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ANNCast - The Life and Kime of Geneon, USA


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asimpson2006



Joined: 13 May 2008
Posts: 3151
Location: USA
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:58 am Reply with quote
rinmackie wrote:
Thank you Mohawk, for pointing out what I've often mentioned in the past. The fact that the anime industry doesn't even try to reach out to the mainstream is to me, at least, the real reason the industry struggles so much. Unfortunately, I think a lot of anime fans prefer that it remain niche and the companies are probably under the impression that the mainstream wouldn't understand or accept anime. Which to a certain degree , may be true, but they should at least try. Also, the fact that so far no one, except me, has commented on your post, further supports my belief that no one cares.


Even if those companies tried to go mainstream the cost would probably be too great to do so if they tried to do everything in the main stream access. There are a few shows that could probably do half decent or at least break even if they were main stream. Shows like Pokemon, DragonBall Z, Bleach, One Piece, Naurto would do well enough if they were published main stream, but shows like for example Macross, Lucky Star, Cowboy Beabop (This may do well main stream), Mahoromatic would not do as well main stream.

I think this is probably the same reason why you don't see a lot of companies that release B-Movies in main stream, while yes there are people who like these types of films (me being one of them) there are may not be enough to complete support a company doing so to at least either a) break even, or b) get as close to either making a profit, or breaking even as possible.


There are going to be people who get upset if something goes from being niche to mainstream, but that happens with ANY industry. Personally, if anime would go mainstream that is fine, if it stays niche that is fine as well.
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rinmackie



Joined: 05 Aug 2006
Posts: 1040
Location: in a van! down by the river!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:18 am Reply with quote
Well, I don't know about affording such things now, but if they had done it back when things were better, the industry might not be so bad off. And when they did have a chance, they made some poor decisions. For intance, my favorite OAV series, Hellsing Ultimate, aired on Starz Edge not too long ago. Not many people get that channel, why didn't they air it on a cable channel most people get, like Spike or at least IFC? Does anyone know if IFC still shows any anime? ( I didn't get that channel at the time, but I do now.) I remember when they did, TV Guide mentioned it and it was a big deal to me. Especially since they rarely mention anime.

Of course, I must admit to not being a business expert but I still think the anime companies could have done a better job getting the word out to the mainstream. They either didn't really try or made the wrong decisions.
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Baltimoron



Joined: 17 Sep 2009
Posts: 43
Location: Charm City
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:35 am Reply with quote
rinmackie wrote:
Well, I don't know about affording such things now, but if they had done it back when things were better, the industry might not be so bad off. And when they did have a chance, they made some poor decisions. For intance, my favorite OAV series, Hellsing Ultimate, aired on Starz Edge not too long ago. Not many people get that channel, why didn't they air it on a cable channel most people get, like Spike or at least IFC? Does anyone know if IFC still shows any anime? ( I didn't get that channel at the time, but I do now.) I remember when they did, TV Guide mentioned it and it was a big deal to me. Especially since they rarely mention anime.

Of course, I must admit to not being a business expert but I still think the anime companies could have done a better job getting the word out to the mainstream. They either didn't really try or made the wrong decisions.


Perhaps Spike and IFC didn't want to air Hellsing Ultimate because they didn't think their core audiences would tune in for it. Instead, they opted for programming that met their ratings/ad time expectations. This isn't a reflection on the quality of HU, by the way. It's a great series. The problem is that it lacks a TV-friendly format and can therefore only be aired on odd channels like Starz Edge.

