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SUNRISE & Right Stuf to release select Gundam titles on home video

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  • #76
    Re: RightStuf & SUNRISE to release Gundam franchise

    Originally posted by Vash1306 View Post
    Via WTK Twitter:
    Mobile Suit Gundam 0079 Blu-ray coming to Italy via Dynit. 1st set (of 2) is planned for December. http://www.dynit.it/ultimissime_dettaglio.asp?idnws=758
    Though it doesn't meant we will get it but it give some glimmer of hope?
    Considering how drastically different the Japanese treat international licensing as far as the U.S. versus just about everywhere else? I wouldn't say so, no.
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    • #77
      Re: RightStuf & SUNRISE to release Gundam franchise

      ^ I don't think Sunrise would have a problem at all with releasing the older Gundam series here on Blu-ray for "normal" prices, with all the other big titles they've allowed to be sold here.

      Originally posted by Chihiro Fujisaki View Post
      Not sure if we can really compare the prices of American TV boxsets to anime; anime is a far smaller niche.
      Honestly, I think it depends. I would argue that some semi-mainstream shows like DBZ, Attack on Titan, Cowboy Bebop, and Sailor Moon are easier sells on DVD/BD than most catalog American TV shows, especially now.
      Last edited by PurpleWarrior13; 10-14-2014, 09:07 PM.
      Avatar: Ryoga Hibiki from Ranma 1/2

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      • #78
        Re: RightStuf & SUNRISE to release Gundam franchise

        Originally posted by Chihiro Fujisaki View Post
        Also, I really can't agree with this idea that there's been a drop in "quality shows". There's plenty of great anime to be found in the last 10 years; hell, even within the last five years. With wonderful (though often overlooked) works like Trapeze, The Tatami Galaxy, Flowers of Evil, how can someone honestly say that the quality within anime has gotten worse? Of course there's also the success of more mainstream anime like Madoka, Space Dandy, etc, that could be seen as the new "standout" anime. There's plenty of great, new anime if you look for it.
        Hi Chihiro,

        Well I mentioned the "lack of super standouts" for this generation. Just look at Mindshare / Mainstream Awareness and Sales #'s:

        There's nothing right now that compares with the sales the Western Hemisphere had when Ninja Scroll, Macross Plus, Cowboy Bebop, Gundam Wing were around (they sold monster #'s).

        Of course there are great anime I enjoy currently, but asking non-anime people (who only kinda know a little about it), or just reaching a mainstream critical point, maybe Attack on Titan and One Piece? (but OP has been going on for so long.)

        Part of the reduction of sales #'s is what Hayate mentioned in the uber post: Digital distribution, or Free Streaming, Torrents, have greatly reduced the sales and profits.

        I wouldn't say Madoka or Space Dandy are anywhere close to the mainstream success (popularity, mindshare, sales #'s) of Evangelion, Cowboy Bebop, Gundam Wing, Ninja Scroll, etc. Not even close. There are fans of those series and I'm not saying they aren't "quality," just saying that they aren't runaway hits that really spurred a lot of the mad overbidding by publishers (and helped balloon anime on DVD back in the day).

        Thanks.

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        • #79
          Re: RightStuf & SUNRISE to release Gundam franchise

          Originally posted by Kenneth_Lee View Post
          It's certainly a tough area to explore, but IMHO, it seems like entertainment / media is trending towards more inexpensive rather than the other way around. Look at how prolific / popular Season TV Box Sets are (for American TV series) on Blu-Ray, or how Music is now pieced-out per Song (@ 99 Cents or cheaper), compared to the older days of forcing the customer to buy entire Albums (at like $20 a pop, undiscounted).

          Prices for entertainment are always trending down (HDTVs from the initial launch until now, 4K Displays, etc.).

