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Answerman FAQ: "How do I get my idea made into an anime?"


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Juno016



Joined: 09 Jan 2012
Posts: 2401
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 3:28 am Reply with quote
Pfft. Anime... cartoon... What's the difference? They're all made in Korea, anyway! =D

On a serious note, I was one of those naive kids who wanted to publish his own manga in Japan, back when I was... 8? 12? Something like that.
I am now 22 and have submitted my second finished work ever to the international Jump contest.
I am confident that I know my abilities thus far, and because of that, I am actually pretty confident that I won't win the contest.
But I am also confident that it was a proper and powerful stage on the road to actually becoming a mangaka in Japan. Without the knowledge of my own shortcomings when working on REAL stuff, I won't be able to reach that height in the first place because I'll still be naive.

And I'm sure I'm STILL naive. But I'm STILL determined to make it happen. And that's going to take a lot of personal growth, experience, time, effort, and research, just like it has to even get this far. It may take my entire life and I may never reach that goal before I die. But slice me in two and serve me to the devil if I don't die trying.

To the others who still want to spread their story to the world in a specific way... DON'T RELY ON OTHER PEOPLE TO DO IT FOR YOU. Even if they were to do it, chances are, they'd mess it up (which is how most of the actual industry works anyway). SO DO IT YOURSELF. If you don't know how or don't have the skills, then LEARN HOW. In the end, if your work truly doesn't turn out well, then either be prepared to go through hell and back to improve AND find a proper audience for it... or get out before it's too late.

Anime is srz business. Srzly.
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ikillchicken



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 7272
Location: Vancouver
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:16 am Reply with quote
Galap wrote:
I was operating under the assumption that if the person wanted to make an anime, they had an a priori desire to have it utilize that visual paradigm. CG is ruled out because it's a different medium. If the westerner wanted to make a claymation or something, then yes they would be valid to say "The problem with anime is that it's all traditional animation."


Well I suppose that's somewhat valid. If your vision for a show vitally hinges on it being traditional animation then that would rule out CG. I'm pretty skeptical that the vast majority of ideas from people who want to make anime are actually tied to traditional animation for some meaningful reason though. It seems more like nothing but them being set on it looking "like anime" because anime is what they're familiar with. Chances are, most people's ideas would work fine as GC if they were just a little more open minded.

Quote:
...and from what I've seen, basically all western TV drawn animation (with the partial exception of the French in certain situations) does have one similarity visually: it all has a very flat geometry, and symbolic rather than depicitonal imagery.


I'm not sure what distinction you're trying to draw here. Can you elaborate? I think the post I linked to already provides ample evidence of the diversity in western drawn animation. Exactly what characteristic do you think it lacks?

Quote:
ATLA was animated by a Korean studio.


Half the work on a given anime is farmed out to Korea these days. And Avatar was ultimately an English language show produced for an American audience by an American TV channel and their American studio and an American creative team of writers, directors and producers. There is no "dumb discourse" about determination of nationality required. It is flagrantly an American show. And even if you don't accept that, my point stands. The people responsible for making Avatar a reality were guys working in the American animation industry. Hence even if your thinking is that you absolutely want your show to look like anime, your best bet would still be to become one of those guys.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 14813
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:26 am Reply with quote
Just write your work on some nerdtastic online or forum. Ya never know with obsessed followers, ya can be the next Train Man, Fifty Shades, Megatokyo, Sword Art Online, etc. Ya never now if it becomes a meme or viral video and start off from there. Heck, look at how South Park started and how Dead Fantasy led to RWBY.

But not books - people can't be arsed to read books nowadays, with so many words per page, and so many pages. Must be quick easy reads.

Or ya can start at the bottom as animator and work your way up all the way to director, like Jan Scott-Frazier did all those years ago. Or become rich and found your own studio and hire your own Japanese animators team.


Wrathful wrote:

There is one I thought of written by bunch of 4chan members but can't remember the name. Is it practically unknown in Japan as I never even heard of that game being translated to Japanese?


Katawa Shoujo doujin VN, and there is a Japanese translation underway.


ikillchicken wrote:

But western cartoons haven't really been limited to what's appropriate for "7 year olds" for a decade. If you actually watch them you'll see that shows these days get away with a ton in terms of mature, intelligent and often somewhat risque content.


Adventure Time has been getting away with more and more innuendos. Its Australian censorship is a good place to start.
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Mr Adventure



Joined: 14 Jul 2008
Posts: 1598
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:18 am Reply with quote
ikillchicken wrote:

The real problem with a western cartoon is that commercial, non-indie western animation is either CG or looks like Family Guy or Adventure time.


