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View Full Version : Just how bad is this "slump" they say anime is in?


OutRun2
12-21-10, 05:08 AM
I have been hearing and reading various people comment on the fact that the anime industry in America is in some serious financial doldrums. I haven't been keeping up with anime current events, but is this really true? Can someone summarize just how bad the state of the industry is really in?

And if so, how did it get this way? Is it true hardly anyone is buying anime in the US these days?

RichC2
12-21-10, 08:43 AM
Back in the early 2000s anime was huge here -- DVDs had taken over for VHS and much like normal movies, people were buying up anything and everything.

Then the bubble burst once everybody had their fix, the appeal of owning every series ever dissipated and the older series were had and done with. Manufacturers had put so much into keeping the market flooded with titles that eventually it crumbled under its own ambition.

I was a big fan in the early 2000s but have completely gotten out of it, I'm not sure if I pin it on the material (1998 was the last truly fantastic year with Cowboy Bebop, Berserk, Trigun, Gasaraki, Serial Experiements Lain, etc; for me) or just growing out of it.

I can't speak for the current state, but outside of a couple big shows it doesn't seem to be having the same impact it had 5 years ago. I'm sure piracy also plays a huge role as that is one thing that has gotten progressively easier over the course of the decade.

Ash Ketchum
12-21-10, 09:34 AM
Young fans tend not to buy DVDs (at those prices, can you blame them?), they download fan-subbed episodes from various sites. A number of distributors have either gone out of business or scaled back their activity. The market definitely got over-saturated a few years ago with all kinds of junk getting licensed (entertaining junk, to be sure--"DearS," anyone?) while genuinely good series got ignored ("Nodame Cantabile," anyone?).

Manga's much bigger in the U.S. now, although when someone figures out how to download translated manga onto kindles or cellphones, even that market may dry up. Me, I'm old-school. As an older consumer with an ancient computer at home (11 years old!), I don't download. I still have lots of unwatched anime on VHS, never mind shelf-fuls of unwatched series on DVD. (Hello, DVD Talk TV-on-DVD January Challenge!) And another book shelf devoted entirely to volumes of manga, most so far unread. I'll be busy with old media for quite a while.

But it does frustrate me when series I genuinely want (e.g. "Nodame Cantabile" and the recent "Tale of Genji") don't come out in English.

big e
12-21-10, 07:00 PM
Then the bubble burst once everybody had their fix, the appeal of owning every series ever dissipated and the older series were had and done with. Manufacturers had put so much into keeping the market flooded with titles that eventually it crumbled under its own ambition.

This. The companies releasing anime released way too much, they kept the prices too high (avg. price if I recall was $25-35 per disc) and eventually the floor gave way beneath them. It also didn't help matters that Suncoast and FYE's parent company, Transworld, declared bankruptcy in (I think) late '07 and again in '08 and started shutting down stores. I remember reading that Transworld stores were supposedly the #1 seller of anime merchandise and when they started going down, it hit the industry hard.

There are some things that should never go mainstream. Anime is one of them.

OutRun2
12-22-10, 04:53 AM
Thanks for the replies, guys. That is incredible. What a shame.

Someone mentioned that they may be growing out of it. I too, thought I had grown out it. I'm 37 now but I was a huge fan during the 90s when it exploded, and went bonkers on dvds every month. Then, like you said, sometime around '98/99, I just wasn't seeing anything of quality after that.

I think the last anime series I watched that I truly enjoyed at that time, was Gun Grave. Watched it on Adult Swim. What an amazing show. Then in the 2000's, especially around the time 911 happened, I really got out of it for a long time and didn't buy hardly anything for a few years

A few weeks ago however, I went on a big anime buying splurge and bought a few series I've heard is pretty good. Gurren Langan, Death Note, Slam Dunk, GitS SAC, and many more. I'll have quite an entertaining time in the future, because I now have quite a few series on dvd I've yet to watch in my back catalog.
Hopefully by the time I finish watching all my series, the industry will start picking up again.

I miss the 90's and that whole discovering anime for the first time feeling :(

Anubis2005X
12-22-10, 05:23 AM
I wouldn't say I've ever been a HUGE anime fan, but I do love some of the things I've been able to catch recently. I think Death Note is one of the greatest shows I've ever seen. I was able to catch the first series of Fullmetal Alchemist on Netflix streaming and absolutely loved it. I'm buying Brotherhood on Blu-ray and can't wait to watch it. I also discovered Avatar: The Last Airbender (which might not be true anime, but whatever) on Netflix and am having a lot of fun with it...

WTK
12-22-10, 07:57 AM
This. The companies releasing anime released way too much, they kept the prices too high (avg. price if I recall was $25-35 per disc) and eventually the floor gave way beneath them. It also didn't help matters that Suncoast and FYE's parent company, Transworld, declared bankruptcy in (I think) late '07 and again in '08 and started shutting down stores. I remember reading that Transworld stores were supposedly the #1 seller of anime merchandise and when they started going down, it hit the industry hard.

There are some things that should never go mainstream. Anime is one of them.
Anime is always considered as niche (at least for me anyways). Anime in B&M is declining rapidly. Best Buy isn't stocking very much anime anymore. There is still TWEC Chain stores (what's left of them). The other retailers are limited geographically like FRY's, Hastings, MovieStop,...

People are not buying and that's why we are seeing anime as cheap as ever. It would be interesting how the next few years turn out. And how much streaming/digital format will affect it.

WTK
12-22-10, 08:01 AM
But it does frustrate me when series I genuinely want (e.g. "Nodame Cantabile" and the recent "Tale of Genji") don't come out in English.
Nodame Cantabile won't be released in N. America anytime soon. Sony has their death grip on this. The officially English subbed and dubbed release(s) are available in Korea (OOP thinpak), Taiwan (5 singles), and Hong Kong (5 singles). It's still streaming dubbed via Sony's Crackle.

big e
12-22-10, 12:17 PM
Anime is always considered as niche (at least for me anyways). Anime in B&M is declining rapidly. Best Buy isn't stocking very much anime anymore. There is still TWEC Chain stores (what's left of them). The other retailers are limited geographically like FRY's, Hastings, MovieStop,...

People are not buying and that's why we are seeing anime as cheap as ever. It would be interesting how the next few years turn out. And how much streaming/digital format will affect it.

I think for a good 3-4 years anime was mainstream. Maybe not by definition, but it was certainly treated like a mainstream product. Anime shows were common on television (still true with kiddie shows, but I'm talking about normal teenager aimed shows), merchandise was everywhere, the DVDs were everywhere, new shows were coming out all the time, and everyone knew what anime was. Now, you can only find the merchandise and DVDs online and in a handful of B&M stores.

Ash Ketchum
12-22-10, 02:45 PM
Nodame Cantabile won't be released in N. America anytime soon. Sony has their death grip on this. The officially English subbed and dubbed release(s) are available in Korea (OOP thinpak), Taiwan (5 singles), and Hong Kong (5 singles). It's still streaming dubbed via Sony's Crackle.

I just looked this up on YesAsia and they said it was "temporarily out of stock." Does that mean they'll eventually get it in stock, or should I look elsewhere? And, if so, where?

Thanks.

WTK
12-22-10, 02:49 PM
I just looked this up on YesAsia and they said it was "temporarily out of stock." Does that mean they'll eventually get it in stock, or should I look elsewhere? And, if so, where?

Thanks.
From the coupon sites I have looked, I think the HK release is OOP now. That leaves you one option the Taiwan release (which consists of singles). Search Result (http://dvd.jsdvd.com/advanced_search_result.php?categories_id=&inc_subcat=1&keywords=nodame&x=0&y=0) from JS DVD Mall.

EDIT: I found a site that seems to have the HK release in-stock. Play-Asia.com LINK (http://www.play-asia.com/paOS-13-71-8h-49-en-70-3u22.html)

Navinabob
12-22-10, 07:31 PM
I'd be happy with a FLCL reissue as I missed the set the first time it came out. I find it crazy that so many people are asking for that series to come out again and instead they gamble with a dozen other sets that just fizzle. Maybe it's not the demand that is in trouble, it's the supply part.

I felt that anime fans got fed up with $20 for 4 20ish minute episode on a disc robberies and went for torrents instead. Cutting the prices now may be too-little-too-late.

Ranger
12-22-10, 10:30 PM
Back in the early 2000s anime was huge here -- DVDs had taken over for VHS and much like normal movies, people were buying up anything and everything.

Then the bubble burst once everybody had their fix, the appeal of owning every series ever dissipated and the older series were had and done with. Manufacturers had put so much into keeping the market flooded with titles that eventually it crumbled under its own ambition.There wasn't a an anime decline in Japan?

OutRun2
12-23-10, 12:44 AM
There wasn't a an anime decline in Japan?

Yeah I was going to mention that too, that I've heard anime is even worse shape in Japan. From what I hear, the shift is focusing towards content that is extremely Kawaii and chibi-like. Any of you heard this?

wildcatlh
12-23-10, 06:07 PM
Yeah I was going to mention that too, that I've heard anime is even worse shape in Japan. From what I hear, the shift is focusing towards content that is extremely Kawaii and chibi-like. Any of you heard this?

I've watched a bunch of it, and it seems to be trending towards that. Mind you,I like that genre, so it works for me.

chrisc31
12-23-10, 10:11 PM
Yeah I was going to mention that too, that I've heard anime is even worse shape in Japan. From what I hear, the shift is focusing towards content that is extremely Kawaii and chibi-like. Any of you heard this?

Its always been like that. Ever hear of "Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon"? I can think of a dozen other older ones also.

Ash Ketchum
12-24-10, 07:36 AM
Its always been like that. Ever hear of "Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon"? I can think of a dozen other older ones also.

"Sailor Moon" was not quite the same thing and certainly was not representative of the other anime coming out in 1992. And you're over-generalizing quite a bit when you say "it's always been like that." Back in the '70s for instance, for every sugary sweet shoujo anime like "Candy Candy," there were a couple dozen rock 'em-sock 'em giant robot shows. In the past few years, the reverse has been true. For every giant robot show (e.g. the latest incarnation of Gundam), there are dozens of "extremely Kawaii and chibi-like" programs. Context, brother, context!

Pokémon still rules, though.

Dragon Fly
12-25-10, 12:29 AM
There wasn't a an anime decline in Japan?

Honestly, there are a few things wrong with the anime industry that are causing it to implode. It's a chicken and the egg syndrome, however, and I simply don't see it being fixed any time soon.

Studios are only producing the stuff that sells, obviously. It's unfortunate that the trend is currently focused on fan-service and moe (though I happen to appreciate these to some extent). This has stifled creativity somewhat and the boom of experimentation that happened a while ago has definitely run its course. In addition to that only hardcore otaku are willing to pay the exorbitant prices publishers charge for their wares. Thus studios will only produce what will sell to its niche audience.

Back to the cost factor. The costs we pay in America are astounding considering what the Japanese market is like. If you think $50 for a boxed set is tough, what about this?

http://www.rightstuf.com/cgi-bin/catalogmgr/DXC7OgjD6LgHtdrdnX/browse/item/90689/4/0/0

AniplexUSA is actually releasing that boxed set here. At that $400 price point. See the original cost? That's what the Japanese paid. We get a $200 discount. La-de-freaking-da. It's also commonplace to see $60 for a two episode disc. No wonder people turn to fan-subs and the like. Personally I've been getting into legal streaming sources such as Crunchy Roll. There's a premium membership, but just about everything is available for free if you don't mind the wait.

There's also the negative connotations with the culture in Japan. The random otaku with a few loose screws makes the news and ruins it for everyone else. There are also restrictions such as the new law Tokyo government has put into effect restricting "questionable" content in anime and manga. Granted it's only to products being sold to minors, but I guarantee you this will effect the industry at large. Then again if it means less crap like Sekirei and Ikki Tousen, I'm all for it.

It's just a shame really. Anime/manga has become an aspect of Japanese culture, but it's fundamentally flawed in so many ways. It's a niche market worldwide. Its fan-base and business strategies aren't necessarily doing the industry any favors. I'd love to see the industry do a 180 and get back on course, but I simply don't see that happening for a long, long time.

I'll be riding through the storm until the end, whether for better or worse. Maybe the pain the industry is in will lessen the deluge of garbage? As unfortunate as it would be, as companies go under or find their finances in the red, perhaps we'll see more scrutiny put into selecting shows for production? I'd rather have 20 cherry-picked series a year than 50 mediocre scatter-shot shows that are packed with filler and cliches.

Then again it has to start at the source. Here in America we can't institute change in the Japanese market as a consumer; at least not really. Until fans in Japan put their feet down and say "no more" nothing is going to change. I guess in the States we have to be thankful we get anything at all.

kstublen
12-25-10, 06:10 AM
I just wish we could get a proper Lupin III Part II boxset in the United States for a reasonable price. I missed out on the Geneon releases, but even those didn't cover the entire series.

I'd be happy with a FLCL reissue as I missed the set the first time it came out. I find it crazy that so many people are asking for that series to come out again and instead they gamble with a dozen other sets that just fizzle. Maybe it's not the demand that is in trouble, it's the supply part.

It's funny you mention FLCL. I first caught that show on Adult Swim back in the day and missed out on the DVDs as well. I'd always keep my eyes out on eBay and Amazon, but the prices were too high. One day I went into FYE and they were having a sale on Anime and they had FLCL Volumes 1 & 3 for $2.99 (I think that was the price, but either way it was super cheap) so I picked 'em up and found Volume 2 on eBay for like $15. I was shocked to find the DVDs at FYE because they have long been OOP, but there they were, brand new.

FUNmation announced a while back it was going to be releasing FLCL on DVD and Blu-ray in late 2010, but as of now it's set for February 22, 2011; obviously that could change though.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61rfMm3rFnL._SL500_AA300_.jpghttp://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61Nz3Dxza1L._SL500_AA300_.jpg

DVD = $29.99
Blu-ray = $33.99

---

But as to the topic at hand, I enjoyed the Anime on Adult Swim back in the day, including Cowboy Bebop, The Big O, Samurai Champloo, and FLCL. I was always a fan of Speed Racer growing up and have recently developed a love for Lupin III. Obviously Miyazaki is a favorite as well. The biggest problem with Anime for me, and one of the reasons it's probably in a slump, is that the prices and the way they release these shows to home video is just ridiculous. Who wants to pay $25 for an episode or two of show they may or may not end up liking. I'm much more likely to explore shows when they hit DVD for a reasonable price, but I can never really do that with Anime; I have to be much more selective and thus I probably miss out on stuff I would enjoy. It would seem that of all the genres to embrace the DVD format, Anime has sort of dropped the ball as far as accessibility.

Ash Ketchum
12-25-10, 07:53 PM
I just wish we could get a proper Lupin III Part II boxset in the United States for a reasonable price. I missed out on the Geneon releases, but even those didn't cover the entire series.


I want to see the original Lupin series (from 1971) get a release in the U.S. I have a fan-sub VHS of some eps. and some unsubbed Japanese-language tapes, but that's it. It's much more hard-edged than the later series.

There are a lot of older series I wish would get licensed here. I had a list somewhere that included things like: Combattler V, Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express 999, Brave Raideen, Legend of Galactic Heroes, the original Cyborg 009, and shoujo anime like the original Glass Mask. Plus dozens of others that don't come to mind so easily. But there doesn't seem to be much of a market here in the U.S. for classic anime.

chrisc31
12-25-10, 09:04 PM
Honestly, there are a few things wrong with the anime industry that are causing it to implode. It's a chicken and the egg syndrome, however, and I simply don't see it being fixed any time soon.

Studios are only producing the stuff that sells, obviously. It's unfortunate that the trend is currently focused on fan-service and moe (though I happen to appreciate these to some extent). This has stifled creativity somewhat and the boom of experimentation that happened a while ago has definitely run its course. In addition to that only hardcore otaku are willing to pay the exorbitant prices publishers charge for their wares. Thus studios will only produce what will sell to its niche audience.

Back to the cost factor. The costs we pay in America are astounding considering what the Japanese market is like. If you think $50 for a boxed set is tough, what about this?

http://www.rightstuf.com/cgi-bin/catalogmgr/DXC7OgjD6LgHtdrdnX/browse/item/90689/4/0/0

AniplexUSA is actually releasing that boxed set here. At that $400 price point. See the original cost? That's what the Japanese paid. We get a $200 discount. La-de-freaking-da. It's also commonplace to see $60 for a two episode disc. No wonder people turn to fan-subs and the like. Personally I've been getting into legal streaming sources such as Crunchy Roll. There's a premium membership, but just about everything is available for free if you don't mind the wait.

There's also the negative connotations with the culture in Japan. The random otaku with a few loose screws makes the news and ruins it for everyone else. There are also restrictions such as the new law Tokyo government has put into effect restricting "questionable" content in anime and manga. Granted it's only to products being sold to minors, but I guarantee you this will effect the industry at large. Then again if it means less crap like Sekirei and Ikki Tousen, I'm all for it.

It's just a shame really. Anime/manga has become an aspect of Japanese culture, but it's fundamentally flawed in so many ways. It's a niche market worldwide. Its fan-base and business strategies aren't necessarily doing the industry any favors. I'd love to see the industry do a 180 and get back on course, but I simply don't see that happening for a long, long time.

I'll be riding through the storm until the end, whether for better or worse. Maybe the pain the industry is in will lessen the deluge of garbage? As unfortunate as it would be, as companies go under or find their finances in the red, perhaps we'll see more scrutiny put into selecting shows for production? I'd rather have 20 cherry-picked series a year than 50 mediocre scatter-shot shows that are packed with filler and cliches.

Then again it has to start at the source. Here in America we can't institute change in the Japanese market as a consumer; at least not really. Until fans in Japan put their feet down and say "no more" nothing is going to change. I guess in the States we have to be thankful we get anything at all.

I agree with most of what you said even the part about "Sekirei" or even "Heaven's Lost Property" other then the fan-service being good it lacks creativity and does not have much of a plot. If someone asked me what their about I would say seeing boobies. I can't wait to buy Rosario + Vampire thats like the best fan-service anime.

I am surprised anyone would pay over $300 for any show. $200 is my cut-off point and it has to be an awesome anime that I seen already. I buy a lot of animes but I am also a Crunchyroll member, I only hate subs when the anime gets licensed in north america for dvd with sub-only.

I think with the new Tokyo government law that was passed, the animes for tv would have much better creativity to sell them more like Clannad, K-On, Angel Beats, Haruhi Suzumiya and other animes that sounds like they sell good in Japan. If you look at animenewsnetwork or like myanimelist for best rated animes Clannad and others like it is near the top and all fan-service animes most likely is not even in the top 100, so I don't know what you mean by fan-service animes sell other then me buying them? I would rather buy more animes with great storys and no fan-service then an anime with little or no story with lots of fan-service.