          It just feels very backward / close-minded for the Aniplex of America style release in this day-and-age. Don't get me wrong, I used to buy tons of LE Imports on LaserDisc, DVD and Blu-Ray, LOL , but it feels like AoA-style is like a stubborn Japanese publisher blindly trying to keep their JP Import Pricing scheme and try and force it on the Western audience.
          As has already been noted, you can't really equate the domestic anime industry and its physical media component to something like general American TV releases. You're talking about far less product being sold, and to a much smaller audience. More important, the sole source of return on investment for the studios dealing in said product is the product itself, versus ad dollars and licensing dollars that come into play for American TV releases.

          If you're selling small quantities of product to a limited customer base, as I already mentioned, you absolutely cannot lower the price you're asking people to pay for it, otherwise you're putting yourself right out of business. You either stay the course and wish upon a star every single night that your customer base holds up and reality doesn't slowly increase your operating expenses, or you proactively raise your prices in order to increase your revenue so that you can expand your business and/or shore up your operations against a potentially declining customer base.

          Here is where it's worth highlighting the fact that DMP's Project-H division is planning a small pricing increase on some of their books, which they have publicly attributed to rising expenses, but is likely a little more complicated than that. And, while it historically has gone severely underreported, the various manga publishers have long been raising the cost of their products, both in terms of the industry-wide average, as well as from series to series and even book to book within the same series, to accommodate changing market conditions and sales variances. Why is there so little aggravation over the fact that some books cost as much as $13.99 when they possibly would have cost only $9.99 several years ago? That's a good question. And one I'm sure the domestic anime studios would like a complete and perfect answer to, so they can better investigate how they could get away with raising their own prices, even by just a little.

          Also, despite the corporate relationship made most obvious by the name, AoA still has significant autonomy to set its own pricing, and is beholden to Aniplex in much the same way any domestic licensee is beholden to the Japanese licensor from whom it acquired titles, insofar as contracts and royalty payments and so on. Henry Goto and Hiroe Tsukamoto aren't sitting around twiddling their thumbs all day, waiting for instructions from Japan. In some alternate universe, where Dentsu's desire to sell off its media holdings to Universal Japan hadn't motivated the closure of Geneon USA, Goto and Tsukamoto are still lrunning Geneon USA and releasing products with much the same release and pricing schemes as they are with AoA in reality now. I think anyone who feels that if Geneon USA had lasted long enough to enter the Blu-ray arena that they'd be charging $69.98 for a single-cour series on Blu-ray just like FUNimation or Sentai is kidding themselves.
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          • #80
            Re: RightStuf & SUNRISE to release Gundam franchise

            This hasn't been brought up but for the folks at Rightstuf and Sunrise, please make sure to check for the shows that aired on TV here in the past like First Gundam that the dub tracks are the same unedited versions that are on the Bandai DVDs. We don't want another situation like what happened to Discotek with Blue Submarine No. 6 having partially edited dialogue.
            DVD/BD collection
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            • #81
              Re: RightStuf & SUNRISE to release Gundam franchise

              Hi Hayate,

              Of course they are different markets, but since I was talking about the North American market / customers in general, and what pricing could work and be expected, that's what I was focusing on. I know "Anime" is a niche still, and I was one of the early adopters in my group of friends when LDs were big, to buy the latest and greatest from Japan at crazy prices.

              I was pointing out that to grow the market, to grow the customer base in America, I don't think a straight Japan pricing structure could've worked. Nor would it have saved Geneon USA or Bandai USA back in the day.

              Thinking back on the contrast: An average JP Import DVD was like ~8,800 Yen for TWO Episodes. LOL

              And the U.S. DVD singles were $29.95 for 4 Episodes.

              I don't think even during the height of Anime on DVD in North America a while back, that the market would bear paying JP prices like that. No way.

              And it wouldn't have grown anywhere near as fast with those prices.

              But, sure, is there room for compromise? I think so. Even the current pricing for most new Anime Series (these Half Season or Full Season Box Sets) are cheaper now than the DVD Singles being put out during the height of Anime DVD popularity. Except the AoA pricing on their shows.

              I understand "Gundam" is a premium and value for Sunrise / Bandai. I just don't know if they can grow their market outside of Japan if they only do a pure JP Price structure.

