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Interview: Kazuyoshi Fukuba, Executive Director of Pony Canyon


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BrandonL337



Joined: 09 Sep 2012
Posts: 88
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:40 am Reply with quote
RaylenCypher wrote:

Right Stuf! is selling the 1st volume at $71.98 right now. Minimum wage is (at least where I live) at $9.10 an hour so 8 hours which is pretty much a day you can buy it easily. If the entire series is on this same price set for the last 2 volumes that contain 4 episodes each, then it would take less than a week to buy the entire series. So $200+ isn't unreasonable or very hard to save or earn. What shocks me more is an entire boxed season of a show at 40-60 bucks, while Japan sells volumes with 2 episodes for 80-100 if I'm right. The average money they drop per episode is like 100k-300k for 12 episodes. So for the entire series its at low 1.2M and at high 3.6M but the budget can be different. To profit from something they make in high quality shown free first and then to wait months after to see the results paid off. I'm glad they didn't do two episodes per volume at that price. D:


...You know some of us have bills to pay, right? Not to mention that $9 an hour is rather high next to the national minimum of... 7.25 I think it was? I work week to week at 8.25 and hour (and that's after two years) I've got car payments, car insurance and phone bills, not to mention living expenses and gas.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 9615
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:48 am Reply with quote
ShanaFan852 wrote:
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.

Cheapness. Notice how R1 releases have declined in presentation over the years?

Ok, but none of that has anything to do with the quality of the animation on the disks. He was implying that the cost was higher because the quality of the transfer to physical media was higher. I think that's just an excuse.
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CoreSignal



Joined: 04 Sep 2014
Posts: 723
Location: California, USA
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:52 am Reply with quote
As penguintruth said, part of my issue is that most of the profits from $100-$200 box sets aren't going to the writers, animators, and staff, but the publishers. I'd feel a little differently about the price if I knew it was going directly to the people who made the show.

SouthPacific wrote:
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.

Speak for yourself. You don't sound too happy that Funimation has fooled the masses into thinking that anime is affordable. Maybe if Funimation started charging PC/AoA prices from the beginning, everybody would be used to it and nobody would complain. Fortunately, that never happened.


@Elves, I also think NISA is hitting that sweet spot. Their releases are slightly more expensive than a Funi or Sentai release, but cheaper than AoA (and now PC) and you still get good extras and packaging. As a couple of other people have already mentioned, it'll be interesting to see how well these Yuki Yuna and Denki Gai sets do, sales-wise. I can see Pony Canyon putting out standard editions if sales aren't too hot.

BrandonL337 wrote:
...You know some of us have bills to pay, right?

Couldn't have said it better myself.
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AbZeroNow



Joined: 14 Jan 2013
Posts: 519
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:55 am Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:

Ok, but none of that has anything to do with the quality of the animation on the disks. He was implying that the cost was higher because the quality of the transfer to physical media was higher. I think that's just an excuse.


Considering some of Sentai's lack of QCing on some disks, FUNImation using a horrid subtitle font on their blurays(and the whole Sankarea debacle with the broadcast masters) and Viz's horrible encode on the Sailor Moon blurays, he may have a point about PonyCan being extra motivated to get it right every time. Let's also keep in mind that DVD still accounts for the majority of sales in R1 anime fandom(and Nozomi and Discotek only rarely do BDs). There is also that whole reverse importation elephant in the room.



{Edit: Please don't over-quote. Thanks. ~ Psycho 101}


Last edited by AbZeroNow on Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:18 am; edited 1 time in total
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BigOnAnime
Encyclopedia Editor


Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Posts: 960
Location: Minnesota, USA
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:11 am Reply with quote
CoreSignal wrote:
Speak for yourself. You don't sound too happy that Funimation has fooled the masses into thinking that anime is affordable. Maybe if Funimation started charging PC/AoA prices from the beginning, everybody would be used to it and nobody would complain. Fortunately, that never happened.
Except they did have higher prices back then, what was the industry standard...
http://i.imgur.com/hCgLi8P.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/u6HenEh.jpg

Not nearly as high as Ponycan or AoA mind you (Though it does pretty much match the RE DVD pricing of Madoka from AoA), but still definitely much higher than what they typically charge you today.
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SpacemanHardy



Joined: 03 Jan 2012
Posts: 2474
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:38 am Reply with quote
ShanaFan852 wrote:
Except they did have higher prices back then, what was the industry standard...\.


