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ANNCast - Challenge of the Super Manga Pals


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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 1067

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:10 pm Reply with quote
I wonder how Zac & Justin still feel about Anime Midstream, who follow a similar method as NIS America & Aniplex USA (in-house production, online-only sales, etc.) but are doing singles as well as a dub. Granted they only have one title right now, Matchless Raijin-Oh, and they do it very slowly but they still seem to be around so they must be doing something right too. I wouldn't say that Media Blasters will be gone anytime soon, though, as they have done some digital advancement; as much as Zac & Justin want to state that MB isn't advancing in any way, MB has done some digital availability... It just hasn't been anything big, and that's probably their biggest problem. But to say that MB never tried to do anything digitally, like Bandai didn't, would be outright wrong. MB always seems to be able to do something that keep them alive longer than anyone would guess, so I wouldn't put them out of consideration right now, though.

It is crazy how some manga series sell so well that their respective mangakas can draw so little throughout a year yet still get a good amount of money to make a living. I can add Kazushi Hagiwara to that list, too, as Bastard!! comes out arguably as slow, if not slower than Berserk, but whenever a new volume comes out it sells insanely well in Japan.

I haven't read quite as much manga last year that I usually do, but there were some great releases. I only read the first volume, but I do have all 4 volumes of 7 Billion Needles and I really should read the rest as I really enjoyed the first volume. Also, Drops of God is just amazingly great to read. I also have what's been released of No Longer Human, but haven't read it yet. As for JManga, I do have have titles there that I have bought and are waiting to read, but at the same time I do hope that they start getting more and more, and I really want them to do more following volumes. They have a good number of series that don't go further than Volume 1, which is a shame.

I can understand why people aren't interested in buying those small-sized Lone Wolf & Cub books. My friend got Samurai Executioner, which was done in the same fashion, and he hated the size of the books so much that he buy Lone Wolf, even though he wants to read it so badly.
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CareyGrant



Joined: 18 Nov 2009
Posts: 451

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:25 pm Reply with quote
If the American anime market goes more "Japanese," i.e. catering to the hardcore collectors and higher prices, isn't that a bit counterproductive?

In the last few years we've all witnessed the backlash against anime piracy since the bubbly burst, to get the message out regarding supporting the industry if you want to see it stick around.

Isn't that going to make piracy more of an issue by pricing it out of the hands of new or less hardcore fans?

Is digital distribution and legal streaming supposed to take up this slack, getting anime to the masses who don't want to (or can't) pay collector's prices?

Or are we in such an unstable time until someone cracks the code for making the digital age pay out like physical media used to?

Lastly, is the American anime market setting itself up to the point that, like the Japanese market, the industry caters to a very small, very specific niche (with specific tastes) that neglects other less ardent, more casual consumers, thus stunting any growth potential?
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Tenchi



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 3458
Location: Ottawa... now I'm an ex-Anglo Montrealer.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:29 pm Reply with quote
You all got it right about French-translated manga, I've been buying at least some manga in French for over a decade-and-a-half, starting with Sailor Moon in 1995, though, granted, I did live in Montreal at the time so French-translated manga wasn't exactly hard to come by (although you could also find English-translated manga fairly easily at some Montreal stores like Empire Comics, Cosmix, and the long-gone Nebula Books).

In the mid-1990's, some of the French manga publishers like Flammarion, under their J'ai Lu Manga imprint, were already publishing manga like City Hunter and Kimagure Orange Road in unflipped form, which didn't become the norm with English manga distributors until after the turn of the millennium, and the J'ai Lu Manga also were at a price point of only around $10 Canadian, while Viz and Proteus/Dark Horse titles usually sold in Montreal in the $20 to $25 Canadian range.

It was true in the mid-to-late 1990's and it's true today that French-translated manga publishers publish a wider variety of titles than their English-language counterparts. For a few years in the mid-2000's, that wasn't so much the case with Tokyopop, and, to a lesser extent, Del Rey and DC/CMX licensing all sorts of niche titles to expand the English manga section at any Chapters booktore to almost the size of the French manga selection at the flagship Renaud-Bray bookstore on Cote-des-Neiges at Jean-Brilliant in Montreal, but the manga sections at Chapters have been downsized compared to the height of the boom (though they're still much larger than the 1990's, when you were lucky to find any manga at Chapters or Indigo, usually hidden somewhere in the sci-fi section).

