Monday, January 08, 2007

Bonus - All We Want For Christmas is to Answer Emails and Get Angry

Not only is this is not actually an episode proper since all we do is answer emails, but it's also several weeks late, so if you've never heard us before, don't start by listening to this one, okay? We were supposed to put this up during the Christmas/New Year's hiatus, but then the entire project got corrupted and the whole thing had to be hastily re-edited and processed. As a result, the first 30 minutes or so may sound like we recorded this in a tin can. Also, there is no music at the beginning or end.

Click Here to Download


Introduction (0:00 - 5:00)
We're too lazy for exact times this week. It's not really enough to be a news segment proper, but this thread on the Anime on DVD forums states that the Dirty Pair novels will be released in English later this year. Plus, after seeing how nobody bought the previous Internet anime fan darling Azumanga Daioh, this website/video has been created by Kadokawa/Bandai in the hopes of appealing to Internet people. There's also a Myspace page because Myspace is the HIP way to market what you're selling now!

The rest of the time is spent answering emails. Here's a basic outline.

5:00- 14:00 or so: A 14 year-old fan writes in regarding her thoughts on showing Cowboy Bebop or Samurai Champloo to people as their first anime, why she hasn't bought the uncut Naruto DVD set, and how Moon Phase.

14:00 - 23:20: We're informed of some more recent horror anime titles we neglected to mention when we were trying to think of horror anime titles. There's not a whole lot of them, and we pontificate as to why that is. Somehow Gantz gets mentioned. Also, Clarissa is recommended to watch Soukou no Strain.

23:20 - 31:00: Which DVDs we saw this year had the best extras for our money? The discussion turns towards box sets and thinpaks and the shenanigans surrounding those and extras.

31:00 - 32:00: We're asked our opinion on our thoughts between Kujibiki and Kujibiki Unbalance. Since we totally do not care about this, we didn't realize this was the question being asked of us.

32:00 - 35:30: What are our thoughts on the Welcome to the NHK anime (and other things can be answered by checking our Review Index)?

35:30 - 50:20: What advice can we offer that'll save three would-be anime club officers from joining the ranks of the types of anime fans we find annoying? After much discussion, we conclude that the answer is "not a whole lot, actually."

50:20 - 56:20: We're directed to a Livejournal post by one of Tokyopop's translators outlining the guidelines she follows when translating manga.

56:20 - 1:04:30: We're informed that we're [still] the Worst Podcast EVER since the writer's local high school anime club preferred watching Prefectural Earth Defense Force over Fullmetal Alchemist. However, Fist of the North Star is indeed awesome, no matter what Clarissa says. Also, does Osamu Tezuka hate women or something? We're thinking no considering the time his stories were written and the fact that he created Princess Knight, which laid the ground for shojo in general. You can download a torrent of some episodes of that here.

1:04:30 - 1:08:50: Keith from Teleport City writes in to ask us when we're going to talk about The Nish's other grand accomplishment besides Blue Noah and Odin (and something or other called Space Battleship Yamato) , Overfiend. Seeing that 80% of the people who come to this site do so mistakenly while searching for porn, we conclude that Gerald had best get to it.

1:08:50 - 1:09:30: Chris "Robotech Master" Meadows of rec.arts.anime fame, more recent known for his Castle of Cagliostro commentary track, has a talkcast called Space Station Liberty. If you can't tell from the name, then it's probably not the talkcast for you! It's all about Robotech, and he's been doing interviews with a lot of those Harmony Gold USA guys as of late. Unfortunately, I don't think he's asked them to sing the Goldwing theme song, BUT HE SHOULD. On Friday, January 12th, he's having a live interview with Chase Masterson, who was in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and is in Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles, which is being released by Funimation. Anyway, head on over there at 10:00 PM EST and listen in live, or call in with your questions! The real Robotech fans all saw Shadow Chronicles last year, and the real anime reviewers saw this weeks ago, but we'll be seeing it once it's officially out. Daryl read that Prelude to Shadow Chronicles comicbook that Udon released, and is of the opinion that the character designs are kind of weird. Maybe he's just not used to seeing Rick Hunter and company with like, actual lips.

Closing (1:09:30 - 1:10:58)
Next week, our special guest will be Joe Vecchio, Corn Pone Flicks alumni, C/FO veteran, founding member of JACO, and convention organizer. Since Joe's around, the theme for next week's show is unfettered optimism in the face of adversity. In keeping with this theme, Daryl's reviewing Studio 4C's highly acclaimed yet highly overlooked theatrical film entitled Mind Game, Gerald's finished reading Vertical Inc's 832-page release of Osamu Tezuka's manga Ode to Kirihito, and to assure things don't get too stuffy, Clarissa reviews what's out so far of the Yotsuba&! manga. Better hide the water pistols.


40 comments:

Dave Riley said...

Are you sure that fan wasn't asking about your thoughts on the difference between Kujibiki and Kujibiki Unbalance? That's what *I* thought the e-mail was about, but I've never seen Genshiken so I wouldn't know if there was a distinction.

Clarissa said...

Hmm, perhaps it was.

Not that we're the people to ask about that anyway, given that we've already expressed our dislike for the Kujibiki that already existed. I'm honestly not sure what the difference between this new one and the original is apart from the character designs, and I don't think any of us are willing to sit through it to find out.

Sub said...

The guy was definitely talking about the fact that the Kujibiki TV series was different from the original Kujibiki character designs. Other than that, well, there isn't really anything to the original Kujibiki Unbalance other than its character designs, those three horrible OVA episodes, and weird bits of miscellaneous context from Genshiken.

