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Akukame



Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 115

PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:50 am Reply with quote
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...And so I have collected quite a lot of those pricey figurines. Fate/stay night, Sora no Otoshimono, Black Rock Shooter, Hyaka Ryuran, et cetera. From the shows I like, I got every single one. (except Distant Avalon... T.T) My question is: does the figurine market help the anime studios/mangaka/and all, and if it does, how much of an impact does it have when compared to DVD sales?

Quote:
Not that I'm suggesting you're being ripped off - I'm merely looking at it from a strictly business sense. Nor am I suggesting that shows like Fate/stay night are made ENTIRELY to sell figures and other merchandise - that's just silly.

I won't try to claim that a show like Fate/Stay Night, or some of those other series are produced solely for the purpose of figure sales. BUT I will try to make the argument that Black Rock Shooter was. I am pretty sure Good Smile Company owns a large portion of the rights to BRS. Anything that contains Black Rock Shooter or any of its derivative characters will have a copyright to Good Smile Company, if it doesn't already have them as a producer. To my knowledge, the majority of the money put forward for the OVA was done by GSC. Also, in the commentary on the DVD, Joe Hahn (of Linkin Park) talks about being contacted, not by Huke or Ryo or anyone from Ordet, but by people from GSC.
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poonk



Joined: 05 Jun 2008
Posts: 1403
Location: In the Library with Philip

PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:43 am Reply with quote
Interesting question/answer regarding the figure/merchandise-type support. I initially justified buying my Natsume Yuujinchou figure with the sad realization that, though I thought it was a fantastic show, it seems I'll never be able to buy it on DVD here. Similarly, I'm buying some Jojo's Bizarre Adventure figures for story arcs that were never licensed in English because frankly if I like Jojo's enough to seek out/read free scanalations online then I also like it enough to put that money (which would otherwise go towards manga) into some fabulous plastic man-candy instead. So it's cool to hear someone reinforce my personal belief that fansubs/-scans are not a completely black & white issue and even if someone's not importing the raw Japanese materials that they're consuming courtesy of such methods, they are not automatically a bad fan. If someone makes an effort to support what they love in whatever way they can, they're cool with me.

Heck, lately I even find myself buying figures for shows I haven't seen. I never got past ep.03 of Hakuouki in fansubs (eh, maybe someday I'll try again) but I'll be damned if I didn't end up preordering all 3 upcoming figures just because they're so gorgeous. That's over $300 of merch for a show that couldn't even get me to the end of one average DVD's worth of content; I'm totally content that my fansub viewing of the show (should I ever choose to finish it) has been more than karmically balanced at this point.

Akukame wrote:
I won't try to claim that a show like Fate/Stay Night, or some of those other series are produced solely for the purpose of figure sales. BUT I will try to make the argument that Black Rock Shooter was.
Yeah, BRS was planned to be a figure first and foremost, and the OVA was an afterthought (I read about its origin in Giant Robot sometime last year).

Edit: Also, yes, 30 degrees F is practically balmy, dude! Laughing Of course come summer, once the temp here creeps over ~95 we all wilt ("It's not the heat it's the insane humidity", etc.)
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Sailor S



Joined: 20 May 2009
Posts: 2842

PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:58 am Reply with quote
I had to chuckle at Brian complaining about the cold. I'm originally from Minnesota. The average temperature in January where I was at was a sweltering 8°F, with the average high being 19°F and the average low being -2°F. Also, what makes it even more amusing is that Tucson on average has 17 days per year where they get below 32°F. Where I grew up, we averaged 43 days per year...below 0°F. Of course, our average July temp is 72°F while yours is 87°F, but it's not like we don't have plenty of hot days. (I know you were joking with the Minneapolis thing, I just felt like looking up the difference in weather between the two.)

My eyes mostly glazed over scanning over some of the responses to the last question, since for every good fansubber, there are a dozen lousy ones, so the point is largely moot. This week's question kind of made me realize just how out of hand my collection has gotten. I used to rewatch my DVDs a lot. Now with over 1600 of them, and with 200+ still unwatched, rewatching is a luxury I can't afford at the current. I still like knowing that if I want to though, the option is there.
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CCSYueh



Joined: 03 Jul 2004
Posts: 2707
Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:22 am Reply with quote
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At this moment, a devastating winter storm is spreading its icy tendrils across the midwest and through the western desert; as I type this, it is 30 degrees Fahrenheit outside. I'm sure my northern and midwestern (and Nordic, and Alaskan, and Antarctic) readers are probably rolling their eyes dismissively; let me point out that, much like a sunny day in Seattle or a warm day in Minneapolis, everyone here is freaking out. This flat-out does not happen here. The cold is only mildly more irritating than the confusion such weather causes to the desert populace. We are all staring at the sky like turkeys in a rainstorm; our faith in nature shattered irreparably. It's madness.

