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Interview: Kazuyoshi Fukuba, Executive Director of Pony Canyon


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Greed1914



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 3:38 pm Reply with quote
Key wrote:

If Yuki Yuna was pulling in more than 10k than it's more than just an "average" show. Admittedly, though, those are hardly big enough numbers to label it as a mega-hit, either, so your point still largely stands.



I suppose that might explain why they thought it was worth taking on the added expense of a dub for that particular show. 10,000 units sold is a lot more than I would have guessed, but considering the myriad of differences between the two markets, I suspect PonyCan will be very disappointed if they think it will get anywhere close to those numbers.
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penguintruth



Joined: 08 Dec 2004
Posts: 8091
Location: Penguinopolis
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 3:43 pm Reply with quote
More corporate greed from anime companies. The animators make nothing, the fans pay through the nose, and the executives get to spend another week at the onsen. But if you're spending more than forty dollars for four episodes of a TV series, you're part of the problem.
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angelmcazares



Joined: 23 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 3:49 pm Reply with quote
SouthPacific wrote:
Seems like a lot of the naysayers around here are forgetting something and that's the speed that they're bringing out these quality sets at. Both Yuki Yuna and Denki will be less than 3 months behind the Japanese BD release schedule which is amazing...Speed is, at least to me, worth a lot. Not having to wait +1 year feels great Smile.

The speed of releases is important for some, but the majority of fans seem perfectly fine with waiting 1.5-2 (or more) years for a cheap release. I doubt that the 700-1000 (my estimate) fans like you, who value speedy releases, will be able to alone sustain PONYCAN USA.
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SouthPacific



Joined: 24 Oct 2013
Posts: 689
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:12 pm Reply with quote
angelmcazares wrote:
SouthPacific wrote:
Seems like a lot of the naysayers around here are forgetting something and that's the speed that they're bringing out these quality sets at. Both Yuki Yuna and Denki will be less than 3 months behind the Japanese BD release schedule which is amazing...Speed is, at least to me, worth a lot. Not having to wait +1 year feels great Smile.

The speed of releases is important for some, but the majority of fans seem perfectly fine with waiting 1.5-2 years for a cheap release. I doubt that the 700-1000 [my estimate] fans like you, who value speedy releases, will be able to alone sustain PONYCAN USA.


I would never dare to make such specific guesstimates, and unless they come from someone who's in that part of the industry I won't take it to heart, just wanted to have that out of the way first.

Moving on, it could be that a large part of the "masses" are fine with the long waits because that's the norm and because that's how it's been for a long time. Things change and speed is something many value today and in anime we see that through streaming and simulpubbing. It wouldn't be odd or surprisig for this to, to some extent, spread to home video releases. And from what I gather a significant group of people have warmed up to the idea of paying a higher price for a release that is of higher quality through the comming of AoA.


But there shouldn't be anything stopping PonyCan to do a cheaper barebones release down the line if it's worth the effort, but the many producers/investors want to see monetary results quickly and then move onto the next property, or sequel installment if the show was a hit.
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Paulo27



Joined: 22 Jan 2015
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:20 pm Reply with quote
Key wrote:
tangytangerine wrote:
Only problem is that they're releasing titles that are average shows. Which fans watched, moved onto the next show and proceeded to forget it in a few weeks. I think even if someone like Sentai released these shows, they'd have trouble selling them at regular prices. Unless they have a some big hit title, I just don't expect them to last.

If Yuki Yuna was pulling in more than 10k than it's more than just an "average" show. Admittedly, though, those are hardly big enough numbers to label it as a mega-hit, either, so your point still largely stands.
Problem here is that barely 10k people in the US watched the show, assuming it'll be successful in other places just because it was in Japan is a silly mistake to make.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:22 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
We would like to bring high-quality animation that was produced in Japan to North American fans while keeping the quality intact as much as possible. We are having the Japanese production producer supervise the production of the American releases. This is quality that can be achieved because we are Pony Canyon.

Is that his way of saying American-produced releases are crap? Smile And if PC is producing them, why the "as much as possible" weasel words? What would prevent the quality from being kept intact?
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One-Eye



Joined: 08 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:25 pm Reply with quote
I don't know. Its an interesting question to me, but can the market support 2 AoA? I'll be curious to see how that works out. Not everyone that buys an AoA release is a hardcore collector, so will PonyCan be able to peel some of these buyers away or convince them to pony up (heh) and stretch their budgets to accommodate PonyCan releases?

