Interview: Planet Anime Mini-Interview

For years, Planet Anime has been one of the leading mail-order distributors of imported goods. Now, at the height of the holiday buying season, CEO Jean-Binh Valente briefly talks with us about what's going on...

Anime News Network: Could you give us a brief history of PA?
Jean-Binh Valente: I started Planet Anime in April of 1994. I was introduced to Anime by a friend and got majorly hooked. But unfortunately there were no places to feed my need for anime... then I took a road trip to California. I went to Tokyo town and the Shrine convention. I bought a lot of anime items, and found my self in heaven. On my way back to Houston, I thought, "I sure wish there was an Anime s tore in Houston." Well to make the story short, 3 weeks later, Planet Anime was born.

ANN: What are the year 'round hot sellers?
Valente: At the beginning of the year, everything 'Evangelion' was flying out the door. Mononoke was the biggest selling LD in Planet Anime history. Dragon Ball Z and Rock Man X action figures have been selling extremely well as of late.

ANN: What do you expect to be hot this holiday season?
Valente: The hottest selling anime this Christmas, hands down, is Pokemon.

ANN: What is your reaction to
Valente Honestly, I have not seen too much of a stir from the fans (about Tokyopop) so I really don't have too much to say.

ANN: What can we look forward to from PA in the future?
Valente: PA's future plan is to become the first place everyone visits to fill their anime needs. We plan to offer synopsizes, articles, and reviews at PA's website. We are also offering price matching and price guarantees. We will also double our inventory to meet with our customers needs. There is also a few other things that are in the hush-hush room that we are currently working on.

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