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Interview: Kazuyoshi Fukuba, Executive Director of Pony Canyon


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Zac
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:24 pm Reply with quote
I asked that question, they didn't answer it.
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AbZeroNow



Joined: 14 Jan 2013
Posts: 519
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:40 pm Reply with quote
I echo Blood-'s thanks for conducting the interview. It helped me inform a better opinion on PonyCan, and the tidbit that they are using Bang Zoom was well worth it. I think California dubs are a good thing for the industry(as would be the Texas dubs. I will reserve judgement on New York dubs once MB Voiceworks does a few more dubs. Of course it would be nice to see Canada dubs too) and I intend to support good shows that use California dubs(I refuse to support bad shows of course). If paying Aniplex prices is what it takes for this(in addition to having those Texas dubs), then my wallet will just have to find a way.
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mdo7



Joined: 23 May 2007
Posts: 5978
Location: Cypress, Texas, USA
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:43 pm Reply with quote
Zac wrote:
I asked that question, they didn't answer it.


I'm not surprised by their response when you asked that question to them. There is no intention to bring the price down.
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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 3787
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:23 pm Reply with quote
Fronzel wrote:
Regarding extras and paying premium for them I'll paraphrase Shakespeare and say "the show's the thing".

Exactly. All of those massive boxes and physical doo-dads and whatever just take up shelf real estate which I frankly don't have anymore. I just want to own the damn disks, end of story.
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mgosdin



Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 1298
Location: Kissimmee, Florida, USA
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:31 pm Reply with quote
Zac wrote:
I asked that question, they didn't answer it.


Thanks for asking it needed to be done.

As far as Pony Canyon is concerned I don't think they can do anything with that question other than ignore it. To answer no would alienate some fans completely, to answer yes would impact the hoped for sales and to refuse to answer would do some of both.

No win. When you think about it, it's kind of surprising they even talked to you.

Mark Gosdin
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CoreSignal



Joined: 04 Sep 2014
Posts: 723
Location: California, USA
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:25 pm Reply with quote
ShanaFan852 wrote:
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
...
FUNimation on the other hand played their cards right... 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 anything, with Funimation being the only one left (in addition to Viz) they could've charged Aniplex or Pony Canyon prices. But they didn't. Because like SpacemanHardy said, they saw what was happening to the market and adapted to it. Yes, you can't just single out lower prices as why Funi survived, but it's definitely also part of why they're still around, in addition to mistakes from the competition. Sure, there was a big drop between 2009 and 2010, but its 2015 and again, Funimation lives. And the whole point of the SAVE series is, well, to be a bargain, so I don't see what the problem is.

@EclecticDude23, although it may not sound like it, I have no issue with anyone purchasing Pony Canyon USA or AoA releases. I already have a preorder for the AoA Madoka Magica Rebellion BD. (standard edition, though Smile) My issue is with how the price affects "poorer" fans, for lack of a better word. Sure, I'm willing to pay $40 for a movie and somebody else is willing to pay $90 for the same movie with extras. But plenty of people aren't. I can only imagine the number of potential fans (who want to own the show) it's going to drive away. Obviously, you can argue these releases are for hardcore fans/collectors anyway, but I'm not liking this idea of letting the masses watch anime, but not letting them afford it (to buy, that is).

mgosdin wrote:
Zac wrote:
I asked that question, they didn't answer it.

Thanks for asking it needed to be done.

As far as Pony Canyon is concerned I don't think they can do anything with that question other than ignore it. To answer no would alienate some fans completely, to answer yes would impact the hoped for sales and to refuse to answer would do some of both.

I don't blame Fukuba for ignoring it, either. As you say, I'm pretty sure he's aware of the ramifications of his response. Well, I guess we'll find out later on in the year how this price point works out.
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Redbeard 101
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Joined: 14 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:27 pm Reply with quote
Cptn_Taylor wrote:
Beatdigga wrote:
Sorry, but with those prices, they can go in a ditch and go bankrupt.