Ralph Jenkins
12-26-10, 06:45 PM
There are a lot of older series I wish would get licensed here. I had a list somewhere that included things like: Combattler V, Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express 999, Brave Raideen, Legend of Galactic Heroes, the original Cyborg 009, and shoujo anime like the original Glass Mask. Plus dozens of others that don't come to mind so easily. But there doesn't seem to be much of a market here in the U.S. for classic anime.

At least the Galaxy Express 999 movies have been licensed now by Discotek/Eastern Star. If they do well enough, others could follow.

big e
12-26-10, 10:06 PM
At least the Galaxy Express 999 movies have been licensed now by Discotek/Eastern Star. If they do well enough, others could follow.

Has a release date been set for the Galaxy Express movies? I recall reading the license announcement on Animenation a few months ago but haven't heard anything since.

GreenMonkey
12-27-10, 01:44 AM
I'd be happy with a FLCL reissue as I missed the set the first time it came out. I find it crazy that so many people are asking for that series to come out again and instead they gamble with a dozen other sets that just fizzle. Maybe it's not the demand that is in trouble, it's the supply part.

I felt that anime fans got fed up with $20 for 4 20ish minute episode on a disc robberies and went for torrents instead. Cutting the prices now may be too-little-too-late.

I think it was more of price wars on DVDs. It went from $22 - $30 a disc x 6 discs, to $18-$20 a disc after discount, to wait for a year and you could get the whole show for $60, to slimpacks of the show for $30...etc. Plus there became so much other stuff to watch that you could always wait for that inevitable slimpack release for like 1/6 of the release price.

Ralph Jenkins
12-27-10, 05:56 PM
Has a release date been set for the Galaxy Express movies? I recall reading the license announcement on Animenation a few months ago but haven't heard anything since.

I don't think there is a release date yet, but it should be out in 2011. Sometimes there is a bit of a wait between the time Eastern Star announces a license and when the DVD comes out. I feel like it took them a long time to release Female Prisoner Scorpion, but it did make it out before the end of 2010.

WTK
12-27-10, 07:33 PM
Has a release date been set for the Galaxy Express movies? I recall reading the license announcement on Animenation a few months ago but haven't heard anything since.
I don't think there is a release date yet, but it should be out in 2011. Sometimes there is a bit of a wait between the time Eastern Star announces a license and when the DVD comes out. I feel like it took them a long time to release Female Prisoner Scorpion, but it did make it out before the end of 2010.
It's slated for early 2011 (but that from a little from the license announcement). I'm sure it's subjected to change.

davidh777
12-28-10, 01:16 AM
Just mostly echoing what others have said. Pokemon was probably the mainstream peak, and people at that time didn't mind buying single discs (or tapes) of a few episodes. I think the TV-on-DVD boom hurt because people could buy a full season for $40-60 and when they did the math anime didn't look so good. Licensing rights have always been expensive for U.S. companies--they have to bid high on unknown franchises, or perhaps on franchises they don't want so they can get something they do want. And prices in Japan are much higher than they are in the U.S., so rights holders want to charge more or withhold Blu-ray rights, etc. Loss of the mall stores definitely hurt. The fact that a number of U.S. studios have disappeared emphasizes the impression that the industry is slumping.

OutRun2
12-28-10, 05:52 AM
Just mostly echoing what others have said. Pokemon was probably the mainstream peak....


Hmm, I would argue Dragonball Z was the mainstream peak, and rightfully so, as it remains one of my favorite shows of all time to this day.

Ash Ketchum
12-28-10, 10:23 AM
Hmm, I would argue Dragonball Z was the mainstream peak, and rightfully so, as it remains one of my favorite shows of all time to this day.

Wait, Dragonball Z when it ran on syndication or Dragonball Z when it ran on Cartoon Network? I've been following anime's inroads into the U.S. market for over 20 years and I'd argue that Pokemon began anime's mainstream peak, which continued with Sailor Moon and DB/DBZ on Cartoon Network and lasted right up until Naruto, but then fell off afterward, once Naruto had finished its initial run on CN. But all Sailor Moon and DB/DBZ were doing in syndication, prior to their CN run, was helping to gradually build the audience for anime in the U.S. But it took Pokemon and some of the follow-up series (like Digimon) to push anime to a point where you couldn't NOT talk about it. Nobody was really talking about anime in the mainstream media to any substantial degree until after Pokemon. Even The New York Times had to sit up and take notice.

barbybrant
01-01-11, 04:19 PM
I can think of a bunch more things the studios did to hurt themselves, at least as far as my own buying was concerned:

Stopped releasing "Case Closed" (Detective Conan) without finishing the series. Stopped releasing "Hikaru No Go" without finishing the series. Stopped releasing "Prince of Tennis" without finishing the series. Stopped releasing "Glass Mask" without finishing the series. Sold "Yawara Part I" and then revealed that the other parts were not even licensed and never would be.

Of course, that makes the customer who gets burned want to wait on buying other properties until there's a whole series release guaranteed, and sometimes by that time (if it happens at all) the interest is no longer there.

WTK
01-02-11, 10:19 AM
I can think of a bunch more things the studios did to hurt themselves, at least as far as my own buying was concerned:

Stopped releasing "Case Closed" (Detective Conan) without finishing the series. Stopped releasing "Hikaru No Go" without finishing the series. Stopped releasing "Prince of Tennis" without finishing the series. Stopped releasing "Glass Mask" without finishing the series. Sold "Yawara Part I" and then revealed that the other parts were not even licensed and never would be.

Of course, that makes the customer who gets burned want to wait on buying other properties until there's a whole series release guaranteed, and sometimes by that time (if it happens at all) the interest is no longer there.
Detective Conan is still ongoing in Japan (more than 600 episodes). FUNimation would be nuts to license everything (and future ones) at once. The franchise just didn't perform (and translate) well here. It reminds me of the Lupin franchise.

Hikaru no Go and Prince of Tennis fall under two of very many series that VIZ Media didn't want to finish.

Glass Mask is not finished so far due to poor sales. They would like to finish it.

Yawara! is even more disappointing. AnimEigo didn't have the whole series. Oh well.

big e
01-02-11, 10:56 PM
I can think of a bunch more things the studios did to hurt themselves, at least as far as my own buying was concerned:

Stopped releasing "Case Closed" (Detective Conan) without finishing the series. Stopped releasing "Hikaru No Go" without finishing the series. Stopped releasing "Prince of Tennis" without finishing the series. Stopped releasing "Glass Mask" without finishing the series. Sold "Yawara Part I" and then revealed that the other parts were not even licensed and never would be.

Of course, that makes the customer who gets burned want to wait on buying other properties until there's a whole series release guaranteed, and sometimes by that time (if it happens at all) the interest is no longer there.

I know the feeling. I've been waiting for Hellsing Ultimate vol. 5 for the last 2 years (it's up to, what, vol. 8 in Japan now?). I know Hellsing has been license-rescued by Funimation and vol. 5 is slated to come out this year, but I'd feel a lot better if an actual date had been announced instead of just 2011.

Ash Ketchum
01-03-11, 06:31 AM
Detective Conan is still ongoing in Japan (more than 600 episodes). FUNimation would be nuts to license everything (and future ones) at once. The franchise just didn't perform (and translate) well here. It reminds me of the Lupin franchise.

Hikaru no Go and Prince of Tennis fall under two of very many series that VIZ Media didn't want to finish.

Glass Mask is not finished so far due to poor sales. They would like to finish it.

Yawara! is even more disappointing. AnimEigo didn't have the whole series. Oh well.


Sports anime doesn't do well here, for a variety of reasons. Nor does shoujo anime, although shoujo manga does well. Girls are more willing to buy manga than DVDs. And males are more willing to buy DVDs, as long as they promise action. Males are just not that interested in shoujo anime. I would love to see the original "Glass Mask" released here, the one from 1984. I have a VHS fan-sub containing the first four eps. and it's one of the highlights of my collection. But it'll never happen. Not enough interest. I'd love to see the manga published in English.

How have the shoujo anime series "Nana" and "Paradise Kiss" performed here? I know that four box sets of Nana have been released. I bought them all. It's a great show, and the manga's great also. Do the four box sets contain the entire series? Or is there more to come (or not come)? How have the sales been? I have the first volume of "Paradise Kiss" and I'd love to buy more but I haven't seen any subsequent volumes in stores.

WTK
01-03-11, 03:08 PM
I know the feeling. I've been waiting for Hellsing Ultimate vol. 5 for the last 2 years (it's up to, what, vol. 8 in Japan now?). I know Hellsing has been license-rescued by Funimation and vol. 5 is slated to come out this year, but I'd feel a lot better if an actual date had been announced instead of just 2011.
Anything involving Geneon Universal Ent. (Japan) has been noted by FUNi as being time consuming. I wouldn't rule out that any of those Geneon properties including Hellsing Ultimate Vol.5 to Vol.7 gets delayed to 2012 (Vol.8 has not been released yet in Japan).

WTK
01-03-11, 03:14 PM
Sports anime doesn't do well here, for a variety of reasons. Nor does shoujo anime, although shoujo manga does well. Girls are more willing to buy manga than DVDs. And males are more willing to buy DVDs, as long as they promise action. Males are just not that interested in shoujo anime. I would love to see the original "Glass Mask" released here, the one from 1984. I have a VHS fan-sub containing the first four eps. and it's one of the highlights of my collection. But it'll never happen. Not enough interest. I'd love to see the manga published in English.
Yeah, sports anime typically stinks it up. It's being publicly known that Big Windup! absoloutely bombed for FUNimation. I'm sure they are pretty much done with the "pure" sports anime. They may still license the likes of Bamboo Blade.
How have the shoujo anime series "Nana" and "Paradise Kiss" performed here? I know that four box sets of Nana have been released. I bought them all. It's a great show, and the manga's great also. Do the four box sets contain the entire series? Or is there more to come (or not come)? How have the sales been? I have the first volume of "Paradise Kiss" and I'd love to buy more but I haven't seen any subsequent volumes in stores.
I'm amazed that VIZ somehow finished releasing Nana on DVD. The four sets does contain everything that has been created for the anime side of things. You would have to continue with the manga to get more of the story.

Paradise Kiss is/was one of the Geneon USA licensed, FUNi distributed properties. It's currently discontinued. The Geneon USA (before FUNi distro agreement) has been long discontinued. There is only the clear brick re-release now (that you should still be able to find). The original chipboard boxset is OOP.

fujishig
01-03-11, 06:10 PM
As a lifelong anime fan (first Reideen then Mazinger Z and original Mobile Suit Gundam, untranslated), even I've gotten a bit tired and slowed down my anime watching. Much of it is because I still have a gigantic backlog of good to great series that I have yet to watch/rewatch. Some of it is because of the cutthroat pricing, where if I'm not ready to watch a series right away, it makes absolutely no financial sense to buy it as it comes out. Absolutely none. But then again, I also buy less DVDs (and Blu Rays) as a whole than I used to because I long ago reached saturation with my collection, so at least for me it's not specific to anime.

I do think piracy has hurt. I'm not sure pricing has hurt so much... to me, besides the exclusives and Honneamise-like releases where the Japanese companies think they can release stuff here at Japanese prices, anime is cheaper than ever... there are more episodes per release, and the costs have come way down. Of course, I used to buy 2 episodes on a VHS tape with no dub track for 30 to 40 bucks a piece, and was elated when they started "packing" four eps per DVD with both audio tracks and subs. But the market has saturated, especially for a niche market, and the licensing prices went out of control. In addition to the loss of Suncoast, etc. as distributors, a major mall retailer (forget which one) went into bankruptcy and didn't pay the companies back for the unsold stock, which made a huge dent in some of the smaller companies.

There are also far fewer slots on TV to air/advertise anime. Cartoon Network's Adult Swim long ago morphed to mainly original content... I think Naruto, Bleach, Kekkaishi, and some older shows are the only ones still airing there. I would've thought Gundam Seed would've created a new audience, but that apparently didn't do well at all, and 00 went to Sci Fi.

Also, as others have stated, the state of the anime industry in Japan is not all too rosy either, with budgets tightening and stuff becoming self-referential to the point of excluding the mainstream.

It made me sad when the company releasing Orguss stopped distributing the discs... they had a deal with RightStuf to press the discs on demand, to make it cheaper to distribute. I doubt we'll see many older mecha series come out here, legally.

Manga domestically also seems overly saturated... they did really well getting space in bookstores, but that space has long since been filled, and companies like Tokyopop drastically scaled back. Pirating may not hurt them as much yet, but all the kids sitting in the bookstore reading manga for free probably does something.

chrisc31
01-03-11, 06:42 PM
Manga domestically also seems overly saturated... they did really well getting space in bookstores, but that space has long since been filled, and companies like Tokyopop drastically scaled back. Pirating may not hurt them as much yet, but all the kids sitting in the bookstore reading manga for free probably does something.

Or like me who does not read manga, I only like animes.

Ash Ketchum
01-03-11, 08:55 PM
Paradise Kiss is/was one of the Geneon USA licensed, FUNi distributed properties. It's currently discontinued. The Geneon USA (before FUNi distro agreement) has been long discontinued. There is only the clear brick re-release now (that you should still be able to find). The original chipboard boxset is OOP.

I found the Paradise Kiss Complete Collection box set at Kinokuniya Books tonight. It's a shame double dipping on the first volume (I watched eps. 1-4 last night for the TV on DVD challenge), but it was the only way to find the rest of the series in a store at all. The price was high ($39.98), but I really wanted the series. I loved the first four eps.

Ash Ketchum
01-03-11, 09:03 PM
Or like me who does not read manga, I only like animes.

There may be many more people who only read the manga and never watch the anime. Fujishig's concisely-made point was that the kids who read manga in the store and never buy it hurt the market by being consumers of the product without paying for it. It would be like walking into a video store and watching everything on a DVD player there without buying or renting it. When I was a kid, we could never go into a shop that sold comic books and stand there reading one without buying it. The owner would yell at us and tell us to buy it or put it back. "Whaddaya think this is, a library?" (I remember newsstand/soda shop owners in my old neighborhood, one of whom was a WWII combat veteran and one of whom was a Holocaust survivor. These were hardcore dudes who didn't mess around.) Today's Baby Boomer (and younger) bookstore managers, in trying to create a friendly environment for readers, undercut their own business.

davidh777
01-04-11, 01:43 AM
There may be many more people who only read the manga and never watch the anime. Fujishig's concisely-made point was that the kids who read manga in the store and never buy it hurt the market by being consumers of the product without paying for it. It would be like walking into a video store and watching everything on a DVD player there without buying or renting it. When I was a kid, we could never go into a shop that sold comic books and stand there reading one without buying it. The owner would yell at us and tell us to buy it or put it back. "Whaddaya think this is, a library?" (I remember newsstand/soda shop owners in my old neighborhood, one of whom was a WWII combat veteran and one of whom was a Holocaust survivor. These were hardcore dudes who didn't mess around.) Today's Baby Boomer (and younger) bookstore managers, in trying to create a friendly environment for readers, undercut their own business.

It always surprises me to go into Barnes and Noble and see (1) a big bookcase of manga and (2) people sitting there reading and never (as far as I can tell) buying. Why use the shelf space for something that's not making money and presumably not attracting the kind of customer you want either.

OutRun2
01-04-11, 02:30 AM
There may be many more people who only read the manga and never watch the anime. Fujishig's concisely-made point was that the kids who read manga in the store and never buy it hurt the market by being consumers of the product without paying for it. It would be like walking into a video store and watching everything on a DVD player there without buying or renting it. When I was a kid, we could never go into a shop that sold comic books and stand there reading one without buying it. The owner would yell at us and tell us to buy it or put it back. "Whaddaya think this is, a library?" (I remember newsstand/soda shop owners in my old neighborhood, one of whom was a WWII combat veteran and one of whom was a Holocaust survivor. These were hardcore dudes who didn't mess around.) Today's Baby Boomer (and younger) bookstore managers, in trying to create a friendly environment for readers, undercut their own business.

So true. I am also guilty of doing this. Not with manga(which I loathe, but that's another topic) but with magazines such as GameFan, EGM, etc. Would drive to the newsstand in Hollywood and would just stand there sometimes for over two hours reading a shitload of different mags :lol: Newsstand manager didn't give two shits either :lol:

chrisc31
01-04-11, 03:00 AM
There may be many more people who only read the manga and never watch the anime. Fujishig's concisely-made point was that the kids who read manga in the store and never buy it hurt the market by being consumers of the product without paying for it. It would be like walking into a video store and watching everything on a DVD player there without buying or renting it. When I was a kid, we could never go into a shop that sold comic books and stand there reading one without buying it. The owner would yell at us and tell us to buy it or put it back. "Whaddaya think this is, a library?" (I remember newsstand/soda shop owners in my old neighborhood, one of whom was a WWII combat veteran and one of whom was a Holocaust survivor. These were hardcore dudes who didn't mess around.) Today's Baby Boomer (and younger) bookstore managers, in trying to create a friendly environment for readers, undercut their own business.

My cousin used to only read mangas but I let her borrow a bunch of my anime dvds, now she watches fan-subs. I got another cousin that I also let borrow a few dvds and now he started to buy dvds he was only watching fan-subs before.

So true. I am also guilty of doing this. Not with manga(which I loathe, but that's another topic) but with magazines such as GameFan, EGM, etc. Would drive to the newsstand in Hollywood and would just stand there sometimes for over two hours reading a shitload of different mags :lol: Newsstand manager didn't give two shits either :lol:

For someone that always do that I can see how its bad, but like if I start reading manga in a bookstore it could change my mind about reading mangas. I never really even looked at a manga before so it would be a good thing if I start doing it.

What I think hurts anime companies more then fan-subs is like FYE, Movie Stop, and other companies that buy used dvds. Anime companies don't get any money for the resale. I think dvd producers should crack down on that more then trying to stop fan-subs. Fan-subs help get people intrested in an anime then they can buy the dvd with an english dub. thers not much difference between selling used dvds and bootlegs.

Manga domestically also seems overly saturated... they did really well getting space in bookstores, but that space has long since been filled, and companies like Tokyopop drastically scaled back. Pirating may not hurt them as much yet, but all the kids sitting in the bookstore reading manga for free probably does something.

One thing I think anime and manga companies should do with stores like FYE, and Barns and Nobles is exchange merchandise, get stuff off the shelfs thats been there for 5+ years and put new merchandise in its place.

