Monday, August 1, 2011

Is anime on American TV doomed?

This may sound completely ignorant, but I had absolutely no idea just how tough it is to watch an anime series on TV.  Okay...I may have had a slight idea, but I didn't realize it until recent weeks.  I guess that's completely ignorant on my part, but hopefully my reasoning will make some sense.  It all started with our live-chat sessions for Durarara!!.

When it comes to my anime viewing routine, 100% of it is done through DVD/Blu-Ray/Streaming.  When I get into a series, I either pick up the full box set of a series/season, or stream the series one right after the other.  It's instant satisfaction, and it completely does away with that agonizing wait you have to go through when watching other TV shows.  No more waiting involved.  You can either get a full series or season in your hands very easily.

Now let's move back over to Durarara!!.  I really want to support Adult Swim in picking the show up, which has lead to me watching one episode per week.  I absolutely love gathering with you guys to live-chat for each episode, but only seeing one a week is driving me insane.  Knowing that there are multiple methods of watching out there right now makes it that much more painful to wait all week for just 22 minutes.  Sure, it helps keep the series fresh in my head and gives me something to look forward to, but my current anime viewing options have spoiled me!

I'm willing to bet that most anime viewers in the states are like this.  We all watch our anime on discs or through streaming options, and we have most, if not the full series just waiting for us to take it in.  Why wait for one new episode every week when you can easily get your hands on everything you want to see?  Sometimes sitting down at the same time every week just doesn't work with schedules.  We want to watch when we can, and I completely understand that!  Still, it's not a good situation for networks that pick up anime programs for their schedule.

Have all these preferred, more simple ways of viewing anime ruined any chances that anime has on TV?  I guess we could consider a 'new' anime audience that doesn't realize the content is out there, but if those people do catch on and enjoy a series, there's no doubt that the majority of them will find out.  It makes me really happy to see anime fans, myself included, showing this level of passion to watch a series.  With that said, it also makes me a bit sad that most of us have been spoiled!

The only option I can see right now is for a very, very brave network to simulcast a show as it airs in Japan.  When one episode airs in Japan, the same episode has to hit here the same week.  Obviously a dub would be best for reaching a bigger audience, but I'm not too sure that would be possible.  That's South Park levels of quick turnaround...and those guys have a lot more money and staff to handle it!  Even if a dub wasn't possible but a sub was, it would still be a lot of pressure for the turnaround. 

What do you guys have to say about the situation?  Are there any chances for localized anime to air on TV and become profitable for advertisers and pull in viewers, or has the digital/disc age wiped away those chances?

1 comment:

  1. If by TV you mean cable, then yeah, it is going away. Aside from shows dubbed for kids, the only anime that I am aware of is on Adult Swim and what used to be on Syfy (I don't have cable so I don't know). So anime on TV has always been limited. In the case of Durarara, this was an odd fluke that the series was dubbed before it aired. If they make a sequel, it might be different (and I would have to steal a friend's cable). I just say that we're lucky that media is out there to ingest anime because if all we had was television, the titles would be severely limited.