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NEWS: Aniplex USA Adds Kara no Kyoukai - the Garden of sinners


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eyevocal



Joined: 21 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 7:31 pm Reply with quote
ArsenicSteel wrote:
It is not a question of once AA adapts to the R1 markets, they have done so and still put out plenty of R1 releases fitting the general R1 price range.

This bluray set however is not a R1 release.

You don't want to buy import anime at import prices, fine. Wait until there is a release for YOUR market and stop pretending AA has somehow turned their back on R1 because of this attempt to make importing KnK easier for some that don't include you.

By "our market," I meant "North America," not "snobs who have money in their fecal matter, and screw the rest of you," and I have E-mailed Aniplex at the address they supply to let them know that, too. I'd have no problem waiting for a release I can afford and play...if they'd actually get off it and say, "R1 DVDs will follow on (month), 2011."
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ikillchicken
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:55 pm Reply with quote
ArsenicSteel wrote:
It is not a question of once AA adapts to the R1 markets, they have done so and still put out plenty of R1 releases fitting the general R1 price range.

This bluray set however is not a R1 release.

You don't want to buy import anime at import prices, fine. Wait until there is a release for YOUR market and stop pretending AA has somehow turned their back on R1 because of this attempt to make importing KnK easier for some that don't include you.


I see what you're saying and to some extent that's a valid way to look at it. I guess what frustrates me about the situation though is that I don't see why I should have to pay so much for an import either. So yes, while I understand why they're setting this price so high (It's an import essentially and so the price is just an extension of the usual Japanese prices) I just don't really see that as an excuse because I don't see any reason the prices they charge in Japan are justified. Just because Japanese fans always get gouged like this doesn't really make it any more acceptable to continue to do so or to do so to foreign fans. Of course, I can't then in fairness place the blame entirely on Aniplex. Rather the blame falls on the entire Japanese industry. Again though, not really an excuse.

What I'm saying I suppose, is that I don't see why people are so willing to accept that the Japanese prices are fair just because they're what they usually charge there for anime. Fine, this is an import, not an R1 release. Even if it is an import it's still a ripoff, just as most Japanese releases are a ripoff. In the past, I've been more or less willing to simply roll my eyes at the Japanese industry but these days, with North America and Japan sharing the same Bluray region and with many Japanese releases containing English audio or subtitles, we're finally at a point were fans don't always have to wait for an R1 release or be restrained by what the R1 industry chooses to license. Yet now, we're forced to gouged just like the Japanese otaku. It's ridiculous and I'm fed up with it.
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Annf



Joined: 20 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:17 pm Reply with quote
ikillchicken wrote:
I don't see any reason the prices they charge in Japan are justified.

The only reason these movies exist in the first place is because of the existence of people who will spend this kind of money. It's not a mass-market product.

For reference, it was originally shown in one single theater in Tokyo, at a late-night showing. That was it, one theater, for all of Japan. It turned out to be popular enough that it eventually expanded to a total of eight theaters. That's the scale we're talking about here. It's a super-niche thing.

Without these prices, the market for non-comedy cartoons for adults in Japan wouldn't exist at all--just like the rest of the world. Adults simply aren't interested in cartoons besides sitcoms.

I see a lot of people on English forums talk about "mainstreaming" Japanese cartoons, but there'd have to be a HUGE cultural shift for that to change. It's on the level of expecting Hollywood to do 2D animated versions of, say, Ironman, instead of live action. Can you imagine that happening?
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hissatsu01



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:40 pm Reply with quote
ikillchicken wrote:
Yet now, we're forced to gouged just like the Japanese otaku. It's ridiculous and I'm fed up with it.


Forced? Fed up? How many titles have you bought at Japanese prices? I'm guessing the number is zero, so you haven't been forced to do anything.

Why don't you take a look at sales numbers for anime in Japan. Most titles sell a few thousand at best. Those that do poorly may sell in the hundreds. Out of 130 million or so people in Japan, only a few hundred thousand or so have any interest at all in buying anime, and even a smaller number actually follows currently airing anime and regularly buys shows.

Anime is not popular in Japan. It is a niche market. Most adults in Japan have zero interest in anime; you could give it away and most wouldn't care. Meanwhile anime production is relatively expensive and labor intensive, certainly far more so than the average Japanese TV programming. There is no ad money to speak of for the vast majority of shows. Most shows anime fans in the west follow are in debt when they've finished airing and have to make that money back from DVD/BD sales before they even start to make a profit. Small market plus expensive production = anime is expensive to buy in Japan.

