Anime Adaptations Use One Media To Market Another
I’m about to let you in on an issue plaguing parts of the otaku community: the rampant adaptation of light novels and manga without finishing the storyline.
Now, for those of you who are not inside some of the deepest and most convoluted parts of nerd culture, what I just said may appear as absolute gibberish. So let me unpack some terms here in the simplest way I can.
First off, I need to talk about anime, which is Japanese animation. And unlike American animation it is often not just for kids. You’ll find stories of violence, war, romance, religion, or philosophy—everything and possibly more than what you could get from Western television.
And “otaku” basically just means a fan of anime and related media. Though the term has other contexts and sometimes negative connotations.
And some of those other otaku materials are manga and light novels. Which though a shallow comparison, are like comics and novellas—respectively.
Which finally brings me to my point. Because those types of stories are frequently adapted to animation. But, the stories are also often not finished. In a lot of cases, long-running series receive only the first few parts of the story adapted. And will often cut before coming to full plot resolution.
And while this can be quite annoying to Clearwater anime fans because they don’t get to know the end of the story unless they feel like going to Barnes and Noble at Sunset Point and buying the rest…it’s also a good marketing technique. Similar to free samples at a supermarket.
Other Version Of This Marketing Method Already Exist–And I’m Sure We’ll See More Of It
And, since, in America at least, most translated anime is available for free on websites like Crunchyroll.com, the comparison is even more apt.
But, this tactic is certainly not limited to Japan, and even in America we are seeing similar methods of cross-media marketing popping up, especially when it comes to young adult literature, in the last decade.
And American media could do more of this sort of thing. I’m not sure everyone would be happy about it, but it would probably work.
If you liked this article, you can read more of Brandon Scott’s work on The Hive, or at his website: www.coolerbs.com