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ANNCast - The Last Days of Bandai Entertainment USA


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agila61



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 3213
Location: NE Ohio
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:15 pm Reply with quote
guildmaster wrote:
Third:
@JacobYBM & GWOtaku:
A company is not going to succeed in today's age with "collector" level only quantities of product. Unless of course that product sells for over $100,000 an item and has a 50% or greater GPM.

Sure it can, if it picks titles to release at collectors quantities that can sustain $200+ per broadcast season, and the Japanese home video distributor will put an English subtitle on the release. It just piggybacks its disk production order on the production run for the Japanese market.

Quote:
@agila61: That's a long winded way of stating there is a price demand curve, AKA Econ 101.

No, its a long winded way of saying different demand curves have different elasticities and the optimal markup over marginal cost is negatively related to the absolute value of the price elasticity of demand, AKA Econ 201.

But not everyone's taken even Econ101, and lots of those who have have did not learn it very well.
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guildmaster



Joined: 17 Dec 2012
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Location: Hot & Humid FL
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:56 pm Reply with quote
@agila61

How many $200 single season anime sets have you bought that do Not have an English audio track. I assume that you don't know Japanese, but since 99+% of posters here do not reveal their location or language proficiency, I could be mistaken.

Since I'm trained to either prove assumptions as facts, or remove them, I'll rephrase: How many $200 single season anime sets have you bought regardless of the language tracks available?

On your 2nd response I'll agree, partially. The relative marginal cost is also a large factor. It's not the same for big ticket items as it is for an item where the marginal cost is minimal. That is, of course, if the plant capacity is not needed for something else, which would then represent an added opportunity cost to the entire equation.

Kind of reminds me of Rodney Dangerfield beating the economics professor up on the first day of "Back to School"
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Echo_City



Joined: 03 Apr 2011
Posts: 1236
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:22 pm Reply with quote
Shiroi Hane wrote:

ADV wouldn't be allowed to release their dub since they don't hold a distribution license for the series. It is from the same era as the "lost" 5cm/s dub so may be in the same state, although all the Sojitz-funded titles that went FUNimation's way went lock stock and dub so it is impossible from the outside to say who owns it (and there are cases where people on the inside have no idea who owns what...)

Even if Bandai could have had access to it - there's little point in confusing things by including a second dub, even as an extra, for just a few episodes. Of the top of my head I can't think of any time when a company has created their own dub and also included a "competing" earlier dub on the same disc (although I think there may have been some special edition Akira discs with both dubs?)
Bandai has refused to pay ADV for a comissioned dub with impunity, and Media Blasters has neglected to pay Sinterniklaas for the Bakuman dub for years now, with seemingly no adverse effect. If these companies can dodge the legal bullet then I have confidence that someone who discreetly disseminates a copy of the dub "get away with it".

IMO the Gurren Lagaan controversy is the biggest skeleton in Bandai's closet. The rumor that ADV was dealt a death blow by their commissioned GL (& Sgt. Frog) dub being "decommissioned" has long been circulating.

ADV being forced to squelch their lost dubs pains me, I cannot help but liken it to US farmers being forced to destroy their crops, taking a huge financial hit while depriving the community of a useful good, just because The Powers that Be want to screw with the financials of it all.

An anime release with 2 dubs sounds like a cool anime trivia question. If there isn't one already then Bandai could be first. I don't think that 2 dubs would be so odd, it strikes me as being similar to a movie release having a director's cut & theatrical release, which is fairly common.
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SpacemanHardy



Joined: 03 Jan 2012
Posts: 2466
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:32 pm Reply with quote
Echo_City wrote:
An anime release with 2 dubs sounds like a cool anime trivia question. If there isn't one already then Bandai could be first. I don't think that 2 dubs would be so odd, it strikes me as being similar to a movie release having a director's cut & theatrical release, which is fairly common.


