New York ComicCon 2007 ADV Films
by Mikhail Koulikov,
As at several recent conventions, ADV's presence at the New York Comic Con was split into two sessions. The first of the two, on Saturday afternoon, featured Matt Greenfield, the announcement of a new marketing initiative, a sneak preview of one of ADV's most eagerly-awaited 2007 licenses (Keroro Gunso), and a barrage of questions from the audience.
On a more strategic level, ADV has rethought the idea of offering a series box with the first volume of a title. Rather, the box will be included with the second volume, giving viewers a chance to decide if they want to commit to a particular series. And, as both Blu-Ray and HDDVD continue to creep into the market, at least for now, ADV is sitting tight. According to Matt, at this point, the audience for HD releases of anime is simply too small to matter. However, he predicts that by the end of the year, as several Chinese manufacturers of high-definition DVD players access the US market with machines priced under $200, this will change. For its part, ADV's licenses in the last several years have specifically allowed production of HD versions of its titles, but some other companies may have to separately relicense their series for the new format.
Two of ADV's existing properties that panel attendees wanted to know about were Saint Seiya and Fist of the North Star. On Saint Seiya, ADV was actually a sublicensor, and since the Japanese company behind the license, Toei, now has a US office, the project is on hold. Toei is also reluctant to license further episodes of the series because its English-language incarnation, Knights of the Zodiac, did not perform as strongly as hoped. And for Fist of the North Star, ADV's license still only encompasses the recent (2003) OVA, not the original 108-episode TV series, parts of which were released in the US by Manga Entertainment.
As the anime market in the US continues to expand, Matt noted that viewers' tastes are getting more and more specific. To remain competitive, ADV will continue to fund at early stages new anime productions. In fact, in a bit of ADV trivia that is sure to come up again at another panel, he mentioned that from the company's earliest days, it has been involved in co-productions, the first one being Burn Up W, in 1996.
Recently, ADV launched its ADVUniverse.com download site. To promote the site, any purchase on ADVUniverse will give the buyer an amount of “ADV Bucks” equal to the purchase value. These can then be spent on any items, not just anime, that are available for purchase from the main ADV site. Full details of this promotion are available at www.advuniverse.com/advbucks.php
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