Opinion Prone

My opinions, let me tell them to you.

Posts Tagged ‘ industry ’

Review: Tokyo Godfather

September 3, 2008 Review Comments Off on Review: Tokyo Godfather

I finished a review for Tokyo Godfathers.

ADD prevails and I haven’t been able to focus very well on series other than the two that I’m following as they air (Code Geass R2 and Soul Eater). So I’ve been watching more movies, as evidenced by the two live action NANAs and [View the rest of this entry…]

Marvel in Japan. Again.

August 27, 2008 Commentary, News Comments Off on Marvel in Japan. Again.

I can’t help but laugh a little (and maybe cringe a little too) at the idea that Marvel is teaming up with Madhouse to create an Iron Man anime. Or, it seems that Iron Man might be sharing the the same anime as Wolverine? There will apparently be four series in total, but other characters involved have yet to be announced. It all seems rather jumbled to me right now, though whatever it is, the first series is due out in 2010, following/coinciding with the releases of the Wolverine movie and the Iron Man sequel.

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Cease and Desist

August 20, 2008 Editorial Comments Off on Cease and Desist

It used to be that fansubbers would drop a project when it became licensed. They were happy to share and were content to stop when they knew that the titles they cared about were getting the attention they felt they deserved. But then the licenses started to come faster, and faster, and then at breakneck speeds, with companies snatching them up long before the series was even finished airing in Japan. In those circumstances, many groups would continue their releases anyway, though sites like AnimeSuki would respectfully stop linking them. When Toriyama’s World stopped subbing Death Note in the light of Viz’s licensing announcement, three other groups stepped up to take its place. Still, if a cease and desist order came, many sub groups would comply.

So what happens when the cease and desist order comes from a proxy company that doesn’t actually own the license, but apparently has entered an agreement to try and enforce cease and desist orders? So far, it looks like there most groups are still respectful and complying with FUNimation and its proxy fight for d-rights and Enoki Films. When international copyright law is so hard to enforce, and when the production of fansubs enable pirates both domestically and abroad, what the Japanese companies are doing, or trying to do, is perfectly logical. Logical, but is it going to work? While it may seem so for now, I’m still skeptical. After all, if Death Note prevailed, I don’t see why Katekyou Hitman Reborn! won’t.

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Okay. So we all know that digital distribution is the way to go for anime and that almost all companies are experimenting with various platforms, but digital manga…? I have mixed feelings about how well this will work out. Unlike anime, the format of reading a book doesn’t translate as neatly as the format of watching a show on a screen. Manga sales haven’t lagged as much as DVD sales partially because many people still prefer holding a physical book in their hands as opposed to reading on a computer screen (the other reason might be because they’re cheaper). It’s a strain on the eyes too, especially on computers with lower resolutions. This is the main argument against the idea of digitalized manga distribution, and I think it’s a very valid one.

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Pay More for Less

August 5, 2008 Editorial Comments Off on Pay More for Less

Studio Pierrot’s president will apparently be at Kinokuniya this Saturday. That’s about a five minute walk from where I work, except, of course, I don’t work on Saturday. I can’t decide if it’d be worth it to go; after all, I don’t pretend to be a real journalist, and am not sure exactly how interesting I would find Mr. Nunokawa’s speech. Undoubtedly, more professional bloggers than myself will provide all the in-depth coverage I could want. Besides, most of the time, going to Kinokuniya ends in me having bought something I didn’t need. They’re giving away passes to New York Anime Fest, which would be a fantastic incentive, except that I won’t be in the state when the con occurs. Oh, woe.

In other news though, there’s been some discussion about Xam’d on the PS3 and Gurren Lagann’s dub release on iTunes. Aside from the fact that Xam’d is exclusive to the most expensive console out there, many people have clamored that its price is outrageous. Now the same’s being said about Gurren Lagann. $51 for a 27 episode series amounts to about $1.88 an episode. That’s really only marginally better than the $1.99/ep you’d be paying without the “season pass,” which would add up to, gasp, $54 total instead. That’s pretty comparable to the Cowboy Bebop regular edition DVD boxset, which retails for about $50 (not counting your awesome Amazon discount). Except that an iTunes download is not a DVD. An iTunes download does not provide both the dub and sub tracks; it provides no extras and no pretty packaging. So, yeah, I think I’ll be in the camp with the people saying this is pretty ridiculous.