You're right. They did.

And then they saw where the market was going, and realized that sticking to such a price point was quickly going to turn bad for them. Hence why they were the first to adopt the low-price half-season strategy and haven't looked back since.

There's a good reason why of all the "old crowd" of anime licensors, FUNimation's really the only one left. Because they saw the bubble bursting and got to shelter before it popped.
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BigOnAnime
Encyclopedia Editor


Joined: 01 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:05 am Reply with quote
SpacemanHardy wrote:
ShanaFan852 wrote:
Except they did have higher prices back then, what was the industry standard...\.


You're right. They did.

And then they saw where the market was going, and realized that sticking to such a price point was quickly going to turn bad for them. Hence why they were the first to adopt the low-price half-season strategy and haven't looked back since.

There's a good reason why of all the "old crowd" of anime licensors, FUNimation's really the only one left. Because they saw the bubble bursting and got to shelter before it popped.
It wasn't exactly the prices, it was decisions such as vastly overprinting titles, flooding store shelves with way too much stock even on hits (Causing huge returns hitting the company hard financially), overpaying for licenses, and dubbing everything that brought down companies like Geneon and ADV (Though they resurfaced as Sentai Filmworks). (Bandai Entertainment meanwhile just simply pulled out as Bandai Visual in Japan ordered them to even though Bandai was still making money.)

FUNimation on the other hand played their cards right. For example they didn't pay FMA money for Heat Guy J thinking it was going to be the next Escaflowne of sales like Geneon did. They later ended up growing thanks to their competition going down from dumb mistakes, and being able to acquire their biggest titles for much less than they originally cost.

If lower prices truly worked, then explain this big drop between 2009 and 2010? Singles pretty much disappeared by 2010.
http://i.imgur.com/u6hVSjI.jpg

The drop is due to cheaper prices not exactly causing a big enough increase in buyers. However they can't go back now, there ends up being backlash, and FUNi these days is known for being the super cheap company (Especially with S.A.V.E.). Notice how AoA got backlash even for just the RE DVD pricing of Madoka, despite it being rather similar to the prices of like 2007?
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jr240483



Joined: 24 Dec 2005
Posts: 4143
Location: New York City,New York,USA
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:46 am Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
The thing with Aniplex of America is that they offer very popular and sought-after titles. PMMM, Kill la Kill, Garden of Sinners, Sword Art Online, Fate/ZERO, et cetera. Neither Denki-Gai nor Yuki Yuna is a Hero are in that same league in terms of popularity, and so I can't help but wonder if the demand for those titles is really there. How many people would be interested in purchasing those two shows even at a normal retail price, let alone the high prices that Pony Canyon is asking for?


Not exactly.

blue exorcist was also very popular but aniplex only gave it an english dub years after they released the sub only dvds unlike SAO , F/Z , Madoka Magica & kill la kill which have they sub and dub versions released at the same time.
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EclecticDude23



Joined: 08 Nov 2012
Posts: 4
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:10 am Reply with quote
My 2 cents:
I actually like Yuki Yuna and yeah Im willing to buy them at the price point offered. Of course I see people mentioning the MRSP instead of the 16$ less price point RightStuf is putting it at, but I suppose facts that detract from the 'PCUSA pricing is SHAT' narrative are to be avoided.

Of course, I will be buying this series and not much else this week (aside from my birthday and xmas) but you know what, Im willing to prioritize my spending....kinda have to anyway when it comes to anime/manga.

I also find it funneh that this same crowd decrying PCUSA for a high price point but turn a blind eye when AoA does the same schtick (and having titles be popular or not shouldnt factor into that-thats a purely subjective factor). If one can justify buying SAO (a show some of you may care for, but I personally dont) for that high price, then I can justify buying Yuki Yuna at the presented price point. And tell you what, I don't begrudge people who buy AoA/NISA as they are free to spend what they choose to. I would just like the same in this instance please.

And yay Bang Zoom is handling the ADR production....hopefully wont the competent but dull effort most of their stuff has been recently. Would like it to be good but will wait and see whos handling it.
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SquadmemberRitsu



Joined: 26 Jan 2012
Posts: 1389
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:49 am Reply with quote
EclecticDude23 wrote:
And yay Bang Zoom is handling the ADR production....hopefully wont the competent but dull effort most of their stuff has been recently.
The Kill la Kill dub is dull? Next you're going to tell me that the Ghost Stories dub needed to take more liberties.

