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NEWS: Bandai Visual USA Makes Website 'Interim Retail Center'


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Za_randomness



Joined: 15 Nov 2006
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 6:36 pm Reply with quote
Hopefully this shift impels Bandai to change its marketing strategy. Not likely, though, but I can hope, right?
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W-General



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 279
Location: Ithaca, NY, USA / Taichung, Taiwan

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 7:36 pm Reply with quote
I still don't understand what's all this uproar about their marketing strategy?

If you mean by their over-priced releases...then I agree that it is very very expensive. But anything else apart from that?
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PaladinBlue



Joined: 30 Jan 2006
Posts: 63
Location: Billings, MT

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 8:02 pm Reply with quote
W-General wrote:
I still don't understand what's all this uproar about their marketing strategy?

If you mean by their over-priced releases...then I agree that it is very very expensive. But anything else apart from that?


Only a couple of episodes per disc (GARune vol. 1 had 1 episode total) and no dub are my biggest gripes about their strategy aside from the outrageous price. Though. . . are they getting better about the ep number thing?
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Porcupine



Joined: 21 Jul 2004
Posts: 1033

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 8:22 pm Reply with quote
I'm just thinking that the Geneon USA situation is going to cause Bandai Visual to go under a lot sooner than they expected to.

As far as I could tell, Bandai Visual's pricing schemes were not working anyway. I don't have any official info on this, but even if someone tells me Bandai Visual has been prospering and says that is official I would not be likely to believe them (unless they really had solid proof of source). In my state anime has been doing extremely well but I've hardly ever seen a BV title be bought in any store. If I go every week to check, it's always the exact same BV titles that are there, in the exact same quantities as before, in the exact same spots, completely untouched.

Bandai Visual probably retains an optimistic attitude but they are probably dumb to begin with. They'll probably die suddenly with just as sudden an announcement, and as ungraceful an exit, as Geneon USA did. The only difference will be that no one will care about BVUSA and if they leave the market that would probably actually be a good thing for the anime industry overall.
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james039



Joined: 27 May 2004
Posts: 103

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:23 pm Reply with quote
People really don't seem to get how potentially disasterous it would be to the North American anime market if BV decided to bail on us. First of all, they are a huge presence in the Japanese anime market. If they give up on North America, do you honestly think they'll go "oops, our bad, we'll just go bad to licensing our properties out to North American companies like before"?? More likely they'll hold out on their new properties entirely leaving us only the option to import (and yes, at R2 prices).

BV came to North America on the belief that anime was popular here. They have therefore reached the conclusion that either we can pay the same price as the Japanese, or else we can do without. The heavily reduced price anime releases we're accustomed to paying for only ever existed on the assumption that few would actually want to buy them. Japanese anime companies generally expect their end customers to pay about $20 to $30 per episode, given the budget they throw at these productions. That's the business model, and the reality is, that anime is a niche market. It doesn't sell well, so if us fans want it, we have to expect to pay more for it. I asked a local clerk at the HMV about their anime sales, and notably she stated to me that it only accounts for about 1% of their total sales (amongst mainstream DVD's, CD's, video games).

It would be nice if BV learned to price more aggresively in this market, but the worst thing that could happen is them just throwing in the towel and going home, I *really* hope that doesn't happen.
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:29 pm Reply with quote
Porcupine: I don't consider less quality titles like Gunbuster and more crap like Suzuka to be a good thing.
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Porcupine



Joined: 21 Jul 2004
Posts: 1033

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:50 pm Reply with quote
Gatsu, I agree that BVUSA's titles are good quality, and they are also authored at good video quality which I appreciate a lot. However as many people have stated, the main issue is price (3x more than normal) and lack of a dub, for their titles. I don't think that model is working here because I don't see their titles moving on the local shelves. So if their company dies that's probably for the better, because their business model is not sound.
james039 wrote:
People really don't seem to get how potentially disasterous it would be to the North American anime market if BV decided to bail on us. First of all, they are a huge presence in the Japanese anime market. If they give up on North America...likely they'll hold out on their new properties entirely leaving us only the option to import.
If BV left no one would even notice. They're a total newcomer in the USA industry and they have an extremely small catalog of releases, probably none of which sold a lot of copies. If they bail and then furthermore decide to hold out, that's fine. The domestic anime market may be headed for that situation regardless anyway (because of Geneon USA among other things). After which piracy will probably become the most popular option. Don't forget that imports don't play on domestic DVD players. I am no lawyer but the legality of imports is not completely without question. Similarly, the legality of fansubs might also become more questionable (as in, "less" illegal) should the Japanese completely abandon the US market. Things would get more grey and that's just the excuse that fansubbers need for piracy to get more out-of-control than ever.

The only good thing I can see coming out of a scenario like that is that dark ages don't usually last forever. Hopefully, if a "dark age of fansubs" is approaching, the anime companies would eventually respond and stamp out fansubs to extinction like they should have to begin with and we'll get a golden age again. Smile But this hypothetical chain of events would take decades to complete so dark ages might be the primary concern. Smile
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james039



Joined: 27 May 2004
Posts: 103

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:55 pm Reply with quote
Porcupine wrote:


james039 wrote:
People really don't seem to get how potentially disasterous it would be to the North American anime market if BV decided to bail on us. First of all, they are a huge presence in the Japanese anime market. If they give up on North America...likely they'll hold out on their new properties entirely leaving us only the option to import.
If BV left no one would even notice. They're a total newcomer in the USA industry and they have an extremely small catalog of releases, probably none of which sold a lot of copies.