The voice of truth. Laughing
+ 1000

Have either of you ever lost your job? Ever been unable to pay bills due to it, or dealt with the depression that can come from suddenly losing your job and having to find new work? Wishing someone/a company to go bankrupt and lose their jobs, and everyone working for the company, is just a mean and ignorant thing to wish for. I certainly am not a fan of their prices nor do I plan to pay them. I however would not wish them to all lose their jobs and go bankrupt, as opposed to simply wishing and hoping for more reasonable prices from them.


mgosdin wrote:
Zac wrote:
I asked that question, they didn't answer it.


Thanks for asking it needed to be done.

As far as Pony Canyon is concerned I don't think they can do anything with that question other than ignore it. To answer no would alienate some fans completely, to answer yes would impact the hoped for sales and to refuse to answer would do some of both.

No win. When you think about it, it's kind of surprising they even talked to you.

Mark Gosdin

I'd have to agree with you on this point. If they said no they'd only anger a portion of the fans more. If they said yes then why would anyone spend the money on the prices they have out now? I think saying no in this case would be the lesser of 2 bad situations but neither answer would help their case at this point. I also agree it is surprising they did the interview. Perhaps it shows a glimmer of hope they are paying attention to how their pricing and products are being received and MAYBE in the future they might adjust things somewhat. Wishful thinking I know.


Last edited by Redbeard 101 on Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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angelmcazares



Joined: 23 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:30 pm Reply with quote
mdo7 wrote:
Zac wrote:
I asked that question, they didn't answer it.


I'm not surprised by their response when you asked that question to them. There is no intention to bring the price down.


Of course they were not going to answer. Like others have pointed out, answering either yes or no would have been a detriment. If I was the head of a new publishing company that offered expensive anime releases, I would not commit the error of announcing to money conscious costumers that a cheaper release was a real possibility.

I think that offering "Anime Legends" complete collections was one of the reasons Bandai Entertainment failed to meet their sales goals. People refused to buy singles from them because they waited patiently for cheap complete collections. I do not know how Funimation gets away with it, but getting costumers used to dirt cheap rereleases is a dangerous business practice in my opinion.
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Fronzel



Joined: 11 Sep 2003
Posts: 1906
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:36 pm Reply with quote
Psycho 101 wrote:
Have either of you ever lost your job? Ever been unable to pay bills due to it, or dealt with the depression that can come from suddenly losing your job and having to find new work? Wishing someone/a company to go bankrupt and lose their jobs, and everyone working for the company, is just a mean and ignorant thing to wish for. I certainly am not a fan of their prices nor do I plan to pay them. I however would not wish them to all lose their jobs and go bankrupt, as opposed to simply wishing and hoping for more reasonable prices from them.

I would also like to censure their flippant attitude towards ditches.
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Redbeard 101
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:37 pm Reply with quote
angelmcazares wrote:

I think that offering "Anime Legends" complete collections was one of the reasons Bandai Entertainment failed to meet their sales goals. People refused to buy singles from them because they waited patiently for cheap complete collection. I do not know how Funimation gets away with it, but getting costumers used to dirt cheap rereleases is a dangerous business practice in my opinion.

I think part of how Funimation gets away with cheaper collections now is they don't offer singles at all. They pretty much got rid of them. Barring special releases etc. And those are designed to be for the collectors not the average purchaser. Now a days they simply do sets for the vast majority of their products. Be it full seasons or half seasons either way if you want the physical show you get the set. I have no doubt if they still sold singles like they used to they'd lose money. Maybe they saw how Bandai and others made mistakes. Maybe they simply made the choice on their own. Regardless, they pretty much dumped single dvds entirely and went straight to sets as the only main option for physical ownership. Cut out the middle man in a sense. That is why I think part they can remain successful with their lower priced sets. That's all there is if you want the show. For new shows anyways, disregard re-releases or saving lost titles.
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mgosdin



Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 1298
Location: Kissimmee, Florida, USA
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:57 pm Reply with quote
Psycho 101 wrote:

Beatdigga wrote:
Sorry, but with those prices, they can go in a ditch and go bankrupt.