My most recent French manga purchase was Naruko Hanaharu's 2-volume manga adaptation of the Kamichu! anime, and I've also bought continuations of manga abandoned by Tokyopop like volume 6 of Ichigo Mashimaro/Strawberry Marshmallow (published in French as Les Petites Fraises). While there's usually a greater chance that a manga will get published in French, there are still some manga that remain sadly unlicensed in either French or English, like Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou and Minami-Ke.
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Zac
ANN Executive Editor


Joined: 05 Jan 2002
Posts: 6834
Location: Snake Mountain Cocktail Lounge

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:44 pm Reply with quote
Lord Geo wrote:
I wouldn't say that Media Blasters will be gone anytime soon, though, as they have done some digital advancement; as much as Zac & Justin want to state that MB isn't advancing in any way, MB has done some digital availability... It just hasn't been anything big, and that's probably their biggest problem. But to say that MB never tried to do anything digitally, like Bandai didn't, would be outright wrong. MB always seems to be able to do something that keep them alive longer than anyone would guess, so I wouldn't put them out of consideration right now, though.


Do you have some secret knowledge that we're not privy to or something? I would hope that your insistence that they're doing better than they let on is based on more than feeling and speculation.
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TnKtRk



Joined: 17 Mar 2011
Posts: 84

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:56 pm Reply with quote
Wait, doesn't MB have shows on both Hulu and PSN. Wouldn't that be considered having a digital presence. They have both dubbed and subbed show as well.
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Twage



Joined: 29 Jul 2003
Posts: 271
Location: Astoria, NY

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:40 pm Reply with quote
I am sympathetic to the perspective of the ANNcasters, but I think the fact that Princess Knight helped inspire a new generation of female manga artists who revolutionized shojo manga says more about Tezuka's intent than the discomfort of modern, detached American readers.
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penguintruth



Joined: 08 Dec 2004
Posts: 5924
Location: Penguinopolis

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:54 pm Reply with quote
I'm just happy my favorite manga, 20th Century Boys, got a few mentions. It really is an awesome series.
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Macron One



Joined: 17 Aug 2006
Posts: 118
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:12 pm Reply with quote
Lord Geo wrote:
I wonder how Zac & Justin still feel about Anime Midstream, who follow a similar method as NIS America & Aniplex USA (in-house production, online-only sales, etc.) but are doing singles as well as a dub. Granted they only have one title right now, Matchless Raijin-Oh, and they do it very slowly but they still seem to be around so they must be doing something right too.


While i can understand that you like rooting for small companies releasing super-niche titles, let's just be realistic here.. NOBODY thinks about Anime Midstream. The only time fans ever hear of them is when the announcement for the release of their annual Raijin-Oh disc appears, which at best sollicits general surprise that the company still exists and speculation about the chances of them succeeding in fully releasing Raijin-Oh on DVD before their license expires. They're effectively a company in name only.We're talking about a few guys releasing a single two-decades old series that has an almost non-existant fanbase in the US. There's not even a snowball-in-hell's chance of the release being profitable for them. They're clearly doing this purely as a fun little fanproject, knowing very well that it'll cost them far more than they can hope to recoup.

This may sound a little harsh, but i'm only being realistic here. It's commendable that the Anime Midstream guys are putting this much time and effort into releasing an obscure title, even despite the highly questionable singles release and the snail's pace at which these are coming out. Your insistance of using them as an example of a successfull business stategy is however beyond silly.
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ShanaFan852



Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Posts: 545
Location: Minnesota, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:22 pm Reply with quote
TnKtRk wrote:
Wait, doesn't MB have shows on both Hulu and PSN. Wouldn't that be considered having a digital presence. They have both dubbed and subbed show as well.
They don't have all that much on there. I've looked in the PlayStation Store numerous times, not all that much stuff, and it's even smaller on Hulu.

Anyway, I listened to just the first part (I may listen past the 18:50 or wherever Zac and Justin ended on segment 1.), and guess what I heard once about titles in the S.A.V.E. line being near the end of their licenses is true. Where did FUNimation first say this themselves first (I probably was living under a rock, or even a mountain at the time.).
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 12495

PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:49 am Reply with quote
Zac: Meh, you're not missing anything on Berserk.
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 1067

PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:20 am Reply with quote
Zac wrote:
Do you have some secret knowledge that we're not privy to or something? I would hope that your insistence that they're doing better than they let on is based on more than feeling and speculation.


