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Toei Animation Thinks Mobiles Could Save Anime 69

andylim writes to share that according to a recent interview, Toei Animation, producers of Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball z, think that mobile phones and tablets could help save the anime industry, which is being heavily damaged by piracy. Unfortunately the difficulty is getting all of the players to move in the same direction. "We think it's an incredibly exciting opportunity. Manufacturers and networks are going to need more than touchscreens and Twitter to shift phones in the future — content such as Toei's will hopefully add that extra value. Unfortunately, Ebato and Song haven't been inundated with requests for information. 'There's no convergence... the tech people and the content people aren't talking,' adds Song. In fact Song's last statement to us is much more than an anecdotal truth, it's the heart of the matter. It's not enough that Apple and Amazon are talking to content creators, everyone should be doing it. Of course, a good start would be to not hide people like Ebato and Song in distant exhibition halls, where only we can find them."
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Toei Animation Thinks Mobiles Could Save Anime

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  • by Lord Bitman ( 95493 ) on Friday February 19, 2010 @10:31AM (#31198902) Homepage

    So, first "piracy" creates the international anime market, then "piracy" continues. The Anime fad rises to a peak, then fades. "Piracy" continues throughout the whole process. Then "piracy" is blamed for the downturn. The sad truth is: it's technically true. If it weren't for "piracy", there indeed would not have been a decrease in sales at this point, there would simply be nothing to decrease.

  • by Triv ( 181010 ) on Friday February 19, 2010 @10:49AM (#31199172) Journal

    Reasonable prices would do more to combat piracy than all the mobile platforms out there. 30 bucks list for 4 episodes of whatever anime series floats your boat at the moment on dvd is price-gouging.

  • Re:Question (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kaizokuace ( 1082079 ) on Friday February 19, 2010 @10:50AM (#31199188)
    It's all cartoons. The problem is Americans can't see that cartoons aren't just for kids.
  • by bob0the0mighty ( 904854 ) on Friday February 19, 2010 @11:04AM (#31199348)
    I think the way to achieve this is to pay the fan-subbers to use their translations. IMO normally they're better, lack censorship, and are already out there. I bet most would be ecstatic to be paid AND do what they love. And the price should be low, say $1 or $2 since the subs are out already. Some money is better than none.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 19, 2010 @11:43AM (#31199816)

    Anime is stuck in a rut right now because there is so little innovation. So much anime these days is the same old ideas with different characters. It's getting as bad as prime time comedies here in the US. You know, the ones which don't last more than a few episodes because, executive assurances to the contrary, they suck and people don't watch them.

    You want a better anime market? More Miyazaki [wikipedia.org] and Ghibli [wikipedia.org], less moe [wikipedia.org] and Nabeshin [wikipedia.org]. (I have a lot of respect for Nabeshin, but his recent anime are almost completely in-jokes and fourth-wall breakage.) So much modern anime now has all the depth of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Heck, for years there has been a glut of anime which is not porn by Japanese standards but is porn by US standards (specifically, topless women without the details removed, beyond the Barbie-doll nudity of before), so it's far less likely to ever get imported.

    Add to this the fact that the markets and exchange rate, right now, aren't doing any favors. The going rate for a single OVA in Japan is some 5000 yen. That's about $50 here in the US, which is priced right out of the market. However, if an American licensee sells for a reasonable-to-us price ($10-15 or so per DVD), then it creates a huge incentive for Japanese to re-import the American version, because it's so much cheaper that way. This kills sales in Japan, which scares the bejeezus out of the licensors, so they mandate a minimum price in the $20-30 range here. Thus a piracy market is created. It's simple microeconomics (i.e. price supports). There's no good outcome here so long as the Japanese product is overpriced compared to international markets.

    Mobile devices will buy time. They won't save their market any more than Internet presence is saving print news. That's all.

The wages of sin are high but you get your money's worth.