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The three causes of Kimetsu no Yaiba’s ratings decline: Mugen Ressha-hen

The Japanese portal Yahoo! News Japan published an article pointing out that the decline in anime viewership Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Ressha-hen for four consecutive weeks (in the most recent, the index increased slightly) is an object of interest to broadcast analysts, who point to three possible causes of this decline: the absence of new content, the broadcast schedule, and the ease of consuming content by other means.

«Viewership ratings for the television anime version of “Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Ressha-hen,” which has been broadcast on Fuji Television since October 10 (11:15 pm on Sundays), have continued to decline. It is stagnating. On the other hand, viewership ratings for the NTV drama “Guilty Flag (真 犯人 フ ラ グ)” (10:30 PM), which also airs late at night on Sundays, remain strong despite criticism. Let’s take a look at the background (audience ratings are set for the Kanto Area)».

«“Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Ressha-hen” debuted on October 10 with a 10.0 percent viewership, followed by the second episode on October 17 with 8.0 percent, a third episode on October 24 with 7.0. percent, a fourth episode on November 7 with 6.4 percent and a fifth episode on November 14 with 5.7 percent. The ratings for the first episode were phenomenal considering the 11:15 p.m. time slot on a Sunday, but the numbers for the fifth episode have to be described as mediocre in comparison.».

«This is because the TBS show “Jounetsu Tairiku (情 熱 大陸)” (Sunday, 11 pm), which has a 15-minute overlap in broadcast time, also scored 5.2 percent for households and a 2.8 percent for individuals in general on November 14. There are several possible reasons for the drop in viewership».

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«The first is that the only new content is the first episode. The first episode was an original story that wasn’t even in the original manga. It was telling a story of Kyoujurou Rengoku before investigating the Infinity Train. The response was quite positive on social networks, in front of a character as beloved as this one. Not only the story, but also the animation and photography were exceptional. As expected of a Ufotable work, with an excellent reputation in the middle».

«POn the other hand, it is a bit difficult to explain the story from the second episode to the seventh, the end of the “Infinity Train Arc.” This is because it is not a new work, but it is not an old work either. Some people describe the second and subsequent episodes curtly as “a recycling of the original movie”, while some fans say the opposite, that it is “a completely new version of ‘Kimetsu no Yaiba’”. This is not a reissue of the film version of “Mugen Ressha-hen”, although the expression “completely new work” is indeed an exaggeration. The television version is a delicate reissue of the film version. Episodes 2 to 7 include about 70 cuts of new bonus sequences and new background music».

«However, there are a lot of people who think “I don’t feel like watching it because of the new bonus footage and the new bonus soundtrack.” Some other stations are also ironic and say: “How dare they broadcast it this way?” After all, the movie version of “Mugen Ressha-hen” just aired on Fuji Television on September 25th. Viewership ratings were 21.4 percent in households and the core viewers (13-49 years) reached almost 20%, so it was right after many people saw it. The most enthusiastic fans will certainly watch the animated version for television and will enjoy the new additional sequences. On the other hand, many non-enthusiasts will likely settle for the movie version.».

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«The second is the poor selection of a broadcast schedule. Many people go to bed early on Sunday nights because they have to go to school or work the next day. However, there are many possible reasons why the show aired at 11:15 PM on Sunday, but the biggest is probably the difficulty of coordination. This is because it is broadcast not only on 26 Fuji Television affiliates, but also on four unaffiliated stations (TOKYO MX, BS11, Gunma TV, Tochigi TV) and on two CS anime channels.».

«TOKYO MX and four other stations broadcast the first season starting in April 2019, making “Kimetsu no Yaiba” a huge hit. Thanks to this contribution, the production committee of Aniplex, Shueisha and Ufotable will be highly appreciated. On the other hand, it was in September this year when Fuji Television broadcast a special edition of “Kimetsu no Yaiba” for five nights, about two years behind TOKYO MX and others. Fuji Television’s position is that of a newcomer. In addition, the fact that it is distributed by 27 streaming platforms makes it difficult for Fuji Television to control the broadcast time.».

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«The third is the ease in which the program can be viewed anywhere. To increase the audience for high-impact content, such as the Soccer World Cup, you need broadcast exclusivity. The value of the content will decrease if it can be easily viewed anywhere. In the case of the television anime “Kimetsu no Yaiba”, it is easy to watch. You can watch it for free on BS11, CS and 27 other streaming sites. (…) The current second season of the series will also be broadcast nationally on terrestrial channels without yielding to Fuji Television. It is Aniplex who makes the transmission decisions. On the other hand, considering the future development of the film versions and the sales of themed products, Aniplex and the other three companies the production committee cannot stand idly by in the face of the decline in the audience ratings of Fuji Television.».

It should be remembered that the video game for smartphones Kimetsu no Yaiba: Chifuu Kengeki Royale will be available in the catalog of QooApp soon in this link.

Source: Yahoo! News Japan

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