Anyone who thinks buying merchandise is supporting must be out of their minds.
Here’s the thing.
First of all, most of that cash does not go back directly to the animation studio, unless your name is Bandai-Namco.
You see, stuff like figures and artbooks and whatnot work on what is called the royalty system. The content creators (or copyright owner) gets a percentage of the cash from a sale, usually ranging from 1-5%, less if the creator sold his copyright to his or her parent company. Seiyuu and singers also get a percentage from thevoice CDs they sell, although not as generous as the content creators. The minimum payout per album/song is at least 16 cents (RIAA number, I think it’s getting less :P). Most of the money goes back to the company that made the product.
Artbooks and whatnot also work on the same system, though I think they get royalties and a slice of the profit pie.
DVDs profit the licensor, but that is a different thing altogether. I’m not too sure if the licensors actually see a lot of money out of DVD sales, because most of it goes back to purchasing licenses for new series and post-production/dubbing/whatnot.
As you can see by following the money, you can actually see where your money goes to after leaving your hands. While I do love the industry I cannot agree fully with it’s moneymaking tactics, and I am a man of principle.
Secondly, those who buy merch and try to beat us over with fair use regarding fansubs are people asking to be sent to the warzone of the day. If I remember my fair use correctly, you have to be in possession of the actual material in question in order to pull this off. (Here’s a hint: Fansubs are not counted as evidence for fair use if you buy merch.) And even if you can beat that argument back with any reason you can cook up on the spot, I don’t have to know about the show/game/book/song/singer to buy whatever that is related to it. You don’t need to know what is Hello Kitty in order to buy the assorted merchandise, nor would you need to know what series that character figure is from in order to buy it.
I suppose if you had bought the actual DVDs, you might have a case.
Thirdly, I don’t think the Japanese really care about outside markets. It’s one of those things that was supposed to stay in Japan, but got out and now Japan has to acknowledge that there is some demand from outside of Japan. Not many Japanese like this so they do their best to wring the outside market dry with their crazy prices and whatnot. While I can empathize with Nabeshin about not getting paid and struggling with the bills, the thing is, he’s not even seeing a lot of money from the sale of merchandise. Heck, even mangaka get to make enough to pay the bills for their works. The best thing you could do to help people like Nabeshin would be to mail him a check every time you have a bit of spare cash! It works for services we want to use and see prosper (free forums, webcomics, shady underground sites, etc), so why not mail checks and money orders to the animators, directors and the people who make the animés. (Of course I know about the dangers of mailing money-related slips of paper. Don’t charbroil me over something I actually know.)
So as you can see, buying merch isn’t going to help the animation industry one bit. It helps the merchandizing industry a lot though. Then again, I could be wrong. Maybe animation studios in Japan work like movie studios in America. I wouldn’t know, though, I’m not an insider, nor do I know people in the industry. I can only make conjectures and theories based off what I read and know.
Go ahead, flame me now. I’ve stopped caring about trivial things like epenis. If one can’t use his or her fame for good causes then I’d rather have nothing to do with it. I’m not just disgusted with the fans, but the whole thing in general. Like I said, when a guy is praised for destroying the industry, but the one who tries to save it gets assaulted, the world is a much more horrible place.
If you need me, I’ll be on that appropriately-place pile of flammable pine wood doused with even more flammable pine resin, tied ever so securely with nylon rope onto a slow-burning oak tree trunk, surrounded by a moat filled with flammable crude oil. With a noose on my neck and a gunman 250 metres away waiting to shoot me in the nuts and stomach should I ever survive being burnt to a flaming crisp.
Entry filed under: Bitching.