Shinji Takamatsu, the director of Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!, posted a series of tweets about how China’s strict censorship rules affect the production of anime. According to him, there are instances where Japan needs more than Japanese viewers to make a profit off anime, and when they go to China to sell their products, they have to do it on a specific schedule.
— 高松信司 (@takama2_shinji) May 28, 2021
“Anime these days has a long production period,” he wrote. “It’s difficult to anticipate when it peaks. It used to be busiest during the broadcast. Nowadays there are more cases where all the episodes have to be delivered at once, and the main reason for this is because they have to go through a content check for China. It’s necessary for this check to take place three months before the broadcast. In cases where it’s difficult to be profitable domestically, it’s essential to sell it overseas.
“Yesterday, I had a meeting for a work that we’re aiming to broadcast in fall next year and another one for spring the year after, but isn’t this a strain on the schedule? (sheepish smile)
“If we at the studio are told, ‘Deliver all the episodes three months before the broadcast,’ then we have no choice but to make it according to that deadline. We don’t have the authority to decide how to do business with it.”
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, and its sequel, Manga Art for Intermediates, with professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.