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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
Posts: 3714
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:34 pm Reply with quote
I need to disagree with Jonathan Clements regarding the topic of blu-rays sold and the audience for a show. Just because there's only 1,500 who buy all the volumes of show does NOT mean the audience is limited to only 1,500 people at all. Has he ever heard of the 2ch meme "(buying) anime is for rich people"?

Why would you think anime fans in Japan would not prioritize their purchases especially when it could mean the difference between paying rent or not? They could very well like a show and still not buy the blu-rays. In order to measure an audience for a show you need to take into account, ALL the viewers on TV -- including DVR which the ratings in Japan does not measure-- and ALL the viewers online, legal and illegal, and ALL the readers of the source material (VN, LN, manga) and especially ALL buyers the merchandise.

I know Jonathan's disappointed in how many small shows appeal to a niche audience but he can't just say producers are sadly mistaken by following BD sales alone. While it's true a lot of niche shows do poorly on video and don't recoup costs for producing anime for some period of time, the fact is the entire market for niche shows is much broader than he may realize.

Someone may not have $500 to spend on a cour of BDs, but they may buy a figure or something else. That money goes to members of the production commitee or sponsors who help pay for it, regardless of buyers of the BD. And that person buying the merch may not even be in Japan.
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asdqweiop



Joined: 21 Feb 2014
Posts: 33
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 11:22 pm Reply with quote
who should we listen to? professional with fluent japanese, decades of experience writing and working in the industry, and a wide level of industry contacts, OR random dude on the ANN forums.

hmmmmm.....
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bemused Bohemian



Joined: 09 Jun 2009
Posts: 401
Location: central Mizzou (Moral Oralville)
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 11:27 pm Reply with quote
Really enjoyed listening to this podcast. It's nice to see someone else loathed Dog & Scissors as much as I did. I just knew I couldn't be the only 1.

I did order your doorstop tome and am looking forward to the comment sections.

I wish you guys had the time to cover and write a tome about Japanese creation PVC figurines in book form. The MFC and Japanese websites serving the otaku trade are fantastic but there are a few of we throwbacks that favor paper and print over bits and bytes so we can justify all that schooling suffered through English language formalities when it was still in vogue back in the day.

I'm appreciative that I have the means to afford good anime. I just wish technological advances in camera surveillance were more primitive, say 1890's era. This way at my age (67) I could successfully rob liquor stores, certain banks for "found" monies to underwrite my PVC figurine addiction. The amount I've sunk in this hobby aspect since April, 2012 would've financed a damn fine Cadillac SLX on the upper cost scale or even paid down half the home improvement loan.

Psssssssssssst, plzzzzzzz, re last paragraph, don't tell my wife. Wink
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albanian



Joined: 18 Nov 2005
Posts: 133
Location: UK
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 7:38 am Reply with quote
I haven't got around to experimenting with my hardback copy of AE3 as a doorstop because I'm still having far too much fun hopping and skipping through the pages! I think I partly recognise the criticism of the book as a flawed academic resource, but I'm not an academic and actually welcome a little bit of provocative opinion to leaven the lump.. I've read most of Helen's and Jonathan's books over the years and have found them both to be fluent, readable and (sometimes provocatively) entertaining writers. (And if you really want 'academic', Anime: A History is a superb read.)

However, one of Jonathan's comments saw me breaking into shivers and a cold sweat. If spending $80-90 a month qualifies you as an otaku I might have to reassess my life! I easily spend that much locally (UK) on anime and manga, and as much again or more on imports (US/Australia) for titles that are unlikely to make it to these shores - and that without even turning to the merchandising sector. (And it's not even my major hobby - that would be art history.) But then when you are a retired, housebound wheelchair-user, you do have a lot of spare time to fill up - so very grateful thanks to The Anime Encyclopedia and all the time it will fill in the future!
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ChibiKangaroo



Joined: 01 Feb 2010
Posts: 2941
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:03 am Reply with quote
It doesn't surprise me at all that people get angry at the authors of Anime Encyclopedia for critiquing certain anime or trends in anime. It's the same thing we've seen countless times in the forums (we just spent pages in the Maria the Virgin Witch thread dealing with this.)

