July 05, 2009

AnimeExpo license announcements

Last Thursday I posted that the early list of new license announcements for R1 hopefully presaged many more.

Silly Steven; you should know better. It turns out that they front-loaded the company panels. In fact we got a couple more license announcements, but that was all.

It's a disaster. What in hell does the industry think it's going to sell to us for the next year, anyway? They cannot survive on reissues and rereleases.

And Funimation cannot survive on a diet of Gonzo shows.

UPDATE: Why isn't anyone talking to J.C. Staff? Think of all the wonderful shows they've produced which no one has licensed for R1?

Mahoraba
Potemayo
Nodame Cantabile
Hayate

And in the second tier:

Sky Girls
To Aru Majutsu no Index

Someone licensed Karin, so why not these shows?

UPDATE: Bob of the Store also comments.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 04:34 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
Post contains 142 words, total size 2 kb.

1 Now that the pain of Kamichu is safely forgotten, I'm gradually getting together my Mahoraba package from R2(J) DVDs. It seems like a safe bet that it will never be licensed in America. It's too old, the general fan does not remember that far back. In fact Amazon.co.jp does not stock it anymore, so I have to go to CDjapan.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at July 05, 2009 05:40 PM (/ppBw)

2 The "let's release all our licenses for the year at AX" model is dead, dead, dead.

It might have made sense at one point. AX was definitely the convention that garnered the most attention, and attendance, of Japanese company representatives. Having a substantial e-peen to wave around at that convention was a form of one-upsmanship, and doing it there might have given a small morale advantage when it came to dealing with those executives. (Not just "look at how big and profitable we are", but also "and how much else we have to work on, if you say no to our offer".)

But with fewer licenses being picked up, loading up AX heavily  means not announcing anything else at any other venue. To the contrary, companies are more likely these days to announce something at whatever time they like, unconnected with a live announcement event. (Funimation, for example, is doing more and more to get web publicity out of it.)

It's not a bad idea overall. There's a limit to how many people will attend a convention, after all, and a pretty severe limit beyond that as to how many of those will take time to stop in at a company panel. And, to put it bluntly, most people ended up hearing about the announcement by reports from a small number of reporters anyway; nice as Bayoab is, there's no real advantage to having your announcements come out of his live web feed versus, say, a press release you issue yourself.

(Plus, sending people to conventions costs money! There's fewer company panels period, these days. Hell, there wasn't -one- at A-Kon, even with Funimation local to the convention!)

It's a sign of the times, sure, but not a sign of disaster. Companies are playing some stuff close to the vest, some Japanese firms are a lot more involved in the production process than they were in the past (not, er, that this is an unalloyed good thing), and the biggest "we have a huge list" company is still more or less flat on its back. I know for a fact that not everything that's being worked on has been announced. (Oh, and didn't Bandai announce Hayate S1 way back? Even if it's planned for sub-only at the moment...)

Last day in Maui. Back in town in a few days...

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at July 05, 2009 07:21 PM (pWQz4)

3

The "let's release all our licenses for the year at AX" model is dead, dead, dead.

I do hope you are right, Avatar. Because if not, then we fans are well and truly screwed.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 05, 2009 08:59 PM (+rSRq)

4 Fans can continue to watch fansubs as they always did. Industry screws itself, which is too bad. I had extra money that I have to spend before Obama's hyperinflation takes it away, and the industry refuses to take it. But fans are fine. Actually I think buying R2 stuff feeds money to actual anime studios in a more direct way, so perhaps it's even better this way.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at July 06, 2009 09:06 AM (/ppBw)

5

Only if you understand Japanese, otherwise R2 importation does not work too well (And there is a certain segment of the Japanese industry involved in anime that would only be too happy if R1 dropped dead - because it would kill concerns about reverse importation.).

If this was a normal year, I would concerned about the dearth of license announcements.  But this has been a slow year (As in, IIRC, the number of license announcements at Anime Expo was about equal to the number announced from January 1 to then in the entire industry.), and I am not surprised.  Then there is also the companies considering what will sell in R1 - as much as I like Kannagi, I am afraid it will not do very well here, possibly enough not to justify the license.  I would say there is a very cautious wait and see to make sure a license will sell before going for it - which is needed.  The last thing we need to companies spending themselves to death (And that includes FUNimation.)

Anyway, at least it is a great time for the computer/video game buffs out there, though having Manga Gamers releasing the When They Cry series in the US is enough to give me pause.

C.T.

Posted by: cxt217 at July 06, 2009 03:56 PM (xVXSz)

6 Also, the price on R2 DVDs is absurdly high. $70 for 2 episodes is pretty typical. Japanese fans really get reamed.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 06, 2009 03:59 PM (+rSRq)

7 Mahoraba is somewhat better than others because it's issued in 3 episodes per DVD format, so the $140 I mentioned buys me 6.

Translations are absolutely essential to get people pay attention before they start learning Japanese and buy R2, but fansubs can carry that duty.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at July 06, 2009 04:17 PM (/ppBw)

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