AF12 - Wrong About Anime / Omyly o anime


Uploaded by AnimefestCZ on 28.07.2012

Transcript:
Jonathan Clements: Wrong About Anime
Ladies and gentlemen... now, here's our keynote speaker,
Jonathan Clements.
Okay.
Well, I always wondered how many Czechs you can fit in one room.
And there's my answer.
Before I begin, I'd like to point out that your exits are here...
and here...
And I know that someone will have to leave
at some point during my speech.
Now, if you get really bored, for example,
you can probably sneak out, noone will see you do that.
I'll be showing four clips.
When I show the clips...
and I order Lord Kraso there in the booth to show the clip...
then that's a good chance to sneak out.
If however, you are a giant blue Muppet
who has to leave at half past...
half past one...
half past five...
It'll be quite obvious when you leave.
And that applies for anyone who has to kinda struggle their way out.
So if that happens, in order to avoid being the embarassement,
I would like you to stand up, raise both your hands and say:
I can't take any more!
And then you don't have to worry about hiding,
because we'll all see you and we'll know.
So, my job today is to talk about things that people have got wrong about anime.
Now you are all anime fans.
Except you.
Everybody else is an anime fan,
so you know what anime is, you understand it implicitly.
I'm rather sad that we haven't got Martin interpreting for me today,
because I was going to make him do all kinds of things.
But instead, as his punishment, he just has to watch.
He may well shout questions.
If anyone does has any questions and need to ask in Czech,
Martin will interpret.
If you want to ask your question in Japanese,
Martin will have a go.
If anyone here speaks Navajo,
good luck.
Anyway...
So I wanted to talk about things that people get wrong about anime.
Things that the mainstream thinks.
The way that anime is misinterpreted by so many different kinds of people.
It's very difficult to establish what anime actually is.
The Japanese published the book about it in 2011 called Anime Gaku, Anime Studies,
and the first 100 pages is them arguing about what anime actually is.
Our understanding of what anime is actually...
we can just say it's animation from Japan, Our understanding of what anime is actually...
we can just say it's animation from Japan,
but the word anime comes into existence in 1950s,
and it actually start being applied in 1960s by Osamu Tezuka,
creator of Astro Boy.
Now, Astro Boy is not something I saw when I was a child.
As I understand it, the Czech never get Astro Boy either.
But Astro Boy changed the way that animation worked in Japan.
And the reason for that is that Tezuka decided he wanted to be the Japanese Disney,
but he didn't have enough money to be the Japanese Disney.
So he decided to work in television.
He decided to adapt one of his own manga in 1963.
Tetsuwan Atomu, The Mighty Atom, the Astro Boy.
And he decided to put together a cartoon TV series.
This has never been done before.
People have done TV shows that were like 3 minutes long.
Nobody have done weekly half-hour TV show.
And Tezuka went to one of his animators and he said:
How difficult can it be?
And the animator said:
Well, it's very difficult.
We would need 3000 animators,
which is 3 times the animation population of Japan,
and they would have to work 28 days a week.
Which is quite hard.
Alhough in Japan... maybe not...
So Tezuka found ways of making a half-hour show, but making it shorter.
Most famously, he worked with limited animation.
Animation... a film runs 24 frames per second, normally.
Animated film tends to be animated 12 frames per second.
We call that "animating on twos", so every second frame is a new picture.
Tezuka animeted on threes, which means he only used 8 frames of animation per second.
That already saves him 66% of the cost of making a cartoon.
He also found other ways of limiting time.
For example, this piece of toilet paper...
unused...
I hope...
This is one minute of animation, okay, one minute.
Now, this piece of toilet paper...
is 30 minutes.
I need a volunteer, you'll do, Martin.
Come on, let's make it work, just hang on to that end.
Right, okay.
So this is... actually, come with me, come with me, Martin.
Come on, on the stage, here we go.
Now, this is 30 minutes of television time.
Now, if you... we hold it wrong way up, Martin.
Other way up.
Now, if this is 30 minutes, how do you fill it with a cartoon show?
You go to the television company.
You go: Okay, I have 30 minute show...
But it's not really 30 minutes.
One, two, three, four, five minutes of advertising.
That's not your problem.
You don't need this, the advertisers will fill that for you.
