It’s commonly known and accepted that during the “golden age” of anime in the mid 2000s, and also a part of the reason behind the uptake of sites like Youtube and NicoNico Douga, is the fact that you can watch anime on those sites as a part of a shared experience. Specifically, people watched anime on Nico because of the comments as enabled by the floating comment system that overlays text over video. It was hilarious.
It’s interesting because 2005 was when sites like Youtube started to get real traction with the public. It was new; people uploaded all sorts of videos there and then passed links to their friends. How that fits into the social context that makes up the overall notion of social media on the internet was something to be figured out. But, as you see today, there is probably not much room left for something like Nico’s famous overlay text system. Youtube eventually opted for a similar overlay technology for annotation, and it’s used to serve ads as well, but it was just not the same.
Just to muse on it some more: since Nico is launching a US portal with simulcast anime content, will we ever “recreate” the same sort of thing? The whole “anime is more fun when watched with folks” kind of thing, for certain shows? I’m not sure, but I am leaning towards no. Maybe the moment has passed. Maybe westerners no longer care for anime in that kind of viewing factor, and maybe those who do are more concerned about repeating memes than to offer insightful, interesting and funny comment that goes with watching anime in that context. I mean, who wants to read youtube comments?
But you would think a Pachinko anime makes great content for people to trash. So I did it. And it kind of works; actively commenting on it made watching it a little more bearable, but it was a bit of a hassle to pause when typing. However, even the best seiyuu talent cannot save something like Twin Angel: Twinkle Paradise.
I just hope this does not stop them from rolling out t-shirts at cons to everyone. Or not bring over their trademarked animated gifs (I noticed they were adorning the blog section of the site…)
The other day I also managed to watch Blood-C on Nico. The results are partly what I feared but also partly promising. A few good caps made it a lot more amusing, while there were also a lot of dumb meme repetition that didn’t really belong. It’s notably different than my other viewings (R-15 and Twin Angel) because I waited for almost a week to catch Blood-C, and it’s probably the highest profile anime they’re streaming. Those two…well, it’s sparse. You can find those streams on Nico’s channel page.
Which, is to say, it’s a totally different beast even compared to their Atlantis launch live stream last week, which I watched for about 30 minutes. That one looked pretty okay… And it isn’t that memes are a problem; it’s how you use it.
PS. Is it me or the way text scrolls in English need to be adjusted? Or is my reading bandwidth taxed having to both read the subs and the scrolling comments? Maybe both? I find it much easier to read short comments since they stay on screen longer, where as long comments fly across the screen crazy fast. And like Twitter, it’s much more likely to need to write long comments in English than it is in Japanese. This requires some tweaking on Nico’s part.