No end-of-year reflections are complete without looking forward and making predictions that may not come true about the coming year. The same goes for making resolutions so, after thinking on-and-off the past couple days, I have formulated five statements along with “five” resolutions that I plan to fulfill in the coming twelve months.
1) Harima will be given a Hispanic accent in the School Rumble dub.
My initial reasoning for coming up with this one is based on Harima having darker skin than everyone else, sporting a mustache and soul patch, and riding a motorcycle. These characteristics could lead a dubbing director person to cast someone who could voice a Hispanic character but I think this is a long shot. It would be awesome if it does happen, though.
2) At least one anime title will be released on a high-definition format, such as Blu-ray or HD-DVD, in the United States.
The cost of releasing of HD discs would price out many dedicated anime studios and the fear of picking the wrong side of the format war is another deterrent. Therefore most HD anime releases in America, if they do occur, will come from large movie studios like Sony that have the available funds to risk on such a business venture. AIR was recently released on Bluray in Japan so that and Ergo Proxy might be a good candidates for stateside release but I think a self-contained movie like Paprika or GitS: Innocence would be better suited for a company to test the waters.
3) More bookstores in the United States will wrap their shelved manga.
I would classify this one as unlikely but still could happen. Why I think it is possible in the first place is that brick-and-mortars will want to limit the number of “aisle sitters”. Why I don’t think it will happen is that it would send a message to some consumers that non-offensive manga is no different than explicit works because both are wrapped and could lead to a drop in in-store sales.
4) Incidences of overcrowding will become reported more often at anime conventions.
I admit that this isn’t a wild prediction because this has been a complaint of attendees in recent years but hear me out. AX 2006 had over 40,000 attendees and if the average growth rate of 26% continues, AX 2007 would have about 48,000 people. Otakon raised its membership cap from 22,000 to 25,000 this year and while that wasn’t met (22,302 in 2006) it could be reached in the next couple years.
I know the planners of cons have already thought about this because as numbers keep growing, this will become a serious issue. So I think 2007 might be the year something significant happens. On the other hand, smaller con startups in places near where the big name cons are held could have an effect in offsetting crowd numbers. Or maybe they won’t have an effect, I don’t know.
5) Individual anime episodes will be sold through the iTunes Store for US$2 apiece.
The price point is aggressive compared to the $5 an episode ADV is charging for a dubbed episode but I think it makes sense because the buyer is only getting one dialogue track. If TV shows and music videos at 640×480 cost two bucks, why not anime episodes? In fact, Bandai is already selling episodes of Outlaw Star and My-Hime at that price through Amazon Unbox and anticipated viewers “wanting to buy higher-quality DVDs” after watching a digital-distributed episode. Maybe companies could start out with relatively older titles so as to not cannibalize DVD sales of new releases and add more titles if the first set is successful. Now if the “true” video iPod comes out next month as rumored, anime on the go might become a little easier.
Resolutions:1) Leave reviews for all the videos I have downloaded from AMV.org.
Looking at my hard drive, I have over 170 videos in my AMV folder and I’ve probably left reviews for less than 20 of them. Recalling this fact makes me feel bad for myself so I am determined to write reviews for most if not all of them and also write them sooner for new ones I download during the year. Besides I need to let my inner critic come out and give creators honest feedback so they can improve.
2) Finish at least two AMV’s in 2007.
I have many half-ass ideas for videos and what is keeping me from actually completing them are the inability of my computer to convert properly VOBs into AVIs, RAM, and, oh yeah, FREE TIME. I can solve the memory issue pretty quickly and rip footage into a different format so those two are surmountable. I’m still in the clip capturing process from one video and have two other well-founded plans for my next projects so if I work at it, I think I can accomplish this and get a feeling of self-accomplishment along the way.
3) Attend my first anime convention.
My best bet would probably be Fanime or Anime Expo because my anime club usually tries to get a group discount. Although…if I could somehow make to Sac-Anime in a couple weeks, that would be the first one and maybe a slightly better experience due to its smaller size. Either way, I’ll try to take pictures and blog about my first con experience whenever it happens.
4) Achieve some semblance of being able to read and write in Japanese.
By March, I will have a good grasp on the German language so my next target in my quest to become quadrilingual is Japanese. (The fourth tongue would be either French or Spanish.) However, my next opportunity to take Japanese 1 in college is next fall (unless I choose to take an intensive summer school session) so if I want to achieve this goal satisfactorily by years end, I might have to study on my own and perhaps borrow old textbooks from my Nihongo-speaking friends. I don’t know if I’d be ready for the JLPT level 4 by December so that will likely have to wait for 2008.
4.5) Finish more anime that I have started and abandoned.
This is not a true resolution because this should always be a goal to strive for but I felt it was important enough for me to include it. I am way behind on Death Note, Sumomo, and Night Head and those are just the ones I’ve blogged about. I’m considering marathoning Kanon when that finishes its run and thinking of doing the same with Higurashi soon among others. I’d have probably kept up with most of these with I didn’t “waste” my time reading the newspaper or listening to podcasts. The upcoming winter season won’t make it any easier but I think I can do it if I sit myself down for mini-marathons over the course of the year.
5) Compose more “original” content and stray away from episode summaries.
As I move toward watching anime in batches, doing individual entries for each episode becomes tedious and writing a comprehensive episode summary for each, especially when many others have blogged about that particular episode, is not very creative on my part. So I resolve to focus on quality over quantity and post not because I “have to” but because I want to. If there is something interesting that happened in whatever I’m watching of something that is worth, I will try to make a post about it. One reason I started blogging was to finetune my contemporary writing skills so crafting more editorials, reviews, projects, and general news commentaries, i.e., “original” content, will hopefully keep me from falling into a rut. Rough ideas so far include making unboxing videos or interviewing people about stuff.
P.S. To the bloggers who do episode summaries on a consistent weekly basis, you are doing something that I wish I could do but lack the energy to do so. If someone searches for information on a seemingly obscure series (e.g. Zettai Shonen, Mushishi), finds your impressions of it interesting, and starts watching it as a result, then you’ve done a good job of promoting an anime that wouldn’t have gotten as nearly much attention as a heavily popular series (Bleach, Haruhi). [This is especially the case if the particular anime in question is not being fansubbed at all.] You’re providing a sort of public service to the fan community as I sometimes refer to them myself to remember which episodes I haven’t watched yet. Just be sure to include a piece of your mind with them so they stay fresh and entertaining and keep people returning for more.