what killed the anime boom in the united states?

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Angilasman

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#21
I don't have much more to add, most of the points have been covered already. But I will add (though this was sort of alluded to with the "otaku-centric" comments) that there don't seem to be as many "gateway" anime as there were in the early '00s.
I can certainly see that. The mid-00s was when my anime consumption took a nosedive, and that wasn't just the decline in the 'boom.' For one thing, I stopped being a teen and became (something of) an adult, and it seemed shows were getting more and more of a laser focus on targeting a teen audience. This also includes a sort of teenage view on sexuality and titillation, which becomes creepy to any non-teen watching.

I feel like anime is in a place not dissimilar from the worst eras of mainstream Marvel/DC comics in the past couple of decades; with stories impenetrable to non-readers and a solidification of style that suggested artists who only know writing a drawing from what they've seen in other superhero comics.
 

Tohya

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#22
But I will add (though this was sort of alluded to with the "otaku-centric" comments) that there don't seem to be as many "gateway" anime as there were in the early '00s.
This seems like a really weird statement to make. By its very nature the number of Gateway animes can't lessen, they can only expand.
 

Classic Speedy

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#23
^ I don't mean gateway shows within an already-existing fandom, which is what you seem to be referring to. I mean gateway shows that pull in NON-anime viewers, ones that create new anime fans. A lot of modern anime, in my opinion, seems very insular and/or targeted to an existing audience, not trying to pull in new viewers.
 
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#24
Various factors that caused the anime crash:

* Musicland's (Suncoast Motion Picture Company, Sam Goody, Media Play) bankruptcy, caused by a combination of Best Buy's gross negligence when they purchased them in 2001 (many viewed the acquisition as a deliberate, dirty, underhanded conspiracy to kill Musicland, which was much more respected a company than most big-box retailers); agressive competition from big-box retailers like Wal-Mart, Target and the aforementioned Best Buy; and the increase in internet downloading (both legally and illegally) and purchases from Amazon.com. Musicland supplied about a third of all anime sold at the time. Additionally, Tower Records's (which supplied about a quarter of all anime sold) bankruptcy at that same year also hit the anime companies hard.
* Increase in illegal fansubs and torrents. The beginning of the 2000s was the advent of the internet and how much of a wider audience it can reach than physical retailers and even TV. However, the Japanese anime companies were stubborn and refused to adopt the internet streaming model. They also refused to give the American companies rights to stream them on the Internet. This created a grey zone where people captured anime episodes, subtitled them, and put them on the internet for free. As the people who downloaded and streamed them developed no incentive to buy them when the were available on home video, home video sales tanked, hurting both the US and Japanese anime companies. By the time legal streaming sites like Hulu came along, the damage had been done.
* The increase in pandering to the otaku. This kind of correlates with the lowered revenue caused by illegal internet distribution. As anime companies had little budget, they had to make something that could get the most amount of money with the least money used, so they made shows that pander to the otaku, hence why from the later half of the 2000s into the early third of the 2010s, moe and otaku-bait shows were everywhere. This ultimately drove away the casual/mainstream/non-otaku fans from anime further.
* The persistent subbing vs dubbing debate. There are some who prefer subs and hate dubs so much that they will label anyone who likes dubs with the mark of No True Scotsman. Additionally, they won't buy the legitimate home video (which usually includes an English track), even though they can just watch it subbed on it. Once again, this hurts the companies.
 

Tohya

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#25
^ A lot of modern anime, in my opinion, seems very insular and/or targeted to an existing audience, not trying to pull in new viewers.
I mean....is there any way you can actually substantiate this opinion; cuz I just did a quick google search of the top gateway anime and literally every list I read had a high ratio of anime that have come out in the last five years. Soooo where do we even begin to discuss what exactly constitutes a gateway anime, or what kind of animes obviously only target existing audiences? Are those two ideas mutually exclusive? Does the current crop of super popular anime count as gateway anime?
 

Scrappy-Fan92

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#26
I mean....is there any way you can actually substantiate this opinion; cuz I just did a quick google search of the top gateway anime and literally every list I read had a high ratio of anime that have come out in the last five years. Soooo where do we even begin to discuss what exactly constitutes a gateway anime, or what kind of animes obviously only target existing audiences? Are those two ideas mutually exclusive? Does the current crop of super popular anime count as gateway anime?
I don't think there's any set definition of gateway anime (but Anime News Network might have done an article about it), but stuff like Attack on Titan, Sword Art Online, and maybe One Punch Man could qualify as gateway shows (at least amongst older audiences). Good or internationally popular anime never went away, some are just saying it's not as prevalent as it used to be (that of course, is all personal opinion, and the late 90's U.S. anime boom was likely due to decades of unreleased GOOD older shows finally being localized at once. We don't have the cream of the crop by default anymore).
 

