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Old March 30 2010, 03:36 AM   #1
Mr. Sin
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Anime under fire

Christopher Handley. Amid Amidi. Nickolas Levasseur.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickolas_Levasseur ADV and Genoen folding operations. Is it just me, or is it a bad time to be an anime fan?
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Old March 30 2010, 03:50 AM   #2
Venardhi
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Re: Anime under fire

It is a bad time to be an Anime licensing company that can't see the obvious fact that anime fans (predominantly younger people with internet access) simply cannot/will not spend the money they've been asking for material that can be imported or downloaded far cheaper/for free months earlier than they can even get it on the shelf.

Some possible solutions:
Lower prices.
Online distribution through an iTunes-like system.
Have subtitled episodes available to purchase on the same-day as their Japanese release. (The dubs aren't as important since the majority of the people pirating or following Japanese new releases closely won't watch dubs)
Provide special features that are actually worth watching.
Partner with other companies to provide exclusive collectibles and the like with purchases. (Anime fans are notorious collectors.)
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Old March 30 2010, 04:37 AM   #3
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Re: Anime under fire

Amen.. There are so many titles out there that I would love to own, but the per-episode price is just WAY too high.

We bought our daughter the first couple seasons of Sailor Moon and it just about killed me to shell out that kind of cash. What made it worse was when the "complete" season discs came out and were much cheaper.. Learned my lesson and waited for series III to come out as a compilation.. Sailor Stars was never officially released here, so *ahem* I *ahem* didn't need to worry about the episodal discs. LOL
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Old March 30 2010, 04:37 AM   #4
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Re: Anime under fire

Levasseur is a racist jerk, so his comments about Japan made him lose all credibility anyway.

ADV actually has been taken over by a new company (Sentai Filmworks), so in that case we didn't lose a company but had one change and streamline its operations.

But I do agree in principle that the anime market has taken a big hit in the past couple of years. So many relied on DVD sales and a lot of anime fans simply didn't buy DVDs (or they bought cheaper bootleg versions or made their own).
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Old March 30 2010, 04:52 AM   #5
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Re: Anime under fire

It isn't as simple as fans not buying DVDs, but that they were bringing over a lot of properties that didn't appeal to the kind of fans that DO buy DVDs. Just because a bunch of teenage boys are cosplaying it doesn't mean it is going to be a big seller, and bringing out a series that has been big amongst the fans for 2 or 3 years now simply isn't going to sell when all those fans already have it on their computers or saw it at a friend's place. Their market research was (and still is to a great extent) just terrible in general.
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Old March 30 2010, 05:08 AM   #6
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Re: Anime under fire

I just hope somoene releases dubbed episodes of the remaining Hellsing Ultimate OVA dvds(b/c I saw the first 4 & would really love to see the rest.) That & the Trigun movie(whenever that gets released.)

But yeah, I havent been that much into anime as I was in the past. Dont have as much time & have become interested in other stuff thats easier/cheaper to watch.

Another thing that doesnt help is Adult Swim dropping their "action block" & only showing comedy.
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Old March 30 2010, 02:04 PM   #7
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Re: Anime under fire

Venardhi wrote: View Post
It isn't as simple as fans not buying DVDs, but that they were bringing over a lot of properties that didn't appeal to the kind of fans that DO buy DVDs.
Which still basically amounts to fans not buying DVDs. The reasons why are varied, but that's still really the bottom line for the companies that relied on DVD sales as their bread and butter.

That's why I think we'll start to see more companies entering partnerships and investing in online sites such as Crunchyroll and others as they change their business model.
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Old March 30 2010, 06:00 PM   #8
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Re: Anime under fire

You can't blame the customers for not wanting to buy something*. The flaw in their model wasn't the customers but the product and pricing. Its like blaming kids for not wanting to drink cabbage flavored soda-pop. There may be a niche audience out there for it, but it is on you to find it; just sticking it in the vending machine and hoping isn't going to cut it.

*apart from piracy, which is a perfectly valid criticism but far from the only reason we're having this discussion.
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Old March 30 2010, 06:17 PM   #9
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Re: Anime under fire

I think it's partially the prices for dubbed DVDs (I saw the two sets for Gundam 00 selling for about $30 each and the complete Evangelion series is like $80), the fact that anime companies aren't making stuff that appeals to overseas fans any more, and the stuff that does appeal to Westerners isn't getting imported. I think the big issue with anime fans who got into it in the 90s is that there really isn't all that much on the level of Outlaw Star, Blue Submarine No. 6, The Big O, and Cowboy Bebop, to name a few, and is available tends to be stuff that's either horribly cliched and/or panders to niche audiences in Japan.
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Old March 30 2010, 07:38 PM   #10
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Re: Anime under fire

Venardhi wrote: View Post
You can't blame the customers for not wanting to buy something.
Well, I haven't been blaming customers, I'm just saying that DVD sales for anime simply aren't what they used to be. That's just a fact. As I said before, there are several reasons for this, and they've already been mentioned.
The flaw in their model wasn't the customers but the product and pricing. Its like blaming kids for not wanting to drink cabbage flavored soda-pop. There may be a niche audience out there for it, but it is on you to find it; just sticking it in the vending machine and hoping isn't going to cut it.
The thing about anime as a product is that there isn't a guaranteed formula for what will be a big hit and what will be a total dud. Some things that are touted as the next big hit may totally fail, while there are others that fly quietly under the radar and then become quite popular. But even more than that is that different people like different kinds of anime, so it is necessary to have a variety of stuff out there because they don't know what will be a hit and what won't. In a very real sense, it is indeed like throwing random stuff on the wall and hoping that something sticks. Anime isn't the only industry that does stuff like that.

The pricing model for anime, on the other hand, is still based largely on it being a niche market with a relatively small fanbase. Like any niche market--I'm lookin' at you, comic books--they charge higher prices to squeeze a profit from a smaller group of customers. It does becomes an expensive luxury item after awhile. Generally, the bigger the customer base, the lower the prices can be, but it's hard to develop a larger customer base if it's continually shrinking due to factors other than just content, IMO. That's part of it, but it isn't the only reason.
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Old April 2 2010, 01:11 AM   #11
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Re: Anime under fire

On the flipside, you make it too expensive and you lose the broader customer base you'll want to have. Niche markets only work if the niche market is able to afford their habit. If it becomes too expensive or if the buyers become too cash-strapped, they stop buying and your business sinks.

Anime distributors really need to expand their market but they're afraid to do more than the token Dragon Ball type show. The rest typically is really not marketed until it becomes a big hit on its own which by then is usually too late to cash in on.
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