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ANNCast - The Life and Kime of Geneon, USA


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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
Posts: 3714
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:03 pm Reply with quote
Prede wrote:
configspace wrote:
Just on the topic of pricing in general, I'm actually buying more, and spending more total $$ too, now than I did before. I'm ever so grateful that Funi rescued some of those Geneon titles, otherwise I would have never bought them simply due to huge price difference. I did buy some Geneon titles but only as an exception because they were gotta-have. The many good, but "lower-priority" titles I could not bring myself to pay, most of the time. (I suppose we should be grateful that it was still cheaper than what Japanese consumers pay)


Same here. I was never fond of Geneon for a few reasons, one major one being their pricing. While ADV, CPM, Funi (these three are the ones I own the most DVD's from), and the others had more rational pricing, I really could have went without the insane pricing on the Geneon stuff. I am spending much more now then I ever did, mostly because I can get more content now for my dollar then before. I was never going to buy a 26 episode series for $200 dollors, but I buy 26 episode series all the time from the other companies. Since everything is cheaper, I am spending even more money now then I used to. Odd I know, but I am happy getting a lot for a lot, then a little for a lot. I only focused on the few Geneon titles that I couldn't pass up back when they were still around. Now that Funi is doing distro for them I've been able to pick up a number of their titles that were "lower-priority" at a fraction of the price, not to mention the bargain basement pricing of their older still hanging around. I'm very happy to finally be able to get these shows. Still it's sad to see them not around anymore. Less companies hanging around is never good in my eyes. I never wished them any harm, even if I wasn't happy with their prices and a few other things.

I understand that it appears I'm not representive of most anime fans, since price really didn't matter to them. But to me it was very important, and it still is.


I think there are more people like you and me than you think Very Happy With that bit of news I previously mentioned about Funi, certainly the move to box sets seems to be a much more sustainable model than it was before.

And that's what I think what's important: yes, business exist to make money, but IMHO most should place a higher priority on sustainable profits as opposed to maximal profits, which is the usual (and only) mantra
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Tyrenol



Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Posts: 398
Location: Northern California
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:49 pm Reply with quote
I don't listen to "podcasts" and such. But nobody came out with the real reason why Geneon didn't do so well.

My gist of this is: The lot of titles Geneon pushed didn't do so well in terms of units. (ie., THEY SUCK.) And they were overpriced. Am I right?

And if that's the case, what the hell are FUNi, ADV, and Nozomi doing now?
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Shale



Joined: 04 Dec 2002
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Location: The Middle of Nowhere, DE
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:52 pm Reply with quote
Tyrenol wrote:
My gist of this is: The lot of titles Geneon pushed didn't do so well in terms of units. (ie., THEY SUCK.) And they were overpriced. Am I right?


If you were to actually listen to the interview, you'd hear that even many of Geneon's successes, like Haibane Renmei and Paranoia Agent, still lost them money, because they bought some very overpriced licenses. Like Vandread, which would have had to sell 30,000 units just to break even.

Meanwhile, some of the "overpriced" stuff, like the $200 Trigun and Fushigi Yugi boxsets, made money hand over fist.

Edit: Not to say they didn't have their share of terrible licenses, like Cybuster (less than 100 sales! That cracked me up.), but that's not enough to sink a company. Everybody's got some stinkers.


Last edited by Shale on Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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penguintruth



Joined: 08 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:01 pm Reply with quote
What does Zac consider "irresponsibly written", I wonder? I haven't checked out Baccano! yet, but I've been intending to for a while.

Love that "Heart of Sword" MIDI. I probably had that back in the day. I loved mixing MIDIs, changing around the instruments and such.

I never had too many Pioneer/Geneon products. A Lupin III movie, some Tenchi stuff, the third Patlabor movie, some Trigun. But Bandai, because of the Gundam franchise, was always the most prominent, with ADV close behind. But they did have a place in my collection.

I have honestly never seen an episode of Heat Guy J. It was one of those titles that sounded like it might be good, but I felt like I've seen it somewhere before.