Media Blaster's release of the Giant Robo OVA had two dubs included. The original LA dub from the Manga Ent. video tapes, and the NYAV dub made specifically for the DVD re-release.
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guildmaster



Joined: 17 Dec 2012
Posts: 348
Location: Hot & Humid FL
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:30 am Reply with quote
What, no $200 set purchases agila61?
Cat got your tongue?
Did you run off to the corner??
Can't put your money where your anime mouth is??? Wink

I have paid out three figures (but less than $200) for multi-season sets that are currently OOP, but they were multi-season, and they were in English.
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Stealth00



Joined: 18 Feb 2013
Posts: 65
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:32 am Reply with quote
agila61 wrote:
guildmaster wrote:
Third:
@JacobYBM & GWOtaku:
A company is not going to succeed in today's age with "collector" level only quantities of product. Unless of course that product sells for over $100,000 an item and has a 50% or greater GPM.

Sure it can, if it picks titles to release at collectors quantities that can sustain $200+ per broadcast season, and the Japanese home video distributor will put an English subtitle on the release. It just piggybacks its disk production order on the production run for the Japanese market.


And yet no company is attempting this as their core business strategy. The only series that were sold for over $200 AFAIK were Fate Zero and Garden of Series, the latter being movies. The former is still available so it seems like they overestimated how many people were willing to pay a steep price for a collector's edition.
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DaisakuKusama



Joined: 24 Aug 2008
Posts: 85
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:07 am Reply with quote
boredandlazy wrote:
What happened with the Haruhi concert at AX 2007?
I did a quick google and all I could find was that some of the Japanese actors including Aya Hirano attended...


I was curious about this too, and then realized the key words were "AX 2007" - arguably considered to be the most poorly organized Anime Expo up to that point.

I found this quote on one of the older boards:

the set up for the Haruhi concert was really bad. I mean, major video problems, only one mike on stage when the Anna Tsuchiya concert had FIVE mikes on stage, Patrica Ja Lee and Johnny Bosch being quite rude to the Japanese VAs and speaking over them, etc., and entirely too much filler. It was supposed to be a concert yet we never got to just see the girls perform Hare Hare Yukai sans fifteen thousand other people that we don't care about and some of whom don't even know the dance and are just goofing off on stage.

Here's the link, if you'd like to grab some tea and read up on AX07.
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TheGameNinja



Joined: 07 Nov 2010
Posts: 91
Location: Alabama
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:23 am Reply with quote
Anywhere one could get one of those Luck Star vol. 6 limited edition covers Bandai had on their site?

Or does someone have one they'd be willing to part with? Razz
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agila61



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 3213
Location: NE Ohio
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:31 pm Reply with quote
guildmaster wrote:
@agila61

How many $200 single season anime sets have you bought that do Not have an English audio track. I assume that you don't know Japanese, but since 99+% of posters here do not reveal their location or language proficiency, I could be mistaken.

As a business college instructor, I'm not at the income level to be in the market for $200 single season anime sets, but if I was a prof, then presence or absence of English audio track wouldn't be an issue on whether I was willing to buy, since I almost always prefer an English subtitle with the Japanese voice acting (typically done radio-theater style rather than to a three beep count).

Then again, I tended to prefer subtitles to dubs for foreign language films before I ever got interested in anime.

guildmaster wrote:
What, no $200 set purchases agila61?

No, not a one.

Quote:
Cat got your tongue?
Did you run off to the corner??

No, I was at Frank the Tank following the hot New Big East / Big TBA college conference realignment news.

Quote:
Can't put your money where your anime mouth is??? Wink

I never said I would be in that market for $200 per broadcast series sets, now did I? Indeed, it would be more than a little juvenile for a discussion of the elite price point release strategy, which have indeed seen successful releases by more than one company to devolve into an internet E-Peen boast fest, "I paid that much for that title!", "Well, I paid THIS much for THIS title!"

Stealth00 wrote:
The only series that were sold for over $200 AFAIK were Fate Zero and Garden of Series, the latter being movies. The former is still available so it seems like they overestimated how many people were willing to pay a steep price for a collector's edition.


That's would be a silly conclusion to draw ~ you'd have to see their numbers to know whether it was a successful release. If they sell out a LE, then unless they've completely botched things they'll make money. But "if they don't sell out a LE, they've lost money" does not follow. If they set the price point and production volume to break even at 70% and sold 85%, then evidently they would both make money yet fail to sell out.
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HeeroTX



Joined: 15 Jul 2002
Posts: 2046
Location: Austin, TX
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:16 pm Reply with quote
guildmaster wrote:
How many $200 single season anime sets have you bought that do Not have an English audio track. I assume that you don't know Japanese, but since 99+% of posters here do not reveal their location or language proficiency, I could be mistaken.

