Summit on Anime in North America: Morning Session Liveblog

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The Summit on Anime in North America (SANA) is a one day event in Denver where experts on the anime industry are gathering to talk about anime’s popularity in North America. Representatives from the Japanese consulate are here as well to receive feedback. The event is hosted by the parent organization of Denver’s large anime convention, Nan Desu Kan.

This liveblog is a record of the morning sessions, which include welcoming remarks and presentations by Dr. Alisa Freedman, Christopher Bevins/Sarah Sullivan, and Kevin McKeever.

12.08

Lunchtime now. This concludes the morning session, and my computer needs recharging! See you for the afternoon. #SANA

12.07

Condry: Crypton licensing model and other fandom work show that people can have power despite corps, govts, copyright models #SANA

12.05

Condry: for non-profit use, there may be a nominal fee but not necc. For-profit does involve a license fee. #SANA

12.04

Condry: Crypton Future Media has set up 3 levels of licensing for using Miku. One is free non-commercial use. #SANA

11.57

Condry: AMVs, Vocaloid fandom shows fans will not wait for permission to start creating things #SANA

11.54

Condry: manga is particularly democratic as media because it is so inexpensive. Series rise and fall w/o marketing #SANA

11.52

Condry: another great case study is Gundam. Its toys did not sell so it was canceled early, but fans revive it singlehandedly #SANA

11.50

Condry: anime characters as platforms. Characters and world often come before story. Red Gardens plot made up as went along #SANA

11.49

Condry visited Gonzo during the making of Red Garden…this is the work environment. #SANA

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11.45

Condry: success and value are not measured in fandom community the same way as in business. It is how much you give back #SANA

11.38

Condry: no one gets rich making anime. Shows a picture of a typical animator desk. #SANA

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11.36

Condry was introduced to anime when his students recommended Samurai Champloo to him. Via BitTorrent. #SANA

11.34

This is Condry showing the folders used to produced Mamoru Hosodas Wolf Children. #SANA

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11.33

Some stats: 60% of TV cartoon broadcasts are Japanese. B/yr for TV/DVD/theaters. Bu B worth of merchandise. #SANA

11.32

Media has shifted from mostly content to now a whole platform with lots of participation through communities, AMVs, fanfic, etc #SANA

11.21

Condry: few expected anime to be a big deal, culturally. The global rise of anime was a surprise to cultural elites. #SANA

11.18

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11.16

Next up: Dr. Ian Condry, professor of Japanese Cultural Studies at MIT.

11.06

Sullivan: …whereas in Japan some of that kind of work can be seen as disrespectful. (ED: But then again, doujinshi?) #SANA

11.05

Sullivan: US anime fans like to feel a part of the show they like, which fuels the memes, parodies, AMVs, fanfics… #SANA

10.57

I saw this in Japan when I was in Akiba too. The industry in JP is still built on purchase of physical stuff.

10.56

Sullivan: DVDs/BDs are not going away from anime because of collector mentality, special editions. #SANA

10.54

Sullivan: a good example of anime as safe place for sexual exploration—Utena. A beautiful, influential show. #SANA

10.50

Bevins (ADR director): Americans and Japanese have different expectations for character voices hence different voice acting styles. #SANA

10.39

Sullivan: to all those who criticize anime as being violent and bad influence—look at the cons. Look at the community. #SANA

10.38

Fandom as family: when Sullivan started working at Funi she found her tribe. Tribe is a good word in my experience. #SANA

10.36

Personally, I would argue the process started earlier with the Simpsons, Family Guy, and others…

10.35

Sullivan: the rise of MLP and Adventure Time has also paved the way for more acceptance of mature themes in anime. #SANA

10.34

Sullivan: anime can be a safer place for younger people to explore sexuality and gender. #SANA

10.32

Sullivan: shift from solitary otaku to owning your freak: fandom coalescing into clubs, communities. #SANA

10.31

Bevins: because anime has something for everyone, anime should become more mainstream over time. Ease of access too. #SANA

10.29

Sullivan acknowledges Crunchyroll as having innovated first, and their move to legitimacy was a huge shift in industry #SANA

10.28

‘I love our fans. I love our fandom.’ -Sarah Sullivan #SANA

10.22

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10.21

Now the Funimation reps, Christopher Bevins and Sarah Sullivan, are up. #SANA

10.18

A lot of people at University of Oregon take Japanese in order to scanlate and fansub. Some even use that as assignments. #SANA

10.14

Sullivan will be a presenter later, btw. #SANA

10.14

Sarah Sullivan (Funimation): the biggest difference between older and millennial fans is how willing they are to WAIT for anime. #SANA

10.08

Freedman likes to hold up a VHS tape and ask her 90s and later born students: what is this? Gets laughs. #SANA

10.01

The instant access of the Internet has changed both access to anime and participation in fandom drastically #SANA

09.58

So what makes anime so popular? Freedman: the participatory fandom, the coolness of niche, different storytelling. #SANA

09.45

This is somewhat deliberate: it emphasizes vulnerability rather than, say, harder aspects of Japanese culture. #SANA

09.44

So much of the soft power of anime and manga is in promoting the more kawaii side as opposed to other types. #SANA

09.40

Worth remembering: Japanese popular culture has been in America as long as Godzilla and Astro Boy. #SANA

09.38

How strange is it that Hello Kitty and Doraemon were chosen as “ambassadors”! Ambassadors are usually people. #SANA

09.35

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09.32

First up: Dr. Alisa Freedman, Professor of Japanese Literature and Film, University of Oregon. #SANA

09.28

Looks like we are starting! #SANA

09.16

Still waiting. Sound has been going in and out. Looks like posting pics may be an issue with the liveblog plugin, will find workarounds. #SANA

09.05

Waiting for the event to begin. A surprisingly large crowd, given the weather outside… #SANA

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