And then you think just maybe we could have a closing credits
when names come up at the end.
We don't need animation for that, we could roll the same thing,
we only need to make it once, so actually we could take 2 minutes of that.
And if we have really long opening song...
Two or three minutes... we can take that away.
And what if every 12 episodes,
we have a catch-up episode when we just show all the stuff that's already happened?
We basically get 3 minute every season.
And then what we could do is if we have like transforming robots,
we only need to make the transformation sequence once...
Few minutes...
So this is what we're actually working with. It's much shorter then you think.
Thank you, Martin.
My useful assistant may return later.
So that's one of the things that Tezuka did to save money.
People think the Japanese animation is all really, really high quality staff,
but actually no, Astro Boy was very low quality. People think the Japanese animation is all really, really high quality staff,
but actually no, Astro Boy was very low quality.
If you were going to make a TV show using animation on twos, animation on threes,
you probably need to use ten thousand cells,
ten thousand images per episode.
Even if you cut it down, even if you take out transformation sequence,
the opening, the closing credits...
Even if you do that, you're still looking at ten thousand cells for half hour.
That's what an OAV uses if it's a good one.
Tezuka sometimes made a cartoon episode of Astro Boy using only 15 hundred cells.
There was a lot of people standing very, very still.
There was a lot of people running like this.
The longest pause in anime I've ever seen was actually in Evangelion
where people stood in the lift for about 45 seconds.
Maybe they blinked... blink, carry on, it's pretty easy.
So this is how he saved money.
The animation business in Japan hated him for doing this.
There was one critic, who's called Hayao Miyazaki, you may have heard of him.
And in the 1980s, he said:
Tezuka ruined anime!
You know, when I was young animator we were making really posh,
award-winning films
and then he came along and ruined it, what a bastard!
And that was actually Miyazaki's obituary of Tezuka.
Wasn't very nice.
And Tezuka found other ways of saving money, too.
One of the things he did is he under-valued the cartoon.
He made the first episode of Astro Boy and he said:
How much did this cost us?
It's cost us two and half million yen to make one episode.
And he went: Great, how much does a live-action television episode cost?
And the producers said: Well, about 600 thousands.
And Tezuka said: I want anime to be cheaper then live-action television.
And his producer said: Well, it isn't, it's five times as much.
And Tezuka said: Let's lie.
Let's lie about the cost of anime.
Noone needs to know how expensive it is.
And he actually said: It's my plan to kill all the competition.
I will lie about how much anime costs,
I won't charge people for my intellectual property.
I mean, I've written Astro Boy, so I can just basically...
you know, give it away for free.
But we won't tell the television company how much it cost to make.
And that way nobody will ever compete with us, we will be the only anime company that exists.
Well, that didn't work.
What that actually did is that anime was always too cheap to exists in its own rights.
Anime always had to find sponsors from somewhere else.
It have to find toy companies to have money.
It have to find chemical, pharmaceutical companies to offer sponsorship.
There's a baseball anime called Star of the Giant and it was sponsored by a vitamin drink.
If you drink this vitamin drink you too can kill yourself playing baseball.
And Tezuka also found foreign money.
Astro Boy was the first full-length TV series in Japanese animation,
but it was sold to America within 8 months.
It was on American television in 1963.
This caused new problems for Tezuka,
because the Americans wanted a very different cartoon show.
They wanted a cartoon show for kids.
Tezuka wanted it to be for everybody.
So the Americans kept on insisting that every episode should end at the end of the episode.
No double episode storylines, no evolving storylines,
everything has to go back to the beginning every time.
They had very, very strange stipulation for Tezuka as well.
For example, he made a show called Kimba the White Lion.
The Jungle Emperor, the actual Japanese title is The Jungle Emperor,
and the Americas called it Kimba the White Lion.
And it's about a lion in Africa.
And the Americans said: That's great, we like this idea for the TV show.
Can we not have any black people in it?
And Tezuka said: Well, there are a few black people in Africa.
It would be kind of wrong not to have them.
And they said: We're very, very worried about the black audience,
we think they'd be insulted by appearing in your cartoon show.
You'll make them look like cartoon characters.
He said: They are cartoon characters, it's a cartoon!
Listen, we just want white people.
So the writer said...
And then they said: And no nudity, everyone has to wear clothes.
