AnimeJapan 2021 is being run as an online event this year on March 27-28, including a livestream aimed at overseas viewers. For overseas viewers, tickets for each day will cost 3,200 yen, or 6,100 yen for a two-day ticket.
AnimeJapan general producers Hiroshi Terada (Avex Pictures) and Shunsuke Nakajima (Tatsunoko Production) explain the overview of the event, as well as the limitations that overseas viewers should keep in mind such as the content and region restrictions.
Could you briefly describe the setup for this year's AnimeJapan in regards to the physical event and livestreams?
From the perspective of preventing the spread of coronavirus, we had to cancel the real-life (physical) event, but by creating the sets for the annual stage events and live-streaming them from the venue on the day, we've arranged it so that everyone watching it online will be able to feel the “live atmosphere” of the event.
I hope that everyone overseas can enjoy the “Present of Japanese Anime“ delivered straight from Japan.
What sort of considerations do you need to take in order to adapt the events for online viewing?
In order to prevent accidents such as the livestream stopping on the day, we chose and developed a system so that the stream can remain stable even when a large number of people access it. Also, because we are still in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, we consider the safety of the guests and staff who are creating the broadcast on the day to be of utmost importance.
How do the contents of the overseas livestream differ from the domestic livestream? Are you able to access all the content as an overseas viewer?
As far as the broadcast and viewing format goes, there is no difference between Japan and overseas. However, due to the matter of broadcasting rights, some content will not be viewable overseas. I hope you can be understanding.
That being the case, the Anime Festival Asia staff is assisting with us to prepare a livestream called the “Plus Alpha Channel,” which will have live English interpretation. In this way, I hope that even anime fans from overseas who can't understand Japanese will be able to watch some more stage events. Of course, those who can understand Japanese can watch the original broadcast.
How did you decide which regions to target the livestreams to?
It's a first-time experiment for us, so I apologize that we are unable to stream to the entire world simultaneously. The streaming platform that we used this time was unable to serve the entire world, so it may be an inconvenience to peoples of certain countries and regions. The compatible countries and regions for this paid livestream event are the United States, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. We plan to expand the range of countries and regions that we can stream for in the future, so please look forward to future AnimeJapan events.
How difficult has it been to deal with the various issues involved in creating an overseas stream?
This doesn't just apply to the overseas stream, but also to the domestic stream, but this year has been so massively different from previous AnimeJapan events that you could say that we created an entirely different event from scratch. It was very difficult to put everything together without any previous foundation while also within a limited time
The circumstances around COVID-19 have made the online event necessary this year, but do you have plans to continue organizing an online event for AnimeJapan into the future?
I feel that the coronavirus has caused a significant change in society. I think that the entertainment industry will continue to make use of the online event format, and so AnimeJapan will also continue to manage an online livestream concurrently, even when we can hold a real-life event. We want to show Japanese anime and AnimeJapan, not just within Japan, but to people around the world.
First things first: I hope you can enjoy AnimeJapan 2021 in an online form for the very first time. You can access the English website for AnimeJapan 2021 here.
AnimeJapan 2021 English Channel Supported by AFA (Anime Festival Asia)
Main MC: Ash, Goofy, REIKO, and others
For more information, see here: https://www.anime-japan.jp/en/main/english_channel/