How do new anime fans get into the medium?

Discussion in 'General Anime Chit-Chat' started by Just Passing Through, Feb 9, 2017.

  1. Just Passing Through

    Just Passing Through Guild Member

    When I were a lad, this was all fields as far as the eye could see, and they used to show anime on TV. That's how I got into anime, stubling across Channel 4's Late License and watching shows like Legend of the 4 Kings, and Cyber City Oedo 808, as well as catching movies like Akira and Wings of Honneamise on BBC2. It was that which got me wandering down to my local video emporium and looking for more.

    But other than Ghibli, anime isn't on TV anymore. It may be streamed to high heaven online, but finding that is a proactive experience, just as visiting the video shop was for me. You have to know that it exists before you go looking for it.

    So how do new fans get into the medium? What draws them in? How do they discover anime?
  2. Lambadelta

    Lambadelta Thousand Master

    Well the basic anime such as Pokemon, and Yu-gi-oh (whatever the newest is) are generally still on Television.

    People generally discover anime through the internet these days. Through their favourite game streams/friends/images and other stuff then go search for the source of these things. It is getting harder especially in the UK to get people who are completely new into the medium but we can't force this to be better. When we did have a anime dedicated channel it didn't get much traffic.
  3. IncendiaryLemon

    IncendiaryLemon Captain Karen AUKN Staff

    I think Netflix could be a big one. I mean, even if you're not into anime, there's a good chance you'll have Netflix, and Netflix just so happens to have a pretty good selection of anime on there, so if you were just scrolling though looking for something to watch, there's a good chance you'd see some anime on there. They also have a lot of what you'd consider entry level stuff, Cowboy Bebop, Attack on Titan, Death Note, Kill la Kill, Code Geass, Gurren Lagann, Black Lagoon, etc, so I could honestly see people starting off their, then once exhausting that avenue, start seeking out physical titles or CR streaming.
  4. Buzz201

    Buzz201 Mad Scientist

    I'm with @IncendiaryLemon, the big place will be Netflix.

    I don't really know that CR is doing enough to pursue the Netflix/more casual crowd. They don't seem to be really advertising at all. Maybe VRV will do this, but I'm not seeing the effort to pick up people are aren't already massively hardcore on anime. Their efforts seem to be focused on people that use KissAnime, at which point it may already be too late...

    The first anime I remember seeing consciously was The Animatrix. So whilst we might roll our eyes, I'd say Western Anime crossovers are probably more beneficial than not. And they do at the very least, help to ensure there's a few anime titles available cheaply.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
  5. cudwieser

    cudwieser Student Council President

    Couldn't help it.

    I'm like yourself. I started with C4 and the very occasional viewing on BBC2. After that I took the proactive approach once I actually knew what anime was. I'd have been around 16 when I actually bought anime for the first time (Gunsmith Cats on VHS). As for TV viewing IIRC the family had sky at the time (got rid of it after a short while) and Sci Fi had Saiko Exciting which really opened my eyes to what anime was. From that point I never looked back. I learned how to buy, what to buy and how to avoid bootlegs (still have a few though) and basically enjoy it, but... The cost of such enthusiasm was a massive burnout and a need to appreciate things better and at a slower pace.

    As for those new to the medium, the best promotions I am aware of today are Sky channels and online streams like Crunchy Roll, but the best and most effective is good old fashioned word of mouth. I discovered only the month that a guy in work liked anime and a few others don't mind it (aren't fans, but would watch).

    So meet me on the corner and I'll give you the gossip :)
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
  6. Rui

    Rui Karamatsu Boy Administrator

    For me it was a combination of a lot of things all intersecting; I was already a nerd and into comics, so I was aware of manga (I think this is the old fashioned equivalent to how many people get curious online). Also, I travelled a lot and the popularity of anime overseas was obvious. I saw our old manga/anime magazines in the shops (it was so exciting the first time I actually bought an issue and took that big step!) and that option is still open now, even though today's magazines are a pale shadow of the older ones we used to have. Television actually didn't have a very big impact on me at all because television anime was always dubbed and for some reason I didn't find it engaging; it wasn't until I bought a subbed tape and really enjoyed it that everything clicked and I realised it was the dubbing that bothered me, not the actual show. So it was definitely possible to get into anime without television being a major factor, but at the same time it's impossible to deny that television (especially those obnoxiously-edited kids shows we got during a brief bubble of popularity a while back) played a big part in introducing generations of viewers to our little hobby.

