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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:08 am 
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OMG Doomsday Laser
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Only Manga Entertainment haven't released anything in years aside from Redline in a few months, ADV films no longer operates under that name they split up the organization into smaller companies operating as separate entities. Anime Works seems to be part of the Media Blasters label. If there was a distribution deal between Manga and Bandai, it may have worked the other way round.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:58 am 
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At this point I'm just bitter.

I strongly support the franchise I love. Rather than being forced to watch non-localized shows illegally, I'd love to be given to option to actually throw my money at legitimate releases. It's a matter of principle.

Sad. Very sad.

So much for ever seeing all the Gundam series stateside. This is going to push that prospect back for years, if it ever happens at all. The glimmer of hope offered by Turn A getting a release...yeah, now it's back to probably never. I only hope that some kind company picks up the localization of new Gundam releases. If you like something, it's worth paying money for...I'd kind of like to be able to keep doing that.


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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:43 am 
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Sad news indeed, another sign of the times I guess. I'll just hitch my little wagon to the hope train and see if someone wants to pick up the fallout.

Chris wrote:
Only the DVD release, which is handled by BEI. The Blu-rays are released directly by Bandai Visual/Honneamise.

Would it be possible that they might just shift to this method entirely? (Wishful thinking, I know.)

Chris wrote:
If Bandai couldn't get their flagship franchise to consistently sell well under their own management, do you think other companies like FUNi or Sentai want to take that risk themselves?

I wouldn't see why not, plenty of low-to-no profile anime gets brought over. Even with its rocky past Gundam still has somewhat of an installed fanbase and that's something a lot of series don't have going for them. I'd like to think if it was handled correctly, and with the right expectations, Gundam could do OK for itself.

But, in the end there is no way to know for sure one way or the other so I guess we'll all just have to wait and see. :|

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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:48 am 
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thats just sad

I'm glad I get to finish the anime legends version of MSG, and I am very releaved that Unicorn will be unaffected (kind of) but still will we ever see gundam age state side, what of future releases for gundam series...........I'm nervous I will not lie.

Hopefully someone else will step up, or maybe bandai visual will work something out for future gundam releases (in full on hope and dream mode now)

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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:57 am 
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You all are jumping the gun discussing who's going to distribute what. As the article states, Bandai is going to keep printing existing releases until their licenses expire. So stuff like Cowboy Bebop, Escaflowne and Gundam won't be going anywhere for a few years at least.

Outlaw wrote:
I wouldn't see why not, plenty of low-to-no profile anime gets brought over. Even with its rocky past Gundam still has somewhat of an installed fanbase and that's something a lot of series don't have going for them. I'd like to think if it was handled correctly, and with the right expectations, Gundam could do OK for itself.


Even if a company decides to take that risk, there's another factor that is possibly the biggest problem: Sunrise. I've heard it said long ago that before BEI, several other companies had tried to license certain Gundam series, but Sunrise refused to license individual things and wanted them to license the entire franchise at once. If they still have that mentality, which is entirely possible, that could completely torpedo any chance of future releases.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:57 am 
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I can't help but think I am part of the problem with this. But every time I wanted to buy one of their shows it was so expensive. I really did want to buy gundam 00. They just had them at darn High prices with getting the whole series would be over 100 dollars. I have been hoping that they would release a single set for around 60 dollars but I guess I better check ebay for the old ones now and hope I get a good deal.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:42 pm 
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Interview with Ken Iyadomi

While I am surprised BEI decided to exit the publishing business, I'm not shocked by it. This trend of companies pulling out or restructuring of anime publishing has been a trend. It hasn't gotten any better and it probably won't.

Physical media anime sales just aren't there anymore. North American fans aren't willing to pay the prices and the Japanese licensors have been too strict on their licenses. People have been quick to blame the corporate office but they forget that corporations are out to make money. Despite decades of fansubs, anime is NOT free. It never was and never will be. The licensors are trying to make money and with such low profit margins from foreign sales to begin with, they have to release in the format that they do to make a return. It's simple business and it's kinda depressing that fans have a hard time realizing this. Anime is a niche market. You can't say they should be charging less for more. After a certain point something has to give. At the same time, the Japanese licensors have to learn to adapt to new media. Again, this is something that was brought to light years ago. Real-time streaming, media downloads, etc., is happening and they better find a model that works with it especially with foreign markets. Simultaneous releases are great, but not at $60/release. It's great that Unicorn works for them but that's only 1 show out of hundreds and probably won't work for non-direct-to-home-video shows.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:12 pm 
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NastyNate wrote:
I can't help but think I am part of the problem with this. But every time I wanted to buy one of their shows it was so expensive. I really did want to buy gundam 00. They just had them at darn High prices with getting the whole series would be over 100 dollars. I have been hoping that they would release a single set for around 60 dollars but I guess I better check ebay for the old ones now and hope I get a good deal.


Then you're not part of the problem. Bandai sets the price, and if the price they choose is too high for you to afford, well, not much you can do about that. Granted, that's not entirely their fault, considering how messed up the licensing system is, but it's how the market works.