The Venture Bros, and Archer would like to have a word with you.
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Mr Adventure



Joined: 14 Jul 2008
Posts: 1598
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:25 am Reply with quote
Running down the list of all the most successful show producers and directors one thing seems to stand out the most about all of their careers. 9 times out 10 they all started out as Animators. I'd take a wild guess that that's pretty true of English productions as well.

So if you want to get into making animation the first thing you need to do is learn how to draw. Then learn how to animate. Then get hired to animate other people's shows. Then, in your free time for no pay, start animating your ideas on the internet. Then pray you're good enough to be noticed, and then pray you're lucky enough to go viral.

And someday you too might get your own regular web show.

And then someday you might actually get to make a TV show. though more then likely by that point you will be working exclusively on digitally delivered animation...



Frankly my advice is to ignore animation. Learn how to draw (or know people who draw) and script write and start making your own comics. Comics are the best low-cost-of-entry option into someday getting your ideas animated by someone else. But you need to actually produce. Nobody even got anywhere by being lazy.

Like me, I've never gotten anywhere because I'm lazy. I've got ideas, I just never do anything with them, and so I get nothing.
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ChibiKangaroo



Joined: 01 Feb 2010
Posts: 2941
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:32 am Reply with quote
As soon as I saw the topic of this Answerman article, I knew it was going to be one of these "You suck, and no one cares about you" types of dealies. I know Justin thinks it is some kind of tough love or something, but I always find this kind of stuff to smack of elitism. If people really are contacting you saying "How can I get in contact with Japan so I can make all my dreams come true" or something similarly ignorant, then I don't think you are going to help any of those people by publishing this article as they need a lot more help than this.

The truth is, there are a LOT of extremely creative people out there. Many of them are doing amazing things, and the fact that they don't have their own TV show has nothing to do with whether or not people care about their ideas. I have seen countless people publishing creative content on the internet who have literally thousands of followers, but they will never have a major book deal, art tour, or tv show. Thousands of people care about their ideas and eagerly await their next release. They just don't have the connections that are necessary to have a larger platform, like the phone number of the top people at some production company (or a high powered agent).

What I think is important for most creative people is to manage their expectations. Telling them that they don't matter might be fun in a kind of schadenfreude way, but it certainly doesn't help them and it likely just deprives the world of whatever genius creative work that they might actually be capable of. Most creative people can and do matter. However, they can realize that they might be able to work their way up to being the idol of a few hundred or a few thousand people on the in their local community or on the internet, and that has to be good enough for them, even though they might aspire to more.
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EireformContinent



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 977
Location: Łódź/Poland (The Promised Land)
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:40 am Reply with quote
Yep, pet them and lie, so they may feel better.

Quote:
I have seen countless people publishing creative content on the internet who have literally thousands of followers, but they will never have a major book deal, art tour, or tv show. Thousands of people care about their ideas and eagerly await their next release.


Which is nothing. Really, having a thousand of followers isn't anything hard of blogger with sharp pen or nice deviantart- apart from time of one person costs are next to nothing, and internet will swallow everything- you may even write about breeding mice and gather a community, especially when you write in language common for all mice breeders from London to Tokyo.
Meanwhile author who sold 1000 books is a disaster for publisher.


Quote:
They just don't have the connections that are necessary to have a larger platform, like the phone number of the top people at some production company (or a high powered agent).

LOL.
So you assume that
-there are no people who treat this activity as hobby
-they are so delusional that they don't see that they are a niche
-there's an international conspiracy of publishers that allow only their personal friends to publish?

Sorry, but it doesn't work that way.
The truth is that if answer of answerman causes such a pain that you give up your dream it's better for you to quit and find a nice, calm job with rules, salary and understanding boss. It usually takes time and effort to get the way into media- aforementioned creator of Oban Star Racers had several years of looking for funds. And he already had an trailer and script. The same goes for writers, musicians comic artists who usually had their share of pilgrimages to various publishers before they got chance.

Meanwhile what we have in Answerman? Lots of wannabe- anime-creators with no fluency in Japanese, vague information about industry and dreams about being published in niche branch of entertainment. What can seriously be told to them? To take the language course first?
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danilo07



Joined: 25 Dec 2011
Posts: 1580
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:53 am Reply with quote
Frankly I have yet to see a recent anime director to have nearly as much of international recognition as Sylvain Chomet does and he makes his movies almost exclusively for adults.I was always under the impression that adult animation isn't appreciated enough in western world,and maybe my impression was correct for some period of time.What I seeing now is that are more and more animated creations,getting recognition that they deserve.Things like Waltz with Bashir,Chico and Rita and Persepolis would have easily been ignored by Academy at the beginning of century,but now they are getting some recognition.Thing is if you create participate in a creation of a good animated picture,you might have a chance at working in Japan.Look at what happened to Aya Suzuki,people in Japan noticed her talent from her work on The Illusionist and right now she is working for studio Ghibli.
Also no its not impossible for westerners to work in Japan,look at what happened to Bahi JD and Thomas Romain,they are all actively working in in industry.People sometimes do get chances like this,I remember that Yuasa Masaki was recently searching for key animators to work for him on an episode of Space Dandy and it didn't matter where they were from!A lot animators eventually turned into directors so who knows what might happen.
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ChibiKangaroo



