Anime Boston 2011 State of the Industry
by Gia Manry,
It's unclear exactly who was in charge of arranging this panel, but the only industry members who showed up were two representatives from Funimation: marketing manager Adam Sheehan and social media manager Justin Rojas. The twosome fielded as many audience questions as they could, but of course could only speak from Funimaton's perspective.
During the panel, Sheehan expressed the opinion that the shrinking of the anime industry had hit its peak and that it was now adjusting its course to improve. Rojas added that a lot of this mirrored the entertainment industry as a whole, rather than being anime-specific, and that despite how it might look in the exhibit hall, anime series compete with a variety of other industries' products— such as video games and movies —as well as competing against other anime titles.
One attendee asked a particularly interesting question: now that Japan is starting to embark on the journey to 3D anime (such as the recent One Piece and Toriko theatrical double feature), what were Funimation's plans for 3D? The answer, perhaps unsurprisingly, was that neither Sheehan nor Rojas knew exactly what would happen on that front: the company's still waiting to see where the dust settles before diving in.
Sheehan also recounted some of Funimation's history on the web, something he'd been looking into as he's been working on the new Funimation.com beta site. He concluded that Funimation had a social networking site (you could build a profile on it) before MySpace or Facebook hit, although he said he was still trying to accumulate information on the site, which predated his employment at Funimation.
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