ADV Comments on Relisted Titles, New Release Schedule (Updated)

posted on by Christopher Macdonald
Company's SVP Mike Bailiff also touches on Sojitz's relationship, future licenses

In late January, the North American anime distributor ADV Films quietly placed three dozen titles on hiatus. No official announcement was issued by the company; however, the titles were removed from the company's website, and retailers did not receive their orders for those titles. Among the removed titles were all of ADV's ongoing series, and a significant number of earlier catalog titles. All the removed titles had been licensed by ADV in the period since Sojitz Corporation of Japan invested in A.D. Vision, ADV Films' parent company, in 2006. The titles were licensed in conjunction with ARM Corporation, a subsidiary of the Japan Contents Investment fund that was co-founded by Sojitz.

A leaked article on the ICv2 retailer news resource indicated that the hiatuses were a result of a suspension of certain aspects of ADV's alliance with ARM. However, ICv2 went on record stating that the article had never actually been posted and was incorrect. While the status of ADV's alliance with ARM remains unknown, ADV Senior Vice-President of Sales and Marketing Mike Bailiff explained that Sojitz is still an investor in A.D. Vision and stated, "There have been no changes in ADV's corporate structure."

Bailiff also explained why the company made no official statements regarding the removed titles. "There are a lot of parties involved in any anime production, and that can complicate even the best of negotiations. Frankly we had to keep quiet in the interest of resolving this situation as quickly as possible. My staff and I have been in touch with most of our retail partners, who have been remarkably patient and understanding.

"I understand fans' frustration — particularly those who follow the business of anime so closely. But this wasn't a situation that could be worked out over the Internet. I just hope fans understand that we're doing what we must to get back to the business of delivering first-rate anime. That's our focus. We'll be issuing further updates as we work through this backlog and establish fresh delivery dates for additional titles."

As reported on Tuesday, ADV has announced new shipping dates for many of the titles that were removed in January. Some of the titles appear to have accelerated shipping schedules, with subsequent volumes being shipped shortly after the first re-scheduled volume. For example, Project Blue Earth SOS Volume 2 will ship on March 11, only two weeks after the first volume. Likewise, Moonlight Mile Volume 2 will ship on March 18, only three weeks after the first volume. Most notably, Kanon Volume 3 will ship on March 4, only seven days after Volume 2. Regarding the shipping schedule, Bailiff stated that the company is working through the titles scheduled for release earlier this year and added, "Our goal is to get fans' favorite titles out to them as soon as possible, and that means a few weeks of heavier than normal shipments."

In regards to titles that have yet to re-appear on ADV Films' release schedule, Bailiff told ANN that the company is working hard to get all its removed releases re-scheduled. "We're working with all of ADV's licensing partners to get our titles back on track and into fans' hands just as soon as possible. Obviously we can't comment on ongoing negotiations, but I can assure you that a lot of people are working very hard to deliver all the titles fans have been asking about."

While the shipping schedule announced earlier this week made no mention of removed catalog titles (for example, 009-1 and Guyver), all of which had been licensed with ARM's involvement, Bailiff explains that his company is already filling back orders for those products.

Finally, Bailiff stated that not only is the company working through its backlog, but it is also preparing to announce new titles. "We're readying a few announcements for the not-too-distant future. Of course, I can't tell you what they are until negotiations are complete!"

Update: ADV Films did make an earlier statement that indirectly referenced the removed titles on January 30.

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