Toei Animation is best known for producing some of the most popular anime titles like Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon, so when the company's president talked about one of the biggest anime issues, fans want to know what he has to say.
As Variety reported, Toei Animation has been relying on IP recognition to mine profit, but with hundreds of anime titles coming out every year, Katsuhiro Takagi is aware of how the industry has changed.
“I feel that the number of hits is small compared to the number of works that are out in the world,” Takagi said when asked about anime's emergence into streaming. “How do you now make a profit from animation works that are expensive to produce?”
COVID-19 made it more challenging for studios like Toei Animation to distribute their content. While streaming is prevalent with fans overseas, cable television and movie theaters are still critical to the success of Japanese animation. Streaming has forced anime to studios to focus more on quantity over quality as international revenue for anime continues to grow. This could explain the anime quality issues Dragon Ball Super had a few years ago.
For nearly seven decades, Toei Animation has relied on recognizable anime franchises like Dragon Ball and One Piece in making itself a leader, but smaller studios are depending more on hits for them to profit. It's likely that Toei will revive Dragon Ball again with more episodes of Dragon Ball Super.
The quality-quantity issue will most likely continue as more anime studios compete for viewership. Hopefully, we'll see more anime titles with more focus on quality over quantity even if fans will have to wait a bit longer for them to produce.