Ash Ketchum
01-04-11, 11:39 AM
What I think hurts anime companies more then fan-subs is like FYE, Movie Stop, and other companies that buy used dvds. Anime companies don't get any money for the resale. I think dvd producers should crack down on that more then trying to stop fan-subs. Fan-subs help get people intrested in an anime then they can buy the dvd with an english dub. thers not much difference between selling used dvds and bootlegs.


I think you're being a little harsh there. What do you suggest be done with used anime DVDs? Throw them out and add to the landfill? Send them back to the anime distributor once you're done with them and let THEM resell them? Give them to the library? (That's not a bad idea.) I buy a lot of used DVDs because they're so much cheaper and because I can't find them in regular stores. A lot of anime goes out of print so quickly that sometimes you can ONLY find them in used DVD bins. Plus, I buy a large amount of anime new (several hundred dollars a year--more in some years), including various box sets that have only come out in the last couple of years, so I can say I do my part to keep the market alive.

fujishig
01-04-11, 11:49 AM
The thing about the bookstores: not only is the manga usually full priced (even at Amazon!) but in the B&Ms, all the kids reading them means I will never buy a book there, because they are basically used!

I agree that returns would help refresh stock, and perhaps there is already a mechanism in place for that, but either way it would be very expensive for the publisher, and what would they do with the old stock? The other thing to keep in mind is that a lot of the more popular series are very long running... Naruto, for instance, is almost up to 50. You still want to keep "backissues" of that for new readers, but that takes away space from other series. I have also never seen a clearance sale for old stock, which would be another way to refresh stock. I don't think the problem is old stock, though...

As a huge manga fan, I highly recommend at least trying it out, especially if the anime series you like was originally manga. Often, you'll find the story gets completed in manga when it didn't in anime, and it has far less filler. It's also much quicker to read than to watch 30 minute episodes if you want to refresh your memory of what happened on a long running series.

As far as used videos: I don't know anyone who buys used anime videos, and I know a ton of people who download and watch fansubs of ALREADY LICENSED properties instead of buying. With the ever decreasing price of anime these days (from individual releases to boxsets to economy sets to clearance sales) I'm not even sure it's economical to buy used anime these days, especially if you'll struggle to complete a set. I mean, you can get an entire season of Full Metal Panic for 20 bucks or less on Blu Ray at amazon right now. Granted, that series has already made it's money on DVD releases and is currently in a big sale, but are those guys who watched it for free on fansubs going out and buying it now? Somehow I doubt it.

Ash Ketchum
01-04-11, 03:00 PM
The store I get my used anime DVDs from (Book Off) also sells used manga. I go there when I develop an interest in a series long after it's started publication and I want to find Volume 1 and other early volumes, which can no longer be found in the regular first-run comic book stores (e.g. Midtown Comics, Jim Hanley's Universe).

chrisc31
01-04-11, 03:27 PM
but are those guys who watched it for free on fansubs going out and buying it now? Somehow I doubt it.

I would have never known Kampfer was really good, its sub-only so a review can't be trusted. Anime Network didn't say they would stream it until after I saw it. I don't download anything just watch streaming. I am going to order it real soon.

Edit: I just ordered Koihime Muso, & Kampfer.

I think you're being a little harsh there. What do you suggest be done with used anime DVDs? Throw them out and add to the landfill? Send them back to the anime distributor once you're done with them and let THEM resell them? Give them to the library? (That's not a bad idea.) I buy a lot of used DVDs because they're so much cheaper and because I can't find them in regular stores. A lot of anime goes out of print so quickly that sometimes you can ONLY find them in used DVD bins. Plus, I buy a large amount of anime new (several hundred dollars a year--more in some years), including various box sets that have only come out in the last couple of years, so I can say I do my part to keep the market alive.


I have a few anime dvds that I bought used that you can't find new anymore. I just don't think stores like FYE, and Movie Stop should sell used in there stores it takes up space that could be used for series that they don't have.

davidh777
01-07-11, 01:53 AM
I don't really think used sales are a big part of the problem. I do think retailers should have fresher stock and don't know if that's due to one-way-buy policies by the studios, poor return terms, retailer laziness, or what.

It's just a tough time all around for TV product--too many ways for people to watch. Mainstream TV series don't sell like they used to, and now you're talking about a much smaller audience, one I'd guess is more tech-savvy than the norm in figuring out other ways to watch.

big e
01-07-11, 09:25 AM
I wish Adult Swim would get some different anime shows. They've been airing Bleach, Cowboy Bebop, and Ghost in the Shell: SAC for the last 2-3 years.

fujishig
01-07-11, 03:54 PM
I wish Adult Swim would get some different anime shows. They've been airing Bleach, Cowboy Bebop, and Ghost in the Shell: SAC for the last 2-3 years.

They did add Kekkaishi, which isn't even slated (as far as I know) for a DVD release yet.

chrisc31
01-09-11, 01:16 PM
I agree that returns would help refresh stock, and perhaps there is already a mechanism in place for that, but either way it would be very expensive for the publisher, and what would they do with the old stock? The other thing to keep in mind is that a lot of the more popular series are very long running... Naruto, for instance, is almost up to 50. You still want to keep "backissues" of that for new readers, but that takes away space from other series. I have also never seen a clearance sale for old stock, which would be another way to refresh stock. I don't think the problem is old stock, though...

I know what you mean about needing to carry backissues, like it would be unwise to have "Dragon Ball Z" season 5 and not have seasons 1-4. What I am talking about is having volumes 2 & 5 of "Princess Tutu" and no other volume and selling them for $29.98 each. I think Stores like FYE would do much better in sales if they only sell complete collections even is its at the MSRP price.

I just got back from the FYE near me and they are just about done phasing out anime. A new months ago I thought they were just making the area smaller. I hope that FYE closes now to help other stores in the area that sell anime.

Ash Ketchum
01-21-11, 04:20 PM
From the coupon sites I have looked, I think the HK release is OOP now. That leaves you one option the Taiwan release (which consists of singles). Search Result (http://dvd.jsdvd.com/advanced_search_result.php?categories_id=&inc_subcat=1&keywords=nodame&x=0&y=0) from JS DVD Mall.

EDIT: I found a site that seems to have the HK release in-stock. Play-Asia.com LINK (http://www.play-asia.com/paOS-13-71-8h-49-en-70-3u22.html)

Again, thanks for this, WTK. My package containing the complete "Nodame Cantabile" series, on R3 DVD, arrived on Monday. It looks and sounds great. I'm surprised that it's both subbed and dubbed and it's a Sony release yet it's not available in the U.S. All they have to do is market it. Curious.

fujishig
01-21-11, 06:42 PM
Again, thanks for this, WTK. My package containing the complete "Nodame Cantabile" series, on R3 DVD, arrived on Monday. It looks and sounds great. I'm surprised that it's both subbed and dubbed and it's a Sony release yet it's not available in the U.S. All they have to do is market it. Curious.

Didn't Sony release only two DVDs of the newer Cyborg 009 series, which had just (almost) finished airing on Cartoon Network? They also had that odd release of Blood+, and the dub-only Astroboy. They don't seem to release much themselves. Urgh...

WTK
01-21-11, 07:22 PM
Again, thanks for this, WTK. My package containing the complete "Nodame Cantabile" series, on R3 DVD, arrived on Monday. It looks and sounds great. I'm surprised that it's both subbed and dubbed and it's a Sony release yet it's not available in the U.S. All they have to do is market it. Curious.
From my understanding, Sony (as in Japan) isn't shopping this around for some reason. The English sub/dub release had found its way to Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong (all have the same discs). The English dub is also done in the U.S. as well (and not some hack dub). The ball is on Sony's side of court, it's up to them whether they want to do anything with it or not.

mordaane
01-23-11, 10:09 AM
What I think hurts anime companies more then fan-subs is like FYE, Movie Stop, and other companies that buy used dvds. Anime companies don't get any money for the resale. I think dvd producers should crack down on that more then trying to stop fan-subs. Fan-subs help get people intrested in an anime then they can buy the dvd with an english dub. thers not much difference between selling used dvds and bootlegs.
.

Anime is still pretty hot down here in Huntsville.

As for FYE and Movie Stop hurting Anime... that has to be one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. It is these two stores that are bringing in the Newly Released Anime. Just because the two deal with used items you can't ignore the fact that they are two stores still bringing in a wide selection of Newly Released Anime. Without a doubt Movie Stop is the place I shop at for Anime for in store purposes.

chrisc31
01-23-11, 01:12 PM
Anime is still pretty hot down here in Huntsville.

As for FYE and Movie Stop hurting Anime... that has to be one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. It is these two stores that are bringing in the Newly Released Anime. Just because the two deal with used items you can't ignore the fact that they are two stores still bringing in a wide selection of Newly Released Anime. Without a doubt Movie Stop is the place I shop at for Anime for in store purposes.

But around here in New England they barley sell a third of the new releases, Movie Stop is ok on prices and has more new animes then The FYE near me does. I didn't mean to single FYE and Movie Stop out and I didn't say they do hurt the anime market, I said Used dvds/blu-rays does hurt. Companies like Funimation doesn't make any money on the resale of a used dvd, Its hurts Funimation as much as a bootleg would.

william2734
01-23-11, 01:57 PM
interesting chris...never stopped to really think about buying used anime hurting a company but it makes sense. i do want to support anime as much as possible so i'll reconsider buying "new" next time.

i was buying it used. thanks for the headsup!

william

chrisc31
01-23-11, 02:45 PM
RightStuf is having a 40% off sale 46% off for Got Anime members on all FUNi's animes right now. How much cheaper can you buy used animes for and hope they are not scratched.

fujishig
01-24-11, 10:46 AM
This is the first time in a long time I might pass on the Dark Lord's Funimation sale... i think I still have a bad taste in my mouth from getting the Soul Eater DVDs on sale during Xmas, and seeing the Blu-Rays coming out at just a few bucks more than I got them for in that sale. My fault for not keeping up, but at this point I can wait on most of the newer DVD releases, until they come out on Blu or get cheaper. Also, Funimation titles have been at really cheap prices on Amazon lately, and I can wait until I actually watch the previous volumes of series I'm collecting. Sad, because I easily filled up a cart of Funi titles to buy before coming to this realization...

Ah, who am I kidding, I'll put an order in if only for the Dragon Boxes, but just a smaller one.

On a side note, I've been looking to try some anime on my Netflix account, and they are sorely lacking... older series are either not there at all or missing dvds, and newer series are nonexistent. I'm not sure if this is intentionally done by the anime companies, or if it's just a sign of a declining fanbase and Netflix not feeling like there's enough demand...

chrisc31
01-24-11, 03:56 PM
This is the first time in a long time I might pass on the Dark Lord's Funimation sale... i think I still have a bad taste in my mouth from getting the Soul Eater DVDs on sale during Xmas, and seeing the Blu-Rays coming out at just a few bucks more than I got them for in that sale. My fault for not keeping up, but at this point I can wait on most of the newer DVD releases, until they come out on Blu or get cheaper. Also, Funimation titles have been at really cheap prices on Amazon lately, and I can wait until I actually watch the previous volumes of series I'm collecting. Sad, because I easily filled up a cart of Funi titles to buy before coming to this realization...

Ah, who am I kidding, I'll put an order in if only for the Dragon Boxes, but just a smaller one.

On a side note, I've been looking to try some anime on my Netflix account, and they are sorely lacking... older series are either not there at all or missing dvds, and newer series are nonexistent. I'm not sure if this is intentionally done by the anime companies, or if it's just a sign of a declining fanbase and Netflix not feeling like there's enough demand...

I tried to rent anime from Netflix, It does suck bad.

davidh777
01-26-11, 02:02 AM
Missing discs would suck. I'd guess it'd be Netflix not wanting a piece of anime rather than the other way around, but I don't really know.

wildcatlh
01-28-11, 03:55 PM
FWIW, 3 of the top 4 series that started in Japan in early January have already been licensed in the US. So maybe things are picking up a bit.

WTK
01-28-11, 04:00 PM
FWIW, 3 of the top 4 series that started in Japan in early January have already been licensed in the US. So maybe things are picking up a bit.
Licensed? Streaming license is not the same as a media (DVD/BD) licenes. Not all streaming licenses will be released on DVD / BD. And sometimes even if they do get licensed for a physical media release, the turn around time typically is at least a year.

The only fully licensed (announced) from the January simulcasts would be Infinite Stratos by Sentai Filmworks.

RobLutter
02-07-11, 10:45 AM
I'd say at my peak I had around 500 anime discs... now pared down to about 150.

I'd say it's the quality of the anime coming out of Japan coupled with people getting distracted by other cheaper media (why spend $18 on a 4-6 episode anime DVD when you can get a movie on Blu-ray or an entire series boxset). This and in 2007... I graduated college. I had a full scholarship and a full-time job that basically paid for DVDs/games, my car, food.

Now I've gotta pay for rent and have a whole heckuva lot less free time to watch anime or catch up on fansubs. Open weekends are spent with my girlfriend who doesn't exactly seem keen on going to anime conventions with me. :D

I suspect a lot of other people "grew out" of the hobby as well from necessity rather than an active choice. Not to say I don't watch anime any more... I have all the Blu-ray boxsets of Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood owned or preordered and I'm actively collecting the DragonBoxes.

Also, many of the series I started collecting were never finished... and were ones that I really enjoyed. I'm looking at you Lupin. :) I sold the individual volumes a while back out of spite, but still have all the movie discs.

Is there a complete Lupin box released anywhere yet at a non-insane price? I know Japan just re-released an entire complete boxset but I think it cost the equivalent of the flat screen TV I'd be watching it on. :D

EDIT: Oh, I remembered correctly. $1143. Does include every bit of the TV series and movies... no subs. :) http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/detailview.html?KEY=VPBY-12974

wildcatlh
02-07-11, 05:01 PM
Licensed? Streaming license is not the same as a media (DVD/BD) licenes. Not all streaming licenses will be released on DVD / BD. And sometimes even if they do get licensed for a physical media release, the turn around time typically is at least a year.

The only fully licensed (announced) from the January simulcasts would be Infinite Stratos by Sentai Filmworks.

I know, but it's something. I do expect that Funi will eventually release Fractale. Freezing might be limited to the streaming webcasts though.

I don't mind the streaming-only stuff. At least it's a chance to watch. Besides, nearly all the anime I've purchased in the past 5-6 years were series I discovered through either streaming services or fansubs.

Spottedfeather
02-07-11, 05:05 PM
I haven't heard about any Anime slump. Of course Anime, just like everything else, goes through down times, but I wouldn't call it a slump. It may just not be as popular as it was, but it's still popular.

Ash Ketchum
02-07-11, 05:35 PM
I haven't heard about any Anime slump. Of course Anime, just like everything else, goes through down times, but I wouldn't call it a slump. It may just not be as popular as it was, but it's still popular.

You haven't read the rest of this thread, have you?

davidh777
02-08-11, 01:05 AM
:lol:

As far as what RobLutter said about paring down, it's probably fairly easy to do for a number of series that used to be single disc only and now are in compact sets.

fujishig
02-10-11, 11:51 AM
:lol:

As far as what RobLutter said about paring down, it's probably fairly easy to do for a number of series that used to be single disc only and now are in compact sets.

The number of discs wouldn't go down in most cases, though... I mean, if you wanted to, you could just throw the discs into more compact packaging yourself. I've contemplated doing that, myself.

RobLutter
02-10-11, 01:53 PM
The number of discs wouldn't go down in most cases, though... I mean, if you wanted to, you could just throw the discs into more compact packaging yourself. I've contemplated doing that, myself.
A few things I've sold the larger sets and gotten the compact sets, but mostly I sold a lot of discs I wasn't watching. :)

JCWBobC
09-01-11, 12:00 AM
Back in the early 90's I was the manager of a Saturday Matinee in Paramus, NJ. Back then their were no mall stores selling anime, or Japanimation as it was called back then. I was a fan, I would rent the tapes at Tower Records & make copies for myself, and I knew other people were into them so I would special order the tapes to sell in my store. Retail prices back then were between $40-$75 for an anime tape that would run between 30 minutes to 2 hours. Sometimes they would be $50 each for a 2 tape series and each tape was only 45 minutes. I think Guy was like that but I haven't watched them since I dubbed them to DVD back in 2003-2004.

They would sell out within the 2-3 days and the customers would be asking when we were getting more in. I would order more tapes and the same thing would happen so I told my district manager about them. He had never heard of them but since they were selling he had me make up a list of the top 10-20 anime tapes at the time so he could order them for all the stores in his district. Within the next 6 months every Saturday Matinee & FYE store had it's own anime section. Soon after that so did Sam Goody & Suncoast. Right around then a lot of magazines started to cover Anime & Hong Kong action films so they really took off in the US.

Now everything is so readily available the specialness of them has worn off, at least to me. Back then I couldn't wait to go to Chiller Theater conventions to see what new Hong Kong movies or anime the dealers were selling because you couldn't buy them in the US. Now with Netflix, Amazon, Best Buy, etc... their is no excitement about getting something that only some people had access to.

I remember when Street Fighter the Movie first showed up at Fangoria Weekend of Horrors in NY they were selling VHS copies, on blank tapes not the commercial releases, for $40 a tape with no subtitles. They were actually making copies at their table because so many people wanted to buy it. Now it's been released with subtitles, dubbed, with American music added, r-rated, unrated, etc... It's great that everything is so accessible now but that also makes it not as desirable, again just my opinion. Also having a wife & kids I just don't have time to watch a series like I used to when I was single or have the money to spend on discs like I used to.

Sorry for the long post but this thread brought back a lot of memories.

Ash Ketchum
09-01-11, 10:59 AM
Back in the early 90's I was the manager of a Saturday Matinee in Paramus, NJ. Back then their were no mall stores selling anime, or Japanimation as it was called back then. I was a fan, I would rent the tapes at Tower Records & make copies for myself, and I knew other people were into them so I would special order the tapes to sell in my store. Retail prices back then were between $40-$75 for an anime tape that would run between 30 minutes to 2 hours. Sometimes they would be $50 each for a 2 tape series and each tape was only 45 minutes. I think Guy was like that but I haven't watched them since I dubbed them to DVD back in 2003-2004.

They would sell out within the 2-3 days and the customers would be asking when we were getting more in. I would order more tapes and the same thing would happen so I told my district manager about them. He had never heard of them but since they were selling he had me make up a list of the top 10-20 anime tapes at the time so he could order them for all the stores in his district. Within the next 6 months every Saturday Matinee & FYE store had it's own anime section. Soon after that so did Sam Goody & Suncoast. Right around then a lot of magazines started to cover Anime & Hong Kong action films so they really took off in the US.

