I just want to talk about the preview segment chatter. For sake of convenience I’ll scribe from Crunchyroll. This also has a little to do with the train of thought passing by in my last blog post.
Madarame: The summer anime shows has already finished four episodes? Time flies.
Tanaka[?]: I’m sure everyone’s talking about which shows they’ve dropped online.
Kuchiki: I always give a series three episodes!
Madarame: So you actually drop shows? That’s nothing to be proud of.
Tanaka: You always get mad when something gets popular after you drop it.
Kuchiki: That’s when I say everyone else on the board is a shill!
Madarame: You’re horrible.
Kuchiki: Viral marketing! Viral marketing!
Kuchiki: Any time that something sells that I don’t like, it’s due to viral marketing!
Kuchiki: The anime I like should sell a lot, and the ones I don’t shouldn’t sell at all!
Madarame & Tanaka: I don’t care!
I think this piece is relevant in a particular sense. There always have been an interest in sales figures among certain fans. I would go as far as to say that there are “industry figure” style otaku that, for example, write rage posts on how to interpret Amazon sales ranks on preorders as indicator for…well not very much. You’d think these are the people made fun of–not quite. It’s the people who understand the importance of sales and such, but don’t grasp the interpretation of this data in the larger scope of things. It’s these kind of people that are being made fun of in the segment. Of course it’s actually just a cross section of a greater range of people, some who don’t really care about sales figures, but creatively interpret them for their own uses to justify their own narratives. Plenty of people who follow sales ranks understand how it fits into the bigger picture in terms of who’s footing the bill and the way anime is produced in Japan. But a lot more people don’t. And in fandom, that’s what sales ranks operates as–some straw validation of one’s belief or ammunition to attack someone else’s.
Thanks to this little skit now whenever someone shills for Redline, I laugh. Good Game, the Kuchiki-kuns of the western otaku-internet-o-polygon. And it brings us back to what makes Genshiken so charming in the first place–it is able to connect with a certain layer of fandom’s doubled-rainbowing layers of meta that few other first-party (in the official/3rd party/doujin sense) animation or manga can.
I suppose it’s asking too much for people to “get over” the whole sales thing. After all the trend is more direct participation by the end consumers, and more direct funding. Well, maybe that could help people get over the importance of sales ranking and Oricon and stuff like that.