Future Anime Not Even Worth Half Of Its Hefty Pricetag!
This afternoon, I finally caved and picked up the latest issue of Future Anime from my local convenience store. This is only the magazine’s second issue, the first one was released around a year ago. I never got to read that one, but I had been reading that there were plans to release more issues of this magazine if the demand was high. This is one of only two anime magazines on the market right now (the other being the bi-monthly Otaku USA). So, I purchased the magazine, when to my surprise at the till I was greeted with an astronomical price of just over 13 dollars. I couldn’t believe it, especially since the magazine was not terribly thick, but I bought it anyway. My mistake for not checking the price tag!
Earlier this evening, I crashed on my couch with the magazine in tow, and read it. It took me under half an hour to get through this magazine. Coming from former editors and writers of a much better magazine, NewType USA, I expected much more. This is what was included in the magazine:
☽ 13 Anime descriptions with shortish reviews, in almost the exact visual format as the anime reviews in NewType USA. They all included offbeat titles, series information in a tiny box, and the article text set off at an angle. Of course, these were set against a large picture from the anime in question, and the text barely covered half a page.
☽ 1 Two-page introduction to hot manga titles and titles which should be picked up. This was also done on a “lovely” hot mustard colored background.
☽ 12 two-page pull-out posters from: Darker than Black, Ouran, Prinny, Cross Edge, Voltron Fleet of Doom, Nighthead Genesis , Maria Watches over Us , Gakuen Alice, Princess Resurrection, Clannad, Freedom, and Code Geass. These posters weren’t particularly glamorous with the images that were used. We can see some otaku sticking these posters on their wall, but how are a bunch of posters really considered a magazine bonus? What are we, like 8?
☽ 7 Video Game Reviews. 6 of them were crammed in a 6-page spread, and the 7th was a review of the new fighters from Street Fighter IV.
☽ 1 Editorial about the “Subspecies” of American anime fans. I had to scan this for this article. Even though it tried to be humorous, it just didn’t do it for me. Maybe it was because I was so frustrated with everything in this magazine up until this point. Click the image for full size.
The writing in this magazine was so-so. It didn’t keep me engaged and excited as reading NewType or Anime Insider once did. There were a couple mediocre standouts in this magazine, the first was a review of Full Metal Alchemist written from the perspective of a writer who ran a two day marathon watching all the episodes. The second was an article on the live action Death Note movie with a small inset about other live action films picked up by Viz. All the video game reviews were lukewarm at best. The manga reviews were pretty generic. What would have made this issue much better would have been featuring other aspects of anime culture like perhaps a few interviews with some company reps, crew, or voice actors, or some actual news articles about anime. I would have loved to have read another perspective on the current downturn in the anime industry. And some cosplayers or anecdotes from Japan would have added a little more life to this magazine. Heck, it’s con season. Would it have hurt to have featured some coverage from one con?
All in all? It was not worth the 13 bucks. 5, maybe. It doesn’t matter that this is a yearly publication, so it’s seemingly alright if it costs that much. If Future PLC is going to charge that much for a magazine, it should include that much worth in quality.
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