Even the animals...
And Tezuka said: I'm sorry to say it, but my lion is naked...
And by the way, Donald Duck hasn't got any pants.
So the writers eventually convinced the Americans to let them have nude animals...
I know, shocking! Nude animals...
And they also let them have black people in Africa,
but only if they were good.
So there's lots of good black people in Kimba the White Lion,
but there are only evil white people.
And animals without pants.
I'm gonna show you a clip now from Kimba,
because it's what anime was in 1964 and 1965, it began in 1965.
So colour, cartoon, it's very safe and happy.
And Tezuka actually was always very regretful about Kimba,
because after he made Astro Boy, Stanley Kubrick offered Tezuka a job.
Stanley Kubrick wrote him a letter and said: I'm making a film, called 2001: Space Odyssey,
and I love your artwork, I love the image you depicted of the future.
It's so Spartan, and curvy, and white.
And I really like you to be the art director of my new film.
And Tezuka said: Oh shit...
Probably, not those exact words... something similar...
I just started making Kimba and I can't leave Kimba behind.
I just gonna show you just little...
the opening credits of Kimba the White Lion.
Feel free to dance.
Lord Kraso, if you open it.
You can stop now.
Stop, stop, please, don't make them watch the whole episode, it goes on forever.
You may have noticed Kimba and all of his little animal friends are always running that way.
It would be quite normal, if you're making a TV show for people who read in this direction,
for them to be running that way,
but they're all running backwards because it's the Japanese show.
And Kimba was what we call a "hidden import".
That means that until the very late 1980s
Japanese animation was sold to foreign public without mentioning Japan.
Trying to keep Japan quiet.
They kept Japanese names off the credits.
They changed the names.
Sometimes they pretended it wasn't happening in Japan,
even though it's very obviously Tokyo.
The Tokyo Tower, there's a monster attacking it.
And everyone saying: Oh no, Paris is in trouble.
No, Paris is not in trouble, that's very obviously Tokyo.
Now, the Czechs didn't get many hidden imports, you did get a few.
You got Willy Fog, for example,
which was a Spanish-Japanese co-production.
The animation was all done in Japan,
but they tended to keep the Japanese name off the credits.
And you got the Moomins.
You had the Moomins, right? Yes.
I don't know what it is in Finnish... in Czech... probably Moomin.
Anyway, you have the Moomins which is also a Japanese production based on a Finnish book.
It's only in the late 1980s,
that people actually start to treat Japanese animation as something from Japan.
Japanese origin becomes something you can sell to people after the release of Akira.
When Akira came out, the fact it was Japanese
was one of the best things about it.
Akira was released in 1988 in Japan,
at the end of the period...
Between 1986 and 1988,
a dozen of the best anime ever made were all released in Japan.
So you have a lot of middle-period Studio Ghibli,
you have Akira, you have Wings of Honneamise,
you have Urotsukidoji, not necessarily a good title,
but you can sell a lot of tentacles...
I can see where all the Urotsukidoji fans are, just from who laughed at that.
And the fact that something's on video means that you can buy past television.
You don't have to have little happy dancing animals, anymore.
You can have violence, you can have sex,
not literally, but you know... on the screen.
In fact we made a video yesterday... no.
In fact there were a couple of erotic anime before the 1980s,
but the beginnings of anime pornography were actually in 1984.
On January 9, 1984, the first, second, third, fourth,
and fifth pornographic video in Japan was animated.
I understand the Czechs got one of these videos, by accident.
I understand that Tescos had 4000 copies of Bible Black
which sold out in a day.
Who was buying that?
Was it you?
Somebody bought Bible Black, 4000 people bought Bible Black.
People use anime pornography as a way of attacking anime fans.
For example in Britain, the newspapers did some very unpleasant coverage of anime hentai.
And they said some absolutely stupid things.
I've got some newspaper quotes, actually. This is from... what do we got here...
Okay, this is from the newspaper called The Daily Star, January 1993.
Outraged members of parliament are calling for a ban on horrific "snuff" cartoon videos,
which show scenes of rape, mutilation, and murder.
These sick Japanese-made manga films... apparently...
have reached cult status over the last two years amongst youngsters in Britain.
A recurring theme is sexual assault on young girls by supernatural beings.
