Bandai Visual Confirms Global Blu-ray, Online Releases
posted on by Egan Loo
The Japanese anime distributor Bandai Visual confirmed on Monday that it will start distributing popular anime on the Blu-ray Disc format throughout the world simultaneously this fall. The strategic shift will represent a new business model which attempts to solve the unauthorized distribution issue by doing away with regional differences in release dates and prices. It confirmed that the Freedom science-fiction anime series will be among the list of popular titles that will ship in staggered releases under this model. The discs will include subtitles in Japanese, English, and other languages.
Bandai Visual also confirmed that another Namco Bandai Group company, Bandai Channel, plans to sell downloads of its contents. Instead of streaming, the companies are aiming to sell downloads for specialized devices to protect their copyrighted materials.
The confirmations came in a press release that announced that Bandai Visual will introduce 10 theatrical films into the Blu-ray Disc rental market in Japan on July 25. Those 10 titles are: Royal Space Force: Wings of Honneamise, Mobile Police Patlabor: The Movie, Mobile Police Patlabor 2: The Movie, WXIII Mobile Police Patlabor, Jin-Roh, Avalon (live-action), Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack, Mobile Suit Gundam F91, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie: Knockin' on Heaven's Door, and Escaflowne.
Nikkei's IT Plus news site reported on Sunday that Bandai Visual would change its strategy, and Tatsunori Konno has been outlining some of these plans in his final blog entries as the president of Bandai Visual USA before returning to Japan.
Source: Nikkei Net
Update: To clarify, the ten films that Bandai Visual is offering to the Japanese rental market are not necessarily films that it will also release globally with subtitles.