Joined: 01 Feb 2010
Posts: 2941
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:31 am Reply with quote
EireformContinent wrote:


Quote:
I have seen countless people publishing creative content on the internet who have literally thousands of followers, but they will never have a major book deal, art tour, or tv show. Thousands of people care about their ideas and eagerly await their next release.


Which is nothing.


Really? Do you have 1000 people lined up who eagerly await every single one of your creative endeavors? I seriously doubt you do. If you did, you wouldn't discount that so easily. You can write it off as much as you want, but I think anyone who is out there creating some kind of work so pleasant that 1000 individuals are eagerly awaiting every update, has accomplished something. I salute them. I don't stand on the sideline telling them that they have nothing. Perhaps you do, but we disagree there.

Quote:
Really, having a thousand of followers isn't anything hard of blogger with sharp pen or nice deviantart- apart from time of one person costs are next to nothing, and internet will swallow everything-


Okay, so you've just identified two types of creative people who do a lot of cool stuff, that people care about, and thus garner 1000+ followers. What exactly is your point? You've just proven my point in fact. Anyone who has some creative ability and an interesting story to tell or some kind of vision can go out there and make something awesome, and they can get thousands of people to recognize them. That's not nothing. That's not "NO ONE CARES". That's an accomplishment, and people should be encouraged to do that rather than just hanging out doing nothing other than make snide comments about the people who are doing stuff.

Quote:
you may even write about breeding mice and gather a community, especially when you write in language common for all mice breeders from London to Tokyo.


Maybe someone could come up with a very engaging story about mice breeding. Perhaps you should go do that, and you might even get some people to follow you too.

Quote:

Meanwhile author who sold 1000 books is a disaster for publisher.


Now you are talking about economics, not quality of idea or creative genius.

Quote:

LOL.
So you assume that
-there are no people who treat this activity as hobby
-they are so delusional that they don't see that they are a niche
-there's an international conspiracy of publishers that allow only their personal friends to publish?


I'm not sure where you got all of this, a lot of it doesn't even make sense. I never said anything about no one treating it as a hobby. I was saying that telling people that their ideas don't matter because they don't have an anime show is stupid. If people want to keep it as a hobby that is great. They still have a hobby with thousands of people who care about it. And it is not delusional to be happy with that. Also, your comment about an international conspiracy is just stupid and makes no sense.

Quote:

The truth is that if answer of answerman causes such a pain that you give up your dream it's better for you to quit and find a nice, calm job with rules, salary and understanding boss.


Uh, that was the whole point of the answerman article. He is telling people to give up, because no one cares about their ideas. If that is your position as well, fine. I disagree. I think people should continue creating, while understanding that it is likely that their greatest accomplishment might be a few thousand people singing their praises. I think that is a great accomplishment, and people can have that while supporting themselves by other means.
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EireformContinent



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 977
Location: Łódź/Poland (The Promised Land)
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:42 am Reply with quote
Yep, I was a part of roughly 1.500 followers project. Several years ago, in language much less common than English.
It was nice, but I didn't build my life around that. I knew we are a niche and was content with that.

Quote:
I was saying that telling people that their ideas don't matter because they don't have an anime show is stupid.


Commenting article you didn't read is stupid.

Quote:
Wow, that was a bummer to write out. Despite my cynical nature, I don't REALLY like telling people their dreams are ridiculous and they should give up, so when anyone is really listening, I always try to steer them in the direction of some other creative pursuit. There are a ton of creative jobs out there, so focusing on just anime seems a little myopic to me. We all love anime, and there's no shame in making something and drawing inspiration from the things you love. And we all love a bunch of things -- not just anime, but movies and comics and TV series and paintings, and even weird YouTube videos. Inspiration comes from everything, so there's no need to limit your dreams to the medium you spend the most time with.
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Stuart Smith



Joined: 13 Jan 2013
Posts: 1298
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:48 am Reply with quote
ikillchicken wrote:
Rolling Eyes You're really just showing your own ignorance with a comment like this. Of course, you're not wrong that chances are you'll probably never get to work on a deadly serious, R rated western animated show. That really doesn't happen.


This was my point, so there does not seem to be an issue with the statement.

Quote:
But western cartoons haven't really been limited to what's appropriate for "7 year olds" for a decade. If you actually watch them you'll see that shows these days get away with a ton in terms of mature, intelligent and often somewhat risque content.