Now everything is so readily available the specialness of them has worn off, at least to me. Back then I couldn't wait to go to Chiller Theater conventions to see what new Hong Kong movies or anime the dealers were selling because you couldn't buy them in the US. Now with Netflix, Amazon, Best Buy, etc... their is no excitement about getting something that only some people had access to.

I remember when Street Fighter the Movie first showed up at Fangoria Weekend of Horrors in NY they were selling VHS copies, on blank tapes not the commercial releases, for $40 a tape with no subtitles. They were actually making copies at their table because so many people wanted to buy it. Now it's been released with subtitles, dubbed, with American music added, r-rated, unrated, etc... It's great that everything is so accessible now but that also makes it not as desirable, again just my opinion. Also having a wife & kids I just don't have time to watch a series like I used to when I was single or have the money to spend on discs like I used to.

Sorry for the long post but this thread brought back a lot of memories.

So, are you taking credit for the early '90s anime boom in the U.S.? :D
If so, thank you. If not, thank you anyway. Great stories. I remember those days as well and probably went past you at some of those conventions. (As a regular reviewer of anime since about 1994, I like to think that I had some influence, too, although I'm guessing your actions on the ground had much greater impact.)

While you can find out more about current anime on the internet, I miss the human touch where'd you go to dealers' tables at conventions and comic shows and talk to other fans and sample scenes on the dealers' monitors and such. The excitement at my first discovery of the "Street Fighter II-V" series and seeing it on fan-sub VHS tapes bought at those tables has been hard to duplicate in the years since. And I showed those tapes to my daughter and nephews and even did a presentation on the series at an academic conference! The DVD release just couldn't match the original viewing experience of those tapes. The image on those tapes had a different, more dramatic look. The DVD made some changes in color and lighting that altered the experience and I can't quite explain how.

These days, I get most excited when I discover something old and little-known in the U.S.--usually on Japanese VHS pre-records (which have extraordinary visual quality but no subtitles), like the boxing series, "Ashita no Joe" (Tomorrow's Joe, 1970); the baseball series, "Star of the Giants" (1968); the women's tennis series, "Ace wo Nerae" (Aim for the Ace, 1973); and the literary adaptation, "Dog of Flanders" (1975), all TV series that will NEVER get released in the U.S. I watched episodes from two of these series (Ashita no Joe and Dog of Flanders) for the recent August Animation Challenge over on the DVD Talk board (see link below) and they were just amazing discoveries.

Yet at the same time I also watched the first volume of "K-ON!," a recent series about high school girls forming a band, and I had a great time with that. It was just a lovely slice-of-life comedy-drama about ordinary girls who decide to something difficult--and have fun doing it. Why can't an American series do something like this? So they're still churning out interesting stuff in Japan.

JCWBobC
09-01-11, 02:49 PM
Not taking credit for the whole US boom but I did bring anime to Saturday Matinee and FYE stores.

I agree with everything you said and will have to look for some of the titles you listed. The early Chiller Theater conventions always felt special to me because you would find so many things that you didn't even know existed. Movies, Anime, wrestling tapes from Japan with blood, fire, barbed wire, etc...

Now you can jump on the internet and find anything you want in minutes but back then you only had 2 times a year to go to the convention so you saved your money up and hoped you didn't find too much stuff that you "couldn't live without".

I also have the complete Street Fighter 2 V Japanese series with subtitles, bought at a local comic book store, as well as the American commercial release of the series. I've always wanted to sit and watch each series to see how they are different but never had the time to invest in doing it.

Traxan
09-02-11, 12:51 AM
You'd think this would force Japan's hand on the whole one-and-done season style. There were so many great animes that could have had second or third seasons. Cowboy Bebop anyone? Or GITS:SAC? Witch Hunter Robin? But I guess they are holding fast.

Then again, I also heard the slump in Japan is due to the huge amount of output and the abysmal wages paid to people in the industry.

Bandai charging $30 a disc didn't help on this side of the ocean.

davidh777
11-15-11, 11:24 AM
Back in the early 90's I was the manager of a Saturday Matinee in Paramus, NJ. Back then their were no mall stores selling anime, or Japanimation as it was called back then. I was a fan, I would rent the tapes at Tower Records & make copies for myself, and I knew other people were into them so I would special order the tapes to sell in my store. Retail prices back then were between $40-$75 for an anime tape that would run between 30 minutes to 2 hours. Sometimes they would be $50 each for a 2 tape series and each tape was only 45 minutes. I think Guy was like that but I haven't watched them since I dubbed them to DVD back in 2003-2004.

They would sell out within the 2-3 days and the customers would be asking when we were getting more in. I would order more tapes and the same thing would happen so I told my district manager about them. He had never heard of them but since they were selling he had me make up a list of the top 10-20 anime tapes at the time so he could order them for all the stores in his district. Within the next 6 months every Saturday Matinee & FYE store had it's own anime section. Soon after that so did Sam Goody & Suncoast. Right around then a lot of magazines started to cover Anime & Hong Kong action films so they really took off in the US.

Now everything is so readily available the specialness of them has worn off, at least to me. Back then I couldn't wait to go to Chiller Theater conventions to see what new Hong Kong movies or anime the dealers were selling because you couldn't buy them in the US. Now with Netflix, Amazon, Best Buy, etc... their is no excitement about getting something that only some people had access to.

I remember when Street Fighter the Movie first showed up at Fangoria Weekend of Horrors in NY they were selling VHS copies, on blank tapes not the commercial releases, for $40 a tape with no subtitles. They were actually making copies at their table because so many people wanted to buy it. Now it's been released with subtitles, dubbed, with American music added, r-rated, unrated, etc... It's great that everything is so accessible now but that also makes it not as desirable, again just my opinion. Also having a wife & kids I just don't have time to watch a series like I used to when I was single or have the money to spend on discs like I used to.

Sorry for the long post but this thread brought back a lot of memories.

Love the story :up:

I see what you mean about it not being rare and special any more. The flip side is that mainstream releases probably mean cheaper prices, more selection, BD, etc.

DVD Polizei
12-18-11, 12:07 AM
Actually, I'm REGRETTING selling my Anime collection, as the Blu-ray replacements are simply upconverted, and more specifically, very careless upconverting.

Seems like the Anime folk who have the potential to keep Anime at its best, simply don't give a flying fuck and are merely slapping a Blu-ray label on it to get a few extra bucks.

So, I'm not buying this shit anymore. There are a few good titles, but 95% of the crap I bought, will not be re-purchased again.

chrisc31
12-18-11, 10:30 AM
Actually, I'm REGRETTING selling my Anime collection, as the Blu-ray replacements are simply upconverted, and more specifically, very careless upconverting.

Seems like the Anime folk who have the potential to keep Anime at its best, simply don't give a flying fuck and are merely slapping a Blu-ray label on it to get a few extra bucks.

So, I'm not buying this shit anymore. There are a few good titles, but 95% of the crap I bought, will not be re-purchased again.

I never compaired the two, I think that is what I will do today and let you know what I think. I have on dvd and blu-ray Chobits and Heaven's Lost Property.

Edit: I saw no difference between the Geneon DVD and the Funimation Blu-ray versions of Chobits, but I only watched 2 minutes of the first episode. For Heaven's Lost Property if you compaired the DVD & Blu-ray you would see the difference at some parts.

The way I see it is if its not one of my most favorite animes I am not going to rebuy for the blu-ray, if it is one of my favorits then even if I see no noticeable difference I would still rebuy for the Blu-ray. Quality is a major issue when I watch anime, Thats why I always buy animes I think the quality over the internet sucks to bad.

big e
12-26-11, 03:26 PM
Now everything is so readily available the specialness of them has worn off, at least to me. Back then I couldn't wait to go to Chiller Theater conventions to see what new Hong Kong movies or anime the dealers were selling because you couldn't buy them in the US. Now with Netflix, Amazon, Best Buy, etc... their is no excitement about getting something that only some people had access to.

I think this is the reason for anime's fall. The late '90s and early 2000s were a different time for anime. I got into anime in '98, the summer between 6th and 7th grade, and that medium hit me (and to a lesser extent a couple of my friends who got into it around the same time) like a ton of bricks. I became very interested in anime because it was something new and different and not a lot of people knew about it. I remember looking in the backs of magazines like Gamefan and Electronic Gaming Monthly and seeing these ads for import games and import action figures and wanting them so badly because they were something different and special. Then, once the internet became commonplace and everyone was online, everyone, everywhere had access to everything. You wanted an import game or an import action figure or an Japanese wall scroll, you went online to eBay or one of those stores that was advertised in the backs of game magazines and ordered it. I think very quickly the mystique surrounding anime evaporated and no one looked at it as something foreign and mysterious; it became commonplace and weird.

At this point post-crash, I think anime has regressed to how it was in the early and mid '90s: an underground entertainment medium that a very niche (but devoted) audience pays attention to. Depending on how the powers that be manage anime licenses in the next couple years, this regression could be a good thing. Perhaps now companies that are involved in anime will be more selective and give fans higher quality shows instead of one or two decent shows and a half dozen crappers like they seemed to be doing during the boom.

OutRun2
12-26-11, 06:23 PM
I think this is the reason for anime's fall. The late '90s and early 2000s were a different time for anime. I got into anime in '98, the summer between 6th and 7th grade, and that medium hit me (and to a lesser extent a couple of my friends who got into it around the same time) like a ton of bricks. I became very interested in anime because it was something new and different and not a lot of people knew about it. I remember looking in the backs of magazines like Gamefan and Electronic Gaming Monthly and seeing these ads for import games and import action figures and wanting them so badly because they were something different and special. Then, once the internet became commonplace and everyone was online, everyone, everywhere had access to everything. You wanted an import game or an import action figure or an Japanese wall scroll, you went online to eBay or one of those stores that was advertised in the backs of game magazines and ordered it. I think very quickly the mystique surrounding anime evaporated and no one looked at it as something foreign and mysterious; it became commonplace and weird.

At this point post-crash, I think anime has regressed to how it was in the early and mid '90s: an underground entertainment medium that a very niche (but devoted) audience pays attention to. Depending on how the powers that be manage anime licenses in the next couple years, this regression could be a good thing. Perhaps now companies that are involved in anime will be more selective and give fans higher quality shows instead of one or two decent shows and a half dozen crappers like they seemed to be doing during the boom.

Excellent post big_e. You hit the nail the on the head. It might be strange to say, but I think a lot of anime fans felt a certain vibe in the air about anime during the late 90's/early 2000's, that felt really fun and exciting, and now that feeling is gone. I was also a lot more interested and intrigued by Japanese culture during the mid to late 90's than I am now. Everytime I think about that period I get very nostalgic. Like you said, there was a certain mystique surrounding anime back then, that there isn't now.

God I wish I had a time machine.

big e
12-29-11, 07:44 PM
It's sad, what happened to the industry, but I put a lot of the blame on the companies that released anime stateside. They artificially inflated their own bubble during the Pokemon/DBZ craze in the late '90s and early 2000s, released way too much stuff, then burst their bubble by over-saturation and crashed the industry by 2008.

Ash Ketchum
12-30-11, 06:55 AM
Excellent post big_e. You hit the nail the on the head. It might be strange to say, but I think a lot of anime fans felt a certain vibe in the air about anime during the late 90's/early 2000's, that felt really fun and exciting, and now that feeling is gone. I was also a lot more interested and intrigued by Japanese culture during the mid to late 90's than I am now. Everytime I think about that period I get very nostalgic. Like you said, there was a certain mystique surrounding anime back then, that there isn't now.

God I wish I had a time machine.

If you have a VCR or a DVD player, you do have a time machine. You can watch anime from that period anytime you want. I love '80s anime myself and I have a large collection of it so I can plunge into it anytime I get the yearning. I just wish more of it had come out with English subs. before the bubble burst.

dugan
12-30-11, 01:34 PM
The year ended with Evangelion and Wolf's Rain going out of print. That's a pretty bad slump.

Sources:

http://www.fandompost.com/forums/showthread.php?7829-Wolf-s-Rain-going-OOP
http://www.fandompost.com/forums/showthread.php?7440-Neon-Genesis-Evangelion-%28TV%29-going-OOP

big e
12-30-11, 06:13 PM
The year ended with Evangelion and Wolf's Rain going out of print. That's a pretty bad slump.

Sources:

http://www.fandompost.com/forums/showthread.php?7829-Wolf-s-Rain-going-OOP
http://www.fandompost.com/forums/showthread.php?7440-Neon-Genesis-Evangelion-%28TV%29-going-OOP

Regarding Evangelion, I think that's a series where everyone who wanted to buy it, at this point probably already has. Hasn't it pretty much been in print for the last 10 years?

dugan
12-30-11, 06:40 PM
Regarding Evangelion, I think that's a series where everyone who wanted to buy it, at this point probably already has. Hasn't it pretty much been in print for the last 10 years?

That implies that the anime industry is failing to attract new fans.

big e
12-30-11, 09:17 PM
That implies that the anime industry is failing to attract new fans.

Maybe it isn't attracting new fans, or maybe the fans that are coming around don't want to watch Evangelion. Not everyone who is a anime fan wants to watch Evangelion. I've been a anime fan since I was 12 (I'll be 26 in exactly 2 weeks) and I have no interest in Evangelion. I've read enough about the show to conclude that I probably wouldn't like it, so I'm no going to waste my time on it. It also strikes me as a show that casual viewers and newcomers probably wouldn't buy right away. And aren't older shows usually a hard sell to newer fans anyways? Maybe the industry is attracting new fans, just not the type who would watch shows from the mid-'90's.

Sean O'Hara
01-01-12, 09:43 AM
Regarding Evangelion, I think that's a series where everyone who wanted to buy it, at this point probably already has. Hasn't it pretty much been in print for the last 10 years?

That implies that the anime industry is failing to attract new fans.

Before we conclude that kids these days aren't interested in Evangelion, we should consider the other possibility -- the license expired. Doesn't mean the title has lost popularity -- just look at the Sailor Moon manga, which was out of print for five years after TokyoPop lost the license but is now dominating the graphic novel bestseller list.

RobLutter
01-01-12, 10:02 AM
With the amazing Eva movies still coming out ... who would want the TV series anyways that doesn't have them already. IMHO Eva 2.22 blows the TV series out of the water... and I own both the R2 and R1 copies of the Revival release.

They probably just asked too much to renew. That's gotta be the most expensive title in all of anime.

Wolf's Rain has and will always be the most disappointing anime with the best talent behind it.

chrisc31
01-01-12, 01:22 PM
I have faith in Funimation to license Evangelion, They most likely just had to wait for ADV's license to expire.

OutRun2
01-01-12, 05:10 PM
With the amazing Eva movies still coming out ... who would want the TV series anyways that doesn't have them already. IMHO Eva 2.22 blows the TV series out of the water... and I own both the R2 and R1 copies of the Revival release.


There are some of us, like me, who enjoy watching an entire series of films in that respective collection, all in one sitting. I HATE the thought of watching the first couple of Eva Rebuild movies, only to have to wait until 20-friggin-13 to see the remaining two. Therefore I have vowed to wait until then before watching ANY of the films, so I will be able to enjoy all of them at once. Makes for a better viewing experience.

WTK
01-01-12, 11:20 PM
I have faith in Funimation to license Evangelion, They most likely just had to wait for ADV's license to expire.
While FUNimation is likely the candidate to reacquire this, it may not be for a while. There is good chance the scenario noted by Madman Entertainment (Australia) applies here as well.

LINK (http://madboards.madman.com.au/viewtopic.php?p=876329&highlight=#876329)
Unfortunately The EVA movies and TV series are out of print, we would love to be able to renew them, but this simply isn't possible until at the very earliest after the final renewal movie is released. We appreciate everyone's patience, we too want to be able to release these.

fujishig
01-03-12, 05:54 PM
It's sad, what happened to the industry, but I put a lot of the blame on the companies that released anime stateside. They artificially inflated their own bubble during the Pokemon/DBZ craze in the late '90s and early 2000s, released way too much stuff, then burst their bubble by over-saturation and crashed the industry by 2008.

You say that as if they could have sat back, licensed less, and grown more slowly and that would have caused anime to still be popular today.

Now if there were just massive bidding wars for the bigger properties from the domestic companies and that's what caused their downfall, I could understand. But it always seemed to me like the Japanese companies, even with an increasing reliance on the money from foreign releases, always overvalued their IPs and kept the licensing costs high. In the US, as DVDs and anime became more mainstream, prices dropped across the board; in Japan, collecting videos is a niche hobby and a very expensive one at that. People pay a premium to collect stuff even though they watched it all for free on TV.

Plus it's a niche market here, and always will be... it just doesn't have the mass appeal that other genres do. I'm not sure what they could have done to get more mainstream popularity than what they did. They are cartoons made for a Japanese audience, and outside of kids shows, much of it for a very narrow band of the Japanese audience.

big e
01-03-12, 10:22 PM
You say that as if they could have sat back, licensed less, and grown more slowly and that would have caused anime to still be popular today.

Now if there were just massive bidding wars for the bigger properties from the domestic companies and that's what caused their downfall, I could understand. But it always seemed to me like the Japanese companies, even with an increasing reliance on the money from foreign releases, always overvalued their IPs and kept the licensing costs high. In the US, as DVDs and anime became more mainstream, prices dropped across the board; in Japan, collecting videos is a niche hobby and a very expensive one at that. People pay a premium to collect stuff even though they watched it all for free on TV.

I think if the companies had been more selective with what they licensed, the anime industry wouldn't be in as bad a shape as it is now. Yes, there were multiple factors that led to the crash, but I think a major problem the American distribution companies had was that they weren't gauging whether what they were licensing was sellable to American anime fans or not. They just seemed to be grabbing whatever licensees they could get their hands on, regardless of whether or not what they were licensing would actually sell.

Plus it's a niche market here, and always will be... it just doesn't have the mass appeal that other genres do. I'm not sure what they could have done to get more mainstream popularity than what they did. They are cartoons made for a Japanese audience, and outside of kids shows, much of it for a very narrow band of the Japanese audience.

Yes, I agree with you; anime is, and always has been, a niche market in America. Which made me think, how weird it was that there was an anime bubble to begin with. Prior to the bubble, regular people always refereed to anime as "those weird Japanese cartoons", then after the bubble burst, they pretty much ignored it. I can see interest in anime rising during the Pokemon craze, but the bubble kept getting bigger and bigger even after the craze died down.

