Bill submitted in Japan to stop sale and export of Anime art

Topics of anime/other animation art and collectibles.
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Re: Bill submitted in Japan to stop sale and export of Anime art

Post by Pixel » Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:06 pm

sensei wrote:Concerning the way in which animation art has been "treasured" in Japan, consider the fate of an exhibition of original set-ups that Disney put together from its archives for a Japanese tour tp promote the release of the dubbed "Sleeping Beauty" feature film. This was discussed in this March 2008 thread. (Link to the original NYT article is here in case there is a problem linking to this earlier thread.)

Briefly, Walt Disney loaned original set-ups from the early Technicolor "Silly Symphony" shorts, plus original bgs from Fantasia and both concept and production art from Sleeping Beauty, some 200 items in all. At the end of the tour, Disney donated the whole show to the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo. "But the material was not considered a good fit for its permanent collection," the Times article explained, "so the museum gave the pieces to Chiba University to enhance the study of the visual arts." Chiba University, a national institution formed from a coalition of medical and polytechnical colleges, did not have any immediate interest in or use for the collection either. So the collection was stored in a janitor's closet from 1960 to 2004, when it was found by chance. After extensive rehabilitation work by Disney archivists, the collection was given another tour, then returned to Disney, as Chiba did not feel that it had the proper facilities to maintain the art. So now these "national treasures" are back in Anaheim.

One wonders what effort any archive, museum, or gallery in Japan will be willing to devote to maintaining the "national treasures" of Japanese anime art? Certainly nothing like what each of us does to rehabilitate and maintain the art we obtain. Not to mention the effort many of us give to using it in an educational way to promote knowledge and appreciation of animation as an important artform.
That's not just failure to preserve, that's outright neglect and disrespect. Could they not have just sent it back to Disney, or would they have "lost face" in doing that?

I sometimes worry about my ability to preserve the pieces I collect. I don't really have the best setup for it. Even if I fail at that in some respects, at least I do appreciate them. This did not even show a basic from of appreciation.

My understanding was that supposedly much of anime's characteristic style is based on vintage Disney. If that's true, this way of handling what I suspect are some of their most prized extant pieces is particularly ironic.

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Re: Bill submitted in Japan to stop sale and export of Anime art

Post by jcaliff » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:17 am

This bill is to create a museum. While the goal is to preserve animation and manga art (with the goal of keeping it in Japan), nowhere does it make illegal the sale and export of anime or manga art. They want to preserve it in the country by putting it in a museum, but they still have to acquire the art to put in the museum first. Just like any other museum, they'll have to rely on a combination of purchased art, donations, and loans. As long as they don't actually make Japanese anime and manga art export illegal, I don't see any problems with this bill. I think everyone is taking the part about "keeping art in the country" goal too literally. There's no way any single museum is going to try to keep every piece of anime and manga art in Japan.
Image Image
Hector the Collector loved these things with all his soul,
Loved them more than shining diamonds, loved them more than glistenin' gold.
Hector called to all the people,"Come and share my treasure trunk!"
And all the silly sightless people came and looked...and called it junk.

Pixel
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Re: Bill submitted in Japan to stop sale and export of Anime art

Post by Pixel » Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:43 pm

From the Anime News Network article,
ANN wrote: The bill aims to prevent the acquisition of cels and manga material by foreign collectors and minimize the foreign dissemination of the materials.
This is what has everyone going. If ANN had misread the intent of the bill, that is their problem. However, I have heard that there is a contingent among the Japanese people who believe their animation production art should always remain in Japan. I would expect them to wield some political clout in an effort to make that happen, were they to have such clout. Sounds like they think they do.

In theory it could even be done like this - the museum is created, with the full financial backing of the Japanese taxpayer. The museum outbids everyone else on the anime production artifacts viewed most important. This would in effect result in a de facto prevention of export in many cases, without the potential political messiness of going full-on de jure. They could even claim they weren't banning export, as some of the less desirable/less important pieces go through. Is it practical? Heck no, but when has practicality ever stopped a politician? Especially when they are playing with other people's money, which is about all they ever do.

Perhaps the best thing to do would be read the bill itself. Are there any lawyers well-versed in the Japanese language in the house?

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Re: Bill submitted in Japan to stop sale and export of Anime art

Post by aurumastrum » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:39 pm

I think a lot of the drive for this bill is nationalism. And like some nationalism, it's entirely misdirected towards symbols rather than people. They should be putting a law together for animators of the present to afford a living wage. It's embarrassing to hear that the country that produces the most animation every year pays its animators peanuts, requiring them to find people to house them for nothing. That's not even accounting for the hospitalization rates from overwork.

I understand that sometimes it feels better to cherish your good things than to fix your broken things, but hey.

Briefly, Walt Disney loaned original set-ups from the early Technicolor "Silly Symphony" shorts, plus original bgs from Fantasia and both concept and production art from Sleeping Beauty, some 200 items in all. At the end of the tour, Disney donated the whole show to the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo. "But the material was not considered a good fit for its permanent collection," the Times article explained, "so the museum gave the pieces to Chiba University to enhance the study of the visual arts." Chiba University, a national institution formed from a coalition of medical and polytechnical colleges, did not have any immediate interest in or use for the collection either. So the collection was stored in a janitor's closet from 1960 to 2004, when it was found by chance. After extensive rehabilitation work by Disney archivists, the collection was given another tour, then returned to Disney, as Chiba did not feel that it had the proper facilities to maintain the art. So now these "national treasures" are back in Anaheim.
Holy moley. Eyvind Earles in the college custodian closet.