Dude, buck up!
Yesterday when DSC discussed our predicted HIGH of 50, they pointed out any number of cities across the eastern half of this nation would kill for that.
Hang in there. Couple days & you'll be back to weather to make those back east dudes envy you. I find Arizonans (Arizonians?)insane. It gets HOT over there. You come to San Diego & laugh at us when we complain about a streak of weather near & over 100 & envy our humidity.

The problem with figures is the local shops up the prices to make their profit sometimes to ridiculous levels & they don't help the US industry which is part of the whole fansub argument. People whine about the lack of dubs as their excuse to not buy US dvds, but that they support the industry buying merchandise which (so long as it's not bootleg) mostly are imported from Japan. I would think the "credit" for the sale goes to the shop each particular US dealer is buying from vs Bandai or Funi sales numbers which do result in more titles getting licensed in the US so it's sort of wasted. I assume the dealers who bring the Seiya dolls to Comic-con every year do so because they make a certain number of sales there, but obviously the sales of those dolls here in the US hasn't led to Seiya getting a license. Same for Black Butler-presumably Funi licensed it with an eye to the number of dvds they can sell & less how many figures US fans will buy from Japan.

No that I'm going to stop buying figures, but I do have a greater eye on supporting the US anime companies
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 10951

PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:45 am Reply with quote
Oh pleaz, the last time I was on Scottsdale, AZ years ago, it was 40F - and I still went outside in the heated jacuzzi! Laughing


Donovan wrote:

I will however say that once upon a time there was a company who did a more than awesome job translating anime. If you have even a small DVD collection of anime then the name ADV Films might not be all that foreign to you. That company, however, was unfortunately shut down in 2009.


Agh, for a moment there, I thought he was gonna say AnimEigo - a company that actually shut down anime production for all intents and purposes!

But when he said ADV Films (which is practically just reincarnated Section23 Films), that's when I question his state of mind! Laughing


seabiscuit, not that Dreamworks horse film wrote:

The worst thing is that all of this could have been solved by the simple act of Quality Checking after the encode LIKE UALITY FAN SUB GROUPS DO.


Quality check! Quality check! Laughing
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kizoku



Joined: 21 Apr 2006
Posts: 46
Location: Ypsilanti, MI

PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:31 am Reply with quote
I agree that "learning more Japanese" is the only answer, but it's not that easy. My daughter majored in Japanese at the University of Washington in Seattle, then spent two years in a little town in Kyushu helping teach English where -only- the other teachers spoke English. (Even the kids they were teaching didn't -speak- it.) At the end of that she could talk to anyone just fine, but still couldn't keep up with movie dialog. People will slow down or use a different word if it's one you don't know but the movie (and anime) won't.
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zensunni



Joined: 05 Mar 2010
Posts: 908

PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:34 am Reply with quote
enurtsol wrote:
seabiscuit, not that Dreamworks horse film wrote:

The worst thing is that all of this could have been solved by the simple act of Quality Checking after the encode LIKE UALITY FAN SUB GROUPS DO.


Quality check! Quality check! Laughing

LOL! I'm so glad I'm not the only person that read this person's reply and enjoyed the delicious, crunchy irony of the massive amount of simple typos that any spell checker would catch in a response complaining about quality checking of subs. Made my morning!
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Paploo



Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1875

PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:38 am Reply with quote
The first question was a good one- I have a friend who buys a lot of figurines of show's they watched via streams [CrunchyRoll/Funi streams seem to have appeased a lot of the figure fans I know- they let them collect the figs for shows they like while not dealing with the shadier sides- I wonder if that's why we see so many bishoujo anime getting streamed legally? Advertising for the figs and revenue for the anime?]. Not every show gets that kind of merch, but it does show a part of the market that gets forgotten in brainhurty debates sometimes [mind you, it still don't think that some people buying toys makes all piracy okay- I think Brian mostly meant "yes, buying figs supports anime companies"].

I'm kind of surprised Toynami and other domestic licensors haven't gotten into it too much though. VIZ and Funimation dipped their hands into it for brief periods with a Ranma statue line around 2000, and a few statues and plastic figs out of FUni, and Dark Horse has produced statues based on their manga line [Dirty Pair and Gunsmith Cats] from time to time, but domestic companies have never really taken off with it. The import market is huge, so that's part of it, but you figure there'd be a market for shows that are still superhot/perenialls here that are long over in Japan, in terms of limited edition, 50-200 dollar statues. Though maybe it's only worth it with the occasional big license domestically, and just help import Japanese items otherwise.