It would be interesting to know how they get their statistics. Maybe they have a nice database on how many Japanese releases are purchased by North American buyers through Amazon Japan and other sites along with predicted income levels of buyers (everybody tracks everybody nowadays). Maybe they feel that the collector market is not really tapped out with AoA and there's room for them to make a nice profit.

As far as these releases go I only like Yuki Yuna, but not at that price. I don't need to have the US release within 3 months of the Japanese one. Why? I'm patient I can wait a year and when I watch it again it will feel fresh with some time gone by. A quicker release has no value for me and its not going to make me open my wallet sooner. A good dub, chipboard artbox (not a paper one!), artbooks, and CDs usually get my attention. But I still have my limits what I'm willing to pay and of course it depends on the show.
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Greed1914



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 5:39 pm Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:

Is that his way of saying American-produced releases are crap? Smile And if PC is producing them, why the "as much as possible" weasel words? What would prevent the quality from being kept intact?


Yeah, I caught that part, and wasn't too thrilled. I've been satisfied with the quality of the American releases, especially at current prices. Plus, the Japanese companies have to sign off on various aspects of those releases, so if something does go wrong, I'm not sure they are entirely blameless. I guess I'm of the mindset that price does not always correlate to quality.





SouthPacific wrote:


Moving on, it could be that a large part of the "masses" are fine with the long waits because that's the norm and because that's how it's been for a long time. Things change and speed is something many value today and in anime we see that through streaming and simulpubbing. It wouldn't be odd or surprisig for this to, to some extent, spread to home video releases. And from what I gather a significant group of people have warmed up to the idea of paying a higher price for a release that is of higher quality through the comming of AoA.


Possibly, but the norm also means being able to buy five or six shows at what it would cost to buy one from PonyCanyon. That is an awful lot of anime for the money. Speed certainly has value, but how much? If someone absolutely has to see it now, there are simulcasts and now broadcast dubs to fill that need, making it easier to tolerate the year+ for a physical release here. Plus, as keeps being mentioned, AoA has shows that can make this system work. A lot of people probably "warmed up" to the idea because AoA was offering big hits.

I don't know, but I guess I like knowing that I can afford to buy both the shows that I love and the ones that I just like. Having to decide that I really loved a show enough to forgo several others that I liked isn't terribly appealing.
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CoreSignal



Joined: 04 Sep 2014
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 5:39 pm Reply with quote
Pretty standard answers from Fukuba, but it's expected. Yuki Yuna is great, and that soundtrack is amazing, but $210+ for 12 episodes is crazy, even if there are some nice extras. At the end of day, you're still primarilry paying for the show. I really hope they put out a standard edition no higher than $40. It's still expensive, but it's not as ridiculous as $71. I never thought I use the words "Aniplex" and "affordable" in the same sentence, yet here I am. On a lighter note, I do hope PC eventually does a mecha show.

SouthPacific wrote:
On another note it'd probably be more economically viable to not dub many shows, as many dub fans aren't too keen on these price tags as they've been fed cheap stuff from Funimation and the likes who does not have a high price /disc.

And why is this bad? Funimation's releases being affordable for everyone doesn't imply that they're lesser quality than an AoA or Pony Canyon release. Just because AoA or PC charges more doesn't instantly make their video quality or dubs better than a Funimation release. I guess that depends on if including extras for a higher price "increases" the quality. Also, why is the speed of release such a big deal for you? Like you said, we have streaming and simulcasting nowadays, so you've already seen the show. And nobody in their right mind would blind buy a PonyCanyon or (AoA) release anyway.
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:28 pm Reply with quote
Pony Canyon has drank from the cup of Aniplex. So there shouldn't be any expectation of a reasonable standard BD release. We are still waiting for KnK's and Fate Zero's standard BD release. And now we are having SAO and Kill la Kill joining their illustrious ranks. And look what they did for Gurren Lagann.

Sadly, this is just a boon for fansubbers and piracy, and the rest of us will be bereft of owning a physical copy.

That said, I have no ill will to the rich and the uber fan that needs that collectors edition. Hell, I am letting Aniplex bleed me dry for Kill la Kill, because I have to have it.