That's not little lions, running around in the jungle, anymore.
What's happened?
Well, the thing is that companies releasing the videos didn't want to target children.
Children don't buy videos, children don't buy toys.
Children make their parents buy toys.
And make their parents buy videos.
So if you have something that is an adult video,
with sex, or violence, or just adult themes, you need to sell it to teenagers.
So the companies that were releasing anime in 1980s all over Europe
deliberately made anime sound like it was the most dangerous thing you could ever see.
Even though you can just buy it in Tesco.
I love it that the Czechs have Tesco, it's so sweet.
And the British Board of Film Classification, which is the censor, the British censor,
said something outrageous about Japanese animation.
They said, this is in their official report, it's a government report in 1993.
In Japan, it seems, these films provide sex and violence for men...
who watch them after work...
in male clubs where sexual favours are bought and sold.
This is bullshit!
I mean, it doesn't even hold up logically.
If you were in a brothel where people are selling sex, why would you be watching a cartoon?
It's just not true, it's racist.
It's okay to say this about the Japanese, because they are 8000 miles away,
noone will check if you say something horrible about the Japanese.
So, the thing is though in the case of The Legend of the Overfiend, for example,
Urotsukidoji: Chojin Densetsu, which is the best-selling hentai anime in Britain,
it sold 60000 copies in 1995.
The size of anime fandom in Britain in 1995 was 600 people.
So every time a newspaper said "anime fans are perverts",
were they honestly thinking that 600 people were buying a hundred copies each?
Was that really happening?
Who buys a hundred copies of the same video?
Okay... there's always one person who says he does.
Just in case it wears out. One to collect, one to watch,
98 others to give to friends and family, birthdays, Christmas, maybe.
So the thing is that the hentai anime was not being watched by anime fans.
If every anime fan in the country bought a copy of this hentai title,
that still leaves 59400 copies mysteriously sold to people who aren't anime fans.
Anime fans get the blame when people complain about anime,
but there weren't 4000 anime fans when Bible Black was sold in the Czech Republic.
That was being sold to other Czechs, it could be somebody you know...
It could be your grandmother.
You don't know.
There were other dangers as well.
Because Japanese material was presented as dangerous,
the media jumped on the bandwagon.
They started to use the Japanese origin as an excuse to say that something was bad.
Say that something was evil.
I'm gonna show you an example now of the way that the mainstream media viewed anime.
If Lord Kraso is ready with the next clip,
we can show you a clip of what the mainstream thought of anime at the turn of 21st century.
Lord Kraso, are you ready?
Here's our room.
You're supposed to slide those door open.
I don't have time for that.
Welcome. I am honored to accept your waste.
They're years ahead of us!
Mom, Lis, check it out! Dad's on TV!
Oh, yeah...
It's breathtaking.
Look. There's the Imperial Gardens.
The Meiji Shrine.
The Hello Kitty factory.
Who's up for some exploring?
Hey, I'm still checking out Japanese TV.
Isn't this that cartoon that causes seizures?
Bart, what are you doing?
Hey, what the-
Hmm. All right.
All that seizing made me hungry.
Me too. Let's go to an authentic Japanese noodle house.
The toilet recommended a place called Americatown.
Dad, we didn't come halfway around the world to eat at Americatown.
I'd like to see the Japanese take on the club sandwich.
I bet it's smaller and more efficient.
We now return to Battling Seizure Robots.
Okay, there you go.
That's what The Simpsons made of anime.
I'm guessing it was Pokemon...
You never know because, you see, Pokemon was released in 1997.
Some of you were probably not born in 1997.
But Pokemon is still going and it became famous in 1997,
on the 16th of December, 1997.
Because of the famous "epilepsy incident".
For those of you who don't know,
there was an episode of Pokemon where there's a special kind of attack,
which flashed at a certain frequency,
which made 600 children have seizures,
and act like they did in Simpsons.
The news then showed the programme again.
This is a news report, apparently 600 children
have been affected by this programme, here's a clip...
If you look at the medical records in Japan at that time,
there's actually 15000 supposed incidents.
But that's not really true.
What you've got is 600 children who felt a bit ill
and were permitted to stay at home.
They didn't have to go to school for next day,
because Pokemon made them vommit.
