Tag Archives: Gigguk

Does Anime Need to Change?

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations


As a teenage boy and a younger fan of anime, there were a lot of things that I used to not really think about when it came to the medium. Whether it be the art style which was significantly different to almost anything on TV at the time, or the diversity in topic and storytelling, anime always felt like a breath of fresh air. Sure, I enjoyed a lot of American cartoons and TV shows, but something about anime, much like with other people, really resonated with me.

Even now, as my attention span has shortened significantly and it has become a lot harder to sit down and focus on a single series, anime is still one of my obsessions. However, as is the case when people grow older, our views of the things we hold dear begin to change, and the types of anime which are most interesting change with them.

A recent video made by Gigguk sparked a bit of discussion online after he asked a producer at Studio J.C. Staff whether or not international fans have any effect on production, to which the producer basically said, “no, not really.” There emerged to major sides to the discussion. One side was happy with the response, arguing that a lot of western fans of anime only serve to change anime for the worse. On the other side, there were…well, people saying the opposite? To be honest, it mainly felt like an excuse for right-wing anime fans to air their grievances about SJWs or whatever.

Now, when having conversations like this, it is always important to separate the questions we’re trying to answer. The first is a question of empiricism, i.e. “Do international fans affect production?” It may be true that for J.C. Staff specifically that international fans do not have much sway in their numbers, but for a Studio like bones, which not only debuted “Space Dandy” in the west before airing it in Japan, and which also oversees IPs such as “My Hero Academia” and “Godzilla,” the answer is probably quite a bit different.


The second question is one of purpose or principal, in other words “Should international fans affect production,” to which the answer there is…it depends. At the end of the day, anime studios are businesses, and like any business in a capitalist system, they ultimately have to balance their principles with their need to make a profit. From their perspective, its a pretty simple math problem. Material aimed at a more international audience equals a larger potential fan base which equals more potential money.

Now, of course, it is a bit more complicated than that. While it is true that a series like Demon Slayer is much more likely to garner an international audience than say your typical ecchi harem series, the audience of that ecchi harem series is also much more likely to sink a couple hundred dollars into figurines and merchandise, because well, anime girls are attractive. Since studios do not often make much off the production itself, and rely on merchandise sales in order to recoup a lot of the initial cost, it makes a lot of sense why they would cater to an established audience. Granted, a lot of this has to do with the business model itself and just how much of a cut places like Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Netflix take, but that is somewhat of a separate topic.

Personally, while I understand why studios adapt the material that they do, the amount of “comedic misunderstandings” that occur in any given episode, even in shows that are primarily not about romance or sex, is annoying. So, as for my answer to this post’s question, yeah there are a number of things that could be changed about anime, whether it be the overuse of sexual comedy or the frankly alarming amount of underage-looking characters that appear in these situations.

While this is my genuine opinion, I wrote this post more as a launching board for discussion, so please do let me know how you feel down in the comments below, as there seems to be a lot of room for nuance on this topic.

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This Week in Anime: The Flying Colors Foundation, a Follow-Up

Since this story still seems to be the biggest, I will mainly be focusing on the Flying Colors Foundation(FCF) for this week.

First of all, I would like to apologize for promoting the organization last week without having done proper research, as questions about the FCF’s operations had already been raised the day I released the story last week. I would also like to give a shoutout to socialanigirl. She has been investigating this issue and has done great work. I will link to all of her writing related to this issue so that you can get caught on the story.

Is the Flying Colors Foundation a scam? — An Investigation

The Concealment and Lies Behind the Flying Colors Foundation: Further Revelations

In light of Flying Color Foundation’s closure, Gigguk and The Anime Man’s ‘core team’ involvement with FCF

I will try to accurately summarize all of what has happened so far, but to get an accurate picture of the situation I suggest reading all of her articles, as they will go much more in-depth. With that being said, the summary:

Back in July of 2017, The Flying Colors Foundation formally came together as a group, and in January of 2018, the group received public charity status from the IRS, supplanting their status as a non-profit organization. In the months leading up to their designation as a public charity, the group had been made up of a number of members, including Gigguk from The Anime Zone. The group had been courting other prominent members of the Anitube Community, including Joey the Anime Man, who had previously worked with the organization to make his top 100 anime of all time poll, as well as others who have admitted they were approached such as Geoff from Mother’s Basement, The Canipa Effect, and Digibro, who admitted that he had gotten paid for the initial consultation.

Now, why does any of this matter?

The initial criticism came after the first report was released on Medium.com, written by the socialanigirl, addressing the organizations problems. In the initial report, she mentioned things such as a lack of transparency, as the group had not initially released every member who had involvement with the group. FCF had initially said they had only 6 employees, but it was also revealed that Ian Condry worked as a seventh employee, mainly an adviser. Another problem was that group was also liable to a conflict of interest, as two of the group’s employees also still had connections to the group Otaku Pin Club, a for-profit company. The main criticism leveled against the group was the invasion of privacy, as on their 2018 Anime Census was a question about mental health, which had nothing to do with the groups stated goal of supporting the growth of anime. This was seen by many as an extreme invasion of privacy because of the fact that FCF had initially suggested it would be giving information to private companies.

Representatives of FCF spoke with Socialanigirl after the initial report and afterward lead to the second report.

FCF responded to the questions Socialanigirl posed in the second report, but their responses still left many questions. The second report revealed that, despite claiming the that the group only had a total of 7 employees at that point in time. the group did not include in their response 1) Any of the members of its Board of Directors, and 2) An intern who was discovered after finding her LinkedIn profile claiming to be a researcher for the group. Socialanigirl also reported that members of the organization like Gigguk had lied about not being significantly involved in the organization. The report revealed that Gigguk and Joey were both way more involved than they admitted to their YouTube audiences. Questions were also raised about the groups status as a non-profit, as their pitch to Japanese companies sold themselves as more of a business. These reports reveal that FCF has been at the very least with extreme negligence, and evidence suggests that members such as Gigguk and Joey knew a lot more about the day to day operations of the company then they were letting on.

Since these reports, the company has since announced that it will be stopping all operations on March 31st, and the organization’s website is no longer available.

I’ll be completely honest, I feel like my trust has been betrayed. When I initially heard about the top 100 anime poll that Joey was initially doing, I was excited, and since it was asking for just my top five favorite anime, it didn’t seem fishy at all. But now, knowing what we know, I am not going to be able to trust a lot of the people involved, especially Gigguk and Joey.

Granted, some of this falls on me. I willingly took the Anime Census without looking into the organization, but the fact that many of their members were acting dishonestly and lying to those who trusted them, many their fans, is deplorable.

Personally, I am glad that they have ceased operation, as I think their continued work would only lead to more bad decisions and gross negligence.

What do you guys think of this story? Let me know in the comments below. Also, if you want to support the Aniwriter through donations or are just feeling generous, consider buying me a coffee on Ko-Fi. Otherwise, thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!