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Answerman - Will Streaming Companies Free Anime From TV Format Limits?


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Lord Oink



Joined: 06 Jul 2016
Posts: 876
PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 3:22 pm Reply with quote
Aphasial wrote:
The focus on short-term "cours" instead of committing to longer-term productions out from the start (unless ratings tank and it gets cancelled) tends to stunt artistic freedom to tell stories longer than 13 episodes in length, while the lack of local broadcast reruns limits the re-use for advertising spend, forcing even more dependency on either marketing tie-ins and/or otaku disc sales.


I thought over committing was why so many American productions end up cancelled without endings. Having a set length in mind when you create a show seems like the best way to avoid that. You go into a new series of Pocket Monsters or Yu-Gi-Oh knowing it'll be around 140 episodes. You know each Precure, Kamen Rider, Battle Spirits and Super Sentai will be around 52 along with any new franchises like Kamiwaza Wanda, MonHun Stories, and Hero Bank. Long runners like One Piece and Detective Conan seemed immune to cancellation as well despite no real set amount of episodes known.

American style storytelling never interested me. Waiting between seasons is annoying, and you wind up with the same amount of episode as an anime at the end of the day only stretched out over four to five years so most of that time is sitting around waiting for new episodes. Relying on the network to renew for another season seems a lot more risky and harmful to creativity.
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Gonbawa



Joined: 28 Jun 2016
Posts: 25
PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 5:27 pm Reply with quote
A serie like RWBY, with variable in length episodes, is a good exemple of an "(almost)anime" made solely for streaming.
The same can be said of the web only manga "OnePunch Man" random-length chapters : they don't need to fill a calibrated space.
Both exemples are showing us the future and the way the "web-only" is going to change the edition world in general.
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leafy sea dragon



Joined: 27 Oct 2009
Posts: 7163
Location: Another Kingdom
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 2:40 am Reply with quote
Aphasial wrote:
^ This, however it should be taken into account how much late-night anime is dependent on disc sales to begin with. Honestly it feels like the Japanese market is causing problems for itself in two different ways here. The focus on short-term "cours" instead of committing to longer-term productions out from the start (unless ratings tank and it gets cancelled) tends to stunt artistic freedom to tell stories longer than 13 episodes in length, while the lack of local broadcast reruns limits the re-use for advertising spend, forcing even more dependency on either marketing tie-ins and/or otaku disc sales.

It feels like Japanese anime producers are still looking for a better way achieve reliable funding.


Regarding the cours system, serial and semi-serial television in the United States (and Canada) function in that way too: They tell a story in however many number of episodes their first season will have. If it works out, great! They'll tell more season-long stories. If it doesn't, the story ends there. (Preferably, they'll throw in some hooks into the first season's story to have material to work with in later seasons.) It's worked out pretty well so far, and I haven't seen any shows that ran into problems with their seasons being too short. The way I see it, a good writer can make a good story given any limitations they have (as long as it's within reason). They're already writing to fit exact episode lengths. Making stories to fit a certian number of episodes is just the next step up.

Lord Oink wrote:
American style storytelling never interested me. Waiting between seasons is annoying, and you wind up with the same amount of episode as an anime at the end of the day only stretched out over four to five years so most of that time is sitting around waiting for new episodes. Relying on the network to renew for another season seems a lot more risky and harmful to creativity.


They are a lot more financially safe than having a huge number of episodes to show one after the other until it ends though. The only shows that really did that were children's shows with strong marketing tie-ins, like The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog or DuckTales, which both ran as a single 65-episode season (not counting movies or specials), and the networks they were on knew that merchandise-driven shows were (and still are) the safest bet for whether a show can turn a profit or not.

Otherwise, if ratings sink (or remain low), and the network is obligated to show every episode due to a contract (which executives will hesitate if they see it), they have to dedicate a timeslot to something they know won't turn a profit. That's the purpose of the season system in western television: So the network can pull the plug when things go south and they're sure it won't ever rise back up. Even then, they can cancel a show mid-season, like what happened to Invader Zim. Heck, Australia's Naughtiest Home Videos was cancelled mid-episode.

The other purpose for the seasons system, of course, is so that shows don't require a huge lead time to their air dates. With a few exceptions like Tim & Eric and South Park, non-anime programming simply cannot be done within a week, at least with a reasonable budget. How ridiculous would it be to make 500+ episodes of Doctor Who or CSI and submit them all at once? What would happen to Nickelodeon's finances if an executive thought The X's would be their next big hit and ordered a full 65-episode set, and it turns out to have been soundly rejected with miserable ratings from the outset?

Gonbawa wrote:
The same can be said of the web only manga "OnePunch Man" random-length chapters : they don't need to fill a calibrated space.


What I find interesting about the publishing of One-Punch Man is that it also follows an irregular schedule. Sometimes, months will go by without the next chapter, and sometimes, it'll be there on consecutive weeks. (That won't fly with streaming, of course.)
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