As for the TV series, I just looked up some stuff. It doesn't seem that ANYBODY liked it, even the typical target audience. The fansubbers dropped after three episodes (you have to keep in mind how bad the typical harem show that DOES get subbed is to understand how incredible this is), and the show's finished airing. The only praise I heard for it was a little bit of the same praise you'll hear on 4chan for any given harem anime of the week:

"This is relevant to my fetishes! I plan to masturbate to it!"

Mandy said...

I was absolutely ecstatified when I heard your reply to my email. I actually triggered a discussion. I was hoping it could end in a fight with, possibly a head explosion, but that was maybe dreaming too much. Anyway, don't worry about saying "fallopian tube" wrong--it was still enough for me to laugh hard enough to choke on toothpaste.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJq4AGU8744
this video explains my love of shoes. except, i got shoes for christmas, so I was going to buy naruto uncut, but gankutsuou was on sale, and again, i can get naruto off of youtube. And gankutsuou came in a pretty cardboard box that I must fill!!!!

Gerald said...

What sort of amazes me about Kujibiki is that I sort of thought it was meant to be terrible. I mean it was such a silly show to begin with and the fact that all the folks in Genshiken were going wild over it was some sort of underhanded commentary on the state of anime fans. Now, I thought that the Kujibiki OAVs were mildly entertaining in very much a "I can't believe those Genshiken folks are entertained by this," way, but extending that show beyond 3 disparate episodes seems outlandish.

Winter said...

The only good thing about the new Kujibiki Unbalance series is that one of the girls bears a striking resemblance to Ludwig Von Drake from the Donald Duck universe.

But seriously...

Woo, a Yotsubato review. Really looking forward to hearing that, since that's been one of my all-time favorite series.

Kind of odd how my hatred of moe is pretty universal, save for Azumanga Daioh, Yotsubato, and possibly Kamichu. Well, I guess it's not really odd since there is a specific reason why. It'll be interesting to see the discussion that might come of the review.

With regards to the anime market re: shoes et al...

I generally don't much enjoy speculating on the economics of the anime industry, but the discussion on fans not being able to afford everything they want is pretty indicative of what I think is the one great failing of the anime industry: it acts as though anime fandom is the great provider, both capable and willing to support everything they do. As you noted, that just isn't possible -- fandom is a finite size, and the people within it have finite resources to spend on anime. Unless there's an explosion in the anime fan population, this industry isn't going to get much bigger than it already is if it keeps looking to fandom alone to fulfill its needs.

Granted, they have to do this to some extent -- there just isn't much of a market for giant robots or moe outside of anime fandom. There's always courting Joe and Jane McCasual, but it seems that there are already people out there who will buy certain kinds of manga that aren't necessarily part of the fandom in any way.

Vertical (Tezuka's adult works, To Terra) and Drawn & Quarterly (The Push Man and Abandon the Old in Tokyo) have evidently found that there is an audience for manga among comics scholars, classic comics collectors, and people interested in Japanese cultural studies. Evidently Vertical's titles sell at least reasonably well.

It seems the first step Vertical took towards figuring out how to sell Tezuka in America: don't delude yourself into thinking that the same people who buy CLAMP TPBs are the same people who will buy classic manga.

Granted, this wouldn't work for all anime and manga series -- some genres are just too fandom-specific to really have a viable audience outside fandom -- but I think it's a tremendous step towards getting some fragments of manga's rich history published in English.

But then, there is a marked difference between what Vertical is doing (preservation and sharing of history and culture) and what, say, ADV is doing (searching for that next big seller). Granted, Viz and Dark Horse publish some classic and/or "art" manga as well and I love them for that, but it seems that their methods of marketing these titles to the fandom have been somewhat less than effective...

The Last Otaku said...

Its good that Clarissa is going to review Yotsubato. I bought the 3rd manga from the local borders. Apparantly no bookstore I have looked in has the first 2 volumes, and I cant even find scans of it. Oh well, I guess I will have to keep looking.

By the way, in the Rao Gaiden movie, what TV episodes take place durring the movie? I have recently gotten just up to the start of that arc, but I have forgotten what episode I was on.

Anonymous said...

I believe Helen McCarthy wrote extensively on the history of UROTSUKIDOJI and the controversy it generated in "The Erotic Anime Movie Guide." The caller was quite right that it's been unfairly reduced to a punchline in memory, when people (not necessarily anime fans) used to speak of it in the same breath as AKIRA. It was a review of a showing of UROTSUKIDOJI at a Houston bar (together with CRYING FREEMAN and DOG SOLDIER!) that got me my first gig writing for Animerica in 1993. I think my copy of it is on a TDK Pro. The kind with the cream clamshell case, you dig.

--Carl

Milla said...

Ninjas, shoes, ninjas, shoes... yeah, it's a toughie. If I had to choose I'd most likely go for ninjas though, but it's a good thing I don't.

This Christmas was filled with ninjas and other manga goodies - I'm proud to say most, nay, all of my friends got either manga or anime from me. I overspent my budget too - but with some series you can't just give one book, you need to give the first three or so...

Alexander Strange said...

Since I'm stuck in the position of knowing everything about modern anime somehow, allow me to point out that Jigoku Shoujo is really boring for the first 10 or so episodes, until it begins to develop a backstory and actual plot arcs after that.

Then the second season does the exact same thing over again, but slightly more entertaining:
http://www.designchronicle.com/memento/archives/jigokushoujo_futakomori_ep09.html

I'm surprised he didn't find Higurashi no naku koro ni, which is a genuinely good horror anime that ran this summer.

Steve Harrison said...

I DO hope that in any discussion on UROTSUKIDOJI it's remembered how important Yoshinobu Nishizaki was to it, including the marketing.

UROTSUKIDOJI was a very successful partnership between Penthouse Japan, West Cape Corporation and Nishizaki's video company JAVN.

