Sunday, March 22

Anime still struggling to make $$$ in USA

In a recent interview for pop culture news site, TokyoPop founder and CEO Stuart Levy describes his company's initial strategy in 1998 to harness what he calls "the three C's: content, community and commerce." A decade later, he and others in Japan's U.S.-targeted pop industries have been wildly successful at mastering the first two--content and community--but are struggling mightily to complete the triangle.

In addition to the shelves of manga and anime at U.S. bookstores and libraries, and the fan conventions held each weekend, you can now see original sketches, production cels and anime screenings at highbrow venues such as the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, the Pacific Asia Art Museum in Pasadena, Calif., and the Japan Society in New York.


A discussion outlined difficulties of making anime and its related products saleable in USA( world largest consumer market despite the current economic crisis). A markedly pro industry and somewhat anti piracy article (hint: fansubbers) in content, nevertheless it talks about dilemma of US industry to realize profit despite able to create subculture of anime and people willing to go far for the genre.

The collapse of ADV USA and Geneon USA are stark reminders of grim reality on anime industry for English speaking communities which some pundits felt went wrong in its strategy somewhere. Creativity and passion need time to nurture but to turn both into $$$ need more subtle yet tactile approach.

It remains to be seen if commercial gods will decide to favour this industry or not.

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