Wizard has announced that it’s ending the publication of its Anime magazine, Anime Insider. This neither surprises me nor bothers me. I didn’t care for Anime Insider. The articles read like one info-mercial after another, a problem not just for this publication, but all of Wizards magazines (except maybe Toyfare). I remember back in 2005-06, there was a lot of chatter on the interwebs about it. And let’s face it, Wizard hasn’t been doing real well in the last few years. Conventions cancelled, and this is the second of their pubs to be cancelled, Inquest, their gaming mag to go first. It was only a matter of time, before a niche mag like this would see the chopping block.
Of course, this isn’t just a trend in anime/manga, as some have suggested. Yes, advertising for anime and now manga has been going down in the last few years. And anime and manga mags have been biting the dust (Animerica, Newtype/PIQ, etc.). But let’s face it. This is a trend in publishing in general. Printing and distributions costs have gone up a lot, with daily/weekly publications taking the biggest hits. Newspapers are either shutting down or searching desparately to keep their heads above water. Monthly mags may survive this better, if their content is good enough, and let’s face it, Anime Insider just didn’t have it.
And it’s not like I didn’t give it a chance. I got Anime Insider back when it was quarterly mag Anime Invasion. I thought it had potential back then. I was looking for a mag to subscribe to. It was between Anime Invasion/Insider, Animerica, Protoculture Addicts, and later Otaku USA. But Anime Insider just never made the muster. It was too much like Wizard, Wizard’s comics mag, which I didn’t like the format of, and it’s articles gave no real information. I could find everything the reported on, online, and done better.
What the demise of Anime Insider inevitable? I sure think so. There are just so many “Who would win?” fights between anime characters you can do before it becomes tiring. And in this economy, the market can support only so many niche mags. Only those that put out the best content will still be around. Anime Insider never had a chance.