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ANNCast - The Last Days of Bandai Entertainment USA


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Buster Blader 126



Joined: 14 May 2005
Posts: 1130
Location: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:12 pm Reply with quote
Excellent to hear that there will be some mention of what sold well, or otherwise. I don't anticipate nearly as many titles being mentioned like in the Geneon podcast, but knowing such information is like catnip to me and (I assume) many others.

Time to download the podcast. I've been looking forward to this podcast since its announcement on Twitter, as a lot of my favourite titles - and purchases, as a result - were released by Bandai. I also attribute my immersion into the medium thanks to Witch Hunter Robin - another title that Bandai released.
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_V_



Joined: 13 Apr 2009
Posts: 616

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:47 pm Reply with quote
Hitler is informed that Bandai and Media Blasters are shutting down their anime releases:

http://www.youtube.com/​watch?​v=​NduAtcWpnO0&​list=​PL7D09BD50935DAC83

(I finally managed to re-upload this)

followed by, "Hitler hears that FUNimation and ADV are suing each other"

http://www.youtube.com/​watch?​v=​bagaUNWz8Sc

Also, "Hitler is informed of the Tokyopop shutdown ending the Hetalia manga."

http://www.youtube.com/​watch?​v=​-​qyNzoN9G_Y


Last edited by _V_ on Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:03 am; edited 3 times in total
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 1067

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:47 pm Reply with quote
I've only listened to the Twitter portion so far, I'll listen to the entire thing tomorrow, but I just wanted to say thank you for bringing Robert Napton on to give Bandai Entertainment a proper farewell. I remember seeing Robert at cons & I always got the feeling that he was a really nice guy who loved what he did, and even from the Twitter portion I got the feeling that my hunch was right. If I remember correctly, the Witch Hunter Robin shirt I got from a Bandai panel at Otakon one year was chosen as my "prize" by Robert, too, so thanks for the free shirt!

Anyway, I agree with Robert that Clockwork Fighters/Hiwou was a cursed show with that year-long delay between releases, but I can definitely see that someone probably saw something in that show, as I really enjoyed it when I was buying those releases (much more than I thought I would, too); I tried to bring up why it's such an enjoyable show on my second call-out appearance on ANNCast, but I don't think I was able to properly state why I liked that show (thankfully, the review I did for it on my blog was better done). As for why it was picked up in the first place, though, my guess is probably that it was part of a package deal, likely with Ghost Slayers Ayashi simply because the two shows did kind of (maybe?) take place in the same world due to the cameo appearance of Hiwou's dad in an episode of Ayashi; the creator of the Ayashi kind of left it open-ended whether Hiwou & Ayashi actually were the same world in the info booklet that came with the artbox.

I wish Robert the best in what he's doing now, and I can't wait to listen to the entire episode tomorrow.
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I AM THE VAST UNIVERSE



Joined: 11 Nov 2010
Posts: 382
Location: United States

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:35 pm Reply with quote
Is it possible to find this lone volume of ADV's Gurren Lagann release online?
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Charred Knight



Joined: 29 Sep 2008
Posts: 3022

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:37 am Reply with quote
These industry podcast are fascinating and yet depressing at the same time simply because at the end of the day you never really get the feeling that we have a light at the end of the tunnel.

I think Turn A Gundam was Tominos best work and its really sad that Turn A Gundam was never released. Especially after hearing that Syd Mead did an interview as his designs were amazing.

Galaxy Angels is fantastic, one of the funniest things I have ever seen. In particular the last episode of each season was always amazing.

I remember putting my Grandmother to sleep and trying to rush home to catch Gundam Seed after it got kicked off Toonami.

For me Bandai's demise was worse for me then Geneon because I was a huge mecha fan and they did all the mecha, and also because while Geneon was a horribly managed company Bandai did some great series that just didn't sell gangbusters like they should. Sword of the Stranger was one of the best movies made in the last decade along with Millennium Actress and it should have been this massive seller.

As for the new age of anime: I currently watch at best one new series a year, last year I watched about 8 episodes of brand new anime. The only series I currently watch is Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman and I pick up Fairy Tail when it comes out (I am also picking up Tiger and Bunny). Its not that I don't love anime I still love the anime own I just can't get into these new anime starring doe eyed children that are going to cost me a ton of money to actually own.

I can't watch Gundam Unicorn because the entry barrier is simply too high to justify buying an episode.

I heard the new Code Geass OVA is fantastic is their any chance it gets released at a reasonable price? No, so there is no chance for me to watch it.

