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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 9321
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:10 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Hentai releases in Japan aren't quite what they used to be.


That depends on your perspective and tastes. Sure there's a ton of low quality or boring stuff every month, but occasionally a good episode comes out every few months. I enjoyed Pink Pineapple's Koukai Benjo, mainly because it's Hakaba and I'm intimately familiar with it. From a wider perspective over-looking the last few years, there's been a ton of episodes I've enjoyed. What's more, there's even a hentai BD release every once in a while.

Although, Pixy's turnout having slowed to a crawl is troubling, since their adaptations of Black Lilith eroge often provided great content. I just hope ZIZ can finish off Annerose, since that's HD and as good-looking as hentai get these days.

Quote:
censored-to-hell borderline-hentai late night series on cable TV


These shows can be absolutely amazing, to be sure, but I don't think they're frequent enough to count as replacements. A better choice would be bonderline OVAs like Asa Made Jugyou Chu or Kagaku na Yatsura: high quality extremely perverse. I'm looking forward to Kaneko's Maken-ki, which will no doubt be better than the previous season in ecchi content.

Quote:
In short, we are probably seeing the end of legal hentai releases in the US, unless someone comes up with a new business model soon.


What can you do? No one wants to pay for hentai, and only now are DVD releases actually approaching what's price-worthy for <60 minutes of low quality anime. The only benefit, ONLY, that non-Japanese releases provided were the removal of mosaics. Maybe we'll just have to hope European licensees pick up the slack.
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purplepolecat



Joined: 15 Feb 2008
Posts: 127
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:09 pm Reply with quote
The main reasons to buy anime DVDs nowadays are to proudly display them on your shelf, and maybe harass your friends into borrowing them. That doesn't really work with hentai, unless all your friends are perverts.
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RHorsman



Joined: 13 Aug 2003
Posts: 151
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:19 pm Reply with quote
Even then: who wants to share porn? Ewwwwwww...

In re the first question: is S'more Entertainment's Galaxy Express 999 debacle the best contemporary example of "screwing it up royally"?
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jsevakis
ANN Director of New Media


Joined: 28 Jul 2003
Posts: 1680
Location: Los Angeles, CA
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:39 pm Reply with quote
RHorsman wrote:
In re the first question: is S'more Entertainment's Galaxy Express 999 debacle the best contemporary example of "screwing it up royally"?

Well, they sure did bungle their releases, but they were coming at it from the opposite side: they were old-school physical media guys and non-fans that got sold on the shows by Toei Animation USA. They just didn't understand the market and its expectations, and didn't know how to cost-effectively make subtitles, etc...

So yes, a bungled release by a new entrant into the space, but not a startup and not fan-run, so it wasn't really what I was referring to.
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Vapors



Joined: 27 Jul 2003
Posts: 139
Location: Bay Area
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:43 pm Reply with quote
Hey Justin, thanks for answering my question. Yea, there probably was a bit of "well I think I could probably do better" when I composed the question. But I wanted to focus on the financial rather than the other aspects because that would seem to take up another long section of the article. I mean, the biggest deterrent after finances would probably just trying to get in touch with the licensors and getting them to take your call. Then the next would be finding compentent people who could release this. Oh and I imagine the best one could hope to license as a new company is anime no newer than like 5 years ago if not older, so good luck trying to sell that in this marketplace.

Even still, the numbers you cite don't seem ridiculously high as I thought they would. I imagine during the bubble, several million would have been needed to get any company off the ground, but now it seems the floor is low enough for a lot more people to get involved. Whether anyone out there is not risk adverse to pony up and can commit to doing things right is another matter though. This was why I was a bit curious as to how Crimson Star Media's release turned out. While the individual behind it was someone I didn't care for, it seemed he was going through all the steps to put out a decent quality release. Maybe a decent release may have inspired others to try their hand. As it stands now, we will probably never know and Crimson Star will join a list of others who faded or burned out.

As for hentai, it would seem as if Mangagamer is having some success with its games, so hentai released in America doesn't appear to be totally dead and there does seem to be people who want to pay. And I wonder if they stopped charging such a high price, if more people would buy it. I seem to recall the biggest incentive was always the uncensored stuff, since even Japan wasn't allowed to get that. Although, I also wonder since hentai takes place in high school, if that is another reason a company would be skittish about releasing stuff here in America.