And then you have 14400 friends of theirs,
who have realized that if they say Pokemon made them vommit,
they don't have to go to school either.
So in terms of the information we have,
Pokemon sounds like it's awful, dangerous cartoon.
It's not dangerous at all, it was unfortunate
that they had that flashing epilepsy incident.
It's unfortunate that they had one 6 months before,
that news never reported, which also affected people.
But they haven't done it since.
It does tell us a bit though about the Pokemon audience.
Pokemon audience is children, even abroad.
During the time of Pokemon, anime stopped being, in Europe, something for teenagers and students.
After Pokemon, anime was a thing for kids.
There's a huge line down the middle of anime studies between 1997...
You should say: I can't take it anymore.
You can't just sneak.
1997, before that time everybody...
who watched anime in Europe was an adult.
After 1997, there's a whole generation that grows up watching anime.
They grow up playing computer games.
And in the 1990s, computer games companies are the major investors in anime.
In fact, today SEGA for example owns a controlling share in one of the big animation companies.
Because the only companies that are prepared to put that kind of money in,
are companies involving themselves in what the Japanese call "the media mix".
Which means you don't just make TV show.
You make TV show, which comes with computer game,
which comes with a manga, which comes with a plushie,
which comes with a special line of sweets,
with special corn noodles, with all kinds of stuff.
However, the media then start to react in different way to anime.
Anime won't make you vommit, they will take control of your children's minds.
To give you an example of how that is conveyed in mainstream,
I have my third clip for you, which Lord Kraso will now play for you.
Honestly! I don't see what they find so amusing about those things!
They're so strange! Where are they from?!
Well, it's some new big thing from Japan!
I tell ya! Those Japaneese really know how to market to kids!
I've got to collect all Chinpokomon!
I've got to collect them all so I can become Royal Crown Chinpokomaster!
Order Chinpokomon and you will have happy feelings!
I have to become Royal Crown Chinpokomaster!
Must collect Chinpokomom!
Hey, you guys! Check out my sweet Chinpokomon doll!
Oh, please! Chinpokomon dolls are so last week!
Yeah, dude! Don't you know?! It's all about the Chinpokomon video game now!
Did you bring your special Chinpokomon game controler?!
Huh?! No!
Oh! You didn't GET a special Chinpokomon game controler!
Jesus Christ!
Chinpokomon!
What is Primary Objective?!
To destroy the Evil Power!
I've got to buy all the Chinpokomon so I can destroy the Evil Power! Oha!
Dammit!
I've got to buy them all!
So first, I'd better go to Hawaii and visit Pearl Harbor!
Try to bomb the harbour! Ready?!
I must collect them all! I must buy them all!
We must buy them all!
Try to bomb the harbour!
Dude! The video game game Kenny a seisure!
Dude! This game rules!
Hello?
Hello?
Welcome to Chinpokomon Toy Corporation!
Please state name!
Red Harris! I own a toy store in America!
Please state purpose!
Uh, I wanna know what the hell you people are doing
with these dolls talking about bringing down American government doll!
I am Preston Hirohito and this is Mr. Hosek!
Pleased to meet you!
We understand you have big concern about our fine product!
Yes! Do you mind telling me what the hell this is about
The American government lies to you!
Join the fight for Japaneese supremecy of the world! More to come!
Well?!
That is so strange!
I do not know how this could happen!
But, rest assured that I will make sure it does not happen again!
Well, now c'mon! I don't think that that quite satisfies my...
You are American?!
Yes!
Oh! You must have very big penis!
Excuse me?!
If you have an argument with American, it normally works.
But sometimes, they show you, so...
Anyway, Japanese animation is being regarded as something evil, something corrupted.
This is something which even Vatican got involved in.
Because there was a fundamelist Christian group in America...
where else...
that said: If you play the Pokemon theme backwards,
you can hear it saying "I love Satan".
This is not actually true.
In fact, I think the Pope did play it backwards to see,
and he discovered that no, they're not saying "I love Satan".
So the New York Post, very reliable newspaper,
actually ran a story about the Vatican saying that Pokemon is okay.
The Vatican has announced that the trading card and computer games versions
of Pokemon are full of inventive imagination,
and have no harmful moral side-effects.
And they celebrate ties of intense friendship.
Isn't it nice that the Pope said that?