I believe it was Island World who handled the dub in the UK, as they did many of the early titles.

Colin said...

Finally, my Ode to Kirihito review, I just finished this mammoth volume yesterday, so I'm eagerly anticipating Gerald's thoughts.

Chris Sobieniak said...

I hate to admit, fallopian tube is something I can say too easily without flinching! Really, I'm that dead serious over that word not making me bust a gut!

After hearing Gerald talk about how he was practically the only guy in high school who knew about anime, I personally felt the same way too where I went to (Whitmer Senior High School in Toledo). People there never wanted to admit that they still had an interest in watching cartoons or anything animated for that matter, and I was just sorta had to go with the flow, even though I still had some sort of secret passion for animation beyond the mainstream. I think it was more when I got out of high school when I felt more open about it.

I do think guys who can't name any anime past the past decade or so are losers, and yes, I can tell them to fuck off for hating Nausicaa for that reason, but at the same time, I still feel like I have to give them that chance to understand how the evolution of anime then to now has occurred, and how they need to get the facts straight over that. Of course there's also the question of designs in a show being "old", even though it was made very recent. Often I thinkt he kind of shows they'd watch have what I call "hard-edge" type of designs that often don't appeal to me at all, yet I find designs in shows like Cyborg 009 and such to have more appeal and make me want to understand more of these guys beyond the simple nature therein.

I'd be surprised if my high school has an anime club at all, if not, I wouldn't mind asking to operate one if ever, but I'm afraid of running the risk of losting club interest with what I might want to show in it (most would probably want to see the current stuff that's been out for the past five years and ignore anything before then). I'd probably be asking for assistances in how to run such a club at all since I'm afraid to screw it up with my careless integrity.

Thinking about stuff the show appropriately, I'm often reminded of having saw some films in high school with questionable material in it that often got edited in such crazy ways by the teachers I knew. One teacher I had in a film class showed "Cinema Paradiso" with a few scenes he had to go and jibble the wire connnecting the VCR to the TV to act like the video wasn't coming in at all to fool us! A teacher in a Spanish class I also had tried to show clips from "Like Water for Chocolate", but had to fast-foward/rewind through those nude scenes and often didn't get to the point she wanted to begin from, often resulting in trying to cover up the TV quickly, leaving us all with the usual laughter or asking for more! I don't think they could get away with that now.

Incidentally, was this the link you were talking about Gerald when you brought up Princess Knight?
http://www.demonoid.com/files/details/576371/775222/

It probably isn't, but I couldn't help but noticed it was from this guy I brought up earlier...
http://8store.8thman.com/pknight.html

He pretty much base his operations in Indiana and has made available a lot of rare and obscure anime classics on VHS and DVD direct from 16mm prints he has collected over the years and spent the expence in telecining himself. He's also releaseing the Sanrio movies as well like Ringing Bell and Unico.

Of course there was this group I noticed that bothered trying to fansub the first episode (not sure if it was in English or Spanish, it's hard to figure out giving the bilinqual nature of this blog (plus this place wasn't updated in nearly half a year)..
http://shibuyafansubs.blogspot.com/

Speaking of which, my Unico DVD's came in yesterday! :-)

And as a suggestion someone else brought up earlier, I'm going to overdub the DVD visuals with the English audio from a crappy VHS tape of it I have. So far I found one hurdle in a slight out-of-synch mess that comes up 47 minutes into the film, due to the changing of the reels as I noticed from the DVD having that familiar cue mark at the top right of the screen. It goes out of synch for a second or two with the English audio, so I'll have to wiggle my way through Goldwave and VirtualDub to see if I can get this in perfect working order, but once I'm done, I'll have a decent widescreen English dub for the first film, and may tackle the second film tomorrow. Wish me luck!

I don't have the 1979 pilot film though, and saw a VHS copy sold on eBay a few days ago...
http://cgi.ebay.com/Unico-Black-Cloud-White-Feather-Sanrio-Anime-VHS_W0QQitemZ270074039868QQihZ017QQcategoryZ309QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

I would've bought it, but didn't think it was worth it yet since I don't have a translation for that film, nor the capabilities of doing fansubs on my own (I do know someone I could probably get to translate it at least, but the timing and superimpositioning would be a hassle). There's a DVD for that sold by Sanrio too, but I'll have to save it for a 'rainy day'.

Dave said...

For some reason when that first email mentioned Moon Phase, my distaste for the series must have iinterfered with my hearing, as i thought she had read about Full Moon in a girls magazine. Then naked cat ears brought me back to awful reality where we market creepy fetish anime to young girls instead of decent shoujo series.

I'm gay for Full Moon.

Clarissa said...

It makes me die a little inside every time I see something like Moon Phase or Onegai Teacher pushed to girls because "it's cute" or "it's about romance."

Steve Harrison said...

Ya know. I'm a little let down by you guys...you've got to get off that 'EVERYONE does this' thinking and look outside your tiny world.

Not everyone has the money to pony up $150 (or $200 or $80) for box sets. Honest. It might be a budget issue, it might be a savings issue, it might be just a choice because they're buying a LOT of different series, but for the limited niche market as it is, there's plenty of people who buy the singles, WHEN THEY CAN FIND THEM.

Which is the key problem, naturally.

And there's the issue of ADV stripping the on disc extras from the thinpack re-releases. Not that I would miss most of them, but sometimes there's good stuff. Nobody has yet been able to explain how spending the time and money and effort to re-master a disc and remove content = a lower cost. Anything produced is ALREADY produced, and I doubt there's any extra licensing fees for a re-release, altho I bet there's someone out there who can crunch data, figure out which thinpack sets still have extras intact, and we'd discover which shows were licensed together or something.

