Friday, August 22, 2008

Who to Please?

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When a station or a TV network acquires an anime license in the country, who should they try to please--The General Public or the Truest of Fans?

The kids, fickle and innocent, would feel happy and refreshed to see their favorite anime characters and heroes after a tedious day at school. They jump and cheer for joy every time the Autobots hold their own against the Decepticons, they religiously follow Naruto as he succeeds in each of his ninja missions while making them laugh with his antics, or they would wait for another season of Digimon with the cute and cuddly characters turning to mystical beast-like creatures.

The teens, on the other hand, would take to Asian drama series, watching San Chai (or Makino in the Japanese version), the most unpopular girl in class, being friends and hooking up with the Taiwanese and Japanese versions of the F4. These young viewers would watch the series, hoping that they don’t have to do drastic changes in their lives to attract their handsome prince and finally live happily ever after.

The working class, after facing the harsh realities of day-to-day living, go to their respective homes and try to forget all their stress and problems by watching soap operas.
Watching these makes them feel positive in life, giving them hope that they could do anything if they work hard for it, that good will always triumph over evil, and that even if the society is so degraded now, they can still find a way to have a happy ending someday.

There is, however, another subset, made up of die-hards and purists. These take the series to heart, patronizing only the original creators, actors and seiyuu. They buy their beloved series through pirates or even download them from torrent servers. Some of them love their shows so much that they buy the official merchandise, create fan art, and act out the characters through cosplay or role-playing. They don’t treat the shows as mere programs but as perfect, high standards of art that are beyond reproach. Some, however, take their zeal to a ridiculous level. They go around in their blogs, ranting about shows that they hate due to what they perceive to be sub par scripts or voice acting. Others even poke fun at regular fans of the series they hate, for example, labeling kids who are big fans of Naruto as “Narutards.” For them, every acquisition of the local networks is a target for criticism.

What’s good about these people is that they love and appreciate these shows. It would be so fulfilling for the original creators to be adored that way. On the other hand, they make it out as if no one translating their series can get anything right.

So which direction should TV networks take? Should they please the majority of the public wherein they could make money with the mainstream, or keep a concentrated but loyal niche, and lose some ratings in the process? You decide.

1 comment:

Normand said...

It's purely business and they only respond to what the general public demands.

-hugobossph from pex