Japanese Anime Studios Feel Pressure From Unhappy Artists and Outsourcing - WSJ.com: "A shrinking population of children in Japan has discouraged toy makers, television networks and other traditional sponsors from funding new programs. That has driven many anime studios—most of which are small shops—toward making animated soft porn and violent movies targeted at adult audiences. At the same time, YouTube and other free Internet services have hurt sales of DVDs. Sales of Japanese-made anime DVDs slid 18% from a year earlier to 72.8 billion yen (about $800 million) in 2008, after peaking at 93.7 billion yen in 2006, according to the Japan Video Software Association, a trade group.
Morale is low. Industry executives estimate nine out of 10 new workers quit within three years, with the many talented employees leaving for better-paying jobs in areas like videogames. A survey conducted this year for industry executives showed that animators in their 20s made just 1.1 million yen ($11,000) a year on average, while those in their 30s earned 2.1 million yen"
This is another project from Shoko Nakagawa and it looks like Earthworm Jim creator Doug TenNapel is involved. Shokotan is probably best known in the U.S. for singing the opening to Gurren Lagenn. She's probably best known on PG for being the cute Japanese chick eating a cat's head. Kawaii but Psycho. Mu.
Unlike the Super-Deformed or chibi characterizations which pepper the anime and manga of my generation, I never quite understood the appeal of moe.
My initial, foolish, assumption that moe is a hyper-critical self-examination of the Phallic male gaze was very far from the mark -- pressure-cooker society and all aspects of sexual repression aside, PG pal Jason Thompson does an ace job here in describing what moe actually represents.
The Future of Comics and Other Publishing James Hudnall
You can probably date yourself by remembering how much comic books cost when you were a kid. Was it a dime, a quarter, a dollar? Can you believe they cost $4 now?
As the greenies would say, that’s unsustainable. Comic books used to be common. If you went in any kids house in the 50s or early 60s you would probably find some. Not so much anymore. Comics once sold everywhere magazines were sold. You could buy them in drug stores, supermarkets, seven-elevens, newsstands, even some liquor stores. But the so called “newsstand market” was a hostile place to comics publishers, and a shrinking one.
These days, it’s hard to find comics anywhere outside of the comic book store. That means that comics have become a “destination product.” It’s something you need to know where it’s sold, you have to physically go there and if you’re lucky, they might have what you’re looking for. However, most comics retailers order to sell out. So the odds are, you may be unlucky if you don’t come on “comics day,” the day the books come in from the distributor.
And that’s another problem with comics these days. There is only one distributor. More
So, when it came time for our little girl to watch her first grown-up movie, I was torn between Saving Private Ryan and a film I have loved since I was a kid, Godzilla, King of the Monsters. Now, Private Ryan teaches important, practical lessons that every American should learn, like how to maneuver your infantry company across a beachhead under fire to wipe out a Nazi crew-served weapons bunker. On the other hand, Godzilla has a hideous dragon with radioactive breath. Tough call, but we decided to save Private Ryan for when she’s six – better late than never. (More)
"She says in her profile that she’s 21 years old, but I’ve seen some speculation on the web that she’s actually around 14, which I tend to believe based on my hope that an adult would be able to come up with something a little more productive/interesting/relevant/useful."
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...