As for what the companies should have done during the boom, well, I don't know what to tell you. Did you listen to the podcast? Even during the good times placing ads in publications like Nickelodeon Magazine was beyond what Geneon could afford. Going mainstream is the goal of all for-profit entertainment ventures. Anime companies haven't failed on that front for lack of trying. Economic barriers and general interest seem to be the two biggest factors.
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Wooga



Joined: 22 Jun 2007
Posts: 916
Location: Tucson
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:44 am Reply with quote
right after I listened to this podcast, I went on eBay and bought a box set of Tetsujin 28 and Rumiko Takahashi Anthology. good times. I didn't even know Ippo was released in English! Well, I know what I'm going to buy next...
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jgreen



Joined: 14 Mar 2005
Posts: 1324
Location: St. Louis, MO
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:53 am Reply with quote
asimpson2006 wrote:
Shows like Pokemon, DragonBall Z, Bleach, One Piece, Naurto would do well enough if they were published main stream, but shows like for example Macross, Lucky Star, Cowboy Beabop (This may do well main stream), Mahoromatic would not do as well main stream.


Bebop was definitely a mainstream success, but more importantly, Macross was HUGE in mainstream America...25 years ago when it was called Robotech. And that's just the thing: it's so hard to predict what will be able to catch the imagination of the mainstream audience. I mean, look at all the shows that have caught on big on American television over the years: Speed Racer, Macross, Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, Pokemon. Those shows have virtually nothing in common, so there's clearly no magic formula other than putting good shows where people can see them and hoping they catch on. I've been telling everyone I know to watch Monster on Syfy, hopefully that catches on...
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fuuma_monou



Joined: 26 Dec 2005
Posts: 1649
Location: Quezon City, Philippines
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:54 am Reply with quote
Sugar: A Little Snow Fairy did fairly well on TV here. Two broadcast channels, one cable. Time-slots aimed at kids, of course.

Just got my copy of R.O.D the TV Vol. 1 this week. The show still seems to be in print in R2-UK and R4 DVDs, so I guess the license hasn't expired yet.

Interesting note about CCS sales. Should've grabbed the box sets when they were still cheap. Only have the first two volumes now.
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hussar67



Joined: 01 Jun 2005
Posts: 57
Location: Culpeper, VA
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:02 am Reply with quote
My funny:

What series am I currently watching via Netflix? Zipang. Yep.

Great podcast. Wish you could let us know what's going down with Utena, Justin, but I understand the need for polite secrecy in the industry -- that's a series I think a lot of us are hoping see re-released.
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rinmackie



Joined: 05 Aug 2006
Posts: 1040
Location: in a van! down by the river!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:03 am Reply with quote
Baltimoron wrote:
rinmackie wrote:
Well, I don't know about affording such things now, but if they had done it back when things were better, the industry might not be so bad off. And when they did have a chance, they made some poor decisions. For intance, my favorite OAV series, Hellsing Ultimate, aired on Starz Edge not too long ago. Not many people get that channel, why didn't they air it on a cable channel most people get, like Spike or at least IFC? Does anyone know if IFC still shows any anime? ( I didn't get that channel at the time, but I do now.) I remember when they did, TV Guide mentioned it and it was a big deal to me. Especially since they rarely mention anime.

Of course, I must admit to not being a business expert but I still think the anime companies could have done a better job getting the word out to the mainstream. They either didn't really try or made the wrong decisions.


Perhaps Spike and IFC didn't want to air Hellsing Ultimate because they didn't think their core audiences would tune in for it. Instead, they opted for programming that met their ratings/ad time expectations. This isn't a reflection on the quality of HU, by the way. It's a great series. The problem is that it lacks a TV-friendly format and can therefore only be aired on odd channels like Starz Edge.

As for what the companies should have done during the boom, well, I don't know what to tell you. Did you listen to the podcast? Even during the good times placing ads in publications like Nickelodeon Magazine was beyond what Geneon could afford. Going mainstream is the goal of all for-profit entertainment ventures. Anime companies haven't failed on that front for lack of trying. Economic barriers and general interest seem to be the two biggest factors.


