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China making anime push as Japan hits slump

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Yes, Yoko. Pandas are from China.

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The man behind the Tokyo anime fair acknowledges that the global anime boom has waned. But chief producer Hitoshi Suzuki brushes off suggestions that foreign competition poses a threat, expressing confidence that a new boom will emerge in time.

The new boom is not going to happen in Japan except in China and S. Korea. Denial is the way to go until you hit rock bottom.

Since 2006, however, a trend toward adult-oriented (and often sexually explicit) niche titles have turned off the general audience. Moreover, the industry is losing young talent due to persistently low pay and poor working conditions, forcing Japanese animation companies to outsource much of their work.

Anime have gone down hill over the last 3-5 years and the anime companies are producing adult contents to grab whatever there is an audience out there to buy their products. Do Japanese anime companies want to be known for adult anime contents that gives a bad reputation for anime overall?

“Everyone tries to copy the surface of Japanese animation,” he said. “But real Japanese animation is different.”

That attitude is going to bite back where it hurts in their pockets. Japanese anime is unique but when China and S. Korea start producing anime that are mainstream and popular the uniqueness of Japanese anime is going to the waste-side.

Chinese startups are also actively courting Japanese content makers for their business. A representative from the online video site joy.cn, China’s version of Hulu, traveled to the Tokyo anime fair to convince Japanese companies that the Internet offered an alternative to mass media—subject to tight government restrictions—and that their copyrights would be protected in the process.

Anime is going to enforce China to enforce copyright laws because they are in the same boat as Japan by producing anime that will be money making and want to protect those anime properties. Japanese anime companies should negotiate with Chinese anime companies to distribute their contents and toys which will help protect their copyrights. The Japanese anime companies need to realize that the internet is here and is not going to go out of business any time soon. Anime is popular worldwide so letting anime contents through the internet and regain lost revenue is the best route of contents control and copyrights.

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skipbeat, I find it strange that someone who hates Jpan post on a news site about Japan.

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Jeff198524 said,

skipbeat, I find it strange that someone who hates Jpan post on a news site about Japan.

Jeff, I don't hate Japan. I like anime and I buy them as a collector/fan along with manga. I was around when anime was at its peek and the downturn of anime. I am not impressed in how Japanese anime companies do business with American anime companies and leaving an American company hanging which have a negative effects on the consumer that bought the anime dvds (not knowing if we were going to get the rest of the series or not).

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Perhaps its time people used their spare time reading or studying more relevant useful information rather than having 40 year olds still reading comics. Shouldn't they be focussing on the economy, language, relevant current issues etc... I still find it funny that every convenie and train I go on allages read comics doesn't make sence to me. I liked them....when i was 10.

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theft of intellectual property is big in China. It will be a hard sell for anyone to develop anime business in China when even powerful companies like Disney, Nike and LV can't do a damn thing.

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some of the most talented artists in my personal opinion anime wise are in european countries like germany and poland.

just the intricate details and talent that are comming out from other countries is so unique and different, i really believe japan has reason to feel at least a little preasure from foreign competition.

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Toddyz1, it is much easier to practice and improve one's Japanese reading manga and song lyrics than by picking up a copy of the latest Murakami novel in Japanese. And if they're reading a manga in their native language at age 30, that's called escapism, and doing it by manga is no worse than doing it by seeing some crap film from Hollywood like Spiderman or Avatar.

China won't be a threat to Japanese anime anymore than Disney films are. Too much difference in the cultures and it shows in the content/product. This also stands for film too. And if you disagree with me, just compare British and American television comedies. They don't compete and they don't translate.

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All downhill now.

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“The Japanese anime industry basically gave China, Korea and all these countries the keys to the candyshop,” Alt said. “By outsourcing so much work to them, they trained this work force of people who are now far more ambitious and far more hungry than a lot of Japanese animators are.”

Talent is al over the globe. Wages are not.