In fact, a lot of Geneon releases felt like those titles you sort of waited to get. I guess I waited too long.

I suspected the sales for Lupin III weren't that great in North America. The show has a history in Japan, not here. It's a shame, too, it's such a great classic. Same with Tetsujin-28's most recent series, which was Imagawa-directed. Another great title that has a history in Japan, but is not likely to sell well in North America. I wonder if Casshern Sins will do well for Funimation.

Also, LUH-PAHN, not LOOPIN. It's a nitpick, and even Funimation can't get it right, but hell, he's my favorite manga/anime character of all time, so you'd better get it right!

If I want to watch sports, I'll watch sports. I'm not going to watch a cartoon about it. I feel the same way about shows about mahjong or any other maundane activity becoming an anime. Only Ashita no Joe gets a pass.

Gonzo... amazing shows? Amazingly bad, I'd say.
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Megiddo



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:27 pm Reply with quote
penguintruth wrote:
Only Ashita no Joe gets a pass.


Why is that if you don't mind me asking? Why watch Ashita no Joe and not some boxing match on TV?
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penguintruth



Joined: 08 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:42 pm Reply with quote
Megiddo wrote:
penguintruth wrote:
Only Ashita no Joe gets a pass.


Why is that if you don't mind me asking? Why watch Ashita no Joe and not some boxing match on TV?


Call it an endearing cheesiness to the story and characters.
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Dorcas_Aurelia



Joined: 23 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:44 pm Reply with quote
penguintruth wrote:
What does Zac consider "irresponsibly written", I wonder? I haven't checked out Baccano! yet, but I've been intending to for a while.

The first episode jumps all over the place, across three plot lines in three different years and dozens of characters without explaining any of it, all being explained (but not really) by a little girl and a newspaper editor having a conversation as the girl is apparently researching the connection between the events.
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Charred Knight



Joined: 29 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:54 pm Reply with quote
My god what an excellent podcast.

I mean I can't believe that Justin and Zac have improved the podcast so much in such a short amount of time. With the first one I couldn't last 20 minutes, but here I was riveted by the discussion. The guest was excellent, Zac, and Justin knew what they where talking about, and all around this was by far the best podcast ANN has made.
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Gewürtztraminer



Joined: 14 Nov 2007
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Location: Texas - Its like whole other country.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:03 pm Reply with quote
Great podcast, and it confirmed what I had deduced by watching what actions ADV, Bandai, Geneon, and Funimation took.
Virtually nothing new was meeting sales expectations.

Wow, 2 digit sales for the Rumiko Takahashi Anthology?
It was already kinda old when I got into Anime. None of the 12 one shot episodes are horrible, and there are two gem episodes. Grab it from the bargain bin while you can, there is a ton of stuff out there that is worse.

Would have loved (maybe hated) to hear the numbers on Human Crossing.
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nightjuan



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:07 pm Reply with quote
penguintruth wrote:

Love that "Heart of Sword" MIDI. I probably had that back in the day. I loved mixing MIDIs, changing around the instruments and such.


Ah, so that's what it was...can't believe it's been so long that I couldn't quite recognize one of my favorite themes from Rurouni Kenshin way back in the day.

Quote:
Gonzo... amazing shows? Amazingly bad, I'd say.


Irony aside, I'd say genuinely good things like Gankutsuou and the like were financed by those bidding wars just as much as anything else they produced.
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Tyrenol



Joined: 13 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:38 pm Reply with quote
Shale wrote:
If you were to actually listen to the interview, you'd hear that even many of Geneon's successes, like Haibane Renmei and Paranoia Agent, still lost them money, because they bought some very overpriced licenses. Like Vandread, which would have had to sell 30,000 units just to break even.

Edit: Not to say they didn't have their share of terrible licenses, like Cybuster (less than 100 sales! That cracked me up.), but that's not enough to sink a company. Everybody's got some stinkers.


