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Interview: Kazuyoshi Fukuba, Executive Director of Pony Canyon


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Student no.0



Joined: 02 Apr 2014
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:24 pm Reply with quote
Interesting interview so far. While I'm not interested in either of these shows for home video (I'm a pretty casual fan for now), I really do wonder how well they'll fare for the pricing model they're going at for these particular shows that don't seem to have a mass-market audience so far in the West. AoA seems to have had the edge since they go for a select high-profile shows most of the time, though nowadays at a cheaper price compared to what PCUSA offers as far as I'm concerned. In any case, I'm really interested if they'll consider picking up Lance N' Masques or Sound!Euphonium next.
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mgosdin



Joined: 17 Jul 2011
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Location: Kissimmee, Florida, USA
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:30 pm Reply with quote
First I'd like to say that I appreciate Fukuba-san taking the time to talk with Zac and ANN for posting this interview.

However, I suspect that it will not alter the issue with pricing that AoA started and Pony Canyon is following.

All the extras, and I do think that the extras are really good, don't make up for the cost per episode shock. It cuts out a fairly good chunk of fans who just do not have the money to spend and really only want to own a physical copy of the shows themselves.

Again, I do appreciate everyone taking the time to put this interview together.

Mark Gosdin
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Student no.0



Joined: 02 Apr 2014
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:41 pm Reply with quote
mgosdin wrote:
First I'd like to say that I appreciate Fukuba-san taking the time to talk with Zac and ANN for posting this interview.

However, I suspect that it will not alter the issue with pricing that AoA started and Pony Canyon is following.

All the extras, and I do think that the extras are really good, don't make up for the cost per episode shock. It cuts out a fairly good chunk of fans who just do not have the money to spend and really only want to own a physical copy of the shows themselves.

Again, I do appreciate everyone taking the time to put this interview together.

Mark Gosdin

To be honest, for the price they're going for, I hope PCUSA will try to or at least consider localize the visual novels and OSTs(like AoA has done in the past), and possibly a "In-the-making-of" books involved in production, but the key frames are nice. I honestly don't see much point in adding character song CDs when I imagine the majority of the consumers buying their singles are English-speakers and not so much Japanese, hence why I think it'd be cooler to add in the OST. But hey, I could obviously be mistaken in these regards and chances are since PCUSA are just starting out and maybe don't want to invest much more money in acquiring these extras for now, that'd be understandable. My thanks to those who participated in this interview.
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AbZeroNow



Joined: 14 Jan 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:49 pm Reply with quote
I do like that they want to dub as many titles as they can afford. I also really hope that they bring over Walkure Romanze so I can support them on that. It may take me a while since I have a bunch of other purchases to make, but I'll try to support PonyCan USA by buying Yuki Yuna's release.
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:59 pm Reply with quote
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?
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Hoppy800



Joined: 09 Aug 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:05 pm Reply with quote
Ok, that make sense, it's packed with bonuses like you would get in the average Japanese collectors edition BD, but there needs to be a standard edition for around $40-60 as not everyone will want to pay $90 for a BD in the US especially from less popular series and not on a company's first run in the US anime market.
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mdo7



Joined: 23 May 2007
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Location: Cypress, Texas, USA
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:08 pm Reply with quote
This is quite a interesting interview (aside from adapting the Aniplex-style pricing), it does look promising. This part of the interview got my attention:

Quote:
What about the market in the US was attractive to you?

The fact that there are fans [in America] that love Japanese animation just as much as- or possibly even more than- Japanese fans.


That's a very nice compliment I must say.
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AbZeroNow



Joined: 14 Jan 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:10 pm 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?


