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:51 pm Reply with quote
configspace wrote:
Well the only thing you can derive from that is exactly what he said: after Saki aired, they got increased manga sales.

But I wonder that if it's just a matter of exposure, that streaming would be a more viable alternative so that you don't have such massive expenditures to get them on TV, especially for other titles that don't sell well in the first place, or don't have manga.

So I don't think you can extrapolate anything from Saki's ratings or TV ratings in general for other shows.

The general wisdom has always been that, for late-night anime, the ratings are meaningless metrics. Sales figures are always the real telling results. But I think that an airing on TV adds some "legitimacy" to the franchise in a way that an online-only presence may not. I mean, when you're practically drowning in a sea of manga choices, the "As Seen on TV" moniker is a way of picking out those stories that may be worth your time, since only the "gems" get chosen. The other way they've accomplished something similar recently is with the OAD trend of bundling an anime DVD with the manga tank. This too adds some "legitimacy" to the manga, since it's obviously popular enough to have a special Limited Edition with anime content.

There have been some ONA projects (Haruhi-chan comes to mind, among others), but they seem to reserve this for shows that are more quirky, short, or unusual in their presentation -- almost like it's more of an experimental medium. Perhaps they're just stuck in old-school thinking, but it may be that cross-media sales are fueled more by perception than reality, so relying on Net streaming to reduce broadcast costs may not provide as much net benefit as it may seem.
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Daemonblue



Joined: 05 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:34 pm Reply with quote
At least one person gets it. It's a simple matter of people knowing of the product before they buy it. The more exposure something gets, the more likely a larger amount of people will buy it. It doesn't matter if you have a gem of a series if only one person heard of it, so it only makes sense. That said, not all anime can be termed as gems, and certaintly not all manga, but that's why the fishing analogy is very close to what the market is like.
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Zero Gravity



Joined: 18 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:54 pm Reply with quote
Thats awesome Mr Taguchi, now make a Kingdom Hearts anime NOW!
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