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Posts Tagged ‘economics’

Everyone has probably heard of the stages of grief (the Kubler-Ross model): denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. As the theory goes, everyone passes through at least two of these stages, but not necessarily in the order given.

One of my favorite anime`s of all time is Gunslinger Girl, but it trails the manga by a substantial margin. So, I was wondering, is there more? Today I found out the awful truth. There is, and it sucks. (And yes, I went to watch the Spanish subs that they mentioned and it’s like they ripped the very soul out of the show.) At first I was depressed, but now I’m just angry.

How people can create something fantastic and then content themselves with creating something marginal and mediocre? It burns me through and through. How hard is it, really, to use the same animation house as you did the first time? How difficult is it to round up the same voice actresses? How hard is it to look at what was done before and at least get it in the same ballpark?

Did nobody care? I understand anime` takes money to make and you need a return on your investment, but still, you need an acceptable level of quality or there won’t be any sales. So isn’t turning out cheap trash detrimental to your bottom line? The fansub groups didn’t even bother doing the whole series it sucked so much!

The whole economic model used by anime` is completely insane anyways. Typically 12 episodes are created, then the DVDs show up at outrageous prices 1-2 years later only in Japanese. Then series gets licensed for translation in 1-2 more years, and finally, about five years after release, the value pack DVDs show up, putting the series in the economic reach of most fans. So what does this mean? It means that unless a show is popular immediately, then any series will be years apart, will look and sound nothing like each other, and won’t even have the same level of quality. It absolutely ruins the experience for the fans and dooms the product to the bargain bin.

This is one area where American TV has it right. We create a show, and if the ratings are good by the end of the season, we call everyone back together and do it again. Then we release the DVDs right away. When the show is cancelled or after a few seasons, the value pack DVDs show up. This gets the show into the hands of the fans right away and usually keeps the series consistent from year to year.

Honestly, if I was Yu Aida (the writer/artist), I would be sending the Yakuza after the people responsible for V2 of Gunslinger Girl. But I’m not him, and there’s nothing I can really do about it, except to lament the mistreatment of such a great story and characters. That places me at — you guessed it, the final stage — acceptance.

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