Ash Ketchum
01-04-12, 09:27 AM
There's a big gap between the niche market of American otaku who obsessively follow assorted anime TV series from Japan and the more casual fan, who's into film and regularly watches subtitled foreign films and will sample the more critically acclaimed anime like the Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli films and films by Satoshi Kon (TOKYO GODFATHERS) and Mamoru Oshii (GHOST IN THE SHELL). We're talking about the same audience who made hits out of RUN, LOLA, RUN, AMELIE, CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON, KUNG FU HUSTLE, OLDBOY, etc. As anime TV series go, these fans might take an interest in "Cowboy Bebop," but I can't imagine them obsessively following "High School of the Dead," "Clannad," or "Bleach," or...fill in the name of any series currently popular with the niche market. These casual fans may attend the Studio Ghibli festival currently unspooling in Manhattan, but they're not signing up for the Anime Network or Crunchyroll or any service like that. But they might rent PAPRIKA or SUMMER WARS from Netflix.

The question is...did the U.S.-based distributors ever learn to make a distinction between the two markets?

Sean O'Hara
01-04-12, 10:17 AM
There's a big gap between the niche market of American otaku who obsessively follow assorted anime TV series from Japan and the more casual fan, who's into film and regularly watches subtitled foreign films and will sample the more critically acclaimed anime like the Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli films and films by Satoshi Kon (TOKYO GODFATHERS) and Mamoru Oshii (GHOST IN THE SHELL). We're talking about the same audience who made hits out of RUN, LOLA, RUN, AMELIE, CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON, KUNG FU HUSTLE, OLDBOY, etc. As anime TV series go, these fans might take an interest in "Cowboy Bebop," but I can't imagine them obsessively following "High School of the Dead," "Clannad," or "Bleach," or...fill in the name of any series currently popular with the niche market.

I dunno about that. I think many of the non-fanservicey slice-of-life titles would appeal to such people -- Usagi Drop, Ikoku Meiro no Croisee, Ano Hana and possibly Hanasaku Iroha -- and Penguindrum is perfect for the arthouse crowd, what with it being nothing but densely packed symbolism wrapped around a bunch of screwed-up characters. Even Madoka with its subversiveness would be up their alley.

fujishig
01-04-12, 10:52 AM
That's a tough thing to gauge, though. What would sell to an American audience? Ghibli stuff is pretty much locked up by Disney. Viz seems to have the young boys market tied up with Bleach and Naruto and Pokemon. But even in that genre, you'd expect something like One Piece to gain some popularity and it pretty much bombed. Funimation can only re-release Dragon Ball so many times. Is there no middle ground between Ghibli and Shonen Jump titles?

The advantage those subtitled foreign films had were that they were films and they had some kind of mass release in theaters. I think only Ghibli titles have that as far as anime goes, and even those are pretty limited releases. I can't think of many subtitled tv shows that have hit it big. And the anime exposure on TV has been pretty limited anyway.

It may be harder for me to see clearly because I'm a niche fan, but I am curious what the major titles have been in the last few years. I do think the deep discounted sets and the fast releases of those sets after the singles came out led to people not bothering with the singles for even what one could consider AAA titles.

Ash Ketchum
01-04-12, 12:10 PM
I dunno about that. I think many of the non-fanservicey slice-of-life titles would appeal to such people -- Usagi Drop, Ikoku Meiro no Croisee, Ano Hana and possibly Hanasaku Iroha -- and Penguindrum is perfect for the arthouse crowd, what with it being nothing but densely packed symbolism wrapped around a bunch of screwed-up characters. Even Madoka with its subversiveness would be up their alley.

Yeah, but how do you get them to even sample such titles? I'm a member of the niche audience, yet I've never even heard of the first five titles you listed. And I've only heard of Madoka from a thread on this board. I've seen tons of things that I think "civilians" would like, and I've given plenty of public presentations where I've had the opportunity to show these things, but if something like "His and Her Circumstances," to name one series I've used successfully, is only marketed to niche anime fans, how are the civilians gonna find out about it?

big e
01-04-12, 12:12 PM
To be honest, even back in the day, I wasn't that interested in a lot of the more popular shows and generas. I never cared for Tenchi (honestly, i thought it was a boring show and the humor fell pretty flat with me), didn't pay attention to Ranma, Inuyasha, or Kenshin. I didn't like shonen shows, harem, comedy (regardless of what it showed up in, I never found anime comedy to be "funny"), slice-of-life, or magical girl shows. The only shows I watched religiously were DBZ, Gundam Wing, and Sailor Moon, and now I no longer care for 2 of those 3 shows.

I never really paid attention to the shows that were popular and instead went out and found my own shows either via blind buys or Starz/Encore's anime block. Maybe I've always been a casual fan and am now just beginning to realize it.

big e
01-04-12, 12:13 PM
Yeah, but how do you get them to even sample such titles? I'm a member of the niche audience, yet I've never even heard of the first five titles you listed. And I've only heard of Madoka from a thread on this board. I've seen tons of things that I think "civilians" would like, and I've given plenty of public presentations where I've had the opportunity to show these things, but if something like "His and Her Circumstances," to name one series I've used successfully, is only marketed to niche anime fans, how are the civilians gonna find out about it?

That's what I thought when I read his post. Would the arthouse crowd even be interested in anime?

Sean O'Hara
01-04-12, 01:12 PM
Yeah, but how do you get them to even sample such titles? I'm a member of the niche audience, yet I've never even heard of the first five titles you listed. And I've only heard of Madoka from a thread on this board.

They're all fairly recent shows so they haven't had DVD releases in the US yet, but two (Usagi Drop and Hanasaku Iroha) are available on Crunchyroll and Ikoku Meiro no Croisee has been licensed. They're all stories that could be done as live action drama series, except for Penguin Drum which is more of a David Lynch film.

I've seen tons of things that I think "civilians" would like, and I've given plenty of public presentations where I've had the opportunity to show these things, but if something like "His and Her Circumstances," to name one series I've used successfully, is only marketed to niche anime fans, how are the civilians gonna find out about it?

But that's an issue of marketing. It's not like Highschool of the Dead where the average art-house denizen would be appalled if you tried to get him to watch it regardless of how it's packaged. It's not that different from what's gone on with Japanese sci-fi novels -- when manga publishers first tried to sell them, they made the books look too much like manga, so bookstores shelved them with graphic novels and most SF fans didn't know they existed. Then Viz and Yen figured out what they were doing wrong. Viz hired someone versed in sci-fi publishing and spun off the Haikasoru imprint, while Yen used their corporate parent to get their books shelved in the Young Adult section where they belong.

RobLutter
01-04-12, 01:54 PM
I think the problem is that the companies tried to make anime too big.

It was really special when we went into that strange Japanese market in high school and paid $40 for a VHS fansub of Dragon ball Z or Ranma 1/2 that had 2-3 episodes and passed it around too all our geeky friends.

What really killed anime in the US was trying to mainstream it. Being able to walk into Best Buy and pick up an entire series of anime for $20 whereas a few years earlier I remember paying $30 for X (TV) JUST TO GET THOSE GODDAMN SLIPCOVERS A) took the fun out of it B) killed the distributors C) annoyed core fans who didn't care about getting it all in a thin little box.

Instead of new releases.... distributors repackaged old stuff that they already had the license for. They basically turned a the experience of buying 1 Porsche every three years into buying a Honda Civic every year. .. ... That only makes sense to me, right? :)

I think it will continue with the niche that you can find at your local anime convention. I was a long-time staffer at Otakon and their attendance has been going up up up while anime has been going down down down.

I'd just like to add that I am STILL waiting for a release of Yakitate Japan ;)

fujishig
01-04-12, 06:11 PM
Again, though, how did it kill the market by making it bigger and by bringing out more titles? It's not like the hardcore fanbase is gone, it's the mainstream converts that are gone, but that's true of any fad. If anything, the hardcore fanbase is bigger. So they boomed and busted, but is the anime industry any worse off than the early days of those 2 to 3 episode tapes, or the mailed out fansubs, or the Australian accents in Clash of the Bionoids? More anime is available than ever before, and I don't see that as a bad thing. The distributors are less (and I still really, really miss Geneon) but that's what the market can support... The bad part is that I don't think a lot of the current fanbase really wants to buy anime, at least not from the domestic companies.

But heck, even if translated anime somehow goes completely extinct, it was a good run. I never thought I'd see Gundam and St. Seiya toys at an American Toys R Us.

big e
01-04-12, 06:40 PM
What really killed anime in the US was trying to mainstream it. Being able to walk into Best Buy and pick up an entire series of anime for $20 whereas a few years earlier I remember paying $30 for X (TV) JUST TO GET THOSE GODDAMN SLIPCOVERS A) took the fun out of it B) killed the distributors C) annoyed core fans who didn't care about getting it all in a thin little box.

So it's a bad business decision to try to make a product you're selling available to the widest audience possible?

RobLutter
01-04-12, 06:45 PM
So it's a bad business decision to try to make a product you're selling available to the widest audience possible?

Let's ask ADV...or Central Park Media... or Geneon ... or Tokyopop or ...<insert 5 more companies here.>

I still don't understand how Animeigo is still around.

I know its a dumb argument... but its all I've got! :)

big e
01-04-12, 07:12 PM
Let's ask ADV...

Didn't ADV kill themselves when they entered a couple bad licensing agreements? And technically weren't they reorganized into Sentai?

or Central Park Media...

I always thought CPM kinda burned out. I don't recall them releasing a whole lot during the boom. They seemed like one of those '90's companies that faded away when Funimation, ADV, and Geneon became the main players.

or Geneon ...

Their death was related to Geneon Japan (or whatever their parent company was called) merging with Universal. Personally, I'm still shocked that Geneon USA shut down.

or Tokyopop or

Weren't they in trouble for a couple years?

I still don't understand how Animeigo is still around.

Animeigo's still around? I thought they died a couple years ago.

WTK
01-04-12, 07:22 PM
Didn't ADV kill themselves when they entered a couple bad licensing agreements? And technically weren't they reorganized into Sentai?
Yes and no. ADV Films by itself right now technically still exists. It still holds anime licenses/rights until they expire, but they no longer acquire any new licenses anymore. And then you get Section23 Films (doing only distribution and no licensing). Section23 Films distribute for the likes of Sentai Filmworks, Maiden Japan, AESir Holdings, and ADV Films. In some ways I just call them the "Houston group."
Animeigo's still around? I thought they died a couple years ago.
They are quite alive. They are no longer licensing anime. They are just letting older anime licenses expire (last year Oh! My Goddess and Urusei Yatsura; You're Under Arrest: S1 later this month). They are dealing with live-action stuff nowadays (primarily samurai films).

chrisc31
01-07-12, 10:54 PM
Geneon Entertainment (USA) ceased the sales and distribution of DVDs as of September 28, 2007.
Bandai Visual (USA) combined with Bandai Entertainment (USA) by September 2008
Central Park Media/US Manga Corps filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on April 27, 2009
ADV Films announced it was selling off its assets on September 1, 2009
Tokyopop shut down on May 31, 2011
Bandai Entertainment (USA) announced that they will stop offering new DVD, Blu-Ray disc and manga releases by February 2012.


The slump looks pretty bad looking at what happend the past few years, I didn't even mention how many anime/Manga companies laid off employees. did I miss any companies thats no longer around?

Section23 Films distribute for the likes of Sentai Filmworks, Maiden Japan, AESir Holdings, and ADV Films. In some ways I just call them the "Houston group."
Most people call them "Neo-ADV"

Animeigo's still around? I thought they died a couple years ago.They are quite alive. They are no longer licensing anime.

AnimEigo just licensed "Growing Up With Hello Kitty."

WTK
01-10-12, 06:07 PM
via ANN (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2012-01-10/media-blasters-lays-off-60-percent-of-its-staff)
Media Blasters Lays Off 60% of Its Staff

posted on 2012-01-10 19:01 EST

N. American anime, live-action series distributor plans to continue releases

John Sirabella (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/people.php?id=577), CEO of the North American anime distributor Media Blasters (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/company.php?id=7), confirmed with ANN that the company laid of most of its employees on Tuesday.

Sirabella said that Media Blasters' staff decreased from 15 to five or six regular employees. He noted that the company will ask former staff members to continue to work on a freelance basis, but he does not expect all of the laid-off employees to agree to this. Sirabella also stated, "All of the small publishers are going through this sort of thing right now. Not just anime. Everyone's transitioning from full-time staff to freelancers."

The Media Blasters CEO expects the company to continue releasing the same number of titles as before the lay offs. Upcoming planned releases include (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2011-11-14/media-blasters-to-release-kite-anime-on-bd) Blu-ray versions of the action drama anime video Kite (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=163) on February 28 and (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2011-11-14/media-blasters-to-release-1st-squid-girl-season-on-bd) the entire first season of the Squid Girl (Shinryaku! Ika Musume (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=11421)) comedy anime on March 13.

The New York-based company began releasing anime in North America in 1997. It has distributed all-audience anime under its AnimeWorks (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/company.php?id=91) division as well as adult titles through Kitty Media (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/company.php?id=746). In addition to anime and manga, Media Blasters has licensed and released live-action Japanese and Asian films and television series such as GTO: The Movie (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=3181), Kamen Rider the First (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=5565), and Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=4193).

chrisc31
01-10-12, 08:00 PM
That sucks I really like Media Blasters to, I predict they won't be around by the end of the year if things don't change. They had about 50 employees before last march.

History of Media Blasters layoffs.

Via Ann posted on 2010-03-08 (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2010-03-08/media-blasters-reduces-staff-with-layoffs-furloughs)

ANN has confirmed that the North American anime and manga distributor Media Blasters is undergoing a round of staff layoffs and furloughs that began on Friday and will continue through Tuesday. At least 13 employees have been laid off or furloughed; most were from the company's print and accounting departments, but the acquisitions, video production, and sales departments were also affected. The company had less than 50 employees before the layoffs and furloughs.

Media Blasters CEO John Sirabella told ANN that the company hopes to rehire the furloughed employees and explained the circumstances that led to the layoffs: "Recently, some of our larger vendors have slowed down quite a bit, so we have to take precautions." He added, "We are hoping that if we start to see the orders flow back from these vendors, we can bring [the furloughed employees] back later."

Media Blasters had to push back several titles last year, but Sirabella said that the company is trying to make sure that titles on the current schedule will ship on time. He does not anticipate that these layoffs will affect the company's release schedule.

History of VIZ Media layoffs.

Via Ann posted on 2010-05-11 (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2010-05-11/pw/viz-media-lays-off-up-to-60-closes-ny-branch)

The Publishers Weekly trade magazine reports that the North American manga and anime publisher Viz Media has laid off up to 55 people at its San Francisco headquarters and closed its New York branch, which had five employees. According to the magazine, the layoffs represents about 40% of the publisher's workforce. Viz confirmed the layoffs with Publishers Weekly on Tuesday, but not the number of layoffs.

Viz restructured with a round of layoffs in February of 2009 (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2009-02-23/viz-media-restructures-with-some-employee-layoffs).

davidh777
01-11-12, 04:26 PM
^Good point--I had forgotten about that round of VIZ layoffs

fujishig
01-11-12, 05:37 PM
So I've been reading reactions around the web about the Bandai Entertainment news, and everytime someone comments something like their shutdown is "good, because hey, there are always fansubs of everything anyway, and anime should be equivalent in price to American TV show releases anyway" it makes me sad...

flansered
01-17-12, 08:46 AM
I was watching the Discotek release of the Fist of the North Star movie, and even though I was watching it subbed, I had to go back a couple of times and listen to the old dub track, which I haven't heard since the last time I watched the movie probably 15 years ago. And it made me realize how much I miss the old Streamline dubs. I really wish that there would be an American release of Castle of the Cagliostro on dvd or bluray that used the Streamline dub, since I always thought that it was way more fun than the dub that Manga Entertainment produced. I've got a region 2 disc that has it, but I'd be nice to have it on something that doesn't involve me moving equipment to another room to be able to watch.

big e
01-19-12, 12:14 PM
I would like to add that I think another factor that led to anime's fall was the types of shows that were being released during the later part of the boom. Looking back, prior to and during the early years of the boom, there seemed to be more variety to the shows and movies companies were releasing. As the years passed, to me the variety seemed to disappear and companies seemed to release more and more of the same types of shows (shonen, harem, fan-service. at least these are the types I remember being advertised). I know I started to get bored with what was being released and I wouldn't be surprised if numerous other casual fans did as well and left anime out of boredom/disinterest. It almost happened to me a couple times.

Even now, all these years after the boom, there still doesn't seem to be much variety in what anime shows get released (except now everything seems to be oriented around that moe crap). Looking at a lot of the releases form the last couple months, it still seems like companies are releasing the same types of shows that were being released years ago.

Sean O'Hara
01-19-12, 01:17 PM
Well NIS is making an effort with shows like Toradora, Wagnaria and Kimi ni Todoke, but the fact that they don't even bother dubbing them suggests they only expect to sell them to anime fans. And Sentai does pick up some interesting titles, like the recently announced Another and Bodacious Space Pirates.

fujishig
01-19-12, 03:13 PM
I would like to add that I think another factor that led to anime's fall was the types of shows that were being released during the later part of the boom. Looking back, prior to and during the early years of the boom, there seemed to be more variety to the shows and movies companies were releasing. As the years passed, to me the variety seemed to disappear and companies seemed to release more and more of the same types of shows (shonen, harem, fan-service. at least these are the types I remember being advertised). I know I started to get bored with what was being released and I wouldn't be surprised if numerous other casual fans did as well and left anime out of boredom/disinterest. It almost happened to me a couple times.

Even now, all these years after the boom, there still doesn't seem to be much variety in what anime shows get released (except now everything seems to be oriented around that moe crap). Looking at a lot of the releases form the last couple months, it still seems like companies are releasing the same types of shows that were being released years ago.

I think part of this was due to the newness of it... there was an entire back catalog of stuff to choose from and you could get the best of the past few years, so there was more variety. Another part of it is the rut that anime in Japan has fallen into... it's getting harder and harder to find a show that's not either a kid's show or moe. I'll add that while I don't follow new anime properties in Japan religiously, there aren't many series that have been passed on by the major domestic companies that I thought would've been a hit here in America if they just brought it over, the exception being the ones caught up in legal entanglements (like Macross Frontier).

I am curious what kind of titles attracted you to anime in the beginning, though (though that may be out of place in this thread).

big e
01-20-12, 10:17 PM
I think part of this was due to the newness of it... there was an entire back catalog of stuff to choose from and you could get the best of the past few years, so there was more variety. Another part of it is the rut that anime in Japan has fallen into... it's getting harder and harder to find a show that's not either a kid's show or moe. I'll add that while I don't follow new anime properties in Japan religiously, there aren't many series that have been passed on by the major domestic companies that I thought would've been a hit here in America if they just brought it over, the exception being the ones caught up in legal entanglements (like Macross Frontier).

