I have four days free before work so I’m taking this as a grand opportunity to personally tackle some of the newest issues and some of the longest living methods people go about when expressing their opinions.
Most of the time I’d just spend my free time watching anime, really. And then there are times when anime isn’t taking up the slot, I’d be all over the internet to challenge myself into finding YouTube’s weird side. Last but not least, there’s Facebook; it serves as a semi-reliable source of anime news.
One video I came across was of late last year.
That Japanese Man Yuta did all the hard work for us and cut into the chase, asked around people in Akihabara (Japan, duh!) about what (kind) of anime they liked and/or were watching at the time.
Not being a diehard shounen fan myself, I’m not even surprised that only four times in that video, long running shounen titles were given as answers (with very first answer being the masterpiece Gintama!)
Just to save you time if you can’t afford data to watch that video, the most frequent answers go from:
- Love Live! series
- Idolm@ster series
- Insert every cute girl and/or harem anime in here (HaiFuri, HagaNai, etc.)
- Some anime titles that I actually never heard of
- One Piece
- Dragon Ball
- Detective Conan
What?! No ONE PUNCH MAN?! Not even ATTACK ON TITAN? What is this sorcery?!
This is where you can start questioning their ‘tastes’. But to jump the gun and call them shit would make you look just as stupid because the jokes are (right back) on you.
Many of you should already know this; anime doesn’t have to be of a good quality to be enjoyable (hence becoming your favorite).
And sadly, many of the Western anime watchers fall for a visually simple yet analytically complex trap.
It’s about the profit
Very simple, actually! Most people spotted in Akihabara were probably older than 16 years old; that’s easily separable from the obvious adolescence. That meant some of those people were actually able to work part or full time!
Akihabara is definitely known for being the paradigm of paradise for anime fans. On top of Blu-Ray sales, the town offers limitless amount of merchandises! Owners of anime do get paid royalties for merchandises sold and sometimes it is laughable that some anime really do get more profit from this mean than the actual disc sales.
I’m actually jabbing myself really hard here because the one anime that’s probably sitting in this very position is Saekano.
Figurines and nice and all, they are costly though. My jaws dropped to the floor when I saw price tags of at least $90.
Just when I thought that the nightmare was over, came my most favorite female anime character of all time….
A life sized Katou Megumi which went on sale for at least US$16500!
It was then, my jaws dropped to the Earth’s mantle.
And you’d think no one is crazy enough to buy this hell of a heroine. I WOULD if I had the money. F*ck.
One was certainly bought, by the rich lad @akaiyoutsuki.
This should make it clear enough, good action anime give you some of the best fights and all but at the very end of the day – nothing beats having a life sized waifu that you wanted to be by your side. That only comes out of merchandising.
Having good anime is one thing, having things to remind you of good anime is really another matter.
I’m not done with this part just yet. Money doesn’t grow on trees so this is where it becomes a circle of consumption for anime fans, especially when it comes to merchandises.
The anime phase:
- It all starts from hype. Previews, visuals, etc.
- If anime is good, keep going.
- You’ve come to like the anime, more so the characters.
- The anime has finished. You probably end up rewatching it.
- Damn it, this anime is sooooo good, what am I going to do to keep this feeling of awesomeness forever? This one has many answers; one of them is to do blogs (heh, coincidence?) or record them in websites like MAL, the other one is to find a memoir.
- Don’t forget that we live in an era where sharing your best personal experience can lead to others fulfilling theirs too. It’s a happy world in the making!
The real life phase:
- Okay so obviously, rewatching the same anime a thousand times will wear you out.
- Quick! Better get the memoirs because you’re not entirely a digital person.
- Figurines! Yes! Now you get to have your favorite fictional character, existing in reality, next to you!
- Urgh, it costs money.
- Get that money. This one is a no brainer. You either work for it yourself or it comes from external source i.e. your parents. Or do you have a secret admirer who’s willing to give you every penny for that hundred dollar figurine?
- Say you buy the figurine, the store profits, the anime owner profits, the industry profits.
- Rinse and repeat for nearly every new anime titles.
It is true that the anime needs to be good at all to even make profit. ‘Good’ is very subjective, however. But damn it, won’t hurt to use your brain a little and figure out each and every time what ‘good’ is in any given context.
I’m very unsure if anyone in this planet owns Boku no Pico merchandises. That’s the one time you probably cannot use ‘good’ on the subject, let alone the anime.
Last but not least, bear in mind that most of the profit to anime really do come from the mother country itself and not the rest of the world. While anime industry knows full well that the rest of the world is showing huge interest in their artistry in animation, at the end of the day it’s Japan first (am I mocking Trump and his America first here?); things in anime will mostly be for the Japanese people.
Deal with it
With that said, if you can’t come to agreement with what majority of the Japanese people love then the solution is simpler than you’d think.
Oh, I think you’ll be poking at me for just saying that. I know you’re not living in Japan so you can’t leave the country in the first place. What I really mean by that is:
If you have nothing nice to say at all, say nothing. Just leave them be and if you really do think that you’re correctly riding a high horse, anything that you strongly dislike will eventually, naturally come down crashing.
Given an unlikely probability that they will, that’s when you should be questioning yourself whether you should be staying on that high horse of yours or get off it.
It’s extremely unfortunate that the world we live in truly can’t really become what we envision as ‘peaceful’. Whatever started as positive encouragement can and will turn into aggressive expression via statement. That’s actually politically correctness in a nutshell. We have to accept the fact that human, as a species, is far superior to any other animals right now. We strive to do new things and face it; most of them involve humans (and especially you, the ever so insensitive viewer) getting out of comfort zone completely. It’s simply how we progress as a race.
Remember a century ago, when we humans didn’t believe that flying was possible?
Same deal when it comes to anime. Most people are afraid of being bad labelled when they go for something new. They are just as afraid when they go for something that’s significantly different to the peers around them.
This is actually more complex than both you and I think it is. While I am not a Ph.D. of Anime, I surely can voice a strong opinion on the very issue that’s quickly surfacing to the front face of the medium we all enjoy, in the next part that is – this one’s long enough.
The next part will actually be sensitive, it will have a good chance of triggering some of you, too!