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Answerman - What Does Darker Than Black's License Withdrawal Mean?


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Snakebit1995



Joined: 25 Apr 2015
Posts: 842
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:06 pm Reply with quote
The closing paragraph is why physical media will never die, there are always people who won't trust rights and will want to be able to call on a series and know it will be there.
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mgosdin



Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 1299
Location: Kissimmee, Florida, USA
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:12 pm Reply with quote
I'm still trying to clear the image of Justin lifting barbells with 1200 Disks mounted on them. Shocked

We can't take streams or licenses for granted, so Physical is the only answer.

The flip side of that is that AoA and PonyCan US have pricing models that essentially make it impossible for a signigicant segment of anime fans to own certain of their series.

Mark Gosdin
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Marzan



Joined: 29 Mar 2009
Posts: 489
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:27 pm Reply with quote
I'm so glad that I own Darker Than Black Funi's releases and don't have to pay Aniplex ridiculous prices.
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invalidname
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Joined: 11 Aug 2004
Posts: 2283
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:29 pm Reply with quote
This reminds me somewhat of Aniplex USA doing the Blu-Ray of Baccano!, after Funimation had released a DVD version. I think this was shortly after Aniplex entered the US market? It was curious because they ended up licensing Funimation's dub. It's also frustrating because Aniplex's BD has come and gone, so now if you want to see it HD, you're pretty much out of luck.

(Well, "own" it in HD at any rate… I wonder if the funimation.com and Hulu streams are HD? Notably, it's not available on iTunes)

I keep waiting for this to happen with Angel Beats! - Sentai has a basic DVD and Blu-Ray set out, but they don't have last year's OVA episode or the three-minute "Another Epilogue", and with the continuing popularity of the show, they'd be well-served by doing a collector's re-release with the various OVAs, unless they can't and Aniplex is going to swoop in after Sentai's license expires.
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Greed1914



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4049
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:30 pm Reply with quote
I have to agree with the sentiment that if you really enjoy something, you should buy a copy for yourself. When Right Stuf ran what ended up being going out of business sales for Geneon and Bandai, I scooped up anything that I was at all thinking about getting because there was no guarantee that any of it would get rescued. Heck, Funimation is still waiting to get materials on most of the Bandai shows it picked up two years ago.

For Darker than Black, it's pretty clear from the article that if you want it, get it now since we don't know when AoA will reissue it, and we can probably assume it will be pricey when they do. Also, I wonder if Funimation's decision to do a premium edition for the show, despite its age, was because the license was set to expire?
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relyat08



Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 4125
Location: Northern Virginia
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:36 pm Reply with quote
Justin wrote:
If the licensor doesn't think it's worthwhile to keep that show available to that company, they're not going to sign an extension. And so it appears, at least, that Aniplex has decided to take their toys and go home.


This is exactly my problem with this whole thing. I understand the business sense that it makes, but it really doesn't mean good things for the US anime purchasing community or industry as a whole. Especially when AoA has such a large backlog of titles that they seemingly have very little interest in releasing. Some of which are titles that they previous got back from other publishers. It feels like they are hording their licenses, in a way. They won't release them themselves, but they won't let anyone else have them either!
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NeoStrayCat



Joined: 14 Sep 2011
Posts: 555
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:41 pm Reply with quote
So yeah, in short, if something is about to expire for a license of a show...BUY IT NAO! Or else...>.>

But yeah, nothing beats physical media of a digital future, which also usually has stuff delisted too digitally, so no really much a point there much really.

But yeah, I know the trend that usually someone will re-release classic titles eventually, like how Sentai got with Azu-Dai and Ichi-Maro, and how Discotek got Cro-High, at least fans can get it again without having to resort to OOP prices. Though yeah, at the cost of no extras the ADV singles releases had back then (Azu-Dai and Cro-High), or the OVA's included (Azu-Dai and Ichi-Maro).


Last edited by NeoStrayCat on Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:47 pm; edited 3 times in total
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WingKing



Joined: 27 Apr 2015
Posts: 617
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:41 pm Reply with quote
As I recall, NISA's licenses for two other Aniplex shows, Anohana and Working season 1, also expired within the last few months. This is definitely starting to look like a trend of Aniplex reclaiming their own catalog, or at least the titles where they think there's still money to be made. So if you were thinking of buying Soul Eater, Angel Beats, or FMA, I'd suggest doing it now, just to be safe.
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xchampion



Joined: 21 Jan 2009
Posts: 370
Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:56 pm Reply with quote
WingKing wrote:
As I recall, NISA's licenses for two other Aniplex shows, Anohana and Working season 1, also expired within the last few months. This is definitely starting to look like a trend of Aniplex reclaiming their own catalog, or at least the titles where they think there's still money to be made. So if you were thinking of buying Soul Eater, Angel Beats, or FMA, I'd suggest doing it now, just to be safe.


Yeah like Justin said you will have about 6 months to buy the remaining stock so go for it. Its interesting because I was never interested in buying the series but now that the license expired and I may never have the option of buying it again in a really long time I actually want to get it now. My real question is it just the first season or is it also the 2nd season and OVAs as well that has expired?
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Kalessin



Joined: 15 Aug 2007
Posts: 930
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:04 pm Reply with quote
This is definitely part of why I buy the shows and movies that I want to watch rather than streaming them. I don't want my ability to watch something to rely on someone else's willingness or ability to continue to provide it to me - either via streaming or via a "download to own" service that requires phoning home to disable DRM.

