2002 - Year in Review, closing editorial

by Christopher Macdonald,
Well, that's it for our 2002 year in review. We hope you enjoyed reading it, and we hope you'll join us all for the coming year.

What about the coming year, what kind of big news stories does 2003 hold in store for us?

Well, as always, the biggest stories of 2003 will be the ones we least expect. With perhaps one exception, the Oscars. In early 2002 we were hopeful that an Anime might be nominated for an Oscar, but alas it was not so. Once again, there is one Anime title that is eligible for an Oscar in 2003. But this time that title is Spirited Away, the best reviewed movie of the past year. Will Spirited Away be nominated? Yes, there is no question in my mind that it will be nominated. Will it win? Maybe. So for the 3rd year in a row, Spirited Away will probably be one of the years biggest stories, even if it doesn't win.

What else will happen in 2003? Well, the obvious trends are going to continue, North American Anime companies will continue to license even more Anime, with more and more of these being co-productions. North American releases will also get closer and closer to the Japanese releases, this past year we were lead to believe that Ghost in the Shell would be broadcast on American TV only a few days after the Japanese broadcast. And while it didn't happen, I think it will happen soon, if not by the end of 2003 then definitely in 2004.

The start of simultaneous releases will spell the end of the fansub community as we know it. Already there is a large question mark hanging over the digisubbing community. However, the day the titles are released in English and Japanese at the same time, there will no longer be any need for fansubs, and online distribution will be unquestionable piracy.

While I'm on the topic of fansubs, I'd like to make sure no one misunderstands ANN's position on fansubbing. We don't hate fansubbers, in fact fansubs are a very important tool for us when it comes to writing previews of the coming Anime. And old-school fansubbers helped build the current Anime industry, were it not for them, things would unquestionably be different today. But the need for fansubs is very different today than it was 4 years ago, and unfortunately most fansubbers have not taken the initiative to become a truly symbiotic part of the process.

As for ANN, what can you look forward to in 2003 as a reader? Obviously, we have a few new features in mind, but nothing ground breaking. Rather, reliable and regular production and delivery of our content is to be our goal right now. We are already fairly reliable (time wise), but one of our top goals in 2003 is to become absolutely reliable. This is in regards to our news coverage (a couple times we were a day or two behind on some articles), our reviews (2002 started off great, but towards the end of the year we were only posting a couple reviews a month) and convention coverage (same day coverage).

But, just to give you a few things to look forward to, expect to see a new layout, more customization of how ANN looks to individual readers, and more interaction.

We have thanked many important people in the opening editorial, and I'm sure we still missed one or two others (sorry), but once again I'd like to say thank you to all our sponsors, all the company reps that we've worked with, and a huge thank you to all our staff (new, old and departed).

In addition to thanking these great people I would also like to thank you, the reader.

Thank you for a great 2002,

and here's to a great 2003.

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