Opinion Prone

My opinions, let me tell them to you.

Posts Tagged ‘ industry ’

So at Heroes Con this weekend, the Longbox was revealed. The popular analogy of the moment is that it’s like iTunes, but for comics — that is, it will serve both as a platform for companies to distribute their comics for download and as the software consumers would use to read their downloaded comics.

Longbox for comic viewing

It has some very Apple-inspired aethestics.

I’ve written about the idea of digital distribution of comics before, but had only considered a web-based platform because that was what most companies seemed to be experimenting with at the time. And really, I think one of the other reasons I hadn’t considered the iTunes model before is because I couldn’t really see the comics (or manga) industry ever agreeing on a universal solution, especially considering how haphazard and all over the place everyone’s digital model is for anime and television streams and downloads. And yet, how convenient and elegant it would be if they could agree? If you could find all your comics in one place for the super cheap price of $0.99/issue? It’s just about perfect.

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Apparently, FUNimation announced at Sakura-Con that they’ll begin streaming some of their videos on ANN. Earlier this month, they added a bunch of stuff to Veoh. There was also the recent announcement that they’d be adding a bunch of old TOEI properties to the their own video site and that they’d be adding a bunch of shows from their rival, Viz, to their broadcasting station. And of course, they already have a YouTube channel and Hulu channel with a ton of stuff on both. Oh, and their Playstation Store is now up too, the latest of their various Download-to-Own platforms (the others being their own site, Xbox Live, iTunes, and Amazon Unbox). I might have missed some. Is it just me or is this a bit much?

On one hand, I’m always happy to see FUNimation take the initive and find new ways to get their products to their fans and their customers. On the other hand, it’s starting to feel kind of disorganized. Many of the titles are available across most of the streaming sources — YouTube, Hulu, FUNimation Video, and now ANN — but there still seem to be a number of series that are only available in one place or another; I think the FUNi video site has the most titles, which makes sense, but then I kind of wonder why they bother with everything else? Most video sites are pretty much the same to me; Hulu might have the best quality of the aforementioned, but I find myself using the FUNi site more than anything else because I perceive it to be more beneficial to them.

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I probably shouldn’t be as surprised as I am considering how much amazing progress this digital streaming and simulcast thing has seen in the last few months alone, but I am seriously applauding FUNimation for this move. Four days lag time between the Japanese broadcast and an official English sub (presumably) isn’t quite simultaneous, but it’s good enough for me. That’s about how long I generally waited to watch my weekly Soul Eater anyway, so it’s great to see FUNi stepping up like this and beating the fansubbers to the chase since they do already have the series licensed.

I’m really curious to see how many fansub groups this official stream deters. Since the stream is only available for those in the US and France, there will likely still be foreign language sub efforts. It’s probably presumptuous of me, but I feel at least a little confident in guessing that a significant portion of fansubbers and leechers reside in the US. I don’t usually keep up with these things, so I’m not sure if any major fansub groups have already announced FMA:Brotherhood as a project, but if there have been, I wonder if any will drop it out right following this announcement.

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It’s been a while since I’ve written about the state of the economy and how it’s affecting our little niche. In July, the price of crude oil couldn’t stop rising and breaking records. Now it seems like it can’t stop falling. It’s down more than $100 from its crazy peak in July. Before, people were terrified because the high price was slaughtering the auto industry (okay, well, the auto industry is still kind of screwed), and now the low prices are just another sign of economic weakness. Where’s the happy middle? Job losses in November are yet another record low, and meanwhile, the stock markets are as volatile and unpredictable as ever.

So I found it a little interesting that some people are still optimistic, at least about the manga industry. Yen Press is doing well, but it did also just come out of a merger. Viz still has it’s super shounen bestsellers, but while Naruto is a more popular search term than Angelina Jolie, its place on that booklist is still as unpredictable as the price of oil. I suppose for the times, these companies are doing reasonably well. It doesn’t look like any more of them are on the verge of collapse, anyway, and even ADV had some good news to share a few months ago. I think the dwindling economy is forcing a lot of companies to reconsider just which titles they bring over whereas before, it seemed like they were grabbing just about everything that was halfway popular in Japan.

That seems to have led them to somehow skip out on series like Dennou Coil, which deserves much more recognition and attention than its gotten, despite winning significant awards. But considering that Viz has licensed DOGS of all things, I have hope that companies are looking further and harder for titles with underground appeal or popularity. Here’s to hoping we’ll be getting more of a mixed bag and that this will somehow stimulate readers and viewers? I’m not as worried about the anime side of things anymore since the digital distribution thing seems to have exploded to the point that prominent fansubbers are hanging up their hats, but manga online is a harder proposal to sell.

I’m optimistic in that the manga scene won’t be dropping further for the moment, but it remains to be seen whether things will actually pick up. There’s all this talk about that $500 billion stimulus package. I’m not sure how much water the idea of using taxpayer money to pay taxpayers holds, but the immediate affect would (hopefully) be more people spending money, which is good news for businesses, which in turn is good news for workers, which in turn is good news for the economy, including our little otaku industry. I dunno. This holiday season is already kind of scary. I lot of people scoff that the luxury goods industry, but things must be pretty damn bad if rich people can’t afford to be rich anymore.