When people get really excited about a particular show and become a huge fan, they don't like someone criticizing it, plain and simple. They feel a need to defend it come hell or high water. It doesn't matter if the person is trying to raise legitimate criticisms or offer insights.

I get the impression that Mr. Clements and/or Ms. McCarthy have looked at the ANN forums. If they have, I'm sure they have seen this phenomenon play out a million times in these forums (or other forums), so they know the terrain by now. I personally am more likely to buy their book if it actually contains insights about anime or trends in anime. I don't want to read a bunch of stale, data reports about shows. I can get that through a Google search. If I'm going to spend good money on a book, I want to receive insight.
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jroa



Joined: 08 Aug 2012
Posts: 486
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:02 am Reply with quote
ChibiKangaroo wrote:
It doesn't surprise me at all that people get angry at the authors of Anime Encyclopedia for critiquing certain anime or trends in anime. It's the same thing we've seen countless times in the forums (we just spent pages in the Maria the Virgin Witch thread dealing with this.)

When people get really excited about a particular show and become a huge fan, they don't like someone criticizing it, plain and simple. They feel a need to defend it come hell or high water. It doesn't matter if the person is trying to raise legitimate criticisms or offer insights.


Which brings forth a logical response: are you willing to accept that the people who have been arguing with you about that particular anime in this forum are also raising legitimate points and offering insights?

Just as it would be wrong to consider you a "hater" simply because of your ongoing disagreements with Gabriella Ekens on Maria the Virgin Witch and several debates with other forum posters, I don't think it is remotely fair to characterize the opposing side as defending the show at all costs. The implication seems to be that fanatical blindness and a stubborn refusal to consider opposing arguments is the only thing that prevents others from agreeing with some of your harshest complaints. As a matter of fact, I think there have been some heated reactions on both sides of the argument but, more importantly, many legitimate interpretations have also been exchanged in the process. It hasn't always happened with the best civility, but I don't believe the usefulness of this exercise remains strictly unilateral either.

Speaking about the Anime Encyclopedia, the book will never have the last word on any given subject but it doesn't need to do so. It's essentially a valuable contribution to the discussion and a useful yet imperfect guide to a huge number of shows. I think all of the thematic articles are quite interesting and several classify as truly insightful looks into the history of anime. That also goes for some of the entries, particularly the more extensive and analytical ones.

But there are definitely lesser examples, as well as various statements in the book that are controversial. That means the content is -and should be- open to public debate. There is also a continuing need for corrections of errors and omissions in certain plot summaries, which can even potentially color some of the opinions derived from them.

The esteemed authors have sincerely acknowledged during this podcast interview that sometimes they couldn't sit down to watch a show and had to rely on other sources (such as Newtype magazine), which might be the cause of some old mistakes and explains why a number of them are still present after multiple revisions, plus I have to imagine there were also cases where they understandably only had enough time to look at a handful of episodes instead of a full season. Needless to say, regardless of their skills as writers and commentators, the quality of the entries will absolutely tend to vary when using that methodology.
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Fronzel



Joined: 11 Sep 2003
Posts: 1906
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:06 am Reply with quote
ChibiKangaroo wrote:
I personally am more likely to buy their book if it actually contains insights about anime or trends in anime. ... If I'm going to spend good money on a book, I want to receive insight.


