End of Newtype USA

I used to read and buy (occasionally) the Japanese Newtype magazine more than about ten years ago and I bought it mostly to enjoy the pictures of the new shows. I also liked seeing the ads, and some of the composite pictures of a particular "anime girl" or mecha against a real photographs. There were also interesting photographs of models and figurines, etc.

I think what happened, when I started to subscribe to the Newtype USA magazine, that I just started to feel overwhelmed with the volume of content, as not only did I look at the pretty pictures but try to read everything. Then, I realized I would never, ever be able to see, or try watching, most of the shows in there anyway. Unfortunately as an "older" fan you have more money than time.

But I still enjoyed the columnists, mostly the English-speaking ones, as often the Japanese column/interview translations were fairly unpolished sounding. And, maybe because I was too busy or not interested, I never could bring myself to watch many of the DVDs. I eventually felt it a waste to buy such a lavish magazine which I did not fully enjoyed and ended my subscription about a year ago.

To me as an older fan, I find myself now mostly interested in about content analysis and the culture. For instance, the anime show reviews, were really at the T.V. Guide level, not professional film critic level. Or at least some of the time they could have sounded, well, college-level. But perhaps this doesn't represent what the Newtype brand really is, which is really visual impact. I can already figure out — based solely on pictures! — what a show is 90% of the time anyway, so whatever words they added seemed superfluous.

In the USA version, I was sad that many columnists from the Japanese Newtype never made it in. A few more pages of translated columns would have been nice, for this fan anyway.

In Japan, there's 大人アニメ (Adults' Anime) magazine, which Hitomi occasionally buys. And according to Newtype's Wiki Page, they at least used to publish a magazine of essays.

We subscribe now to Otaku USA. It's better at explaining shows, and other pop-culture trends, at an adult-level. And it has a more holistic view of all kinds of Japanese pop culture and a written, not visual, focus. Giant Robot is also good, though I'm not altogether interested in Asian-American fringe culture, I like a their perspective on what's going on in Asia that's (pop) culturally interesting.

I hope Newtype USA's replacement picks a better direction than Newtype, and can distinguish itself visually and content-wise from its competition.

To me, if I were to publish a Newtype-like, visually-focused magazine, I would do it more in the flavor of National Geographic. Something with a define photographic focus, on very glossy, high-quality paper. It'd look like a coffee-table book, not in size, but in content. Everyone could enjoy it for just the pretty pictures, but then if you could also read more in depth from the accompanying article surrounding each photo spread. Each new anime show would have 10-15 pages to highlight the show's significant content, be it scenes, original illustrations, character art, etc. I'd leave out reviews, columnists, trends, etc., and focus really just on the visual side. And there would not be just shows, there'd also be cultural photojournalism, pictures of studios, bios of creators, etc. What would National Geographic publish about Sundays in Akihabara? Studio Ghibli? Voice actors at work?

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About eliasross

Blogging before the word "blog" was invented.
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