My Little Sister Can Read Kanji: Dropped

Once upon a time, Sam Pinansky, having accumulated related experience in localizing anime, launched a project to bring light novels to Western audience. This project is called J-Novel Club. Basically what he did was realize there was a light-novel-shaped hole in the Western market and, backed by an army of excellent translators and editors, he asked the Japanese publishers for some licences.

J-Novel Club is basically a subscription service. At the cost of as little/much as $4.50 per month, you get to see chapters as they come out. Eventually they get replaced by new chapters and at the end of the volume an ebook gets published. You can read more about Sam and the project on their About page (linked above).

When I first discovered the site 1.5 years ago, there was a total of six titles, I think. I read a bit here and there, bought the subscription for a couple of months to try it out, and ultimately got tired of the buggy site. It’s that bad. Plus there were like two titles I was at least mildly interested in.

I came back a year later. Right now there are 40 titles, including Mari Okada’s From Truant to Anime Screenwriter, which I am very much interested in. But the site is still buggy and I don’t care for 38 out of the forty light novel series. Bottom line…

Yes, 38 out of forty, meaning there was another light novel that seemed interesting—My Little Sister Can Read Kanji. Continue reading

Anime Adaptations 2009-15

After looking at the most recent anime adaptations, I am going to look a little bit further into the past and analyze adaptations from 2009 to 2015.

The methodology is the same as in my first article:

I’m researching only nonH TV series (no OVAs or movies) that started that season (no continuing anime, like One Piece, but I count second seasons).

As to why I chose 2009 (and not the nice round start of the decade) creating a rather lopsided interval, I have a number of reasons. For North Americans, the main milestone would be Crunchyroll going legal and thus bringing about the beginning of the legal anime streaming era. And that’s a pretty big deal.

Elsewhere around the world, we relied on less legal sources to watch anime. In 2009, a number of what will someday become classics or at least time-tried paradigms of quality came out. In Spring Season 2009, K-ON! aired. I’ve collected a number of reason why that would be a turning point in the fandom – some call K-ON! the peak of moe culture; it’s a milestone of the cute-girls-doing-cute-things genre, as well as the directorial debut of Yamada Naoko, the lady who went on to direct Tamako Market (and Tamako Love Story) and Sound! Euphonium.

And that’s not all! The second season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, which contains the legendary Endless Eight, came out. The first season of Bakemonogatari started airing. From movies, 2009 brought us Summer Wars (highly recommended). And if you like girls falling in love with other girls, then you can be grateful for Sweet Blue Flowers (青い花 [あおいはな, aoi hana, blue flowers] in Japanese) and Whispered Words (aka Sasameki Koto). Continue reading

Where do anime adaptations come from?

A fellow blogger was so bold as to proclaim that light novels are some of the most common sources of anime adaptations today. That got me thinking, is that really true? My husband didn’t think so. And so a new research post was born. (While researching this I found another post claiming almost every anime is adapted from manga. I’ll disprove that along the way.)

First of all, let’s look at anime from 2016 and this year. The aforementioned claim is from October 2016, which nests nicely in the middle of my interval. Regarding my methodology: I’m researching only nonH TV series (no OVAs or movies) that started that season (no continuing anime, like One Piece, but I count second seasons that started after a pause).

In total I have 393 anime series. 104 of those were not adaptations, also known as originals. In percentages, 26.5% of TV series were originals and 73.5% were adaptations. To disprove the parenthesized claim about almost every anime being a manga adaptation — 160 of 393 series were manga adaptations, which rounds to 40.7%. It is a high percentage, but nowhere near “almost every anime.”

Below I put together a graph of the adaptations, so my results excluding originals. The total is 289. As you can see manga takes up more than a half of the pie (55.4%) — this includes regular manga, yonkoma and webmanga. Orange light novels come to 13.1%. It would be the second highest percentage, if I didn’t add the two green slices – games and visual novels – together, totaling 50 series and 17.3 percent. I must concede that in either situation light novels are “some of the most common sources of anime adaptations.” Still, they do not make up a large part at all. In addition, a great number (19 out of 38) of those light novel adaptations come from 2017, that is after the claim was written.

Anime Adaptations 2016-7

To complete the circle, regular novels make up 6.6% of anime adaptations and the rest is anything that didn’t fit into my categories. For example anime adapted from pachinko machine commercials or illustration books (I’m talking about Honobono log).

That’s settled. My curiosity has been quenched, but another question arose – was it always like that? I think it’s pretty (about 100%) likely that it wasn’t. I’ll try to delve into that some other day. So look forward to that!