Anime has grown in popularity over the past few years, and the industry itself is feeling growing pains in light to that success. In a bid to find the next hit series, more studios are bolstering their production count each year despite low wages and frequent burnout. Kadokawa isn't exempt from this phenomenon, and that is why the studio is drawing ire over its plans to debut 40 anime projects a year moving forward.
The update comes from the company's latest annual financial report. Kadokawa gave investors the rundown in late April to go over the figures, and it seems the company was up in 2020 despite the pandemic. And moving forward, Kadokawa plans to capitalize on that success by producing a minimum of 40 anime titles a year.
Gross attitude when it comes to seeing anime purely as a product (expected) and for what it means to a terribly overworked industry (they do not care). People need to realize that a lot of anime exists not as a creative endeavor, not even as an individual title, but as a mere +1 https://t.co/KtHvuIBFXr— kViN 🌈🕒 (@Yuyucow) May 3, 2021
And yes, you did read that right. Kadokawa is going for 40 projects a year. The math on that shakes down to 3-4 titles per month, and fans online are questioning whether Kadokawa should prioritize quality over quantity for now.
According to Kadokawa, the decision to pursue 40 titles a year came in light of how successful 2020 was. The company's net sales were up 2.6% year over year with its video games making a huge leap in profit. Of course, Kadokawa's most lucrative business came from publications with digital sales skyrocketing amidst the pandemic. Of course, digital manga takes less money to manufacture, so Kadokawa made more profit with these sales. So even though the pandemic shuttered bookstores, Kadokawa managed to turn a profit in 2020.
When it comes to anime, series like Re:Zero - Starting Life in Another World and KonoSuba did wonders for Kadokawa. These isekai darlings convinced the company to tackle 40 titles a year moving forward from the 33 done in 2020. These titles can range from OVAs to films and TV series. As you can imagine, that is a lofty goal to uphold, and fans aren't convinced it is a good idea. With the anime industry already slammed over tight schedules, this demanding production goal is more likely to burn out animators trying to make a living wage, and netizens don't believe the 40 titles made each year will be worth the stress for artists.
What do you think of Kadokawa's plans for the future? Do you think the studio should readjust its priorities? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.