by Mike Masnick

Anime Succeeds By Embracing Fans, Not Treating Them As Criminals

from the so-simple dept

In 2003, we wrote about how the Japanese comics industry was thriving because they shackled up the lawyers and let fans do what they wanted -- including creating copycat comics. It's the type of thing where lawyers like to start suing, but that's not always the best business decision. Last year, we noticed a similar story about anime in the US, where what the rest of the entertainment industry was calling "piracy," the anime industry realized was free promotions. Karl writes in to point out that Fortune Magazine appears to have discovered the same thing, and has written up an article about how anime is such a huge success in the US because it embraced its fans and kept the lawyers away. It's a lesson that the rest of the entertainment industry needs to learn, but it seems unlikely they'll be figuring it out any time soon.

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  • identicon
    dorpus, 29 Nov 2005 @ 10:52am

    What about racist anime?

    As many people know, racist comic books are enjoying a huge success in Japan, despite (or because) mainstream media in Japan is refusing to talk about them. Anime in Japan is associated with the "kimo-ota" crowd, the creepy guys with beards who live with their parents, never bathe, and download illegal images to their PC's all day.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Minimay, 29 Nov 2005 @ 6:34pm

      Re: What about racist anime?

      I suggest you to change your name to "Dorkus".

      Thank you for being the voice of Japanese anime culture.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Michael "TheZorch" Haney, 29 Nov 2005 @ 11:28am

    Fan Fiction, Fansubs and Fandubs

    I'm a fan fiction writer. I have several stories posted to and other sites. I download Fansubs (Japanese Anime with subtitles edited by fans) and I know a guy who's daughter is a voice actress in Inuyasha Fandubs (Japanese Anime dubbed in English by fans). She's actually very good.

    Basically, its the kind of freedom the Anime/Manga industry gives its fans that made it this popular. I remember reading about Paramount/Viacom suing people because of their Star Trek fan sites. If they treated people like the Anime/Manga community does then Star Trek wouldn't be in such a sorry state its in now. If Star Trek remained syndicated-only it would have been better off too. TV execs just ruin things when they make the screenwriters do things their way. They kill more shows than poor ratings do every time. That's what happened to SeaQuest DSV, the TV execs wanted it to be more of a sci-fi show and they killed it.

    Anyway, I love Anime and Manga. I'm a major fan of Rumiko Takahashi's Ranma 1/2. She also created Inuyasha and Urusei Yatsura. Urusei Yatsura was the manga/anime series that started the "Teenage Sex Comedy/Multiple Love Triangle Comedy" genre we all know and love.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Isaac Garcia, 29 Nov 2005 @ 12:04pm

    We Share the Same Sentiments

    I wrote a short posting essentially stating the same thing yesterday. How viable is a business that sues its customers? What a great example! Thanks for bringing this up!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    The Other Mike, 29 Nov 2005 @ 2:37pm

    No Subject Given

    You bring up an interesting point I have to admit. Cartoon Network is getting on the Anime bandwagon and apparently doing well with it. I didn't realize that the anime creators had essentially locked up the lawyers though. I would definitely be interested to see where this all ends up. The whole entertainment industry has to rethink its business model but nobody has offered one that seems to serve everyone at once. If the anime industry can show the kind of return that hollywood would drool over then everyone would win (provided hollywood takes note of it).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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