Anime Music Producer Predicts the End of the 90-Second Anime Song
posted on by Kim Morrissy
Anime music producer Akihiro Tomita says that Netflix and online streaming will change the length of anime opening and ending themes.
At an “Anime Industry Cross-Talk” event at the Shinjuku Loft Plus One on September 9, Tomita shared his thoughts on the future of the anime industry. He said that creating 90 second versions of anime opening and ending themes has become the standard for Japanese TV over the years, but this is not the case for international platforms and online streaming. In particular, Netflix cuts the ending themes short and automatically skips to the next episode.
As the binge watching model becomes the norm in Japan, anime songs will also have to adapt to it. This is already the case for B: the Beginning, which has an abridged opening theme song with no lyrics or credits, while the ending theme is around two-and-a-half minutes and includes all the credits that would normally be in the opening.
Tomita further predicted that songs that would have once have been planned to be opening or ending themes will be used as insert songs instead. Usually, the purpose of an opening or ending theme is to play every episode and become an “iconic” part of the series, but with the Netflix model it makes more sense to play these songs during key scenes of the anime instead.
“The logic of TV broadcasting no longer applies to the streaming age,” he said in closing.
Akihiro Tomita is a co-founder of the anime music production company Hifumi. He works with artists such as Maon Kurosaki and ClariS.
Tomita was joined at the “Anime Industry Cross-Talk” by anime producer Yoshitada Fukuhara and anime director Seiji Mizushima. The theme of the talk was “The Present and Future of Anime.” Fukuhara predicted that Chinese animation will catch up to Japanese animation, leading to more co-productions, while Mizushima predicted that paper animation will eventually be replaced entirely by digital animation.