Forum - View topic
Answerman - The Big Ones


Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

Note: this is the discussion thread for this article

Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Juno016



Joined: 09 Jan 2012
Posts: 1278

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:02 pm Reply with quote
Good topics this time. I had a discussion about Heroman with a friend a week ago over the first issue, and it seems like anyone's guess as to why it never actually appealed as much over here, but I do remember seeing some manga on the bookstore shelf a while ago, too. It never sold, though, so they took it out of stock before I could buy it. Ironically, Attack on Titan isn't selling at this particular bookstore, either, so they just took those off the shelves, too, despite having a moderately good selection. I also had a TON of friends wanting to buy the new Kingdom Hearts manga volumes, but it wasn't until a few weeks ago that I found them in the young-adults section rather than the manga section, and so I saved up to buy them just for those to be taken off, too. Something tells me that was just a case of them being placed in the wrong section... but yeah. Off topic.

As for the extra stuff, even if anime merchandise doesn't go to the landfill as often, Japan still has a bad landfill problem. Everyone does to an extent, but Japan is quite... ignorant on this issue. They keep the streets clean most of the time (not perfect, but it's a LOT better than anywhere else I've been), but their garbage issues are pretty bad. Out of sight, out of mind, I suppose. :/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
LavenderMintRose



Joined: 30 Nov 2012
Posts: 141

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:06 pm Reply with quote
I really like the way this column is with Justin writing it.

I hope reading this gets a lot of people to think about the economics of a situation more. So many people like to complain about things like, "Why hasn't XYZ happened? It happened in that other case so it should have happened with this case. The only reason it didn't happen is because they're mean!" with only a vague notion as to who that "they" refers to. But if you look at all the pieces and players involved, you can see why it didn't work out, or why they didn't want to do it the way you wanted. There's always a why.
Hopefully, at least a few people will get clued in to that from reading this column.
And thank you Justin for providing such an eye-opening look into the industry.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 7868

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:15 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
No major chain retailer has bought hundreds of thousands of toys in anticipation of a major hit.


And as far as things like figures go, they're probably produced according to the amount of pre-orders made in the months prior to release. All other merchandise isn't nearly as expensive or involved as figures, as even nice artbooks are only books. But yeah, if an anime isn't popular, very little merch is made as a result, mirroring disc sales. Even gunpla gits for every new series aren't out on day one, and like figures, goes off of a pre-order system at first.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 12766
Location: NZL

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:18 pm Reply with quote
Given how quickly a lot of merchandise goes out of stock, I get the feeling that Japanese companies deliberately keep production runs small so as to keep things rare and therefore sought-after; this allows for higher prices than otherwise. Plus if demand isn't as high as they thought then they haven't wasted (as) much money. And of course Justin is probably correct when he says that most merchandise is made for already-established franchises making it easier to gauge demand in the first place.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime
GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 12605

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:22 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
I have worked on several Lupin projects for both TMS Entertainment and Discotek, involving both online streaming and DVDs.


That's cool. Thanks. Much appreciated. Not being sarcastic.

Quote:
It's the same reason Gundam isn't a huge household name in North America: it's old, and its look and style don't match what the youthful American anime market wants in its shows.


That's not the only reason, or a movie like The Artist would fail here, too. [Though I guess you could argue that could've done better, here too....] The real perp to blame is Bebop. [And to a lesser extend, Trigun.] That show just got there first. And even though it was an homage to Lupin, it pretty much stole whatever thunder Lupin might've had.

Let's see. What other factors have hurt the series' chance of success here? Cagliostro is the most accessible spin-off of the bunch, and a good gateway "episode" to the rest of Lupin. But at the same time, for the longest time, American fans have defined Miyazaki's take as the definitive version of Lupin, and pretty much ignored everything else. [Ironically, Cagliostro was considered the opposite for the longest time in Japan-an insult to the rest of the series. And I've been speculating on the Lupin forums that it might've cost Miyazaki anime work for years until Sherlock Hound.]

Also, by the time we got Lupin here in any lengthy form, Geneon had to settle for marketing it as the anime equivalent to Austin Powers, which was already tired by then. Oh, and I don't think it really hurt it that badly, but TMS initially chickening out on that Justice League pic in Mamo gave it a missed opportunity to cash in on that 2001 cartoon. Oh, and Animeigo could've chipped in for a Fuma dub which didn't blow.

Speaking of Animeigo, I think the whole lack of coordination and synergy between the various companies which owned a piece of Lupin was probably the biggest detriment to its success here. That was actually an issued with a lot of properties in the early 2000s. One company had a tv show, the other an oav/movie, the other a manga; but they didn't normally speak with each other. Maybe City Hunter and Fist of the North Star would've had a chance, too, if Raijin did some collaboration with ADV, Manga, and FOX. [I still can't believe they missed that opportunity to put in a free manga/anime sample of City Hunter with the DVDs for the Jackie Chan film!]

Quote:
Lupin himself is pretty ugly, as are most of his companions, save Fujiko.


Yeah, and most of the characters in Hana Yori Dango are ugly. But at least the manga made it to the end here.

Quote:
While given a facelift in Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, the look of the show just screams 1970s.


Um, so does American Hustle. And Boogie Nights. And That 70s Show.

Quote:
But the teens who make up so much of the anime scene aren't looking for a hairy-handed thumb-headded guy to have a weekly caper, they're looking for escapist entertainment that offers attractive fantasy worlds with cute characters,


There are younger Lupin cosplayers here. And Watamote's success here does prove that American fans have matured in their tastes in recent years. And Lupin does get into fantasy scenarios. It's just like a lot of anime in 2002-a victim of trying to cash in more on the bubble, rather than building the fanbase from the ground-up. Now, the Japanese and American licensors are working this way, but before they were just throwing it out there.

