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Post Reply Good Bye Pump and Dump Anime
d3v3l 
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35 / M / Arizona
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Posted 9/3/16 , edited 9/4/16
There is this disgusting trend that I've just recently noticed within the anime community / writers / animators etc. First they will release a series - and regardless if it has a lot of promise or not - the show will have it's production stopped by the 20th or so episode and odds are you won't see or hear about that series again for the rest of your life. For some of the very promising series - I've noticed that the writers will sometimes deliberately sabotage their own series just so the company can dump the series and start pumping on another. Rarely will you see production of a series go beyond 25-30 episodes and when you do it will most likely stop around the 40 to 50 mark. Even more rare will you see a series that goes beyond a 100.

I don't like watching series that end so soon. I don't like getting emotionally invested in a series (which is what happens when you're 20 episodes deep or so) - and then to just have it fucking stopped because the writers decided to stop writing, or were told they have to work on another project. Or have the writers do something in the story that makes the rest of the series look bad / not fun to watch - ends up stopping production.

It is this lack of consistency and commitment that I find infuriating and disappointing. For this reason I don't think I will be watching anime like I have been. I'll keep my eye out for new series from time to time (when they are complete) - and if the said completed series is more than 100 episodes I'll think about actually spending my time and watching it - after I have read the reviews - and have made certain it isn't full of BS filler, or leave you hanging at the end with no fucking closure. I'll especially stay away from the typical run of the mill pump and dump series that I have been witnessing from the passing years.

You piss off your target audience enough - you'll start seeing more people like me putting their money in other forms of entertainment. Many regular US TV series / shows have more longevity now on average when compared to anime. How fucking sad and pathetic is that?

I know that Crunchyroll does not control the content it streams - as the main service the website provides is the ability to watch the series online easily from your home instead of having to buy it on DVD or torrent it or whatever - but even then that does not mean the producers of these shows do not have the website's ear. I would not be surprised to hear that a portion of the income this company makes goes towards the content providers directly. I am fairly certain they will start wondering why their consumer base isn't going as well as they hoped sometime in the future if my predictions are correct (or I am not the only one who has this opinion).

Or who knows - maybe I am completely wrong and I am in the minority here. Maybe most of you love watching series after series that end abruptly, stop without closure, or filled with filler episodes making you wonder if the money you're paying your monthly fee's on are worth these kinds of episodes and shows. If so then please keep on doing business as usual and completely ignore what I am saying / continue watching these shows that you love.

Me? I'll be spending my time and money on other forms of entertainment from now on .
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21 / M / U.S.A.
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Posted 9/3/16
It's not their fault nobody buys anything. IIRC I think it costs upwards of $100k per episode. And that's just the animation.
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37 / M / SW Ontario, Canada
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Posted 9/3/16 , edited 9/6/16
If nothing else, anime series ending without any real resolution or even a hope of resolution has driven me towards looking closer at the source material. I'm definitely reading more manga now than I was before simply because the anime has sort of acted like an advertisement to me.

It sucks but with the demands, cost and stakes so high in production these days I don't see it changing any time soon.
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24 / M / St.Louis - USA
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Posted 9/3/16
Did you try writing a letter to the anime companies?
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26 / M
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Posted 9/3/16
The sad truth is that most anime are pretty much just advertisements for the the source material. Anime series that are really popular and sell well usually get second or third sometimes even fourth seasons, but not all anime series sell well and anime is expensive to make so that's just the way it is. While I do end up a bit disappointed if a series doesn't get more than 1 season it's not that big of a deal to me since I can just go read the source material if I want the rest of the story.
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27 / M
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Posted 9/3/16
I've got no problem with series that end prematurely or only last for a season or two. The perpetual variety is actually one of the reasons I enjoy watching anime. I do get a bit irritated, though, when a show promises a second season and then doesn't deliver.


XxDarkSasuxX wrote:

It's not their fault nobody buys anything. IIRC I think it costs upwards of $100k per episode. And that's just the animation.


Surely you're not saying it's the consumers' fault..?
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21 / F / Bay Area
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Posted 9/3/16

BlazeMP wrote:

The sad truth is that most anime are pretty much just advertisements for the the source material. Anime series that are really popular and sell well usually get second or third sometimes even fourth seasons, but not all anime series sell well and anime is expensive to make so that's just the way it is. While I do end up a bit disappointed if a series doesn't get more than 1 season it's not that big of a deal to me since I can just go read the source material if I want the rest of the story.


Basically this. The writers don't stop writing the story, It's up to the studio whether or not they want to continue with the series. If it sells well then great, but that doesn't guarantee another season.
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21 / M / U.S.A.
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Posted 9/3/16 , edited 9/4/16

staphen wrote:

Surely you're not saying it's the consumers' fault..?

Of course I am.

When's the last time you bought a BD or even just some merchandise?

For me, it's been almost a year. I support what little I can through crunchyroll, but that's not a lot. Hell, it's not even a little, really.

