Tuesday, April 7

Positive view on current anime industry?

In the weeks leading up to the Tokyo International Anime Fair (TAF) 2009, the Japanese film Tsumiki no Ie (La Maison en Petits Cubes) won the Academy Award for best animated short film amid dismal economic news pouring in from around the world.

Despite the dark clouds, the fair's organizers predicted attendance would rise to 130,000 visitors, up from last year's 126,622. They were almost exactly on the nose, as the final figure came in at 129,819.

But the number of exhibitors at the March 18-21 event at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center in Ariake, Tokyo, dropped for the first time in its eight-year history, to 255 from last year's figure of 289.

Full Article

What's significant here is despite the sustainable otaku/fandom crowd (I do wonder how many are local versus foreign) , the industry itself is in dire need to reform. Anime industry practices did not change much from Osamu Tezuka days of "cheap and cheerful" labour (some commentators blamed him specifically for this current malady) to churn out animation products as much as possible using economies of scale.

The middle person got too much cut from the profits and proceeds which leaves very little to the animators. Now what's worst, Japanese animation companies subcontracting to even cheaper nations like Vietnam, China, Korea or Philippines for cost cutting measure. This has led to substandard quality like a shocking episode 9 of Macross Frontier (2008).

It remains to be seen if the positive view is hollow or something that we all can chew on.

An opposite view on the matter.

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