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INTEREST: C93: The Corporate Booths Reveal How Anime is Now Mainstream


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Kicksville



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:20 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
This is the beauty of Comiket. Even if you aren't interested in doujinshi, you're sure to find something in the corporate booths that will appeal to your tastes. Anime has become mainstream without sacrificing any of its niche appeal.

How nice for them. I realize there's legal differences and tolerances that keep it from being possible, but it's always annoyed me a bit how we always acknowledge Comiket is a big deal in Japan - and yet the idea of anything like that existing in, say, the US, is oft dismissed. Just as an idea. Again, not legally likely to begin with (fair enough, and I imagine usually where the dismissal comes from), but it does strike me that it has been a strength that things like Comiket exist over there, and it sucks we're stuck with pure corporatism over here. It would be nice, is all I'm saying.
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Lord Oink



Joined: 06 Jul 2016
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:24 pm Reply with quote
WOTC seems to have given up on the Japanese market, now they're going after the streamer market.

I miss booth babes. The annual RSA trip isnt the same without them.

Marketing towards a specific gender makes sense. You know the old saying, try to please everyone, end up pleasing no one. Any peripheral demographics you snag along the way is just a bonus.
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meruru



Joined: 16 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:41 pm Reply with quote
Lord Oink wrote:
WOTC seems to have given up on the Japanese market, now they're going after the streamer market.

I miss booth babes. The annual RSA trip isnt the same without them.

Marketing towards a specific gender makes sense. You know the old saying, try to please everyone, end up pleasing no one. Any peripheral demographics you snag along the way is just a bonus.


I'm not against gender targeted marketing, but booth babes are different. They're encouraging con goers to objectify real women, in a space that's meant to be for everyone. The booth babes do consent to that... to some extent... by taking the job, but now the convention has a general atmosphere where that kind of objectification is considered okay. To many female attendees, it gives off a feel that they're secondary to the men there. And worse, many men think women working as booth babes entitles them to some level of flirtation, unwanted attention, or even worse types of harassment. I know of women who work in especially male dominated industries that have this type of convention, and they've been harassed by attendees who have assumed merely because they were attractive, they must be booth babes, and not project managers, engineers, software developers, etc. It's just not a good look, IMO.
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VanGosroth



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:41 pm Reply with quote
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Anime has become mainstream without sacrificing any of its niche appeal.


What a load of BS
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Meongantuk



Joined: 03 Jun 2016
Posts: 280
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:51 pm Reply with quote
Kicksville wrote:
Quote:
This is the beauty of Comiket. Even if you aren't interested in doujinshi, you're sure to find something in the corporate booths that will appeal to your tastes. Anime has become mainstream without sacrificing any of its niche appeal.

How nice for them. I realize there's legal differences and tolerances that keep it from being possible, but it's always annoyed me a bit how we always acknowledge Comiket is a big deal in Japan - and yet the idea of anything like that existing in, say, the US, is oft dismissed. Just as an idea. Again, not legally likely to begin with (fair enough, and I imagine usually where the dismissal comes from), but it does strike me that it has been a strength that things like Comiket exist over there, and it sucks we're stuck with pure corporatism over here. It would be nice, is all I'm saying.


Blame D**n*y. *cough*
And Western market's generally "outdated" view on fanworks. I mean, less than 20 years ago you can't even write and publish fanfic on internet without fearing the writer might suing you. Rolling Eyes

Nowadays, it's much better since plenty of the current creators came from the fanwork side, thus leading to more tolerating environment (not that it stop the corporate) but still decades apart from Japan. Still, I wish there are more big name western companies/creators with more welcoming community guideline like Toby Fox's guideline on Undertale fanworks.
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leafy sea dragon



Joined: 27 Oct 2009
Posts: 7163
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:52 pm Reply with quote
Heh, I'm pretty amused to see Wizards of the Coast promoting Magic: The Gathering considering their disastrous campaign in the mid-00's to try to sell it to Japan. (We got Duel Masters out of it though.) All in all, it does make sense for them to be at Comiket if you consider it as a source of fanfiction (and Wizards is one of the few western media companies to embrace fanfiction of its works, and continues to do so after it was bought by Hasbro, as Hasbro is another western company to encourage fanfiction), though I don't know how well it'll pan out.