Avoiding bootlegs is a big issue though- there's a lot of wierd, China-based anime stores selling everything for super cheap, and when shopping online it's hard to tell the difference. Lots of folks have opened their boxes just to get a wierd, slightly mishappen figure missing a few parts [wasn't there an Astro Toy with a Luffy like this?]. Though a lot of the bigger dvd online retailers also stock tons of figures, so I guess it's a matter of sticking to reliable sources.

EDIT- Found it!- animenewsnetwork.com/astro-toy/2009-03-01/with-rob-bricken/portrait-of-pirates-luffy

[I'm also really glad for Great Eastern- they make avoiding bootlegged plushies really easy]
[yes, UFO Catchers are my merchandising crack]

Didn't Black Rock Shooter's figs all come with a copy of the OVA on dvd/bluray with subs? I wonder if we'll see more of that in the future.

Re- the list question- I guess that explains why so many people horde anime dvd's like that column Mike had awhile back. But yeah, it's important not to get worked up about seeing Show X or playing Game Y- if you come across it for a good price, great, if you have to wait, well, enjoy what you find in the meantime and get around to it when you do find it in the future. I just got a copy of Otaku no Video a few months ago, and it had been on my list for several years.
edit- mike's column- animenewsnetwork.com/the-mike-toole-show/2011-01-16

edit- also, lol! at the last question. I wish I'd studied more japanese. I know enough to read kids manga and 1/4 understand what's going on, but that's about it. Though yeah, if you study/practice enough, you'd be able to just sit back and enjoy right off the tv with little confusion.

editedit- also VIZ songs- I know on lots of older releases, they have subbed songs. I'm vaguely remembering that it might of been some kind of rights issues (*eddddiiiit* looks like Brian confirmed that) that led them to switch to unsubbed songs on some releases- I know my sortofrecent Hunter X Hunter dvd's have song subs, but just 1 subtitle track, so if you watch it dubbed, you don't get song subs. And the TV airings of DeathNote and Naruto we got here had song subtitles.

pps- my only issue with honorifics is when they're kept on titles for shows/manga series not set in Japan. Seriously, I'm looking at you Pandora Hearts's creators series- did England survive an apocalypse and get repopulated by people who only had a box of anime dvd's for entertainment? Is Manga UK to blame?


Last edited by Paploo on Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:09 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Genten



Joined: 23 Mar 2010
Posts: 71
Location: A Mitten (Michigan)

PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:00 am Reply with quote
About lists, I love them too. I make lists for everything, from lengthy forum posts to the anime I'm currently watching. The best thing about a list is that they're not set in stone, either: I can remove things and add things at will.

So, for List Reader, I'd say that lists should be used more as a guideline than anything. For example, I have a manga wish list, full of series I eventually want to read. Am I going to get to them all? Of course not. But I do keep adding things to that list just so I have a place to organize them all. And eventually I'll pick some of them up and read them. But that doesn't keep me from enjoying manga that isn't on my wish list. So while lists are awesome and all, they're not something that you must follow to the letter.

As for weather. . . well, we just got hit by that 'monster snowstorm', which only dumped a few inches on us but hit many other Midwestern areas really hard and did manage to close all of the schools in the area. And it hasn't gotten that far above 25 degrees in the last week (you know something's depressing when the weather man says, "highs in the low 20s". ) so this is turning out to be a painfully cold and snowy winter.

Basically, buck up, man. I would kill to be where you are.
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Mohawk52



Joined: 16 Oct 2003
Posts: 7374
Location: England, UK

PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:11 am Reply with quote
I loved the look on the faces of a group of equatorial Africans I was giving a tour of our studios with, when we stepped outside into a snow squall last December. Smile

@ High Schooler with list:

Try this list:
1.) Enjoy your youth, but......
2.)Study hard in school. (anime is only entertainment)
3.) Graduate with high marks. (anime is only entertainment)
4.) Optionally enroll in the university of your choice. (anime is only entertainment.)
5.)Get a good paying job that supports not only your life's goals, but also your interests and entertainment.

