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NEWS: Bandai Visual USA President Responds to 'Open Letter'


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minakichan



Joined: 12 Nov 2003
Posts: 1070

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:12 pm Reply with quote
Woot, go Sevakis! Sure, Bandai's response isn't the end-all-be-all 100% solution that we've been hoping for, but the fact that people are listening is good. And simultaneous released with Japan? GREAT.

The idea that they still support high-quality high-price is a little disappointing; it does sound like they are still afraid of change, as Sevakis pointed out. Japan is nice because they have TWO options-- a cheap (TV) and an expensive one (DVDs), but we don't get anything like that, and the idea that the cheap-ass teens that make up the viewing demographic would be happy with that is absurd. Also, the very fact that YouTube actually is a "threat" to the anime industry proves that not all fans are looking for high-quality high-price (I won't say anything about fansubs because some, but not all, fansubs are actually HIGHER quality than the poor QC'd legit releases).

One step at a time, one step at a time.
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kokuryu



Joined: 07 Apr 2007
Posts: 915

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:17 pm Reply with quote
It's a hard pill for them to take, but Bandai is in the position where their titles are more mature themed than others, so they can say that they only want the adult crowd, and not the 80+ million teenagers that actually make up the broad base of anime fans in the US (those without jobs, that have to depend on mom and dad to buy things for them, and mom and dad wont spend $40 for "cartoons"). In 8 years or so they will start to truly come into the work force, and then THEIR kids will be able to say "buy me anime" and they will - because they will want to watch it too. It takes a generation to change the mindset of an entire population.
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indrik



Joined: 22 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:22 pm Reply with quote
Some of us are already buying anime because our kids want to watch it. And we do too. Razz
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Valchael



Joined: 06 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:25 pm Reply with quote
The whole problem with this is that the video quality will most likely not be up to the standards that would be regular for broadcast in terms of visual quality. Fansubs are now commonly in HD resolution. While the common solutions that are available from content providers on the web are usually streaming vid in low res with visible artifacts, and grain when playing full screen. If they then make their customers pay for that, I can't see how in any way it would cut down on fansubs. I am of course ignoring quality in other areas which may be just as poor as that of the video.
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:27 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
But if the quality is unsatisfactory, isn't the cheap price still expensive?


That assumes that other companies can't put out a decent release as well as BV.

Quote:
Since the anime market is far smaller than the general DVD market or TV distribution market, we cannot use the same distribution channels as the ones that the major Hollywood studios or TV networks use.


Why not? If AS, CN, and THC can air "Evangelion", "Only Yesterday", and "FLCL", what makes it hard for you to give your properties more exposure? You're bigger than STA, too, so what's your excuse?
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Fronzel



Joined: 11 Sep 2003
Posts: 1294

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:37 pm Reply with quote
Tatsunori Konno wrote:
let's buy our products through dot-anime, PLEASE!

Strikes me as whiny and a bit unreasonable. Why shouldn't we shop around for the best price?

EDIT: Deleted something that is no longer pertinant. Move along.


Last edited by Fronzel on Fri Dec 07, 2007 12:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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fighterholic



Joined: 28 Sep 2005
Posts: 9193

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 8:11 pm Reply with quote
This is definetly a move worth noting, it will be interesting to see where it goes from here.
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Pepperidge



Joined: 13 Sep 2003
Posts: 1018
Location: British Columbia

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 8:15 pm Reply with quote
Does Kondo seriously think that moving towards direct distribution through websites like dot-anime to solely serve the existing fanbase is the future of the anime industry in North America? Bandai Visual does not seem to be operating with very high aspirations.
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Sven Viking



Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 517

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 8:21 pm Reply with quote
Pepperidge wrote:
Does Kondo seriously think that moving towards direct distribution through websites like dot-anime to solely serve the existing fanbase is the future of the anime industry in North America? Bandai Visual does not seem to be operating with very high aspirations.