Kicksville wrote:
How nice for them. I realize there's legal differences and tolerances that keep it from being possible, but it's always annoyed me a bit how we always acknowledge Comiket is a big deal in Japan - and yet the idea of anything like that existing in, say, the US, is oft dismissed. Just as an idea. Again, not legally likely to begin with (fair enough, and I imagine usually where the dismissal comes from), but it does strike me that it has been a strength that things like Comiket exist over there, and it sucks we're stuck with pure corporatism over here. It would be nice, is all I'm saying.


Depends on what you mean. Do you mean about Comiket's focus on doujinshi, which would be the equivalent of a fanfiction convention here in the United States?

VanGosroth wrote:
Quote:
Anime has become mainstream without sacrificing any of its niche appeal.


What a load of BS


Yeah, anime has not become mainstream in the least! Look at all the late night anime appealing to a small group of people!

Meongantuk wrote:
Blame D**n*y. *cough*
And Western market's generally "outdated" view on fanworks. I mean, less than 20 years ago you can't even write and publish fanfic on internet without fearing the writer might suing you. Rolling Eyes

Nowadays, it's much better since plenty of the current creators came from the fanwork side, thus leading to more tolerating environment (not that it stop the corporate) but still decades apart from Japan. Still, I wish there are more big name western companies/creators with more welcoming community guideline like Toby Fox's guideline on Undertale fanworks.


It's not just Disney, but an overall protectiveness of media companies with their IPs. What they're terrified of is not the fact that fanfiction exists, but of the possibility of fanfiction that could change the overall public perception of an IP. Of course, there's also the fact that this stuff is bought and sold at Comiket, which can easily be viewed as cutting into a franchise's profits. (And this is actually happening with some fandoms. As dedicated as Bronies are, for instance, they largely buy and sell fan-created works and ignore official stuff except for the TV show, meaning Hasbro does not profit much from them. It actually perplexes me that franchises like Touhou and Kantai Collection can be mostly run by the fans and not drive the creators out of business.)

I'm honestly not sure how Japanese companies can turn a blind eye to it so well. Maybe it's the nature of doujinshi communities in Japan and how they keep to themselves, versus western fan communities who more often than not want to proclaim it to everyone? I mean, in both parts of the world, there will be plenty of parents who will be shocked and appalled to find Frozen porn and vow never to buy anything related to Frozen for their kids ever again, but I take it that in Japan, they make sure these parents never find them.

I really have no clue though.
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Frog-kun
ANN Reviewer


Joined: 10 Jun 2017
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:13 pm Reply with quote
VanGosroth wrote:
Quote:
Anime has become mainstream without sacrificing any of its niche appeal.


What a load of BS


I'm talking strictly about Japan here. Anime is part of the mainstream youth culture here, and you'd have to be pretty blind to the advertising not to notice it.
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Meongantuk



Joined: 03 Jun 2016
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:17 pm Reply with quote
leafy sea dragon wrote:
Heh, I'm pretty amused to see Wizards of the Coast promoting Magic: The Gathering considering their disastrous campaign in the mid-00's to try to sell it to Japan. (We got Duel Masters out of it though.) All in all, it does make sense for them to be at Comiket if you consider it as a source of fanfiction (and Wizards is one of the few western media companies to embrace fanfiction of its works, and continues to do so after it was bought by Hasbro, as Hasbro is another western company to encourage fanfiction), though I don't know how well it'll pan out.



