In the past two pieces, I’ve reflected, and I’ve recommended. I’ve looked back to the past, and reminisced about the good times. However, tonight, I’d like to take a look forward.

At the moment, the anime industry faces a number of unique challenges. From shrinking marketshare and reduced revenues, to changing mindsets and fewer willing customers. The industry as a whole is changing, and it’s hard to say at this point whether it’s for better or for worse. It’s because of this that we need to change the way we look at things. .

For many years, we’ve focused on the surface bits – we’ve interviewed stars, covered the latest announcements, and the shiniest, newest titles hitting the airwaves. We’ve reported raw statistics and talked about the declines the industry faces. However, we never asked why.

Going forward, I’d like to try to change the narrative, if only a little. The industry is only now starting to turn up from its sharp decline, which began nearly five years ago when Musicland closed. We’ve seen companies crumble to the rubble they rose from, and we’ve seen players rise in their place. The landscape is vastly different now. Singles are dead, streaming is in, and instant gratification seems to be the new key to success in the eyes of the industry.

I’d like to as the tougher questions: “Why is this popular?” “Why does this sell, and this die at retail?” “Does this earn enough to break even?” And, the most important, “How can we grow the anime market?”

The difficult questions are what will truly pave the way for a meaningful discussion going forward. As things change, we’re going to need to know why. And, as someone who’s served primarily to chronicle things, I”d like to look to the past, to see if I can predict the future.