If you could point me to a current children's cartoon with the content matching at the very least your average shonen anime, that would be lovely. I'd be interested in checking out how it stacks up to children's anime like Detective Conan and Hunter x Hunter in terms of adult themes and content. Whenever I turn on the TV these days I see shows like Legend of Korra, and Ben 10: Omniverse which have next to nil for that kind of content and full of repercussion-less violence and binary themes. Maybe I just don't know where to look, but action cartoons, at least from my own perspective, seem to be getting scarcer and scarcer in favor of comedy shows in the west, which does not bode well for an individual wishing to make their own.

Quote:
Chances are, most people's ideas would work fine as GC if they were just a little more open minded.


I was not aware having preferences and standards was considered close-minded. All CG animation on television looks positively dreadful, especially those recent Batman, Green Lantern, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Star Wars cartoons on Cartoon Network where the characters looked like ugly, malformed plastic toys. If I were to make my own show I would definitely choose traditional animation. Unfortunately, that is becoming extinct in the west in favor of more CG and Flash/ToonBoom projects. If you are fine with that, then by all means, but understand not everyone is going to settle for that when their Japanese counterparts are not stuck in that ultimatum

-Stuart Smith
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ChibiKangaroo



Joined: 01 Feb 2010
Posts: 2941
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:54 am Reply with quote
EireformContinent wrote:


Commenting article you didn't read is stupid.



Obviously, you didn't read the article, or you didn't actually read my response, because my point still stands.

Justin wrote:

NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR IDEAS.
If I could, by way of my column, put that in a large flashing marquee, don a top hat and do a soft shoe musical number around that sentence, I would.
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irishninja



Joined: 15 Jun 2005
Posts: 344
Location: Seattle-ish
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:55 am Reply with quote
ChibiKangaroo wrote:
... I think anyone who is out there creating some kind of work so pleasant that 1000 individuals are eagerly awaiting every update, has accomplished something.


Your point is not invalid, but you are arguing about a topic other than what this article is about. Having a thousand followers of a webcomic or whatever is really neat, and I always like to see a creator I enjoy become popular enough to quit his or her day job and be creative full time, but that isn't what this article is about, either. It's about getting into the anime industry, specifically. So when Justin says "Nobody cares" he isn't talking about webcomics or online novels or whatever, he is talking about the Japanese animation industry. Having a thousand loyal customers is at least two orders of magnitude too small to be noticed by even a Western studio, much less a Japanese one.
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EireformContinent



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 977
Location: Łódź/Poland (The Promised Land)
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:57 am Reply with quote
Nobody cares about your ideas in anime industry. See the difference? Ever heard about the context?
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ChibiKangaroo



Joined: 01 Feb 2010
Posts: 2941
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:07 am Reply with quote
EireformContinent wrote:
Nobody cares about your ideas in anime industry. See the difference? Ever heard about the context?


#1 That is still a false statement (even if he had reduced the over-the-top dramatic flair with which he made that statement). It's not a matter of whether or not people care about your ideas. Access to the decision makers is the biggest impediment, not whether or not your idea is good enough. My point was, you might have a genius idea that people do care about, but you won't get an anime show because you don't have access. That is not a negative comment about your idea. It is a reality of your position in life.

Yes, context does matter. That's why this part of his article is also important:

Justin wrote:

It flies in the face of being told their entire lives by every parent, teacher and CG animated movie that they're special, that they matter, and that they can do whatever they put their minds to.


In other words, you're not special, you don't matter, and you can't do whatever you put your mind to, because NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR IDEAS!! (Don top hat, and do a happy little jig around a big marque).

Justin wrote:

It's true, but unnecessary to state here, that 99% of the people who consider themselves creative/genius storytellers are only fooling themselves, and their genius ideas are almost always piles of derivative dreck that nobody would ever take seriously.


In other words, not only does no one care about your ideas and you aren't special, and don't matter, you are also really just fooling yourself if you think you have any creativity at all! Most likely, you are just producing absolute rubbish that deserves to be stuffed in a trash bin somewhere. (Dance another little jig)

Need I go on?

#2 Additionally, many of the most successful creative geniuses out there have been turned down countless times before they succeeded in getting noticed. You admitted that yourself. J.K. Rowling spent years languishing and being rejected by publishers before one of them took her seriously, allegedly because he gave one of her manuscripts to his kid and the kid liked it. The fact that she was unsuccessful for so long had nothing to do with the quality of her idea, she didn't have access to the right person, which apparently happened to be the publisher's kid. In other words, her problem wasn't that no one cared about her ideas, her problem was that she couldn't get her idea into the hands of the person who cared for a long time.


Last edited by ChibiKangaroo on Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:19 am; edited 2 times in total
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