Earlier today, it was revealed that Tokyo Anime Fair attendance will drop by 37% this year, resulting in 20% less overall space being rented. In English, this means that 153 exhibitors are renting 491 spots, as opposed to last year’s 244 exhibitors’ renting of 615 booths. The majority of the space difference comes from 25 companies cancelling 117 spaces in response to Bill 156 (Tokyo’s Youth Protection Ordinance). Ten of the 25 cancelling companies include the entirety of the Comic 10-Shakai publishers.
Anybody who didn’t expect this bill to make waves in the industry is either naiive, or clueless about business. The bill’s hurting the status quo, and it absolutely does mean changes for the greater industry. The monetary loss of 110 million yen is going to be a sting that will be felt, both by the event and by the city proper. The absence of heavy hitters like Aniplex and Media Factory will be noticed by many fans. Still, despite the setbacks, it appears that the TAF will still be a spectacle, and we’ll see numerous diplays and announcements come from it, like we do every year.
The group’s rebuttal event, the Anime Contents Expo (ACE), will actually be more interesting to see, since it’s a total unknown. The event only lists ten exhibitors, but they include some of the larger names in anime, including Aniplex, Marvelous, and Geneon. If the group is insistent on driving a point home, then I have no doubt that we’ll see some heavy-hitters, some major reveals coming out of this event.
For the record, the current exhibitors at the ACE will be
- Kadokawa Shoten
- Good Smile Company
- Geneon Universal Entertainment Japan
- Frontier Works
- Marvelous Entertainment
- Media Factory
While Bill 156 won’t exactly be a great thing for anime fans or the industry, it certainly is already bearing some fascinating, even exciting results. I can’t help but wonder just what else will come out of the bill’s passage… be the news good or bad.