RoryWilliams

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#27
The reasons for anime's decline on U.S. television have been listed by the posters here, but I'll add one more theory: the shrinking audience focus in Japan over the last few years. While "otaku-centric" shows have been made for a long time, it seems like the amount of new anime made is getting more insular, to the point of occasionally marginalizing children/family audiences (the lifeblood of any fandom that wants to survive past its original adopters). And such "otaku-centric" shows seem to primarily draw the ire of fans outside Japan (which may explain the usual dislike of imouto-shows, the moe aesthetic, and other things).
I think even Miyazaki commented on this trend. I found a good video talking about the issue as well, and their points make sense. A lot of the studios have to compensate for any truly daring, original shows by making some otaku-pandering moe stuff to recoup any potential losses.

 

Grenzer

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#29
What is defined as a gateway anime varies greatly from person to person. I think Monster is a superb anime to introduce to new viewers, but it's a somewhat obscure title here in the West, so I'm not sure it qualifies. I'd also argue that Sword Art Online is one of the "Otaku" shows that had been plaguing the industry in recent years, but I also know it has brought thousands of young Americans into the anime fandom, so by that standard it can be seen as a gateway show.

I think the last anime that really crossed into Western popular culture in a big way was Death Note back in late 2007.You might also count FMA: Brotherhood in 2009-10 if remakes qualify for the honor. Soul Eater strikes me as a contender as well, but I don't think it brought in a lot of people who were not already anime fans.

A lot of arguments have been made that Attack on Titan is the gateway anime of present era, but I have some personal criticisms of that. AoT seems to have hit it big because it coincided with the renaissance of the Zombie Apocalypse genre here in America. I'm not sure it would have broken out on its own merits if that precedent had not been set. The show is awfully hollow in story quality compared to Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, Fullmetal Alchemist, Slayers, DBZ, Sailor Moon, or a dozen or so other titles I can come up with. And yes, I used DBZ as an example knowing full well it's a rather shallow show in its own right at times. AoT's real successes remain in Japan and the rest of East Asia, where it seems to be a legitimate phenomenon.

I know when AoT aired on Adult Swim, a lot of people on the forums were scratching their heads on what the big deal about the show was about. There was a distinct feeling that it was a let down from what people were expecting. People are free to correct me if I'm letting my biases distort more substantial facts about this matter.
 

Lord Dalek

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#30
^Uhhh the fact that Vol. 1 of the AoT manga is by far the highest selling single volume of any manga in this country means your theory is complete bunk.

Also the anime was Funi's biggest seller of last year by a fairly wide margin.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk
 

Scrappy-Fan92

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#31
What is defined as a gateway anime varies greatly from person to person. I think Monster is a superb anime to introduce to new viewers, but it's a somewhat obscure title here in the West, so I'm not sure it qualifies. I'd also argue that Sword Art Online is one of the "Otaku" shows that had been plaguing the industry in recent years, but I also know it has brought thousands of young Americans into the anime fandom, so by that standard it can be seen as a gateway show.

I think the last anime that really crossed into Western popular culture in a big way was Death Note back in late 2007.You might also count FMA: Brotherhood in 2009-10 if remakes qualify for the honor. Soul Eater strikes me as a contender as well, but I don't think it brought in a lot of people who were not already anime fans.

A lot of arguments have been made that Attack on Titan is the gateway anime of present era, but I have some personal criticisms of that. AoT seems to have hit it big because it coincided with the renaissance of the Zombie Apocalypse genre here in America. I'm not sure it would have broken out on its own merits if that precedent had not been set. The show is awfully hollow in story quality compared to Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, Fullmetal Alchemist, Slayers, DBZ, Sailor Moon, or a dozen or so other titles I can come up with. And yes, I used DBZ as an example knowing full well it's a rather shallow show in its own right at times. AoT's real successes remain in Japan and the rest of East Asia, where it seems to be a legitimate phenomenon.

I know when AoT aired on Adult Swim, a lot of people on the forums were scratching their heads on what the big deal about the show was about. There was a distinct feeling that it was a let down from what people were expecting. People are free to correct me if I'm letting my biases distort more substantial facts about this matter.
For what it's worth, any popular, "hyped-up" anime will inevitably get at least one person who simply doesn't see the appeal. Dragon Ball Z was never universally beloved in its U.S. heyday.
 

RoryWilliams

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#33
For what it's worth, any popular, "hyped-up" anime will inevitably get at least one person who simply doesn't see the appeal. Dragon Ball Z was never universally beloved in its U.S. heyday.
That's largely the case with any really popular work, regardless of genre or medium. There's always gonna be someone who either genuinely doesn't like it or makes a big deal about not liking it because they don't want to be seen like a sheep.
 