Nonetheless, it would theoretically be a sensible move for a niche product, allowing lower prices for consumers and higher profit margins for the publisher. Unfortunately, if Fronzel is right and better prices are often available at separate retailers, they may be skimping on the "for consumers" part (possibly in fear of offending retailers by undercutting them too much?). Trouble is, undercutting the competition is the main way to bring people to a new distribution method.
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subaru



Joined: 26 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:02 pm Reply with quote
Without an alternate platform to replace fansub........ e.g. free for view on TV like Japan, live streaming on web, get to watch it for free but not keep it................ without such platforms, fansub will always exist. Expecting people to spend so much on DVDs when they have never seen the show.......... it will never happen

Just like illegal mp3s download, we all know its illegal, but people still download them. And they can never totally eliminate them. Just type in the name of any popular artist and album on google, you can find something within seconds.

Its the era of intenet, adopt it, don't avoid it.
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Zalis116
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Joined: 31 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:27 pm Reply with quote
Valchael wrote:
The whole problem with this is that the video quality will most likely not be up to the standards that would be regular for broadcast in terms of visual quality. Fansubs are now commonly in HD resolution. While the common solutions that are available from content providers on the web are usually streaming vid in low res with visible artifacts, and grain when playing full screen. If they then make their customers pay for that, I can't see how in any way it would cut down on fansubs. I am of course ignoring quality in other areas which may be just as poor as that of the video.
Aw, come on, videos from content providers have exactly the same resolution as some fansubs! Except...it's the same resolution as fansubs digitized from VHS tapes at 320x240, at least in the case of ADV's non-premium pay-for-download service. I'm not picky about HDTV, I'm perfectly satisfied with normal DVD resolution releases, and for cases when groups make multiple hi-def / standard-def releases I'll generally choose the standard. But yeah, the paid downloads at the $1.99 price point should at least be DVD resolution if they want to make any headway.
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tlsmith1963



Joined: 10 Jun 2003
Posts: 100

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:53 pm Reply with quote
minakichan wrote:
Woot, go Sevakis! Sure, Bandai's response isn't the end-all-be-all 100% solution that we've been hoping for, but the fact that people are listening is good. And simultaneous released with Japan? GREAT.

The idea that they still support high-quality high-price is a little disappointing; it does sound like they are still afraid of change, as Sevakis pointed out. Japan is nice because they have TWO options-- a cheap (TV) and an expensive one (DVDs), but we don't get anything like that, and the idea that the cheap-ass teens that make up the viewing demographic would be happy with that is absurd. Also, the very fact that YouTube actually is a "threat" to the anime industry proves that not all fans are looking for high-quality high-price (I won't say anything about fansubs because some, but not all, fansubs are actually HIGHER quality than the poor QC'd legit releases).

One step at a time, one step at a time.


Wow, they actually listened over there in Japan! Fantastic news. And they aren't willing to change everything at this point, but just getting them to change a little is an achievement. From what I have heard, Japanese businesses are slow when it comes to change.
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domino



Joined: 25 Nov 2004
Posts: 373

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:01 pm Reply with quote
looks like they've got some good ideas brewing. I'm just happy to finally see someone in the anime industry actually doing something about the "fansub problem" without just griping at fansubbers.
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bglassbrook



Joined: 29 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:23 pm Reply with quote
tlsmith1963 wrote:
Wow, they actually listened over there in Japan! Fantastic news.

Not exactly, this is from the BV-USA president.
Quote:
Japanese licensors have been told that the US fans don't care about the quality at all

Funny, I recall the next-gen formats ranking fairly highly (historically too) on that survey a couple months back.
Quote:
we cannot use the same distribution channels as the ones that the major Hollywood studios or TV networks use

Quote:
Since the market is small and we wish to have fans watch our shows in good quality, we need to put some higher prices compared to traditional US anime products

HD has a higher price than SD ... that aside, which of these is a bigger crock? Besides, isn't Sony practically giving away their BD-publication facilities' services to get studios to sign on?
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BleuVII



Joined: 19 Sep 2006
Posts: 672
Location: Tokorozawa, Japan

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:27 pm Reply with quote
I think it's good that an industry rep is responding to this letter. However, I think he forgot to touch on the main point in the open letter, which is that US anime fans have no way to preview most shows before we buy them. All we have is the cover and reviews we have read online. With that, a $25-$40 impulse buy is hard to justify.
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