Oh, yeah, and Xam’d? That bitch is just a single-vocal track rental. And it costs more than Gurren Lagann to buy. Awesome! Now, just about everyone is a proponent of digital distribution, especially recently with the global economic slowdown. (Oh, crude oil hit a three-month low today; that’s good to hear, right?) That combined with the ever prevailant force of fansubs have more or less forced anime companies to take this route, but come on… should that make things cheaper, not more expensive? You’re ditching the fancy box and extra features and just putting the thing up for download — why does that cost the consumer more than buying something physical? Just doesn’t make sense.

It kind of reminds me of all the stuff airlines are trying to do now to break even, except backwards. Instead of charging you now for things they’ve given away free in the past, they’re not giving you the extras at all and making you pay more anyway! I don’t get it, do you? Sometimes I feel bad about not taking advantage of the legal digital downloads that are currently available — after all, companies need to be reassured that this is indeed what their consumers want — but aside from the fact that I own neither use iTunes nor own a PS3, there’s no way I’d ever pay that much for so little. I’m a cheapskate and rarely even buy DVDs, why would I take less and pay more?

Maybe I really should go see Mr. Nunokawa after all. Maybe he could answer some of these questions. Except his company isn’t among the ones pulling these weird stunts. D’oh.

How Many Movies Does it Take?

July 27, 2008 Editorial Comments Off on How Many Movies Does it Take?

It seems like almost immediately after I made my post about upcoming anime live action movies, I read an article in the Times about the mad rush of superhero comic movies and the idea that their popularity may be just about ready to peak. It definitely makes sense. After all, there have been well over a dozen comic book adaptions in the last several years. Many of them have been very, very successful, like the entire Spider-Man franchise, Iron Man, and most recently, The Dark Knight. Others were epic box office failures, like Catwoman and Elektra (I know, we were trying to forget those two even existed, right?). It’s been quite a mixed bag, but the high end is very, very high. I guess when comic movies are breaking record after record, people are going to start to think it’s too much of a good thing. It’s gotta end somewhere, right?

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Everyone’s Going Digital (But They’re All in Different Places)

July 17, 2008 Editorial Comments Off on Everyone’s Going Digital (But They’re All in Different Places)

Maybe I’m just picky, but even though I highly support the proliferation of both subbed and dubbed digital releases, I really wish there was some consistency in where all they’re releasing this madness.

FUNimation has a YouTube channel that it’s using to post previews and promos, but they’ve also said that they’re going to have full episodes on there, probably three episodes or less for some series. Now they have a deal with Sony to release titles exclusive to the PS3 online store, not to mention the exclusive release of the new BONES title. I’m assuming these titles will all be subbed. Elsewhere, iTunes has added a good bit of Viz’s dubbed Naruto and Bleach, as well as all of Death Note. And let’s not forget various deals and ideas Crunchyroll has made with and is pitching to Japanese companies. Am I the only one overwhelmed by the scatteredness of all these options?

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More Econ Woes & FUNi’s Domination

July 11, 2008 Editorial, News Comments Off on More Econ Woes & FUNi’s Domination

The office did some seating rearrangements this week, and as a result, I now sit in front of one of the wall TVs that has CNBC on all day. So for eight hours a day, I have a perfect view of the constant live coverage on Wall Street. As if the last few weeks haven’t been bad enough, this last week seems to be one new record after another. Today, both the DOW and the S&P 500 have hit a two-year low? Crude oil hit another record high ($147.27/barrel), though it did drop back down to $145 before I left. I don’t really know what the hell Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are (okay, okay, so they’re country’s two biggest mortgage buyers). but opening at an almost 50% drop in share prices can’t be good for anything, right? Lehmen Brothers is also down 20% today or something like 80% from several months ago. The stock ticker seems to be a perpetual stream of red arrows. Don’t forget the dollar is still steadily dropping against other major currencies. There are so many headline-worthy stories of woe that the news anchors seem ever flustered at picking topics. Interviewees called in don’t really know what the hell they’re supposed to talk about first because there’s so much to address.

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A Fansub Proposal

July 10, 2008 Editorial 3 Comments

The fansub discussion debate has been going around the community for a while now, ever since DVD sales started taking a plunge. Plenty of industry professionals have addressed it, as well as prominent members of the press, and the occasional high profile fan. Most people seem to agree on several points, with the first and third being the main focuses.

1) Fansubs are attractive because they allow overseas audiences access to the same content as the Japanese at about the same time, give or take 12-24 hours. With current licensing and release schedules, this sort of time frame is impossible.

2) Fansubs are the only option for many lesser, obscure series that will likely never see a license deal.

3) When people completely substitute official releases with fansubs, it hurts sales and the industry in general.

4) Fansubs will probably never go away, no matter what measures the industry takes; after all, they’re free, and people like free things. But the bottom line is that they’re still illegal.

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