Can Blockchain Really Rescue Anime?

With its ever growing audience, owing to the exclusive and quirky animation style, in the global community Japan’s famed anime industry faces a deadlock.  Anime artists have to deal with a tough work environment to earn a small paycheck. According to Twilight Coin, a Japan based company, if the current situation prevails the quality and quantity of Japanese anime culture will undergo a decline. As a result the company is offering a “creator to consumer” model enabling artists to connect directly with their fans and get endorsements for projects which have the most popularity among the public.

Twilight Coin assessed that this practice had the potential of generating revolutionary works completely free of interference from any investors not interested in the projects because currently influential stakeholders have the power of radically shaping the direction of a project differently from what the artist originally had in mind.

According to an anime industry related report, in 2017, from The Association of Japanese Animations the anime sector is undergoing a “fourth boom” however unfortunately with the financial incentive for hard working studios. Hence Twilight Coin’s attention to the Japanese anime industry could be valuable. During the time period from 2013 to 2016 international audience increased by 171.9 percent which is truly remarkable. On the contrary the domestic market for anime has remained stagnant. The reason for the trend is because the transition from old channels broadcasted on the televisions to internet distribution, movies and live entertainment has been a bumpy ride as the newer platforms did not succeed in matching sales to their predecessors.

Twilight Coin is planning to employ two different formats in order to help anime artists earn decent incentives while keeping their loyal fanbase satisfied.

Initially studios or even individual artists would show their proposals to their fans using the blockchain platform and if the public like their idea, they are able to show their interest by endorsements in the form of Ethereum (ETH). In response to their contributions the fans get exclusive material such as original drawings, admit tickets and autographs of the artists. The data regarding ownership of these materials would be stored on the blockchain. These funds allow the artists financial freedom to make their projects a reality and the investors are given regular updates regarding the progress of the art work.

The fans can gain access to a series through payment of a subscription. Alternatively when it comes to generating funds from completed art works, a show is picked up by a streaming site or a broadcaster which in turn pays fees of which studios and artists get a share of.

Hakubo, a theatrical anime, is under work and is expected to be aired in 2019. Twilight Coin’s CEO Koji Wada described the anime series as:

Hakubo is a so-called boy-meets-girl story. A boy and a girl meet in Iwaki city, Fukushima prefecture, and fall in love.

In 2017, 1,225 people donated to getting Hakubo into production via the Campfire platform – contributing at least 21 million yen ($185,521 at today’s rates).  Hakubo was the art work of famous animation director Yutaka Yamamato and the idea of the anime series came to his mind almost twenty years ago.

TWC, the token which artists will use to showcase their artwork on Twilight Coin, has an upcoming presale that begins on November 15 and will conclude on December 15. Development of the platform to showcase the art work is planned to start by the end of 2018 and a beta version of the platform is expected to follow in the second quarter of 2019. Hakubo will also be licensed by Twilight Coin by this time. The company plans to release the commercial version of the platform, by the end of 2019, to crowdfund a second anime and enable other studios and creators to begin crowdfunding for their own projects.

Hassaan Malik

Co-founder of BlockPublisher, Hassaan is a technologist at heart with a keen interest in blockchain, cryptos and traditional financial markets. Email: hassaan@blockpublisher.com, hassaanmalek@gmail.com

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