Unfortunately, it actually says that Vatican has announced
that the trading card and computer games versions of Pokemon are good for you,
the anime presumably will turn you into a terrorist.
So this all changes again, at the end of the 1990s.
Quite by accident, the Japanese film company was running low on money,
so they did a deal,
much to the annoyance of a Japanese director
who really didn't want them to sell his material.
The Japanese director's Hayao Miyazaki.
During the beginning of the video age...
without his knowledge the company have sold Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind to an American company,
and they have really butchered it
and turned it to a film called Warriors of the Wind, which was terrible.
Miyazaki was so angry about that, that he set the price for rights,
for intellectual property of his films very, very high.
So only a big film company could buy it.
So nobody bought Miyazaki's products for ten years,
and then... Disney bought his products.
Now, Miyazaki hates Disney.
So it was fantastic, he has to go to a press conference
after Disney bought the films, and he went:
I'm very pleased that Disney have bought these films.
I really admire their marketing.
That's all he said, very, very angry man.
But as a result of Disney buying Miyazaki's films,
Mononoke-hime was released widely in America.
This was also probably a mistake.
After the unpleasantness with Warriors of the Wind,
Miyazaki's producer Toshio Suzuki wrote into every contract
that no Miyazaki film can be cut,
you can't make it shorter,
you have to keep every frame in the film.
And this is a problem for Disney,
because when they bought Miyazaki's films,
they weren't all 80 minutes long, some of them were 2 hours long.
If you've ever been in a cinema, watching a Studio Ghibli film,
at the 80 minute mark, you start hearing seats banging,
because children are getting up and going to the toilet.
Disney films are set to 80 minutes,
because that's what a child bladder can take.
Miyazaki's films are built for Japanese bladders.
They're much stronger.
There are all kinds of stories about what Disney tried to do.
In the case of a Majo no Takkyūbin, Kiki's Delivery Service,
it was much too long and they said,
Well, we promised that we wouldn't cut anything,
but maybe if we run it faster through the projector...
it would be quicker.
So they tried to do a version of Kiki's Delivery Service with everybody running around like mad.
It's really frantic.
But unfortunately then soundtrack changed, music changed,
and it was really obvious that they speeded it up.
When it came to Princess Mononoke, Toshio Suzuki, Miyazaki's producer,
sent a sword to the producers at Disney.
He sent a samurai sword, with a note on it that said "no cuts".
He's very, very good at getting his message across.
So when the Americans got Princess Mononoke,
they said, We just gonna release it as it is.
It's probably a U certificate, right?
It's probably something we can show to children of all ages.
I mean, it's a happy little story about a boy in the forest, it's kinda like Totoro.
No, no, it is not.
It's about a vicious battle between different forms of Japanese soul,
and in a first 5 minutes, someone has both of their hands cut off.
No cuts, you have to show it.
So Princess Mononoke was given relatively small release in America.
It was on 200 screens, which is still better than most Japanese cartoons get.
But it wasn't given a huge treatment, because it wasn't family film.
Princess Mononoke was never a family film.
Spirited Away also got a smaller release in Japan,
but Spirited Away attracted the attention of all of those animators,
and film directors, and fans,
who wanted Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki to get international attention.
And as you probably know, Spirited Away won an Oscar.
This created a whole new set of wrong assumptions about anime.
People started to think that anime was award-winning feature films.
Every anime in the world will win an Oscar.
It's not gonna happen.
You can't see Spirited Away on the video shelves and see Death Note next to it,
and think: Well, they're probably the same, probably similar.
Naruto is not the same as Spirited Away,
Haruhi Suzumiya is never gonna sell the numbers that Spirited Away sells.
And so you get a brief period of international companies buying any anime feature they can find,
desperately trying to associate themselves with Studio Ghibli's success.
So the films of Satoshi Kon, for example, get international releases.
I understand that Tokyo Godfathers was released in the Czech Republic.
How many people? Raise your hands if you bought a copy of Tokyo Godfathers.
So, the entire audience for Tokyo Godfathers in the Czech Republic is in this building right now.
It's a lovely film, but it's very obscure.
It's a pastiche of John Ford cowboy movie set in Tokyo at Christmas with three tramps.
And in England, it sold 800 copies.