And not to mention a large percentage of people watch anime on [sites that don't have license to stream] rather than Netflix, Funimation, or Crunchyroll. And have never bought merc in their lives, nor do they plan on it.
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Posted 9/3/16
"Pump and dump", as you call it, has been the hallmark of anime for decades. Even some of the "classics" would fall under your description. Evangelion, Bubblegum Crisis, Cowboy Beebop, all deliberately made to be only limited length series. And then there was the time after the "Big Crash" when OAVs dominated the industry, Battle Angel Alita, Black Magic M66, Armitage.

It should also be noted that most anime come from source material, manga, light novels, visual novels. The anime is created around that source material and when the material is exhausted the anime ends. Going beyond what the source offers is a tricky and complicated endeavor. Especially if that source is ongoing. Just remember all the "controversy" around continuing Game of Thrones after the series caught up with the books. Had GRRM decided not to share with the writers what his plans were beyond what's available it could have ground the series to a halt. Or at the very least caused a lot of controversy in the fandom.

Only a very small set of anime have managed to grab enough footing and support both with the fanbase and with the industry to grow into long running series. For the vast, vast, vast majority of anime throughout anime's history they've been "pump and dump".

I've come to realize that anime is set on the same template as the telenovela: limited run, short series. It's a format the Japanese also use for the majority of their live-action drama series like No Dropping Out or The Guide. If you want an equivalent example from American TV think of series like this season's Braindead.

To equate the number of episodes a series has with its quality is, in my humble opinion, a mistake. Is a book like Catcher in the Rye worse than the Twilight series just because it only has one volume to Twilight's four?

All this said I do understand what you mean. Frankly there's a chuck of junk in each anime season. But that's not new. There's been junk anime for as long as there's been anime. And as a viewer you're not just free but I'd say encouraged to set whatever standard you want for what you will or won't watch. That's the beauty of there being so many different types of anime. We get to choose what we want to watch and ignore the ones that don't interest us.
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27 / M
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Posted 9/3/16

XxDarkSasuxX wrote:


staphen wrote:

Surely you're not saying it's the consumers' fault..?

Of course I am.

When's the last time you bought a BD or even just some merchandise?

For me, it's been almost a year. I support what little I can through crunchyroll, but that's not a lot. Hell, it's not even a little, really.


I ordered When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace and Mouretsu Pirates: Abyss of Hyperspace just a few days ago. I don't typically go for merchandise. It's kind of beside the point, though. My qualm with blaming the consumer is less personal.

I'm sure this isn't what you meant, but it sounds to me like you're broadly holding consumers responsible for not spending money on things they don't want to consume. Regardless of what you really meant, though, I believe the sole party that is responsible for managing the revenue of producers is the producers themselves. It *should* be up to producers to make something that consumers will spend money on. I would say, if it turns out that a business venture is not profitable then it's either the producer's fault or no one's fault. Put another way, I would never say that consumers are at fault for a failed business venture.

This part may sound a bit like a conspiracy theory, but I feel as though the consumer-blaming mentality is the result of manipulative tactics by producers to play on the emotions of consumers and soften their reluctance to spend money. Incidentally, my way of thinking has actually made me rather more reluctant to spend money on entertainment, but that's also beside the point.
lawdog 
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Posted 9/3/16

domvina wrote:

"Pump and dump", as you call it, has been the hallmark of anime for decades. Even some of the "classics" would fall under your description. Evangelion, Bubblegum Crisis, Cowboy Beebop, all deliberately made to be only limited length series. And then there was the time after the "Big Crash" when OAVs dominated the industry, Battle Angel Alita, Black Magic M66, Armitage.

It should also be noted that most anime come from source material, manga, light novels, visual novels. The anime is created around that source material and when the material is exhausted the anime ends. Going beyond what the source offers is a tricky and complicated endeavor. Especially if that source is ongoing. Just remember all the "controversy" around continuing Game of Thrones after the series caught up with the books. Had GRRM decided not to share with the writers what his plans were beyond what's available it could have ground the series to a halt. Or at the very least caused a lot of controversy in the fandom.

Only a very small set of anime have managed to grab enough footing and support both with the fanbase and with the industry to grow into long running series. For the vast, vast, vast majority of anime throughout anime's history they've been "pump and dump".

I've come to realize that anime is set on the same template as the telenovela: limited run, short series. It's a format the Japanese also use for the majority of their live-action drama series like No Dropping Out or The Guide. If you want an equivalent example from American TV think of series like this season's Braindead.

To equate the number of episodes a series has with its quality is, in my humble opinion, a mistake. Is a book like Catcher in the Rye worse than the Twilight series just because it only has one volume to Twilight's four?

All this said I do understand what you mean. Frankly there's a chuck of junk in each anime season. But that's not new. There's been junk anime for as long as there's been anime. And as a viewer you're not just free but I'd say encouraged to set whatever standard you want for what you will or won't watch. That's the beauty of there being so many different types of anime. We get to choose what we want to watch and ignore the ones that don't interest us.


