Anime World Order Show # 64c – The Mostly Bad News (Before the "Worse" News…?)

The much-belated, and hopefully final, segment of Show # 64. We discuss the news, which is rather hilariously out of date as there have been several further developments since the time this was recorded. With the current craziness going on, expect more on these topics in the future.

Daryl was also a special guest host on Destroy All Podcasts DX episode 40, which was all about Fist of the North Star. Contains spoilers for the entire series that Andrew probably should have edited out, but whatever! It’s not OUR show to edit!

41 thoughts on “Anime World Order Show # 64c – The Mostly Bad News (Before the "Worse" News…?)

  1. Thanks for the new episode guys, sounds great so far. Stay tuned, if I have something to say I’ll be sure to post it here ASAP. 🙂

    Keep up the good work,
    -Jaime

  2. The legend of the 64th episode finally ends. Not bad as always. Plus I really anted to know your thoughts on PiQ/Newtype.

    Now I’m interested to know your thoughts on the new sky is falling sign of ADV. ANN people are really panicking and ranting.

  3. Well, ADV use to be a really good company but the problem was they tried to WAY more than what was actually feasible. They license too many shows, many that just weren’t going to sell even at a sale price.

  4. Flux magazine, haha I remember that. I an issue from 1994 or 1995. This did a segment giving short reviews to most of anime titles (i.e. not alot) at the time. They also had alot of bad Rob Liefeld art in it as well.

    BUT There was a videogame magazine at around the same time that was actually very good called Gamefan. They not only showed games from Japan, they also had in depth reviews of various anime at the time as well (first time I ever heard about Evangelion, this was in 1996).

  5. vz: Replace ADV with Geneon, and I’ll agree. Also, my favorite dead gaming magazine was Gamer’s Republic. Now, the only one we got left is a shell of a periodical which is about 200 pages of ads, and 10 pages of content. I blame the Ziff-Davis takeover for that, too.

  6. The last time I saw Hirameki they were pretending to be “akibaotaku” at AWA and giving away tons of free stuff with Ever 17. Now I have two of their games and haven’t started either…

    Some of them were originally h-games, but they took the porn out because you wouldn’t want to have seen it anyway.

    (I’ve heard it was just started so the founder could get visas to fly into the US with, but not sure on that one)

  7. Wow, talk about bad news…

    This ADV thing is getting pretty scary, but I don’t think it’s as bad as some people on ANN and the test of the internet are making it out to be. Zac Bertschy actually gave a fairly reasonable, level-headed opinion on the situation in “Hey, Answerman!”

    Also, that’s quite an apocalyptic prediction you’re making there, Clarissa, what with us going back to the “stone age” of fansub-only anime fandom.

  8. I dunno. I mean, Geneon’s site has been up for a while, so I’m assuming it doesn’t mean anything. ADV’s run by people who started from the bottom, not a third party; so it’d be hard to believe they’ve blown it that badly. I wonder if there’s another explanation…

    http://us.f353.mail.yahoo.com/ym/ShowLetter?MsgId=4406_128499_4476_3925_4505_0_12094_13541_837009182&Idx=9&YY=12348&y5beta=yes&y5beta=yes&inc=25&order=down&sort=date&pos=0&view=&head=&box=Inbox

  9. Maybe you should consider dropping the news since you never have enough time for it and it’s always out of date by the time it’s posted. 🙂

    I think what ADV is doing is dropping the riskier titles and just going with what they think will sell. Unfortunately, we could see them become just another Naruto/Pokemon retailer. They seem to have put all their new titles on hold until they figure out which ones are going to be the better sellers.

  10. Yet another good ‘cast, folks!

    I think PiQ is doomed, and is only a ‘face saving’ attempt. Here’s why.

    1. as stated, there’s a LOT of other magazines on the market doing what they say they’re going to do. I don’t see anything unique or exciting in their proposed content makeup.

    2. Pricepoint. If they’re not $4.99 people are just going to keep with Wizard and Anime Insider. $7.99 seems targeted to undermine Otaku USA, but OUSA still has that bonus DVD and some hunks of manga, not to mention some killer writers.

    3. Size. One of the MAIN advantages Newtype USA had was its big ass size, which forced retailers to place it on the front or top rack, right in your face. With ANY item, location is all important. PiQ going to a standard magazine size will get it placed whereever it fits, stuffed in the back, covered by other mags…it’s going to get lost in the jumble. The name won’t help at all. If you’re bending over and looking at the tops of the mags sticking out of lower back shelf and you see ‘PiQ’ I think most guys (the audence they’re targeting) will figure it’s some chick mag!

    Just seems to me the typical inept way of half assed thinking that has been a constant issue with ADV.

    I have to say, it’s telling that Newtype USA only had 15,000 subscribers. I’m appalled by that low number. I would have pegged it at somewhere around 40k on the high end and at least 25k on the low, but 15,000? Wow.

    Wonder how many of that 15k are going to demand a refund after they get that first issue of PiQ? I think we’ve got our next ‘anime apocalypse’ crisis brewing right there.