Cptn_Taylor wrote:
The voice of truth. Laughing
+ 1000

Have either of you ever lost your job? Ever been unable to pay bills due to it, or dealt with the depression that can come from suddenly losing your job and having to find new work? Wishing someone/a company to go bankrupt and lose their jobs, and everyone working for the company, is just a mean and ignorant thing to wish for. I certainly am not a fan of their prices nor do I plan to pay them. I however would not wish them to all lose their jobs and go bankrupt, as opposed to simply wishing and hoping for more reasonable prices from them.


For the record I have lost a job, been unable to pay bills ( It hurts when they tow your car away, trust me on this. ) and had to fight my way back from depression. I've walked the mile, gotten and burned the T-Shirt.

So, when I comment on the subject of AoA or Pony Canyon's pricing, it's not that I wish any harm to them whatsoever. Rather I'm trying to help by raising the warning flags and sounding the alarm bell, there are rocks under the deceptively calm waters here and I don't want anyone to hit them.

Mark Gosdin
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mdo7



Joined: 23 May 2007
Posts: 5978
Location: Cypress, Texas, USA
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:14 pm Reply with quote
mgosdin wrote:

As far as Pony Canyon is concerned I don't think they can do anything with that question other than ignore it. To answer no would alienate some fans completely, to answer yes would impact the hoped for sales and to refuse to answer would do some of both.

No win. When you think about it, it's kind of surprising they even talked to you.


Yes I share this same thought.
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wastrel





PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:35 pm Reply with quote
Well, regardless of how I feel about their pricing and approach to releases (which no one cares about), at least with another company releasing into the North American market, perhaps they'll license Hyouka.

I know this is highly improbable. But I'll take my miniscule shards of hope where I can find them.
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AbZeroNow



Joined: 14 Jan 2013
Posts: 519
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:57 pm Reply with quote
wastrel wrote:
Well, regardless of how I feel about their pricing and approach to releases (which no one cares about), at least with another company releasing into the North American market, perhaps they'll license Hyouka.

I know this is highly improbable. But I'll take my miniscule shards of hope where I can find them.


Sadly Hyouka is a Kadokawa series, and Pony Canyon was not on the Production Committee for it. One of these days, I imagine that Sentai Filmworks or NIS America(or even Nozomi or Discotek) will acquire the rights to it.

If nothing else, the animation is fantastic on it. (I haven't seen it so I can't comment on the story although I still kinda blame it for no Haruhi Season 3. I know...irrational).
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BigOnAnime
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Joined: 01 Jul 2010
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Location: Minnesota, USA
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:02 pm Reply with quote
angelmcazares wrote:
I think that offering "Anime Legends" complete collections was one of the reasons Bandai Entertainment failed to meet their sales goals. People refused to buy singles from them because they waited patiently for cheap complete collections. I do not know how Funimation gets away with it, but getting costumers used to dirt cheap rereleases is a dangerous business practice in my opinion.
The good thing is FUNimation stopped doing constant re-releases. If you at all remember a couple years ago, FUNimation would give a show a brand new release like every single year. A show could have the initial release, a complete set, a re-release, and then another re-release. Like Strike Witches S1 has FOUR different releases (First DVD, second DVD, DVD/BD combo, S.A.V.E.).

These days it's the initial release, and then you have to wait like two years before a complete set or re-release hits. It's RE/LE release, then straight to S.A.V.E. or Anime Classics. You have to be quite patient to wait that long to own the show if you're that cheap, so that's probably how they get away with it these days. No more cannibalizing the initial release like they used to (Sometimes the box set would hit the same year after the first release finished. Ex: School Rumble, the box set came out like 5 months after volume 6).

Sentai Filmworks though I feel has the better approach, they do not do cheaper re-releases really period. When they put out a one cour show, the price doesn't change, the only time they go cheaper is when Rightstuf is doing its holiday sale or a Sentai sale. The best things get for two cour is the complete set re-release, but those can take a while. It's been like two years since Penguindrum was released, and there is still no complete set (Which unfortunately means we're still stuck with the gawdawful artifacting BD's).
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