I know you were talking to agila, but just to note, I bought several $300+ Rurouni Kenshin LASERDISC box sets when they were new that had no English at all (and don't really speak a ton of Japanese), and I bought the hardsub Sailor Moon DVD sets new, don't remember what they were priced at the time. (yes, I wish they were soft-subbed, but *shrug*) I also own several special release Japanese DVDs (Japanese audio only, no subs and probably triple the US release price). I don't do that for everything, or even MOST things, but I support the shows that I LOVE. (And I'm usually happy streaming shows that I only "like" altho I own some, if I don't like it I don't waste my time)
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agila61



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
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Location: NE Ohio
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:56 pm Reply with quote
guildmaster wrote:
On your 2nd response I'll agree, partially. The relative marginal cost is also a large factor. It's not the same for big ticket items as it is for an item where the marginal cost is minimal. That is, of course, if the plant capacity is not needed for something else, which would then represent an added opportunity cost to the entire equation.

This is kind of what I meant by it being Econ201, when so many have mislearned whatever they were exposed to in Econ101.

The optimal markup OVER marginal cost has nothing to do with whether or not "relative marginal cost is also a large factor", its an alternate solution for the same result as MR=MC to arrive at the price/quantity combination that provides the most profitable utilization in the production period for some given productive setup. If you know the price elasticity of demand, in absolute value |E|, then:
P = {|E|/[|E|-1]}*MC

... is the profit maximizing markup over marginal cost for the (elastic) price elasticity of firm demand. At an elasticity of 5, the profit maximizing price is 125% of marginal cost. At an elasticity of 1.2, the profit maximizing price is 500% of marginal cost. And if firm demand is inelastic, its similar to Skinheed's two rules (Rule 1, kick anything that moves, Rule 2, if its not moving, kick it until it does) ~ push the price up until you hit the part where firm demand becomes elastic.

All the standard disclaimers apply, of course ~ this is outside-in analysis of what position IS profit maximizing, not inside-out description of how firms ACT TO PURSUE higher profits.
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guildmaster



Joined: 17 Dec 2012
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Location: Hot & Humid FL
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:06 am Reply with quote
agila61 wrote:
As a business college instructor, I'm not at the income level to be in the market for $200 single season anime sets, but if I was a prof, then presence or absence of English audio track wouldn't be an issue on whether I was willing to buy, since I almost always prefer an English subtitle with the Japanese voice acting (typically done radio-theater style rather than to a three beep count).


So you haven't bought any because you can't afford to. Ok, how many large sets have you downloaded in lieu of buying them?

agila61 wrote:
I never said I would be in that market for $200 per broadcast series sets, now did I? Indeed, it would be more than a little juvenile for a discussion of the elite price point release strategy, which have indeed seen successful releases by more than one company to devolve into an internet E-Peen boast fest, "I paid that much for that title!", "Well, I paid THIS much for THIS title!"


You're the one being juvenile here with that retort. I prefer to find value in what I purchase.

The irrefutable fact remains that large anime distribution and / or licensing companies have or are closing their doors here in the US. They don't do that when they are making money. And overpriced non-native language releases here are not going to make things better for the parent companies in Japan. If they want to sell more in the US, they should take a look at the automotive industry and others, conduct proper market research and deliver what people want.

Disclaimer, excepting the 2001-2003 Miata, I have never liked any Japanese auto. I like my American Iron and like it in V8 sized pieces. Even the Miata had to eventually make way for an American V8.
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Polycell



Joined: 16 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:44 pm Reply with quote
You can't compare the largest market in the world to a revenue trickle just because both happen to be in the US. Toyota could spend a decade creating Lexus for Americans because they could be damn sure that breaking into the market would reap huge returns, while even the most wildly successful anime over here don't get significant fractions of the returns they do in Japan.