Sound of Euphonium will be sought-after if they get that since it's KyoAni(Chuunibiyou got a LE with a dub and Beyond the Boundary which is bad will also sell with a LE). Yuki Yuna is a high-quality series(it's better than Akame ga Kill which is by the same creator) and I have decided to buy that since A.) I saw on CR and really grew to like it(love most of what Studio Gokumi does) and B.) I want to support PonyCan dubbing things using Bang Zoom.
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mgosdin



Joined: 17 Jul 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:21 pm Reply with quote
Hoppy800 wrote:
Ok, that make sense, it's packed with bonuses like you would get in the average Japanese collectors edition BD, but there needs to be a standard edition for around $40-60 as not everyone will want to pay $90 for a BD in the US especially from less popular series and not on a company's first run in the US anime market.


That's the thing, this is a risk that Pony Canyon is taking. It is like trying to run before you have learned to walk properly, oh and your legs are weak.

What I'm afraid of is that it will end up in a situation where Mr. Kleckner of RightSuf winces every time he walks past a certain set of shelves in his warehouse. ( Not that he hasn't done that before, I'm sure. )

Mark Gosdin
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GWOtaku



Joined: 19 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:25 pm Reply with quote
Their best answer on pricing essentially says you get your value if you preorder because of the key frame. The real answer to the who-is-your-targeted-consumer question is "the hardcore collector that can accept also paying the highest market price in the world." They even said as much when they made their announcements, so the canned answer they offered instead is curious.
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Greed1914
It's Over 9000!It's Over 9000!


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:33 pm Reply with quote
mgosdin wrote:
First I'd like to say that I appreciate Fukuba-san taking the time to talk with Zac and ANN for posting this interview.

However, I suspect that it will not alter the issue with pricing that AoA started and Pony Canyon is following.

All the extras, and I do think that the extras are really good, don't make up for the cost per episode shock. It cuts out a fairly good chunk of fans who just do not have the money to spend and really only want to own a physical copy of the shows themselves.

Again, I do appreciate everyone taking the time to put this interview together.

Mark Gosdin



I have to agree with this. The extras that are included are pretty nice, but you also have to want them in addition to the show itself. That is a pretty tough sell if somebody just wants the show. When other companies will sell a 12 episode set for under $40, it can be tough to go for a show that will run you a few hundred dollars.

I'm also with dtm42 in wondering about whether PonyCan's shows will be able to support such releases. They say that they got advice from Aniplex, which is pretty obvious from the prices, but perhaps they weren't advised of the need for shows popular enough to have people willing to buy expensive releases. That is obviously a crucial aspect of why AoA's strategy has worked so far. I'd say that AoA's rereleases have a better chance at higher prices since they have things like Gurren Lagann.


PonyCan is putting me in an awkward situation, honestly. I'd like to support them since they are offering good extras, and DUBBING one of their first releases, but it's hard to convince myself that it is worth $225. As much as I might not be thrilled about AoA's pricing, they also tend to offer cheaper standard releases, so if I decide I want the show, but not necessarily the extras, I have that option even if it is still comparatively expensive to things from Viz, Sentai, or Funi.


Last edited by Greed1914 on Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Beatdigga



Joined: 26 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:37 pm Reply with quote
Sorry, but with those prices, they can go in a ditch and go bankrupt.
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:44 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
We did actually get advice from Aniplex of America


Did any of that include "Oh yeah, make sure you have Triple A Megahit anime that people actually want to buy. This system doesn't work with forgettable seasonal stuff." ? The key frame thing is cool, but still, fewer people will care for that stuff when it's a lesser show whereas if you include a keyframe in something like Fate/stay Night, you could probably add another $50-75 onto the total.
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angelmcazares
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Joined: 23 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:46 pm Reply with quote
I don't know. Fukuba sounds almost naive by assuming that there are that many super hardcore fans in R1.
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chito895



Joined: 22 Jan 2015
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:50 pm Reply with quote
I really loved Yuki Yuna. It was an amazing magical girl series, but as awesome as it can be, I won't pay 80 dolars or so for just 4 episodes. It is too expensive, and more for the people who don't live in North America.
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