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Answerman, le type qui répond à toutes les questions idiotes que vous vous posez sur l'anime... ^_^
[Anime Answers ! ^_^]
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5 avril 2014
9:31 am
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Gribouille Sensei
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Un petit Tribute à Answerman de ANN, je vous met ici une de ses dernières colonnes happy:

 

Edgar asks:

It's hard not to notice that your answers hardly ever stray from a world-weary cynicism that some would call "pessimism", and likely you'd call "realism" after seeing intimately the hidden working of the system for so long. It makes for an entertaining read but some times, after a particularly bleak column, I cannot help to feel a bit bummed. So today I'll try to break a bit the pattern: Can you tell us about the most positive, most promising and hope-rising trends and tremors in the industry that maaaay herald a slightly brighter future?

 

Let me tell you a story. Once, back when I was still in college and working for Central Park Media, we had to work on a library of titles starring B-movie actress Kei Mizutani. The movies were terrible and nobody wanted them. One day our illustrious president John O'Donnell asked me, in his usual "I've got something to teach you" voice, why I thought he bought those movies.

I replied, "because you could get all of 'em really cheap?" Stunned, having been called-out on his game, John walked away muttering, "God, you're a cynical f###."

That was when I was 20. I hadn't yet seen the US industry set fire to itself, witnessed Japan's descent into pedophilia and incest tropes, or teenaged fans twist themselves into knots trying to morally justify never paying for anything. I was already a grumpy realist. Webster's Dictionary defines cynicism as "believing that people are generally selfish and dishonest," and if I went into my career a decade and a half ago already believing that, I would say I have been vindicated.

But cynical does not mean pessimistic, and when asked about the state of things today, I'm actually quite the optimist. There is a regular, stable group of anime fans that buy DVDs and Blu-rays. License fees have fallen to a point where they are relatively reasonably priced, and an American publisher can reasonably be expected to buy the rights to a show, produce subtitles (or occasionally a dub), put it on sale, and make a decent profit. That happens today.

Japanese and American companies came together to offer new anime series simultaneously with their Japanese premieres, in a legal and ethical way, for free, and in doing so, reduced rampant piracy to a small subset of fandom. There is more anime being made today than at any time in history -- counting sequels and short series, I count 55 new shows this season -- and a few of them are actually accessible to "normal" Americans. All but a handful of shows every season are simulcast for free to North America, and the rest of the world is slowly starting to get more of them as well.

Toonami is back on Cartoon Network (and although it's not what it once was, it's a thing people watch). We had two anime nominated for Academy Awards this year. Classic shows that most of us thought would never be available Stateside are being freshly subtitled and put out on DVD and streaming sites left and right, and are finding an audience. There is so much anime being released and subtitled right now that fans are embarrassed for choice. While we've lost Satoshi Kon and Osamu Dezakiand we're supposedly losing Hayao Miyazaki to retirement (and will likely lose a handful of other old men soon), there are some interesting new filmmakers sprouting up to take their place. None are quite there yet, but the effort is there.

Anime is interesting and lucrative enough to have dedicated staff at Hulu, Netflix is buying anime directly, and entertainment conglomerate Chernin Group just invested millions into Crunchyroll. Bourgeois parents show their kids My Neighbor Totoro as often as they do The Little Mermaid. Classics from the 80s and 90s are being remastered in HD and look amazing. Anime is cheaper to buy than it's ever been (unless you count the post-crash fire sales).

Make no mistake, far from being bad days, we are in a golden era for both anime production and consumption. There has never been a better time to be an anime fan, to buy anime on physical media, to watch anime even though you might be broke. Some of the publishers or professionals might gripe, might be barely scraping by, are having to work really hard to keep their business going, but that's their jobs, and those aren't easy jobs. If they're smart and scrappy, they'll find new ways to keep pushing forward. Entertainment has never been easy or stable.

We might see a contraction in the future. There will certainly be bad times ahead. There are certainly a number of people in this industry who I would affectionately refer to as pieces of human garbage, and many, many others who I have a lot of respect for and I consider to be wonderful human beings. Fans consume in the easiest, cheapest way possible and gripe about it afterwards. This is the way things are and the way things always will be.

Don't mistake cynicism for negativity. Things are good. We are lucky. Enjoy yourself, enjoy this weird little financial ecosystem we have, the weirdly sexualized cartoons we adore, and the oddballs at conventions. Enjoy the flame wars, the petty arguments, the ludicrous analysis of screenshots comparing different pirated copies of Blu-rays. Enjoy the paranoid gossip of industry, the exhausted smiles of studio representatives, the frustrated panic of delayed simulcasts. We are lucky to have all of these things, and our wealth is not diminished for their existence.

I will continue to point out when the dreams of those on the sidelines don't match up to reality, because that is my job. In doing so I will continue to make things sound dirty and awful, because compared to dreams, they are and always will be. But if you stand back, and really take in the sum of things, it's pretty much impossible not to smile at this, at all of this.

 

Si vous ne connaissiez pas, je vous conseille la lecture régulière de ses colonnes sur ANN et si ça vous plait, hésitez pas à lui poser vos questions ! Il adore ça... tongue2

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