I don't feel like the new anime market is actually about creating anything but simply taking advantage of the work people like Robert Napton and David Riddick did.


I AM THE VAST UNIVERSE wrote:
Is it possible to find this lone volume of ADV's Gurren Lagann release online?


animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/releases.php?id=10591

It was never released only solicited
http://www.youtube.com/​watch?​v=​U1S8dLWtlCk


Last edited by Charred Knight on Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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dragonrider_cody



Joined: 14 Jun 2008
Posts: 1803

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:58 am Reply with quote
There was a slight error in the podcast. ADV was never able to release a Gurren Lagan volume. They did dub the episodes, and included dub trailers on several of their titles of the era, but it never made it to market. It was shown during at least one con, and they allegedly made sampler discs of it. However, it never made it to commercial replication, or at least never made it to retailers. Though I really doubt they replicated any, as there is no way that not a single copy would have made it out into the wild by now.

Interesting listen, though it doesn't appear that too much unknown info was presented. I always enjoy these types of ANNCasts. I hope they continue in the future.
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boredandlazy



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 170

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:49 am Reply with quote
What happened with the Haruhi concert at AX 2007?
I did a quick google and all I could find was that some of the Japanese actors including Aya Hirano attended...
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jsevakis
ANN Director of New Media


Joined: 28 Jul 2003
Posts: 1528
Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:50 am Reply with quote
dragonrider_cody wrote:
There was a slight error in the podcast. ADV was never able to release a Gurren Lagan volume. They did dub the episodes, and included dub trailers on several of their titles of the era, but it never made it to market. It was shown during at least one con, and they allegedly made sampler discs of it. However, it never made it to commercial replication, or at least never made it to retailers. Though I really doubt they replicated any, as there is no way that not a single copy would have made it out into the wild by now.

They didn't make it to retail, but I know someone who has a copy. You're right in that it was never widely available.
boredandlazy wrote:
What happened with the Haruhi concert at AX 2007?
I did a quick google and all I could find was that some of the Japanese actors including Aya Hirano attended...

Like nearly everything at that AX (the disastrous one-year return to Long Beach Convention Center), it was a giant mess. Bandai flew in all or most of the Japanese cast to give a concert. I wasn't there, but from all reports it was delayed for hours, was rife with embarrassing technical problems, and apparently there was some amount of chaos behind the scenes. Same story with more or less every other major event that year. It was a real low point for that show.
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boredandlazy



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 170

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:54 am Reply with quote
jsevakis wrote:
They didn't make it to retail, but I know someone who has a copy. You're right in that it was never widely available.
boredandlazy wrote:
What happened with the Haruhi concert at AX 2007?
I did a quick google and all I could find was that some of the Japanese actors including Aya Hirano attended...

Like nearly everything at that AX (the disastrous one-year return to Long Beach Convention Center), it was a giant mess. Bandai flew in all or most of the Japanese cast to give a concert. I wasn't there, but from all reports it was delayed for hours, was rife with embarrassing technical problems, and apparently there was some amount of chaos behind the scenes. Same story with more or less every other major event that year. It was a real low point for that show.


Thanks Justin.
In regards to the twitter questions unfortunately I think Bob was a little confused regarding the question about Dolby Digital being used on the K-On! Blu-Ray releases. He answered that he thought it was something akin to a technical error that was fixed but all 4 volumes of the K-ON! BD's had DD2.0 audio rather than the LPCM used on the Japanese releases. Most people guessed this was a licensor restriction.
Maybe Bob mixed it up with the Haruhi issue where there was mono audio on the release of Season 2 as well as the Haruhi-chan releases?
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tangytangerine



Joined: 28 Feb 2010
Posts: 378

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:46 am Reply with quote
It's kinda sad to hear the part where Bandai was winding down. Because all it sounds like was that the parent company pulled the plug on smaller divisions that were actually making some money to save money for them.

At least the problem with the defective discs in the mid-00's was finally explained. Which it sounds like corporate wanted them to push the discs out messed up and would issue replacements later on down the road after they fixed the problem. Which I really don't understand, because it would just cost more money to issue those replacements.


jsevakis wrote:
They didn't make it to retail, but I know someone who has a copy. You're right in that it was never widely available.


