After 3 years of providing South Africa’s fledgeling anime-community with information, reviews, write-ups and interesting news, the editor of the mag announced in the latest issue that the Otaku Anime and Lifestyle magazine has reached the end of the road.
The reason? Well, sadly, it all comes down to economics again. According to ZeroJ, Otaku’s editor, the magazine’s main sponsor pulled out of the agreement, and given the fact that the magazine wasn’t a part of a major publishing house, this was a heavy body blow – and not one from which they could recover. Not easily, in any case.
Anime really has come a long way in South Africa since the inception of the magazine 3 years ago. Whether it was due to the magazine’s influence or not, South Africa now has its own dedicated anime channel, Animax SA. As numerous as the complaints about the channel are, the fact that it is there cannot be ignored – and 17 months down the line it still appears to be going strong.
Otaku has also been making appearances at the annual Rage Expo – a gaming and technology expo that has been taking place for a number of years. South Africa also does not have any dedicated anime expo’s of its own, but inspired by Otaku mag, the anime junkies at UCT (University of Cape Town) have gotten together, and with the participation of the Otaku crew organised the first Cape Town Otaku Roadtrip in 2007. Attendance wasn’t massive, but it was a heck of a lot of fun, and it was followed by the second roadtrip in 2008 – which, while I don’t have exact figures, saw more than double the previous year’s attendees, quickly highlighting the need for a bigger venue.
Not to be outdone, the Durbanites got together and organised Umicon in Kwazulu-Natal – sadly I can’t really give you details since I wasn’t there. I’m not sure what the outlook for these events are this year, but hopefully the organisers of these two seperate events will be doing their all to keep things going. We’ve got a growing anime community here in SA, and I’d really like to see it growing even more. And without the presense of our favourite anime mag, it just won’t be the same.
The thing is, die hards that they are, the Otaku crew are not giving up without a fight. The remaining staff at the magazine is currently on a subscription drive – and they need 500 new subscribers in order to keep the magazine afloat for a bit longer. And it really needs those of us who are regular readers to help out, which is why I’m doing my bit by:
- Subscribing to the magazine as well, and
- Making this post in the hopes that it might net the magazine a few extra subscribers as well.
So this is really how you, my readers can help out. The Otaku subscription form – has all the details, and you can make backorders for all the old issues as well, should you see the need to get the rest of the issues as well. As for our overseas visitors, I don’t know if the mag will ship overseas, it does get shipped to our neighbouring countries though. I’ve posed the question to the editor, and will hopefully have an answer soon.
I’ll be wishing the Otakumag crew the best of luck – lets all work together and keep this thing afloat. Ganbatte ne!!