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What's wrong with Mediablasters [dubs]?


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Zalis116
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 5:05 am Reply with quote
walw6pK4Alo wrote:
Master Luc wrote:
Don't you think Futari Echi should be dubbed in english???


Does it really need to be? It's only four episodes long, so it's not like some huge undertaking that will sell thousands of copies to cover the cost of the dub. Big series can do this, small series can't. Apparently after our relentless informing to you of that situation, you still just don't get it.

Can this thread be locked now?
If the OP posts another random non-sequitur question for the sole purpose of bumping the thread, then yeah I'll lock it.

Regarding Futari Ecchi -- it's too explicit to sell to a wide audience, since many are afraid of buying shows like Welcome to the NHK or Strawberry Marshmallow that would "brand" them as a pervert or a pedophile. Yet it's not hardcore enough to appeal to those who actually are looking for porn. Because of that, the sub-only treatment is understandable.
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Master Luc



Joined: 21 Dec 2004
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 7:01 pm Reply with quote
Sorry for bumping the thread. I see that some of the good series that MB has get become sub-only. My fear is that MB might go licening animes sub-only from now on..... This is a response from what was written in animenewsnetwork.com/bbs/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=60725&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=Ikki+Tousen&start=75


Some people don't buy the DVD of Subs animes, because they prefere it dub. This is why these companies are complaining about their andastries....


As a Dub fan, I wouldn't waste my money on subs, because it will prevent me from buying another animes that I can enjoy...I wish if I can have futari Echi in my Collection, but its not include what I need.
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Cetus-kun



Joined: 30 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 1:51 am Reply with quote
I don't have a problem with sub-only releases. Although I do like to be able to choose whether to watch a dub or sub I like how they tend to be less expensive then DVD's with both. For titles that may have a hard time selling I don't blame companies from going the sub only route. Aside from the cost of licensing there's the cost of hiring dub actors and numerous other expenses. The companies probably have a hard enough time just making back what they paid for the license. Geneon was dubbing everything they licensed regardless of how niche it was and that might have been part of what did them in.
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Mr Adventure



Joined: 14 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 2:26 am Reply with quote
I love Media Blasters. Mostly because I'm always looking for the best bang for my buck, and getting 18 episodes of a given anime for just 20 bucks is a steal. I mean, I never would have boughtTekkaman Blade or Beast King Go-Lion without that incentive. I'm particularly liking how other companies, like Bandai, are also starting to pick up on this way of releasing series, with Gurren Lagann* and Toward the Terra as recent examples.

While I generally prefer (good) Dubs, I can take subs just fine.

So in summation, Media Blasters, never change. Though you could try to release more titles I might be interested in. Because currently it's not too many.



*yeah, I know the current sub only release was really just to get the title to market as fast as possible, with a Dub release to come latter. But, for me, getting 9 subbed episodes for 20 bucks is the better deal then 4-5 dubbed episodes for the same price.
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Kvicksilver



Joined: 18 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:08 am Reply with quote
I too bought Gurren Lagann from Rightstuf with the 40% off deal. Shipping doesn't really count, so I paid roughly $17 for 9 episodes. New releases of a dubbed version could never do that for such a price.
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Master Luc



Joined: 21 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 7:57 am Reply with quote
Some classec animes needs to be dubbed. Ys is a classic anime and I am glad they have dubbed it, however, this was released during 2002-2003 and these days is differant.....
But really, they should pick animes form 2004-2005 and I wish if they can dubbed them...
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Zalis116
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 2:52 pm Reply with quote
Master Luc wrote:
Some classec animes needs to be dubbed. Ys is a classic anime and I am glad they have dubbed it, however, this was released during 2002-2003 and these days is differant.....
But really, they should pick animes form 2004-2005 and I wish if they can dubbed them...
The age of the anime doesn't matter; here in 2008, they won't dub a series if they don't think it'll support the cost of a dub.
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khimru



Joined: 28 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:15 pm Reply with quote
Cetus-kun wrote:
For titles that may have a hard time selling I don't blame companies from going the sub only route. Aside from the cost of licensing there's the cost of hiring dub actors and numerous other expenses.
Difference is order of magnitude. For sub to be profitable you need 1000 buyers, for dub - at least 10'000 (I'm not talking about lame dubs with just one or two actors). And this leads to even more important difference: you can sell 1000 copies with pre-orders and via few sites, but for 10'000 you need money upfront to sell in a lot of shops - that means credit... and if something goes wrong... you are bankrupt. So it's different game altogether.
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Keonyn
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 5:08 pm Reply with quote
Those numbers just don't seem to fit, sorry. For your sales numbers of 1,000 versus 10,000 to work, you're basically saying that a dub increases the production/release costs of a series by 100. The bulk of the release costs is the license and logistics of releasing a physical item, while the dub adds cost, it is incredibly unlikely that it will increase the cost by 100. It's unlikely the cost increase would even be half that, or even a quarter. Heck, even doubling it might be pushing it.