Good summation. Most anime is not original; it is an adaptation of a manga, light novel, visual novel, etc. Further, it's based on a different economic model, one that relies on DVD/Bluray and sales of source material and licensed products instead of advertising revenue. Most TV shows in the USA gain their revenue from advertising; the better the ratings, the more they can charge advertisers. This results in self-sustaining economic engines, and why ratings are so important.

Of course, what you're talking about is little different than what happens every season. Most new shows get cancelled, with many pulled before they even finish their first season. Meaning that there are plenty of shows in the West that get pulled without any resolution after less then a dozen shows. Or end out their series run with just a regular episode.

Most anime shows only have a limited amount of source material to work with. Also, it can't really have a definitive end to a show that is still has an ongoing source material.

But your issue is nothing new, and not limited to anime.
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21 / M / U.S.A.
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Posted 9/4/16

staphen wrote:

I'm sure this isn't what you meant, but it sounds to me like you're broadly holding consumers responsible for not spending money on things they don't want to consume. Regardless of what you really meant, though, I believe the sole party that is responsible for managing the revenue of producers is the producers themselves. It *should* be up to producers to make something that consumers will spend money on. I would say, if it turns out that a business venture is not profitable then it's either the producer's fault or no one's fault. Put another way, I would never say that consumers are at fault for a failed business venture.

Well you are right in saying thst I wasn't generalizing consumer responsibility to that degree. I'm talking purely about anime that you like. I'm just saying that if you are upset that a series doesn't make it past a season then the people who put nothing into the project have zero right to complain.

For example, I'm following Re:Zero pretty heavily right now. But if it ends at 25 episodes, I don't really have grounds to complain. As I can't afford to support it outside of crunchyroll.

Finally, a lot of people think that watching anime is a right (lol). It's not. It's a privilege and a hobby. Generally speaking, you have to put money into your hobbies.


This part may sound a bit like a conspiracy theory, but I feel as though the consumer-blaming mentality is the result of manipulative tactics by producers to play on the emotions of consumers and soften their reluctance to spend money. Incidentally, my way of thinking has actually made me rather more reluctant to spend money on entertainment, but that's also beside the point.

Lel. That is a conspiracy theory. And it's not true; if anything, it's the opposite.

Most people don't feel the need to support shows they like. Whether because they don't like it enough, or because they think that it's popular enough to do well without them.
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36 / M / Planet Sanno
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Posted 9/4/16
Domvina has the right of it. Limited runs have been a hallmark of the anime medium almost since its creation.


XxDarkSasuxX wrote:
When's the last time you bought a BD or even just some merchandise?


*looks at shelf*

Most of the physical goods I have – aside from, say, JRPGs, with which I have been madly in love for decades – date to back before the Great DVD Crash of 2008, but I have been good about purchasing other things since then, especially manga (e.g. Monster Musume) and VNs (mostly via Steam). Light novels are far and away the trickiest source material to support due to a lack of localization.
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Posted 9/4/16
Also we must remember that some of us are POOR and must weigh heavily how and where we invest our money. I tend to prefer DVDs over other items, but I have purchased some light novels and manga. I just can't see myself buying toys or clothes since I'm not a standard size or have room to display toys. Granted I might be tempted by a Mayumi Saegusa figure if there was one. I definitely would buy a Shizuka Hiratsuka figure if there was one, but I'm not holding my breath. But back to the topic I think buying DVDs gives the biggest bang for the buck. But that is just my opinion.
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Posted 9/4/16
It might also have to do with the longevity of other popular series, such as Dragonball and One Piece. Other than manga stories that do actually fit in a 12-25 episode format, I think companies are scared to invest in a manga series that may go on for too long. As we've all seen, One Piece's average episode animation quality as dropped severely over the past couple years, and that mostly has to do with budget and taking no breaks in between seasons. Squishing a manga or LN adaptation into a 12-25 episode format lets the animators breathe and budget recover to work on a possible next season.

It also has to do with measuring success. If a company goes all out with a production and gives it the One Piece treatment, and the anime's popularity drops off after the 3rd episode, they've wasted a lot of time and money that could be going towards something with more success. It's the same thing with the 4 year gap in between the Attack on Titan seasons. They had no idea Attack on Titan would get THAT popular, and they had no plans for a second season because the manga wasn't very popular at the time, so that's why the gap is so large.

They could also ship off certain scenes of the anime to be animated in a different studio, but then you have the problem of inconsistent artwork and animation, something that utterly plagued Naruto in its entire run. Some episodes looked amazingly produced, while some looked like computer paper stop motion.

Then there's working off a new IP anime, not based off of anything, which is an even bigger gamble. A good chunk of anime is adaptation, but original works are still there. Hell, there's a lot of good ones. But it's a lot more reassuring (and fiscally safe) to spring-board off of a manga's popularity and have it carry over to an anime adaptation. Even Hero Academia, which destroys most manga rankings, only got a 12-episode season for the sake of measuring success. Bones probably expected to have a second season out of it more than others, but they still have to be careful. Going gung-ho into an anime production without a layer of caution is just foolish.
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