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Manga Discusses Dragonball Z and Other Releases

posted on by Andrew Osmond
Manga comments on Manga UK and Kanzenshuu podcasts; Dragon Ball, K-ON! and Blue Exorcist discussed.

A 67-minute podcast can be downloaded from the Manga UK blog. Like the previous edition released in March 2012, it features Jerome Mazandarani, Head of Marketing Acquisitions at Manga Entertainment, together with Jonathan Clements, co-author of the Anime Encyclopedia. The host is Jeremy Graves of the website Anime Chronicle.

In the podcast, Mazandarani discusses whether the upcoming DVD release of Dragon Ball Z will lead on to further U.K. releases of the franchise; for example, a blu-ray DBZ, or releases for the film spinoffs, the follow-up Dragon Ball GT or the compilation Dragon Ball Z Kai.

"We think that if (the U.K. release of Dragon Ball Z) is a success, Toei will want to release more of their catalogue with us," says Mazandarani. "So hopefully we might be talking about Dragon Ball Z Kai next year. Obviously (Toei) have One Piece... It's really crucial to Manga for these Dragon Ball Z boxsets to be successful, because it makes it much more likely that we'll be able to license a lot of (Toei's) other shows for the U.K."

(See below for more on Dragon Ball Z.)

Mazandarani said the three Bleach films (Fade to Black, Memories of Nobody and The DiamondDust Rebellion) would be for sale on DVD and Blu-ray at the London MCM Expo (May 25 - 27), along with Baka and Test - Summon the Beasts and the first volume of Clannad. All these titles will be on general sale on May 28.

Asked about the upcoming sub-only release of Blue Exorcist, Mazandarani said it was "a bit of a gamble" releasing it without a dub, but "Blue Exorcist is so hot right now that it mitigates the risk." He added that if a dub was created later, then Manga might re-release Blue Exorcist to include it, but that would double the costs of the title to Manga. "It puts quite a lot of pressure on (Blue Exorcist) to overperform."

On the possibility of K-ON's second series getting a U.K. release, Mazandarani said there was still a "good chance." He said, "I wouldn't write off anything yet; we haven't made a decision on whether to pick up series two."

In addition to the Manga podcast, Mazandarani was also interviewed on the latest episode (podcast 296) of Kanzenshuu, aimed at Dragon Ball fans. (The interview starts about twenty minutes in.)

During the interview, Mazandarani says it took five years before the terms and conditions for buying Dragon Ball Z became attractive for Manga. The company faced investing £200,000 over nine boxsets.

Mazandarani "used twitter and facebook to divert (fan) interest" in Manga's plans for Dragon Ball Z, even while the show's name leaked via the BBFC website and an MCM Expo online event guide.

"I was being a real shady so-and-so," Mazandarani says, "but we were under an NDA [Non-Disclosure Agreement] with Toei." Mazandarani said he was "a bit too disingenuous" on twitter, but it was 'partly pure fear, because no information was meant to be public."

On the Kanzenshuu podcast, Mazandarani also discusses Dragon Ball Z Kai. Originally, he'd wondered if it would be a better acquisition than the original series. (For one thing, there were fewer grey imports of Kai to the U.K.) However, Mazandarani thinks Dragon Ball Z is more mainstream, whereas Dragon Ball Z Kai is "really more for anime fans."

Moreover, Mazandarani says, Toei didn't want Manga to release Dragon Ball Z Kai first. "(Toei's) strategy is to get the big orange (Dragon Ball Z) boxes out first," Mazandarani says. He says, however, that he still wants to release Dragon Ball Z Kai as well.

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