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ANNCast - The Life and Kime of Geneon, USA


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CareyGrant



Joined: 18 Nov 2009
Posts: 453
PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 9:44 pm Reply with quote
Merchandising: The Fatted Calf of any IP.

Here in the US, the first true cartoon success, in my opinion, to really crack this merchandising code was He-Man (and others quickly copied the formula). He Man was a near bald-faced 22 min commercial, barely disguised as entertainment, whose primary goal was to sell toys/junk (everything else was just gravy on top, compared to that fat pile of cash). Not unlike the multitude of anime aimed at kids which are little more than animated tutorials on how to play (only after buying) the anime's related card game or what have you.

And now, most everything has a tie-in... with fast food chains, cereals, video games, card games, clothing, toys, music, direct-to-video, etc. etc.

RE: Fanservice anime...

Fan service not make money? Are they kidding? When has sexuality failed to deliver the money or audience unless it was REALLY trying hard to suck?

For example, take Baywatch (I can barely say the word without gagging on bile). Baywatch wasn't the 1# show on the planet because it was well-written with great acting. Pamela Anderson (to single one bimbo out of the many on the show) made David Hasselhoff OBSCENELY wealthy (amongst other people) to the tune of SEVERAL HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS (I think 500 mill. is what he took home, if I remember right, based on franchise and broadcast rights around the globe).

Take a moment to think about that for a second... $500,000,000. As in half a Billion dollars. That's two and 1/2 years of salary for the entire New York Yankee ball club, the HIGHEST paid sports team on the planet (at a little over 200 mil. a year). For the record I love baseball, but hate the Yankees.

Or look at all the Twilight/New Moon nonsense: primarily androgynous pretty boys and half-clothed beef cake smeared with tween angst/dysfunction and smothered in sexuality (laughing all the way to the bank).

Sexuality has become the substitution for quality or originality, and will always be present to one degree or another as it's a formula that rarely fails. It keeps men and women tuned in and coming back for more. Sexuality is the MSG of modern entertainment, perfectly suited to short attention spans and low expectations. But this isn't anything new, even the great works of Shakespeare are both bawdy and brilliant, written to broaden their appeal to a wider audience during his time.

But the danger is you risk losing it all by focusing so tightly to a niche that cares only for sexuality/fan service. Fans looking for quality and original entertainment will look elsewhere for it if all you give them is the same low-brow, pandering fluff, over and over again.

Now don't get me wrong, I loves me some fine lookin' ladies, but I didn't get back into anime again (after Star Blazers and Voltron as a kid) so many years later because of fan service.
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Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
Posts: 4901
Location: Crackberry in hand, thumbs at the ready...
PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 11:38 pm Reply with quote
How *does* merch fit into the equation? Assuming Viz or Funimation designs their own T-shirts, are they allowed all the profits, or does some of that money have to go back to the Japanese companies? Do manga publishers (such as Tokyopop) ever see any of that revenue?
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jsevakis
ANN Director of New Media


Joined: 28 Jul 2003
Posts: 1679
Location: Los Angeles, CA
PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 11:45 pm Reply with quote
Merch is usually licensed from the "master licensor" which is occasionally Viz or Funi, but usually their licenses don't come with those rights. More often it's the Japanese rights holder. After that, I have no idea how the royalties get distributed, but the US manga publisher is seldom involved.

I agree merch is important for bigger properties, but I think it'd be a huge waste for a good amount of shows here. (lol, Rumiko Takahashi Anthology T-shirts)
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Mohawk52



Joined: 16 Oct 2003
Posts: 8181
Location: England, UK
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:58 pm Reply with quote
CareyGrant wrote:
But the danger is you risk losing it all by focusing so tightly to a niche that cares only for sexuality/fan service. Fans looking for quality and original entertainment will look elsewhere for it if all you give them is the same low-brow, pandering fluff, over and over again.

Now don't get me wrong, I loves me some fine lookin' ladies, but I didn't get back into anime again (after Star Blazers and Voltron as a kid) so many years later because of fan service.
Exactly. and there also lies the other problem as well. the Target Demography factor. It seems, as Mr. Kime pointed out, that a lot of what bombed were titles that were aiming at the 13 to 18 years demography. We all know this age group is more computer savy, but don't have lots of disposable income to purchase a dvd at high prices, so naturally turn to the one source they can afford and is readily available to them. There is also the cultural barrier in the US of cartoons are for kids and not for adults unless that adult is a pervert. Rolling Eyes It's hard to try to swim up that fast running stream of ideas with the kind of titles Geneon were offering, but isn't it interesting that Ikki Tousen "made money"? Why? Because the "perverts" have money to spend. Now I quoted that term as I don't think of adults, who want to watch such things, as that. It does nothing for me, but to each their own. Mr. Kime should have heard the penny drop when he saw that and changed his marketing target accordingly. Still it doesn't help to be bidding for the wrong properties in the first place. Wink
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Dorcas_Aurelia



Joined: 23 Jul 2006
Posts: 5344
Location: Philly
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:59 pm Reply with quote
qollocust wrote:
jgreen wrote:
I mean, look at all the shows that have caught on big on American television over the years: Speed Racer, Macross, Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, Pokemon. Those shows have virtually nothing in common, so there's clearly no magic formula other than putting good shows where people can see them and hoping they catch on.


Actually all of these shows have a major thing in common: merchandising!

You're confusing correlation with causality. Consider that it could easily be the reverse of what you're implying: the shows received so much merchandising because they were so popular.
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