Kamishibai Komeback?


Over at his Facebook site, good buddy and fellow U.S. fan-oyaji Neil Nadelman can't help but wonder if the anime business is gone for good.

I think it probably is. Digital technology has destroyed the anime (and entertainment industry) business model. The writing was on the wall the day Mosaic was released. But railing against the downloaders is pointless; only a fool would pay for something that can be had for free. The only way to return the anime business to profitability would be to destroy the Internet and return to using analog VHS media... which isn't going to happen, barring the collapse of technological society.

Unfortunately, that puts all of us here in the U.S. anime biz out of work (I'm writing SEO website content for ambulance-chasing lawyers these days; I've had about three hours of voice acting work in the past six months) and leaves the anime studios in Japan with no way to make money. Just as downloading destroyed the music business as we knew it, it will bring down the anime business, too. Unlike musicians, however, we voice actors can't fall back on live performances as a means of earning our daily bread.

Or can we? Perhaps kamishibai is about to make a comeback...

4 comments:

Tohoscope said...

First, I can't read Neil's rant because I don't have a Facebook account. And I have no desire to give my personal details to AssFacebook just to read it.

And, secondly on your point of, "only a fool would pay for something that can be had for free?" I buy/rent DVDs all the time. It's like the discussion about reading a physical comic book versus reading it over the internet. There are some movies/tv shows/anime I was to have in a specific format. I'm buying a physical format, something that you can't simply download. You wouldn't download a car.

But is it my fault if they aren't selling the stuff I want to buy? Or if they are asking too much for it? Sell me something I want at a price I can afford and you'll get my money. If you can't do that you should expect your business to fail.

So, am I a fool? No doubt in my mind that I am. But I'm not the fool whining about out of date business models that kept Anime CEOs in blowjobs and coke.

Tohoscope said...

And this means stop selling crap like this:
http://funimation.com/dragonaut/

Who's buying this crap? Who is Funi marketing this to?

DVC said...

Kamishibai sounds a lot like the old 'puppet shows' that I enjoyed when I was a kid, organized by our community's public elementary school. A return to something of this sort would be very cool in my book, but no doubt it wouldn't be enough to put everybody back to work.

I'd freakin' *love* to buy a boxed set of GE 999 T.V. (subbed or dubbed machts nichts to me!) but Funi doesn't appear interested in that route anymore (it's a pity, too, since BluRay has so much more image density the whole series could probably fit on 3 shiny discs, but I digress...)

P.S. I can't read Nail's rant, neither : (

p said...

Ha. I just saw a write-up in the new Weekly ASCII for a maid cafe in Akihabara where they do Kamishibai...