Quote:
I don't expect Lupin will ever be mainstream among American anime fans, but if they keep experimenting with updating the show, there's a chance that some of that new stuff could take hold.


Maybe if TMS takes my advice and goes for a pro-Occupy angle for a future installment, Lupin might have a shot, again.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
MetalUpa1014



Joined: 24 Aug 2013
Posts: 138
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:45 pm Reply with quote
Glad my Lupin III question got answered.

You make some good points too, GATSU.

Apparently the Cagliostro DVDs by Manga were really high sellers. I think a US Blu-Ray could do really well.

Perhaps there should be a big budget theatrical film to get Westerners' attentions. It'd be like how Spielberg did that Tintin movie which significantly revived interest in the original Belgian comics which were really struggling in America.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SiLVER820



Joined: 13 Apr 2013
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:47 pm Reply with quote
Another great column Justin! Very Happy All the answers this week were informative and interesting, as always.

It is disappointing to hear about Heroman. It wasn't great, but it was well-executed and a ton of fun. At least now I have a better understanding of why it was never picked up.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
FLCLGainax



Joined: 10 May 2010
Posts: 121
Location: United States

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:48 pm Reply with quote
There were multiple attempts to bring Lupin III over to the states before the Geneon deal.
In the early '80s TMS partnered with DiC to develop a futuristic sci-fi installment for American tastes called "Lupin VIII", which never got off the ground due problems with the LeBlanc estate.
In the '90s it was rumored that Carl Macek tried to bring the red-jacket TV series over but no network was interested. Only two Miyazaki-directed episodes from really late in the series were release direct-to-VHS instead.


Last edited by FLCLGainax on Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
yamiangie



Joined: 03 Mar 2010
Posts: 402

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:55 pm Reply with quote
I enjoyed the Heroman question as it explains what happens when Japan tries to get their shows on TV over here. I assume this is what's currently happening to Yamato 2199.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 7868

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:03 pm Reply with quote
yamiangie wrote:
I enjoyed the Heroman question as it explains what happens when Japan tries to get their shows on TV over here. I assume this is what's currently happening to Yamato 2199.


I like 2199, but it has no chance on getting a TV run here unless they pay Toonami. Disc sales are about its only way.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Hardgear



Joined: 27 Mar 2009
Posts: 398
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:06 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Lest I give you nightmares about giant landfills filled with unloved Nendoroid figures...


*shudder* yeah I think just imagining that will be keeping me awake late tonight. And I am already on the verge of exhaustion at 3pm, so that's saying something...

That aside, I agree, as limited as the quantities of anime goods usually are I can't ever see them not selling. More often than not even for the less popular shows there ain't enough to go around for those that want em. If you don't jump on em right away, you likely will never get em. Which is really annoying when something you want to buy comes out at a time when you can't afford it, and you KNOW it wont be available anymore by the time you gather up the money...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Cptn_Taylor



Joined: 08 Nov 2013
Posts: 371

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:18 pm Reply with quote
Classic Lupin III, Gundam 0079, Hokuto no Ken or Saint Seiya will never ever be mainstream in the US because you missed the boat. It sailed 1-2-3 decades ago. You cannot build a mainstream audience for these old old shows no matter how hard you try.
Fans of today in Japan and Europe were kids when those serie aired on tv. Try selling those shows to kids of today. They'll toss you out the window together with the master tapes. Laughing
Anime is an unforgiving medium, and its fans are worse. Very very few anime shows/films can cross the ages without problems. But most of the time a show is anchored in a specific time as its audience is. Trying to recreate an audience 10-20 years later for an old show is akin to mission impossible. That's why you see remakes done so often.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
The Mad Manga Massacre



Joined: 15 Jul 2009
Posts: 909

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:40 pm Reply with quote
I was kind of wondering that about Heroman myself. I showed it to a friend and they loved it. The show wound up becoming an addiction for me and I spent hours each night watching episodes. I guess this wasn't a widely held opinion...? It's interesting (to me at least) to hear some of the stuff about pitching it in the west.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Stark700



Joined: 30 Jan 2012
Posts: 6088
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:41 pm Reply with quote
I watched Heroman not long ago so seeing the name bought up in this article interested me. As for Lupin goes, I'm not too big a of fan into the franchise but what I've watched did interest me quite a bit. The reason given is pretty reasonable given in the article and I'll probably check out more from the franchise in the future.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 12605

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:49 pm Reply with quote
FLCL: LeBlanc Estate or no estate, Lupin would've never made it here in the 80s, anyway. It didn't have the same merchandise potential of a Transformers or G.I. Joe.

Quote:
In the '90s it was rumored that Carl Macek tried to bring the red-jacket TV series over but no network was interested.


No, I talked to Macek. He didn't bring over the red-jacket show, because it was expensive, and the Miyazaki episodes from that show were the only ones he could afford.

Cptn: Saint Seiya failed here, because the animation looks like ass.
The opposite reason is at least why Ronin Warriors has a cult following here, instead.

Also, people seem to quickly forget that Gundam was a hit at one point, with Wing. What Bandai Ent. should've done next is bring over more of the 90s/2000s shows first, and expand the overall audience for the franchise from there. Gundam X's character designs are the most stylistically similar to those in Wing, so I'm not sure why that show never came over here.

As for Hokuto No Ken, the 80s show does not have the same animation standards as the 86 film, and as a result, it has not aged well. I don't know why Manga did not pick up the film after the rights from Streamline lapsed, but it would've made more sense. Also, like Lupin and Bebop, Berserk basically had more exposure here first. So people opted for their manime/manimanga of choice with it over Fist. Still, Hulu and Crunchyroll have at least made younger fans aware of Fist, if nothing else.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Page 1 of 6

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group