Well, I don't know about IFC but it seems to me Hellsing Ultimate would be a perfect fit for Spike. As far as content goes, if they can air something like Afro Samurai, I don't see why Hellsing would be a problem. Plus it seems like something the Spike audience would enjoy. The same goes for Samurai Champloo, assuming Adult Swim is losing the license, if they haven't already.
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hussar67



Joined: 01 Jun 2005
Posts: 57
Location: Culpeper, VA
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:12 am Reply with quote
jsevakis wrote:
Well, changes month to month as we put up new shows, but so far the big hits have been:

- Ouran (no big shock)
- School Rumble (2 moreso than 1)
- Girls High
- Glass Fleet
- Kannagi


Glass Fleet?!! What?!!! [cold shudder] Personally, I hope people are watching for sake of mentally Rifftraxing it. But I shouldn't be too much of a douche about it -- after all, there's no accounting for taste, as they say. There's plenty of shows I like that others ridicule.
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Baltimoron



Joined: 17 Sep 2009
Posts: 43
Location: Charm City
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:12 am Reply with quote
jgreen wrote:
asimpson2006 wrote:
Shows like Pokemon, DragonBall Z, Bleach, One Piece, Naurto would do well enough if they were published main stream, but shows like for example Macross, Lucky Star, Cowboy Beabop (This may do well main stream), Mahoromatic would not do as well main stream.


Bebop was definitely a mainstream success, but more importantly, Macross was HUGE in mainstream America...25 years ago when it was called Robotech. And that's just the thing: it's so hard to predict what will be able to catch the imagination of the mainstream audience. I mean, look at all the shows that have caught on big on American television over the years: Speed Racer, Macross, Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, Pokemon. Those shows have virtually nothing in common, so there's clearly no magic formula other than putting good shows where people can see them and hoping they catch on. I've been telling everyone I know to watch Monster on Syfy, hopefully that catches on...


I am posting way too much in this thread.

With a few notable exceptions, what catches on in the States is shonen. Naruto and Dragonball move the units that companies want to see. I don't know what the sales figures are on Cowboy Bebop, but my hunch is that they're the anime equivalent of a relatively popular indie movie. This is tied to American attitudes about animation and the ability of media phenomena to create feedback loops that boost sales. A critically-acclaimed show for (somewhat) older audiences like Bebop has to jump the "animation is for kids" hurdle and will never have a Dragonball-level amount of merchandise on the market because adults don't tend to shape and reinforce their indentities with action figures and wallscrolls. Adult commodity fetishism is based more on status goods.

Probably all Monster can hope for is good reviews from mainstream critics with open minds about animation. Viz might break even on DVD sales, but seinen is a tough sell in the States.
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vashfanatic



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 3466
Location: Back stateside
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:44 am Reply with quote
Baltimoron wrote:
Probably all Monster can hope for is good reviews from mainstream critics with open minds about animation. Viz might break even on DVD sales, but seinen is a tough sell in the States.

I want to buy it. I do. But I'm so strapped for cash right now, and I haven't finished buying the manga yet! (not to mention how much I'm spending on 20th Century Boys, I love Urasawa) Sad But it is on the list. Really high up there.

I sort of blew the money I was reserving to get Baccano!, which I'm glad guys watched and like. You're absolutely right that the accent is on the second syllable, the katakana indicates it if nothing else, and I go nutes whenever Funimation pronounces it blatantly wrong in their advertising.

But I have to ask, who told you that the ending sucks because "it doesn't wrap things up" or whatever you said? I mean, talk about missing the point entirely... the "irresponsible writing," I dunno, I love the meta-fictional style of jumping around between story lines and characters, and I think Baccano! managed- almost miraculously - to pull it off. That's why I'm not one of the people clammering for a sequel, since I'm not sure they could pull it off again. It could easily just collapse under its own weight.

And if you thought it was gory up to episode 8... wow, wait until you meet good ol' Claire Stanfield.
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The Black Stones



Joined: 04 Dec 2009
Posts: 22
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:10 pm Reply with quote
Very informative podcast. Kudos. I noticed that Zac and Justin both seem to follow this thread, so I wanted to throw a question their way that hopefully could be answered in the thread as well, as I don't believe it's something that I would ask for the show.