Worked for me. Wink

@ Baka boy in Japan:
Yeah, learn more Japanese. Job done. Rolling Eyes
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ingram_pilot



Joined: 04 May 2007
Posts: 66
Location: Ottawa, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:19 am Reply with quote
Quote:
...as I type this, it is 30 degrees Fahrenheit outside. I'm sure my northern and midwestern (and Nordic, and Alaskan, and Antarctic) readers are probably rolling their eyes dismissively

Yeah, you're not getting any sympathy from me. Laughing

Last week, I woke up one morning and the temperature outside was -24°C (-11°F); -34°C (-29°F) with the windchill factor. And Ottawa being a humid city, the cold cuts right through your clothes. Now imagine taking the bus in that weather. Shocked

Anyways, great column as usual.
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PetrifiedJello



Joined: 11 Mar 2009
Posts: 3782

PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:44 am Reply with quote
CCSYueh wrote:
The problem with figures is the local shops up the prices to make their profit sometimes to ridiculous levels...

A considerable number of shops do not buy figures from the manufacturer directly, but through a wholesaler, who then sells to the retailers who want to take on lower stock and still pay less than SRP.

The markup of a figure is rarely over 40% between production and retailer, which is $40 per $100.

Where the true markup begins, rightfully so, is when the production is limited and only a certain number of figures are created. This creates a limited supply with a potentially high demand, and figure prices will easily raise within shops in Japan to make up for the economic rule.

Quote:
...& they don't help the US industry which is part of the whole fansub argument.

Bullshit. These "fansub arguments" have always been about giving money back to the "artist" and rarely discuss the differences between the markets.

Regardless, there's still one huge problem: when a distributor decides it only wants to distribute the content, it's pretty damn difficult to cry for them when they're suffering financial issues because they only sell one goddamn product.

Most retailers will purchase anime goods through AAA Anime, not FUNimation, ADV (ret), Section23, Sentai Filmworks, or even Viz.

Only Bandai licenses merchandise in the US (FUNimation has a Mallow line somewhere, but I'll be damned if I've seen anything come from it).

The fact AAA Anime filled a niche when other distributors did not is more telling than the entire fansub debate.

I've always stated merchandise makes up for the revenues of anime production and I'll stand by this until I'm dead.

Rarely has DVD sales outperformed merchandising sales, which you can blame George Lucas for.

He started it.
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Mohawk52



Joined: 16 Oct 2003
Posts: 7374
Location: England, UK

PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:03 am Reply with quote
PetrifiedJello wrote:

Rarely has DVD sales outperformed merchandising sales, which you can blame George Lucas for.

He started it.
And he got the idea from Hasbro. Wink
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Paploo



Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1875

PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:19 am Reply with quote
PetrifiedJello wrote:

Most retailers will purchase anime goods through AAA Anime, not FUNimation, ADV (ret), Section23, Sentai Filmworks, or even Viz.

Only Bandai licenses merchandise in the US (FUNimation has a Mallow line somewhere, but I'll be damned if I've seen anything come from it).


Nope, most companies license merchandise for series which it is in demand for. You must of missed out on a lot of the merch that's been popping up lately. Bandai's far from the only one licensing stuff.

A lot of the legit anime merchandise available from retailers is from companies like Great Eastern, http://www.geanimation.com/​InfoOnly/​ who license merchandise from domestic DVD companies [those rights are apparently often included in their licenses]. Series getting licensed here tend to make merch more affordable too, so there's definite benefit to having those shows picked up by domestic companies. So fans can have say, 30 dollar body pillows, or 10 dollar plushies. It's also nice for stuff whose popularity has weaned in Japan and not here, like Samurai Champloo, Cowboy Bebop or Trigun.

That's why my FLCL Haruko has the SynchPoint logo on it, why my Yuyu Hakusho toys say "licensed by Funimation", why DBZ merch is up the wazoo, and why everything GE releases is based off series which have DVD or TV releases here. Funi seems to know which series has preexisting demand, as Black Butler and Hetalia merch are coming out in an onslaught alongside or before the dvd's, rather then after them.

Media Blasters and RightStuf have also made merchandise for their series, sometimes with GE, sometimes by themselves. RightStuf makes a lot of t-shirts. VIZ has also workked with http://toynami.com/​ , and they've released trading figs...

I'm curious if MB is getting into merch more given the previews of Zetsubou merch up on the GE animation site http://www.geanimation.com/​InfoOnly/​characters_list.​aspx?​CharacterID=​207 [though maybe they got the licensed from Kodansha Comics USA? Though the art's all from the anime, so I'm guessing MB]
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Shay Guy



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 488

PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:02 pm Reply with quote
If we're talking about translation quality, this is probably worth bringing up. It's about manga rather than anime translations, but many of the issues are the same (except that natural-sounding dialogue is more important with dubs).
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