July 02, 2008

ADV in trouble again

ADV has "indefinitely suspended" shipment of certain future DVDs, including Kanon #6 and Welcome to the NHK #5.

In other words, they're in a cash crunch again and can't pay their bills. I don't think they're going to pull it out this time.

UPDATE: I've done my share of bitching about ADV, but they've also given me a lot of good times. If ADV does go under, they're going to take some good titles out of print, eventually. Stocks of unsold DVDs will still be available for months, but nonetheless.

So here are the ADV titles I think people should seriously consider buying while they still can:

Petite Princess Yucie ($45, my review) -- is probably the single finest children's show I've ever seen which an adult can enjoy without feeling any guilt whatever. Definitely appropriate for kids, but not dumbed down, and not a cause of adult-onset diabetes. It's a full season but doesn't feel stuffed with filler. This is the series that showed me that Gainax could give me an ending I loved. (Even though the second-to-last episode always makes me cry, every time I watch it.)

Divergence Eve, Misaki Chronicles ($45 ???, my review) -- This is notorious for the character designs and gratuitous fan service, but it should also be famous because of the astounding story it tells. It's a science fiction horror story which gradually pulls you into the abyss, and then gives you hope that eventually there will be daylight. And even though the fan service detracts from the story, it has to be admitted that it was well done. A complete collection of both series was announced for July 22, but whether it comes out is anybody's guess.

Noir ($68, my review) -- A suspense story about two young women who work as assassins. One has no memory of her past, but they know there's some connection between them. It's a paranoid's nightmare, one of the most gripping series I've ever watched. It is also among the very tightest stories I've ever seen. In the end everything is explained fully and it all makes perfect sense.

Azumanga Daioh ($53) -- is one of those series where viewer opinions are all over the map. I had trouble with it, and it's the only series I've ever reviewed and then pulled the review because I got tired of strident criticism from certain readers. Even so, it's one of those series (like Evangelion) that a true otaku really should see.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 09:14 AM | Comments (15) | Add Comment
Post contains 418 words, total size 3 kb.

1 Me neither. Think this was the final hurrah, honestly.

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at July 02, 2008 09:59 AM (pWQz4)

2

Been kind of expecting it, what with the lack of news from them lately.  If they could have said/done anything to make themselves look less like the walking dead, they would have.

Then yesterday I was thinking I might put together an order, and looked at finishing the Kanon series. I noticed Kanon #6 was supposed to be out on 7-1-08, yet Robert didn't have a picture up, and there was no indication it had been released.  Since he's always a couple of days early, my immediate reaction was "uh-oh...." 

Posted by: ubu at July 02, 2008 10:29 AM (dhRpo)

3

Nooooooooo!

I want my Kanon vol 6!

BTW, did anyone see the story on AODVD last week that they were auctioning off office supplies?

Andy

Posted by: Andrew Janes at July 02, 2008 11:26 AM (+aSSY)

4 I agree it looks bad for ADV.  I also agree it's a damn shame, and the fans will be the biggest losers because if it.  ADV has given us over a decade of fine releases, professionally produced, with lots of nice bonuses.  Finally, I agree firmly with every one of Steven's recommendations.  If you don't have them, buy them.

Posted by: Toren at July 02, 2008 11:45 AM (g1MXQ)

5 Curiously, a few people are reporting that they've actually got that NHK disk already, as well as a number of their upcoming thin-pack re-releases (the Divergence Eve re-release is already floating around, at least).

But, yeah, the situation is looking pretty bad for them. It'd be nice if they could at least manage to get that Kanon disk out, but I'm not holding my breath for any of those titles to be released. I guess that's me lumbered with another three uncompleted series...

Posted by: DiGiKerot at July 02, 2008 12:27 PM (kKca7)

6

Except for Haibane Renmei, the best anime series I've seen came from ADV.  I also agree with your recommendations, though I'd also throw in Pretear, Princess Tutu and (reluctantly) Gilgamesh.

Is anime fandom, as a target market, dying?  Or is it all being killed by the fansubs?

I'll admit I've seen nothing in recent weeks that has excited me at all. Certainly nothing on the level of the titles in your list.

Posted by: BeckoningChasm at July 02, 2008 12:53 PM (kLWtB)

7

'Is anime fandom, as a target market, dying?  Or is it all being killed by the fansubs?'