Sales in the US and the rest of the world outside of Japan, for the most part don't pay for crap. For most shows it would never pay back production costs, let alone be profitable.

So unless you can find away to make anime in general several times more popular in Japan or make anime production several times cheaper, that "gouging" as you call it will continue. Just know that without that gouging much of the industry would cease to be profitable at all.
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Annf



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:00 pm Reply with quote
Haha, didn't realize I'd wind up launching a double-bombardment in tandem with hissatsu.

Really, normal people aren't expected to buy these. Your average Japanese citizen certainly doesn't. Only a very few obsessed people care so much about cartoons they're willing to keep this system going. It's perfectly fine to wait for a discounted release. I think maybe people are feeling pressured that they're "supposed" to buy this or something. Smile

It's true that somebody has to buy them at otaku prices or the system dies, but that somebody doesn't have to be you unless you REALLY care about cartoons (or more specifically, this one in particular) to the point of feeling like personally investing yourself in it like an art patron.


Last edited by Annf on Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sanosuke_Inara



Joined: 23 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:30 pm Reply with quote
hissatsu01 wrote:
Anime is not popular in Japan. It is a niche market.
I know that there are far more people in Japan that don't buy anime than those that do, but straight up saying that it isn't popular at all is an overexaggeration.

hissatsu01 wrote:
Most adults in Japan have zero interest in anime; you could give it away and most wouldn't care.
I've never understood why people say things like this knowing damn well there's no proof of these statements. Again, I know that the vast majority of the population do not buy anime or even watch it regularly, but how should any of us know whether or not they given even one damn about it? Confused

hissatsu01 wrote:
Sales in the US and the rest of the world outside of Japan, for the most part don't pay for crap.
That's really funny, because I've heard+read interviews with people who work in the anime industry in both America and Japan that have claimed otherwise.

But whatever, I digress from this topic. Reading 'spirited debates' about peoples opinions on prices was interesting enough, but people pulling shit out of thin air? No thanks.
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agila61



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:38 pm Reply with quote
ikillchicken wrote:
I don't see any reason the prices they charge in Japan are justified. Just because Japanese fans always get gouged like this ...

Price gouging is not "prices higher than I am comfortable thinking about paying".

Price gouging is taking advantage of market power to generate excess profits.

Since the anime studios are not making excess profits, this therefore can't be price gouging.
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hissatsu01



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:51 pm Reply with quote
Sanosuke_Inara wrote:
I know that there are far more people in Japan that don't buy anime than those that do, but straight up saying that it isn't popular at all is an overexaggeration.


A fraction of 1% of the population is buying. TV ratings for late night anime are tiny. If it's not for made for kids, named Gundam, Evangelion, or Ghibli, then pretty much no one outside of otaku give a shit. How popular do you think that makes it?

Quote:
I've never understood why people say things like this knowing damn well there's no proof of these statements. Again, I know that the vast majority of the population do not buy anime or even watch it regularly, but how should any of us know whether or not they given even one damn about it? Confused


Considering they're not even watching it on TV for the most part, what makes you think a sizeable portion of the adult Japanese population gives a damn about most anime? They might watch a Ghibli film, but that pretty much it.

Quote:
hissatsu01 wrote:
Sales in the US and the rest of the world outside of Japan, for the most part don't pay for crap.
That's really funny, because I've heard+read interviews with people who work in the anime industry in both America and Japan that have claimed otherwise.


The foreign market was valued at something like 10% of the total a few years ago. Since then licensing fees have fallen greatly and sales have shrunk drastically. Just how much production do you think that will pay for?

Quote:
But whatever, I digress from this topic. Reading 'spirited debates' about peoples opinions on prices was interesting enough, but people pulling shit out of thin air? No thanks.


If you don't accept reality, rest assured you have plenty of company.


Last edited by hissatsu01 on Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:53 pm; edited 2 times in total
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agila61



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:51 pm Reply with quote
hissatsu01 wrote:
Sales in the US and the rest of the world outside of Japan, for the most part don't pay for crap. For most shows it would never pay back production costs, let alone be profitable.
This is setting up a false Either/Or:

Either international license income on its own can cover the costs of production

Or else its not doing anything.

In a hypothetical situation in which there was no Japanese market at all, its unlikely that the North American market at its peak could have sustained much if any production ~ but that is not what the anime industry actually faces.

The North American market at its height around 2003 seems to have been ~20% the size of the Japanese market, which sufficed to stretch out the Japanese anime boom by several years, since it picked up the slack in an ebbing domestic market.