Rebecca Silverman wrote:
...the entries are liberally sprinkled with the authors' opinions, such as an entire paragraph in the entry for Black Butler lauding the Japanese approach to the Victorian era, which adds no information about the actual show to the section. ... The fact that the author then fails to take into account the anime's tendency to confuse servants' roles, prominently displayed in Black Butler, is also an issue, given the subject of the praise, as it shows a very clear bias.
Source

Yeah, sound great.
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angelmcazares
Subscriber



Joined: 23 Sep 2010
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Location: Iscandar
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 1:31 pm Reply with quote
Very informative podcast. The Anime Encyclopedia sounds like a labor of love. I just ordered the 3rd edition and Anime: A History. I look forward to read the work by Ms. McCarthy and Mr. Clements.
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ChibiKangaroo



Joined: 01 Feb 2010
Posts: 2941
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 1:44 pm Reply with quote
jroa wrote:
ChibiKangaroo wrote:
It doesn't surprise me at all that people get angry at the authors of Anime Encyclopedia for critiquing certain anime or trends in anime. It's the same thing we've seen countless times in the forums (we just spent pages in the Maria the Virgin Witch thread dealing with this.)

When people get really excited about a particular show and become a huge fan, they don't like someone criticizing it, plain and simple. They feel a need to defend it come hell or high water. It doesn't matter if the person is trying to raise legitimate criticisms or offer insights.


Which brings forth a logical response: are you willing to accept that the people who have been arguing with you about that particular anime in this forum are also raising legitimate points and offering insights?


Yes, I've been willing to accept that the whole time. That's why I've said numerous times that I thought the show was a decent or in some cases good show, but that there are problems. The push-back from fans is always "No, there are no problems, so stop saying there are."

Quote:

I don't think it is remotely fair to characterize the opposing side as defending the show at all costs. The implication seems to be that fanatical blindness and a stubborn refusal to consider opposing arguments...


In some sense I am speaking about a kind of fanaticism. It's the difference between one person saying:

"This show is slightly good, slightly bad, or equally good/bad, for these reasons."

And someone else saying:

"Every reason you just gave for any negative aspects of this show is absolutely false and has zero legitimacy whatsoever. It's not even possible to think such a negative thing about this show."

That is generally how the dynamic shakes out in those heated debates. You will see that pattern play out countless times in countless different anime threads.

Then when a critic says "But, you're saying the show is perfect."

The fan will respond, "No! I'm not saying it's perfect. I'm just saying it has no meaningful flaws of any kind."

That kind of doublespeak seems to me to be borne of fanaticism, where someone can't even realize the contradiction in their own words.

My point is, no matter what kind of insight the authors of The Anime Encyclopedia offer up about shows, there will be super-fans or perhaps "haters" if you want to call it that, who will become outraged. I agree with Ms. McCarthy in the podcast when she said, "If you don't like my opinion on this, write your own book so you can start a conversation too." There's no point in trying to stop her from saying what she's saying. It's an attempt to censor her when people should instead present their own opinions and back them up. If she's wrong about something, then so be it. I still think it's great to have books like this that can get people thinking in an intellectual way about anime.
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marcos torres toledo



Joined: 01 Sep 2009
Posts: 269
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:12 pm Reply with quote
I happen to enjoy hentai anime which I cant access through Video Ave the only surviving video store chain store here in Puerto Rico they drop their anime section. They have gone the way of the other brick and mortar stores extinct. Could you bring back these two great guests to take about the pornography in the media in general I think that would make a interesting podcast and enlightening as well I remember renting Violence Jack miss them days. Sad
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Drac



Joined: 08 Apr 2005
Posts: 163
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 12:21 am Reply with quote
I'd hate to think of all the people who read a review of a title from this Encyclopedia and goes away treating it as the gospel truth just because the writers have years of experience on the subject. Hayao Miyazaki has worked in the industry for decades and he's the last guy I'd go to for opinions about animation.
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invalidname
Contributor



Joined: 11 Aug 2004
Posts: 2165
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:17 am Reply with quote
Drac wrote:
I'd hate to think of all the people who read a review of a title from this Encyclopedia and goes away treating it as the gospel truth just because the writers have years of experience on the subject. Hayao Miyazaki has worked in the industry for decades and he's the last guy I'd go to for opinions about animation.

Nobody should think any review is gospel truth, but the ability to assess a work and put it in the context of related works and the state of the art is something that only comes with time and experience.