Anyway...single disc releases were common back in the US laser disc days, as well as VHS releases of TV shows. I have a friend who bought every single Star Trek series LD as they were released. by the time they finished Next Gen and DS9 that was a hella pile of LDs...

Japan, of course, embraced the complete box set 100%. And their pattern on classic releases is to do the box, then *usually* release single discs, while current shows are single disc only, but sometimes with first pressing bonuses. The frustrating thing about Japan is everything goes out of print instantly, or near enough. One run and what's in the warehouses is all there is it seems. Argh.

More later.

Chris Sobieniak said...

Steve Harrison said...

Ya know. I'm a little let down by you guys...you've got to get off that 'EVERYONE does this' thinking and look outside your tiny world.

Not everyone has the money to pony up $150 (or $200 or $80) for box sets. Honest. It might be a budget issue, it might be a savings issue, it might be just a choice because they're buying a LOT of different series, but for the limited niche market as it is, there's plenty of people who buy the singles, WHEN THEY CAN FIND THEM.


Even I have to buy shoes!

I used to be into snigles before the whole box set thing came about, but often lost interest after one or two volumes.

Which is the key problem, naturally.

Worst excuse to save money I could give is to get your hair cut short enough, thus enabling the need to go to the salon by only a couple visits a year. Took me a while to notice that!

Anyway...single disc releases were common back in the US laser disc days, as well as VHS releases of TV shows. I have a friend who bought every single Star Trek series LD as they were released. by the time they finished Next Gen and DS9 that was a hella pile of LDs...

True.

Japan, of course, embraced the complete box set 100%. And their pattern on classic releases is to do the box, then *usually* release single discs, while current shows are single disc only, but sometimes with first pressing bonuses. The frustrating thing about Japan is everything goes out of print instantly, or near enough. One run and what's in the warehouses is all there is it seems. Argh.

More later.


By the way Steve, I found a Sam Goody $10 Gift Card someone dropped on the group that said it had a balance of almost $60 on it (having checked the numbers online). I might just be able to exploit this on Sam Goody's webpage for something I didn't get around the first time around! Nice to have a post-Xmas gift like that. Too bad there's no Sam Goody-owned location for about a 60 mile radius of where I am, so I'll have to use it online if possible.

Gooberzilla said...

I think what Clarissa and company were objecting to was not the fact that people have to curb their anime-spending by budgeting for real life situations such as footwear, food, and rent, but rather this:

Here you have a case of someone deliberately choosing not to support the legitimate release specifically because they can watch it for free through digisubs. They get all the enjoyment of watching the show anyway, and they don't have to pay for it. Rather than ponying up the cash just to experience the show, they can use the money they would normally have had to shell out for something else instead, be it something practical or a luxury. They can have their cake, and eat it, too.

Draw your own conclusions.

As for the equally pressing issue of ninjas or shoes, why not simply buy ninja shoes and kill two birds with one stone?

Anonymous said...

I rarely buy starter boxes except when I bought the special edition dot hack slash slash sign dot co dot jp target equals quote underscore blank unquote starter box thinking it was a complete series box at an unbelievably low price (I figured that even though I'd never seen the series curiosity was sufficient justification to buy the whole thing at such a low price [I eventually sold it to Electroncs Boutique, unwatched]), or if they're cheaper than buying the first volume (frequent Best Buy shoppers know what I'm talking about here), or it costs the same (can't...resist...bargain...even...shallow...one...), or it's the only version the store has in stock (one of these days I need to do an essay about how I'm Best Buy's bitch...), or it comes with a bonus DVD about recording the score with the Poland Warsaw National Symphony Orchestra (to pick a purely random example).

But anyway, after shifting my anime DVD's around (and moving all my Patlabor DVD's to the right hand door of "Lupin the Shelf") in order to make room for some new discs while still keeping everything alphebetized, I discovered one upside of starter boxes: by taking up all the space a series is going to take ahead of time, they alleviate the necessity of shifting things around as one purchases the rest of the series.

Okay, on to the bit about manga translation (and ignoring the fact that Tokyopop brought us this)! I agree with some of the things the re-writer said, and disagree with others, but the one thing that really gets my goat is the same thing that Gerald commented on: translators/adaptors/re-writers often have a rather narrow view of what an English speaker would or wouldn't say. I remember back at a translators' panel at ICon/Chibicon '93 when one of the translators actually said "A Japanese person would say 'Where is this place?' while an American would say 'Where am I?' so we have to change it." Every time I hear a native English speaker say "Where is this place?" I think (and sometimes shout if I'm alone or sleep deprived) "Aha! You guys were wrong!!"

E. Bernhard Warg
Otakon Classic Track
Anime's Frank

"If ADV licensed Patlabor, would they romanize it 'Batleipar?'"

Clarissa said...

Um, Steve, we totally realize that people don't always have money. I'm pretty sure that I myself said that there's a shitload of shows I don't buy, even though I like them, because I can't afford them.

In fact, the key complaint behind the box set vs. single discs for us is that *it costs more overall to buy single discs*, especially if you're also shelling out $10 or whatever for the cardboard art box to put them in.

True, most people probably don't have $100+ dollars for box sets, but I think you're missing the other part of our complaint, which is that many anime releases are too expensive, period and we *hate* those sorts of prices. But really, generally speaking the thinpack versions of shows are not *that* bad pricewise, given all the BS due to it being a niche market and licensing and so on. If they would just release the shows in "season" thinpacks from the beginning (which would make it about equivalent to how you buy most US TV shows) at those sorts of prices, it would be a hell of a lot cheaper than the current alternatives, and in most cases I think cheaper than you're stating here.