And it may have fallen to ~10% of a stagnant Japanese market, but on the other hand, for studios teetering on the edge of insolvency, 10% extra income is easily the difference between collapse and survival.
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hissatsu01



Joined: 08 May 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:02 am Reply with quote
agila61 wrote:
hissatsu01 wrote:
Sales in the US and the rest of the world outside of Japan, for the most part don't pay for crap. For most shows it would never pay back production costs, let alone be profitable.
This is setting up a false Either/Or:

Either international license income on its own can cover the costs of production

Or else its not doing anything.


Not at all. If foreign sales don't even come close to paying for production costs, then someone is going to have to, and in the end it's the Japanese market. Which of course leads to claims like that made here, that the Japanese are being gouged. It's more like the price of doing business, not gouging. If anything, prices outside Japan are artificially low. I don't think for a moment that Japan's pricing model for anime would work outside Japan, but at the very least it's an inequitable distribution of the actual costs. And considering the Japanese market has actually grown slightly as of late, while the US market continues to shrink, it's only becoming more inequitable.
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ikillchicken
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:14 am Reply with quote
hissatsu01 wrote:
ikillchicken wrote:
Yet now, we're forced to gouged just like the Japanese otaku. It's ridiculous and I'm fed up with it.


Forced? Fed up? How many titles have you bought at Japanese prices? I'm guessing the number is zero, so you haven't been forced to do anything.


I was saying that I am forced to pay those prices if I don't want to wait for a R1 release (assuming there is one). This is perfectly clear given the context so please stop being obtuse.

Quote:
So unless you can find away to make anime in general several times more popular in Japan or make anime production several times cheaper, that "gouging" as you call it will continue.


Well how about charging a better price? Look, I acknowledge that anime is generally nowhere near mainstream in Japan and it's never going to be. That said, don't you think that part of the reason they're so niche is because they make themselves this niche? They set these crazy prices that only the most obsessed of fans would pay and then when only a tiny handful of fans pay them this is supposed to be proof they're necessary? No. By setting such high prices they're just pushing themselves further into the niche. It's all just one big downward spiral.
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hissatsu01



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:04 am Reply with quote
ikillchicken wrote:

I was saying that I am forced to pay those prices if I don't want to wait for a R1 release (assuming there is one). This is perfectly clear given the context so please stop being obtuse.

And that's different from other anime releases how? There's almost always a wait from the time of the Japanese release, which is what this is. You want something at the same time as Japan, you pay the price. You're not going to get any industry to risk damaging sales in the market that provides their main source of revenue for the sake of another market that provides a fraction of that. Maybe Aniplex should just have included a giant disclaimer:
Quote:
THIS IS NOT THE R1 RELEASE! This is the Japanese BD boxset that we are offering at a slight discount for those who are interested. Do not panic! The sky is not falling. Put down the torches and pitchforks. A later R1 release is still within the realm of possibility.


ikillchicken wrote:

Well how about charging a better price? Look, I acknowledge that anime is generally nowhere near mainstream in Japan and it's never going to be. That said, don't you think that part of the reason they're so niche is because they make themselves this niche? They set these crazy prices that only the most obsessed of fans would pay and then when only a tiny handful of fans pay them this is supposed to be proof they're necessary? No. By setting such high prices they're just pushing themselves further into the niche. It's all just one big downward spiral.

The problem is those "obsessed fans" appear to be the only people interested in buying most shows. The otaku are willing to pay the price, most everyone else doesn't seem to be interested.

There is price variation even amongst Japanese releases - some shows can cost twice as much as others per episode, yet it doesn't seem to have much of an effect on sales in either direction. Bandai Visual has been offering their Emotion the Best line of re-releases at very low prices (for Japanese releases, about 1/4 the original price), sometimes of relatively recent shows. Yet they've generally sold pretty poorly - you certainly don't see them in the anywhere near the top of DVD sales charts very often. If price was what was holding people back, you'd think they'd sell a little better.

Dropping prices would certainly increase sales, but apparently not enough to make up for the loss in revenue per unit. The could drop prices 50%, sell 40% more units than they would have otherwise, and all that would accomplish is dig a deeper hole for themselves. If you listened to the Geneon ANNcast, quite a while ago, a similar effect was described. Lowering prices had no effect on sales, or at least didn't increase sales sufficiently to make up for the lowered price. If there was any sign that dropping prices would actually make them more money, don't you think it would have been done already? Unfortunately anime seems to be a textbook case of inelastic demand.