Last edited by Vapors on Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:06 pm; edited 2 times in total
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samuelp



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:54 pm Reply with quote
Just wanted to chime in and point out that I (Anime Sols) am absolutely not a story of "Anime fan starts his own company" at all...

It's more "anime fan moves to Japan, gets jobs in the anime industry and a Japanese TV station (licensing subcompany), convinces a number of historied animation studios + his employer to create a partnership (Anime Sols) into which he invests, then he helps this partnership implement a business".

It is true I started my own company (Quarkpro LLC), but that's purely a paper company to allow me to invest in Anime Sols. Quarkpro itself doesn't do anything.
Anime Sols as a corporate structure is completely unprecedented...

If I wanted to create my own little licensing company it wouldn't be hard at all, but what's the point if I'm just forced into the old classic licensing business model?
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samuelp



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:05 pm Reply with quote
Vapors wrote:
Hey Justin, thanks for answering my question. Yea, there probably was a bit of "well I think I could probably do better" when I composed the question. But I wanted to focus on the financial rather than the other aspects because that would seem to take up another long section of the article. I mean, the biggest deterrent after finances would probably just trying to get in touch with the licensors and getting them to take your call. Then the next would be finding compentent people who could release this. Oh and I imagine the best one could hope to license as a new company is anime no newer than like 5 years ago if not older, so good luck trying to sell that in this marketplace.

I'd say if you can handle 5 or more of the below and have $250K, you could probably start your own small anime licensing business:

1. You have serious experience trans/subtitling anime
2. You have serious experience authoring/manufacturing DVDs/bluray
3. You have $1 million to start up
4. You have someone in Japan 3 months or more a year
5. You are actual friends with someone that's a Japanese anime licensor...
6. You have experience with marketing (online, convention, traditional)

Lack any one of these and you can probably pull it off, but if you need help with more than 1 you're gonna be looking at a hard time and outsourcing a lot of stuff you probably should be paying close attention to.

Note, I never said it would make you a _profitable_ small anime business, though. That's much more difficult. But it would probably be enough for you to license some older titles and put out a few discs at major online retailers.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:07 pm Reply with quote
Ironic that the early days of N. American anime home video companies sustained themselves off hentai and near-hentai releases to pay the bills till their "normal anime" releases paid off. Smile

But yes, no more of those local business video rental shops with the backroom behind a curtain occasionally re-purchasing "perishable" media to re-stock supplies. A steady source of income for those early NA anime companies. But the internet has replaced that now, plus NTR kinda took over much of J-hentai which makes many people rage.

Meanwhile, Homeroom Affairs always reminded me of that AMV off "Don't Stand So Close To Me" by The Police. Laughing
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Levitz9



Joined: 06 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:34 pm Reply with quote
enurtsol wrote:

But yes, no more of those local business video rental shops with the backroom behind a curtain occasionally re-purchasing "perishable" media to re-stock supplies. A steady source of income for those early NA anime companies. But the internet has replaced that now, plus NTR kinda took over much of J-hentai which makes many people rage.

Meanwhile, Homeroom Affairs always reminded me of that AMV off "Don't Stand So Close To Me" by The Police. Laughing


Besides NTR, I think that a lot of the rougher stuff that turns a lot of people away is also becoming more common . Pixy's flicks are pretty darn rough, and it feels like a lot of hentai is following suit. It's almost spiteful.

spoiler[Spoiled because it's got nothing to do with anything, but after reading its entry on TV Tropes, Don't Stand So Close To Me makes me think of Negima!. Laughing ]
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:38 pm Reply with quote
Levitz9 wrote:
Besides NTR, I think that a lot of the rougher stuff that turns a lot of people away is also becoming more common . Pixy's flicks are pretty darn rough, and it feels like a lot of hentai is following suit. It's almost spiteful.


It's just my preferences, but I'd like that trend if it were happening fully. Hentai anime still retains a lot of vanilla or just "normal" material, hard stuff and fetish video is maybe like one or two per month out of 7-10 new releases. Real hard and extreme fetish occur less often than that.

