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NEWS: Crunchyroll Announces Partnership with Sumitomo to Create Company to Co-Produce Anime


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Themaster20000



Joined: 05 Aug 2014
Posts: 782
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 1:38 pm Reply with quote
I'll take the wait and see approach with this. Only a matter of time now until Netflix starts producing shows.
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GWOtaku



Joined: 19 Jul 2003
Posts: 655
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 2:09 pm Reply with quote
In regard to the pessimism toward this shift: It's true failed coproductions and / or investments were part of the industry landscape prior to the last crash. The major thing that precipitated it, however, was the collapse of the very oversaturated physical media market as it had been, coupled with the decline of TV networks as a viable home for anime.

Needless to say (so I hope), those conditions don't exist now and so a crash of that magnitude isn't likely to be replicated this time. Digital media didn't even exist in a meaningful sense the last time. Now the growth area for anime is streaming, as evidenced by Crunchyroll's recurring drastic spikes in paying subscribers every 1-2 years. In theory, fan reception to titles online should be an effective guide to determining what's a smart investment, hopefully meaning few to no disastrous investments in English dubs that can't possibly hope to even make back their money.

Now at some point, there may well be a recession in the industry again. There's already a crazy high level of production for TV anime. But when that recession happens it won't be because of this in and of itself, or because of the same reasons the last one happened.
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Alan45
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 2:21 pm Reply with quote
If this results in more anime, well and good. However, what we don't need is anime specifically designed to appeal to western viewers. Western companies make more than enough shows, live action and animated that appeal to western audiences, and they are much better at it. I got into anime because I wanted something different.

The problem is that when any company puts money into a project they will want a voice in what is produced. Hopefully Crunchyroll will not opt for something that is only technically anime.
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GWOtaku



Joined: 19 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 2:28 pm Reply with quote
Well, as part of a production committee a company does have a voice. However they are one voice among several, and I submit it's quite possible for a non-Japanese company to "get it".

Also, there's coproductions and then there are coproductions. Look at Dimension W. Whatever that turns out to be, it's pretty clearly not equivalent to a work like Mass Effect: Paragon Lost. There's a difference between a true East / West collaboration and an outside company choosing to be invested in a Japanese-created anime at the earliest possible stage.
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Alan45
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 2:35 pm Reply with quote
It is definitely a wait and see proposition. I just find it hard to get enthusiastic when ever these co-productions are brought up.

On the other hand I am very happy to see that Crunchyroll is doing well. I prefer their operation to Funimation's. I guess we will just have to trust they know what they are doing.
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omoikane



Joined: 03 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 3:54 pm Reply with quote
From the sound of the PR it doesn't seem to be coproduction as much as just plain investment. What will actually happen, yeah, we will have to wait and see.

And CR did co-produce Wooser so you can get a feel as to what that's like already...
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Ninjajake12



Joined: 04 Aug 2015
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 4:47 pm Reply with quote
This seems like CR is getting tired of paying the high prices for some of those anime licenses, which I don't blame them (which probably explains this season). I'm cautiously optimistic about this. Co-producing anime may result in unique offerings and provide some competition/incentive for the licensing companies to reduce and restrain their prices.

On the other hand, I don't want this becoming the sole focus of CR in that they abandon (or rather, reduce) licensing from other companies altogether. If they continue to grab licenses for new shows along with this co-production, I think it can be a win-win situation.
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Dfens



Joined: 08 Feb 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 5:32 pm Reply with quote
It's a wait and see game to find out exactly how much of a role CR will have on the production committee and what risks are involved so that it doesn't end up hurting them more in the long run.

I'm going to take a stab from what I read since their isn't enough info and none of us have the inside knowledge to break down their reasons into getting into this venture.

CR says ok instead of getting in a bidding war and paying up to X amount of dollars why don't we invest/pay a fixed price of Y which is still less than X. By being a part of the Production they put up their own money so the Japanese don't have the burden of funding it entirely themselves and or it allows the Japenese to have a higher budget to create the show in question.

Now since they invested and are part of the Committee they get guaranteed streaming rights to said show without bidding which could drive up the price and maybe even lose them said show to a competitor.

I doubt they will get a part of the Japanese Disc sales or merchandise, and I don't think it will lower the percentage amount of add revenue dollars paid back to the rights holders.

What I do think it what will happen is it's a way to assure they get the rights to a show without going through the formal bidding process and could save CR money by paying a smaller fixed fee if they co-fund the show.

If this is the case and will lower CR costs and help increase their profit margins then great I don't see a problem. It may also allow them to have the streaming rights to a show forever so it will never leave their service which would be a big plus.