    I think nowadays it has to be a two-pronged attack; you need availability (ideally free - Netflix isn't free which a lot of people overlook, but it's popular enough to still be a useful tool to existing subscribers; iTunes/CR/Viewster/Amazon Video etc should fill in the gaps). And availability is useless without promotion, so you also need something which triggers people to seek it out. For some that's word of mouth (anime fans have a poor reputation for being conservative jerks on social media, sadly). For others it might be a well-placed article in a newspaper or a banner which catches their eye. I remember I got into Baccano! just because Funimation sponsored a simple wraparound ad on ANN with artwork from the series and it looked so darn good that I immediately went and ordered the DVD set despite not really buying into the hype when it was originally doing the rounds (pre-simulcast era).

  7. cudwieser

    cudwieser Student Council President

    Funny how browsing and curiosity have lead many up the garden path. Most of my collection was bought on the basis of 'what's that like'.

    How many of you found anime at a young age (18 and younger)?

    It seems to me that anime is also a thing that the older generations don't really care for (not that that's a bad thing) as they have their own amusement and simply don't care.

    One of the biggest difficulties of accepting anime (and ultimately getting into it) seems to be the whole word itself. Anime, the word, isn't japanese, but american (iirc) and is simply a contraction of animation, the thing that people too readily dismiss as childish (remember the overfiend fiasco). As kids get older they are encouraged to give up the idea of cartoons and by false assumption, anime. If anime, and to be fair there have been efforts, was portrayed as just another medium and not associated to a demographic then there is no reason greater promotion and acceptance can't be achieved in the west and easier ways found to get into it. The west has produced some interesting animation like Aeon Flux, Bellevieu Rendevous and Boon Dock Saints. All animation and none of it specifically for kids. If our home animation industries would dare to venture into darker and more adult themes (imagine a darker rendition of Who Framed Roger Rabbit) then the concept of anime would be more accepted here and access more ready.

    @Rui I object to the conservative jerk statement. I won't deny there are jerks (a number of fanboys will always be snarky about what they like), but I work with a number of pleasent people who are anime fans and are far from jerky about it. One of the problems I see are a lot of niche communities like gamers and anime fans have been plagued by a number of malicious outsiders who want to reform atitudes within said communities. Some people who have a casual interest at best are playing a very wicked game with these communities. The more worldly-wise members are actually very approachable, but the more closetted ones seem to have been lead to things that are pretty ugly and nasty, by those who are running an alterior agenda. Now that is my view on it and is really a topic for another thread, but I find your statement a bit general and unfair. By and large those who would impose a passion or attitude are reviled by the larger society and shown distain for their attitudes. The problem is that guilt by association is an easy cop out for people, so those that would share an interest are equally reviled by the same ignorant people who would seek to oppose the sanctamonious few causing the issue, not realising they are just as bad as the other troublemakers. Saying that most people (the silent majority) really don't care and just go about their business either not caring or not admitting they care.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
  8. Joshawott

    Joshawott Monsieur Monster AUKN Staff

    While I watched Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! on TV as a kid, I think the first anime I watched while knowing it was anime, was probably Naruto on Jetix and it just kinda went from there - with Propeller TV having their Anime Network block and Rapture TV showing Fullmetal Alchemist helping me diversify my palette, before the Anime Central channel came along and I fully embraced my weebdom on their forums - and then learned more from the web.
    These days, with broadcast television being less important and social media being more-so, I imagine that someone is more likely to be exposed through seeing screencaps, gifs or...urgh, memes, posted on Facebook/Twitter by people they follow, then investigating once something grabs their interest. Due to increased presence at events like Comic Cons, I'd say that anime has almost become a third pillar of typical nerd culture too, hence why larger geek-sites like IGN have increased their coverage of late.

    I think a considerable obstacle, is the fantastic (and unfortunately, true) observation @Rui made about the way anime fans are perceived in the mainstream. While the whole "anime is just porn!" sentiment was in decline compared to a few years ago, I've seen a resurgence due to the supposed rise of the alt-right, with more "progressively-minded" people using "anime avatar!" as an instant put-down, for example. On that note, I believe Jerome has a very valid point about the number of otaku-orientated titles being produced, with the mainstream successes (Attack On Titan, Yuri!!! On Ice) being too few and far between. The recent theatrical pushes of more artistic films like Your Name, A Silent Voice and In This Corner of the World and the critical acclaim the acquire (Mark Kermode loved Your Name), will help raise awareness and hopefully lead to growth of the industry.

