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The declining amounts of TV anime produced since 06.


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ikillchicken



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
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Location: Vancouver
PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:55 pm Reply with quote
So the info on the fall season has surfaced and it looks like there will be about 29 new shows according to the encyclopedia. That seemed pretty low for a fall season which prompted me to compare some of the numbers over the last few years and I was rather concerned to learn that we've continue to see a somewhat drastic slide in the number of TV shows produced each year.

Year Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Total
2007 26 52 24 47 149
2008 26 43 24 41 134
2009 29 40 21 36 126
2010 24 31 20 29 104

(Note: All these numbers are based on titles listed in ANN's encyclopedia. They obviously may vary slightly as series do not always fit perfectly into seasons).

I didn't do a full breakdown but I did add up the yearly totals for TV shows as well as movies and OVAs for the rest of the decade and threw together a graph:

Year TV M OVA Total
2000 57 27 24 108
2001 92 35 37 164
2002 91 32 51 174
2003 107 26 55 188
2004 121 30 53 204
2005 119 34 46 199
2006 158 34 52 244
2007 149 51 49 249
2008 134 29 42 205
2009 126 40 51 217
2010 104 40 41 185



OVAs and Movies have remained pretty consistently inconsistent and adding them tends to skew the total a bit. Just looking at TV though you can see a fairly smooth slope peaking in 06 and steadily declining afterward.

It's interesting to see. There's obviously a ton of speculation about the situation the industry is in and whether it's getting worse or better. Purely in terms of volume output though it seems it is definitely been shrinking and continues to shrink. I guess you can interpret that as either cause for concern or simply the natural shrinking that follows a boom. Although if the latter is true, I have to wonder just how much things have to shrink before they stabilize.

It's rather disappointing to see that the number fell by a huge 22 shows from this year to last. Especially in light of the fact that the R1 industry seems to have at least moderately recovered or at least stabilized and simulcasting has really taken off. Of course there are numerous factors that come into play that could outweigh changes in the R1 industry. It also may be that there's a bit of a delayed effect so maybe we'll see a better year in 2011. Of course it could also indicate that the R1 industry at least as it now is, simply isn't that significant.

Anyway, there's no real specific question I'm raising here. I just thought this was an interesting trend and wanted to toss it out there.

[EDIT: Changed thread title to clarify that it's about quantitative decline, not qualitative decline. ~Zalis]


Last edited by ikillchicken on Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:14 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Kruszer



Joined: 19 Nov 2004
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Location: Minnesota, USA
PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:18 pm Reply with quote
Maybe, but what this upcomming season lacks in quantity it makes up for in increased quality, it seems. There's considerably more interesting looking shows I want to see this season than any other 2010 anime season. I'll be giving at least 9 shows a shot's over twice as many as I watched during the first half of the year which was two whole seasons. Laughing

So maybe 2011 will have things starting to get better. It's a good sign.
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garfield15



Joined: 06 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:36 pm Reply with quote
I don't know dude. Go back to see all the shows that came out in Fall 2007 and there's some serious stinkers in there.

Like, that season had good stuff like Gundam 00, Clannad and Shakugan no Shana II, but it also had Ninomiya-kun, Prism Ark and....*ugh* the worst anime ever, Dragonaut the Resonance *shudders*. Horrible, horrible anime.

Plus, it was also the year Kodomo no Jikan came out. Which brought Zac to his knees in despair.
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larinon



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:45 pm Reply with quote
I don't know if the decline is necessarily a bad thing, so long as the talent becomes more concentrated on fewer titles. Looking back at the beginning of this century when the production numbers were relatively low, some of my favorite titles ever were being produced. Seriously, Spring 2002: Azumanga Daioh, .hack//SIGN, Ai Yori Aoshi, Chobits, and Twelve Kingdoms, to name a few. Granted there were and always will be a few stinkers as well, but that's how it goes. I think we could use a little contraction in the industry to hopefully focus on higher quality work.
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Blood-
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Joined: 07 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:25 pm Reply with quote
Thanks for putting this together, ikillchicken. I had been curious about this very topic but never summoned the energy to crunch the numbers as you have (not to mention present them in a purty graph which is beyond my meagre technical prowess).

