building a more profitable anime empire

I like money. I like money too! We should totally hang out.

After watching over eight episodes of Shirobako, I think I can fix the anime industry and make it even more profitable. We are talking Ubisoft and NFL levels of profitability here.

First thing first, I offer some Sento x Latifah fanservice to our deity of saving failing businesses: Kanie.


Okay, now to business. Timing. Got that? Timing. No, I’m not talking about timing subtitles but rather striking when the iron’s hot. The Japanese BD market has this mostly right with BDs coming out during a show’s run, but that is not what I’m talking about either. It has got to do with this image:


It is basically 2015! We are almost a decade away from the largest anime franchise launch of the 2000s, and the source material still has at least a season or a movie left to be mined. If Kadokawa and Kyoto decided to animate everything by 2009, imagine the sheer absurd profits. I don’t really understand or care about any potential issues or drama, just that both companies left a considerable sum of money on the table. Striking in 2009 rather than 2023 will be a lot more profitable. Shaft understands this concept. Poorly animated slash directed Monogatari is relevant in 2013-5. In 2023, no one wants a barely animated Ararararagi because all the money was blown on a Shinobu head tilt. And I really hope Kizu isn’t coming out in 2023. We’ll be too busy obsessing in 2023 that awesome new show, My Harem Can’t Be This Terrible At Farming Wheat.

(A1 is at least doing a good job of getting as much Sword Art Online out as fast as possible. They know they have a good franchise. Run it dry. Even if this means we get a Stein OVA, so be it. Money is money; profit is profit. I’m still shocked they haven’t done one off OVAs featuring all the side characters as they are quick filler stories that can generate profit.)

(Also, I think Attack on Titan is a wasted opportunity as the manga is just too slow in being released, hence S2 not airing until 2016. They should lock Hajime Isayama up in a cell a la the Exodus director and load him up with drugs, karage, and assistants so he can do two chapters a month. Attack on Titan is hot now. In 2023… not so much… unless we incorporate wheat farming into the story.)


(Where is my S2 of Barakamon?!)

(Oh gosh. Think everyone just gave up on Full Metal Panic. Meanwhile, the 90+ episode run of Space Bros is on sale on TRSI. As much as I love Space Bros, 90 episodes of it is the opposite of making big bucks.)

Next on my list… anime can take a page from Hollywood and turn a single page into many pages, double or triple spaced. Can we turn Mockingjay into two movies when it really should be one? Or Breaking Dawn? Or Deathly Hallows? Or somehow turn The Hobbit into a longer film than the Lord of the Rings trilogy despite having like a fourth of the word count? You got me… but why turn Evangelion into four movies when Studio Khara could have done six? Or sixteen. They could have milked Shinji and Rei more. There is a lot of material they glossed over with Rebuild that could certainly have composed more movies. More movies? More profits. Shoehorned awkward hobbit elf love triangles be damned.

(Like Intrigues of Haruhi Suzumiya couldn’t be three movies padded with ample Mikuru fanservice? Maybe introduce a new side plot involving Yuki farming wheat or something.)

Furthermore, as great as totally-not-semen-covered PVC models, luxurious 300 thread count body pillows, cheap made-in-China plastic toys, BDs, and awkward to wear in public T-shirts are as merch, the anime industry would be better served with more cheap iOS and Android pay to win free to lose games.


Who wouldn’t want to build a Gundam base, raid an enemy base, pay $4.99 for an energy unit, and then upgrade their base? Would you play an Amagi Brilliant Park version where you upgrade a theme park and partake in Latifah tea time raids? What about a Gurren Lagann version? Of course! How about a Monster Strike version of the Natsuverse? (Though Monster Strike itself has many clones of Natsuverse characters… blonde female Arthur wielding Avalon anyone?) A roguelike involving Chiaki collecting body parts? What about a collectible card game version of Cross Ange? A Crossy Road clone with a Free! theme? Swimmy Hunks? Rei just wants to swim free.

(The lack of a Gundam Build Fighters Try mobile base-building game is Sunrise’s greatest failure. Just imagine the heaps of cash it would have generated. Much larger of a failure than Mustache Gundam and slightly edges out Shinn. Barely.)

(There is also the Cygames and route of financing your own show. Because Shingeki no Bahamut is actually a fun watch, I’ll totally go for a Terra Battle anime. Especially if Nobuo Uematsu scores the music.)

(I’ll skip the paragraph about how My Harem Can’t Be This Terrible At Farming Wheat missed a golden opportunity to team up with

And why stop there? Plenty more opportunities for profit with little work. Where is my Biribiri arcana for Storm Spirit or Saber arcana for Yunero? Why can’t I buy K-On! songs for GTA Radio? What needs to happen so we get Ryuko and Satsuki added to Smash Wii U?

(I thought about an idea where anime studios could sell $20 crappily made WordPress themes for their shows but scrapped it because no one blogs anymore. All the cool anime writers have moved onto writing fake anime character Tinder and Grindr profiles. The only bloggers left are the ones who write posts trying to tie their psych 101 class with a popular show, like “The Conflicts of Faustian Nihilism in My Harem Can’t Be This Terrible At Farming Wheat” and people who are too old to write anything other than “thin slicing the new season, fall 2023 edition”.)

(Comment 1: First!)