I do want to retouch on the distractions argument with h-doujinshi. If you look a typical stock from the mid-90s to today's releases, you can see a massive elevation in amateur art. Shading, gradients, sharper and more nuanced details, proper typesetting with font variation, and I think better scene composition as well. Older h-doujinshi just look boring now and can have unreadable handwritten dialog, making them even less desirable to work on. I think some of these "unprofessional" artists can produce greater looking spreads than serialized artists, but having months to work on 18-36 pages allows you that. It's a fascinating world, the lines between amateur and professional are completely blurred.
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:34 pm Reply with quote
Vapors wrote:
I mean, the biggest deterrent after finances would probably just trying to get in touch with the licensors and getting them to take your call.


I remember on a couple of podcast interviews Anime Midstream did they admitted that they simply e-mailed whatever companies had a publicly-available e-mail address for licensing and accepted English e-mails & they simply hoped for an answer. Turns out Sunrise is willing to help new companies out, since that's where they got Raijin-Oh from. Also, going off of what Discotek started off doing, Toei & TMS are also newbie-friendly in terms of licensing stuff from. Finally, if Crimson Star/Corey Maddox is anything to go by, Pony Canyon seems to be open to licensing to anyone.

I would say, if one was to start a new anime licensing company the best place to start would be companies that have American divisions, like Toei Animation USA & the like. That's apparently how ADV got their start when they licensed Devil Hunter Yohko from Toho; at that time (early-90s) Toho was one of the few Japanese companies that had a US division that helped with licensing. Not to say that these companies are necessarily going to let you do anything you want (Toei seems to be sticklers when it comes to extras, TMS seems to be strict about using "International" versions, & Toho is apparently notorious for wanting things to be done their way), but at the very least having an English-speaking division to help with contacting the Japanese is a good place to start.

Quote:
This was why I was a bit curious as to how Crimson Star Media's release turned out. While the individual behind it was someone I didn't care for, it seemed he was going through all the steps to put out a decent quality release. Maybe a decent release may have inspired others to try their hand. As it stands now, we will probably never know and Crimson Star will join a list of others who faded or burned out.


If anything, I think what has happened with Crimson Star is proof positive about one thing: Never start a company on your own; always have at least one other person to back you up. ADV had two guys (Greenfiled & Ledford) & one "employee" (Williams), FUNimation was founded by a group of people, AnimEigo was, at least, Woodhead & his then-future wife, & I would imagine that CPM & Media Blasters were both founded by more than just their respective "Johns". Hell, even Anime Midstream was Jimmy Taylor & some employees! Corey Maddox founded CSM on his own & contracted the work out, but when he became unavailable due to his own mistakes his company now becomes nothing more than a lifeless husk; if Maddox had a co-founder then maybe that DVD would still be relatively on its way to release by now.

Anyway, I too thank you for answering this question, Justin. This was always something I felt would never be given even a basic answer to due to NDAs & the general silence the business side of things usually gets, so getting some sort of numbers definitely helps put things into perspective.

Quote:
Whether anyone out there is risk adverse to pony up and can commit to doing things right is another matter though.


I'll be completely honest & say that I'd love to do something like start up an anime company, but I'm no businessman. I'd make sure that the releases would be the best they could be, but I wouldn't want to be the guy in charge. I'd rather be like what David Williams was: The first "employee" who helps make the thing a reality, but not the person who's job it is to keep the company in business.
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Tanteikingdomkey



Joined: 03 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:41 pm Reply with quote
Now a days with everything every season getting licensed now a days finding a property that you could license that would actually get you a profit on is really hard. And I do a lot of business with MangaGamer them and jast and they are at the same place that anime was at its beginning. A lot of H releases to keep the lights on with quite a few more main stream releases that have amazing or hilarious stories.

We are now getting a physical release of Kara no shojou (and more innocent gray titles) steins; gate and possibly EF a tale of the two. And nitro plus is publishing their own titles in English like song of saya. Otamte has been working a lot with akryss just like spike chunsoft. MangaGamer still has a great relationship overdrive and circus along with a lot of others like softhouseseal.

The visual novels industry is really growing in the English world.and yes it is replacing anime hantei releases.
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
Posts: 3716
PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:54 am Reply with quote
walw6pK4Alo wrote:
Levitz9 wrote:
Besides NTR, I think that a lot of the rougher stuff that turns a lot of people away is also becoming more common . Pixy's flicks are pretty darn rough, and it feels like a lot of hentai is following suit. It's almost spiteful.