What I want to know is why you guys (Zac and Justin) kinda treat Law of Ueki as a big joke? It was mentioned on a previous episode as well as a title that proved that something was "wrong" with Geneon. I just kinda want to know why the title is so badly looked upon? I know that it has a pretty unappealing visual style to it, but the content is better than most major Shonen I've seen. How someone can laugh at Ueki and then turn around and go "One Piece/Naruto/Bleach/whatever" is awesome! (not saying that you guys do it as I don't know if you like any of those examples I gave. But I've seen this exact mentality, well, on pretty much every forum I visit). Law of Ueki has some of the most stupid powers you'll ever see, but the funny thing is, they also use them in incredibly creative ways.

I mean, with One Piece for example. I've watched every episode out on DVD so far that Funimation has released, and I can tell you how every single fight Luffy has, how he wins. He punches/kicks the guy REALLY, REALLY hard. I'm not knocking the show, I enjoy it, hence why I own all the DVD's. But I'm left scratching my head at why this is so much more awesome (This formula might change later, but this is around 80 episodes compared to Ueki's 51)? when in Ueki, they use powers in very creative ways. For one example , one character has the power to turn beads into bombs. Yep, really dumb power. But it was pretty awesome when in one fight she spoiler[ uses the power to rocket propel herself into the air to fight against a person who had the power to fly, and then used some spring loaded devices on her fingers to fire more beads at a higher speed so she could fire more and do more damage]

I just fail too see how Naruto using his Shadow Clone Jutsu (sp?) for the billionth time, or Luffy punching someone harder than ever before, makes it such a better show and not just as dumb as Ueki?

I feel I'm probably going to get ridiculed a bit for really liking Ueki. But I really enjoyed the show. It was a campy show that seemed to revel in the fact that it had stupid powers and totally ran with it. For that, I give it respect and feel that the (perceived) mockery of it is somewhat unjustified.

(Went a bit longer than I meant too, hope I still get a reply Smile )
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Dorcas_Aurelia



Joined: 23 Jul 2006
Posts: 5344
Location: Philly
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:15 pm Reply with quote
Charred Knight wrote:
Girl's High?

Wow, I can understand School Rumble, Ouran, and Kannagi but Glass Fleet, and Girl's high was unexpected.

That was my reaction, too. Maybe partly because it was one of the first two shows ANN started streaming on the site? I don't think I would've watched it if it hadn't been pretty much the only thing they had at the time.
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TheTheory



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
Posts: 1029
Location: Central PA
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:25 pm Reply with quote
I really only got into anime a couple of years ago, so the Geneon implosion had already taken place. Despite that, Geneon quickly became my favorite company with fabulous titles like Mermaid Forest, Hibane Renmei, Koi Kaze, Paranoia Agent, etc. I feel like I could go on for days extoling my love for Geneon. Granted, not everything is good (I hated Bottle Fairy with a passion), but they took chances with releases no one else would have (see: Lupin the III and Master Keaton).

So this ANNCast was a god-send as it did a great job going through the history and the problems that Geneon experienced. Of course, every fan wants to know how a specific show they loved did, so those numbers were both interesting and depressing. I particularly appreciated the reasoning behind the singles model--thankfully one of those things that, while existing in the first year of my fandom, has surprisingly gone by the wayside with FUNI and ex-ADV focusing more on immediate half-season sets.
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HellKorn



Joined: 03 Oct 2006
Posts: 1669
Location: Columbus, OH
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:32 pm Reply with quote
"Golf is not a sport!"

Just want to say that this is a phenomenal podcast. The numbers, Card Captor Sakura and ADV-deal situations are really (tragically) fascinating. Nice to also hear that Haibane Renmei did better than expected, though I don't expect any yoshitoshi ABe series to have actually earned them money, aside from Lain.
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