So it's very difficult to explain to people that if Dragonball sells 300 000,
and Spirited Away sells 150 000,
Tokyo Godfathers sells 800.
People assume that anime is a brand.
They assume all anime is the same.
All anime is not the same.
They sometime may sell to very, very small niches indeed.
And I'll talk about one of these niches in a moment.
Before I get there, though, I wanna show you my last clip of the day.
And this is kind of genetic throwback of 1980s.
In the 1980s, Quentin Tarantino was working in a video shop,
so he saw all of the sex and violence titles.
He saw Wicked City, and Ninja Scroll, and Urotsukidoji,
and Monster City, and anything with monster in it,
anything with tentacles in it.
Golgo 13, don't get me started with Golgo 13.
And so his concept of what anime was is a very 1980s idea.
And ironically, something like Golgo 13, for example,
is a Japanese attempt to give foreigners what they think foreigners want.
The Japanese don't really like Golgo 13 that much themselves,
but they think the Americans do.
So they make Golgo 13 to sell it to the Americans.
Quentin Tarantino sees Golgo 13 and he wants something like that in Kill Bill.
So he goes to the Japanese and he says:
I want you to make me an anime sequence for my new film.
8 minutes long, we just put it in the middle of the film.
And he goes to Production I.G, one of the biggest of the modern anime companies.
So Production I.G goes:
What do you mean when you say anime?
Do you mean little happy bunnies?
Do you mean ninja, possibly?
Do you mean pretty boys that fall in love with each other?
No, no, I want murder, and sex, and violence.
So the most widely seen piece of Japanese animation in 2004
was The Legend of O-Ren Ishii, which is 8 minute sequence in the middle of Kill Bill.
I'm just gonna show you a little bit of it, now,
because I find it very interesting
that Quentin Tarantion should spend so much money
trying to imitate cheap crappy violent B-movies from the 1980s.
Particulary because the Japanese didn't animate it in the way he expected.
When you look at Kill Bill, you can see it was motion-captured.
They filmed it as live-action and then they draw over the live-action film,
to make it look like the bad cartoon.
Actually, it's got real actors.
which cost an incredible amount of money, it's very, very expensive thing to do.
But it's Quentin Tarantino's money, we can spend it, he can afford it.
Anyway, this is Kill Bill, coming up now, Lord Kraso, if you please.
*O-Ren Ishii was born on an American military base in Tokyo, Japan.
*The half-Japanese, half-Chinese American Army brat
*made her first acquaintance with death at the age of 9.
*It was at that age she witnessed the death of her parents
*at the hands of Japan's most ruthless yakuza boss, Boss Matsumoto.
Okay, Lord Kraso, you can stop there.
It just go on like that,
it feels like it goes on for hours,
but actually it's only 8 minutes.
So if that's how anime looks in 2003,
there's one final wrongness about anime that I've noticed lately.
And it's based on a problem that has been troubling people
in a creative industry all around the world for last five years.
That problem is how to get paid.
The Japanese call Disney... call a DVDs and videos packaged goods,
as for the term in Japanese for it,
and they mean that if they sell you a DVD,
you actually have a physical item in your hand that you can hold.
And this is very useful, because you can charge a lot of money for that.
You can make fans buy a limited edition box-sets, for example.
And these have become a very important part of anime market.
People sometimes assume that all anime sells hundrends of thousands copies.
Now, we know that's not true.
We know that Tokyo Godfathers only sells a few hundred.
The worst-selling anime ever in Britan was called IGPX,
and it sold 18 copies.
Now, bear in mind that you're giving away 20 copies to newspapers,
to get reviews and get press coverage.
They actually gave away more copies than they sold.
Doesn't bode well.
If understood, the anime has many different genres,
anime has many different areas.
Not everybody likes Naruto, some people like yaoi...
some people... oh, there it is, there's yaoi cluster over there...
They're touching each other, actually, very weird sight from here.
The problem is that we don't know whether the mainstream
don't necessarily understand when something only appeals to a very small market.
Now to give you an idea of what a difference this can make.
I got a phone call... are you filming this? Okay.
I got a phone call from a well-known company, that we will not name,
...
and they said: We're a bit worried.
We've just discovered that we've sold 3000 copies of one of our titles,
in one day.
And it's a relatively old title.
