This is a translation of tweets made by Sasaki Marina-san / NucoP (@nucoxx) yesterday (28 Sept.) regarding how second seasons are decided. NucoP was in charge of producingTesagure! Bukatsumono, Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii, and Barakamon. I hope this proves informative.
Manga gets adapted to anime → anime becomes popular → the manga starts to sell → but the anime blu-rays don’t sell
That’s the pain experienced by companies that shell out 200 million to make an anime that doesn’t sell while the manga that didn’t pay a single yen does. It makes us think, “uhh, did we sign up for this?”
If the manga sells in bookstores by the truckload, this manga has it made! So naturally, people will start expecting a second season. But even if the manga sells, if not even 1 yen goes into the anime company → the BDs don’t sell → there’s no way a second season would be made.
So what if you sell a lot of goods from the show? Royalties from anime goods is just a few percent of the total revenue, so if you sell maybe 10 million yen worth of goods, only a few hundred thousand yen will go to the anime company. If you don’t sell a lot, it won’t be a huge sum. In the end, it’s still tough if the BDs don’t sell.
In the first place, a second season being brought up by the production committee only happens in the better cases. Most of them don’t even talk about a second season; they stop by the 3rd or 4th BD and calculate whether they can minimize their losses. Even streaming, which was supposed to be a ray of hope to the industry, isn’t strong enough to be a revenue generator…
So from here, how are anime made, and how are they supposed to make money? It would be great if there was a chance for anime companies to reveal. A concrete example, with concrete figures would be ideal.
For the customers:
1.) BDs are too expensive
2.) There’s too many anime being made
3.) But the audience don’t even consider buying
On the business side:
3.) There’s no substitute for BDs as a source of revenue
4.) There’s no place for anime that take time to make in an era where fads come and go
Those could be it.
Translator’s note: of course, these tweets don’t appear to cover stuff like Suzumiya Haruhi, which sold well but have special circumstances behind the companies that produce the show.