It is important to point out that many titles such as Cowboy Bebop and Ghost in the Shell are ALSO BV, just licensed to Bandai Ent. and Manga Entertainment respectively. I think people would notice if many of BV's bigger properties to come out in the future were mysteriously not getting licensed.
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Weazul-chan



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 417

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:10 pm Reply with quote
james039 wrote:
Porcupine wrote:


james039 wrote:
People really don't seem to get how potentially disasterous it would be to the North American anime market if BV decided to bail on us. First of all, they are a huge presence in the Japanese anime market. If they give up on North America...likely they'll hold out on their new properties entirely leaving us only the option to import.
If BV left no one would even notice. They're a total newcomer in the USA industry and they have an extremely small catalog of releases, probably none of which sold a lot of copies.


It is important to point out that many titles such as Cowboy Bebop and Ghost in the Shell are ALSO BV, just licensed to Bandai Ent. and Manga Entertainment respectively. I think people would notice if many of BV's bigger properties to come out in the future were mysteriously not getting licensed.
as I understand Bandai Visual USA and Bandai Entertainment are two separate branches of the same Japanese main branch, Bandai Visual Japan (which is further Bandai Japan's visual/music branch). if Bandai V's strategy proves to be causing too great of a loss then Bandai Ent, with some big name new titles like The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and big name classics to back it up, could still go strong. after all, Bandai Visual USA just showed up in '05.
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Ryusui



Joined: 22 Jun 2004
Posts: 368

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:12 pm Reply with quote
Bandai Visual Japan =/= Bandai Visual USA.

BV USA is just BV Japan's misbegotten attempt to cut out the middlemen and funnel the proceeds from the American anime craze directly into its own pocketbooks. Unfortunately, its "rival" Bandai Entertainment has been doing this for much longer, is much better at its job, and markets its releases towards the mainstream. BV USA is a newbie which doesn't know what the hell it's doing, assumes America has the same market conditions as Japan, and markets its releases towards a obsessive clique that makes up only a minuscule portion of the anime-viewing public at large.

When BV USA dies, Bandai Entertainment will still be alive, and Bandai Visual Japan will have learned a valuable lesson: Americans prefer anime in their native tongue. And as cheap as possible.
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Kiba2



Joined: 24 Mar 2006
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:50 pm Reply with quote
well, this sucks...but the funny thing is that anime on dvd in the US is very popular, because some people don't get the cable networks like cartoon network or IFC, or even the anime channels like Funimation channel and whatnot, but if more companies do what Geneon USA did, I can see the decline of anime dvd's in the US and alot more of Import shops popping up everywhere.
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Za_randomness



Joined: 15 Nov 2006
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:54 pm Reply with quote
Wow. We got a lot of gloom and doom going on here. I'm not hoping for BV to go under, I'm just hoping that they look at their marketing strategy. Right now they are trying to market, as many have mentioned, to something of the rabid-fan market. From the reviews (I ain't plunking that chunk of change to look for myself) the titles look pretty damn good, as well they should, and the library itself, while small, is also good. However, it's no Criterion Collection, possibly the only company whose reputation and quality of films can get people to accept their prices. Even then, Criterion's DVDS really don't get near that $50 range. BV isn't putting on a marketing face that gives a reason for its prices that we could stomach, and it really isn't trying to appeal to the film-connoisseur crowd that's used to these prices.

Back to topic... If BV pulls out, I'm sure that distributors here would try to license BV titles, though it likely not be a smooth road.

I guess my bottom line is that even if it takes a while, BV will realize that the American market is different. At the very least, they'll realize that they need to participate, i.e. advertise, as the American market sails on a different tack than Japanese one, especially in that odd aspect of being able to whip itself into a 'damn the price, full speed ahead' frenzy. An even more immediate difference is that unlike Japan, where movies across the board weigh in at $40+, in America even new-release Blue-Ray titles are at the very worst $35 or so, and we're still used to $20-buck releases.

Since I forgot where I was going with this, I'll end it here. Hopefully the gist of what I was trying to say is understandable enough. In a nutshell, I'm just hoping that this makes BV look itself through the eyes of reality, and starts to realize that without a change, even if they don't go under, that they will start to be viewed as a company that tries to take advantage of its buyers.
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W-General



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 279
Location: Ithaca, NY, USA / Taichung, Taiwan

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 11:52 pm Reply with quote
Ah right, the number of episodes. Two per disc LOL.

I don't care about lack of dubs at all because I'm a dub-hater, so that never bothered me. But the price and the number of eps are *ugh*

Hopefully BV will re-examine their pricing policy.
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Zilveari



Joined: 11 Feb 2006
Posts: 14
Location: Baltimore, MD,

PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 12:13 am Reply with quote
Sweet, maybe dubbed anime will die in the next 5 years, and we'll be back to the fansub stoneage. Back in the GOOD days of anime fandom when everything was fansubbed, most of your collection was third/fourth generatin VHS or older.

I won't miss dubs, nor dubbies. Eventually the anime fad will end, and dubs will go on the decline, companies will lose money and get into trouble.

Hence 4kidz and their repeatedly dead sales growth.
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TexasAnimeFan



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 12:24 am Reply with quote
(sorry, newbie here)

Does this mean Bandai is most likely going under too? Or at this point are they trying to figure out what to do since Geneon has basically died? Confused
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