Forum - View topic
Ken Iyadomi on Bandai's Downsizing


Goto page   Next

Note: this is the discussion thread for this article

Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
xScar



Joined: 20 Dec 2006
Posts: 232

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:13 am Reply with quote
It's sad that something like this is making me think, "Oh, I should probably /finally/ pick up that one title."

Looking at my collection, I only own four Bandai titles (two of which I bought in the last few weeks): Cowboy Bebop, Eureka Seven, Wolf's Rain, and Witch Hunter Robin.

I held off on getting Code Geass hoping a BD release might finally come (same reason I've yet to get GitS, which I'm glad isn't affected by this). I've just recently bought Wolf's Rain and WHR when they were $22 on Buy because that is simply the price point these days. I rarely buy anything that is over that. Hell, I bought series on BD for cheaper than that this past holiday season. Plus, it was one of the series I saw on TV and never had the immediate urge to buy, which can also go for series such as Outlaw Star and s-cry-ed.

Bandai has just been put in a terrible position overall these past few years because how tightly they're controlled by the SBU. If Japan really wants a release over here in America now, they'll put it out themselves and pass-over Bandai. Consumers are looking to buy only in that very low price range now and in boxsets (not singles), and that's something Bandai has never been close to hitting.

Sad to see this finally happen, but I'm pretty sure everyone knew in the back of their minds that this was coming.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
VORTIA



Joined: 26 Jul 2005
Posts: 736

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:16 am Reply with quote
Once again, the typical disconnect between Japanese corporate expectations and American market reality. Despite the best efforts of Japanese companies to force the American anime market to accept 80$ single DVD/BD releases, such a price point is well out of the range the majority of American fans are willing to pay.

Now, instead of admitting to their own folly, they'd rather close up shop and take their ball home before they lower their prices.

I'm extremely disappointed in Bandai's decision to do this. Anime in America has always been an ancillary market. It's never going to justify the costs of the production for an entire anime, which must be borne by the native Japanese market, but once the anime itself is produced, turning away money which is there for the taking is simply a mistake. Instead, their decision to further cut off legal avenues for anime fans means that they can only expect increased piracy of their intellectual property in the future.


Last edited by VORTIA on Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:18 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger My Anime My Manga
GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 12545

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:17 am Reply with quote
Quote:
While those won't sell as many copies as American-produced discs, the higher price point and lack of middleman can still result in a decent amount of revenue with little additional cost. Bandai Visual Japan recently discovered this for themselves with their release of Gundam Unicorn. "They found the results pretty good, and that's how I think they would like to move forwards," Iyadomi says.


If they were so good, they wouldn't be re-releasing Gundam UC on DVD or streaming it online. Or shutting down their own store. It sounds more like Namdai doesn't want to admit its business model doesn't work in America. So it would rather cease operations completely than expand the audience for the product. Well, if it wants to go the way of Dentsu, then be our guest. I, on the other hand, have no sympathy for corporate a-holes who ruined a once thriving and successful start-up, simply because they just had to price-gouge hardcore fans at the expense of casual viewers. Bandai Visual really is living up to those faceless suits depicted in Otaku No Video.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
ConanSan



Joined: 13 Jun 2007
Posts: 1818

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:22 am Reply with quote
Am I totally surprised that this was a Japanese Decision?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
agila61



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 3199
Location: NE Ohio

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:25 am Reply with quote
Sad

Sad news for those let go, and a terrible economy to be looking for work ~ I wonder how long they've been aware that their positions were being terminated / contracts were not being renewed.

From the outside, it did seem like Bandai's marketing was compromised by pressures from corporate back in Tokyo ~ US-based distributors may be better placed to navigate those pressures successfully than Japanese subsidiaries.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
sainta



Joined: 21 Feb 2011
Posts: 945

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:26 am Reply with quote
Wait, Code Geass has about 4 manga. Which one is the popular one?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
GWOtaku



Joined: 19 Jul 2003
Posts: 618

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:33 am Reply with quote
Wow. It's that damned mindset that gave us Bandai Visual USA that killed the company, pretty much.

VORTIA wrote:
Once again, the typical disconnect between Japanese corporate expectations and American market reality.


Yep.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
SpacemanHardy



Joined: 03 Jan 2012
Posts: 1646

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:40 am Reply with quote
Quote:
The majority of the division's contractors and three of their five full-time staff members will be laid off, and all releases scheduled after the end of January have been cancelled.


So wait.... does this mean that the Akira re-release and the Code Geass R2 anime legends set are NOT coming out?


Because..... that would REALLY suck. Sad
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
GWOtaku



Joined: 19 Jul 2003
Posts: 618

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:42 am Reply with quote
No, the article says "after February 2012". Read it again. Those releases are not cancelled.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
BalmungHHQ



Joined: 11 Feb 2006
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:43 am Reply with quote
SpacemanHardy wrote:
Quote:
The majority of the division's contractors and three of their five full-time staff members will be laid off, and all releases scheduled after the end of January have been cancelled.


So wait.... does this mean that the Akira re-release and the Code Geass R2 anime legends set are NOT coming out?


Because..... that would REALLY suck. Sad

Totally typo
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ryu Shoji



Joined: 15 Jul 2009
Posts: 561
Location: Cambridge, United Kingdom

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:50 am Reply with quote
Quote:
"The pricing range for our products kept dropping in Western countries, and people tended only to buy sets with very reasonable prices, which we understand is what fans want, but it lead us to a different strategy than what Japanese licensors wanted," he remarked. "So we always had a problem [with licensors wanting something different than what consumers wanted]."


