Article: Burning down Georgia, I mean the Industry
Burning down Georgia, I mean the industry
By now just about all of you have heard of the now famous blog post by Eric Sherman of Bang Zoom Entertainment and the overall death of the anime Industry. I usually donít make topical posts this way but I felt with the speech on episode 126 of Aso radio I felt that needed to make an article about it. Some of this is hard facts that arenít brought up enough and some of it is like most articles everywhere my humble opinion.
First of all there is a good deal of the conversation has been about the subject of hard core versus casual fans. Before I go too far into the topic let me tell you this, in Japan the average DVD costs a lot more than they do in the United States. For Example in the writing of this article I saw that a DVD can cost 4500 Yen about (47 dollars) after the Amazon discount. Of course the MSRP is higher. And this is for only two episodes per disk. Let me ask you a simple question, how many shows are you willing to pay at least three hundred dollars for, and even more if the show lasts longer than thirteen episodes? My guess is for most anime fans perhaps one, maybe one and that would be their favorite show. However this is the market that the anime industry stakes itís fortunes on. Thus it kind of easy to see that most of the shows are catered to those with the almost slavish devotion to certain genres rather than the casual fan like many that have complained have wished. So unless the Japanese industries can come up with another business model nothing will change and there is nothing that you, me, or Bang Zoom can do about it.
The problem with Mr. Shermanís rant is that it is ultimately toothless. If a particular person refuses to buy anime from the local Best Buy who he or she ever care if said store were to no longer carry it? No and neither do fansubbers care if the licensing companies that they do not buy anime from cease to exist. They will simply download from torrents just as they always have. Sherman is making the argument from a guilt perspective and that will only work if are a religion or a third world country hit by a natural disaster. The second thing that I wish to mention is that the damage that fansubbing does to the industry is impossible to estimate. The very act of downloading anime does not harm the industry at all. For example I could download Gurren Laggan and it wouldnít hurt the industry one penny. What does hurt the industry is downloading anime instead of buying it. The reason I my downloading of Gurren Laggan would cause no harm is because I already own the dvds for the series and my support of that series is backed by money. However it is dishonest to say that fansubbing does not hurt the industry is false. Itís damage is the indeterminable difference between the amount that the industry makes now and that which it would make if fansubs were completely unavailable. It is now dishonest to say that fansubbing helps the industry today because unlike in the past the majority of products are available for preview. Ask yourself this, have you ever not bought anime simply because you have watched it fansubbed? If you watch fansubs at all it would be difficult to answer no with complete certainty.
In my remaining paragraph perhaps I can do one better than Mr. Sherman. Remember what I said in the second paragraph and also remember this fact; the anime industry is simply that, something that exists to make money by selling a product. Thus the only people who really matter are those that buy their products for they supply the money that allows the anime industry to continue to exist. Have you or anybody complained about the recent trends in anime? If so do you support the industry by buying products from it? If the answer the first question is yes and the second question no then do one simple thing. Shut up. You do not matter and the fans of K On do. Simply put the moe craze exists because the most prevalent group of people buying anime are moe fans and little else exists that can pay the bills. In short contrary to the complaints of many moe isnít the poison that is killing the industry, itís what keeping it alive even itís current state isnít to everyoneís liking. However if you do find something you like the only way you can be sure to see more of it is to spend money on it.