Original Anime, 2010-2012
The success of GirlPan and some comments on 2ch got me thinking about how the past few years have been pretty successful for original anime.
Looking just at prime time and late night anime, the last three years look like this:
*8,402 Average (closest, Hanasaku Iroha)
*4,828 Median (between Symphogear and Tamayura)
**,361 Minimum (Heroman)
71,057 Maximum (Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica)
22.5% (9) have averaged 2k or less
15.0% (6) have averaged 10k or more
10.0% (4) have averaged 20k or more
*5,570 Average (closest, Hakuouki Reimeiroku)
*2,678 Median (KoiChoco)
**,*** Minimum (various)
60,527 Maximum (Nisemonogatari)
39.0% (83) have averaged 2k or less
14.1% (30) have averaged 10k or more
*5.2% (11) have averaged 20k or more
Adaptations, removing unranked titles (n=194)
*6,115 Average (closest, Motto To Love-Ru)
*3,098 Median (between Asobi ni Iku yo and Nazo no Kanojo X)
**,302 Minimum (Natsuyuki Rendezvous)
60,527 Maximum (Nisemonogatari)
So even if you're very generous to adaptations and remove the 0s, which gives it the advantage of being able to shed its lowest performers from the average (original has no completely unranked titles thus it doesn't benefit), original anime is performing quite well.
Average sales are clearly significantly higher, but so are (more importantly in my opinion) median sales, so it's not just Madoka skewing the average and only slightly more than half as many original anime are total sub-2k bombs.
Madoka is mostly offset by Nisemonogatari anyway, and adaptations can count both seasons of Fate/Zero in their corner, which handily beats original's #2 and #3 (Angel Beats and Anohana). The original anime list isn't even benefiting from Gundam 00 or Macross Frontier numbers because I set the cutoff at 2010. In fact the only Gundam represented is AGE, one of the (or just the?) worst performing Gundam series ever. And original doesn't have Girls und Panzer's full strength recorded yet either. So original anime has a deep bench, not just one or two superstars.
Now to an extent, original anime would be in trouble if it weren't leading. Adaptations can get by with less because the manga, novels, games etc are a revenue stream original anime either doesn't have or can't rely on as much.
But I think a roughly 2k median sales lead, which is a 36-45% advantage depending on which adaptation count you use, plus significantly less full-out flops, demonstrates that original late night anime is entirely viable. Especially since for a long time, we kept hearing that original anime was just too risky, which seemed to be reinforced by the sales flops at the start of this period in the much-discussed Anime no Chikara block (Sora no Woto did fine [4k], but Occult Gakuin [1.8k] and Night Raid [0.6k] did terribly).
Original only makes up 16% of the 253 productions counted here though, which implies that even with recent successes, it's still seen to carry some risk. The vetting process for what makes it as an original anime is going to be stricter, for sure, but maybe that's why home video success comes more often.
Edit: For the record, simplified stats for 2005-2009:
Original - 4,092 average; 882 median; n=100
Adaptations - 3,936 average; 1,749 median; n=405
0s not removed, didn't take the time to limit to late night and prime-time but most of what I track is that anyway. Original had no advantage in average, only had half the median. 00/Geass/Frontier are just about the only reason it's competitive on average at all. It did make up a slightly higher percentage of shows at about 1/5th instead of 1/6th. Either way, the past three years have been much kinder to original anime relative to adaptations than '05-'09.
Last edited by something : 02-17-2013 at 09:58 PM.