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I used to like anime before Japanese decided to turn themselves into living anime characters. That is, before they started showing in Harajuku in cartoon customs.

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I've yet to see any non-Japanese anime that surpasses the quality of the originals. My 7 years old cousin loves watching Avatar (The Last Wind something) anime, but honestly it looks like a poorly done ripoff of something between Naruto and other over-done boy hero stories. China is a country notorious for ripping off people's ideas....and as long as they continue doing that, there's no way in hell they'd outdo Japan.

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Ugh can't believe that Chinese official used the phrase "great leap forward”. Mao's Great Leap Forward which collectivized farming resulted in the deaths of 40-60 million Chinese!

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“Everyone tries to copy the surface of Japanese animation,” he said. “But real Japanese animation is different.”

Well, that may be true, but I think that what has happened is that once you sell out, everyone can get in on the act and the encore goes to the guy who is willing to do the same old thing for the least amount of money. If the mass market can't tell what real quality is, who cares about a few critics?

Miyazaki Hayao seems to still have his own style, such as it is, and he paid his dues long enough that he might be unassailable. Everybody else can be copied or co-opted. It is worth keeping in mind that all of those Koreans and Chinese who were contracted to do Pokemon illustrations can now draw the characters better than anybody. A few changes here and there and those artists can move on while Japan relearns how to draw the same old characters.

netrek... you might be missing some meaning or irony there. The Great Leap Forward was an attempt by Chinese to replace foreign capital and technology and achieve high growth based on their own efforts and technologies. So in the sense of meaning, his statement might fit because they are doing the exact same thing. They are using Chinese made technology and skills to replace foreign inputs. In terms of it being an abject failure, well, there might be some irony there. The Chinese might be moving strongly into an art form that it already past its prime. Maybe China will fail because this anime, which seems so new to them, is a stale medium with jaded fans. They are making huge investments that will never pay off.

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So China is going to do better than a plot about magical highschool students who club each other to death using exotic weapons?

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Ugh can't believe that Chinese official used the phrase "great leap forward”. Mao's Great Leap Forward which collectivized farming resulted in the deaths of 40-60 million Chinese!

Same translation in English doesn't mean same Chinese phrases. I haven't seen/heard Mao's Great Leap Forward (DaYueJin) in official occasions for many years.

And why everything has to be political?

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I can't see how China will do better, as all it does is copy what others have drawn or written anyway. There are so many "pakuri" or imitation labels and products in China already. Once, I saw what appeared to be Doraemon in Beijing, but upon closer inspection found out it was a cheap imitation of it. They even have this amusement park where the characters are all cheap imitations of Mickey Mouse, Hello Kitty, etc.

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"but upon closer inspection found out it was a cheap imitation of it"

Seems to me this is common throughout Asia as I've passed up countless opportunities to buy a "Rolex" watch for about $30 in Tokyo, Taipei, Bangkok, Saigon ... need I go on?! To be fair, I was offered a "sugoi" inexpensive "Rolex" in Manhattan as well, but the flood gates seem to be open in this part of the world. The sense or nonsense is simple: Wow! people are making money from this, let's do it! Never mind intellectual property rights. The idea is, hey good "thinking" there buddy, you've done me well.

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Yeah right... Chinese animation. It will be another 1billion re-tellings of either the 3 kingdoms, or Journey to the West. They're about as original as the "Rolex" watches sold on the streets there.

Even if Japan is hitting a slump, I doubt they're going to be overtaken by others in their own genre of animation. The ideas behind anime & manga has always been a reflection of what the Japanese culture and society are interested in and it appeals to others outside of their country.

China is imitating but failing because its difficult for them to show something that interests others outside of their own cultural influences. If they were more original in their themes they could contend.

S.Korea has potential and they've been able to bring out programs, not anime mostly though, that appeals to the Japanese. I personally haven't been too impressed with some of these shows myself, but some have been a bit intriguing to watch in the beginning.

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