Also the people complaining are not turning a blind eye to AoA. They are, for the most part, the exact same people giving the exact same complaints. I know that for a fact because a good number of them are specifically mentioning AoA. Which is the exact opposite of 'turning a blind eye'.
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Ji-L87



Joined: 31 Jan 2014
Posts: 30
Location: SE, STHLM area
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:29 am Reply with quote
Hrm.

No matter how much I like a show, there are limits on what would be a reasonable amount of money to spend. I'm not sure I can imagine any show I've seen (old or new) that I'd be willing to spend such an amount on. Well, maaybeee there's like one. Or possibly two, but then I'd want the full complete everything, all episodes, soundtracks etc. Surprised

I've never quite understood how it is that they can charge so much over in Japan for what not even is a complete release and still be in business.

Yes, I know there are the hardcore fans/collectors who will basically bend over enough to form a shape which resembles that of a perfect oval.
And yes, I have read the Anime Economy column Justin did some time ago.

But my brain. Simply. Won't. Accept it.

It feels that somewhere, somehow, a decent price should really be the way to go. Relying too much on a single core audience can't be healthy anyhow... Wink For both parties.

Quote:
What would you say to fans who say your prices are too high?

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.


What?
Ignoring that the last part sounds like boasting, how hard can it be?

Ship the masters over, make the BD (which admittedly is a bit of a balance act and hard work), don't compress it too much and be really gentle with the noise reduction. Finally, put some subs on there.

Done.

Don't add anything unnecessary and for the love of the glorious Honda Today - don't remove or otherwise change anything if it isn't broken. It's quite simple really. What does their "production producer" even have to do? His/her presence actually worries me a bit Rolling Eyes

Quote:
In addition, another beauty of our releases is the video, music, and other bonuses. For our release of Denki-Gai, the same music CD that came bundled with the Japanese release will be included, and customers that pre-ordered before February 28 will receive a key frame that was actually used in the anime as a present. These key frames are actually one-of-a-kind, and have a very high value.

Yuki Yuna will also come with a CD, and users who pre-order early will receive a reproduction of a key frame. This is a premium item that can only be obtained by a small number of fans, even in Japan, so I can assure fans that purchase our releases that they will be satisfied.


Now, THAT is actually a very nice touch. However, the limited edition shouldn't be the only edition. End of discussion.

And frankly,

If reverse importation is such a problem, just make a single decently priced region free release with optional subtitles. And maybe a limited edition for those who want.

And yes,spoiler[ I know I'm hopelessly naive and that it would never work.]
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angelmcazares



Joined: 23 Sep 2010
Posts: 4788
Location: Iscandar
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:00 pm Reply with quote
Ingraman wrote:
You're surprisingly sensitive regarding those three letters, if they inspire such a rant...

It's easier just to lump all of the spin-offs under their original name. Does it really confuse that many people? I could type "not-ADV" or "the people/companies who used to be ADV", but that's a few extra key-presses. As far as I'm concerned, they're ADV in all but name.

Yes, I take issue because you deliberately refuse to use the word Sentai. I get it if you have something against Sentai (the company); just don't lie and say that you use ADV out of habit or convenience. I would have believed that in 2010, but not now.

And I am not really upset with you. I am almost impressed of your commitment to make sure you use the name ADV, when everyone has accepted that the new name is Sentai.
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Cptn_Taylor



Joined: 08 Nov 2013
Posts: 925
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:05 pm Reply with quote
Beatdigga wrote:
Sorry, but with those prices, they can go in a ditch and go bankrupt.


The voice of truth. Laughing
+ 1000
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Fronzel



Joined: 11 Sep 2003
Posts: 1906
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:46 pm Reply with quote
Regarding extras and paying premium for them I'll paraphrase Shakespeare and say "the show's the thing".
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Blood-
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Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 21188
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:16 pm Reply with quote
Thanks to Zac for getting this interview.

My big question for PC (and I doubt Kazuyoshi Fukuba would have answered it) is whether they intend to release cheaper, complete collections of their titles at some point down the road. Naturally, there would be absolutely no advantage to PC to answer that in the affirmative (if they are planning to do so) right now since that would potentially undercut the LE sales.
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