It's actually Schoolgirl Milky Crisis.
And we had a box-set that was Ł39.99,
but it was on Amazon UK.
(phone rings) Is that Nicole Kidman? Tell her I'm busy.
Ł24.99 would be the retail price on Amazon and it's free delivery,
so it's quite cheap for nice little box-set.
And it sold 3 copies one week, and 10 copies, and 5 copies...
3000 copies! Where did that come from?
We think the sales have gone to another country, can you check?
So I typed Schoolgirl Milky Crisis in Japanese
to Japanese word processor, cut, and post it to Google Japan.
First hit that comes up is a man with a blog in Tokyo,
and he says:
I've just discovered that Amazon will accept foreign credit cards.
I don't know, maybe he lived a sheltered life, I don't know.
So I have a VISA card and it works outside Japan. Who knew?!
So I've just ordered a copy of Schoolgirl Milky Crisis and it has been sent to me in Japan.
Here's a photograph of the Amazon box it came in.
Isn't it wonderful?
Well, it's wonderful because it cost him Ł24.99,
whereas the box-set in Japan cost Ł250.
Japanese video prices are substantially higher,
because they tend to sell only to a very small, limited market of insane fans.
You might think you're crazy, but would you spend Ł250 on a box-set?
Oh, you did, okay, good for you.
The thing is that when you charge that kind of money,
you're selling to a very peculiar kind of customer.
Schoolgirl Milky Crisis is not a good example,
but the example I'm really building up to is moe.
Particularly kind of moe hentai.
Because if you are a single man in your 30s with a job,
normally in information technology, I have to say,
and you have a large disposable income,
the moe sector can target you.
And they can say: Well, we've released a limited edition box-set for Ł500,
and there's a special doll that is extra money,
and there's a special CD that comes with it,
and there's a special computer game,
and they're very, very limited edition.
You might only sell 500 copies of this,
but if 500 people are paying Ł500 each to buy your show's particular merchandise,
that's enough to make a 13-minute video.
So you can actually sell anime to a market that small.
The trouble is that the Japanese company then goes to a film fair
and says to a European company:
We have this new title, would you like to buy it?
I'm sure many people in your country would love this show.
What they don't say is that only 500 people like it in Japan.
And this is a big problem for anime,
because it's very difficult...
When you have a big selling show, like Naruto, that's great.
When you have a show like Death Note, or Bleach, you know you can generate big fanbase.
When you have a show that only has a very, very small audience,
it's very difficult to sell it to distributors.
And when the distributors take the risk and release it,
and then they don't make any money, they blame you.
I mentioned packaged goods, earlier, because you can only do this with the DVD,
with a Laserdisc, with something solid people can hold.
When anime is streamed,
when it's digital, and there's no packaged goods,
then the only way you can get your money
is through advertising, and through clicks.
So if you have a site like Crunchyroll and you show Naruto
and 100 000 people click on your site to watch it,
you can sell micro-payments, little tiny payments, few cents here and few cents there,
and you can generate income.
If your show will only appeal to 500 people,
giving it away for free won't necessarily help.
They will still only watch it... you will only get the tiny number of people watching it.
And this could be a huge problem for anime.
Because some of the anime that you like are not liked by larger audience in Japan.
They're not liked by larger audience anywhere, it's only a very, very small market.
And Japanese business is becoming more and more conservative
and it's clinging more and more to a very small sector of 30 year old male audience members.
And this could cause a problem in the future.
And I think it will.
I think that there will be a new wrong thing that someone assumes about anime, soon enough.
I've given you examples of half a dozen wrong things that people think about anime.
The latest one is that everybody likes moe, that's not true.
I don't like moe.
You like moe?
I can't stand it anymore.
Good for you.
She does like moe, really, it's true.
So, with that in mind, tomorrow there will be something new that's wrong.
I hope I've given you some examples that shown you
how the mainstream can be so spectacuraly wrong about what anime is.
When I'm talking to you, I'm preaching to people who were converted,
I'm preaching to people who love anime.
But you know there are people out there who want to find reasons to hate it.
And the reasons that they find will change with the years,
and they'll change with the generation.
But I hope you can take away from this some examples
of just how wrong people have been in the past
and use to make non-fans feel a bit more stupid.
Thank you.