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Answerman - How Do Publishers Choose Which Older Shows To Re-License?


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CatSword



Joined: 01 Jul 2014
Posts: 969
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 12:45 pm Reply with quote
There could also be the issue of the Japanese studio not wanting a specific older show to be released again until after all the remake films are done, the last of which is taking an exceptionally long time. Laughing
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Zin5ki
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Joined: 06 Jan 2008
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Location: London, UK
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 1:18 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
With older, more forgotten shows, it always helps to drop a polite email to publisher(s) that regularly make a habit of re-releasing classic anime and let them know that you like that particular show and would be interested in picking up a re-release.

Surely Mike's inbox can only handle so many messages though!
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Dark Absol



Joined: 09 Dec 2009
Posts: 707
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 1:31 pm Reply with quote
Though, apparently, Eastern Star (licensing company) are starting to license the older shows.
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xchampion



Joined: 21 Jan 2009
Posts: 296
Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 1:50 pm Reply with quote
I wonder what show the person was referring too in his/her question. There might be other people here in the forum that would be interested in a re-release as well.
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invalidname
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 11 Aug 2004
Posts: 1682
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 1:55 pm Reply with quote
The answer never acknowledged the original question's idea of running a Kickstarter for license rescuing an old show. I have to think that would be out of the question, as the fans would have no legal standing to license the show, and contributors would be out of their minds to give money to a campaign whose pitch was "help us amass a big bag of money, and we'll float it around to English-language licensors and see who bites."

It does seem like there have been fan-run Kickstarters of this ilk that have been shut down, but I can't remember any specific cases.
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 1492
Location: North Brunswick, New Jersey
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 2:16 pm Reply with quote
Honestly, just a few years back, it looked like simply e-mailing licensing companies wasn't all that viable, as they either didn't offer any sort of contact info, or simply didn't have an option to make requests (which would indicate that they simply didn't want to have to deal with them). Now, though, it looks to be the opposite, as a good search now shows that just about every anime licensing company now has some sort of e-mailing option, & some even have a category specifically for license requests!

Therefore, I've gathered them up, so let's start politely asking for stuff:

Sentai Filmworks (Use "Licensing Inquiry" category)
Discotek Media/Eastern Star (You type in the subject yourself)
FUNimation (No specific option here, but "Title/Feature Availability" under the "General" category sounds the most reasonable)
Maiden Japan (No specific option here, but there is an "Other" category)
Nozomi Entertainment/Right Stuf (Use "Series Acquisition Suggestion" category)
CrunchyRoll (Use the "Other (Please Specify)" category)
Anime Midstream [Because why not?] (Pick whichever e-mail option works for you)

That looks to be all of the currently active (anime-focused) options we have here in North America (Hidive relies on Sentai & Maiden Japan's offerings, so just use their contacts), though it looks like Kraken Releasing doesn't have any sort of website or contact info, so we're kind of screwed when it comes to requesting tokusatsu titles.
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Animegomaniac



Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 3067
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 2:25 pm Reply with quote
invalidname wrote:
The answer never acknowledged the original question's idea of running a Kickstarter for license rescuing an old show. I have to think that would be out of the question, as the fans would have no legal standing to license the show, and contributors would be out of their minds to give money to a project whose pitch was "help us amass a big bag of money, and we'll float it around to English-language licensors and see who bites."

It does seem like there have been fan-run Kickstarters of this ilk that have been shut down, but I can't remember any specific cases.


I have it on my shelf, it's called Skip Beat?

Oh, license rescuing an old show, not licensing an old show. I really don't see the point of fans doing that as it's still in the secondary market. Regardless of how much it could cost, just buying it for yourself shouldn't cost that much... and then it gets rescued anyways. I mean, who knew Gokudo would get a save, it was a MB license and they're positively notorious for license dodging.. "We have it, we don't have it, we might have it... Well, we had it yesterday."

I'm all for license rescues but we're getting to the point of either only outright failures left... which regardless of how Funimation liked to call it, did not include Higurashi; Battle Athletes Victory never even got one collected edition by Geneon, let alone two, one year after another..., shows owned by AoA that are "off limits" or shows that would cost more to license now than a new series. Haru + Guu was a great series but it was an even greater failure, "Fullmetal", is not how you spell it anymore and then there's *that* series. You know the one, licensed by ADV, in many different versions, had a great theme song.

Steel Angel Kurumi. Wow, they must be charging a fortune for that one...
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mangamuscle



Joined: 23 Apr 2006
Posts: 2250
Location: Mexico
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 2:58 pm Reply with quote
I think nowadays it is harder than ever to get releases in print of so called oldies than twenty years ago.

0) People watch to buy. Gone are the days when most people would buy anime without having watched it previously.
1) Price per disc is lower. Profit margins are lower, so it is easier for companies lose money paying for a cheap license with a minimal print run if it ends in the bargain bin.
2) There is something new every season. Gone are the days when you could say "there is nothing good to see, let's look for some oldies but goodies". This has a lot to do with the fact that nowadays most series are shorter or are released with at least three months and sometimes several years between one season and the next.
3) The market has grown. There are lots of newcomers that have never seen (and chances are never will) anything released before the crunchyroll entered the market, so unless your parents made you watch it when you were kids you will have no interest in it.