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              • #82
                Re: RightStuf & SUNRISE to release Gundam franchise

                My problem with the Japanese prices that Aniplex of America have put out is the products come nowhere near justifying the extra cost. Most Japanese releases come with premium packaging and 'swag' etc that Aniplex doesn't bring across often enough. Making their bare bones releases like Silver Spoon really hard to purchase (I still haven't even for a big fan of that show such as myself). The fact they have once again dropped Chipboard boxes is really very distasteful to me as the price we pay on their products MORE than justifies their inclusion in the sets. It's just plain greed.

                I think if Sunrise are going to bring over a similar pricing structure then they need to get as close as they can to mirroring the actual Japanese product. Be it through similar packaging and 'swag' or subtitling extras etc. Given they own the rights to the majority of that stuff licensing shouldn't be a huge issue.
                Anime MAL/AP -- Collection Anime/Manga/Figures & General Merch -- YouTube Channel - Anime Pickups, Unboxings etc

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                • #83
                  Re: RightStuf & SUNRISE to release Gundam franchise

                  Oh look, bitching about Aniplex pricing in a thread that's not even about an Aniplex release, nor have any Gundam prices even been announced. What is this, ANN?

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                  • #84
                    Re: RightStuf & SUNRISE to release Gundam franchise

                    Originally posted by BusterD View Post
                    Oh look, bitching about Aniplex pricing in a thread that's not even about an Aniplex release, nor have any Gundam prices even been announced. What is this, ANN?
                    Getting flashbacks to every Aniplex announcement ever made...

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                    • #85
                      Re: RightStuf & SUNRISE to release Gundam franchise

                      Originally posted by Kenneth_Lee View Post
                      Of course they are different markets, but since I was talking about the North American market / customers in general, and what pricing could work and be expected, that's what I was focusing on. I know "Anime" is a niche still, and I was one of the early adopters in my group of friends when LDs were big, to buy the latest and greatest from Japan at crazy prices.

                      I was pointing out that to grow the market, to grow the customer base in America, I don't think a straight Japan pricing structure could've worked. Nor would it have saved Geneon USA or Bandai USA back in the day.
                      And I wasn't talking about what should have happened then, or advocating that Japanese pricing would have been a better idea at that time.

                      I'm talking about now, where the race-to-the-bottom pricing schemes have now established an industry baseline that's arguably untenable and definitely below what the market will actually bear, and that for a lot of reasons it's probably time for a correction upwards, which we're already seeing occur on many fronts. It's going to be a fight, because fandom has become spoiled by the cheap pricing that is now expected, if not demanded. But if everything suddenly cost $10 more tomorrow, the vast majority of fans would still buy it.

                      I think if Gen Fukunaga could go back in time to the day his past self decided to put Aquarion in two collections for its first-round release, and stop that, he would.

                      And if John Ledford could go back in time to the day his past self was scheduling Highschool of the Dead for its first-round release, and force his past self to instead break the show's release into two parts, create some cheap LE variants, and bump the price up by 50%, he would.

                      Originally posted by Kenneth_Lee View Post
                      I understand "Gundam" is a premium and value for Sunrise / Bandai. I just don't know if they can grow their market outside of Japan if they only do a pure JP Price structure.
                      I think my walls of text have caused you to inadvertently conflate points I was making.

                      I'm not advocating that Sunrise and TRSI's Gundam license-rescue releases should be priced as high as Japanese releases or AoA releases (which, though angry and hyperbolic fans would like everyone to believe otherwise, are most certainly not in the same range). That's a terrible idea, given the circumstances, and the established domestic sales history of the franchise.

                      I also think it's extremely unlikely they're actually going to do anything like that. TRSI would never have entered into the agreement if that were the case.
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                      • #86
                        Re: RightStuf & SUNRISE to release Gundam franchise

                        You can still get a great premium release for a decent price. RightStuf's own Utena release is super amazing with TONS AND TONS of extras both on-disc and in the booklets. Yet you can still buy the sets at $30 for the first two and $50 for the third (which had more content, including the movie).