It's just my preferences, but I'd like that trend if it were happening fully. Hentai anime still retains a lot of vanilla or just "normal" material, hard stuff and fetish video is maybe like one or two per month out of 7-10 new releases. Real hard and extreme fetish occur less often than that.

Yeah I gotta say a lot of the vanilla stuff is just boring. On that note, while it's kind of died down in the US I've noticed foreign licenses, usually German or Spanish (though mostly German now) still going on for even these types titles. It's not that I keep track, but when I see uncensored versions of some hentai Kazama Mana (Night Shift Nurses series), Himekishi Angelica, In`youchuu Shoku, Tokubetsu Byoutou, etc. I notice of where they are from since they are not licensed in the US

WRT Amazon US, they do carry hentai even though they can technically remove them at any time. The terms are actually vague about this. They don't allow porn, but they do specifically allow erotica including unrated, erotic home videos. And hentai (like all anime) is "unrated" after all. They also carry unrated live-action foreign erotic films that feature full frontal nudity and sex so the distinction is definitely not clear.

(I say Amazon US because amazon.co.jp and amazon.de more explicitly allows them)

In any case, online stores have basically replaced brick-and-mortar and Rightstuf is the defacto shop, which publishers can rely on for carrying hentai releases without issue.

WRT publishers screwing up. I do appreciate how much work overall it takes to run a business, however I still don't think that excuses certain mistakes. It seems the most common are encoding or authoring screwups. This would certainly be forgivable IF they are recalled, but the problem is, the vast majority of the time they are not! See for example, Basilisk where the Japanese BD is messed up:
Japanese BD
US (Funi) BD

Others include Sentai's Bodacious Space Pirates release being interlaced, where the Japanese version was progressive, chromatic aberrations on character edges (rainbow fringing) for Rinne Lagrange and Da Capo III JP BDs which I think are actually a problem with the studio in rendering or compositing the final BD footage; both the US and JP BDs of Madoka suffering from some banding, where as the Italian BDs are clean, etc, etc
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doc-watson42
Encyclopedia Editor


Joined: 10 Feb 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:54 am Reply with quote
enurtsol wrote:
Ironic that the early days of N. American anime home video companies sustained themselves off hentai and near-hentai releases to pay the bills till their "normal anime" releases paid off. Smile

See Fred Patten's "The Anime 'Porn' Market" (link 1/link 2; Animation World Magazine, Issue 3.4, July 1998) for more information on this.

Levitz9 wrote:
Besides NTR, I think that a lot of the rougher stuff that turns a lot of people away is also becoming more common .

See Shawne Kleckner's post on the "really nasty stuff".

Levitz9 wrote:
Pixy's flicks are pretty darn rough, and it feels like a lot of hentai is following suit. It's almost spiteful.

Pixy's exception seems to be Ane Haramix.
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chronoclast



Joined: 29 May 2008
Posts: 97
PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:12 pm Reply with quote
configspace wrote:
WRT publishers screwing up. I do appreciate how much work overall it takes to run a business, however I still don't think that excuses certain mistakes. It seems the most common are encoding or authoring screwups. This would certainly be forgivable IF they are recalled, but the problem is, the vast majority of the time they are not! See for example, Basilisk where the Japanese BD is messed up:
Japanese BD
US (Funi) BD

Others include Sentai's Bodacious Space Pirates release being interlaced, where the Japanese version was progressive, chromatic aberrations on character edges (rainbow fringing) for Rinne Lagrange and Da Capo III JP BDs which I think are actually a problem with the studio in rendering or compositing the final BD footage; both the US and JP BDs of Madoka suffering from some banding, where as the Italian BDs are clean, etc, etc


I don't agree with you on Basilisk. It's only one comparison shot but the Japanese BD of it looks better there IMO. That show has a weird grain pattern which I'm assuming you're referring to as it being messed up. That grain is supposed to be there. The show was produced in standard definition so it's going to look kinda blurry too.

Funi's crappy BD of it has been heavily DNR'd so a lot of that grain and detail has been smeared away and then they sharpened the crap out of it too. It looks terrible IMO. Basilisk was part of the string of junk upscales Funi did when they first started doing BDs.

I do agree with you though about publishers not readily doing recalls when they screw up the authoring. That pisses me off too. I'm still waiting for Sentai to fix their Colorful BD and those f'ing Penguindrum BDs. Same goes for Media Blasters and their Moribito BDs. Mad
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