    Rui's observation about advertising is also spot-on, although rather than the blame being in Crunchyroll's corner, I'd turn my attention more to the big players - Netflix, Amazon and Universal. All three have huge social media presences with a diverse range of followers, but when have you ever seen even a tweet about Aijin, Kabaneri or Seraph? It could be that they don't consider any possible return as worth the money, especially when they could allocate resources to Marvel's Iron Fist or The Grand Tour for example, but with the exception of Universal, their messaging is terrible even to us, so how are the non-converted expected to find shows buried in categories they may not normally look at?
  9. Just Passing Through

    Just Passing Through Guild Member

    If you'd asked me 12 months ago, I would have vehemently supported television as a gateway to anime, the idea of a non-Ghibli anime movie season on a niche channel (just like the recent Sy-Fy anime block), or perhaps a channel just opening up a half-hour block for 13 weeks to show a series, might have been attractive to new fans. But thinking about my television viewing habits the last few years, I realise that isn't going to work anymore. We treat television the same way as streaming now. We PVR shows to watch at our convenience, or use catch-up services. The plurality of TV channels means that it's actually harder to discover something new in the avalanche of programming. When I was a kid and had four terrestrial channels, and an hour free, channel hopping was meaningful. Today when I channel hop, that hour gets used up before I even find something to watch. And coming from work, vegging out in front of the TV of an evening, just passively taking in programming is a thing of the past. I have more things to do.

    I think libraries are a convenient gateway for anime fans though. My local libraries have well-used manga sections, which are constant updated with new stock, and get the most withdrawals of any section in the library. Kids and teens with no money and free time love the stuff. And those books come with advertising for Crunchyroll and The Anime Network, or the front cover is emblazoned with "Now a popular anime series", and if just five percent of those kids are motivated online to find out what anime is, that's enough to keep the fanbase ticking over. When I got into anime, there was little to no manga on shop shelves, let alone in libraries! I just wonder when the libraries will make the conceptual leap and start stocking anime DVDs for rent as well.
    Neil.T likes this.
  10. cudwieser

    cudwieser Student Council President

    Public Libraries! Educating the Masses for Centuries.

    P.s Just made an amendment to my previous post incase there was any confusion with my rant :p :)
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
  11. Lambadelta

    Lambadelta Thousand Master

    I found anime at like 5-6 years old with Cardcaptors on TV. I was about 8-9 when I started watching fansubs of things like D.Gray Man, Death Note and other TV shows.

    I'm now 22, and try my best to legally watch/buy my stuff to make up for the past like 10-11 years of pirating.
  12. cudwieser

    cudwieser Student Council President

    I think we are all guilty of a little over indulgence :)
  13. Rui

    Rui Karamatsu Boy Administrator

    Absolutely, I wouldn't be on an anime forum if I didn't like anime fans. But we have a really, really bad reputation in the mainstream. This forum is generally sensible but a lot of them are festering pools of open racism, misogyny, homophobia and bullying, sadly. All we can do is try to engage with new people and show them that some of us aren't jerks and hope that the trend eventually reverses.

    cudwieser likes this.
  14. Lambadelta

    Lambadelta Thousand Master

    So just like the rest of the internet.
  15. Rui

    Rui Karamatsu Boy Administrator

    I have to admit I wince whenever I'm (stupidly) reading comments on mainstream news articles or YouTube videos and the first person to post a load of ignorant bile has a cute picture of a Love Live girl as their avatar or something. It happens way too often.

    (No disrespect to Love Live fans, it was just an example since it's rather popular.)

  16. KingJimmeh

    KingJimmeh Straw Hat Pirate

    The Twitter/Youtube trolls with anime avatars is becoming the tentacle porn of modern anime cultures isn't it =/

    I know Crunchyroll is appealing a lot to the Youtube generation with them getting YouTuber's to do adverts in return for sponsorship. If they could license and make a Minecraft anime, they'd be rolling in the cash xD
    Rui likes this.
  17. Lambadelta

    Lambadelta Thousand Master

    Just get PewDiePie to make 1 video about anime, and you will have flocks of new anime watchers. It's just how the current young generation works. It needs to be sponsored by their favourite internet personality for them to care about it.
  18. Rui

    Rui Karamatsu Boy Administrator

    This is way more true than it ought to be. Every time a big YouTuber namedrops a certain game I play, it's flooded with new players for weeks and weeks. You can tell they're young and bubbly from the way they act and it's sort of amazing to see how much power these online celebs have over eager prospective fans. Persuading a few big broadcasters to do an occasional review would probably pay off nicely (so long as there was an infrastructure in place for them to check it out legally instead of stumbling across that infamous pirate streaming site).

    Edit: Hmm, I wonder how much I would have to pay PewDiePie to get him to do a clip on how pirating anime is bad. It's almost worth it.

  19. Buzz201

    Buzz201 Mad Scientist

    Crunchyroll tried that with a few YouTubers, on the basis that it didn't last long. I'm guessing it didn't work, but maybe it worked too well.
  20. KingJimmeh

    KingJimmeh Straw Hat Pirate

    I'm still seeing CR sponsorships on Youtube, and mostly on general movie blogs actually.