Of course, what Gooberzilla says is also correct, in that there are going to be some people who won't buy it, not just because of money issues or what have you, but precisely because they can watch it for free on their computer. I don't personally agree with the "digisubs are teh evil" conclusion that some people draw from that, and I don't really know what kind of percentage of digisub viewers are the type to refuse buying official releases. But it does happen, and when we can tell that "but I can already get it for free" is the ONLY reason someone isn't buying it (as opposed to legitimate concerns of money or terrible release) we get a bit cranky.

Milla said...

Clarissa said...

It makes me die a little inside every time I see something like Moon Phase or Onegai Teacher pushed to girls because "it's cute" or "it's about romance."

It makes me die a little inside to think that these shows are made for adult men. Maybe no one, except maybe for some cynical elitist bastards, should watch these shows.

Steve Harrison said...

The problem of anime pricing is a seperate issue from (but related to) the buying habits.

And please, someone tie Daryl up before he starts his 'buy it cheap online, fool' nonsense, mmkay?

Reality is $29.99 is the MSRP of most anime, and that fact controls everything from the buyers and wholesellers to advertising and display. When a retailer has to choose to spend his 'open to buy' on niche product, he's much more likely to buy a few dozen $14.99 MSRP kung-fu movies than the same amount of anime. Granted, Kung-fu flicks are a *larger* niche thanks to marketing to the 'urban' market, but it's still vastly smaller than the 'mainstream'.

In other words, cheap sells. That's why many places (but not Best Buy anymore..I wonder why) will have a ton of those Alpha Video public domain titles, and it was the same thing that built BCI/Brentwood into a large enough concern that Navarre bought them up, and look at what they've managed to do lately. If nothing else, cracking the formally considered 'impossible to fix' Ultraman problem is a major event, something that NONE of the anime companies could manage.

"Well, maybe ADV figured they couldn't make money on Ultraman" I hear someone say. And at $30 a disc spread over 10 discs, they sure wouldn't have.

There was a recent comment that Mediablasters, only about 20% of their sales are anime. How come something as expensive as a Toho licensed movie can sell at $19.99? They don't *know* how many will actually sell when they set the price so how can you say 'economy of volume production lowers the price' when you have to have the price ahead of time to solicit the orders?

"well, lowering the MSRP didn't help Saint Seiya and Dunbine"

I believe that if both series had been $19.99 from the start it would have helped sales. But when retailers have early volumes on the shelves at $29.99 and they're not moving, there's not a lot of incentive to order the later volumes no matter how cheap...BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO START AT THE FIRST VOLUME.

And the 'volume + box' bit is a pure scam. It's about a buck or so for the box, but they boost the price $10. and you GOTTA have it, at least some seem to.

Good god, when Eternal Edition disc 10 for Space Battleship Yamato came out in Japan, it came in a large, heavy chipboard box designed to hold all 10 CDs, and it was the same price as the other single CD releases. the box was a *bonus*, a thank you for buying the series. I think that's a good idea.

Or if they don't want to confuse retailers, how about making a box +'special service' present..collect coupons from the single discs, and a couple bucks postage, you get a box and maybe a thin booklet or poster or something. Everybody happy.

but ya know, someone has to think outside the box to do things like that...

Dave Riley said...

And please, someone tie Daryl up before he starts his 'buy it cheap online, fool' nonsense, mmkay?

While it's not really related to the point you're making, buying things online can hardly be refered to as nonsense.

If you buy any amount of DVDs that would classify you as more than an occassional viewer (Anything more than, say, the new season of Family Guy or South Park every couple of months at Best Buy). Basically, if you have enough DVDs that you can't fit them on/under the same stand your TV is on and you're not buying them online then you are a moron, no exceptions. 30%+ off has become the norm online now. For anime, that's $10/DVD. Related to Gantz: buying the show via Deepdiscount only worked out to being something like $15 or $20 more than the price would've been at six volumes.

If you are paying retail then you are flushing your money down the toilet, and I have no sympathy for you. In this day and age it's your responsibility to be an informed consumer.

But that really doesn't have much to do with what you were trying to say, now does it?

Steve Harrison said...

Dave, you're forgetting something about the world of online buying.

Gotta have a credit card, or a checking account with debit card. Gotta hae the plazteek.

Which I don't.

And there's plenty of people that either don't have a CC or choose to not use it online due to paranoia over theft (which, yes, it's much more a risk in face to face transactions but it's the 'Amazon accidently loses 200,000 credit card numbers and PINs to hacking' items that get the news), or they've gotten in trouble with cc debt and are following one of several 'budget smart' plans out there, one point always being get rid of your CC for ANYTHING except MAYBE hotel, flight and rental car reservations.

And of course *before* 2006 I was an employee at Suncoast and was enjoying that sweet sweet 30% off list price, so I was spoiled by that.

And if you wish we can get into the ramifications of 'if you don't shop in a B & M store then that store will stop carrying anime and ANY loss of a sales outlet will hurt future sales', because like I've said in other 'cast comments and online, I sure don't see those 2000-4000 per release unit wholesales to Suncoast being picked up by anyone

exedore said...

Steve-

If you don't have plastic, I recommend buying Visa or AmEx gift cards for yourself. They're taken anywhere the actual card is. Just make sure your order doesn't go over face value of the card.

Re: Pricing and retail, I'm still wondering why the companies or some of the more focused retailers like Right Stuf don't offer subscriptions to ongoing titles. Offer some major discount (30-40%) and the ability to bill it ongoing or all at once. It guarantees sales and keeps people from forgetting that the next disc of show X is out after 2-3 months. I *LOVED* getting VOTOMS this way, and it was nice to have it out of mind until it showed up in the mail.