Personally, I am not alarmed by the drop in TV output. I think the bulge that started in 2004 and ended in 2009 was an aberration. I don't think the anime industry can sustain those bulge numbers and still maintain a decent level of quality. Talent is finite.

Now if output drops to, say, 50 TV shows a year, then I might start to get a bit nervous.
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Bingal



Joined: 10 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:28 pm Reply with quote
If the decline in the number of shows each season amounts to less derivative and pandering crap, and more creativity and good storyelling, then I'm all for it.
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Jaymie



Joined: 18 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:29 pm Reply with quote
This is a good thing. The 90s and early 00s had some amazing stuff, while these past couple of years have been... lacking. Is there even such thing as an original series any more? It's all about adaptions, sequels, and clones of popular Moe series these days.
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garfield15



Joined: 06 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:37 pm Reply with quote
Jaymie wrote:
Is there even such thing as an original series any more?

Yes there is.
Jaymie wrote:
It's all about adaptions, sequels, and clones of popular Moe series these days.

It was all about adaptations and clones back then too. In fact, just as much as today. Except instead of moe, it was probably mecha that was the hot spot.
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:16 am Reply with quote
If you actually look at charts of TV anime produced in the 90s, it's pretty horrible. The overall numbers of anime is extremely low, and until you get to 1996 or 1997, you only have a terribly small number of actual shows that were worth checking out. And years like 2000 or 2001 are some of the worst I've even seen. There's so few decent shows it makes the head hurt.
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CanadianCrippler



Joined: 25 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:17 am Reply with quote
Very nice chart, well composed. I think the status of anime is fine, but the data always tells an interesting tale.
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kiddtic



Joined: 04 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:27 am Reply with quote
What about the number of shows getting licenced each year I would like to know that. I have personally noticed about an average of 5 shows being released on DVD every month (this is an estimation ofcourse). But that also includes shows that are ongoing already and re-releases.

Im not worried yet with those numbers though. I mean if studios focus on quality as opposed to quantity im down with that.

oh by the way those DVD releases apply to Australia only not too sure bowt the other regions.
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ikillchicken



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 7272
Location: Vancouver
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:37 pm Reply with quote
Thanks everyone. I'm glad you guys found it useful.

garfield15 wrote:
I don't know dude. Go back to see all the shows that came out in Fall 2007 and there's some serious stinkers in there.


Just to clarify, I'm not saying any given year was definitely better or worse. That would incorporate a whole lot of very debatable personal opinions. I just wanted to demonstrate that at least purely in terms of size, the industry can objectively be seen to still be in decline.

kiddtic wrote:
What about the number of shows getting licenced each year I would like to know that.


Yes, that would be interesting. I'm tempted to figure it out as well but I think I would need either a) a list of licensed series sorted by when they were licensed as opposed to when they were produced or b) a list of R1 releases that only lists each complete series once and avoids duplicates in the case of either multi-part or multi-format releases. Otherwise it would involve hours of work.
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abunai
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:00 pm Reply with quote
Looking at the graph (very pretty, by the way), I don't see the decline in anime that you see. I see that the total number of anime titles (more on this qualification anon) in the period 2000-2010 averages just about 194 titles per year. That being the case, saying that a production figure of 185 titles this year represents a "decline" is probably overstating your point and misreading the data.

Even if it were true that there is a decline in progress, that is only a decline in quantity. It says nothing about quality. Also, you're only measuring titles -- which does not reliably indicate the actual amount of animation (hours and minutes in running time) being produced. That's still a quantitative measure, but hardly immaterial.

I can't see quality as being anything other than the central facet of any "decline". If studios produce 99 crap anime and 1 good one in year X, and 47 crap anime and 3 good ones in year Y, which is the better year for anime?

Now, before anyone utters the usual grumpy why-can't-it-all-be-giant-robots-like-in-the-good-old-days rant decrying moe and endless sequels, let me remind you that (as has already been stated in this thread) there have always been trends (just as pink is the new black, childish females saying "Gao!" is the new giant mecha). They pass. You may not like them, but endure, and they will be replaced by a new trend.