                        I doubt both FUNi and Sentai are regretting their current models, which appear to be working out very well for them. Same with Viz.
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                        • #87
                          Re: RightStuf & SUNRISE to release Gundam franchise

                          Originally posted by PurpleWarrior13 View Post
                          You can still get a great premium release for a decent price. RightStuf's own Utena release is super amazing with TONS AND TONS of extras both on-disc and in the booklets. Yet you can still buy the sets at $30 for the first two and $50 for the third (which had more content, including the movie).

                          I doubt both FUNi and Sentai are regretting their current models, which appear to be working out very well for them. Same with Viz.
                          That's not actually a counter to any of my points, though. Certainly you can get still products that consist of more than just discs in keepcases. If a studio is making enough money on regular releases at the current market prices, then of course they can also charge a higher price for a special edition that includes extra stuff. That does not mean all of their prices on their products, exactly as those products exist right now rather than adding any sort of other content or extras, cannot be higher.

                          Again, the various manga publishers have been raising their prices incrementally for years now. Some price increases have also been retroactively applied, so that someone now wanting to buy the first book in a given series is paying a dollar or two more than someone else did pay five years ago. And this has been apparently acceptable, by omission at least, to fandom at large.

                          The very fact that you use the phrase "decent price" is part of the problem. $29.98 MSRP for four episodes on a DVD ten years ago was a "decent price." And now we have become spoiled. Of course, it's impossible for most fans to look at that as a bad thing, but from the point of view of the businesses involved, they'd much rather have at least some of their profits back, especially now that licensing costs have returned to reality, and the cost of certain aspects of production have dropped. I'm not saying they're definitely all wishing they could sell four episodes on a DVD for $29.98 again, but I'm sure they'd much rather be making more money, within reason, as any good business owner would and, arguably, should. To say otherwise is thinking about the situation, or any business situation, too selfishly (a term I'm using neutrally here, mind you) as a customer, or as someone who has never been in a position to run a business or positively and significantly impact the sales of a business you work for.

                          And please don't use discounts as a basis for discussion, because discounts and sales and secondhand market prices vary so wildly that it's impossible to use any of them as a worthwhile starting point for comparison in this sort of context.
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                          • #88
                            Re: RightStuf & SUNRISE to release Gundam franchise

                            Originally posted by Hayate Kurogane View Post
                            I'm talking about now, where the race-to-the-bottom pricing schemes have now established an industry baseline that's arguably untenable and definitely below what the market will actually bear, and that for a lot of reasons it's probably time for a correction upwards, which we're already seeing occur on many fronts. It's going to be a fight, because fandom has become spoiled by the cheap pricing that is now expected, if not demanded. But if everything suddenly cost $10 more tomorrow, the vast majority of fans would still buy it.
                            It isn't just anime companies this is effecting either. A look at some of the recent Hollywood releases shows that the MSRP has been climbing more than a bit and while it hasn't had a tremendous effect yet on most pricing for first week release sales there have been a few that have been a bit higher than $19.99 which was kind of a ceiling for a bit and a fair number of these titles are quite pricey between sales now.

                            And along the lines of niche import titles costing more, the newer seasons of Doctor Who especially have been higher priced than almost anything this side of HBO series since they started releasing them and that is a title I'd imagine has a higher profile than almost every anime title in the US.

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                            • #89
                              Re: RightStuf & SUNRISE to release Gundam franchise

                              Originally posted by Hayate Kurogane View Post
                              Originally posted by PurpleWarrior13 View Post
                              You can still get a great premium release for a decent price. RightStuf's own Utena release is super amazing with TONS AND TONS of extras both on-disc and in the booklets. Yet you can still buy the sets at $30 for the first two and $50 for the third (which had more content, including the movie).

                              I doubt both FUNi and Sentai are regretting their current models, which appear to be working out very well for them. Same with Viz.
                              That's not actually a counter to any of my points, though. Certainly you can get still products that consist of more than just discs in keepcases. If a studio is making enough money on regular releases at the current market prices, then of course they can also charge a higher price for a special edition that includes extra stuff. That does not mean all of their prices on their products, exactly as those products exist right now rather than adding any sort of other content or extras, cannot be higher.