I know others have said it as well, but John Sirabella is a fecking genius and he does a great job of reading the market and making sound financial choices for Media Blasters. And yes, Saint Seiya may have sold better if it was $20/disc from the start, but as Daryl, Clarissa, etc. have said, they missed the marketing window entirely...which brings up another point:

Why don't older titles get featured in Newtype USA? I know that its sole point is to shill for the industry, but if someone licenses an older title, why not pull up the spread from the 90s or whatnot? If people SEE older styles of art more often, they may not be so turned off to it - or *gasp* even release that they like it.

/incoherent rambling...time for GRE prep.

Rob said...

Hey guys,

I'm the one who sent you the question about "saving" my friends from certain anime doom.

I had somewhat solved the problem before I heard your ideas, but they will help me follow through.

What I decided to do was to ask them why they wanted to start an anime club. They gave a few answers like "I like anime." "I want to watch stuff that I couldn't because I don't have money to buy it." and such, but eventually it dawned on them that what they really wanted was to see stuff they've never seen before.

Ever since then, amazingly, they all started approaching stuff with open minds and we haven't had a problem since.

But, even though I solved the problem on my own, I still need suggestions of what to show them. I know D, G, and C had trouble with coming up with something "High School appropriate", so let me give a few examples of what is.

Luckily, and we didn't even know this when we asked to use his room, he is fairly well versed in anime, so I'm sure he knows what kind of things to expect.

Violence/ Hokuto no Ken appropriateness; I'm sure a head or two could explode per episode. Just no violence to the point of ridiculousness or excessiveness. You know, "Meaningful Violence". HoK is the kind of thing I would show outside of school anyway. Rest assured, it would not be forgotten.

Nudity; No nipples, vaginas, or penises. And no "adult situations", of course.

That's about it. Bring on the lists!

--Rob

Rob said...

And by "he" after the sixth line break, I mean the teacher who's room we are using.

Steve Harrison said...

Exedore: for me having plastic of any kind requires money, so that's..ya know...that's where that is.

But you're right about ADV using Newtype USA to pimp old anime more. With all that going on (the need to fill broadcast hours on AN, and sell magazines and manga, and of course DVDs...sayyyy, don't hear much about that highly promoted ADV toys line anymore, do you?) you'd think ADV would be all OVER the cream of '80s anime goodness.

One of my useless suggestions when Dunbine started was that ADV should have a 4 page 'Letters from Byston Well' section in NTUSA, that could delve into the politics and relationships and technical background, even historical echos to Japan's past (no doubt cribbing from history big time), and ending every single month with "Dunbine vol. (x) on sale (daste)! Don't miss this!", maybe a half page full color ad, maybe get some co-op ad money from the retailers...

Simple. Easy. by constant promotion, showcasing the art, getting the nufans used to and accepting it...things may have been different.

"BUT it costs MOONNEEYYY to produce stuff like thattttt...we don't know for SURE it would helppppp"

tough shit, it's called marketing and promotion. Spread out the cost and earn some money back by starting a line of Newtype USA 100% collections, priced at $9.99 instead of $30.

And here's the thing. there is a lemming aspect to anime fandom. Put something out there enough, get some buzz and people will climb on board just because it's what you do if you're kewl. Not many, sure...but hell and damnation, more than they got the way they did it by trying to promote Macek's ADR work...

Rant! Fume! bluster!

Mandy said...

about being unable to buy things online without a credit card, you can do what I've done a few times in desperation--transferred the money to a visa giftcard. You lose some $ there, but not as much as what would happen if you paid retail.

I'm also Best Buy's bitch. The only thing I don't like about it is when 40 year old guys buying moon phase hit on me. But that's wear my pretty boots become a ninja weapon! =^_^= (and no, that's not the only reason I buy them, I do have an obsession with them!)

Digisubs have helped me in so many ways. I still like buying the anime if it's really good, but I like to watch it in order to find out if it's good or not. And, in the case of Naruto, it is 500,000,000,000X better subbed than dubbed, uncut or otherwise. Though, even this varies sometimes (I can't handle japanese voice dubs with high-pitched voices) so sometimes then I'd rather have the anime.

It's really not that much different from the deal with my friends--one of us get a dvd or manga, and it's passed around to about 7 different people depending on the series.

and getting completely off topic, I've never noticed before JUST how monotone Gerald's voice sounds before now. It made me laugh. Gerald, take an anti-depressant or drink a case of Mountain Dew.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Gerald's voice had plenty of inflection in the original Japanese, but you know how dubbing is...

Seriously, while I can't presume to speak for others, I never bought any Dunbine because I was waiting for ADV to put out a box set like they seemed to do for practically everything else. I think quite a few companies have shot themselves in the foot by creating the expectation that, if you just wait a bit, you'll be able to get that series they're putting out right now in a lower priced (and less shelf-space-taking) box set.

E. Bernhard Warg
Otakon Classic Track
Anime's Frank

exedore said...

Bernhard -

I'd probably give in and buy Dunbine nowadays if there was some kind of a box, but I doubt there will be. The sales were really awful, and the print runs were so small by the end that finding some of the discs (8, 11, and 12 in particular) is difficult. Fortunately, three of my friends have complete sets so I can borrow it. Unfortunately, Dunbine doing poorly means that we probably won't see L-Gaim anytime soon as a result.

Re: Steve and the cost of marketing, I am continually dumbfounded by how little effort the industry makes on any title that's not predestined to be huge. I don't see banner ads for shows like GaoGaiGar or Nerima Daikon anywhere*, but damned if Viz aren't turning anything they can Naruto Orange for a week to drum up some extra attention and merchandise sales. The disparity between high end A list titles, mid grade B listers, and everything else is growing because the industry are putting out tonnes of titles but they aren't finding good ways of attracting fan attention. Doing manga tie-ins is helping, and the fact that NTUSA is covering a lot of the "What's airing" helps, but nobody should be surprised that something like Cyber Formula or Master Keaton failed when they came out (which was DURING the transition to digital ink and paint for everything) because THERE WERE NO ADS FOR THEM ANYWHERE. Love it or hate it, advertising works and you have to spend some money to make it.