At which time, many of you will be grumping about why-can't-it-all-be-moe-girls-like-in-the-good-old-days, I suspect. I'm not saying you all do it, but a good percentage of you complain just to complain.

As for quality... many of the shows that we consider classics today had very low production values by modern standards. They're still classics. Many of them had trendy stories, trends that no longer are popular. They're still classics. Many of them had their haters, at the time. They're still classics.

What makes a "good" anime is that it stands the test of time. If people are still watching it and getting pleasure from it, a decade from now, then never mind your subjective opinion right now -- it's a classic.

But there is no way to tell in advance. Sure, some anime will undoubtedly last. We can probably pick out a dozen or so titles, right now, from the past three years, which have enough "oomph" to endure. But we can't be sure. Only time will tell.

And yes, you may be right in that quantity of produced titles is an indicator of the amount of available talent in the industry (and not employed in other creative fields) -- but in that case, you should factor in the growing export of animation tasks to non-Japanese production, a factor which has been observed to directly affect the talent available in Japan (less local jobs -> people go to other creative industries, and anime suffers from lack of available talent).

Anyway, getting to the conclusion: there may or may not be a decline in progress in anime -- but your data simply does not give any indication of that, even if you assume that quantity is the only measure.

- abunai
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Spastic Minnow
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:46 pm Reply with quote
It's a small thing, but I wonder how do longer running ongoing shows impact this sort of thing? Do more shows run longer now than they did ten years ago? It would have a slight effect on how many new shows are introduced
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ikillchicken



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:44 pm Reply with quote
abunai wrote:
Looking at the graph (very pretty, by the way), I don't see the decline in anime that you see. I see that the total number of anime titles (more on this qualification anon) in the period 2000-2010 averages just about 194 titles per year. That being the case, saying that a production figure of 185 titles this year represents a "decline" is probably overstating your point and misreading the data.


Yes but I'm not saying there has been a decline from the start of the 00s. I'm saying there has been a decline since the peak several years ago. Hence, the average over the entire decade is neither here nor there.

Look, it's pretty simple. Since 06 we've seen a consistent drop in the number of TV titles. Every single year without exception we see a decrease of 8-20 titles. How is that not a decline in the number of TV anime produced? I'm genuinely surprised anyone is arguing against this. I mean, with the sole exception of 05, you get an almost perfect slope going up, peaking in 06, and then going back down.

Now if you're determined to look at the total including movies and OVAs then I would agree (as I did initially) that it is not nearly as pronounced. We have seen a massive decline followed by a slight recovery followed by another massive fall over the last few years. Of course, when you look at the chart you can once again see an almost perfect rising and falling slope with the only exceptions being that same weird 05 and and unusually low 08. It's only because 08 is so low that 09 is a recovery. Otherwise it lines up perfectly with the downward slope. When you consider that 08 was the worst part of the R1 industry's meltdown it seems fairly plausible an explanation for the extra drop.

In any case though, I don't put too much stock in the total. If you look at the totals for movies and OVAs there is no predictable pattern. They've jumped up and down constantly through the whole decade and don't really seem to show any signs of going up or down permanently. Also for the reasons you yourself stated, OVAs and movies can't exactly be given the same weight as TV shows.

Quote:
Also, you're only measuring titles -- which does not reliably indicate the actual amount of animation (hours and minutes in running time) being produced. That's still a quantitative measure, but hardly immaterial.


True. Although in recent years, 13 episode seasons have become vastly more dominant where as earlier in the decade, 26 tended to be the standard. Hence it stands to reason that if anything, taking such a thing into account would only further pronounce the trend as nowadays it frequently takes two series to fill the airtime that one used to.

Quote:
Even if it were true that there is a decline in progress, that is only a decline in quantity.


Yes. For the second time: I'm not saying any given year was definitely better or worse. Obviously this data does not prove that. I'm just saying that it shows we're seeing less of it produced. Whether that is cause for concern is open to debate.

Quote:
I can't see quality as being anything other than the central facet of any "decline".


Uh okay...that's not actually what decline means regardless of how you see it. A decline simply means a decrease. What exactly is decreasing totally depends on what the sentence in question is referring to. In this case I referred to the number of anime produced. Hence that is what is decreasing.
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