Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Animated Princess Ai commercial sponsors Sweat... 

Well, I was watching G4TechTV tonight as I usually do. Eventually Sweat came on, which focuses on the connection between sports and video games. This episode involved wrestling, and while I'm not a person who actually watches wrestling much, I do find it fascinating at times...

At any rate, it was time for a commercial break, and suddenly came up a special sponsor screen with the Tokyopop logo on it and the announcer going "Sweat is brought to you by Tokyopop." That was pretty interesting in and of itself, seeing them in a sponsorship role. Of course a TP commercial followed immediately after, but it wasn't what I expected. Instead of a normal 3-series commercial with flying manga panels, this was fully animated!

A voiceover revealed that it was Princess Ai and gave several descriptive sentances while various scenes flashed from one to the other. Up until the end (where the actual book was shown with an "Availible Now!"), it looked like a commercial a new anime series. It went by fast, so I didn't get a real close look at anything (I'm sure budget would be more evident on further viewings), but it looked pretty flashy and authentic. I'm curious which studio animated it for them.

So, it definitely looks like they are putting a push behind this book and spending some money. I don't know if people will be dissapointed if they see the full-blown animation and find out it is a book, but it is certainly eye-catching. Licenses probably restrict them from doing this with most of their other series, but if this proves successful, perhaps they'll eventually do animated commercials for their other original titles like Peach Fuzz.

IMO, I can't help thinking that they'll try to push their own series more as time goes on. People always talk about manga companies not having to pay creators, but they also don't get any control. Tokyopop might have a manga title, while Bandai has the anime, Top Flite has the CCG, Mattel has the action figures, etc. If something like Princess Ai got popular, got animated, got various accessories made, that'd be a lot of money and exposure in TP's pocket..

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