Then again, poor people go out to see more movies in hard times, so who knows?

I’m Proud of You, Viz

November 17, 2008 News 2 Comments

edit, follow-up: Crunchyroll just never stops, does it??

I really don’t have time to elaborate right now (lol, class in three hours, what?), but I just wanted to say that:

Viz, I’m so proud of you!


As Japanator says, this isn’t the first time it’s happened, but there’s never been anything of Naruto proportions, and now we’re going to have Naruto himself! I haven’t watched Naruto since around episode 114, so this doesn’t actually affect anything I do, but it’s still great news all around. I was already surprised that they got Code Geass R2 dubbed and ready to air just a month or so after it finished airing in Japan, but now I’m going to be counting the days until we get official subs a week or less aftering airing in Japan for new series. Sure, they’re new episodes of Naruto Shippudan, but Shippudan has been airing for a while now and they’ve got catch-up work to do. I want official subs for new season series’ episodes! I just almost feel it happening. I can imagine the press releases!

This is exciting.

Internet > DVD

November 14, 2008 Editorial 2 Comments

First off, though mostly unrelated, I found this article pretty hilarious. And this just made me lol.

But anyway, the news of the day is that in South Korea, Internet video has eclipsed the DVD. This is really far from surprising though; there’s been such a rise in the number of companies doing the digital distribution model that I skip out on mentioning most of it here because there’s news about it pretty much every day and who likes to be redundant? The fact that Internet models have officially outpaced DVDs is something noteworthy though, and another indication that Korea is ahead of the game. I imagine that Japan will be quick to follow, then Europe, and finally the States because we’re kind of slow about everything.

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Man. I’ve been trying to tap out this review for Code Geass R2 all weekend. I think maybe I’m trying too hard to word things nicely because despite everything it did indeed fail at, I still liked it. Liked it a lot even. Not sure. Maybe I should give it a bit more time before I try to write it. In the meantime, I did manage to revise both my original Code Geass review and my Gurren Lagann review so they don’t sound as retarded.

It’s been hard to get Geass out of my head. Today is the first Sunday in months where I won’t have any new episodes to watch! (I can’t watch the new season of 00 until I finish the first season, lol…) As such, I’m going to take this time to write about product placement and hilariously overt advertising in anime. My friend Andres recently wrote about it in the context of video games and lamented the fact that the American audience has been so keen on rejecting it. And I’m with him — why are people so against the idea of advertisement in their entertainment?

Most people seem to be against this whole idea of “selling out” and doing things “just for the money.” I can understand and will agree with that sentiment for things that take away from the value of the product, such as making unplanned sequels to popular series. Forcing a franchise usually only ends up hurting the property, but I’ve never found advertising to be intrusive or annoying? How distracting is it, really, to have a Coke on the table and Toyotas driving in the street? How distracting is it, really, to have a guy drive down the highway and pass a Samsung billboard. Do you really even notice?

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Death of Toonami: Rest in Peace

September 23, 2008 Commentary, News Comments Off on Death of Toonami: Rest in Peace

I’m back from AWA. I somehow managed to miss every single panel that I had wanted to attend; managing an artists’ table was just far more time-consuming than I’d anticipated. I couldn’t step away for more than ten minutes at a time without feeling horribly guilty. In retrospect, I’m not sure I would have wanted to be in the room when Cartoon Network dropped the ball that they were canceling Toonami after its eleven year run. This so soon after the injustice they’re doing to Code Geass and Moribito? I’m sure that panel room exploded into rioting. And I’m not so sure I wouldn’t have been among the rioters if I’d been there, even though I personally haven’t watched Toonami in years.

It’s a Catch-22, I suppose.

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Ragequitting [adultswim]

September 12, 2008 Commentary Comments Off on Ragequitting [adultswim]

Actually, I’m kind of surprised at all the fan rage that’s exploded since it was revealed that [adultswim] was changing their Saturday schedule (again) and moving Code Geass and Moribito to the 5am deathslot. After all, I don’t remember this kind of reaction when they did something similar to Gundam SEED and Yu Yu Hakusho some years ago. Maybe this is just the straw that broke the camel’s back; as many others have pointed out in aforementioned threads, anime on [as] and Cartoon Network in general has been going downhill for years. We’re all nostalgic for the pre-2003 era, but we’ve put up with [as] because it was still the best place for televised anime in the United States. We put up with the rampant schedule changes and snarky comments from the producers because [as] censored less, put in less commercials, kept our opening themes, and so on.

But do we really have to put up with this anymore?

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Hurricane and the Economy

September 11, 2008 News Comments Off on Hurricane and the Economy

I’m currently in Houston and frantically hoping that my flight out of here tomorrow won’t be affected by Hurricane Ike. All flights are canceled starting from tomorrow at noon and well into Saturday. My flight’s at 10:10am. Sigh… Either way, I’ll be extremely busy for the next week and a half and likely won’t be posting much here.

Some interesting bits of stuff today though.

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