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.

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3 Comments for this entry

  • Anime Insider’s problem is that it’s published by Wizard, the largest joke in publishing around. Wizard is well-known for never panning an advertiser’s product. If you’re giving them money, they’ll hump your leg. If you’re not, they won’t. That’s why we stopped reading Wizard Magazine years back. Objectivity is a word that doesn’t appear anywhere in their dictionary.

  • Heather Ward says:

    I for one am really sorry to see this magazine fold. Yes, it followed a certain format patterned on Wizard, which was good and bad, but it improved from the Anime Invasion days, especially after Animerica and Newtype USA folded. Please try to check out any of the last twelve issues and compare them to the Anime Invasion days. They had an awesome article on silent era of anime this last issue. I always enjoyed the last page with a quirky snapshot from Japan. Sure I would do an anime mag differently, but there were some really good things they tried to do, like covering Japanese snack foods, one current Japan show with more than 3 line synopsis and also answering time and again those tiring letters from all the anime newbs.

    Believe me I did not like the Anime Invasion days, especially as an informed anime fan. It was painful to read, but as a fan I know of the days of fanzines and snail mail vhs fansubs, it was joyful to see a big company like Wizard recognize anime. I bought all the mags and watched as each changed over the years. Now we are down to 2 from 5 mags, all a reflection of the American anime market. It’s even sadder to see Wizard still advertizing AI in the current previews. Gawd a TM cover would have been dreamy.

  • With the last 12 issues, Anime Insider would have had Otaku USA for competition, which would be very hard to beat. Sounds like they were trying to emulate OUSA at the end.

    I actually liked the early Anime Invasion, but that’s probably because I was out of anime for about 10 years, and it did help to catch me up. But the internet soon proved to be a better source. I did buy it on and off, but it just never really satisfied me.

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