I also much prefer to be able to use the player software of my choice as well as not rely on my internet connection being up or having enough bandwidth to stream something, even if it were guaranteed to be available for streaming forever.

Streaming can save you money, and at this point, the shows seem to be generally available first that way, but having everything shift to streaming as the focus definitely seems like a bad trend to me. I will continue to buy everything on Blu-ray and hope that things don't ever shift to streaming completely.
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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 4130
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:05 pm Reply with quote
Aniplex really is that one kid on the playground who brought the only baseball bat that day, but you always have to let him pitch and bat first and make up a bunch of weird rules, because if you don't he'll take his bat and go home, and you won't be able to play anymore.
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Dfens



Joined: 08 Feb 2013
Posts: 456
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:08 pm Reply with quote
And this is why if I really like a show or even remotely want to watch it again in the future I'll buy a physical copy to own.

Their is no excuse unless you are new to Anime, not to have bought Darker than Black on DVD you had 8 years to do so. Hell I bought my copy on a Rightstuf Christmas sale for only 19.99 a few years back. I may even splurge and get the Blu Ray set even though I hate the premium packaging they did for it as long as I can get the discs is all I care about.

At least the article set something straight that Aniplex is didn't steal anything and that they are just not renewing licenses and now have full control over a property they owned in the first place.

Baccano on Blu Ray was a flop for Aniplex it was a upscale and it was priced at 50 dollars which was in line what all the Aniplex whinners wanted and it still sat for years unsold. Eventually it did sell out and they just said forget reprinting it since it took so long to clear out the original batch. It's not a popular show no matter how much the small group of fans who liked it want it to be.

And no Aniplex shows are not so expensive you will never be able to afford them. If you save up you can buy anyone of their titles, but if your stubborn and will only pay up to a certain amount for 1 show and that's why you won't buy the show in question well that's on you.


Last edited by Dfens on Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NJ_



Joined: 31 Oct 2009
Posts: 2689
Location: Wallington, NJ
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:11 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
TMS and Toei Animation both have a US rights management office, but neither seem to be interested in publishing their own discs.


Because they failed the first time they tried 11-12 years ago and none of those shows that they released got proper re-releases since.
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Percival King
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Joined: 20 Dec 2015
Posts: 51
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:30 pm Reply with quote
This is precisely what I was saying in the other thread.

Any show owned by Aniplex, regardless of licensor, is in danger of being "reclaimed." That includes the Fullmetal Alchemist franchise.

So, I'll say it again:

STOP. BUYING. FROM. ANIPLEX!

Their business, and move into North America, has been successful because people allow it to be successful. Change that! For the shows that are still left, it's not too late. If they start releasing FMA themselves and charge five livers for a set, you'll have no one but yourselves to blame.

ANN really has to make some kind of column or editorial in the future regarding just how much damage AoA is doing to the western market, and ergo the industry.

Dfens wrote:
Their is no excuse unless you are new to Anime, not to have bought Darker than Black on DVD you had 8 years to do so. Hell I bought my copy on a Rightstuf Christmas sale for only 19.99 a few years back. I may even splurge and get the Blu Ray set even though I hate the premium packaging they did for it as long as I can get the discs is all I care about.


Hey, I got it that time as well! Very Happy I'm really surprised more people didn't considering the show's rave.

[Edit]: please don't insult your fellow posters. Errinundra.


Last edited by Percival King on Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:34 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Sachiko2010



Joined: 11 Dec 2010
Posts: 68
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:31 pm Reply with quote
Dfens wrote:
And no Aniplex shows are not so expensive you will never be able to afford them. If you save up you can buy anyone of their titles, but if your stubborn and will only pay up to a certain amount for 1 show and that's why you won't buy the show in question well that's on you.


For me the issue isn't stubbornness, it's simple market pricing. Anime released by US distributors (Funimation, Sentai, Viz, and the like) are already sold at a premium compared to other types of content sold on blu ray and DVD in the US (you just have to compare against pricing for top-shelf non-anime titles on Amazon). Aniplex then essentially doubles that, and in my view thus enters into the realm of outrageousness. It's not stubbornness to decide not to buy a product at that price while still being disappointed that you won't have the title. And it's definitely okay to complain about it loudly. That's the one and only option usually available to a consumer. (Actually, on a side note, it's just fascinating to me to see some consumers engage in social policing on this point, when other consumers become upset at perceived unfair business models ["if you don't like, just shut up"]. Very interesting dynamic.)

Of course, there are some who will pay for it even so, and cheer as they do it (if you can judge by the Aniplex fan commentary in forums; though granted, who knows if all of those people actually carry through and buy the titles at the end of the day). That's fine too.

Personally, I stopped buying their releases two or three years ago. Just wasn't cost effective for me since I collect not only blu rays, but also figures, art books, manga, and the odd CD.

I'm kind of interested to see whether their model is sustainable for them (and I would include Pony Canyon in that too). My sense has always been that it is ultimately not sustainable, but I guess time will tell. I'm not an economist, and I'm as likely to be wrong about that prediction as not.
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