I don't wish Aniplex or Pony Canyon to fail, nothing good would come of it. It is just a shame that they only have eyes for the hard core collectors.
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Tenchi



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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Location: Ottawa... now I'm an ex-Anglo Montrealer.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:39 pm Reply with quote
Student no.0 wrote:
I'm a bit skeptical as to why PCUSA is just putting 4 eps on a single BD discs when according to a well-known video-encoder like Justin Sevakis, you can put even up to 9 average length eps without any sort of noticeable quality issues.


Sentai Entertainment's Non Non Biyori Blu-Ray has all 12 episodes (excluding the OVA) on one disk and I didn't notice any quality issues other than one layer change in, I think, episode 8 that freezes the video and always makes me have to rewind (yeah, I know, outdated terminology) a few seconds, though, when I start playing again after the rewind, it plays normally.

Of course, the Non Non Biyori release doesn't have a dub or much in the way of extras, which probably has a lot to do with how they were able to cram that many episodes onto that disk.
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navycherub



Joined: 26 Oct 2007
Posts: 233
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:43 pm Reply with quote
Hey Pony Canyon, I'll buy Eschatology from you for those prices if I get a key frame too!
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SouthPacific



Joined: 24 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:45 pm Reply with quote
CoreSignal wrote:

SouthPacific wrote:
On another note it'd probably be more economically viable to not dub many shows, as many dub fans aren't too keen on these price tags as they've been fed cheap stuff from Funimation and the likes who does not have a high price /disc.

And why is this bad? Funimation's releases being affordable for everyone doesn't imply that they're lesser quality than an AoA or Pony Canyon release. Just because AoA or PC charges more doesn't instantly make their video quality or dubs better than a Funimation release. I guess that depends on if including extras for a higher price "increases" the quality. Also, why is the speed of release such a big deal for you? Like you said, we have streaming and simulcasting nowadays, so you've already seen the show. And nobody in their right mind would blind buy a PonyCanyon or (AoA) release anyway.


I'm not saying that it's bad (though I can definitely write up points as to why it would/could be, but lets leave that for another time shall we?), it's just that some people appear to feel really entitled to buying anime at the same prices they've been doing for many years now. Change is hard to accept when it's not going in the way you want it I guess.

And you are also correct in your assumption that price does not necessarily correlate with quality, but take 10 random BD releases from Funimation and 10 random BD releases from AoA and you'll definitely see that AoA comes out as the victor when it comes to video quality. As for dubs idk, it's not a big point of interest to me as I find JP VAs and related staff to do a much greater job, but both AoA and Funimation are reputable when it comes to dubs. I brought up the point of dubs in an economical aspect, nothing else.

Speed is important because it will get me the final product in physial form which can arrive with some really cool extras that i've been anticipating like OSTs, art books etc. There'll also be animation and art changes for the actual show. After 1-2 years i'll probably just not buy a show unless it's really high up on my list of favourites and comes in a cool CE-type release, as by then i've already consumed another 4-8 seasons of anime and new shows will have caught my interest instead.

If a quality release is made earlier with some cool extras included i'm more likely to fork over for it though.
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SquadmemberRitsu



Joined: 26 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:53 pm Reply with quote
So Bang Zoom is handling the dub for YuYuYu? Interesting. Can't say I didn't see it coming but I'm glad we got conformation of that.

Honestly, I welcome the premium edition approach so long as they give you bang for your buck. In an age where you can stream and torrent everything the barebones approach just doesn't appeal to me. If you want to charge double of what it costs me to buy a season of any other TV show I need some sort of incentive. Don't just hand me some crappy harem show with a half assed dub and some textless songs and expect me to pay $60 for it.

Of course in both cases I would only buy the show if I really liked it but I hesitate much more when I'm tearing a big whole in my pocket and only getting a DVD case and a disc with stuff I already have on my computer.

Quote:
Sadly, this is just a boon for fansubbers and piracy, and the rest of us will be bereft of owning a physical copy.
Are you kidding me? I've been waiting ages for someone to sub the Mouretsu Pirates movie.
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mgosdin



Joined: 17 Jul 2011
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Location: Kissimmee, Florida, USA
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:37 pm Reply with quote
SouthPacific wrote:
Change is hard to accept when it's not going in the way you want it I guess.


SouthPacific, I'm glad you are happy with the direction that AoA and Pony Canyon are taking. However, I would remind you that there is one noteable thing about change ... change itself is subject to change. It is quite likely to go in a direction that none of us, Japanese or American can anticipate.

So don't be surprised if this effort really does eventually end up in a less than ideal place.

Mark Gosdin
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