Kicksville wrote:
How nice for them. I realize there's legal differences and tolerances that keep it from being possible, but it's always annoyed me a bit how we always acknowledge Comiket is a big deal in Japan - and yet the idea of anything like that existing in, say, the US, is oft dismissed. Just as an idea. Again, not legally likely to begin with (fair enough, and I imagine usually where the dismissal comes from), but it does strike me that it has been a strength that things like Comiket exist over there, and it sucks we're stuck with pure corporatism over here. It would be nice, is all I'm saying.




Depends on what you mean. Do you mean about Comiket's focus on doujinshi, which would be the equivalent of a fanfiction convention here in the United States?



VanGosroth wrote:
Quote:
Anime has become mainstream without sacrificing any of its niche appeal.




What a load of BS




Yeah, anime has not become mainstream in the least! Look at all the late night anime appealing to a small group of people!



Meongantuk wrote:
Blame D**n*y. *cough*

And Western market's generally "outdated" view on fanworks. I mean, less than 20 years ago you can't even write and publish fanfic on internet without fearing the writer might suing you. Rolling Eyes



Nowadays, it's much better since plenty of the current creators came from the fanwork side, thus leading to more tolerating environment (not that it stop the corporate) but still decades apart from Japan. Still, I wish there are more big name western companies/creators with more welcoming community guideline like Toby Fox's guideline on Undertale fanworks.




It's not just Disney, but an overall protectiveness of media companies with their IPs. What they're terrified of is not the fact that fanfiction exists, but of the possibility of fanfiction that could change the overall public perception of an IP. Of course, there's also the fact that this stuff is bought and sold at Comiket, which can easily be viewed as cutting into a franchise's profits. (And this is actually happening with some fandoms. As dedicated as Bronies are, for instance, they largely buy and sell fan-created works and ignore official stuff except for the TV show, meaning Hasbro does not profit much from them. It actually perplexes me that franchises like Touhou and Kantai Collection can be mostly run by the fans and not drive the creators out of business.)



I'm honestly not sure how Japanese companies can turn a blind eye to it so well. Maybe it's the nature of doujinshi communities in Japan and how they keep to themselves, versus western fan communities who more often than not want to proclaim it to everyone? I mean, in both parts of the world, there will be plenty of parents who will be shocked and appalled to find Frozen porn and vow never to buy anything related to Frozen for their kids ever again, but I take it that in Japan, they make sure these parents never find them.



I really have no clue though.




That's why I say "outdated".

I'll tell you a certain (public) secret about the Comiket and doujin culture in general: The company can turn blind eye towards the fanworks sold in comiket because majority of the participants don't actually make profit!
Furthermore Comiket limit the fanwork gross profit at 10000 yen (around $88) per booth while the printing cost, transportation, etc can easily double that number (or triple if you're not from Tokyo). The only ones who do make profit are the popular ones who also publish original works. Not to mention each compay has their own rules a.k.a the aforementioned "community guideline" pertaining the fanmerch (e.g Nitro+ only allows you to print up 100 per item). Which is something that most western creators/company don't or at least,most of their rules are just one big NOPE. Of course this doesn't mean something like Bronies incident in your post never happened, but they're rarer.

As for porn, because they have separate hall (and day) for R-18 stuff. They're pretty easy to avoid. Not that many people are insane enough to bring kids to Comiket (not because the porn but because the waiting line). The same goes to shops like Toranoana and Melonbooks. If parents bringing their kids to R-18 section and then found porn, they can only blame themself for being a massive dumbass who can't read sign or the shop attendant for not noticing underage waltzing to R18 section.

And oh, having hentai in your work list isn't as big deal as in the west since there are plenty who came from similar background.
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NormanS



Joined: 15 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:38 pm Reply with quote
My favorite part of the seasonal comiket is the music they put out. The trance and electronic stuff are pretty good, not to mention the countless numbers of touhou inspired music like Zytokine.
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reanimator





PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:29 am Reply with quote
Other than legal issue, I think the one reason why Western media companies don't tolerate fan-made items is that there are many unscrupulous, undisciplined, and out-of-control people who'll stop at nothing to make bucks from derivative works even with set-rules. Even though places like conventions have self-policing which limits such method, but there are some opportunists out there who'll print and sell stuffs indefinitely as long as there is demand.