But worry not, all you have to do is make anime much cheaper to produce, or make it much more popular in Japan than it is now, or both. Then prices should come down. As for how...
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Annf



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:36 am Reply with quote
Sanosuke_Inara wrote:
But whatever, I digress from this topic. Reading 'spirited debates' about peoples opinions on prices was interesting enough, but people pulling shit out of thin air? No thanks.

Being skeptical of unsupported forum posts is a policy I agree with. Smile

So, here are some of the places the things hissatsu and I say come from:

On the general topic of the popularity of cartoons aimed at adults, data on viewership ratings is available here on ANN.
animenewsnetwork.com/news/2010-12-12/japan-animation-tv-ranking-november-29-december-5
Late-night TV anime (all non-comedy TV anime aimed at adults) doesn't appear in ANN's list because too few people watch it for it to show up, but in the discussion for that week, Thhyon has helpfully posted a full list:
animenewsnetwork.com/bbs/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=142358
This shows clearly the difference between children's shows and comedies, which have a notable audience, and non-comedy adult shows that have so small an audience they can only be broadcast on TV in the form of self-sponsored infomercials (effectively OVAs with a promotional broadcast).

I make a point of saying "non-comedy," because there are mainstream comedy cartoons aimed at adults, such as Mainichi Kaasan which you can see at the bottom of the ANN ratings chart above.
These sorts of shows are comparable to cartoon sitcoms in the U.S. such as the Simpsons.

General information about the production of late-night anime is available on wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​Late_night_anime
The English page is unfortunately lacking in citations.
The Japanese page is considerably more thorough:
http://ja.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​深夜アニメ

On the topic of KnK specifically, it's a "theatrical movie," not a TV show, but falls into the same category as things like the Macross F movie, Nanoha movie, etc. which are given extremely small theater runs (often just a few theaters in one city) in order for them to be able to use the exciting phrase "theatrical movie" to promote what is, yep, effectively an OVA. As I mentioned above, KnK was shown in one theater, later expanded to eight.
That info about the popularity of the first movie comes from Wikipedia:
http://ja.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​空の境界#​.​E5.​8A.​87.​E5.​A0.​B4.​E7.​89.​88.​E3.​82.​A2.​E3.​83.​8B.​E3.​83.​A1
Which in turn references this news in regards to the unexpected popularity of the first movie, which had originally been given only a late show:
http://shinjuku.keizai.biz/​headline/​357/​

To confirm some of the info I'd been reading online, I bought『アニメビジネスがわかる』増田弘道 (Anime bijinesu ga wakaru / "Understanding the Anime Buisiness," MASUDA Hiromichi) ISBN 978-4-7571-2200-0


It has a lot of additional info about production costs and income, especially for standard advertising-supported children's shows, but also covers the adult market as well, including case-studies of Production I.G. and GDH, and backs up the standard understanding of self-sponsored late-night adult-targeted shows:

"Only a few shows in late-night time slots receive money from the broadcasting stations."
"The DVD sales market is especially important for adult-targeted shows."

The author also has a blog about the anime business here:
http://anime.typepad.jp/​

hissatsu01 wrote:
ikillchicken wrote:

I was saying that I am forced to pay those prices if I don't want to wait for a R1 release (assuming there is one). This is perfectly clear given the context so please stop being obtuse.

And that's different from other anime releases how?

Actually ikillchicken didn't say anything about it being different.
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LBoogie



Joined: 15 Oct 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 5:08 am Reply with quote
Wow. I want this. A lot. The Type-Moon fanboy in me beckons for it. It's region zero though, right? So it'll work in any blue ray player?

And yeah...I'm not a fan of the price...but look at it this way...whatcha gonna do? Since I refuse pirating, I'll likely have no other choice. And since this bad boy is on the semi pretty obscure side...this might be the closest thing we get to a R1 release...
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Blood-
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 5:54 am Reply with quote
I can't believe how close I came to ordering this. When it was first announced, it seemed unthinkable. Hell, until very recently I hadn't even heard of Kara no Kyoukai before. Then I checked out the first film and even though the content didn't rock my world, I got a massive anime chub imagining what it would look like on the 58" inch plasma HDTV I plan on getting soon. I almost talked myself into buying it, but a last minute attack of sanity saved my pocket book. Setting aside subjective questions of whether it is "worth it" or not, the $400 price tag is just too rich for my blood.

I'll put my patient cap on and hope that a hybrid release eventually reaches these shores.
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