In the business world there are life cycles and trends, no different to how nature or life works in general.
First off you have:
- The startup phase. Where businesses are unprofitable and expenses are high (lack of innovation).
- The growth phase. The industry is experiencing massive growth and profits are high.
- The maturity phase. Where the industry cruises along nicely, makes “decent”
moneyand the barrier to entry is higher than ever.
- The decline phase. Demand starts dropping, profits become thin, employees get laid off in the 100’s, etc.
So where does the
anime industry fit into the picture?
As far as 2018 goes, the
But before I get into that, let’s look at the historical life cycle of the
The historical life cycle of the
1. The 1960’s when
anime was born
The anime above was produced and released in 1961. It’s considered the first anime to have been created.
During this time in the industry, there wasn’t much of anything in terms of growth, decline, maturity and so on.
The only “phase” the
2. The 1980’s-1990’s: the “growth” era of the
This is the golden era of the
If it wasn’t for the 1980’s and 90’s, most
At this point of the industry,
We can thank
- Dragon Ball Z.
- One Piece.
- Yu Yu Hakusho.
- Sailor Moon.
- Cowboy Bebop.
And too many other shows for the massive growth of the
3. The year 2000’s: where growth meets maturity
The year 2000’s is another era we can thank for massive growth in the
After all it’s thanks to shows like:
- Fullmetal Alchemist.
- Death Note.
- Full Metal Panic.
- Eureka Seven.
- Code Geass.
And so many more why I’m even able to have this conversation.
Unlike the 80’s and 90’s, the 2000’s is where the
At this point the
That’s why it’s not surprising to see
4. 2010 onwards: the industry starts to “dip its head” into the depths of decline
Don’t misunderstand my point. I’m aware of all the successful shows that came about since 2010.
But since 2010:
animeindustry has experienced bankruptcies as if it’s some kind of seasonal event.
- Animator shortage is at an all-time high.
- Old business practices that no longer work in the 21st century are hurting the
- It’s only now that we’re starting to see the after-affects.
animecompanies and studios have shutdown. Even in Japan itself.
- Companies are still promoting cd’s as if we still give a shit about them. They’ve lost
The last 8 years of the
But in the past 2-3 years the life-cycle of the
The definition of “startup” phase
Here’s what investopedia says about the startup phase:
“Participants tend to be unprofitable because expenses are incurred to develop and market the offering, but revenues are still low.”
This is EXACTLY what the anime industry looks like in 2018.
In the past few months there have been dozens of
Just look at these headlines:
This is only a “small” portion. And it’s a typical example of startup territory.
it’s not even a surprise when I see these headlines pop up so often, because in general: you have to be insane to start an
That’s true whether you’re a business owner or an “employee” of the industry.
Anime News Network covers this point really well: Working In The Anime Industry.
So what’s next? Where does the
anime industry go from here?
When an industry is in its “startup” phase it’s unprofitable and risky for one reason: uncertainty.
To overcome uncertainty, you need innovation on a massive scale. And not just any innovation, but the type of innovation that people want to have.
The kind that drives demand and makes everyone happy. Fans and businesses alike.
So THAT is where the
anime industry needs to go from here
I predict within the next 10+ years, more
More companies will become more profitable and successful. And certain issues like Piracy, animator shortage (and more) will die down and improve.
As long as there are investors, enough funding, and innovation becomes more of a priority, the future of the
But there’s still a long way for us to go from here. So don’t celebrate yet.
We’ll get there eventually (on a global scale).