Happy Labor Day BaddaBing BaddaBlog readers! Yeah, that’s right. I make posts on Labor Day, take that establishment. This is Manga (And Also Anime) Monday, the place where all things regarding anime and manga are discussed.
Today I’m going to be talking about franchises. While manga and western comics follow roughly the same production and consumption model, anime and western television do not (although, I suppose a lot of what I’m about to say applies to the movie industry as well). Most anime is based on some other preexisting intellectual property, usually a manga or a light novel (basically a hybrid between a comic and a novel). This is why most anime have a generally shorter run of about twelve episodes or so; they get caught up with the source material. This is why Attack on Titan has not gotten a second season yet. If a series is popular enough, the animation studio may choose to continue the series, but have it go in a different direction than the source material. This is usually met with mixed success at best. A lot of people loved the original Full Metal Alchemist anime that broke away from the manga after a season, but Dragon Ball (Giant Turd) GT is universally panned.
This brings me to the main point of this piece, it seems to me that once an anime becomes popular enough, whoever owns the rights to it are going to milk it until it is bad. Dragon Ball (Giant Turd) GT is the primary example of a beloved creative product being turned into a cash grab, but I can think of others as well. The Naruto manga series just concluded this year and the anime will be wrapping up shortly. However, various spin off manga and a movie about Naruto’s son has already been announced. The Gundam anime, the one with people fighting each other using giant robots, has been spun-off and rebooted more times than what I am able to keep track of.
I understand why this is happening and I cannot really fault anyone for it, I’m just not happy with it. The reason this is happening is the same reason why Joey got his own show after Friends ended, people want to make money and it is easier to market something that people are already familiar with. This dastardly phenomenon is just more noticeable in the anime industry because it has fewer extremely successful, long running titles.
I would just say that the anime industry needs to stop milking IP’s past their prime and create new content, but the industry creates dozens of new shows several times a year. It is also hard to expect them to be extremely creative, when the pressure is already on them to make the animation as pristine as possible, for the lowest possible cost. Actually, there seems to be a lot wrong with the anime industry, but I think I’ll save those as topics for later posts.
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