*The two companies that deserve credit for going outside of this are Right Stuf, which usually get niche titles to begin with, and Funimation who pimp the hell out of everything.

Oh, and before I forget, Daryl sucks for posting a torrent link for Ribbon/Princess Knight on a registration required site. Get a mirror for the damn thing (Demonoid's tracker is open to all). We actually showed a clip from the fansub of RK Ep #1 at one of our AnimeUSA panels to looks of shock and dismay. This is not a case where the show becomes instantly better because it's in Japanese instead of a (hacked?) dub.

Chris Sobieniak said...

Steve Harrison said...
Dave, you're forgetting something about the world of online buying.

Gotta have a credit card, or a checking account with debit card. Gotta hae the plazteek.

Which I don't.


I STILL don't know why I have one, but I managed to get one through my Catholic credit union none the less (albeit, a $500 limit to use, since I felt I had to play it smart than the three credit cards I once maxed out back in college).

And there's plenty of people that either don't have a CC or choose to not use it online due to paranoia over theft (which, yes, it's much more a risk in face to face transactions but it's the 'Amazon accidently loses 200,000 credit card numbers and PINs to hacking' items that get the news), or they've gotten in trouble with cc debt and are following one of several 'budget smart' plans out there, one point always being get rid of your CC for ANYTHING except MAYBE hotel, flight and rental car reservations.

Of course since someone brought up gift cards earlier, I would also go with debit cards that are Visa/Master types as well (I typically use them through my checking account).

And of course *before* 2006 I was an employee at Suncoast and was enjoying that sweet sweet 30% off list price, so I was spoiled by that.

LUCKY!

And if you wish we can get into the ramifications of 'if you don't shop in a B & M store then that store will stop carrying anime and ANY loss of a sales outlet will hurt future sales', because like I've said in other 'cast comments and online, I sure don't see those 2000-4000 per release unit wholesales to Suncoast being picked up by anyone

When you put it that way I feel a little let down!

Often if I do go with retail shopping, I at least give Borders or Best Buy a chance now and then.

exedore said...

Why don't older titles get featured in Newtype USA? I know that its sole point is to shill for the industry, but if someone licenses an older title, why not pull up the spread from the 90s or whatnot? If people SEE older styles of art more often, they may not be so turned off to it - or *gasp* even release that they like it.


Hell if I knew (I stopped reading that a long time ago).

Glad to read the high school club's getting it's act together after finally figuring it out. I sorta expect it to be the case (the earlier answers were you typical BS easy-ass types I expect everyone to say).

Chris Sobieniak said...

Steve Harrison said...
Exedore: for me having plastic of any kind requires money, so that's..ya know...that's where that is.


Heh, you're making me think of that song again!

"MONEY, THAT'S WHAT I WANT!"

But you're right about ADV using Newtype USA to pimp old anime more. With all that going on (the need to fill broadcast hours on AN, and sell magazines and manga, and of course DVDs...sayyyy, don't hear much about that highly promoted ADV toys line anymore, do you?) you'd think ADV would be all OVER the cream of '80s anime goodness.

If only MediaPlay was still around....

One of my useless suggestions when Dunbine started was that ADV should have a 4 page 'Letters from Byston Well' section in NTUSA, that could delve into the politics and relationships and technical background, even historical echos to Japan's past (no doubt cribbing from history big time), and ending every single month with "Dunbine vol. (x) on sale (daste)! Don't miss this!", maybe a half page full color ad, maybe get some co-op ad money from the retailers...

In a perfect world, I do this too!

Simple. Easy. by constant promotion, showcasing the art, getting the nufans used to and accepting it...things may have been different.

"BUT it costs MOONNEEYYY to produce stuff like thattttt...we don't know for SURE it would helppppp"

tough shit, it's called marketing and promotion. Spread out the cost and earn some money back by starting a line of Newtype USA 100% collections, priced at $9.99 instead of $30.


I would surely buy 'em a long with the mag and kept reading that over and over religiously!

And here's the thing. there is a lemming aspect to anime fandom. Put something out there enough, get some buzz and people will climb on board just because it's what you do if you're kewl. Not many, sure...but hell and damnation, more than they got the way they did it by trying to promote Macek's ADR work...

Rant! Fume! bluster!


There, there, let it out! :-)

exedore said...
Oh, and before I forget, Daryl sucks for posting a torrent link for Ribbon/Princess Knight on a registration required site. Get a mirror for the damn thing (Demonoid's tracker is open to all).


I'm only glad I managed to get into Demonoid long when the availity for members was in place.

We actually showed a clip from the fansub of RK Ep #1 at one of our AnimeUSA panels to looks of shock and dismay. This is not a case where the show becomes instantly better because it's in Japanese instead of a (hacked?) dub.

Well, it's very dated obviously (being produced by Mushi Pro in '67). Perhaps it's time for a Princess Knight remake or something.

Here's the Wiki for Ribbon no Kishi/Princess Knight for those out of the know...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_Knight

Apparently it states Right Stuf is negotiating with some Dutch company over the rights to the English masters they supposibly have of the series for a DVD release domestically.

Chris Sobieniak said...

