Genshiken Second Generation Episode 4

Jäger Madarame

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.

6 Responses to “Genshiken Second Generation Episode 4”

  • Kurogane Shiroikaze

    Chasing sales figures does get ridiculously stupid and tiring after a while, which is why I don’t really care about them too much anymore. The problem I guess is how sales figures numbers are always treated as a sort of “taste validation” mechanism. I mean, if that show I hated got 30k units of sales, the industry is fucked, amirite?

    Still it’s always nice to see that shows you thought were great but wouldn’t be selling so much doing a long way above the infamous “Manabi line” like Oregairu from last season. It’s hard to not stop doing it I guess.

    Also, this gets me sometimes too:

    You always get mad when something gets popular after you drop it.

    Probably why I’m watching way too many shows that I shouldn’t be every season now, heh.

    BTW, it’s “Kuchiki” not “Kukichi”

  • DarkFireBlade25

    Is there any literature on this kind of subject? I’m not sure where to look to learn stuff about the industry in general.

    • omo

      what do you want to know?

    • DarkFireBlade25

      Well there is a lot of stuff, but I think I wanna know something about market indicators and how to interpret market info to make a conclusion about profitability and stuff like that. Hmm well those might be a little broad, but mostly anything that might get insight into the industry would be nice.

    • omo

      Profitability is a tough call. Thing is, there are so many late night TV anime because it’s a safe investment and even most low-tier projects do break even over time. Obviously shows that are more popular makes more money overall, but without any specific numbers you really can’t say just how profitable something is over time. This is partly what obfuscates the real picture of what’s happening, and even well-versed people like Daryl can get the wrong impression.

      You can model some shows that sells in the short run using sales numbers and stuff like that, but the sales values don’t really indicate overall profit over time since real sales numbers are rarely/never publicly reported, and the public ones generally underreport (eg., Oricon doesn’t report under 1k units).

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