Sunday, July 23

JETRO report on anime industry.

A report from Japanese Government on anime industry trends. Not suprisingly, it is not too optimistic in tone.


Japanese animation is in the spotlight not only in Japan, but overseas as well. Amid an expanding domestic market for films, television and videos, Japanese animation film producers have also been turning their eyes toward overseas markets. At the same time, new developments have been seen in terms of diversified funding methods for film production. Against this background, the Japanese animation industry is working hard to deal with shortages in certain human-resource skills, reductions in domestic film-production sites and the challenge of expanding operations overseas.

Some parts of discussion:

Japanese animation (“anime”) has been acclaimed worldwide for its original, Japan-based culture and content, to the extent that it is called “Japanimation.” Director Mamoru Oshii’s animated film Innocence was nominated for an award at the 57th Cannes film festival in 2004. Innocence is the sequel to Ghost in the Shell (1995), which reached number one on Billboard’s video chart in the United States.

Miyazaki’s Spirited Away won the feature length animation Oscar at the 75th Academy Awards in 2003, reprising its capture of the Golden Bear at the 2002 Berlin Film Festival and proving once again Japan produces world-class animation.

Many American and Asian animators reportedly want to work on Japanese anime productions, indicating that Japanese animation is viewed by professionals as leading its field. Spirited Away’s commercial success, however, demonstrated Japanese anime’s merits and international competitiveness among the global general public as well. The world clearly views Japanese anime as having potential for big business.

Nonetheless, the industry has not yet shifted its posture sufficiently to respond to overseas acclaim. Moving forward, the Japanese anime industry not only must expand overseas, it also must develop the necessary production/distribution systems and personnel to capitalize on the global business opportunities for anime and other content.

Production systems have in fact been set up, but the industry still has many glaring weaknesses in domestic/overseas distribution and rights, such as licensing and international business expertise in general. In the field of personnel development, animators do not have a suitably high social standing, so the exodus of such personnel to other industries and countries has become a large problem.

Sources: Japanese Economic Monthly, Jun 2005.

The English PDF can be downloaded here.

Anime Business in Japan

This is business article on anime business in Japan. A year old but still interesting to read.

The Anime Biz.

Another look into the genre with balanced view, since the author did comment on darker side of anime. I think this article is honest and tries to be objective in its view.

Anime, from Cute to Scary

Some of you might be curious to know what is my anime taste like. Here is my list, not in any particular order.

Here is my list of prefered titles.

1. Seikai Saga
2. Shingeshutan Tsukihime
3. Gunslinger Girl
4. Saishuu Heiki Kanojo aka Saikano
5. Gundam 0080 OVA
6. Gundam 08th MS Team
7. Now and Then, Here and There
8. Haibane Reimei
9. Kino no Tabi
10. Ghost in the Shell series and movies
11. Fate/Stay Night
12. Samurai Champloo

Honorary mentions:

All Miyazaki movies, 12 Kingdoms, Stellvia of the Universe, Ebichu,
Kogepan, Voices of Distant Star, Berserk, Cowboy Bebop , Akira,
Genshiken, Otaku no Video, Nadia and Secret of Blue Water, Fate/Stay
Night, Infinite Ryvius, Patlabor, Angel's Egg, Neia Under 7, Rozen
Maiden, Gasaraki, Sentou Yousei Yukikaze, Evangelion, Legend of
Galactic Heroes, Wings of Honmaise, Naru Taru, Kimi Ga Nozumu Eien,
Gundam 0083, Gundam's Char Counterattack, Mobile Suit Gundam 0079,
Witch Hunter Robin, Noir, Planet ES, Black Lagoon


SDCC: New "Afro Samurai" Details Revealed
By William C. Maune
07-22-2006, 12:19 AM
At the San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, new details were revealed about the upcoming Afro Samurai anime starring Samuel L. Jackson. The series, slated to run on Spike TV, will be five episodes long, although there may be more episodes if it does well. Each of the five episodes had a budget of over $1 million. Because the series is being made with Japanese television in mind, the uncut version of each episode will be 25 minutes long. Spike TV will be cutting three minutes out of each episodes though for an American television run time of 22 minutes. While the episode length is being made with Japanese television in mind, this will be Gonzo's first anime made initially for an English language audience. Thus, it will subsequently be dubbed into Japanese.

Full article can be seen here.

The official site for Afro Samurai.


Holding The Power of Anime
July 22nd, 2006 3:20 PM by Aaron H. Bynum

1 through 10

ICv2, a comics culture media group focused on disseminating the finer points and projects of select areas of the comics and animation industries, has released a list of which they have considered the most powerful individuals presently active in the western anime industry. The list, consisting of several executive officers of leading North America anime title distributors, reveals not so much which company holds the largest influence nor which organization garners the highest revenue; but rather gives enthusiasts a glimpse into which individuals, behind the companies, has the most control or capacity for future gain and/or growth.

Full article can be seen here.


This is serial manga in Mainchi Shimbun, which has English translation. Shows how big anime has become so far. Perhaps trying to emulate the popularity of Megatokyo?

The manga.


Issue 14.07 - July 2006

Meet the Geek Elite

At first glance, there’s not much to distinguish Koota Umeda from the millions of other Japanese salary­men. When we meet for a beer in a Tokyo bar, the personable 23-year-old is wearing a smart new suit and presents his business card with impeccable manners (he works for a major Japanese tech company). But the unfashionable side part in his hair hints at secret proclivities. The proof comes when he whips out his digicam to show me photos of his enormous, meticulously organized collection of manga, which he keeps in his bedroom at his parents’ house.

Full article can seen here.