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  1.  (1544.1)
    Ok, this one should be of interest to people I think.

    GONZO will be streaming two new shows world wide on the day of release in Japan. The stream will have english subtitles with an apparent intent that the entirety of the Western market have access.

    As many people know, the time between airing of a new show in Japan and release on the internet of fan subtitled copies is between 24-48 hours at most. Contending with this and other economic factors, the Anime industry is currently undergoing what could very generously be called a rough patch, and this appears to be an attempt to change things directly.

    A short article, including some details on which shows and delivery methods, can be found here
    • CommentAuthorpi8you
    • CommentTimeMar 24th 2008
     (1544.2)
    Certainly a step in the right direction, though the series choices aren't so hot. Druaga's too much of a Japan thing that has very little in the way of a Western fanbase, so it'll be relying on the fantasy fans, while Blassreiter looks like it will be another LOL Gonzo offering(though the lowbrow in me enjoys Nitroplus' artwork). The numbers will probably be helped by this being the first legit offering of its sort, but I really don't see either being much better than middle of the pack were this distribution the norm. Why can't we get some Production IG/Madhouse/Gainax action instead? ;_;

    Not knowing what sort of terms will go along with the streams bothers is a showstopper for me as well, at least given BOST's current structure, $1-2 for 2-week rentals, which doesn't appeal to me whatsoever. I'm more interested in the download to own option that they've not priced yet, so its wait and see for me at the moment.
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      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeMar 24th 2008
     (1544.3)
    This is gonna sound nasty of me, but I really hope this doesn't work. I've always been a little intrigued with the fan-subbing community and those who support it. I wasn't around for the days when anime was passed around on old VHS tapes, so this is sorta my look into that.

    On the other hand, it makes a lot of sense from the perspective of the companies, and they gotta protect their asse(t)s.
  2.  (1544.4)
    If you have the chance look into the current state of things via google. Sections (and growing) of the anime industry are struggling, and they are looking for ways and means to keep things afloat.
    I certainly was a pass the VHS around guy when I was 18, but at this point its not about simply protecting their assets. Its about having capital and markets to afford and justify making more in 3-5 years.

    Anime often lacks the models of sponsorship that TV is assumed to have, with initial airings paid for by the production company and the sales being made up on DVD; for obvious reasons this is hitting an issue of online distribution now. Anime is not cheap to make, and if the companies can't find new ways to pay for it.

    Edit: I am not and have no interest in turning this into a piracy debate. We have had that one many times before obviously. But this is a case where online distribution (think about what "RAWS" are) is having a notable impact on profitability of a market (again anime works very differently then TV as produced in the US (mass sponsorship) and Europe (sponsorship + public support)) its worth watching GONZO make a go at it. If things like this don't work, I expect a change in the means of production will be needed at the vey least.
    • CommentAuthorpi8you
    • CommentTimeMar 24th 2008
     (1544.5)
    Despite the tone of my other post, I'm really hoping it does work out for them, so that we can get the other studios to look at doing the same. I just think its a huge hurdle given the (presumed) quality of the shows and the entrenched(yet agile) nature of the current fansub community providing a generally superior product(free, HD, DRM-free, permanent files). What they're doing is, on the surface, a long way towards what I've been wanting to see(same day subs is huuuuge), but again, I'm still apprehensive about the lack of details and I really don't like streamed video.

    Back on the economics side of things, the Japanese industry's also painted themselves into a corner with their DVD market, focusing almost the entirety of DVD sales(and increasingly, the shows themselves) on the hardcore otaku with little concern for selling to the greater population, kind of like comics, but with ridiculous price gouging($60 for 1-2 episodes!). With the globalization of anime, online distribution isn't the only place they're hurting, as they're also losing revenue to reverse-importers who wait and grab our 4-6 episode discs for less than half the price of a single disc of the local release.
  3.  (1544.6)
    With the globalization of anime, online distribution isn't the only place they're hurting, as they're also losing revenue to reverse-importers who wait and grab our 4-6 episode discs for less than half the price of a single disc of the local release.