Look, I'm the one who kicked off the whole inadvertent Twitter pissing match about Clannad, because while I love the show, I also loved Helen's snarky-as-hell write-up of it. If they say this show is deviously calculated and manipulative, I'm like "yeah, isn't it great!"

Don't be butt-hurt if they (or Zac, for that matter) hate your favorite show. The opposite of love isn't hate, it's indifference.

(To wit: I've done a bunch of writing on Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse, and it didn't even merit an entry in the Anime Encyclopedia.)
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Alan45
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Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 8937
Location: Virginia
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:32 am Reply with quote
It would be impossible for anyone heavily invested in the material to not have an opinion (or if you prefer bias) about much of the content. Someone who was not a fan would not have the knowledge to create the work in the first place. Basically the choice is between something like this or no work at all. Obviously the more influential a show (such as Evangelion) the stronger the opinions of the writers.

I would prefer that the writers opinions and any bias be out front and open. That is much preferable to something that sounds "objective" and damns by faint praise. As long as the description of the show is reasonably accurate, I don't really care if the reviewer likes what I do or not.
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Surrender Artist



Joined: 01 May 2011
Posts: 3258
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:51 am Reply with quote
Drac wrote:
I'd hate to think of all the people who read a review of a title from this Encyclopedia and goes away treating it as the gospel truth just because the writers have years of experience on the subject. Hayao Miyazaki has worked in the industry for decades and he's the last guy I'd go to for opinions about animation.


Firstly, I think that you're putting up a straw man by implying that opinions are being treated as gospel truth. That's not how opinions work; some can be valued more highly without that value being absolute. As with most things, the provenance of an opinion baers upon its quality. That quality is not a matter of correctness, but of the insight and ideas that it offers, which things that can even be worthwhile in disagreement. Would you really disregard the thoughts and observations of a man who has worked in Japanese animation for decades, seeing and knowing it from the inside, all the while creating works that were not merely prominent in their time, but will likely be held in the firmament of memory for far longer than most, if any, things that seems so important right now simply because what he might say won't validate you?

If that's anywhere near accurate, then I don't think the problem resides in Hayao Miyazaki or even Helen McCarthy and Jonathan Clements. It's an irritatingly common vice of the culture most closely surrounding 'nerd media'.
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Guile



Joined: 18 Jun 2013
Posts: 513
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 1:03 pm Reply with quote
Alan45 wrote:
It would be impossible for anyone heavily invested in the material to not have an opinion (or if you prefer bias) about much of the content. Someone who was not a fan would not have the knowledge to create the work in the first place. Basically the choice is between something like this or no work at all. Obviously the more influential a show (such as Evangelion) the stronger the opinions of the writers.


I disagree, it's only impossible if the person doing the writing is so extroverted they can't help but put their opinions into everything they write and lack the social skills to realize it, or to care. It's quite easy to talk about a show's story, popularity, success, failure, and influence on the industry without talking about how you feel about a show or the themes it has. If people can write about the scientific pros and cons about topics like abortion without imputing their own personal beliefs and stance into the reports, they can do it for a television show.

Surrender Artist wrote:
Firstly, I think that you're putting up a straw man by implying that opinions are being treated as gospel truth. That's not how opinions work; some can be valued more highly without that value being absolute.


You would be surprised. If I had a euro for every time heard someone parrot an opinion from someone like Nostalgia Critic or any other internet reviewer as the gospel of truth I'd be pretty well off. The only real benefit is it becomes quite easy to tell if someone is speaking on their own or from what they've heard from someone else.

Quote:
Would you really disregard the thoughts and observations of a man who has worked in Japanese animation for decades, seeing and knowing it from the inside, all the while creating works that were not merely prominent in their time, but will likely be held in the firmament of memory for far longer than most, if any, things that seems so important right now simply because what he might say won't validate you?


He's probably referring to how Miyazaki dislikes a lot of work that isn't his own and says the industry is bad becuase of otaku, and also compares phones and iPads to masturbatory practices. The man is pretty detached from the modern anime industry, so I totally understand why someone wouldn't hold his opinions on it in high regard about the industry.
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