For Comiket's case, fan artists have implicit agreement among the community and companies which allows them to print and sell very limited copy of derivative fan works. Plus it's the Japanese dojinshi artists who complain about unscrupulous foreigners trying to sell e-book version of scanned dojinshi on Amazon without artists' permission. Artists themselves are following the rule, but unscrupulous foreigner are not and thus making artists look bad.
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leafy sea dragon



Joined: 27 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:02 am Reply with quote
Meongantuk wrote:
That's why I say "outdated".

I'll tell you a certain (public) secret about the Comiket and doujin culture in general: The company can turn blind eye towards the fanworks sold in comiket because majority of the participants don't actually make profit!
Furthermore Comiket limit the fanwork gross profit at 10000 yen (around $88) per booth while the printing cost, transportation, etc can easily double that number (or triple if you're not from Tokyo). The only ones who do make profit are the popular ones who also publish original works. Not to mention each compay has their own rules a.k.a the aforementioned "community guideline" pertaining the fanmerch (e.g Nitro+ only allows you to print up 100 per item). Which is something that most western creators/company don't or at least,most of their rules are just one big NOPE. Of course this doesn't mean something like Bronies incident in your post never happened, but they're rarer.

As for porn, because they have separate hall (and day) for R-18 stuff. They're pretty easy to avoid. Not that many people are insane enough to bring kids to Comiket (not because the porn but because the waiting line). The same goes to shops like Toranoana and Melonbooks. If parents bringing their kids to R-18 section and then found porn, they can only blame themself for being a massive dumbass who can't read sign or the shop attendant for not noticing underage waltzing to R18 section.

And oh, having hentai in your work list isn't as big deal as in the west since there are plenty who came from similar background.


Heh, thanks for the feedback and the detailed response, but what I mean is that the companies that produce the official stuff are often afraid that the fanworks will crowd out the official stuff and cut into their profits, which I pointed out DOES sometimes happen. And it's not because the fans have no limits on what they're allowed to sell, but that the fans are buying fan-created stuff INSTEAD of the official stuff, and there are enough creators within the fandom to satisfy demand. Some of them might also have a pretty negative opinion of the official stuff, even if only in a "stick it to the Man" kind of way. (By the way, I should point out that I used Bronies as an example not because it's a single incident, but it's an ongoing thing. There is a pretty sizable contingent who have a grudge against Hasbro in some way or another, such that they only buy fan-created material or from 3rd-party companies and only watch Friendship Is Magic through pirated means so as to prevent Hasbro from profiting off of them. Some of them have even stopped watching the show and are enjoying being a fan purely through the fandom. Hasbro has become sneaky about this, though, and has licensed out to companies like Funko, Aurora, and Olyfactory to make merchandise that these fans WOULD buy.)

I suppose in Japan, you don't have quite as many people who are going to raise a stink about not getting what they wanted, so it's less likely you'll find the outraged parent. Then again, parents often let their children roam around free through the day even when not at school, whereas we've had a rise of helicopter parenting in the west where parents are getting increasingly scared and will guard their kids increasingly tightly. Of course, my perception is most likely colored by the fact that I've worked retail before and have had to deal with all sorts of irresponsible parents, or parents who will use the store as free day care as they take off for several hours, or those who will blame me and my co-workers for getting themselves or their children into trouble.

reanimator wrote:
Other than legal issue, I think the one reason why Western media companies don't tolerate fan-made items is that there are many unscrupulous, undisciplined, and out-of-control people who'll stop at nothing to make bucks from derivative works even with set-rules. Even though places like conventions have self-policing which limits such method, but there are some opportunists out there who'll print and sell stuffs indefinitely as long as there is demand.