It also depends on the series. Take a series like Mushi-Shi for example. The dub cast is huge for the series because there are so many characters, but pretty much all of them are minor parts that appear for a single episode. The series has only one frequently occurring character, so the costs would likely be pretty low. Then take a series like Eureka Seven, where there is a large number of characters, most of which are in multiple episodes for the series run, so there you would be talking a significant increase in the cost of the dub. Then there's something like Ergo Proxy which, despite often taking place in a city, has a relatively small cast of frequent characters. Then you have to take the cost of the talent in to account, since some actors have the resume that will demand a higher price.

On top of all that there are more factors to consider like whether it's in house or done by someone else, which might require studio fees. All in all there are a ton of factors to consider, but even so, multiplying the release cost of a product by 100 just to implement a dub seems like a huge stretch.
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Randall Miyashiro



Joined: 12 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 12:03 am Reply with quote
As I stated above I still am searching for hard numbers for titles to be profitable with decent dubs. It does seem to be closer to 4,000 units if not a bit lower, but I can't quite recall where all my data is from.

I don't think that Emma managed to get it's 1000 copies preorder mark. I counted the number of names listed on the first DVD a few night ago and it was less than 250 names, although the proportions might be different on the other discs. Many of these titles that are sub only really don't sell too many units.

I keep seeing people justifying higher budgets for series with larger casts, but as Keonyn mentions actors do get paid different rates. I also think that a character who has an average of 12 lines an episode is not paid as much as someone in a series that focuses on three main characters. Most likely there is a base line cost so someone speaking 24 lines isn't getting paid twice what two people with 12 each (hence why many minor characters are doubled up on dubs) but there is definitely a scale.

This is even more true for US dubs where people are brought into the studio to record all their lines for that character in one economical sitting, unlike in Japan where all the actors sit through the entire episode even if they have a bit part. An actor for a reoccurring minor role in a English dub probably could record all their parts in a few sittings.
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Mr Adventure



Joined: 14 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 3:54 am Reply with quote
Oh, another reason why Media Blasters is Rad. Their DVD packaging, I am completely in love with the cases for Go-Lion and Tekkaman. And I do like their way of putting the cover art long ways. Often showcases the art a lot better then the usual way.
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khimru



Joined: 28 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:14 pm Reply with quote
Keonyn wrote:
Those numbers just don't seem to fit, sorry
Why?
Keonyn wrote:
For your sales numbers of 1,000 versus 10,000 to work, you're basically saying that a dub increases the production/release costs of a series by 100.
10 times difference in batch size brings 100 times more money? Weird economics indeed.
Keonyn wrote:
The bulk of the release costs is the license and logistics of releasing a physical item,
License can be bulk of release cost - there are no limit to it, but we are not talking about uber-valuable super-popular titles so we can assume publishers will be happy with small per-volume royalty. Logistic of releasing a physical item is minuscule: while I never participated in publishing anime DVDs I have participated in non-anime ones. Prices are around $1 for DVD-5 and $1.5 for DVD-9 if we are talking about tiny batch (like 1000 copies) and can go as low as $0.20-$0.25 for DVD-5 if we are talking about 10'000 copies and no polygraphy. Slightly more for DVD-9 and if you'll add polygraphy you'll end up with $0.50-$.60 for typical DVD. Heck: bootlegs can be bought in China for $2-$3 a pop - do you really think they print them at loss? Sure: they have simple mastering, bad polygraphy and atrocious subtitles, but they sure as heck bear full cost of creation of physical item!
Keonyn wrote:
while the dub adds cost, it is incredibly unlikely that it will increase the cost by 100.
Again: we are not talking about 100 times increase in cost but more like 10-20 times increase.
Keonyn wrote:
It's unlikely the cost increase would even be half that, or even a quarter. Heck, even doubling it might be pushing it.
How come? For sub you need day of work of a single person for one episode (more likely hour of work of four to five persons - but that's the same thing as far as cost is concerned). And no special equipment. For dub you need cast of actors, studio and so on. A LOT more expensive thing.

There are exactly one situation when you can have dub for cheap: when it's initially created for TV and you are just licensing it. Otherwise it's very expensive.

Randall Miyashiro wrote:
As I stated above I still am searching for hard numbers for titles to be profitable with decent dubs.
Define "decent". You can return a profit with 1000 copies if you'll take two actors (one male, one female) and create dub in one-go. I doubt many will can such a dub "decent" but if your standards are low enough...
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Keonyn
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:35 pm Reply with quote
I highly doubt the cost is even ten times that of the license. If you have some legitimate economic information you want to present us with that demonstrates that the cost increase is as significant as you say, then feel free to do so.