    The market glut in the US is looking ugly too; Geneon was not the last domino to fall I expect.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeMar 25th 2008
     (1544.7)
    The western market has started to shift to having 13 or even 26 episodes in a single release now as well. Bleach, Naruto and now Blood+ are all coming out in the west in these big multi-disc releases rather than trickling out over several months like they used to.
  4.  (1544.8)
    "The western market has started to shift to having 13 or even 26 episodes in a single release now as well. Bleach, Naruto and now Blood+ are all coming out in the west in these big multi-disc releases rather than trickling out over several months like they used to."

    Thank god. I gave up collecting anime boxsets a while ago because I became so frustrated with the tiny number of episodes per disk and the massive cost per series.
    I hope this gonzo idea takes off and more companies start offering more content. I'd much prefer to be able to get my hands on anime in a legit way.
    (Steam is a perfect example of this working for the games industry... I used to download pirate PC games mostly until I got Steam, and now I'm happy paying for them).
  5.  (1544.9)
    Well, they won't be as cheap as TV shows from the US for the most part.

    I actually don't buy the expensive argument myself. I know Anime fandom dislikes the current price models, but they miss the fact cheap (US or UK) TV shows amount to shovelwear released by the studio who owns the rights and made a profit previously. Thus 40 (or so) dollars for a season is pure profit after cost of getting extras together, mastering and duplicating. Anime of course is released by people who had to pay for the license themselves; which means we wont see "lower" priced anime for many series for some time. Which well, thats not exactly true - most anime companies have a shovelwear release a year or two after the single discs which is cheaper. After all thats the second dip, and like the US TV above its pure profit it at that point.

    And 20 dollars on amazon for 3-5 episodes is still 1/2 to 1/3 the original Japanese price as mentioned up thread.

    Now, of course, what do Bleach, Naruto and Blood+ have in common? They were further sub-licensed for broadcast in the US, so cheaper DVDs are feasible. However, its been about a year for Blood+ on this DVD release, so as to give time for Cartoon Network to make its profit on the title as well.
  6.  (1544.10)
    "I actually don't buy the expensive argument myself."

    There's nothing to 'buy'... I'm not moralising, I'm just saying that now I'm no longer a teenager with a part-time job and no living expenses, I can't afford to pay £80 plus for a series that can be as little as 13 episodes long (for example, Boogiepop Phantom cost me that much and I think it's actually only 11 episodes long), no matter what the manner of its distribution. If reducing prices is an unrealistic demand, it's going to have to continue to be unrealistic until they find a better method of distribution, or I earn more.

    EDIT: Plus I'm in the UK and what's $20 for you is often £20 for me, and if I order from America, then shipping normally brings the prices up to what they'd be in the UK anyway.
  7.  (1544.11)
    There's nothing to 'buy'... I'm not moralising,


    Fair enough indeed. My response was in part aimed at the fact the overall price of complete series comes up somewhat often in discussions I have had or seen, so your point was one well in line with general discourse on the subject.
  8.  (1544.12)
    I can't afford to pay £80 plus for a series that can be as little as 13 episodes long

    EIGHTY QUID!? I bought the complete POIROT DVD box set for the girlfriend for her birthday and it was sixty quid.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeMar 25th 2008
     (1544.13)
    Collecting the individual discs as they're released is damned expensive, usually around 3 or 4 episodes a disc. And they're spread out over half a year or more (most extreme example being the time between discs 3 and 4 of Paranoia Agent, although that was mainly down to the BBFC taking issue with children trying to hang themselves, wusses) I've taken to waiting for the inevitable complete boxsets which tend to be around 40 quid.
  9.  (1544.14)
    @Warren

    POIROT DVD box was the ITV/ION show I expect?

    Amazon.uk seems to think, presuming detail accuracy, ITV releases the box sets. Which is my point really, thats a show is being released by the studio who owns the rights already - the DVD is additional profit (and I admit some knowledge gap on any post release profit model of public TV in the UK, would be interesting to find out). Anime is often produced for DVD in Japan with TV being a total loss, and outside of Japan small corporations pay for the rights to release so are at a loss from day one.