The only thing that worries me is if they say hey we want to invest to get a original show off the ground and they invest a lot of money and it bombs. This could really hurt them, I don't want it to be like in Japan several show failures can be over looked as long as 1 show is a big hit to cover the rest. And if a big hit comes along to save the day in time.

Some people have been speculating that they will invest in previous franchises shows, for example purposes only lets say Full Metal Panic hasn't had another sequel/season in years. Now CR can come in and offer to help fund it and a new FMP title will finally get produced. I just don't see this happening that they are the final investor needed to get these types of shows off the grounds or can invest enough to get enough in return to take such a huge risk.

More than likely I can see happening still using FMP as a example their is already talks of making another season and it's almost finalized and CR jumps in before they start and say I want to be a part of it too. They feel the show in question is going to be popular enough to gamble on being part of the production committee.

Whatever happens CR should stick with what works and go after Japanese programs intended for the Japanese market that has appeal over seas as well. And not try to get into the market of making shows tailored for Westerners. Their may be a Japanese franchise title that hasn't been animated and seems like it would appeal to people in the West more but if they take the stab into that market it could cost them dearly if it doesn't pan out.

All I know is I still prefer Anime because it's different than what we get here stateside. If a show appeals to me a person not part of the intended Japanese Market it appeals to me, and if not oh well. I don't want a bunch of crap being made intentionally towards the foreign market primarily in a gamble to make more money.
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yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 8:09 pm Reply with quote
Your post talks only about Crunchyroll without any mention of Sumitomo.

Dfens wrote:
By being a part of the Production they put up their own money

I'm not sure Crunchy has lots of extra cash on hand. My guess is Sumitomo is putting up most of the money. The article specifically notes there is no information available about the distribution of ownership in this joint venture.

Quote:
I doubt they will get a part of the Japanese Disc sales or merchandise, and I don't think it will lower the percentage amount of add revenue dollars paid back to the rights holders.

Sumitomo might be very interested in Japanese disc sales and merchandise, or becoming involved in their (worldwide) distribution. It's a huge trading conglomerate. On its website, Sumitomo states that its activities
Quote:
include sales of a variety of products and services within Japan, import and export, trilateral trade, and domestic and international business investment.

Assuming Sumi knows relatively less about the anime industry, CR will presumably be the active partner on the production committee with the yen to play a significant role. The biggest question for me is where will they get their material. Will they simply expand the number of adapted properties or commission new work? I'd probably start off with an adaptation or two with a somewhat predictable market before blazing new trails.

An investment this size is probably a drop in the bucket for Sumitomo. It lets them get their feet wet in a new and growing industry, but they don't really have much at risk here. If things go south, Sumitomo can just say sayonara.
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mangamuscle



Joined: 23 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 10:12 pm Reply with quote
Kruszer wrote:
If this means some of the single season shows or abandoned franchises I liked that need a sequel can now be funded, then I'm all for this.


Hear! Hear!

I wonder though, after they invest in many shows if they will get a bit adventurous, like, how about licensing something not made in Japan so that it can be made into an anime? The example that comes to mind is Empowered by Adam Warren, he has a manga-ish style of drawing (and Emp is like Sonico body-wise) and the plot indeed caters to teen/young adults.
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Ambimunch



Joined: 30 Aug 2012
Posts: 2012
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:11 pm Reply with quote
Looks intriguing in writing, but lets see them actually do it. I'll be back when this thing exists so that I can judge it Cool
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AnimeLordLuis



Joined: 27 Jan 2015
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Location: The Borderlands of Pandora
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:52 pm Reply with quote
I wonder if this is crunchyrolls response to Funimation being on the production committee of Dimension W(and quite possibly a few other shows) if so then we may have a whole new kind of war in the not so distant future! Confused
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Razor/Edge



Joined: 05 Jun 2015
Posts: 606
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 2:44 am Reply with quote
If someone hasn't already, send a question about this into the Answerman (justin). I'm sure we'll see a post about it in that column soon, and i'll trust whatever he has to say about. We're not anime experts. We've never worked in the industry. We are just scared of something new and different upsetting the balance of anime we currently have.
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Errinundra
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Joined: 14 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 3:25 am Reply with quote
Why be afraid, Razor / Edge?

In the 7½ years since I registered with ANN, things for anime lovers have steadily got better - access to content via streaming, amount of content available on dvd and bluray, quality of production, you name it.

It's a fantastic time to be an anime lover.
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Alan45
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Joined: 25 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:04 am Reply with quote
errinundra wrote:
Quote:
It's a fantastic time to be an anime lover.


I agree completely. However, it may be a bit too good. Things seldom stay the same. At this point is there anywhere to go but down? Having witnessed the prior boom and bust and a similar scenario in other fandoms, I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.
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