                              Again, the various manga publishers have been raising their prices incrementally for years now. Some price increases have also been retroactively applied, so that someone now wanting to buy the first book in a given series is paying a dollar or two more than someone else did pay five years ago. And this has been apparently acceptable, by omission at least, to fandom at large.

                              The very fact that you use the phrase "decent price" is part of the problem. $29.98 MSRP for four episodes on a DVD ten years ago was a "decent price." And now we have become spoiled. Of course, it's impossible for most fans to look at that as a bad thing, but from the point of view of the businesses involved, they'd much rather have at least some of their profits back, especially now that licensing costs have returned to reality, and the cost of certain aspects of production have dropped. I'm not saying they're definitely all wishing they could sell four episodes on a DVD for $29.98 again, but I'm sure they'd much rather be making more money, within reason, as any good business owner would and, arguably, should. To say otherwise is thinking about the situation, or any business situation, too selfishly (a term I'm using neutrally here, mind you) as a customer, or as someone who has never been in a position to run a business or positively and significantly impact the sales of a business you work for.

                              And please don't use discounts as a basis for discussion, because discounts and sales and secondhand market prices vary so wildly that it's impossible to use any of them as a worthwhile starting point for comparison in this sort of context.
                              RightStuf themselves sells their Utena sets for around those prices (no more than $10 extra). The MSRPs aren't bad either. $50, $50, and $80. For all you get in those sets, I'd say it's worth it (though it's very rare to pay for MSRP for any home video release, unless you got it at Barnes & Noble. Even Aniplex USA's sets are usually sold $10-$15 less than MSRP). If they were barebones releases with no bonus features, no booklet, and no chipboard artbox, they would be less expensive, going off RightStuf's other barebones sets.

                              None of us have any way of knowing what any business is thinking. In this case, all we can go off of are their prices. Most of the companies doing super premium sets are doing them in addition to standard sets for low prices (FUNi, Viz, and Sentai). Other than that, none of them have changed much in the 5+ years it's been since they completely abandoned singles.

                              But I wouldn't let any of this bother me. If you can afford something, you can afford it. If you can't, you can't (until you sell your kidney that is).
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                              • #90
                                Re: RightStuf & SUNRISE to release Gundam franchise

                                Originally posted by Hayate Kurogane View Post
                                I'm talking about now, where the race-to-the-bottom pricing schemes have now established an industry baseline that's arguably untenable and definitely below what the market will actually bear, and that for a lot of reasons it's probably time for a correction upwards, which we're already seeing occur on many fronts. It's going to be a fight, because fandom has become spoiled by the cheap pricing that is now expected, if not demanded. But if everything suddenly cost $10 more tomorrow, the vast majority of fans would still buy it.

                                Originally posted by Kenneth_Lee View Post
                                I understand "Gundam" is a premium and value for Sunrise / Bandai. I just don't know if they can grow their market outside of Japan if they only do a pure JP Price structure.
                                I think my walls of text have caused you to inadvertently conflate points I was making.

                                I'm not advocating that Sunrise and TRSI's Gundam license-rescue releases should be priced as high as Japanese releases or AoA releases (which, though angry and hyperbolic fans would like everyone to believe otherwise, are most certainly not in the same range). That's a terrible idea, given the circumstances, and the established domestic sales history of the franchise.

                                I also think it's extremely unlikely they're actually going to do anything like that. TRSI would never have entered into the agreement if that were the case.
                                Hi Hayate,

                                Ah, sorry, I see! Yah, sorry, so much text flying around, I must've confused your points. I thought you were advocating Aniplex of America-style pricing for Gundam (or felt that was the ideal way).

                                I definitely agree that with Half Season / Full Season Box Sets, if US Publishers need to increase the prices from Bottom of the Barrel (rock bottom pricing) by a reasonable amount of dollars, "Yes!" they should.

                                I just didn't think it was good or sustainable to try and push full (extreme) JP Pricing Structures on the NA market (like the 8,800 Yen for 2 Episodes for DVD price) etc. Heh.

                                Thanks.

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