I like the recent trend in shows like Shirobako, New Game! and Sore ga Seiyu, which give us a glimpse into the world of anime, games and voice acting. One show I’ve been following this season is Girlish Number, about three up-and-coming voice actresses working with a mediocre talent agency to make a mediocre anime. While Shirobako was quite stylized in the picture it painted, Girlish Number is more honest, being critical of the anime world as well as the jaded attitude of fans who get their opinions from snarky “matome sites” (websites that aggregate comments from Japan’s 2ch boards) rather than forming their own opinions and being supportive of an industry they presumably love. In one scene, Chitose, Momoka and Yae are standing in an anime shop listening in on what fans think of the show they’re starring in. One says, “I haven’t watched it, but I read on a matome site that the anime, the original work and the voice actors were all shit. So who cares about it?”
One burning question on the minds of most fans is, when will [my favorite show] get a second season, and the answer is…it’s complicated. Anime series are often created by companies with names like Magica Partners or the New Game! Production Committee, which are basically shell companies made up of the various groups that bring an anime into being: the animation company itself (Shaft, Kyoani), the copyright holder to the original manga/game/light novel (Kadokawa, Nitroplus), perhaps a retailer like Animate if there’ll be figures, and a company to hassle fans with YouTube takedown notices (Aniplex). As illustrated by some tweets by an anime producer, currently animation is funded by Blu-ray sales and streaming revenues. While some shows might be blowout hits — Love Live! and Osomatsu-san sold 40,000+ per Blu-ray at $80 each — all too often shows such as Nichijou sell poorly (under 1000 copies per disc), which is why we never see more. This is why anime has been getting shorter, and why studios keep trying to get us to accept that “cell look” CGI animation. Clearly some changes need to be made if the anime industry we all love is going to continue to flourish.
We’ve got some great news for anime fans today: a huge volley of 2017 anime, traditional art, photo and other calendars has come in. We’ve got everything from Re:Zero to IdolMaster to Cardcaptor Sakura and more, so browse before the calendar(s) you want sell out!