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Re: Bill submitted in Japan to stop sale and export of Anime art

Post by Pixel » Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:14 am

I didn't know animators in Japan were poorly paid.

I'm not so sure a law would fix things, though. The credits of certain more recent anime suggest outsourcing of large chunks of the work to Korea, or possibly even China! Here I thought only American studios did that.

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Re: Bill submitted in Japan to stop sale and export of Anime art

Post by aurumastrum » Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:14 am

Pixel wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:14 am
I didn't know animators in Japan were poorly paid.

I'm not so sure a law would fix things, though. The credits of certain more recent anime suggest outsourcing of large chunks of the work to Korea, or possibly even China! Here I thought only American studios did that.
You could define animators is either someone doing the actual animation, or also just anyone working in the animation industry in general. There is a lot of grunt work to be had in pre-production as well (storyboards, key animation, layout, design, timing), which is usually handled by the original country. http://www.cartoonbrew.com/artist-right ... 10074.html I have no idea where the money is to be had in anime, but the artists do not see it. Even the original manga creators. The author/illustrator of Gintama received a comment from someone saying that he must live in a mansion after how successful the latest movie was, but he responded that because upfront licensing fees are common in anime, original manga authors and illustrators don't see a penny of the following success. I suppose one could try to negotiate for a royalty, but likely the result would just be your anime deal falls through and you don't get any money at all.

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Re: Bill submitted in Japan to stop sale and export of Anime art

Post by Pixel » Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:50 am

Oh wow, I didn't realize things were that bad. I guess maybe I should have considered it a possibility.

Is this going on at all levels of animation in Japan? For example, are the Animation Directors treated this way, too?

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Re: Bill submitted in Japan to stop sale and export of Anime art

Post by cutiebunny » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:08 pm

Pixel wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:50 am
Is this going on at all levels of animation in Japan? For example, are the Animation Directors treated this way, too?
No. Things start to improve once you become a key animator, and then get vastly better once you become a character designer, animation director or someone else higher up in the production chain. Every year, some animators from the Animator Supporters group show up at a convention called Animazement in North Carolina. In 2016, one of the animators from the group mentioned that, after becoming a key animator, things for him really improved. But, before that point, it was very difficult.

I would recommend supporting the Animator Supporters group when the US version goes live probably around the time of Animazement in late May. They try to raise money to buy dormitory space to house beginning animators because housing eats up so much of their salary.

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Re: Bill submitted in Japan to stop sale and export of Anime art

Post by Pixel » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:16 pm

cutiebunny wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:08 pm
No. Things start to improve once you become a key animator, and then get vastly better once you become a character designer, animation director or someone else higher up in the production chain.
I kind of thought it might be that way, but I've learned not to assume anything in animation. That's why I asked.
cutiebunny wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:08 pm
Every year, some animators from the Animator Supporters group show up at a convention called Animazement in North Carolina. In 2016, one of the animators from the group mentioned that, after becoming a key animator, things for him really improved. But, before that point, it was very difficult.
North Carolina? By chance would Animazement typically be held in the Raliegh-Durham-Chapel Hill area?

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Re: Bill submitted in Japan to stop sale and export of Anime art

Post by cutiebunny » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:34 pm

Pixel wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:16 pm
North Carolina? By chance would Animazement typically be held in the Raliegh-Durham-Chapel Hill area?
Yes, Animazement is held in Raleigh, NC on Memorial Day weekend. A small group of us collectors have gone every year. Come and join us :cheers

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Re: Bill submitted in Japan to stop sale and export of Anime art

Post by Pixel » Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:44 pm

Thank you, it's very kind of you to invite me. :)

I doubt I get to come though, I don't really get to travel much. I don't think I've been more than 100 miles from home in a year and half going on two.

I have a second cousin who goes to conventions sometimes, but her tastes in animation are different from mine.

I have at times thought I'd like to go to at least one anime convention. It sounds like the heyday of the anime conventions may have passed though.

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Re: Bill submitted in Japan to stop sale and export of Anime art

Post by cutiebunny » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:06 pm

Pixel wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:44 pm
I have at times thought I'd like to go to at least one anime convention. It sounds like the heyday of the anime conventions may have passed though.
In terms of the amount of people that attend conventions, no. There's more people than ever that attend anime conventions.

In terms of getting nice sketches for free from guests, sorta. You stand a pretty good chance of getting something from the Animator Supporters guests. The other ones...well, hopefully Animazement learned their lesson last year when those of us who spend stupid money at charity auctions boycotted their auction after Animazement decided to award sketch slots out by lottery. I'd like for it to return to first come/serve. That gives everyone a fair chance.

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Re: Bill submitted in Japan to stop sale and export of Anime art

Post by Pixel » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:58 pm

Are these strictly American animators that come to Animazement? (That is, those who work for American studios), or do they come from Japan and Europe as well?

Do voice actors show up too?

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Re: Bill submitted in Japan to stop sale and export of Anime art

Post by cutiebunny » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:57 am

There's a good mix of both Japanese artists/seiyuu and US voice actors. Other than the artists in Artist Alley, there are no American artists at the convention. There's usually a musical group and Animazement, also liking cultural things, often invites Japanese people that fit that bill, such as the shamisen players. They often have a lot of repeat guests; Keiko Han (Luna's seiyuu from Sailor Moon) has been there every year that I've attended. I'm not sure why she wasn't mentioned as being there in 2015 & 2017. Come to think of it, several of the Japanese guests aren't mentioned as having attended the event.

You can check out their past guest lists here - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animazement

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