For Comiket's case, fan artists have implicit agreement among the community and companies which allows them to print and sell very limited copy of derivative fan works. Plus it's the Japanese dojinshi artists who complain about unscrupulous foreigners trying to sell e-book version of scanned dojinshi on Amazon without artists' permission. Artists themselves are following the rule, but unscrupulous foreigner are not and thus making artists look bad.


Hmm, is that why imported doujinshi are so hard to find?

Certainly, that reminds me of how a lot of manga artists have a rule that you cannot take photographs of them, but that only provokes people into trying to take secret photographs. I mean, there's an entire industry centered around taking secret pictures of celebrities here (just this past summer, there was a controversy about paparazzi climbing the fences and trees into George Clooney's property to take pictures of his newborn son, which Clooney was very unhappy about). We want rebellion, and we want scandal.
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:27 am Reply with quote
What I understand and have read here on ANN is that in Japan, companies must authorize prosecution for IP infringement, unlike the US where prosecution without involvement of the IP owner is possible (although rare; usually such illegalities are used to escalate or pad other charges). So one could surmise "turning a blind eye" is implicitly legally authorizing such works, for the time being at least.

Quote:
It's also still common for Japanese anime conventions to have booth babes, a practice which is largely obsolete in the US.

Hey, booth babes are still common at car shows!

Quote:
Having said that, you can still see ads like these in the corporate booths:
....
On one hand, it's not surprising to see youth culture embrace lewdness as an art.

Aside from doujinshi, this is yet another cultural and even legal difference I see in mainstream advertising approaches and corporate policies. And this is not even touching the actual R-18 stuff.
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Łukasz Kawosz



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:43 am Reply with quote
Quote:
On the other hand, it is worth noting what the existence of ads and products catering to the male gaze does to a convention that is otherwise popular with both men and women


Is ANN going to pretend there aren't any women artists at comiket pandering to "male gaze" nor "booth babe" women who enjoy the attention cosplaying and advertising the products?

Why aren't you complaining about catering to the woman gaze at fujo parts of the comiket?

meruru wrote:

To many female attendees, it gives off a feel that they're secondary to the men there.


Is that an actual opinion of female Comiket goers? Or something you have imagined based on what's happening in your country?
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TheCanipaEffect



Joined: 27 Apr 2017
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:51 am Reply with quote
Łukasz Kawosz wrote:
Quote:
On the other hand, it is worth noting what the existence of ads and products catering to the male gaze does to a convention that is otherwise popular with both men and women


Is ANN going to pretend there aren't any women artists at comiket pandering to "male gaze" nor "booth babe" women who enjoy the attention cosplaying and advertising the products?

Why aren't you complaining about catering to the woman gaze at fujo parts of the comiket?


The article doesn't even complain about the booth babes or the male gaze. It literally just states the fact that it's there. I mean, it's literally the most neutral stance when hiring booth babes have been banned in anime conventions throughout the US and Europe because of sexual harassment.
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Greboruri



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:03 am Reply with quote
Łukasz Kawosz wrote:
Is ANN going to pretend there aren't any women artists at comiket pandering to "male gaze" nor "booth babe" women who enjoy the attention cosplaying and advertising the products?


The female cosplayers who sell photobooks at Comiket and similar events certainly know who their core market is. There's plenty of cheesecake shots in those books. Same for many of the cosplayers posing. From Comiket's own research (pdf file), nearly three quarters of participating circles are female and female cosplayers outnumber the male ones four or five to one. So either they don't have a problem with the "objectification" (including those who "objectify" themselves) or being there and participating outweighs it.

Also in regards to Marui having booth at Comiket, they've had the Production I.G store situated within their Shibuya store for a couple of years now. The floor also has a Shonnen Jump shop, but surprisingly I saw "Girls und Panzer" merchandise being sold on the same floor.
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