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The ANIME Situation in Japan Today 6/13


So, I have briefly explained the characteristics and marketing strategies of Haruhi in mainly 5 sections,
but the biggest point I want to make and to emphasize is this: the production side has an absolute trust on the Internet that it will strengthen their work and bring audience.

It is very important for works aired and spread by media that they are “understood” by the media and audience. Or rather, I believe it is not too much to say that they are made to be understood and the makers put in great effort to make audience understand their pieces.

To see it from a different point of view, this may be interpreted as the maker’s lack of trust in the audience’s apprehensive capability. Upon this lack of trust comes explanation and decoration.

But Haruhi flips over all the common sense and tacit rules of anime, and takes for granted that the fans, viewers and users will supplement the parts makers don’t make clear. That’s why they could start off with a filler episode zero – an access film inside the original story – without an introduction of the characters and background, have a confusing official site, and air episodes in random order.

Considering all of these unkindness, you can’t find the slightest trace of the maker’s follow-up for the lacking information. The novel fans on the Net just started filling in missing pieces on their own, and here, you can see the careful planning of the producers.

I believe that this kind of marketing succeeded because they turned their eyes to the common characteristic of anime and Internet, the fact that anime and Internet have similar elements in their deep parts and the fact that many anime fans are Internet users.


I think that anime, PC/video games and computers have similar roles as a place for sharing contents and information. And without any preconceptions, I think that the more of a geek a fan is, the more reliance on the information on the Internet.

Concerning anime production, it could have been easier for the producers to focus on and plan around this assumption that the viewers and users will spread the words by Internet communication.

Oh, by the way, I found some humorous Haruhi fans (and they live outside of Japan!) who were simply drawn to the dance in the ending of the anime and either danced themselves or their plastic model robots dance… and they are quite impressive.

Such knock-on effect is another contribution to the expansion of Haruhi and making it even more enjoyable. I can feel the power of the people who were drawn to the humor of such fans in the result of the ending song ranking 5th in the Japanese music hit chart.

movie comparing the real anime ending and the fanmade figure dance

movie comparing the real anime ending and fan dancing


There was this marketing strategy called the “teaser advertisement” featured by TV and media some time ago. This strategy of releasing information of a new product bit by bit in a span of one to two months has died out as soon as they were exposed to the speedy information exchange of the Internet world.

In an age where Internet communication is taken for granted, knowing what the “itchy parts” that unknowers want to know about and knowers want to brag and tell about is crucial considering serious marketing, and you have to have lots of them. Moreover, you need to carefully select the most appropriate place to develop the exchange.

Suzumiya Harihi no Yūutsu magnificently brought the strategy into practice, and presented it to the anime/ game industry as a new means of marketing.

The Haruhi case was of great success, but this marketing has not yet reached many people, but when it does, the true value of this marketing will be put to the test.

Well, the hot stuff is about to end soon, so I’ll try to bring up some new anime that might become the
next hit.


Made in Japan Contents
  • Green Tea 1 / 2 / 3 / 4
    Spirited Away (2001)
  • Haruki Murakami
  • Yasunari Kawabata
  • Banana Yoshimoto
  • Yukio Mishima
  • Inazo Nitobe
  • Japanese Tea
  • Bonsai
  • VAIO
  • Canon

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