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  1. #41
    Megumi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by defunctzombie View Post
    You know what? I want to read the Japanese versions of these studies. Are the originals using the actual term "otaku", or one of the alternatives like "NEET" or "freeter"? Or even "ひきこもり" which doesn't have a direct English equivalent? I'll admit, there are times when I've done translations that I used otaku in place of one of them, but they technically are different terms. Like the difference between "otaku" and the word we don't allow here.
    What does it say, toonzone Japanese speakers?

    http://www.yano.co.jp/press/pdf/863.pdf

    I cannot find a free, full version for any reports. Will you pay me for my time and effort of finding something?

  2. #42
    WickedChild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lambdadelta View Post
    Ignoring some of the things in your post that I won't comment on:

    Basically, you have no evidence that contradicts mine and your only argument is that two respected institutes in Japan (one of which used by the Japanese government), and a third company which specifically tracks these things in Japan, may (with no evidence to show) have used a criteria of otaku that you may disagree with. All three of them over ten years. All separate from each other.

    If you have nothing to support your argument that otaku don't have a large enough impact to support an industry, then stop replying.

    e: Also, if you do reply, I demand counter-evidence to my own. Studies and surveys from organizations and companies. I've been letting you slide so far by not asking for anything, but you're doing your best Ken Ham impersonation it seems. If you don't have any evidence to support your claims, I'm not replying to your post.
    At no point did I challenge your data. I'm actually assuming it's all accurate. I'm challenging the logic that leads to your conclusion, from that data, that all (or a large majority) of the people contributing to those sales numbers are, as you say, not "regular", but rather people who obsess over some weird detail (that's probably sexual in some way). The only thing that data says is that things that most people associate with Otaku sell a lot. None of your numbers say a thing about the people who buy that stuff, yet you still say "Do you think regular people are buying the merch and stuff?" As if it's a given that only degenerates would ever buy any of those things.

    And while your numbers may be accurate, they're also very high-level. Only broken down into very general categories like "Online games", "figures", "light novels" and "anime DVDs". Am I supposed to believe that every single anime DVD sold at Akihabara was some kind of weird moe fetish? Though I'm guessing your reports probably account for every single DVD sold at Akihabara, without discriminating for only "moe" DVDs. At least not on any of the reports you cited.

    Your mistake was thinking that I was making a counter-claim. I never did. I was merely questioning the lapse in logic that leads people like you to believe that the sales of Otaku-related merchandise somehow means that Otaku are the only ones buying such things, and that therefore those things can only possibly appeal to Otaku.

  3. #43
    Megumi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WickedChild View Post
    At no point did I challenge your data.
    I see. I misunderstood then and will give you another chance.

    I had to think a while before I replied to get you to get it. Let me see if I can explain it like this.

    The 2011 Yano study is researching the "otaku market," which is defined as "the contents which have a given number of maniac fans. Many of those contents are sold and handled at Akihabara, a town regarded as Otaku’s sanctuary." Which of these things would you consider are marketed towards otaku of that hobby (or, to rephrase, which has less appeal to the mainstream public):

    Light novels
    Plastic models
    Figures
    Dolls
    Model railroads
    Popular idols
    Costume-play clothing
    Dating simulators
    AV DVDs
    Anime DVDs/BDs

  4. #44
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    Are you asking me to guess? According to the 2011 report the lowest revenue things on there are dating sims, maid cafes, model railroads, and dolls. Which would lead me to believe that those have the most niche appeal (none of which would surprise me).

    The highest selling things on that report - online games, electronic comics, yes even the AVs (though it doesn't specify hentai/anime AVs, but AVs in general), I would consider any normal person could purchase. Which would lead me to say that the things really leading the so-called Otaku industry are things any regular person could be into.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by WickedChild View Post
    Are you asking me to guess? According to the 2011 report the lowest revenue things on there are dating sims, maid cafes, model railroads, and dolls. Which would lead me to believe that those have the most niche appeal (none of which would surprise me).
    I'm not asking you to guess or use the 2011 report. I'm asking what you think is marketed towards the enthusiasts of a certain hobby. For example, restored, classic cars are marketed towards car collectors more so than the general public; old weapons are marketed towards weapons collectors; and sports jerseys (a majority of them) are marketed towards sports fans. Here's what you have left:

    Light novels
    Plastic models
    Figures
    Dolls
    Model railroads
    Popular idols
    Costume-play clothing
    Dating simulators (does this count as an online game or electronic comic to you? If so, ignore this option.)
    Anime DVDs/BDs

    I'd also like to know what you consider the qualifications for something to be considered "niche."

