||home / january 2002 / chasing otakuism
A Look to the Future
By Jake Forbes
2001 was a huge year for the otaku community. Consider the following: No
less than three new companies entered the anime publishing arena; the DVD
format dominated VHS, meaning the days of dub-only are over; 6 anime films
received theatrical screenings around the country (albeit it limited
engagements); manga output nearly doubled; Music games finally gained
acceptance in America, and attendance at all major conventions jumped an
average of 50%, while new conventions opened to great success. No matter
how you look at it, this is a good time to be an otaku. So, with all the
advancements of the last year, can next year be as exciting? You bet it
can! Come with us as Animefringe gazes into our crystal ball to see what the
surprises 2002 holds.
· One or more major players in the industry will disappear as increased
competition makes it tougher to have a hit series.
· A major Hollywood studio will license the Cowboy Bebop movie, causing
other studios to get into anime licensing blindly, driving out smaller
companies. These films will be poorly marketed, be commercial failures, and
the studios will lose interest by the end of 2002, returning things to the
· In order to reach out to a younger, hipper demo, ESPN 2 will try releasing
The Prince of Tennis anime series. Beer-drinking men will not respond well
to the sexy, animated tennis stars and an executive will lose his job.
· Consumers and anime producers will have to chose between more
subtitle-only episodes on DVDs or fewer sub/dub episodes, as increasing
production costs and competition put an end to the trend of increased
sub/dub episodes per disc.
· Someone will finally re-release Robot Carnival on DVD and many 19-25 year
old anime fans who watched this on TV 10 years ago will rejoice.
· As Fox and Kids WB phase out cartoons, the Pokemon-clone anime series will
fade out of public awareness.
· An anime studio will create a series about kids that compete to have
better televisions to watch card game duels about monster battles based on
videos games inspired by toys. It will be an instant hit, and Neo-Mega-TV
Adventure Stars based TVs, Cards, GameBoy games and toys will flood stores.
· Cartoon Newtork will team up with a Japanese anime company to create
original anime programming.
· One of the major American comics publishers will jump on the
· Someone will recognize the growing demand for yaoi manga and the several
yaoi series will be released to surprisingly good sales.
· CLAMP will create a series which combines the adorable smut of Chobits and
Miyuki-chan with the adorable commercialism of Cardcaptor Sakura and Angelic
Layer, which will be called Customizable Lingerie Fighter Meiko.
· Viz/Shogakukan will realize that they're sitting on a potential goldmine
with Doraemon and they will begin releasing to series to fill the kid's gap
that Pokemon/Dragonball formerly filled.
· The $2.95 monthly manga comic will all but disappear as companies
experiment increasingly with alternative methods of releasing manga.
· Japanese publishers will suddenly decide to publish all manga
left-to-right like American comics, making American publishers who are
printing right-to-left feel very silly.
· Sony will release the hard drive and modem for the PS2, but both will fail
miserably as game developers are reluctant to take the risks of making games
that really take advantage of the peripherals, but isolate the majority of
gamers who don't upgrade. X-Box, which has both built in, will only be able
to scratch the surface of network gaming, making online RPGs and shooters
that are basically identical to the current PC online world. Nintendo will
do nothing with online games in 2002, but will announce a Miyamoto developed
online game at the Tokyo Game Show that will make everyone in Japan and
America want a Gamecube with a modem.
· Dance Dance Revolution will fade out of popularity as early adapters move
on, and Konami never supported it for widespread acceptance.
· Virtual dog walking will fill the gap left open by the fading away of DDR.
· Square will lose mega-bucks on Final Fantasy XI as the online networks
aren't established to make it work, so they will slip out Final Fantasy XII
before Christmas 2002.
· Nintendo will reveal that the reason that Mario wears that funny backpack
in Mario Sunshine is because it's a jetpack that lets him keep up with the
other playable character in the game, Sonic the Hedgehog.