Smile on MIXX
With research help from JunJun
For those of you who didnít know, a little over a year ago a company called
Mixx Entertainment acquired the rights to translate and publish the Sailormoon
Manga into English. Soon afterwards, Mixx announced SM was going to be
released through its magazine called MixxZine. Sure, it was what a lot
of people expected- it was "Americanized," edited, and it used the names
left to it by the DiC anime
dub. Many disliked this, but it is somewhat
understandable when you consider Mixx was
trying to break through to a
more mainstream audience. Letís face it: Anime/Manga fans
do not make
up a very large group, so to make a magazine like Mixx more profitable, it
break through to a larger audience.
Unfortunately, Mixx did not achieve the inroads into the mainstream market
they were hoping for, and they have largely depended on Anime/Manga fans
to survive. Recently,
Mixx decided to make several changes to its magazine
in another hope of once again breaking
into the "mainstream" market.
These risky decisions, combined with several Public Relations
have made the last few months quite a nightmare for Mixx.
The biggest of their decisions was to create a new magazine called "Smile."
"Smile" is designed to be for a female audience somewhere between the
ages of 12 to 16.
The big thing that affects SM fans is Mixx is moving the
SM Manga to Smile from MixxZine.
As Mixxís Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Stu Levy states in a recent press release:
"Many of you have already probably noticed that Sailor Moon isn't in this issue of MixxZine.
Why? So that we can bring in a bit more edgy stories without compromising the direction of the
magazine. For instance, you'll see MixxZine take steps towards publishing editorial content and
stories that are more for Mixxers in high-school, college or older. Since Sailor Moon is a younger
story, we felt it prevented us from truly moving in this direction aggressively."
Quoted from: http://www.mixxonline.com/mixxonline/usa/company/pr/pr-smile_mz.htm
Well, this decision has, needless to say, ticked off many SM fans who
subscribed to MixxZine
just to get the SM Manga. Many have said Mixx
is trying to take advantage of SM fans in order to help
Mixx establish and
support a new magazine. Right now this may only be a rumor, but imagine
fans who shelled out $ 21.95 / year (US) to buy a subscription to Mixx
only be told they now have
to subscribe to another magazine if they want
more SM. Sure, you could cancel your Mixx subscription
and pick up
Smile for $ 19.95 (US) a year, but what if you like the other manga
carries? This includes Magic Knights Rayearth which is also meant for
a female audience, but
for some reason it is not moving to Smile. Well,
then you could get both magazines for $ 31.95
a year. This might be
considered to be a little steep if you are in high school or college, which
the audience Mixx says itís aiming at.
Also I question Mixxís choice of words in the above press
SM might not be as gory as Parasyte and Ice Blade (two other Mixx Manga),
but I think they should have checked their demographics better when this
decision was made.
Sure, SM was meant for girls, but it actually appeals
to so many more people than 12 to 16 year
old girls. Plus, calling your
customers "Mixxers?" Come on guys, high school
and college students
do not want to be referred to by some stupid
Saturday morning cartoon
Plus, SM fans who attended the SanDiego anime convention in August
1998 also complained about the
handling of Takeuchi Naoko visit by Mixx.
There were several reports that the Q and A session
was full of problems
and several other bad incidents, including the handling of some gifts.
most had to find out about her visit through the convention's own advertising
Mr. Levy said in a recent interview at http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/ that
he didnít realize many of
the problems until he was told about them later. He
blamed the fact that many could not hear Miss
Takeuchi at the Q and A session
because of her shyness which caused her to avoid speaking directly
mic. Now this is somewhat believable
as it has been reported before that
Miss Takeuchi is quite shy when it comes to large
public appearances, then
throw in the fact she knows little or no English.
However, many have not
accepted this reasoning.
None of the AQ were actually there, so we canít
really comment on how bad things at
the convention were.
All of this and several other non-SM related complaints have combined to
result in the creation of
a group called "Eye on Mixx." Eye has called for
a boycott of all Mixx products. The group is
meant to be a combined
voice to send complaints to Mixx, which is a good idea considering how
negatively Mixx appears to treat its complaints. Now, we donít support
Eye and wonít be linking
it here because some of their tactics, especially
those in the past have been quite tasteless and
unnecessary. Those tactics
basically ruined the groupís chances of getting Mixx to change, as Mixx
is now too angry with them
to listen. The only thing Eye could do now
with its boycott is put Mixx out of
Many, including I, do not want Mixx to go out of business if it can be helped.
However, unless Mixx does something soon to show that it is at least
positively listening to its
customer complaints rather than attacking just
about every critic it has, its
days just may be numbered. Many have
speculated that unless Mixxís gamble gives it a serious
break into the
"mainstream market," this time it will not survive for long. It will not have
its present subscribers to fall back on this time, as it seems they have
alienated a lot of them.
In short, Mixx needs to remember who supported it in the past,
some serious PR consulting to try and patch this mess up,
if it isnít
already too late.
November 10th, 1998
As usual any comment made on this page is that of "The Amazoness
Quartet" or one of its members. Tripod has nothing to do with our opinions,