Farming twitter is easy picking, especially when someone already collected the tweets. Take this snippet, originated from an interview of three key dudes behind Guilty Crown. (So pardon the twice-in-a-row.)
I think this is indicative of how derailed how a few vocal types on the internet think what “mainstream” entertainment is. I mean, when I think about it, I think things like Michael Jackson, Transformer 3 or Donald Duck. I certainly don’t think Guilty Crown panders to the male otaku niche–that’s the same as saying action-fighting-violent Hollywood SFX in the likes of Avatar or Transformers panders to the minority otaku crowd. I think those words do not mean what some people (namely, this guy) think it means.
The twitter conversation went on from there, lots of people talked about certain things about noitaminA and the various shows from it. It’s not really important unless you do marketing and licensing for noitaminA, because I feel for those of us overseas who recognizes the name, that’s somewhat representative as to how we feel about the “brand.” But I wouldn’t trust it much further than I can throw it.
Unfortunately it isn’t typically possible for the average consumer to “reverse engineer” the brand’s image (especially when it’s projected without any direction from the original owners of the brand) and figure out what the business decisions are, when we’re talking about a multi-faceted franchising effort. Especially when it isn’t even in the same language. I mean I don’t even know if people know what the business decisions actually are, yet people are just shooting at it. [And I don’t mean it in a negative way per se: You go armchair anime producer, don’t ever let ignorance stop you from being creative.]
And I think likening Guilty Crown to Code Geass is also partly because in both cases, the producers were trying to attract the same kind of audience. I mean after all there are lots of girls who like Code Geass, I’d think. More than, say, Trapeze probably. So who am I to criticize? Well, maybe only at the fact that noitaminA is a crazy, 2am time slot kind of deal.
If you don’t believe me about the girls-liking-crap-like-this bit (if we can even consider that there are people at all who likes Guilty Crown; certain nobody admits to liking it), let’s not forget: Something like 35% of people who watch K-ON in Japan are actually girls. Is it pandering to otaku? I think it does–but it does also so, so much more. I mean, I’m going to have a :V face towards anyone who called it a moeblob show and left it at that. But since so many did, it just highlights the fact it is really hard to guess these things unless you’ve got the right context. (Or perhaps just as important in the noitaminA discussion: 30% or more of Kuroshitsuji 2’s viewers are male!) I mean there are probably more girls than guys reading Shounen Jump, a magazine clearly pandering to guys. (That one is a guess.)
And who knows, maybe K-ON is the answer, or at least it contains the start to it, a nugget of truth. Maybe noitaminA is known for things like Antique Bakeries or Houses of Five Leaves (to single out one creator on there that I dislike), but it just doesn’t pay. And who is to blame for that?
Reading the actual interview (Dave is in his usual form here), it all makes a lot of sense. They’re following a formula. It only further confuses me why people don’t understand what is happening here; this is hardly new territory. I suppose this can also be chalked up to another case of “catering to someone elses’s tastes = pandering” as per the usual otaku blogger parlor tricks for some people, but com’on man.
And whatever you do, don’t read the ANN forum thread for that topic. It’s even more stupid. Or perhaps the comparison to Transformer 3 is not too far off the course, in that it is a profitable and popular flick that got universally panned. And in that case it’s Mission Accomplished, no?