    Of course, Geneon, the first casualty, was a bit different in that they controlled their own catalogue in the English speaking world via their parent company. Which makes the argument "it should have been cheaper" or Paul's more measured (paraphrased fairly I think) "it would be nice if it was cheaper" a bit more viable here I think. My own suspicion is Pioneer's new owners saw Geneon as a way to make up falling profits in Japan and that was not working. Details on what exactly happened with their distribution deal with ADV are still obscured to say the least.

    Anyway the state of the Anime market fascinates me obviously. Its a massive product with millions of dollars and large audiences world wide - and its in lots of trouble for reasons that are not entirely certain.
  10.  (1544.15)
    Amazon.uk seems to think, presuming detail accuracy, ITV releases the box sets.

    Amazon thinks I wrote books that I only turned out a foreword for. I couldn't tell you who released the box set without going and looking for the bugger. However, as I recall, POIROT was made by the independent producer Carnival, probably in associate with London Weekend Television.
  11.  (1544.16)
    Amazon thinks I wrote books that I only turned out a foreword for


    Yeah they are giving WIki a run for their money on details these days. I assume they use a number of distributor databases and mine them to automate the information. But it could be cubical denizens too.
  12.  (1544.17)
    @Warren... Yeah, 4 DVDs, £20 each. I bought them as they were released, so there was no option to buy a boxset. This was about 3 years ago so I don't know what prices are like now.

    @JTraub... you've mentioned a few times that the Anime market is in serious trouble. What do you mean exactly, and do you mean the local Japanese market or the exporter's market? Is it the distributors in trouble or the production studios or both? I've heard a few grumbles in that direction from anime-centric magazines/websites, but it's always very loose 2nd hand information with no corroborating statistics or sources.

    I find it hard to believe that a market that's survived on its own in Japan for decades through various forms of economical crisis without significant support from exports is suddenly getting in trouble because of fansubbing. If the evidence of eyes, shop-shelves and conventions is anything to go by, legit exports have grown in parallel with (and often directly because of) pirated exports. Am I just getting the wrong idea?
  13.  (1544.18)
    What do you mean exactly, and do you mean the local Japanese market or the exporter's market? Is it the distributors in trouble or the production studios or both?


    Both. But its the Japanese market which is having the big issues.

    I find it hard to believe that a market that's survived on its own in Japan for decades through various forms of economical crisis without significant support from exports is suddenly getting in trouble because of fansubbing.


    Well, that was my comment on RAWs, I should have been more exact. Fansubs come from day of digital rips in Japan and those rips are downloaded a ton in Japanese as well. ISPs may even be blocking addresses to control bandwidth (not to prevent piracy) the amount of traffic is so great. This directly impacts the primary market for DVD sales. Less clear is the importance of secondary markets in English. If the companies are depending on those markets, or more exactly the licensor company in those markets, to make up local short falls, then fansubs come in.

    Anime torrents of existing shows are an issue -possibly-, but the real problem is shows that won't be out for a year+ in English but exist right now online. Take Gainax's hit Gurren Lagann, which is was the definition of an important property for ADV. They have delayed it a few times, and there is evidence they are very worried about the fact the long lead time has removed the market for an event show so freely downloaded every day. My hunch is they are looking for a TV market for it to try to make up cost (I do not know if it has aired on the US Anime channel - the coverage is nonexistent).

    Anime fandom makes comic fans look patient. So day of streaming with subtitles might move things back to the property owners - though it could be the death of the US, Europe, and UK companies.
  14.  (1544.19)
    Another issue: the lead time.

    Fansubbers are increasingly focused on speed release. The result is extraordinarily mediocre translation out as fast (under 24 hours is common) as possible. The subber community at large (that is to say 4chan in some ways) seems quite unforgiving of the time needed for anime distributors to get their English copies to market, they much rather have horrific translations right now then good ones latter. I am not sure how secondary market can correct this at all, hence my suspicion they are in for difficult times.

    Back in early days fan copies were years behind, then avi/mpeg allowed for months, then p2p and cheap tools allowed for weeks...days and now hours.
  15.  (1544.20)
    Are we allowing for the fact that the anime industry hasn't turned out anything worth watching in a few years?