I'm not saying that they're doing better than they're letting on, but MB has had moments before where everyone is ready to call them dead and then they manage to stay alive, and you can't deny that it's happened before. Like it's been said, MB is a scrappy company that will fight to the utter end; if they die from this then they die and that's understandable, but if they manage to survive and keep existing I wouldn't be surprised by that, either.

All I'm saying is that rather than simply calling them dead now, I'm instead saying that this is MB in a big clinch, and it's time to see what they're plan of action will be after this. It's do-or-die time for them: Either they continue to live or they die out, but not without a lack of trying. Zac, if you want to call them dead go on ahead as I won't stop you, but to me I'll consider this a time to simply watch and see what happens with Media Blasters. I'll still buy titles they release that catch my interest, bu regardless of whether they live or die it's going to be a learning experience for anyone who would want to enter this industry in the future.

Macron One wrote:
Your insistance of using [Anime Midstream] as an example of a successfull business stategy is however beyond silly.


In the state of this industry right now, simply existing and still releasing stuff means you have a "successful business strategy". Right now there's barely a grey area, as you're either alive and releasing stuff, even if it's not always anime (i.e. AnimEigo), or you're dead. Anime Midstream still looks to be alive, so they're obviously doing something right in the end. That's all I'm saying, as they haven't turned into the next AnimeWho, Anime Crash, etc.
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I AM THE VAST UNIVERSE



Joined: 11 Nov 2010
Posts: 381
Location: United States

PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:56 am Reply with quote
People rip on Kubo because of his lack of backgrounds in Bleach but Kubo's art style is among the best in current comics today manga or american comics its always a joy to see him bring his characters to life in exciting poses and angles!
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agila61



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 3195
Location: NE Ohio

PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:25 pm Reply with quote
ShanaFan852 wrote:
... Anyway, I listened to just the first part (I may listen past the 18:50 or wherever Zac and Justin ended on segment 1.), and guess what I heard once about titles in the S.A.V.E. line being near the end of their licenses is true. Where did FUNimation first say this themselves first (I probably was living under a rock, or even a mountain at the time.).

I believe it was FUNimation's latest ANNcast, December 2, Its kind of a FUNI Story
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ljaesch



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 289
Location: Enumclaw, WA

PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:58 pm Reply with quote
I guess it was a good thing that the FUNimation lawsuit news came out *after* ANNCast was already recorded and posted... otherwise, that eighteen minutes at the beginning might have run for a bit longer.

If Zac and Justin are right about the American anime industry moving toward catering to a niche market and charging collector prices, that makes me a sad panda. I'm personally in a position where I can't afford collector prices (I have a mortgage, my oldest child is only about five years away from heading off to college, my middle child needs orthodontic work done, etc.), so my disposable income only allows me to afford the cheaper DVD and Blu-ray releases that we're currently accustomed to.

Both Deb and Ed mentioned some interesting sounding manga titles, and I'll need to see about tracking them down and reading them.
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Mesonoxian Eve



Joined: 10 Jan 2012
Posts: 1858

PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:17 pm Reply with quote
A question for Justin: With this write-up, does this mean it's going to be based on actual numbers, and the industry has finally allowed a peek inside?

Either way, looking forward to it.

I would like to know a question, if it's not been addressed: is there any particular reason the NA market is terrified of producing a true Limited Edition which isn't just a 25 cent pencil board or a coin I spent on a Coke Zero?
Thankfully, the machine didn't take it.

It just feels awkward this industry cares more for people who don't care to buy against those who've proven they'll value a series they truly enjoy.

I wouldn't expect every series be given an LE of exceptional caliber, but there are those series we know people truly enjoy and will support.

I pre-ordered Strike Witches 2 and I'm just hoping my "special gift" isn't going to be a soiled pair of panties because FUNi picked up a pallet for $2 and included them to make $5.

UPDATE: Seems TRSI finally stated the LE comes with just an art box. I think I'll hold off on the cartwheels and fireworks.

ETA on the first part?
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