I am curious what kind of titles attracted you to anime in the beginning, though (though that may be out of place in this thread).

I don't know that much about the background surrounding the Macross legal fiasco, but you would've thought by now someone would've cleared that up. Hasn't it been going on since the early '90's?

As for what titles attracted me to anime, Dragonball Z* and Gundam Wing were the two big titles that really hooked me, but the first thing I watched knowing it was anime was Sailor Moon on Cartoon Network (I'll be honest, I started watching it because I thought the girls were cute :wub:). The following Saturday was when I saw DBZ for the first time and after that I was hooked. It's kind of funny looking back at what hooked me onto anime since I no longer like DBZ or Gundam Wing. I remember being intrigued by Akira a few years before I got into anime. Late at night in the mid-'90's, I remember seeing ads on TV for an anime video club and Akira was one of the movies they previewed. That was the first thing I saw that I knew was anime and knew the name of. I remember thinking it looked so messed up and wanted to see it based on it's weirdness. I wouldn't actually see it until late 2001, but in my early anime days it remained firmly in my mind. When it was released on DVD in that big steelbook, I immediately pre-ordered from the newly opened Suncoast in my mall.

I don't recall watching that many series during my early days. Sure, I watched some of the shows that were on Toonami, but I mainly watched movies and OVAs that showed up on Encore and Starz Action's anime block. I did start watching more series later on, but they were mainly shows I found out about on my own that weren't airing on TV (that I knew of).


*I started watching DBZ when it still aired Saturday mornings on ABC. It was taken off after a couple weeks, then showed up on CN in either late '98 or early '99.

big e
01-29-12, 04:36 PM
I've started watching Full Metal Panic after having the Blus for seasons 1 & 2 sit in my backlog since Christmas 2010, and I've got to say, I'm really not feeling it. I'm on episode 8 and so far the show hasn't wowed me. I know a lot of fans have said this series was one of the best animes of the last decade, but I honestly think it feels pretty similar to a lot of other shows I watched during the boom. Right now I'm wondering whether I should go on with the series or drop it and put the Blus up for sale on Amazon.

Maybe this is a indication that I'm done with anime and should move on?

chrisc31
01-29-12, 06:10 PM
^ I am not even interested in animes like that, I go for fan-service and drama animes. for drama Clannad, Kanon, and Angel Beats! is the best and Shuffle!, and Rosario + Vampire for fan-service. I also love so many other animes not just those.

Have you tried to watch other Genres of animes. I also can't stand any of the main stream animes.

GreenMonkey
01-29-12, 07:43 PM
I've started watching Full Metal Panic after having the Blus for seasons 1 & 2 sit in my backlog since Christmas 2010, and I've got to say, I'm really not feeling it. I'm on episode 8 and so far the show hasn't wowed me. I know a lot of fans have said this series was one of the best animes of the last decade, but I honestly think it feels pretty similar to a lot of other shows I watched during the boom. Right now I'm wondering whether I should go on with the series or drop it and put the Blus up for sale on Amazon.

Maybe this is a indication that I'm done with anime and should move on?

Best of the decade? Maybe you mean Full Metal Alchemist? J/k. I didn't find it anything special (what I watched of it). Depends on what kind of stuff you like... You should make a recommendation thread.

big e
01-29-12, 07:58 PM
^ I am not even interested in animes like that, I go for fan-service and drama animes. for drama Clannad, Kanon, and Angel Beats! is the best and Shuffle!, and Rosario + Vampire for fan-service. I also love so many other animes not just those.

Have you tried to watch other Genres of animes. I also can't stand any of the main stream animes.

Yea, I watch other generas, although my preferred would be sci-fi. I personally don't care for fan-service, shonen, comedy, slice-of-life, or harem shows, which does limit what I'm going to be viewing. Horror is a wild card; there's some horror stuff I've seen that I've liked (Vampire Hunter D) and other stuff that came off as weird, and not in a good way.

I don't dislike Full Metal Panic; it just hasn't impressed me yet, and if these first seven episodes are any indication of what to expect from the rest of the series, then I don't foresee it ever impressing me.

big e
01-29-12, 08:03 PM
Best of the decade? Maybe you mean Full Metal Alchemist? J/k. I didn't find it anything special (what I watched of it). Depends on what kind of stuff you like... You should make a recommendation thread.

I think I did make a recommendation thread on here a couple years ago, but I don't think anyone really responded to it.

OutRun2
01-30-12, 04:35 AM
Yea, I watch other generas, although my preferred would be sci-fi. I personally don't care for fan-service, shonen, comedy, slice-of-life, or harem shows, which does limit what I'm going to be viewing. Horror is a wild card; there's some horror stuff I've seen that I've liked (Vampire Hunter D) and other stuff that came off as weird, and not in a good way.

I don't dislike Full Metal Panic; it just hasn't impressed me yet, and if these first seven episodes are any indication of what to expect from the rest of the series, then I don't foresee it ever impressing me.

Have you seen Macross Frontier, Berserk, Gungrave, Vision of Escaflowne, Evangellion, and Cowboy Bebop?

big e
01-30-12, 11:54 AM
Have you seen Macross Frontier, Berserk, Gungrave, Vision of Escaflowne, Evangellion, and Cowboy Bebop?

I have seen and own collections of Berserk and Cowboy Bebop (one of my favorites). As I said a few posts back, I don't have any interest in watching Evangelion. Gungrave and Escaflowne I know of, but neither one really crossed my radar. Macross Frontier did cross my radar, I just never got around to seeing it.

big e
01-31-12, 08:22 PM
I finished watching Full Metal Panic episode 10 today and I've decided to drop the show. The series just isn't for me. It was something I wanted to like, but the mixture of comedy and action/drama made for a, IMO, very unbalanced show. Not to mention the main girl, Kaname, came off as very irritating and, even when being kidnapped and shot at by terrorists, acted like the whole thing was a big joke.

OutRun2
02-01-12, 02:57 AM
I have seen and own collections of Berserk and Cowboy Bebop (one of my favorites). As I said a few posts back, I don't have any interest in watching Evangelion. Gungrave and Escaflowne I know of, but neither one really crossed my radar. Macross Frontier did cross my radar, I just never got around to seeing it.

Escaflowne is very good so if you get a chance, watch it. But dude seriously...you need to watch Gungrave....NOW!!!!!! It's SUPERB!

RichC2
02-01-12, 10:09 AM
Anime needs another 1995 - 2000 era.

Evangelion, Escaflowne, Trigun, Cowboy Bebop, DBZ was still airing, Berserk, Serial Experiments Lain, Tenchi, Boogiepop, Excel Saga, etc;

I think that's where a bulk of the business in the early 2000s came from, creating a surge in popularity and in part causing the giant crash we have now.

Feels odd that Evangelion is over 15 years old at this point.

Ash Ketchum
02-01-12, 11:43 AM
Anime needs another 1995 - 2000 era.

Evangelion, Escaflowne, Trigun, Cowboy Bebop, DBZ was still airing, Berserk, Serial Experiments Lain, Tenchi, Boogiepop, Excel Saga, etc;

I think that's where a bulk of the business in the early 2000s came from, creating a surge in popularity and in part causing the giant crash we have now.

Feels odd that Evangelion is over 15 years old at this point.

Not to mention Rurouni Kenshin and Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040.

big e
03-05-12, 07:14 PM
I've been thinking, could another factor that contributed to anime's downfall be that the industry began aiming itself at too many demographics? Prior to the Pokemon craze, I always associated anime with college-aged students, but after Pokemon came out, it seemed like the industry began moving more towards releasing shows for young teens and little kids. Maybe I just have a weird way of remembering it but to me it seems like after Pokemon became popular, there were less and less mature* shows (the stuff I wanted to see) and more and more kiddie shows, teen comedies, and shonen stuff. There was still mature stuff being released; I just recall it being overshadowed by a lot of teen and kiddie stuff.




*When I say "mature" I don't mean violent or pornographic movies; I mean movies that were aimed at people in their late teens/early twenties.

big e
03-05-12, 07:24 PM
Something else I noticed was that there seemed to be less movies released as time went on. It seemed like distributors became more focused on licensing series rather than movies. I was never very interested in watching series, to be honest. From the get go, I thought they had little replay value. An initial viewing I was OK with; I just never thought I would have a desire or time to sit and rewatch a 50 or 100 or 100+ episode series.

Ash Ketchum
03-06-12, 03:57 AM
Something else I noticed was that there seemed to be less movies released as time went on. It seemed like distributors became more focused on licensing series rather than movies. I was never very interested in watching series, to be honest. From the get go, I thought they had little replay value. An initial viewing I was OK with; I just never thought I would have a desire or time to sit and rewatch a 50 or 100 or 100+ episode series.

And it didn't help that most of the anime movies released in Japan in the last ten years or so have been spinoffs of TV series, e.g. the Pokemon, Naruto, Doraemon, and Detective Conan movies, etc., plus the Full Metal Alchemist movie and a bunch of others. They've tended to be boxoffice hits in Japan, too, while more serious efforts tend to struggle. How many anime movies that weren't TV spinoffs even got released on DVD in the U.S. in the last ten years? I can probably list them all off the top of my head: TOKYO GODFATHERS, STEAMBOY, GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: INNOCENCE, PAPRIKA, SUMMER WARS, plus the Studio Ghibli releases: HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE, PONYO, TALES FROM EARTHSEA. Quite a change from the 1990s, right?

The Bus
03-06-12, 04:16 AM
And here I thought I stopped watching anime because I had "outgrown" it (which is like saying you've outgrown architecture).

So it's not just me... a lot of people find the current stuff unappealing. :lol:

fujishig
03-06-12, 05:26 PM
Again, it's a reflection of the anime industry in Japan, which has a lot of stuff for kids (mainly based on kid's or young adults manga, like Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, etc.) and a lot of stuff for the dedicated otaku who's into moe or whatever, but not a lot in between.

But I do think they released a lot of stuff that would have appealed to young adults, it just became a very very crowded market. I'm not sure which series you mean when you say pre-Pokemon; if you go by stuff that was aired on tv and available to a wide audience, like Gundam Wing and Dragonball Z, that was targeted at kids too. Sure there's Cowboy Bebop and FLCL and some other Adult Swim stuff, but you can pick almost any year and we could probably list a bunch of quality titles of a similar vein after that that just never got picked up. Once Cartoon Network decided that their original programming was more important/profitable than anime, there went the outlet (and even now, it is maddening how they schedule stuff like Young Justice and the new Thundercats).

Movies/OAVs must not be that popular and/or cost too much compared to a series or something. Funimation, for example, has only released a single One Piece movie here.

chrisc31
03-06-12, 06:00 PM
Many anime movies have come out here in the past few years, I think I will make an anime movie thread now.

anyone watch "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" or "The Place Promised in Our Early Days" I just ordered the first one.

big e
03-06-12, 06:11 PM
Movies/OAVs must not be that popular and/or cost too much compared to a series or something. Funimation, for example, has only released a single One Piece movie here.

I would've thought it would cost less to license a movie than it would to license a 26 or 50 or 100 episode series.

Is One Piece doing alright over here? I don't have any interest in the show itself, but it seems like it's something that should be popular with teenagers. I don't recall hearing anything about it for the last couple years.

fujishig
03-06-12, 06:43 PM
One Piece is not popular here, not compared to Naruto and Bleach, which is a bit surprising because it's sooo popular in Japan and has more ties with American culture (pirates as opposed to ninjas or shinigami) than either of them.

as for the tv series vs. movies/oavs, I meant more that there are probably more ways to repackage/get money from a longer tv series. A movie or short oav series has pretty much one shot to sell; tv series, even in this day and age of larger collections, are usually released in parts and then later a collection, etc. Plus, for something like an OAV which doesn't depend on TV to fund it, but on actual purchases, the pricing structure in Japan is very steep; you're not getting that kind of price here, but the studios may still expect a bigger licensing fee. I wonder how much Hellsing (the new one), for instance, cost to license, that's an OAV.

big e
03-07-12, 10:28 PM
One Piece is not popular here, not compared to Naruto and Bleach, which is a bit surprising because it's sooo popular in Japan and has more ties with American culture (pirates as opposed to ninjas or shinigami) than either of them.

That's kind of like with Gundam, it's really popular in Japan, yet over here it didn't really make much of a splash outside of Gundam Wing. I've been thinking, maybe the anime boom was fluke? It seems so weird that a medium that mainstream audiences never paid attention to was all of the sudden really really popular, then crashed horribly a few years later. Maybe that shows there was never a major audience for anime to begin with? It was just Pokemon and a few other shows that were popular and the distributors went license crazy.

davidh777
03-08-12, 12:41 AM
Many anime movies have come out here in the past few years, I think I will make an anime movie thread now.

anyone watch "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" or "The Place Promised in Our Early Days" I just ordered the first one.

:wave: I saw the first one and liked it.


as for the tv series vs. movies/oavs, I meant more that there are probably more ways to repackage/get money from a longer tv series. A movie or short oav series has pretty much one shot to sell; tv series, even in this day and age of larger collections, are usually released in parts and then later a collection, etc. Plus, for something like an OAV which doesn't depend on TV to fund it, but on actual purchases, the pricing structure in Japan is very steep; you're not getting that kind of price here, but the studios may still expect a bigger licensing fee. I wonder how much Hellsing (the new one), for instance, cost to license, that's an OAV.

True, though--and we've probably discussed this before--the episodic-release system isn't nearly as lucrative as it used to be, when all series came out in those four-episode volumes, then larger collections. Give credit to Funimation for figuring out how to release Origin: Spirits of the Past at least four times on physical media (DVD, SE DVD, BD, Veridian). :D

OutRun2
03-08-12, 02:32 AM
That's kind of like with Gundam, it's really popular in Japan, yet over here it didn't really make much of a splash outside of Gundam Wing. I've been thinking, maybe the anime boom was fluke? It seems so weird that a medium that mainstream audiences never paid attention to was all of the sudden really really popular, then crashed horribly a few years later. Maybe that shows there was never a major audience for anime to begin with? It was just Pokemon and a few other shows that were popular and the distributors went license crazy.

It's even more strange that cons here in the US are growing! Anime Expo had an attendance of something like 100,000 last year! So many fans yet they're not buying anime....something smells fishy, and I think these torrent sites are huge part of the problem.

Ash Ketchum
03-08-12, 06:26 AM
Many anime movies have come out here in the past few years, I think I will make an anime movie thread now.

anyone watch "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" or "The Place Promised in Our Early Days" I just ordered the first one.

You named two that I didn't name. That doesn't quite add up to "many." Name any others released here in the 2000s that weren't TV spinoffs and if they qualify as "many," I'll stand corrected.

flansered
03-08-12, 09:09 AM
You didn't mention Millennium Actress, which also wasn't a tv spinoff. So that's three.

Ash Ketchum
03-08-12, 10:26 AM
You didn't mention Millennium Actress, which also wasn't a tv spinoff. So that's three.

I'd even thought of it when doing my post, so I don't know why I didn't include it. And I'd seen THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME only about a week earlier, too. So how I could have forgotten about it...

Chris's Anime Movie thread reminded me of a few others I'd forgotten, including SKY CRAWLERS, which I saw at Lincoln Center, APPLESEED, which I also saw on the big screen, and that one with ORIGIN in the title, and a few others he cites.

So--oops!--yeah, I stand corrected. :doh:

Which is fine--more anime features on the market is a good thing all around.

fujishig
03-08-12, 02:29 PM
It's even more strange that cons here in the US are growing! Anime Expo had an attendance of something like 100,000 last year! So many fans yet they're not buying anime....something smells fishy, and I think these torrent sites are huge part of the problem.

While I think pirating is a problem (and not everyone seems to think so), there are also other sources like Crunchryool where you don't need to buy anything if you just want to watch.

Anime fans, like manga fans, get impatient and want the latest releases right now; fansubs and fan translations (and crunchyroll) give that to them, for free. If you look at the Con fans, they're likely into the latest things, which is usually not the stuff that's coming out domestically. And once you've watched it for free, even the most diehard fan is hard pressed to go spend the money on every domestic release when it first comes out. And this must make it tough for the domestic companies to know which licenses to go after.

As an aside to the manga side of things, to combat this Viz started this online weekly shonen jump, where for a small fee you can have 100+ pages of shonen jump series every week, just two weeks after they are released in Shonen Jump in Japan. that's unprecedented, and it's not even available in Japan, and yet most of the comments I've seen online are: "yeah, but the fan translations come in on the same week, so why should I pay for a delay."

I'll agree that this is a niche and that the bubble has popped, but I still think there are enough fans domestically to support the industry; whether those fans are interested in supporting the industry is another thing entirely.

Of course, I'm the loser who paid Bandai a premium for those Gundam Unicorn Blu Rays that I'll probably never see finished...

chrisc31
03-08-12, 04:59 PM
I'd even thought of it when doing my post, so I don't know why I didn't include it. And I'd seen THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME only about a week earlier, too. So how I could have forgotten about it...

Chris's Anime Movie thread reminded me of a few others I'd forgotten, including SKY CRAWLERS, which I saw at Lincoln Center, APPLESEED, which I also saw on the big screen, and that one with ORIGIN in the title, and a few others he cites.

So--oops!--yeah, I stand corrected. :doh:

Which is fine--more anime features on the market is a good thing all around.

The real question is, anything I posted on the movie thread that you want to see now? I didn't know about "Millennium Actress" and since I own "Perfect Blue" I want to see it. "Millennium Actress" poped up when I was looking for movies. I didn't list "Perfect Blue" becouse Amazon and RightStuf no longer sell it. "GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: INNOCENCE" is also hard to find.

I am going to add a few OVA's to the list.

fujishig
03-08-12, 06:41 PM
Relevant article, detailing why prices are so high in Japan, the American market, part of why the boom went bust, etc.

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/feature/2012-03-07

davidh777
03-09-12, 05:32 PM
I like the movie thread, but it's a little sobering that it's not all that many posts.

chrisc31
03-10-12, 06:55 AM
I like the movie thread, but it's a little sobering that it's not all that many posts.

What do you think about adding movies were you should watch the series first like "Clannad the movie", "Air the movie", "The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya", "Hetalia: Axis Powers - Paint it, White", and others?

I need help with finding more movies.