Golden Geek

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#34
Does anyone else remember that period of time where we got honestly a lot of weird crap brought over here just because it was anime? Weird lolicon shows like Bottle Fairy and Strawberry Marshmallow as well as "okay, who exactly does this appeal to" shows like...Papuwa.

The anime boom was partially killed by the desire to license everything Japanese because it sells, no matter how really unappealing to an American audience it would be. And yes, Geneon spent money on an English dub for both Bottle Fairy and Strawberry Marshmallow.
 

Scrappy-Fan92

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#35
That's largely the case with any really popular work, regardless of genre or medium. There's always gonna be someone who either genuinely doesn't like it or makes a big deal about not liking it because they don't want to be seen like a sheep.
Exactly. Attack on Titan may have gotten some disappointed reactions when it aired on Toonami, but that's par for the course with every "gateway" anime.

Does anyone else remember that period of time where we got honestly a lot of weird crap brought over here just because it was anime? Weird lolicon shows like Bottle Fairy and Strawberry Marshmallow as well as "okay, who exactly does this appeal to" shows like...Papuwa.

The anime boom was partially killed by the desire to license everything Japanese because it sells, no matter how really unappealing to an American audience it would be. And yes, Geneon spent money on an English dub for both Bottle Fairy and Strawberry Marshmallow.
I remember watching Bennett the Sage's review of Jungle de Ikou!, and yes, that show fits the criteria of licensed-because-it's-anime (or licensed-because-the-Japanese-company-made-us).
 

Light Lucario

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#36
I don't recall that much disappointment with Attack on Titan after it aired on Toonami. There were quite a few people who said that the show didn't live up to its hype, myself included, but the general reaction to the show by the end was still fairly positive. I could see why it was a huge hit and why it would gather so much hype, which is more than I can say for other popular anime in the last few years. I'm not even sure if the zombie hype America has really factors into Attack on Titans' popularity either. The Titans really aren't that similar to zombies.
 

Lord Dalek

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#37
Exactly. Attack on Titan may have gotten some disappointed reactions when it aired on Toonami, but that's par for the course with every "gateway" anime.
I kinda get the impression (and this is probably a huge generalization already so whatever) that a fairly sizable chunk of Toonami fandom does not watch anime on a regular basis outside of what airs on Toonami, which includes the five year gap where there was no Toonami to speak of. Therefore they are more likely to get hype secondhand after it has been overbuilt and are more susceptible to being disappointed twice as much.

Case in point, the lukewarm reaction Akame gets around here. Guys like me who streamed it already know its not very good whereas the "only watches tv" audience is only getting annoyed with it NOW.
 

RoryWilliams

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#38
Does anyone else remember that period of time where we got honestly a lot of weird crap brought over here just because it was anime? Weird lolicon shows like Bottle Fairy and Strawberry Marshmallow as well as "okay, who exactly does this appeal to" shows like...Papuwa.

The anime boom was partially killed by the desire to license everything Japanese because it sells, no matter how really unappealing to an American audience it would be. And yes, Geneon spent money on an English dub for both Bottle Fairy and Strawberry Marshmallow.
That was mentioned in the first article I linked to. They started with mainstream stuff and then started delving into weird fetish crap or stuff that was very clearly aimed exclusively at otaku.

Though wasn't that always the case to a degree? It wasn't as pronounced because you had very successful stuff on Toonami at the time but didn't the whole "Anime is just porn with tentacles and underage schoolgirls" mindset partially come about because of the truly weird stuff that got imported in the late 80's and early 90's?
 

Scrappy-Fan92

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#39
I kinda get the impression (and this is probably a huge generalization already so whatever) that a fairly sizable chunk of Toonami fandom does not watch anime on a regular basis outside of what airs on Toonami, which includes the five year gap where there was no Toonami to speak of. Therefore they are more likely to get hype secondhand after it has been overbuilt and are more susceptible to being disappointed twice as much.

Case in point, the lukewarm reaction Akame gets around here. Guys like me who streamed it already know its not very good whereas the "only watches tv" audience is only getting annoyed with it NOW.
Really, I was noticing people getting annoyed with Akame ga Kill from episode 1 (and almost everyone beat you to the punch with Sword Art Online's early reception).
 

Golden Geek

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#40
Though wasn't that always the case to a degree? It wasn't as pronounced because you had very successful stuff on Toonami at the time but didn't the whole "Anime is just porn with tentacles and underage schoolgirls" mindset partially come about because of the truly weird stuff that got imported in the late 80's and early 90's?
...Kind of? I still don't think we ever hit lolicon or Papuwa levels before that. The first anime officially released in the US on home video, according to Anime News Network's encyclopedia, was Robotech on VHS in 1987. It took till 1993 until we started to get non-giant robot/non-Family Entertainment released anime, but Legend of the Overfiend was indeed among the first of them. But we got Akira at almost the exact same time.