This morning we got one of those emails from Twitter with a bunch of links to articles the people we're following are reading. There was one on why the manga industry isn't doing so well in America. Not really a new topic, but the twist was it was written by a Japanese person, in Japanese, for Japanese manga people to consider. It was kind of funny, because at the end of it, the writer was like, "Ugh, I'm getting really mad just thinking about it. I was going to talk about piracy, too, but that'll have to wait until next time."
The main point of the article was that manga isn't doing well in America because the American industry isn't doing its market research. Instead of trying to figure out what kinds of manga people would actually spend money on, they just picked a bunch of stuff and hoped for the best. It did remind us of our theory that the manga industry is failing because the fans were all a bunch of hipsters to begin with--they liked manga because it wasn't mainstream. Then manga became mainstream, and all the people who liked it before decided that they needed something else to fill that "I need something that no one else understands" void, and ditched anime and manga for K-dramas. (Not that K-dramas aren't awesome. We haven't seen any, but I'm sure there's a reason people like them.) In other words, it's a self-defeating market. Or something.
The writer of the article also pointed out that, while comics tend to be aimed at boys in America, girls are the ones with spending money, which is why Twilight did so well--all the girls who grew up reading Harry Potter were now old enough to want some romance, and they had the money to spend on it. That's also why, in the writer's mind, shoujo manga did so well.
There was also a mention of aisle hobos (without using the actual term). Manga is too easy to sit and read all the way through, right there in the bookstore.
The one thing that was really obvious but never occurred to me was the companies that shut down (or shut down their manga imprints), with a bunch of unfinished series. The writer said that obviously that's going to alienate readers; it's like saying, "Well, the rest is all in Japanese! Good luck!" If readers see a bunch of companies doing that all at once, of course they're going to give up on manga altogether. Maybe what we need is more license rescues...build on the already existing fan bases.
Anyway, it was an interesting read, and I should totally link to it, but I deleted the email with the link. Fail. Oh well. It's all in Japanese, so I'm not sure how many people would be able to read the article anyway. And I'm not convinced all of that stuff hasn't been talked about over and over and over a million times already.
Today I'm thankful for getting plenty of work done despite distractions, having time to practice music, the yummy chocolate-dipped waffle thingies we had for dessert last night, getting to play new games on Lumosity, and finally getting a chikara no shizuku.