Having now watched that first episode someone digisubted last Summer, one of those odd peeves about the Mushi Pro works I tend to have is the absense of end credits during those sequences, not sure if there were any during their original broadcast run, but often it sounds like a case of there not having been any saved after these shows had aired originally in Japan, leaving us with textless editions otherwise

In a similar case, I'm reminded about how many of Hanna-Barbera's classic shows like The Flintstones, Jetsons and Top Cat used to have end credits that changed per episode, and hardly any of them exist anymore outside of black & white 16mm network prints in private collections. DVD releases for these shows had to make due with recreations that only use one set of credits from a particular episode, and have it be for much of the entire show if possible. I'm not sure why I brought it up, other than for Joe Barbera to have passed on last month, sealing the legacy of that studio shut tight after decades of entertaining chidlren worldwide (somewhat).

In having mentioned the dated nature of said program, I'm reminded of what either Daryl or Gerald saida bout it way, WAY, WAY back early in this podcast about the differences between the Mushi and Toei Schools in terms of how their productions were during that time, and yes, Toei was to Disney as Mushi was to UPA perhaps (especially the experimental short films produced in the 60's like "Memory", "Tale of a Streecorner" or "Pictures at an Exhibition"). For a newbie to get into a show like "Princess Knight" with what expectations needed, it would seem rather jarring unless you haven't already seen perhaps other anime of that period to get some idea and a mindset to work from.

exedore said...

Chris -

We were showing it at our "Classics 102" panel. I wasn't planning on being the one to talk it up, but a scheduling crisis (our female member who actually watched the show was called upon to be a PA for the cosplay host) forced things to go a bit out of the way.

RK is a hard show to describe, as it's just bizarre enough to be nontraditional, but it's so damn important that you can't get away from it.

The rest of the panel was a hell of a lot of fun...we grabbed maybe 15 clips from various big titles in anime history that aren't key US releases and had the audience play pick a number for what we showed next. Definately doing it again at another con with a new lineup.

theknoxinator said...

I thought I would comment on the whole extras on domestic DVDs and such discussion. When it comes to extras, I usually only care about the ones on shows I actually like, so most of the time, I don't mind when a company simply releases a barebone DVD. For barebone DVDs, you're pretty much looking at either Bandai or Geneon, though there are some exceptions (such as GITS:SAC from Bandai/Manga where they include rather nice interviews with the Japanese staff). But for the most part, those two just have the basics, which are trailers for other shows and clean opening/closing, with maybe a useless art gallery thrown in on a disc or two. Even for the Remix release of Cowboy Bebop, the extras were only a little more than what the original release had.

On the other side, I see ADV and Funimation putting much more time and effort into making their DVDs worth more. This is not always the case with these guys either, but most of the time they do make an effort. Even if the extras are just commentaries or interviews with the English voice cast, it's still better than nothing.

But where extras usually shine the most are on products from the smaller companies. Two current ones worth mentioning are TRSI and Synch-Point. It makes sense though, since these guys have very few releases (and in the case of Synch-Point, really only one), so they can take the time to do that, whereas the big names are pushing out several discs a month.

And just to also comment on the box set and thin-pak aspect, people need to realize that the vast majority of thin-pak releases are from ADV, and in most cases they do remove the extras from those discs (one exception being the mentioned Gantz). Why do this? Well, for one, it reduces the number of discs needed (though someone will still have to explain to me why the Azumanga Daioh thin-pak has 4 episodes on one disc, yet 7 on another). And two, it urges people to buy the show when it comes out in the single-disc format so that they get those extras (these are their words, btw). Honestly, I don't mind thin-paks at all since they tend to be very cheap, take up very little shelf space (which I have little of as is), and still have all the show stuff intact. This is more than I can say for the other three big companies, who either wait forever to release a box set for less, or don't do it at all. Though, I must admit, I'd still prefer the single case series releases over thin-paks, like the Berserk alpha pack or the newly released Bandai Complete Collections of Witch Hunter Robin and Planetes. Those are slick.

Chris Sobieniak said...

exedore said...

Chris -

We were showing it at our "Classics 102" panel. I wasn't planning on being the one to talk it up, but a scheduling crisis (our female member who actually watched the show was called upon to be a PA for the cosplay host) forced things to go a bit out of the way.


Oh well....

RK is a hard show to describe, as it's just bizarre enough to be nontraditional, but it's so damn important that you can't get away from it.

That's very true! Now I wish someone bothered fansubbing the rest (instead of me tracking down the English dub if ever).

Of course it was also mentinoed Masami Hata was one of the directors of Princess Knight, I also spot Yoshiyuki Tomino having worked on this too.

I find it that way too. If PK was ever remade one day, they'd probably steer that more in the dramatic angle if they toned down the comedic elements we often associate with Tezuka's classic works (sort of like with the recent "Hi no Tori" series Daryl reviewed). I kinda see it work pretty well.

The rest of the panel was a hell of a lot of fun...we grabbed maybe 15 clips from various big titles in anime history that aren't key US releases and had the audience play pick a number for what we showed next. Definately doing it again at another con with a new lineup.

That's cool!

Anonymous said...

one of those odd peeves about the Mushi Pro works I tend to have is the absense of end credits during those sequences, not sure if there were any during their original broadcast run, but often it sounds like a case of there not having been any saved after these shows had aired originally in Japan, leaving us with textless editions otherwise

As was the case with Dororo (actually, the video to one of the next episode trailers is also missing, though the audio is intact--rather odd, hearing it but only seeing a black screen with an explanatory note...)

E. Bernhard Warg
Otakon Classic Track
Anime's Frank

Anonymous said...

Akira Kamiya at Animazement... I know I'm going now.

Scott Green said...

Possibly of interest to people around here, AniPages Daily just posted an amazing piece on Hisashi Mori, probably most remember for Samurai7, episode 7 at http://tinyurl.com/uvgta