Here's the deal, if assumptions and your own belief is what you have to go on, then you have nothing to go on, end of story. We're not going to sit here and argue about information that has no basis in fact.

The logistics of printing a physical item is not miniscule. You have to first create the product to be pressed, which also involves creating a translation for the subtitles, which already does half the work for a dub in and of itself. Once you have your master you then have to produce the item, prepare the items for shipping and handle the logistics of how many have to ship where, and then deal with the costs of getting them to that location; a cost which is only going up and up in the current economic world. You also have to pay for sales and accounting staff to get stores to carry this product, and track the money balance of what's going out to who and what's coming in from them in return. The sad thing is that all that is just the simple basics that doesn't even account for more dynamic occurrences or unique situations.

khimru wrote:
How come? For sub you need day of work of a single person for one episode (more likely hour of work of four to five persons - but that's the same thing as far as cost is concerned). And no special equipment. For dub you need cast of actors, studio and so on. A LOT more expensive thing.

There are exactly one situation when you can have dub for cheap: when it's initially created for TV and you are just licensing it. Otherwise it's very expensive.


Because the bulk of the cost is not presented by the production of the sub, but by the cost of licensing the content. All in all it is the production itself that costs more than anything, and those companies are going to want a bundle for that, popular or not. They also did the japanese acting, which you are also licensing. You then have to license any music that might have been used in the series on top of the animation and voice acting.

Even direct to DVD animated releases in the US are far cheaper than anime releases, even if they pay for and use studios and actors all the same. I think you've greatly blown the production cost of a dub out of proportion in your head, considering all animation and dubbing faces the same issues in the industry and doesn't face costs like that, in spite of the fact many are in an even more niche market. Not to mention most actors used in these productions don't even make enough to do the job as a full time gig, so it's not like we're paying Hollywood prices here.

You seem to know it's very expensive though, so feel free to show us all these expense reports and information that you have access to, because apparently you know more about it than even those within the industry. So come on, give us the docs that show that producing a dub costs ten times as much as licensing a series and producing the product combined.

On top of all this you then have to consider how much you gain in sales by producing a dub, which is always a major factor. It might not be enough for Media Blasters, but honestly, if the cost increase 10x as you claim, it probably wouldn't be enough for any domestic company.
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HitokiriShadow



Joined: 09 May 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 11:57 pm Reply with quote
Keonyn wrote:
I highly doubt the cost is even ten times that of the license. If you have some legitimate economic information you want to present us with that demonstrates that the cost increase is as significant as you say, then feel free to do so.

Here's the deal, if assumptions and your own belief is what you have to go on, then you have nothing to go on, end of story. We're not going to sit here and argue about information that has no basis in fact.

...

Because the bulk of the cost is not presented by the production of the sub, but by the cost of licensing the content.


But you are also making assumptions here as well. You are assuming companies are still paying tens of thousands of dollars per episode in licensing fees. You are assuming the dubs "only" double or so the amount of expenses. You are assuming some sort of cost for the license and the dub.

The fact is, you don't know what they paid to for those licenses. Some people in the business have said that licensing costs have gone down dramatically and sometimes there is no upfront cost at all. RightStuf may have paid very little for the Emma license and dubbing would have cost 10, 20, or 100 times more.

I agree though, that its pointless to argue these things when none of us have the real numbers. You can't really make an argument when you have no actual facts and numbers to back up your argument.

Quote:
You have to first create the product to be pressed, which also involves creating a translation for the subtitles, which already does half the work for a dub in and of itself.


Half the work? You don't honestly think the time, effort and money necessary for a translation and subtitle track is equal to the that needed for a dub, do you? khimru underestimates the time and number of people and effort necessary for a professional sub track (Anime Insider recently had an interesting article about the process), but its hardly the half-way point to making a dub track.
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Keonyn
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:33 am Reply with quote
It is an assumption indeed, I do not dispute that. They paid 5 dollars to license the product for all I know. The numbers still don't seem to match up for me, since you're talking one piece of a larger product accounting for the bulk of the costs, especially when the release costs don't support the claim as no company would produce any dubs if those assumptions were correct. Heck, if studio time and voice production cost what he claims, things would be noticeably different across multiple industries, not just anime.

My assumptions could very well be wrong, I don't dispute that in the least, and I never have. I'm simply making a case against his assumptions using similar logic. In the end, unless someone can present some documents that show how much someone pays for a product and the costs involved in the larger overall picture and how it all fits together, then honestly no one here is in a position to lecture anybody about costs and gains aside from the obvious. That obvious is of course what is presented here; that dubs can regain their costs and even provide a gain in many titles, but are a huge risk not worth taking for smaller niche titles or studios that can't afford the risk. That really is the bottom line isn't it? Why it's taken 70+ pages to discuss that is beyond me, but that's what assumptions and a lack of valid information will do to a discussion when people are left to fill in the blanks themselves.
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