I spoke the the one guy left at ADV UK a few weeks ago, and his view was that the production companies are focusing more and more on the hardcore otaku home market, and not on stuff that will appeal to an international audience. (Kanokon being a prime example).

As for fansubs, it seems the companies are embracing the pirates (Gonzo's deals with crunchyroll- though according to ANN, their parent company lost $35 mil last year) I was reading a book called the Pirates Dilemma, which while it doesn't mention anime as such it is a good example of the challenges faced by downloading).

I personally only watch streamed videos, not downloads. If I like a show I'll buy the dvd if and when it comes out.

Andy

Posted by: Andrew Janes at July 02, 2008 01:28 PM (+aSSY)

8

BC, there are other titles I could have included, but the best recommendation lists are brief and exclusive. That's why I didn't include Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, for instance. It's not as good, and the audience which would be interested in it is more restricted.

Also I left out UFO Princess Valkyrie 2 (the only part of the series which is any good) and left out Najica Blitz Tactics. And Excel Saga, and Sakura Wars, and Kaleido Star, and...

All good, none superb, and including them (in the interest of completeness) would have diluted the list and distracted people from the titles I think they really should buy, which is just those four.

I didn't want this to become a laundry list of ADV releases.

(You know, looking through that list, there are an amazing number of things they released that monumentally stunk.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 02, 2008 01:32 PM (+rSRq)

9

I'm in agreement there.  I noticed about a year after I got back into anime, that ADV just wasn't putting out anything new I cared for.  Gurren Lagen was going to be the first ADV release I'd bought in months...and then it wasn't theirs any more.

Side note: I was going to embrace the CrunchyRoll solution for Druaga as the ethical method, and then I saw the whole "point system."  You don't buy shows, you buy points, then spend the points on the show.   I also saw that I could not determine how many points it took to purchase any show, nor how much a point cost to buy. "O RLY?"  That screamed "incoming price gouging" to me.

Back to being a pirate.  Hey guys?  Just put a price on the show and be done with it. I'd pay $3.99 to DL a HQ version of a half-hour show, especially if it didn't have DRM.  That's $104 for a 26-episode series, which isn't much cheaper than the actual disk, box, and insert.  On the other hand, I don't have to wait for it to be imported. (Sorry, Robert!)

Posted by: ubu at July 02, 2008 02:29 PM (dhRpo)

10

Lot of people have come up with that as the "obvious" solution. Except that it will never happen. If the studios offered something like that, it would destroy their existing Japanese DVD sales, where customers are used to paying $20 or more per episode. (Sometimes a lot more.)

Increasing sales in R1 but reducing sales even more in Japan for a net reduction of income overall is not good business practice, or at least that's what it's going to look like to the studios.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 02, 2008 02:37 PM (+rSRq)

11 The office furniture auction wasn't really conclusive - that was the office where they had the magazine folks, they shut down the magazine, so selling some desks and such wasn't necessarily a sign of the apocalypse. If they did the same thing at the Bintliff location, now, that would be the death knell. (Or more like, don't buy any of that. Have you SEEN how Matt keeps his office?!)

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at July 02, 2008 05:17 PM (pWQz4)

12 Looking at what Ubu wrote I'm getting concerned that the shady people operating Crunchyroll are going to smear BOST with their filth. Sure, their resolution is fractionally higher, but is it worth it? How did they even get where they are? Now Ubu pretends that Crunchyroll is the only service streaming Druaga and fully expects to get away with it.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at July 02, 2008 07:31 PM (/ppBw)

13 I think RahXephon was one of the better ADV releases too. But a lot of their catalog stunk. And don't forget the Samurai Gun. What an abomination.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at July 02, 2008 08:09 PM (/ppBw)

14 Pete, I'm not pretending anything. I know there's a second company out there; I even read the name once (Is it BOST, or is that Gonzo's distribution?).  If I weren't lazy, I'd go look it up.... Which I did at that time, and there was something else I didn't like about them.  (DRM maybe?)  I just don't remember what it is, and since I didn't remember the details (and was at WORK, so I didn't want to waste time looking stuff up), I didn't go there.

I also didn't mention the other series Gonzo did the same thing with either.  Going to make a remark about that too?

Posted by: ubu at July 02, 2008 08:58 PM (UukMI)

15 Enough of that. Thread closed.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 02, 2008 09:37 PM (+rSRq)

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