(Comment 2: fuck you how can you rank intrigues of haruhi suzumiya higher than my harem can’t be this terrible at farming wheat you know nothing about how many awesomely animated the wheat cgi are noob)

Finally, remakes. Hollywood can’t get enough of them. Anime can’t seem to do them right. I thought ufotable was going to remake the horrible Studio Deen FSN… nope, just doing the two arcs. Why? The game has over 90 hours of intense reading. ufotable could have started over, done three cours for FSN, another three cours for UBW, and then three movies for Heaven’s Feel. Imagine the sheer amount of Rin, Saber, and profits. Then after all that, go for the kill with FSN/UBW unrated edition that is only available in a special Anime of the Year Doritos Taco Bell box set, but only after releasing a $1,500 box set of the non-unrated version. This strategy is how you print money like Archer 3D printing swords.

(Kyoto got his kinda right with turning Clannad into four cours with two OVAs. I would have tossed in a movie about the gang visiting London as well as a Tomoyo After OVA. Maximize profits. Seems like I’ve been pushing for a Tomoyo After OVA forever now…)

(Imagine A1 advertising… “We are remaking Aldnoah Zero without Slaine! And Gen Urobuchi spat on the script for episodes 7-10!” I would watch it.)

Sailor Moon Crystal? Clear money grab that infuriated fans thus lessening the potential money grab. Though if it is true Toei is using kidnapped monkeys to animate and save money, then they are basically the less racist Donald Sterling Clippers: huge premium pricing for a subpar product while never venturing into luxury tax territory. Every time I watch the credits to SMC, I fully expect Sterling to be involved somehow. In this scenario, Sailor Mars is obviously Michael Olowokandi.


I can totally go for a two cours remake of Kare Kano. In fact, Studio Khara should have started on this project last year. How about a four cours remake of Kenshin with cour one being the OVA prequels, cour two being TV season 1 with most cut except for Aoshi’s arc, and then cours 3-4 being the Kyoto arc. Then follow it up with a harem spin-off, Can An Old Samurai Handle His Harem?. Of course, this topic brings us to Cowboy Bebop. Imagine Kinema Circus (do you really want 2015 Sunrise to do this?) animating a remake of Cowboy Bebop with a twist that Spike does not die at the end. Instead, it becomes a bounty hunter procedural show like Leverage in space (TNT knows drama). Would Cartoon Network or another network offer $50 million for the syndication rights to 200 episodes of Cowboy Bebop? Yes, yes they would. Would this totally be cock fucking Spike’s skull just to print money? Yes, yes it is. But this post isn’t about artistic integrity but rather how to make the most money for investors. What makes money? Full American syndication.

To recap, if anime wants to make hedge fund class cash, they need to mine hot properties, pump out hot properties while they are hot, stretch out hot properties, remake old hot properties into longer, more profitable versions, milk, milk, milk, and finally animate the hit show, My Harem Can’t Be This Terrible At Farming Wheat.

9 Responses to “building a more profitable anime empire”

  1. With CNN talking about how Japan is in prime position to be wiped out by a catastrophic volcanic eruption, anime could be done for awhile until the Japanese and find a new place to live.
    If that is……. IF.
    I vote they just take over California, only a 6 hour drive for me.

  2. “A roguelike involving Chiaki collecting body parts?” I see what you did there. Needs moar Minami sisters, though.

  3. At the end of the day, all you’re proposing are more of the same things that aren’t quite working the way they used to. What the market needs is a new (or newish, since there’s nothing new under the sun) thing that shakes the old war horse into being a social sensation again. That isn’t something that can be achieved by recycling what we already have and adding farming wheat.

  4. Not sure if I could take two cours of Kare Kano, the manga turned into a dramafest, I couldn’t read it anymore.

  5. The entire post was you wanting companies to elongate and remake anime, then you complain about SM Crystal… perhaps I’m missing something?

  6. I, for one, would totally watch every episode of “My Harem Can’t Be This Terrible At Farming Wheat”, the 3 OAVs, the 2 terrible AVs, and the alternate universe remake of it (a la Futakoi Alternative).
    That being said, UFOtable should really, really re-animate Futakoi Alternative.

  7. I’d start with some proper anime themeparks. I’ve been to the Gundam Front and the previous Bandai Museum before that and they are pretty poor efforts. And even with those poor efforts, Gundam Front was filled with visitors! If Disney can milk 50 year old cartoon characters to make parks, certainly anime can do better.

    Heck even the Studio Ghibli Museum could be so much more if they wanted to. People would gladly pay for a much more encompassing experience. I remember when they had the house from Totori at the 2005 Aichi Expo, it was impossible to get a ticket, I could only see it from 500meters away. Stuff like that NEVER gets old!

    That’s just one thing… don’t get me started on why there aren’t any decent mainstream anime games out there, like why isn’t there a SAO MMORPG yet? A Gundam A+++ game level title? Sighs!

  8. There was a masterfully done remake series that now has a “sequel” movie in theaters right now. Space Battleship Yamato 2199.

  9. @Epi

    There are some good Gundam games actually. The extreme vs series is made by Namco, makers of Tekken, it’s actually good and very popular in Japan. I think is probably one of the best of the anime games.

    The other game is senjou no kizuna where you are in a badass 360 view arcade pod, again made by Namco. The gameplay itself isn’t as solid as the vs series but the arcade experience more than makes up for it.

    There is also dengeki bunko fighting climax recently made by Ecole and French Bread which made a bunch of 00’s anime fighters, and produced by Sega. It’s a fairy straight forward anime fighter and plays a bit like Guilty Gear. I think its a good game by itself but I wont lie that playing as Asuna, Kirito, Shana, Misaka, Kirino (Oreimo), etc adds a lot to the game.

    Gundam vs and Dengeki are on PS3 or if you’re in japan, any arcade. The pod game is a bit harder to find outside the big arcades.

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