    The highest selling things on that report - online games, electronic comics, yes even the AVs (though it doesn't specify hentai/anime AVs, but AVs in general), I would consider any normal person could purchase. Which would lead me to say that the things really leading the so-called Otaku industry are things any regular person could be into.
    That's good. We can eliminate those then: online games, electronic comics, and porn are out.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lambdadelta View Post
    What does it say, toonzone Japanese speakers?

    http://www.yano.co.jp/press/pdf/863.pdf
    That definitely says "otaku" all over it.
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  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lambdadelta View Post
    I'm not asking you to guess or use the 2011 report. I'm asking what you think is marketed towards the enthusiasts of a certain hobby. For example, restored, classic cars are marketed towards car collectors more so than the general public; old weapons are marketed towards weapons collectors; and sports jerseys (a majority of them) are marketed towards sports fans. Here's what you have left:

    Light novels
    Plastic models
    Figures
    Dolls
    Model railroads
    Popular idols
    Costume-play clothing
    Dating simulators (does this count as an online game or electronic comic to you? If so, ignore this option.)
    Anime DVDs/BDs

    I'd also like to know what you consider the qualifications for something to be considered "niche."



    That's good. We can eliminate those then: online games, electronic comics, and porn are out.
    I know dating sims wouldn't be popular in the US, but obviously they are in Japan so I'd file those under general video games. I guess the railroads and cosplay/maid cafes are probably the most niche. I guess you could say the dolls and figurines are niche but I know some people I would consider normal that get some anime figurines. And I know a few girls that get anime plush dolls, so I don't think those are totally niche. And while there certainly can be some people obsessed with idol singers, it's no different in the US and many of those singers are anything but niche.

    And I would consider niche anything that has little to no appeal to anyone who isn't a specific enthusiast of that specific thing.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by GingaDaiuchuu View Post
    That definitely says "otaku" all over it.
    Spectacular news. Thank you, worker man. :chowder:

    Quote Originally Posted by WickedChild View Post
    And I would consider niche anything that has little to no appeal to anyone who isn't a specific enthusiast of that specific thing.
    Okay, cool. Let me try to push this to an end since I'm kind of tired of this conversation. I'm going to recap everything and your questions so you hopefully understand. I should've taken this route in the first place.

    Before we begin, replace "normal people" with "non-anime otaku." The effect is the same and it's what you're being hung up on.

    For the average anime, selling between 5,000 and 10,000 BD's can be considered a success though it depends on the show. Those aren't arbitrary numbers. Check the wiki and animesuke links I gave you and you can check what gets second seasons and whatever. It recoups cost and indicates that they'll be able to sell some merchandise. That's because anime is a niche market in Japan unless you're a big name. How little is that? In 2010, Japan had a total population of 128,057,352 people. 63.7% of that were between the ages of 15-64 (roughly 81,572,533 people). Selling 10,000 BD's to that 63.7% means you only need .012% of 63.7% of Japan's population to buy what you're selling. That means the average anime only sells to .006% of those between the ages of 15-64.

    Why are so many anime selling to only a few thousand people? As you explained earlier, "has little to no appeal to anyone who isn't a specific enthusiast of that specific thing." 99.994% of 15-64-year-olds won't support that anime. That indicates that it's a niche.

    "But wait, why don't they try to appeal to a more mainstream audience?" is probably what you're wondering. That's because they think they can succeed with lower budgets targeting select viewers.

    As noted in an ANN article I linked earlier, "the Japanese Otaku's desire to own anime even at high prices had an unexpected effect: as the rest of the economy tanked and video stores stopped buying every new video release, the otaku kept buying pretty much everything that got released. Before long, the few thousand fans that bought anime DVDs were supporting nearly the entire budget of a show. Even as the rest of the Japanese home video industry lowered their prices to varying degrees, anime stayed at the same high price. It's simply the only way most shows can ever make a profit."

    Do you see where I'm going with this now? Let me address your first two questions again.

    You asked before "how much of a problem otaku are" and "[can they] support an entire industry?"

    In response to your first question, what's the best way to make sure that people keep buying stuff and helping you make a profit? Appeal to those who buy your product. Duh. Don't alienate your base. Even in a bad economy, otaku kept buying that stuff. Thus, shows are made to appeal to them because they can make a profit off of these people no matter what from the looks of it. Japanese anime makers only care about what the Japanese think because they get their money directly from them. So unless anime fans outside the country start importing at those crazy prices, we're more or less under the will of the people who are buying those DVD's and whatever they like will be made so companies profit. That's why they're a "problem."

    In response to your second question, unless you're a big name, you're going to need try and get what you can. Sure, you can try to appeal to mainstream audiences, but that's a bigger risk than appealing to those few that buy DVD's. KyoAni can go out and try different things because they have money. Ghibli has mainstream appeal. Smaller studios and shows with smaller budgets aren't as lucky.

