Anime Programming in the US
Making a Living in Manga in Japan with Felipe Smith
Lost in Translation
GDH, the parent company of the Gonzo anime studio, has announced on March 31 that it will allow international customers to set their own price for downloading The Tower of Druaga: The Aegis of Uruk and Blassreiter anime on the Crunchyroll video-sharing site. The open-pricing or "pay-what-you-want" model is one of several options being tested; GDH had previously announced that Google's YouTube service and BOST TV will also offer the two anime series online. Druaga will premiere on April 4, and Blassreiter will premiere on April 5.
GDH emphasizes that the open pricing model will allow for direct viewer feedback and says that the revenue will "offset the costs of distribution and development of future projects." The company is studying the feasibility of the open-pricing model as a means to expand the reach of the Japanese entertainment content industry.
BOST TV had previously announced that it will offer each episode of the two Gonzo series for 100 BOST points (the equivalent of US$1.99), with the first two episodes of both series for free. The episode fee pays for both a high-quality online stream and a downloadable version without digital rights management (DRM). The alternative rock band Radiohead (Ergo Proxy's "Paranoid Android" ending theme) helped popularize the recent trend of creators offering downloads under an open-pricing scheme.
Image © 2008 Gonzo, Nitroplus/Blassreiter Project