On 23-24 March, an event titled AJ x ABPF Anime Business University was held at the Business Area of AnimeJapan 2017. It was co-sponsored by AnimeJapan and Anime Business Partners Forum (ABPF), and the participants had the chance to hear a basic lecture on anime-related business with many actual examples from the past.
This was the first time for AnimeJapan to hold such an event. At the lecture held on the 23rd (Let’s Turn Products and Services into Anime Goods!) two guests came up on the stage: Mamoru Chishima (General Manager of the Public Relations Section, Corporate Planning Division, TMS Entertainment Co., Ltd.) and Yuuma Takahashi (Manager of the Public Relations Department, Planning and Production Group, Aniplex Inc.). The two explained the procedures for product planning. Kazuo Rikugawa (President & CEO of Character Databank, Ltd.) was the host.
The segment in which Chishima spoke was titled ‘The Connection between an Anime Project and the Commercialization of its Related Products ~based on Examples of Actual Anime Goods~,’ and he explained the business process of making anime goods. He quoted information from the Anime Industry Report released by the Association of Japanese Animation and taught the participants how to read the charts on domestic market sales. He also graphed out the mechanism of an anime business and explained the roles of each section, including the anime studios and the production committees. On top of this, he explained the importance and position of animation in the business world.
Takahashi, on the other hand, introduced some examples of successful products and collaboration projects. He focused on the four elements necessary when involving anime in business: uniqueness, sincerity, intelligence, and charm.
Some examples he showed were the collaborative poster between Idolmaster and a veterinary hospital and the collaborative tableware between the Fate series and Otani ware (a famous type of Japanese pottery). All of these examples included the ‘uniqueness’ of the original anime and were made with ‘sincere’ attitude towards its fans.
Takahashi also showed the example of the Fate series collaborative glasses. He explained that even if the product does not have a direct connection with the anime characters’ visuals, the product would be loved by fans as long as it has a high-quality design respecting the anime’s aspects. Takahashi believes that you need to deeply understand the original anime, have the necessary knowledge of anime business, and most importantly, feel the love towards the anime and its fans in order to succeed in designing an anime-related product.
The event finished very successfully with all the seats being filled, and the participants had the chance to exchange cards with the stage guests at the end. It became a rare and valuable opportunity for the participants to actually get connected with anime-business experts.
Business Area: Thursday 23 March 2017 – Friday 24 March 2017
Main Area: Saturday 25 March 2017 – Sunday 26 March 2017
Venue: Tokyo Big Sight