    If you look at the anime released in the past few years (just to get a sample of it), you'll notice that a bunch of those shows are made to appeal to otaku. Oshii (who has more credibility than you or I) backs up that opinion.

    Whether or not "normal" people buy merchandise is irrelevant because, as I've shown you multiple times now, otaku can support entire shows and a bunch of the industry. And they are.

    I hope you have found this helpful. I've put in some effort to show you what's up. I think you get the picture now and are no longer hung up on the "normal people" bit.
    Last edited by Megumi; 02-07-2014 at 06:07 PM.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lambdadelta View Post
    I hope you have found this helpful. I've put in some effort to show you what's up. I think you get the picture now and are no longer hung up on the "normal people" bit.
    Alright. You've successfully convinced me that a relatively small number of fans can make a show financially viable. Also that people that YOU consider Otaku can indeed support the industry. No doubt about that. Here's what you haven't convinced me of:

    - That the 5000 people who buy a given show on DVD/BD are the only people who like a given show. What about TV viewers? On-demand streamers? Maybe that doesn't contribute as much revenue as DVD, but I watch plenty of shows that I love on TV that I don't buy on DVD.

    - That those same 5000 people are the only ones who said show could possibly appeal to.

    - That all 5000 of those people bought the DVD for the same specific reason, and that reason isn't because it's just a good show, but because it has something weird and fetishy like a cat girl with a pink maid's dress and asymmetrical hair, or something like that.

    - That none of those 5000 people could be considered "normal", excuse me, "non-anime Otaku".

    You don't think it's possible in any of these 5000-unit shows that maybe a lot of the people who like them just like the characters or story or animation? And that more people don't like them because it's just not popular for whatever reason?

    I stand by what I said defining "niche", but I don't think "niche", or "limited appeal" is necessarily the same thing as "obsessive". I like a lot of bands that only sell 5,000 or so copies of any given album. Or less. It's not because I obsess over some weird detail of their music. It's because there's a ton of bands out there that just aren't gonna get wide recognition, and I happen to find them and just like them.

    Now even with all this said, I won't argue that a lot of those smaller-selling animes probably play-up some of their Otaku traits, and yes, I'm sure there are a lot that are made ONLY to display said traits. But what bothers me is when you get a good show that might have some of those traits that gets automatically labeled as an Otaku-only show just because some people don't like it and don't like some given thing in it. It's the reverse of the problem you're describing. Some people HATE some detail so much that they disregard the possibility that the show could actually be good and just decide to lump it in with all the other anime that feature that detail that actually are Otaku-only.

    I go back to SAO. I think it's a great show. I know many don't. But then there's people who say that it's only for Otaku who are into the little-sister incest trope. Or Otaku who are into harems. And that it holds no value beyond that. Well, what am I supposed to think if I'm NOT one of those Otaku but I do like the show?

    I fully support your right to dislike something, but I think these "reverse Otakus" are just as bad as regular Otakus, and I think they're doing more, at least in the US, to drive "normal people" away from anime as a whole.

  10. #50
    Megumi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WickedChild View Post
    Alright. You've successfully convinced me that a relatively small number of fans can make a show financially viable.
    Okay, cool. As long as you get that, you can have any other problem. I don't really care.

  11. #51
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    That is the widest definition of "otaku" I have ever seen. In addition to the obvious, anyone who reads light novels, listens to AKB, watches pro wrestling, or buys porno is an otaku.

    So basically everyone on toonzone and 90 percent of US and Japan.
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  12. #52
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    'Otaku' is really one of those words western journalism and fandom have sort of watered down in their loaning of it. An 'Otaku' is a Hell of a lot more involved then "buys a few cheapo trinkets." If you're memorizing facts about a train or insect and recite them to another as well as cross-reference information when giving an oral opinion you're pretty much an 'Otaku'--or rather, that is indicative of such. It's a state of obsession.

    While looking for examples of an Otaku bedroom to serve as a physical representation of the above paragraph I stumbled upon this article on CNN. Run on sentence. Here is a paragraph from said article I think is worth keeping in mind.

    "Though it is true that some people might have hobbies that keep them at home, I don’t think interest in media or commodities means that you aren’t interested in people. People who consider otaku losers without ever meeting or talking to those who identify or are identified that way are probably just reacting to negative stereotypes. Or they are discriminating against hobbies that they do not share or understand."
    I think this is important to keep in mind, especially considering Miyazaki's comments. Miyazaki is criticizing an unspecific number of individuals for being Otaku despite these animators being infamously poor and restricted to spending months at the studio without ever going home, if you're a director.
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  13. #53
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    I would say the difference between otaku and general fans is the difference between someone like me who buys at least one item off mattycollector.com a month and someone who might pick up a Mattel batman for his desk while at Walmart picking up socks.

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