Haruhi-chan vs ハルヒちゃん

February 23rd, 2009 by Author

When I saw Nyoron*Chiruya-san, I did not realize at first that subtitled versions were released simultaneously. By doing so, Kadokawa staged an experiment: let’s check the viewership numbers of raw Japanese versus English subtitled videos.

Haruhi-chan Chiruya-san
Raw Sub Raw Sub
#4 43,158 3,991 n/a n/a
#3 261,390 35,926 173,616 47,906
#2 413,443 87,427 278,415 72,756

Kadokawa, being evil as usual, has already removed #1 issues. The Chiruya-san #4 is not availabe at the time of the writing.

I think these figures show pretty clearly that Sub watchers are a miniscule market when compared with domestic audience. I hope nobody will try to claim that BRWs tilt the balance? This ought to instill some humility into R1 pundits.

UPDATE: Andy e-mails:

One points out that Kadokawa’s not exactly going all-out to announce the Haruhi-chan/Churuya-san videos; I wouldn’t have known about them at all if I hadn’t run across a 4-chan thread. And I watched a couple of episodes raw, for that matter, since I didn’t know that the subtitles were coming out at the same time until I read your post (and hey, it’s an interesting challenge). With the R1 anime meta-media in shambles at this point, it might be too early to conclude anything.

I’m glad that my blog is useful for something (hey, you want to watch any Idolm@aster videos?) And certainly the rigour of this experiment is easy to challenge. But the disparity in numbers is too severe to deny or handwave away.

UPDATE: For a meaningless comparison, a Shamisen’s fansub of Haruhi-chan ep.01 completed 10,000 transfers for .mkv and another 5,000 transfers for .avi: a far cry from 400,000+ legal Japanese viewers.