Ash Ketchum
03-21-12, 10:55 AM
I was at Best Buy on 44th Street and 5th Avenue in midtown Manhattan yesterday and noticed that the anime section had been reduced to one shelf section - five shelves total top-to-bottom; width: three-and-a-half feet; approx. 40 items (including box sets and individual DVDs) on each shelf. Do the math.

A far cry from the heyday when that store opened a few years ago and the anime section extended down an entire aisle.

Sean O'Hara
03-21-12, 11:04 AM
I was at Best Buy on 44th Street and 5th Avenue in midtown Manhattan yesterday and noticed that the anime section had been reduced to one shelf section - five shelves total top-to-bottom; width: three-and-a-half feet; approx. 40 items (including box sets and individual DVDs) on each shelf. Do the math.

A far cry from the heyday when that store opened a few years ago and the anime section extended down an entire aisle.

Has the anime section shrunk in relation to the rest of the DVDs, or have DVDs shrunk in comparison to the rest of the store?

Ash Ketchum
03-21-12, 11:35 AM
Has the anime section shrunk in relation to the rest of the DVDs, or have DVDs shrunk in comparison to the rest of the store?

The entire DVD section has shrunk to about half of what it used to be, with blu-rays taking over the other half. Something like that. I.e., it's the same space overall, but about half is devoted now to blu-rays, which aren't divided into genres, just alphabetical, plus a sale section.

davidh777
03-21-12, 05:02 PM
What do you think about adding movies were you should watch the series first like "Clannad the movie", "Air the movie", "The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya", "Hetalia: Axis Powers - Paint it, White", and others?

I need help with finding more movies.

I think the thread as devised is great--the problem is not enough releases.

big e
03-24-12, 12:12 PM
I'll be honest, this thread has really struck a nostalgia nerve in me. The last couple months I've been reading and posting in this thread have been the most I've talked about anime in years. I've also been thinking about anime and my involvement with it a lot, and unfortunately the more I think about it, the more I think at this point I'm finished with anime.

In the last three or so years, I've just drifted too far away from anime to where it's just something in the back of my mind at this point. Not to mention that in the last 3-4 years, there has really been nothing released (that I've noticed) that I have had a real interest in checking out. The last new new show I watched was Gundam 00 in 2009 (which I didn't care for). In the last year I have bought only three titles: the two Galaxy Express movies last summer and the Gundam 0079 collection pt. 1 last November. On the other hand I've dumped seven or eight titles since the beginning of the year, including Hellsing Ultimate, which was a favorite of mine in '06 and '07.

Maybe nothing expresses my attitude toward anime more than when I dumped Hellsing Ultimate. I was looking over what remained of my anime collection, when my eyes came to rest on my four volumes of Hellsing Ultimate. I pulled the DVDs off my shelf and put them in my sell without giving it a second thought. The only thing that passed through my mind was "I wonder how much I can get for these steelbooks?"

As I think back, I realized I have been drifting away from anime since mid/late 2006. In 2006, I bought a couple shows that I ended up not caring for and afterwards, I took a step back and said, "Wow, look at all the money i wasted on shows that I ended up not even liking". I dumped those shows in the next couple days and that was the end of my anime blind buying.

Another factor that led to my drifting away was my discovery of this site. About a year earlier, I came across DVDTalk while looking for information on a Friday the 13th boxset and registered a few months later in October. Through this site, i was introduced to Criterions, art house films, foreign film (other than Japanese), and an appreciation for classic cinema. I did have somewhat of an interest in classic cinema because of seeing Nosferatu a few years earlier, but this site showed it to me in a different light. I guess you could say my interest in anime was gradually replaced by an immense interest in cinema itself. Two years later, right before I started college, I had my first major DVD purge, which consisted almost entirely of my anime collection.

I believe I was more in love with the anime subculture than the actual medium. Even during my anime heydays in my teens, I was never interested in seeking out anime (i did begin doing this in my late teens), i basically just watched whatever aired on cartoon network and Stars Action. But I loved going into Suncoast and looking at the anime figures, magazines, and wall scrolls and talking to other fans about anime. Even after I had my mini-crash in mid '06 and stopped blind buying anime, I still enjoyed visiting Suncoast and looking at the anime merchandise. This makes sense, considering my interest in anime began waning when the nearby Suncoast shut down in Jan '08. Even though I considered myself an anime fan for years afterwards, after Suncoast shut down I never felt that drive to get back into anime like I did during my earlier years. Maybe I wasn't a fan fan, but an overly-enthusiastic observer.

Ash Ketchum
03-24-12, 07:24 PM
I appreciate your account, Big E, and I'm happy to hear that you've discovered classic cinema. I hope you pursue classic Japanese films (Kurosawa, Ozu, Mizoguchi, Honda, Fukasaku, Kobayashi, etc.) in the process.

For me, what keeps me interested in anime is the discovery of older stuff I haven't seen before. In Book Off last night, I picked up a DVD of six episodes from a 1975 series called "Ikkyu-san," about a young monk in feudal Japan. I spot-checked the DVD and was stunned by the beauty of the imagery. Same with recent viewings of classic anime TV series from the '70s: "Tomorrow's Joe," "Heidi, Girl of the Alps" and "Dog of Flanders." All were in Japanese with no subs.

I'm looking forward to the DVD release, with subs., of the "Galaxy Express 999" series from 1978-81. I have some eps. on fan-sub VHS tapes, but I'd love to see the whole series.

Sean O'Hara
03-24-12, 09:22 PM
I'm looking forward to the DVD release, with subs., of the "Galaxy Express 999" series from 1978-81. I have some eps. on fan-sub VHS tapes, but I'd love to see the whole series.

You know, Crunchyroll has it, along with Captain Harlock, the original Mobile Suit Gundam and Go Lion.

TheBigDave
04-09-12, 10:41 PM
Surprised that some of these titles sold so poorly.

In a new Biglobe poll, over seven thousand Japanese anime fans named which anime series they found enjoyable, yet sold dismayingly poorly. Ranking is based on fan reaction, and listed with sales count when available.

1. Astarotte no Omocha (BD+DVD 1) [1,316]
2. True Tears (DVD 1) [2,869]
3. Ben-To (BD+DVD 1) [2,101]
4. Future Diary (BD+DVD 1) [2,336]
5. The World God Only Knows 2 (BD+DVD 1) [2,266]
6. Arakawa Under The Bridge x Bridge (BD+DVD 1) [2,557]
7. Chihayafuru (BD+DVD 1) [Unknown]
8. Kamisama Dolls (BD+DVD 1) [1,437]
9. Tantei Opera Milky Holmes 2 (BD+DVD 1) [2,353]
10. C (BD+DVD 1) [1,640]
11. Kill Me Baby (BD+DVD1) [696]
12. Ikoku Meiro no Croisée (BD+DVD 1) [1,486]
13. Un-Go (BD+DVD 1) [1,546]
14. Kimi to Boku (BD+DVD 1) [1,853]
15. C3 (BD+DVD 1) [2,038]
16. Kaichou wa Maid-sama (BD+DVD 1) [1,101]
17. Mitsudomoe (BD+DVD 1) [1,302]
18. Zettai Karen Children (DVD 1) [2,588]
19. Heaven’s Memo Pad (BD+DVD 1) [1,550]
20. Zero no Tsukaima F (BD+DVD 1) [Unknown]
21. Shakugan no Shana 3 (BD+DVD 1) [2,828]
22. Mitsudomoe Zouryouchuu! (BD+DVD 1) [1,158]
23. Fairy Tail (DVD 1) [Unknown]
24. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 (BD 1) [509]
25. And Yet The Town Moves (BD+DVD 1) [1,718]
26. Nabari no Ou set 1 DVD [1,479]
27. Ōkami-san (BD+DVD) [2,274]
28. Nyan Koi! (DVD + Blu-ray 1)[1,784]
29. Kyōran Kazoku Nikki (DVD) [1,834 ]
30. (Tie) Vampire Rosario CAPU2 (DVD 1) [2704]
30. (tie) Legend of Legendary Hereos (Blu-ray + DVD 1) [1,480]
32. Giant Killing (DVD 1) [1,644 ]
33. Ef -. A tale of melodies (DVD + Blu-ray 1) [2,238 ]
34. Suite Precure The Movie: Take it back! The Miraculous Melody that Connects Hearts! (DVD + Blu-ray) [2,637]
35. Occult Academy (DVD + Blu-ray 1) [2,713]
36. Umineko no Naku Koro ni (DVD + Blu-ray Note 1) [1,782]
37. Comprehensible Modern Magic (DVD + Blu-ray) [724]
38. Yozakura Quartet (DVD 1) [1,389]
39. Kobato (DVD 1) [1,451]
40. (tie) Polyphonica Crimson S (DVD 1) [1,658]
40. (tie) Cookin' Idol Ai! Mai! Main! (DVD 1) [1,486]
40. (tie) Otome Crisis Koihime † Musou (DVD + Blur-ray) [2,568]
43. (tie) Shiki (DVD + Blu-ray 1) [1,375]
43. (tie) Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom (DVD 1) [2,137 ]
45. Hell Girl: Three Vessels (DVD 1)[1,579]
46. Tayutama - Kiss on My Deity [DVD + Blu-ray 1) [1,566]
47. The Book of Bantorra (DVD + Blu-ray 1) [Unknown]
48. Asura Cryin '2 (DVD) [Unknown]
49. Vampire Knight (DVD 1) [2,477]
50. Vampire Knight Guilty (DVD 1) [2,098]

http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2012/04/09/poll-theres-no-way-my-favorite-anime-sold-so-poorly

big e
04-10-12, 12:01 PM
Surprised that some of these titles sold so poorly.

Sold poorly in the US or Japan? There's only about 5 or so titles on that list that I've heard of.

WTK
04-10-12, 12:03 PM
Sold poorly in the US or Japan? There's only about 5 or so titles on that list that I've heard of.
Those numbers are for Japan.

big e
04-10-12, 12:18 PM
I thought it was normal for anime home video sales numbers to be low in Japan.

Sean O'Hara
04-10-12, 12:44 PM
Low but not 2000 copies low, and certainly not 600 copies like Kill Me Baby. I saw a bestseller list at the end of last year, and the top shows like Madoka and Ano Hana were doing around 30,000 discs per volume, and Working!! was around 15,000.

chrisc31
05-04-12, 04:33 PM
Via ANN (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2012-05-04/new-york-lists-media-blasters-as-dissolved-as-of-april-2011)

Media Blasters listed as Dissolved by New York State Department of State as of April 2011


Media Blasters New York State Department of State Listing. (http://appext9.dos.ny.gov/corp_public/CORPSEARCH.ENTITY_INFORMATION?p_nameid=2062458&p_corpid=2002860&p_entity_name=media%20blasters&p_name_type=%25&p_search_type=BEGINS&p_srch_results_page=0)


Via Media Blasters facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=298689176881009&id=134953719921223)

Explanation of ANN story.

For all concerned about the ANN story, MB is not out of business or closing down its operation. What happen was the following. MB filed extensions for 2009, 10 and 11. Without notice or us knowing it could happen, the Secretary of State took action. We have now finished our 2009, 2010 and filing and will get the action reversed. We already spoke with them. The company continues to run, continues to release titles. It seems during the last TAF, our competitors decided to spread this paper around which has made life difficult.

As for the article in ANN, they never contacted us nor even gave us a chance to comment.

flansered
05-07-12, 03:13 PM
This makes me glad I picked up copies of Riki-Oh and Destroy All Monsters when I did. It would probably be a good idea for everyone to go ahead and pick up any of their titles that you might be interested in while you can.

big e
05-24-12, 12:14 PM
I found a sales chart on Anime News Network from 2009 that shows the net worth of the anime market (movies and merchandise) from 2001-2007:

N. America's 2007 Anime Market Pegged at US$2.8 Billion (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2009-04-01/n-america-2007-anime-market-pegged-at-us$2.8-billion)

I know the graph isn't the most detailed, but it was the only one I could find. Does anyone have any graphs that show just the DVD sales?

JGaitan82
06-01-12, 09:41 AM
I think the problem is that the anime is too expensive. Especially the new releases. I mean Sentai film works sells new releases with no extras for like $50 on DVD and like 70 on blu ray.

These days, the anime that is considered "classic" are at decent prices and during Christmas, man I bought like 5 different series all on blu ray for less then like $60. Claymore, Gun Grave, Gunslinger Girls Parts 1 an 2 and Basilisk.

Christmas was a good time.

chrisc31
06-02-12, 07:46 AM
I think the problem is that the anime is too expensive. Especially the new releases. I mean Sentai film works sells new releases with no extras for like $50 on DVD and like 70 on blu ray.

These days, the anime that is considered "classic" are at decent prices and during Christmas, man I bought like 5 different series all on blu ray for less then like $60. Claymore, Gun Grave, Gunslinger Girls Parts 1 an 2 and Basilisk.

Christmas was a good time.

I disagree that anime is to expensive, If you compare most Funimimations, and Sentai Filmworks releases for the past few years to seasons of The Family Guy, The Simpsons, and South Park you would find animes to be priced about the same or a little more. I remember five years ago when 4 episodes costs $30.

JGaitan82
06-02-12, 11:39 AM
That's true. I mean I do remember when Excel Saga or Cowboy Bebop or Noir were $29.99 per volume. What I do like is the complete series that are published under the "Save" editions. Those rock. I bought my Moonphase, Ghost Hunt, Speed Grapher, Kanon, all for super cheap.

big e
06-15-12, 09:47 PM
I think the problem is that the anime is too expensive. Especially the new releases. I mean Sentai film works sells new releases with no extras for like $50 on DVD and like 70 on blu ray.

Anime is priced pretty good right now (IMO), but during the boom, pricing was definitely an issue. In the '90's you could get away with selling a 3-4 episode tape or DVD for $29.99 because anime was still an underground medium. But, once the early '00's rolled around and anime became more popular, the companies should have either began lowering the prices of the discs or added more episodes to them.

fujishig
06-18-12, 07:40 PM
We talked about pricing in this thread already, and I think the consensus was that the Japanese licensors overvalued the licenses. I'm not sure if that's necessarily changed, or if the fact that the currently existing companies have closer ties to the Japanese companies makes the difference. The lack of dubs also helps keeps cost down, I'm sure.

And then you have the stuff like Madoka which are priced in premium sets for the otaku fandom.

The SAVE prices are a little unfair to compare as they're basically re-releases, but the Funi half seasons and the ever-shrinking Viz sets are cheaper than what the original DVD releases used to be (and those in turn were cheaper than the two episode per tape costs before them).

big e
07-31-12, 11:42 AM
Regarding the downfall of anime, do you think people just got tired of it after a while? I knew a lot of people in the late '90's and (very) early 2000's who watched DBZ and toonami but once my senior year rolled around in 03-04, I only knew maybe 2-3 other people in my class that still watched anime (and two of them I didn't care for). After Pokemon and DBZ lost their steam, it seem like no one really paid attention to anime anymore and it (pop culture-wise) became less and less relevant until the crash occurred in 2008.

fujishig
08-01-12, 11:14 AM
Like any fad, after anime stopped being "the in thing" some people stopped watching, and others grew out of it. But the fanbase here is still seemingly bigger than it was back before the "boom." Take a look at the attendance numbers at Anime Expo, for instance, and the proliferation of fansubs. Now how many of those fans are willing to pay for anime, whether it's because of price concerns or lack of dubs or the relative ease at which you can find stuff for free, that's another question.

big e
08-01-12, 12:53 PM
Like any fad, after anime stopped being "the in thing" some people stopped watching, and others grew out of it.

I understand that fads come and go, but usually when a fad dies, it doesn't take most of the industry down with it. I would also argue anime was more popular/in the public eye longer than most other fads.

But the fanbase here is still seemingly bigger than it was back before the "boom." Take a look at the attendance numbers at Anime Expo, for instance, and the proliferation of fansubs. Now how many of those fans are willing to pay for anime, whether it's because of price concerns or lack of dubs or the relative ease at which you can find stuff for free, that's another question.

The problem with the fanbase (and I've been saying this pretty much since the crash) is that a majority of them are teenagers and teens do not have much of a disposable income to spend on stuff. If they can get something for free, then, yea, they'll get it for free. I know releases are priced more reasonably now, but the anime distributors should have changed their release methods a few years ago when anime was still popular.

RichC2
08-01-12, 12:53 PM
The mid-late 90s also had a certain quality of anime that was something of an anomaly. It was just a constant stream of one original, hugely appealing show after another (ie - Evangelion, El Hazard, Escaflowne, Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, Serial Experiements Lain, Tenchi, Naruto, Outlaw Star, etc; ) and with the popularity of DBZ and Pokemon peaking around the same period it sort of opened the flood gates to anime in america. Unfortunately, imo at least, the quality and originality started to plummet in the early '00s and it sort of lost its appeal on a broader scale.

big e
08-01-12, 02:51 PM
The mid-late 90s also had a certain quality of anime that was something of an anomaly.

That's what a few other posters said. So was anime until the '90's pretty much fluff show after fluff show with a few good ones sprinkled throughout? I do remember in the late '90's and early 2000's we kept getting quality show after quality show, then around '05 we started getting more and more cutesy fluff shows. I may have been buying a decent amount of anime during this time, but I was finding the shows I was interested in were becoming few and far between.

RichC2
08-01-12, 02:57 PM
Not at all, there was plenty of great anime pre-90s, most of that likely got eaten up when the 90s stuff was big. Also I think what I typed was a repost of something else I've typed in the past, I gotta start reading old long threads before posting in them :lol:

Ash Ketchum
08-01-12, 07:18 PM
That's what a few other posters said. So was anime until the '90's pretty much fluff show after fluff show with a few good ones sprinkled throughout? I do remember in the late '90's and early 2000's we kept getting quality show after quality show, then around '05 we started getting more and more cutesy fluff shows. I may have been buying a decent amount of anime during this time, but I was finding the shows I was interested in were becoming few and far between.

There were plenty of great shows pre-90s, it's just that they rarely got released here, whereas the explosion of great shows from 1995-98 that RichC2 listed (plus Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 and His and Her Circumstances) all got released here, some even getting shown on Toonami (Cowboy Bebop, Rurouni Kenshin, etc.). I'm still waiting for DVDs of Galaxy Express 999 and Captain Harlock to come out. (I pre-ordered the former from Amazon and was just informed that it would be delayed to October.)

