The second IMART (International Manga Anime Festival Reiwa Toshima), an international conference on the future of manga and anime, was held on February 26th (Fri) and 27th (Sat), 2021.
The conference will feature a number of keynote speeches that bring together innovators and practitioners who are active at the forefront of the manga and anime industry. We will deliver the report. In recent years, it has become an era where trends cannot be talked about without SNS, but the lecture was filled with hints on how SNS has influenced the anime industry and how the anime industry should make use of SNS.
The speakers were Mr. Shiori Kubozawa, Client Account Manager for Twitter Media & Entertainment Industry, Mr. Muneki Ishibashi, Client Partner for Twitter Media & Entertainment Industry, and Mr. Akira Takayama, President and CEO of Fanworks Co., Ltd. The moderator was Mr. Motoyuki Mori, Deputy General Manager of Eid’s Media Business Headquarters.
Twitter is now the basic tool for gathering information for anime fans. I’m curious about how Twitter evaluates Japanese anime.
First of all, this lecture started with Mr. Kubosawa’s presentation. Currently, the average age of Twitter users is 36 years old. Twitter is characterized as a service that tells you what’s happening right now, so it’s often used while watching TV. According to a user survey, 76% of Twitter users have used Twitter while watching TV.
Kubosawa explains that the reason people gather on Twitter is because it’s a platform that connects people with interest. On Twitter, friends who gather for common hobbies and favorite things are called “Tribe”, but anime and manga are said to be the biggest Tribe in Japan.
People with those hobbies are called “otaku” and used to have a negative impression, but recent surveys show that otaku have changed to a positive image. It is said that there are quite a lot of people, especially the younger generation, who see otaku activities as the core of boosting the vitality of their lives.
A major feature of Twitter is that you can connect with the feeling that you like content. Kubosawa says that companies want to utilize their favorite power. In particular, anime and manga are so popular that they send five related keywords to the top 20 trend awards in 2020.
Next, I will move on to Mr. Ishibashi’s presentation. Mr. Ishibashi talked about how to communicate with users on Twitter and about proper character design for corporate accounts.
Many companies operate official Twitter accounts today, but when operating a corporate account, it is important to be aware of the three points of account purpose, personality setting, and content pillar. First of all, it is better to clarify the purpose of creating an account. That’s the guideline for all posts.
Next is the personality setting, which has several patterns. Brand type, character type, and human type inside. If the brand type is already recognized, it is easy to call it a fan. The character type emphasizes friendliness, and the human type inside is tested by a management method that relies on the personality of the person in charge.
And it is important for the content to be posted to aim at the point where the sender’s wishes and the user’s interests cross. You should also pay attention to the posting schedule.
And communication that encourages conversation on Twitter is a conversation that is easy to answer by choice. As an example, consider which of the following will make the conversation more exciting.
The more specific the question that triggers the conversation, the more the conversation will bounce. Communication on Twitter should also keep in mind the following.
And in order to get people to stop on the timeline where a lot of information flows, it is better to keep in mind that it is short and clear, it can be transmitted even with sound off, and how to put out information that can be intuitively understood.
The final presentation was Mr. Takayama, the representative of Fanworks. Fanworks is a company that has succeeded in many character businesses, and in recent years it is known for “Sumikko Gurashi” and “Aggressive Retsuko”. It is said that SNS is an inseparable relationship with animation at a company that has produced many short animations as well as feature-length animations.
Mr. Takayama classifies his short animation as follows.
Short animation: Works with a length that is easy to convey to users, such as “Soft Tank”
Anime PV: PV that effectively conveys the charm of the work
Anime CM: Longer than TV CM
One of Fanworks’ masterpieces, “Soft Tank,” is a short anime that was developed on the Livedoor portal site before the spread of SNS. It can be said that the company proves that it has been using the Internet before SNS.
Recent masterpiece “Aggressive Retsuko” was distributed on Netflix and became a boom, but the trigger was that one video post was featured in international news. As a result, it became more exciting in conjunction with the Me Too movement around the world.
Mr. Takayama mentioned “Arikiri” as an example of an anime commercial. A commercial with the theme of working with ants and grasshoppers as a motif, it was created by Cybozu for the purpose of re-questioning the work style. This was also well received on SNS, and received high praise such as receiving the “Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Award / ACC Grand Prix” at the ACC TOKYO CREATIVITY AWARDS.
Fanworks is currently trying to distribute short animation in China as well. It seems that only short videos are growing in the Chinese video market.
From here, we will start a discussion with three people.
Moderator Mori pointed out that in recent years, SNS users have tended to prefer short video works. Kubosawa pointed out that this is a fact, but that long works also tend to be popular with works that can be interpreted and considered. Mr. Ishibashi said that it may be important whether it is long or short, but it is important to make them want to participate.
In addition, Mr. Mori once had a movement to publicize with animation for a specific Tribe, but in response to the question that it is no longer possible to convey it by itself, Mr. Takayama says that animation is the easiest to convey in the world. He said that it is a language and that various ways of making it can be considered.
Mr. Ishibashi says that because of the diversity of values, it is important to organize the context when making a call so that users will think that they are aimed at themselves. Part of that is that the purpose of corporate accounts should be organized.
From the perspective of subdividing values, Mr. Mori touched on the big hit of “Kimetsu no Yaiba”. It is pointed out that the possibility of creating such a national hit as one of the subdivisions has increased in recent years.
Mr. Takayama pointed out that “Kimetsu no Yaiba” was a work with many elements, so it might have been a work that had the power to cross the tribe. It was analyzed that it became a hot topic when it was first deeply stabbed in a tribe that loves anime and manga, and that it spread to other tribes from there.
The blockbuster hit of “Kimetsu no Yaiba” is new to my memory, but the blockbuster content of recent years cannot be talked about without SNS. It was a session that strongly impressed me that how to utilize the power of “like” is an indispensable element for future content creation.