At least that puts to rest on how far ADV got with it. So there is 1 volume floating out there with judging from the run time, 4 episodes on the disc.
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ultimatemegax



Joined: 26 Jan 2010
Posts: 243

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:02 am Reply with quote
boredandlazy wrote:
In regards to the twitter questions unfortunately I think Bob was a little confused regarding the question about Dolby Digital being used on the K-On! Blu-Ray releases. He answered that he thought it was something akin to a technical error that was fixed but all 4 volumes of the K-ON! BD's had DD2.0 audio rather than the LPCM used on the Japanese releases. Most people guessed this was a licensor restriction.
Maybe Bob mixed it up with the Haruhi issue where there was mono audio on the release of Season 2 as well as the Haruhi-chan releases?
No, he seemed quite confident that it was a vendor mistake. He wasn't sure about replacements on it, but he sounded confident that it was a replication error.

Personally, I didn't mind the DD audio as my system isn't good enough to tell the difference between it and a lossless format. I did purchase all 4 BDs (mostly for the dub tbh). As boredandlazy said, many people assumed it was a licensor restriction since Bandai wasn't able to put the textless OP/ED on their release. I've been arguing it was likely a mistake in production (though I've assumed it was BZ's authoring) and this was likely my only chance to ask what happened. Thank you for asking Zac.
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samuelp



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 1537
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:27 am Reply with quote
I've heard things here in Japan from within Bandai "corporate" as to the reasoning for the shutting of Bandai Entertainment...

The reason why it seems so senseless is because Robert is only considering the situation in the US market, as if Bandai in Japan made the decision in a vacuum. The decision to shutdown Bandai Ent. was part of an overall restructuring that affected all parts of Bandai Group's audio visual units, within and outside of Japan.
The new overall philosophy is that Bandai should make physical products in Japan, and sell them overseas.
You remember how you said it was so silly for Bandai Ent. to have to pay Japan (bandai visual or sunrise) to license the shows? It seemed silly to them too, especially when the market had shrunk so much. Why should Bandai have a licensing and sales unit in the US but not everywhere else in the world, for example?
Their new strategy is to treat videogram sales more like gundam kits, and export Japanese made products to the world. For broadcast and internet license to local companies, and for sales export your Japanese products.
In this new strategy it didn't make sense to keep a sub company like Bandai Entertainment around. In fact having it license things in the US just made it harder to control a global marketing strategy from HQ. Bandai Group wants to treat the global market as much as possible as a single entity.

Now whether this is a smart decision or the epitome of hubris you can be the judge. What I can say is that it clearly was shortsighted in the way it _horribly wasted_ great talent.
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 7669

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:31 am Reply with quote
I think it all depends on if Bandai and others think they can only sell anime at Japanese prices globally.
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boredandlazy



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 170

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:02 am Reply with quote
ultimatemegax wrote:
No, he seemed quite confident that it was a vendor mistake. He wasn't sure about replacements on it, but he sounded confident that it was a replication error.

Personally, I didn't mind the DD audio as my system isn't good enough to tell the difference between it and a lossless format. I did purchase all 4 BDs (mostly for the dub tbh). As boredandlazy said, many people assumed it was a licensor restriction since Bandai wasn't able to put the textless OP/ED on their release. I've been arguing it was likely a mistake in production (though I've assumed it was BZ's authoring) and this was likely my only chance to ask what happened. Thank you for asking Zac.


But I just think the facts didn't add up to it being a replication error. The packaging displayed only the Dolby Digital logo and there is no mention of any other audio format. So unless there was a mistake with the packaging as well it doesn't really make sense.
Also it was brought to their attention after V1 yet the 'mistake' was carried through all 4 volumes released months apart, which you'd think wouldn't be the case if it were a replicator issue.
Either way, what's done is done but what was said in the podcast doesn't quite sit right with me.
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Divineking



Joined: 03 Jul 2010
Posts: 1069

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:10 am Reply with quote
I was the one who asked the Hayate question and I wasn't totally sure I remembered right but they actually did say something about a dub back in 08'. Maybe it was just a PR thing? Well I guess it doesn't make a difference now.

Overall it was a very interesting interview though and it's kind of sad knowing that they weren't doing all that badly and it was more Japan pulling the plug. Especially having found out right before a major con. Can't imagine how frustrating it must of been to sit there are pretend like they were still functioning. I was kind of frustrated with some of Bandai's decisions in later years (really wanted a Star Driver dub) but it was sad to seem them go after how long they'd been there. It's also kind of funny to know that they also thought what Bandai Visual was trying to do was nuts.

Also kind of interesting on a side note to know that the guy was one of the first to work with Steve Blum and knew he was going places as a VA. Sometimes it really is insane thinking about how long some of these voice actors have been around...
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