Correct me if I'm wrong (As I know little about business), but doesn't this seem like it's more of a problem caused by the Japanese licensors being unable (or perhaps, unwilling) to adapt to the differences in the western market?

I mean I'll be perfectly honest using a recent example - "K-ON!". I'm lucky that MangaUK always strive to sell their releases for as cheap as they can, so each single volume only costs me £11 online ($17.17). When I look at how much the American DVDs retail for ($30; £19.22) that instantly becomes "not worth it" for 3-4 episodes. The reason MangaUK haven't released the series on blu-ray yet is because they simply know that the blu-ray releases won't sell (the blu-ray market here is an entirely different story though. Unless it's a single release or a movie, BD anime will not survive in the UK) - that's why they've instead, detailed plans to release the series as a boxset on blu-ray later this year.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
KLAC
Exempt from Grammar Rules


Joined: 22 Oct 2009
Posts: 1025

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:54 am Reply with quote
oh my this is indeed got wonder will happen to it future maybe there just take time-off to refresh itself to anime world.

or that trying to get rescue help for their anime.

besides cause i'm bit what happen to anime goods of bandai.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
victor viper



Joined: 18 Jun 2011
Posts: 625
Location: The deep south

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:55 am Reply with quote
The interview mentions that there were a couple of titles where returns really hurt the company. Seeing as how several volumes of the Lucky Star limited editions hit Rightstuf's bargain bin, I can't help but wonder if that's one of those titles.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
asimpson2006



Joined: 13 May 2008
Posts: 3150
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:56 am Reply with quote
Ryu Shoji wrote:
Quote:
"The pricing range for our products kept dropping in Western countries, and people tended only to buy sets with very reasonable prices, which we understand is what fans want, but it lead us to a different strategy than what Japanese licensors wanted," he remarked. "So we always had a problem [with licensors wanting something different than what consumers wanted]."


Correct me if I'm wrong (As I know little about business), but doesn't this seem like it's more of a problem caused by the Japanese licensors being unable (or perhaps, unwilling) to adapt to the differences in the western market?

I mean I'll be perfectly honest using a recent example - "K-ON!". I'm lucky that MangaUK always strive to sell their releases for as cheap as they can, so each single volume only costs me £11 online ($17.17). When I look at how much the American DVDs retail for ($30; £19.22) that instantly becomes "not worth it" for 3-4 episodes. The reason MangaUK haven't released the series on blu-ray yet is because they simply know that the blu-ray releases won't sell (the blu-ray market here is an entirely different story though. Unless it's a single release or a movie, BD anime will not survive in the UK) - that's why they've instead, detailed plans to release the series as a boxset on blu-ray later this year.


But if a person was smart they could get the K-ON! BD for less than $30.00 each. I paid about roughly 17 for each K-ON BD single. So that cost me less than MSRP on the series.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
Ryu Shoji



Joined: 15 Jul 2009
Posts: 561
Location: Cambridge, United Kingdom

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:59 am Reply with quote
asimpson2006 wrote:
Ryu Shoji wrote:
Quote:
"The pricing range for our products kept dropping in Western countries, and people tended only to buy sets with very reasonable prices, which we understand is what fans want, but it lead us to a different strategy than what Japanese licensors wanted," he remarked. "So we always had a problem [with licensors wanting something different than what consumers wanted]."


Correct me if I'm wrong (As I know little about business), but doesn't this seem like it's more of a problem caused by the Japanese licensors being unable (or perhaps, unwilling) to adapt to the differences in the western market?

I mean I'll be perfectly honest using a recent example - "K-ON!". I'm lucky that MangaUK always strive to sell their releases for as cheap as they can, so each single volume only costs me £11 online ($17.17). When I look at how much the American DVDs retail for ($30; £19.22) that instantly becomes "not worth it" for 3-4 episodes. The reason MangaUK haven't released the series on blu-ray yet is because they simply know that the blu-ray releases won't sell (the blu-ray market here is an entirely different story though. Unless it's a single release or a movie, BD anime will not survive in the UK) - that's why they've instead, detailed plans to release the series as a boxset on blu-ray later this year.


But if a person was smart they could get the K-ON! BD for less than $30.00 each. I paid about roughly 17 for each K-ON BD single. So that cost me less than MSRP on the series.

True; if a series retails for £24.99, you can find it for £14.99 if you look in the right places. Saying that though, if the K-ON! Blu-Rays weren't region locked or if I had a multi-region player, I probably would have imported them from the States over buying DVDs now and double-dipping on a Blu-ray boxset (Hell, we're not even sure if the series will get the boxset now, because MangaUK keep on avoiding questions about it).

victor viper wrote:
The interview mentions that there were a couple of titles where returns really hurt the company. Seeing as how several volumes of the Lucky Star limited editions hit Rightstuf's bargain bin, I can't help but wonder if that's one of those titles.

Beez Entertainment (EU distributor of a lot of Bandai titles; a part of the Namco-Bandai group) outright said that they were extremely hesitant about licensing Lucky Star due to the U.S. sales. In the end they did release it, but only as a single-release "Anime Legends" boxset.


Last edited by Ryu Shoji on Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:05 am; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Display posts from previous:   
This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page   Next
Page 1 of 31

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group