Also, I'd like to share an observation I made when I attended AnimeNext in New Jersey in June. I was there with a number of friends for an appearance by J-pop group Berryz Kobo. I wasn't there for anime nor did I attend any anime-related events while there. The crowd that was there for Berryz was quite a large one and the age range spanned kids to middle age, but the average were functioning adults in their late 20s and early 30s. On the other hand, the average anime fan there was in middle school or high school, a much younger demographic. Now this doesn't necessarily mean that anime fans have gotten younger, although that could be the case. It just means that the younger ones are more likely to attend a convention like this, usually for social reasons, while among J-pop fans, the older ones are more likely to have the resources to travel and book hotels so they can follow their J-pop favorites on their extremely rare trips to the U.S.

Two great pre-1990 anime shows:

Ashita no Joe (1972) - never released here
http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6185/6127896605_4c8a1c1050.jpg

Patlabor (1989) - released by U.S. Manga Corps (now probably out of print)
http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6046/5905591830_32f6c83a0e.jpg

big e
08-01-12, 09:20 PM
I know there were always good anime titles regardless of what decade you were in, what I was asking was, were there more disposable fluff titles prior to the '90's or Was there always a balance of good shows and fluff shows? I guess this is question is coming from me remembering a ton of titles being released from the late '80s and '90s, but not remembering or noticing a lot of stuff from the '70s or early '80s, besides a few big name titles.

After anime became more popular in the 2000s, it seemed like the distributors were releasing whatever they could get their hands on just because it was anime. I think this caused the market to get flooded with a lot of mediocre titles and began to turn anime into a commodity that ended up in dollar store and big lots bargain bins.

fujishig
08-02-12, 01:20 PM
I understand that fads come and go, but usually when a fad dies, it doesn't take most of the industry down with it. I would also argue anime was more popular/in the public eye longer than most other fads.



The problem with the fanbase (and I've been saying this pretty much since the crash) is that a majority of them are teenagers and teens do not have much of a disposable income to spend on stuff. If they can get something for free, then, yea, they'll get it for free. I know releases are priced more reasonably now, but the anime distributors should have changed their release methods a few years ago when anime was still popular.

First off, when anime was still popular they couldn't negotiate the deals to get the lower pricing. But if as you say, even with lower pricing the current fanbase still prefers "free," how would that have changed if the pricing was lowered earlier?

Also, fads do take down industries; take a look at something like comic books, which has never really recovered after the speculator crash.

There is a ton of anime produced in Japan, even now. I think what happened is that the distributors saw that the US audience tended to like some of the fluffier shows like harem, etc. Also (and I know I said this before) the distributors pretty much had access to take the best of over a decade of anime when the boom started... as the AAA releases dried up and/or got priced really high, the pool got naturally smaller and thus the perception that there wasn't as much "good" anime being released.

Plus we did get anime as far back as Speed Racer... it just wasn't "recognized" as anime by the general public. Battle of the Planets, Mysterious Cities of Gold, Voltron, even stuff like Star Blazers and Robotech were all dub-only but considered just cartoons by most of the public. A lot of American cartoons were animated in Asia. Of course, we missed a lot of stuff that came out but by the time of the boom even the great titles of the early 80s were a hard sell to consumers. I'm glad ADV did Aura Battler Dunbine but I don't think it did all that great.

Ash Ketchum
08-02-12, 05:45 PM
I know there were always good anime titles regardless of what decade you were in, what I was asking was, were there more disposable fluff titles prior to the '90's or Was there always a balance of good shows and fluff shows?

It's hard to say because we've seen so few of the hundreds of anime series shown in Japan from the '60s to the '80s. There was a higher proportion of children's shows in the '60s and '70s. Some of those were quite good. There were lots of literary adaptations (Heidi, Dog of Flanders, Anne of Green Gables, Tom Sawyer, Little Women, etc.) and they were aimed chiefly at children, although they were frequently very good. There were lots of sports shows, few of which would translate well for an American audience. I've seen some and I'm quite impressed with them.

Aim for the Ace (1973)
http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4122/4886614472_cb969e6db9.jpg

Star of the Giants (1968)
http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4059/4601435687_009f148a37.jpg

big e
08-02-12, 06:13 PM
First off, when anime was still popular they couldn't negotiate the deals to get the lower pricing. But if as you say, even with lower pricing the current fanbase still prefers "free," how would that have changed if the pricing was lowered earlier?

What I was trying to get at with my last post was that the distributors appeared to become more reliant on disc sales when they should have tried to keep anime on TV. If it was still on TV like it was in the early 2000 (I understand this probably become difficult as time went on and anime began to lose its appeal) the distributors would at least have some money from advertising coming in and the teenagers wouldn't be required to shell out $30 for a 4 episode DVD.

Also, fads do take down industries; take a look at something like comic books, which has never really recovered after the speculator crash.

Yea, the comic industry crashed pretty hard in the '90's, but it rebounded. It's still around, comic books are still pretty popular, and I'm still going to the local comic book shop at least once a month to pick up books for my brother and to get a graphic novel or two for myself. Unfortunately I don't see the anime industry rebounding the same way (although at this point I think we can all agree it has stabilized) unless the distributors begin releasing titles with a broader appeal than to just otakus. I know they are limited by what Japan is currently outputting but I think they could make some money off a few of the older titles if they would market them properly.

fujishig
08-03-12, 11:08 AM
I'm sure the distributors would have loved to keep their stuff on TV. Heck, Funimation had their own network for a while. But Cartoon Network went after their own series and basically pushed anime out, I'm not sure the distributors had a say in it. I'm not even sure the basic networks even have cartoons anymore, whereas as a kid pretty much every station had a morning cartoon block, an afternoon block, and a Saturday morning block. Sure, now there are dedicated cartoon channels, but a lot of their stuff is at least partially owned by the network that runs them, so that they get a cut in merchandising. I'm actually curious to see how the new Toonami is going to do.

I'm sure the terrible ratings of stuff like the original Mobile Suit Gundam and Escaflowne also contributed to this. But bottom line, I don't think the distributors had much of a choice, it's not like they intentionally kept their stuff off of TV so that they could boost their DVD sales.

The comic industry is doing ok, but I wouldn't say that comics are doing well. DC's new 52 initiative did bring a boost in sales but even that's leveling off. Like anime, the industry is pretty much relying on a niche fanbase spending more and more money on their product. Those massive crossovers aren't to get new people into comics, they're to get the existing readers to buy more titles. The intellectual properties are doing well, and I think Disney and WB will continue to fund comics if only for that purpose, but the medium needs a way to broaden it's appeal (or, in some cases, to just get the word out there). Also, like anime there is rampant piracy; people who scoff at paying 2.99 or 3.99 can easily find stuff for free.

RobLutter
08-03-12, 11:36 AM
I'm still amazed that (abiet with commercials) there are official subtitled releases of popular shows like Naruto and One Piece the week after they show in Japan.

That's a big improvement over when I was downloading fansubs in college. The quality is so much better. Oh and they're both in HD on Hulu Plus, IIRC. Definitely a "Well, Back in MY day!" moment.

fujishig
08-03-12, 12:00 PM
I'm still amazed that (abiet with commercials) there are official subtitled releases of popular shows like Naruto and One Piece the week after they show in Japan.

That's a big improvement over when I was downloading fansubs in college. The quality is so much better. Oh and they're both in HD on Hulu Plus, IIRC. Definitely a "Well, Back in MY day!" moment.

Downloading fansubs in college? "Well, Back in MY day" we did tape trading, and we liked it! I remember having to buy a blank tape, mail it to some guy, who would then put some episodes of Gaogaigar or Legend of the Galactic Heroes or whatever on it, then mail it back to me. You can imagine what the quality was like.

But yeah, officially subbed shows a week after they air in Japan is great... we're also getting shonen jump manga two weeks after it comes out in Japan (although it's not free). And I don't think either of those happen without the fansub/fan-translated stuff.

RobLutter
08-03-12, 12:12 PM
Downloading fansubs in college? "Well, Back in MY day" we did tape trading, and we liked it! I remember having to buy a blank tape, mail it to some guy, who would then put some episodes of Gaogaigar or Legend of the Galactic Heroes or whatever on it, then mail it back to me. You can imagine what the quality was like.

But yeah, officially subbed shows a week after they air in Japan is great... we're also getting shonen jump manga two weeks after it comes out in Japan (although it's not free). And I don't think either of those happen without the fansub/fan-translated stuff.
Ha. I can remember as far back as buying fansubbed Dragonball Z at the shady comic shop in the mall on VHS. It was like $40 and we'd share the tapes. We weren't smart enough in middle-school/high-school to find tape traders. :)

CHA LA HEAD CHA LAA!

Now I've got Dragon Box 1-6... which are perfect. Just need to get around to picking up the last one. Never in a bajillion years did I think Funi would recreate those for America.

fujishig
08-03-12, 01:38 PM
Ha. I can remember as far back as buying fansubbed Dragonball Z at the shady comic shop in the mall on VHS. It was like $40 and we'd share the tapes. We weren't smart enough in middle-school/high-school to find tape traders. :)

CHA LA HEAD CHA LAA!

Now I've got Dragon Box 1-6... which are perfect. Just need to get around to picking up the last one. Never in a bajillion years did I think Funi would recreate those for America.

SPARKING!

Yeah, I'd go done to the local Japanese book store and rent the tapes of the unsubbed broadcasts (and pick up the untranslated tankoubans). And my Japanese is very poor, which is probably why I fell in love with mainly shonen jump-like stories for kids, that are easy to read/watch without relying on understanding the words...

You thought Funi would miss a chance to milk DBZ one more time? :)

RobLutter
08-03-12, 04:11 PM
SPARKING!

Yeah, I'd go done to the local Japanese book store and rent the tapes of the unsubbed broadcasts (and pick up the untranslated tankoubans). And my Japanese is very poor, which is probably why I fell in love with mainly shonen jump-like stories for kids, that are easy to read/watch without relying on understanding the words...

You thought Funi would miss a chance to milk DBZ one more time? :)
Hey, ya know what they say... the 5th time's a charm!

big e
08-03-12, 10:30 PM
I'm sure the distributors would have loved to keep their stuff on TV. Heck, Funimation had their own network for a while. But Cartoon Network went after their own series and basically pushed anime out, I'm not sure the distributors had a say in it. I'm not even sure the basic networks even have cartoons anymore, whereas as a kid pretty much every station had a morning cartoon block, an afternoon block, and a Saturday morning block. Sure, now there are dedicated cartoon channels, but a lot of their stuff is at least partially owned by the network that runs them, so that they get a cut in merchandising. I'm actually curious to see how the new Toonami is going to do.

I don't recall seeing afternoon blocks of cartoons for years, although I don't remember any other stations besides Fox having them. I'm sure there were others, but Fox was the only network I really paid attention to because they had the Spider-man and X-men cartoons.

Speaking of Toonami, how's it doing? I haven't seen much activity in the Toonami thread besides the bump saying they acquired Samurai 7.

I'm sure the terrible ratings of stuff like the original Mobile Suit Gundam and Escaflowne also contributed to this. But bottom line, I don't think the distributors had much of a choice, it's not like they intentionally kept their stuff off of TV so that they could boost their DVD sales.

Besides Wing, I don't think any of the Gundam shows did well over here. That probably put a damper on Bandai's plans. When they began bringing Gundam over, I think they thought they had a cash cow on their hands, but it seems like Gundam, for the most part, didn't make much of a splash over here.

The comic industry is doing ok, but I wouldn't say that comics are doing well. DC's new 52 initiative did bring a boost in sales but even that's leveling off. Like anime, the industry is pretty much relying on a niche fanbase spending more and more money on their product. Those massive crossovers aren't to get new people into comics, they're to get the existing readers to buy more titles. The intellectual properties are doing well, and I think Disney and WB will continue to fund comics if only for that purpose, but the medium needs a way to broaden it's appeal (or, in some cases, to just get the word out there). Also, like anime there is rampant piracy; people who scoff at paying 2.99 or 3.99 can easily find stuff for free.

The part I made bold, you could easily apply that to the anime industry as well. Ever since the crash, I have not seen any marketing push to let people know that anime was still around with the exception of advertisements for Naruto and Bleach. This is the reason I haven't really bought or watched any anime in the last four years. I have no idea what's being released in North America right now besides what occasionally pops up on this site.

Comic books may not be the best thing to compare to anime. Yes, like anime comic books are not a "major" industry but they are an industry that has reinvented itself over the years. The anime industry, on the other hand, seems like it doesn't want to get out of this comfort zone it built around itself. In the '80s you could see more sophisticated shows popping up and in the 90s you had all these really great series coming out from the mid 90s to early 2000s, but since then the industry seemed to gravitate around harem shows, moe, and these cutesy romantic comedies. At least from what I can see, the industry is not doing a whole lot to appeal to non-otakus.

Ash Ketchum
08-04-12, 04:18 PM
The comic book industry seems to be targeting a niche market of older readers and collectors, while ignoring younger readers. As a kid in the '60s I began reading comics as soon as I could read and kept reading them through my college years. And I knew lots of other kids who did. I don't know how many kids today follow that pattern.

Today, young readers are more apt to be reading manga, which offers stories and artwork that are more interesting to them and not just dark, adult, tortured superheroes. I don't know current sales figures, but it seems to me that manga has been doing much better than anime in the U.S. in the last few years.

RobLutter
08-04-12, 04:25 PM
Manga is even worse... heck, Tokyopop closed its' doors. Viz is now pretty much the only game in town.

My local comic shop recently had a $0.50 TPB sale on Manga and none of it was moving.

big e
08-05-12, 09:07 PM
I agree with RobLutter. The Manga industry as a whole appears to be doing a lot worse in North America than anime, although I never paid attention to manga and was never that interested in it, so I can't really comment on it. The Sailor Moon manga seems to be doing well, but besides that and Berserk I don't know of any other manga that is being released in North America. I know there's more out there but, like I said, I was never interested in manga, so I never paid attention to the industry.

OutRun2
08-06-12, 06:38 AM
That's because manga is boring. Sure the story is good and sometimes the pictures are very pretty, but at the end of the day you're still just....*reading*, as opposed to being stimulated by a moving image and sound coming from your TV. I never did get all the hype and attention manga gets. It's a novelty at best. Anime doing much better in NA comes as no surprise to anyone.

Sean O'Hara
08-06-12, 08:52 AM
Manga is even worse... heck, Tokyopop closed its' doors. Viz is now pretty much the only game in town.

Huh? There's Yen, Vertical, Seven Seas, Kodansha USA, Dark Horse -- and unlike TP, most of them are owned by larger companies, reducing the chance of them going out of business because the CEO's an idiot.

If you look at the graphic novel bestseller lists (http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/13709.html), manga typically makes up a quarter of the Top 20, and Sailor Moon in particular has been doing as well as the big name superhero comics.

That's because manga is boring. Sure the story is good and sometimes the pictures are very pretty, but at the end of the day you're still just....*reading*, as opposed to being stimulated by a moving image and sound coming from your TV. I never did get all the hype and attention manga gets. It's a novelty at best. Anime doing much better in NA comes as no surprise to anyone.

Well, imagine this, some people like to read.

fujishig
08-09-12, 01:04 PM
That's because manga is boring. Sure the story is good and sometimes the pictures are very pretty, but at the end of the day you're still just....*reading*, as opposed to being stimulated by a moving image and sound coming from your TV. I never did get all the hype and attention manga gets. It's a novelty at best. Anime doing much better in NA comes as no surprise to anyone.

What the heck? Are you serious?

If you are, I'll say this; Especially for longer series, I much prefer manga, even more so if manga is the original story. You don't get filler episodes where nothing happens because you have to keep the status quo while the manga gets more of a lead on the anime, you don't get radically altered endings because the manga is going to outlast the anime, and it's much easier, IMHO, to revisit things in manga form than rewatching the seasons of anime.

I think manga tends to do a lot better at bookstores than at comic book stores, hence the broader appeal, so I'm not surprised that a comic store blowing out their manga stock wouldn't make much of a dent. It's true that Tokyopop closing down was a bit of a shock, but the remaining players have closer ties to the Japanese publishers (this is similar in many ways to the remaining anime distributors). The Shonen Jump stuff Viz puts out does particularly well. Overall, manga has also settled down, but I'm not sure it's going away any time soon, and it does seem to have broader appeal than traditional superhero comics (but also has a problem in that how many of these kids reading stuff on the floor of bookstores are really spending money).

Sales charts from this year from bookscan
http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/23308.html

Ash Ketchum
08-09-12, 01:56 PM
What the heck? Are you serious?

If you are, I'll say this; Especially for longer series, I much prefer manga, even more so if manga is the original story. You don't get filler episodes where nothing happens because you have to keep the status quo while the manga gets more of a lead on the anime, you don't get radically altered endings because the manga is going to outlast the anime, and it's much easier, IMHO, to revisit things in manga form than rewatching the seasons of anime.

I think manga tends to do a lot better at bookstores than at comic book stores, hence the broader appeal, so I'm not surprised that a comic store blowing out their manga stock wouldn't make much of a dent. It's true that Tokyopop closing down was a bit of a shock, but the remaining players have closer ties to the Japanese publishers (this is similar in many ways to the remaining anime distributors). The Shonen Jump stuff Viz puts out does particularly well. Overall, manga has also settled down, but I'm not sure it's going away any time soon, and it does seem to have broader appeal than traditional superhero comics (but also has a problem in that how many of these kids reading stuff on the floor of bookstores are really spending money).

Sales charts from this year from bookscan
http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/23308.html

I've been reading Miyazaki's Nausicaa manga (I have one volume left) and it's magnificent, probably the best manga I've ever read. It's even better than the NAUSICAA movie. It may be Miyazaki's best work ever. I definitely see myself re-reading it over the years. I wish that, instead of making the movie, Miyazaki had instead made a TV series based on the manga and given it as many episodes as the story required.

I was in Book Off's Manhattan location yesterday (a Japanese franchise in the U.S. that sells used books, DVDs, CDs, comics, etc.) and a clerk was telling a customer that they hardly get any anime DVDs anymore. On my way out I watched the staff unpack a box full of pristine manga editions that they'd just bought from a customer.

Here's the relevant quote from the bookscan sales column that Fujishig linked to:
The number of manga titles in the "Top 20" grew from just 4 in May to 7 in June led by two volumes of Tite Kubo’s Bleach from Viz Media. Viz plans to publish two volumes a month through the end of the year in order to catch up with release of the trade paperback collections in Japan (see "Viz Plans Speed-Up of 'Bleach' Manga"). Two volumes of Bleach finished at #6 and #7, followed by one of the top shojo series, Black Bird Vol. 14 at #8. Other manga titles debuting on the list include the latest iteration of the popular anime/TCG/manga property Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal Vol. 1 at #14 and Alice in the Country of Clover at #19. The latter is the first volume in the series published by Seven Seas, which took over the property from the now defunct Tokyopop.