So unless it is something most people can somehow recognize (like the original OVAs or movie of the jojo series) chances are no one will care for a blu ray remastering of All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku. Heck, chances are we will not even get a legal stream (and therefore no disc release) of the first season of Tanken Driland and that is only six years old.
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 2663
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 3:44 pm Reply with quote
It is worse in the UK, mostly due to few publisher and a smaller fanbase than the US. Unless it is a really popular title or a recognizable title; GITS, Ninja Scrolls,Wings of Honneamise, Trigun, Cowboy bebeop, Outlaw Star, Vision of Escaflowne etc. It is near impossible to get licensed/re-licensed. The only thing we have any luck with is arthouse titles like Genius Party and Belladonna of Sadness.
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Brand



Joined: 30 Jan 2006
Posts: 986
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 3:45 pm Reply with quote
Dark Absol wrote:
Though, apparently, Eastern Star (licensing company) are starting to license the older shows.


Isn't Eastern Star just Discotek and haven't they been doing that for forever now?

I do find that Discotek will listen if people make suggestions on their Facebook and Twitter.

Honestly, I wouldn't really bother with any other company licensing old shows.

With the caveat that if another company still has the license then a tiny maybe.
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Kicksville



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 446
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 4:57 pm Reply with quote
The big ones as far as I'm concerned are fairly revered old titles that have a Blu ray release in Japan by now, namely Megazone 23 and Giant Robo. It is interesting that we're in a bit of a renaissance for older titles thanks to Discotek - whoever thought we'd get the Baldios movie on Blu ray!? But, I would figure those previously mentions titles are probably more expensive and not likely to be pack-ins with something else.

And of course, yep, suddenly the old Devilman OVAs are looking much more attractive in this market. Curious to see if that'll come together.

Also, appreciate Sentai/Hidive working on getting Dunbine, Ideon, and Xabungle all out here one way or another. It's been nice how that group has released the surprise neglected title here and there (like Ghost Sweeper Mikami, and further back, Shadow Skill TV).
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GeorgeC



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 484
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 5:32 pm Reply with quote
CatSword wrote:
There could also be the issue of the Japanese studio not wanting a specific older show to be released again until after all the remake films are done, the last of which is taking an exceptionally long time. Laughing


And they were extraordinarily stupid to do that with EVA whose 20th anniversary has come and gone.
That would have been THE PERFECT time to re-release it on Blu ray, especially as it's been out of print for about 10 years at this point in the West.
What are they doing -- waiting another 5-10 years BEFORE they let it be re-licensed because by then the physical media sales will be MUCH lower than they already are now!
How many fans WILL CARE for a 30th anniversary release of a series nobody's been able to watch LEGALLY for close to 20 years by then?!?

They really have shot themselves in the foot here!
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ARC-1300



Joined: 06 Feb 2012
Posts: 265
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 5:39 pm Reply with quote
CatSword wrote:
There could also be the issue of the Japanese studio not wanting a specific older show to be released again until after all the remake films are done, the last of which is taking an exceptionally long time. Laughing


i'm certain everyone knows what show you are talking about,but i highly doubt that is what the reason is. they've had several opportunities already. and they have their own hd remaster.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 7268
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 5:57 pm Reply with quote
Lord Geo wrote:
Therefore, I've gathered them up, so let's start politely asking for stuff:

Sentai Filmworks (Use "Licensing Inquiry" category)
Discotek Media/Eastern Star (You type in the subject yourself)
FUNimation (No specific option here, but "Title/Feature Availability" under the "General" category sounds the most reasonable)
Maiden Japan (No specific option here, but there is an "Other" category)
Nozomi Entertainment/Right Stuf (Use "Series Acquisition Suggestion" category)
CrunchyRoll (Use the "Other (Please Specify)" category)
Anime Midstream [Because why not?] (Pick whichever e-mail option works for you)

Blessings be upon you!! I was actually going to suggest that ANN compile exactly such a list somewhere (not sure where) in hopes someone who could do so would see it. And here you've granted my wish! ::bookmarks post::

I'm wondering what sort of limbo Monster exists in these days. Viz's license finally lapsed, so it's up for grabs, but a dub exists, which Viz probably owns, but won't touch with a ten foot pole. If someone else picked it up, would they re-dub it, or license Viz's dub? If so, Viz might see a chance to recoup some money and overcharge for it...

And how old is "old"? Is Rakugo considered old yet? It wouldn't need a dub, but it would need a top-shelf translator, and some tl notes on the poetic and archaic language in the performances would be a sweet extra.
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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 2929
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 6:57 pm Reply with quote
MarshalBanana wrote:
It is worse in the UK, mostly due to few publisher and a smaller fanbase than the US. Unless it is a really popular title or a recognizable title; GITS, Ninja Scrolls,Wings of Honneamise, Trigun, Cowboy bebeop, Outlaw Star, Vision of Escaflowne etc. It is near impossible to get licensed/re-licensed. The only thing we have any luck with is arthouse titles like Genius Party and Belladonna of Sadness.

You guys honestly get a lot of stuff we don't, or at least a lot of stuff we once had but no longer did. I got into R2 importing to pull an end-around on Aniplex's nonsense, and what really surprised me is how many bigger-ticket items weren't available in the US. Everything from Berserk 1997 on Blu-ray, to most of Satoshi Kon's catalog (Millennium Actress even got a UK dub!), to some fairly recent movies that were even dubbed by NYAV Post yet still don't have a physical release here. Then there's Australia, which got all of Monster, plus shows like Dennou Coil and Kaiba years before they finally made it over here. I was honestly thinking of submitting this as a question one of these weeks.
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