Yes, but Geneon SUNK. Idea

FUNi atleasts has Dragonball (Z), FMA, One Piece, D.Gray-Man, on down. (They're currently destroying the line between Dragonaut fan and heroin fiend.)

Viz is attached to the hip to Shounen Jump.

Media Blasters, despite some troubles, are the current underdog this time around.

ADV & Nozomi have given up and are basically flinging around "glorified fansubs." (Microsoft's Halo and Critical Mass, respectively, notwithstanding.)

And honestly: I'd love if there was more straight-forward info as to why Geneon SUNK and how other US anime companies should avoid "adding cement to their own shoes whilst treading the Pacific."
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bayoab



Joined: 06 Oct 2004
Posts: 831
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:52 pm Reply with quote
Tyrenol wrote:
Yes, but Geneon SUNK. Idea

Were underwater, yes. On the bottom of the sea, no.

Tyrenol wrote:
And honestly: I'd love if there was more straight-forward info as to why Geneon SUNK and how other US anime companies should avoid "adding cement to their own shoes whilst treading the Pacific."
There is. It's called the 40 minutes of the podcast that they spend going over the fall of Geneon before they get to questions where the TL;DR answer it.


Last edited by bayoab on Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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jsevakis
ANN Director of New Media


Joined: 28 Jul 2003
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:52 pm Reply with quote
Tyrenol wrote:
And honestly: I'd love if there was more straight-forward info as to why Geneon SUNK and how other US anime companies should avoid "adding cement to their own shoes whilst treading the Pacific."


Well, maybe you should, I don't know, LISTEN TO THE PODCAST???
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Charred Knight



Joined: 29 Sep 2008
Posts: 3085
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:08 pm Reply with quote
jsevakis wrote:
Tyrenol wrote:
And honestly: I'd love if there was more straight-forward info as to why Geneon SUNK and how other US anime companies should avoid "adding cement to their own shoes whilst treading the Pacific."


Well, maybe you should, I don't know, LISTEN TO THE PODCAST???


Since the podcast is long let's summarize for Tyrenol

Geneon overbid on anime. Heat Guy J apparently cost as much as Fullmetal Alchemist even though FMA was a lot more popular and had huge crossover appeal. Also for Vandread to break even they needed to sell 30,000 copies. While I do consider Vandread to be one of Gonzo's best work that's insane.

They lost the bids on the products that would sell well, and ended up with stuff like Zipang which didn't interest anime fans. For example Super Robot Wars isn't popular in america, so buying an anime loosely based off Super Robot Wars without what actually makes Super Robot Wars fun is a stupid idea.

They made several bad deals, especially the Toei deal where Toei gave them shoddy work, and Geneon ate it on the products, or the Bandai Visual debacle, where Bandai Visual pretty much showed up insulted everyone, and then went home when they found out that basing your business plan on Japanese otakus is not a smart idea.

You can pretty much see the same thing with ADV when they had made a ton of money on Evangelion than promptly spend it on crap like Sister Princess., and even made their own crap like Lady Death which had character designs that looked like action figures.
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Kenotic



Joined: 02 Mar 2007
Posts: 167
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:09 pm Reply with quote
jsevakis wrote:
Tyrenol wrote:
And honestly: I'd love if there was more straight-forward info as to why Geneon SUNK and how other US anime companies should avoid "adding cement to their own shoes whilst treading the Pacific."


Well, maybe you should, I don't know, LISTEN TO THE PODCAST???


Laughing Laughing

Seriously, this was a fantastic show and thank you for all of your work on the Podcast. I was happy to hear that Haibane Renmei (my first Geneon product) did better than expected, and wish that it could see a license rescue for a re-release someday soon.

As I was listening to the show I kept thinking of all of the series I watched over the past 5-6 years that I kept coming back to: Lain, HR, Last Exile, ROD The TV, Technolyze, Kamichu, Higurashi.....and then I get a little depressed.

Big Thanks to Chad Kime for being so open and honest.
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