And Henry Goto's stated AoA's reasoning quite clearly: they've decided that the extra units moved at lower price points don't cover the lost revenue-per-unit. You can disagree all you want, but they've done some research. As for the shuttered R1 companies, I'd consider that we've recently gained two(NISA and AoA) more important than the ones that have fallen. Most of the failures were working with the same low-price, barebones release model as Funimation and Sentai; their failure simply means that the carrying capacity of that strategy has declined(again, this is AoA's reason for going high-price).
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agila61



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:55 pm Reply with quote
guildmaster wrote:
So you haven't bought any because you can't afford to. Ok, how many large sets have you downloaded in lieu of buying them?

You mean free streaming as opposed to paid streaming? Maybe ten I think ~ I saw Baccano and the first year and a half of Bleach on Hulu ad streaming (though Hulu Plus streams with ads as well, so its harder to pin that down), and watched a lot of Funimation's noitaminA streams on YouTube when they were doing that, before they got their subscription service onto Roku. Before I got into streaming, it was mostly on Netflix ~ I normally had a three DVD at a time subscription with one on the way, one in the DVD player and one on the way back.

Quote:
agila61 wrote:
I never said I would be in that market for $200 per broadcast series sets, now did I? Indeed, it would be more than a little juvenile for a discussion of the elite price point release strategy, which have indeed seen successful releases by more than one company to devolve into an internet E-Peen boast fest, "I paid that much for that title!", "Well, I paid THIS much for THIS title!"

You're the one being juvenile here with that retort. I prefer to find value in what I purchase.

Yeah, whatever, the fact remains that rather than discuss the issue on its merits you preferred to "challenge" me on whether I was a core member of the market that I was talking about. The characterization started out as "infantile", but that would have been unfair ~ that shifting the argument to a head-to-head challenge when discussing the issue on its merits becomes either too hard or too tedious is more a young male teen-to-twenties kind of reaction.

Quote:
The irrefutable fact remains that large anime distribution and / or licensing companies have or are closing their doors here in the US. They don't do that when they are making money.

Yes, which is why firms are experimenting with different strategies to see what works well with what kind of titles.

Quote:
And overpriced non-native language releases here are not going to make things better for the parent companies in Japan.

By definition, but the question is always "what is overpriced" for which title.

And after going through the titles that can sell at volumes to justify a dub (and nothing that I have said would suggest that titles should not be dubbed if they can sell at a volume to pay back a dub), the Japanese licensor adopting a policy of insisting on a dub would be a financial strategy of "leave money on the table".

(1) For some of those titles, clearly premium priced sub-only released are likely to make more money for the parent companies in Japan than the alternatives. Now, they can't be "overpriced" ~ a series that would be a successful LE release at $150 for a broadcast season but not at $200 should not be priced at $200.

(2) For some titles, clearly a sub-only release with mainstream first day and date pricing is going to be more successful ~ as, for example, the thinpak Maria-sama ga Miteru, which Nozomi was reportedly quite happy with, and which obviously would never have made back the expense of a dub.

(3) For some titles, it may be that a sub-only release requires more of a budget price point to be successful ~ which would be Rightstuf's thinking in starting their Lucky Penny line.

(4) And for some titles, they just aren't going to pay back even the most modestly packaged, sub-only release, and are only suitable for streaming and (if a suitable ecosystem is ever established) digital download to rent and own.

Quote:
If they want to sell more in the US, they should take a look at the automotive industry and others, conduct proper market research and deliver what people want.

Except anime is a niche market, and there's only a modest amount of market research that can be funded by the prospective returns. But they could surely afford enough market research to determine that, yes, the anime market is a niche market, and tackling it as if it is or could be a mass mainstream market would be a fool's errand.
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 1901
Location: North Brunswick, New Jersey
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:18 pm Reply with quote
guildmaster wrote:

The irrefutable fact remains that large anime distribution and / or licensing companies have or are closing their doors here in the US. They don't do that when they are making money.


I find it funny that you say this on the response topic to a podcast regarding an anime licensing company that was, in fact, making money (or, at least, able to survive & not be losing money), yet closed their doors because of something uncontrollable on their side (i.e. Japanese owners).
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