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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:47 pm 
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Didn't Bandai Entertainment release the 00 movie? Or was it Bandai Visual?

I'm sad to see this happen, but the last couple of anime DVDs (Boxsets) I've bought were from Funimation cause aside from Gundam, Bandai doesn't really offer much, especially lately in the past 2 years.


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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:55 pm 
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It's a bizarre feeling. I feel like I'm an orphaned consumer.

Being told that the "market isn't there" is painful on an individual level. Because this money is burning a hole in my pocket, and I would shell through the nose for those old shows, if only they'd actually released them. To be able to have them in physical media. I've always been a supporter of physical media.

Hell, to be able to have them AT ALL through legitimate means, even through digital distribution. I'd love to support what I love with my money. The inflexible liscensors are basically forcing me to resort to illegal means just to keep following the franchises I enjoy. And that just isn't cool. It really goes against my principles, but they're forcing poeple to pirate just to be able to ever watch a lot of series.

I can only hope that they come up with a legitimate, profitable means of getting shows localized over here in the future. If not in physical media, then perhaps in digital form. Whatever they can do to ensure that the consumer can get the product that they want through legal means.


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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:47 pm 
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Although the American anime market becoming smaller and smaller is a reality I doubt few will argue, what annoys me about this is the fact that basically they're going this way because Japan failed to properly support them and is now throwing them under the bus. I know the world of business is cut throat and often unfair but a situation like this is ridiculous. Maybe, Bandai/Namco/Sunrise, if you want your overseas ventures to be finanically successful you should consider a strategy beyond "Well good luck with that...and don't call this number".

Alot of fans want to see licensors succeed and will happily support official, legal releases. But we can only do so much when the business model is both broken and scares away a wider audience. A friend elsewhere pointed out the infamously arrogant 'We know everything about anime fan wants' and I think that sums up what happened here so well. I'm still going to hope something positive emerges from this but right now I'm angry. As a UK fan, I've spent the better part of a decade in an effective desert after they launched Wing here and then basically gave up bar the somewhat erratic releases of Beez Entertainment. Now American fans will seemingly face a similar problem.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:39 pm 
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So what I got from the interview is that Japanese companies are going "We don't need American branches. Fans can just import!" Well, I think we all know what problems that will cause.

Still, they only had 5 employees? I figured it would take more than that to run a company...

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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:54 pm 
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Chris wrote:
Even if a company decides to take that risk, there's another factor that is possibly the biggest problem: Sunrise. I've heard it said long ago that before BEI, several other companies had tried to license certain Gundam series, but Sunrise refused to license individual things and wanted them to license the entire franchise at once. If they still have that mentality, which is entirely possible, that could completely torpedo any chance of future releases.


Ugh, that is probably one of the most bass ackwards arrangements I've ever heard. :roll:

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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:08 pm 
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Care to explain why, Outlaw?


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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:10 pm 
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azrael wrote:

That interview just shows how much, the SBU section have just not helped Bandai's situation at all overall.

"The pricing range for our products kept dropping in Western countries, and people tended only to buy sets with very reasonable prices, which we understand is what fans want, but it lead us to a different strategy than what Japanese licensors wanted,"
Shows how much of an understadning of markets outside of Japan SBU had, they really don't have an idea, especially you would think in times where Global Finances aint so great and money is a little short for people at times.

I wonder if the SBU were the ones who handled anything with Gundam related games?
Would explain why the VS series had a limited life then only was being released in Japan.


Last edited by Mu La Flaga on Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:31 pm 
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DuelGundam2099 wrote:
Care to explain why, Outlaw?


/is not Outlaw but can explain anyway

The parent company in Japan makes its money by charging its subsidiaries licensing fees for the rights to dub and distribute anime shows in other markets. The parent company makes its money upfront; the subsidiary is saddled with a huge startup cost for the show, which winds up getting passed on to you, the consumer, in the form of higher prices. The parent company, having already made its money regardless of how the show does in the new market, has no incentive to help the subsidiary make the show a success--so they don't.

If Sunrise demands that potential licensees pay for the entire franchise instead of just one show, then that raises the cost of bringing Gundam to new markets exponentially, because the licensee is buying the rights to some twenty-odd shows and OVAs and has to make that much more money just to break even. And it's not as though there is some vast sweeping international demand for Gundam in the first place.


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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:20 pm 
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I almost forgot to post this, it describes everyone's face quite nicely, wouldn't you say?


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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:34 pm 
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I'm very glad I left Bandai 4 years ago. The writing was on the wall around the time of my departure, both for the Gundam franchise and for BEI as a whole. I'm impressed that the latter managed to survive on life support for so long. My only regret is that I didn't leave sooner.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:45 pm 
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I found this article, thought I'd share it, see what you guys think.

Pretty much what points out stuff that most people already knew.


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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:53 am 
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DuelGundam2099 wrote:
Care to explain why, Outlaw?


ShadowCell wrote:
...Sunrise demands that potential licensees pay for the entire franchise instead of just one show,...


This. Everything else is the frosting on the cake, but this is just off the wall bonkers. We're talking Atomic Facepalm territory here.

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