  11. >I think what ADV is doing is dropping the riskier titles and just going with what they think will sell. Unfortunately, we could see them become just another Naruto/Pokemon retailer. They seem to have put all their new titles on hold until they figure out which ones are going to be the better sellers.< Which is odd because I’d thought Gurren Lagann and Devil May Cry would have been like Evangelion for them. You know, there were some odd things about that company. When you order from their site, they give a free DVD. I got Macross Vol.1 for from them (that some bonus because I’ve only seen a little of the Robotech version). After I bought Vol.2 I find out that there’s a cheap boxset from Animeigo for only $40. Guess where my money went? I’m too much of an optimist though. Even if ADV dies (nuts to them anyway, the last awesome thing they released was Prefecture Earth Defense Force), I don’t think all of the other companies will follow. We might see the bigger companies like Funimation just going for the most mainstream and marketable titles while Media Blasters will continue to do fan orientated stuff. I wouldn’t miss BV though, not because of their prices but mostly because of what they’re releasing now, LAME SHIT.

  12. Who cares if it’s out of date!? I still love to hear your opinions on the important news.

    I pretty much agree with you guys on the whole Newtype matter. I think ADV made a fantastic decision in dropping the license of Newtype from Kadokawa, but I think that PiQ is a terrible replacement. Like you said, the reason why I bought Newtype was for the columns, interviews, and the pretty pictures. Why do I need to read PiQ if I have Otaku USA instead?

    It seems ADV’s financial hell isn’t over yet. Just a few hours ago, they’ve removed several new titles from their store/trailer section. Does this mean they’ve lost the licenses? No one knows, since, of course, ADV’s declining to comment. Goddammit.

    Well, this is pretty bleak. At least the Golgo/Cobra news is good

  13. patrick: “Unfortunately, we could see them become just another
    Naruto/Pokemon retailer.”

    I doubt it. Pokemon’s dead, and no one’s willing to risk money on another lengthy shonen anime series which may or may not do well with American fans after Detective Conan got halted and Mar and Hikaru No Go got discontinued. Naruto, DBZ, and Bleach are as big as it’s gonna get, unless that upcoming FOX movie doesn’t suck, and it manages to nab more readers and/or viewers. Marvel managed to come back from the dead after X Men, so it’s not impossible, even if it’s a former shell of itself.

    steve: If the price per page and exclusives are enough, Piq might manage to stand its ground. Look at Anime Insider. As for the price, seven bucks is about what those price-gouging assholes at ZD charge for most of their periodicals; so that’s not necessarily a negative. Also, I think the size of NewType is actually what hurt it, because you couldn’t store it very easily wherever you wanted. And 15,000 subscribers is not bad for a mag which lasted longer than Raijin.

    vz: Gurren Lagann suffers the same problem as Gaogaigar, which is that both shows are intended for fans of retro anime; so I imagine the casual fan won’t “get” it. DMC should do fine for them, but-at the moment-there may not be enough PS3 owners who’d buy into the Capcom cross-promotion. Also, to my knowledge, the only difference between the Animeigo and ADV versions of Macross would be the bonus mini-commentary on the former title. You’ll still end up paying Harmony Gold, but ADV will lose their cut.

    Anyway, I agree with you on BV. If they want to sell “mainstream” stuff(assuming moe is mainstream here…), then they need to gut their prices accordingly. If they’re going to sell niche stuff, then they need to get more of it which stands out, and not try to supplement it with overpriced genre crap that the niche fans aren’t even going to consider buying. They seem fairly confused about their direction in the U.S. market.

  14. Daryl, Daryl, Daryl. Embrace the moe. It is your friend. It soothes us, and clears our soul of evils. It is not a dark specter, but a savior!

    That said I’m pretty stoked for more Cobra. That series was awesome.

  15. Allow me to ruin it for everyone. Totoro is the personification of moe. Think about it. Two young, innocent, rosy-cheeked, largely helpless prepubescent girls are taken under the wing of a shadowy, morbidly obese, hairy, socially awkward forest-dwelling goon. Replace forest-dwelling with “basement-dwelling” and you’ve got the ultimate otaku fantasy. ;-p

  16. goober: There was this slash fanfic I read a while back in which one of the girls returns to the forest as an adult. Details omitted to prevent eye socket bleeding.

  17. I still say Miyazaki’s a closet pedo.

    I wanted to know. What would I need to transfer a VHS tape to my iMac? I have alot of old things I think the internet deserves to see. Various sentai and the animated training videos of Captain Power (animated by ARTMIC/AIC with mecha designs by Shinji Aramaki).

  18. vz: I’d agree with you on Tsutomu, although that’s no longer a “closet” thing at this point. If you mean Hayao, though, I’d imagine his female characters are supposed to represent a more “innocent” Japan before the war and the pollution.

  19. vz – You will need some method to convert the analog NTSC composite video signal into digital video (DV) to run it into your mac. If you already have a DV camcorder, you may already be set. Most camcorders will allow you to record off an composite video RCA cable input, and will do pass-thru to the DV output port which you connect to your Mac via firewire. Some older camcorders (such as mine) may not do pass thru and require you to record the signal to DV tape or disc, and then playback the tape into the Mac. (This is how I captured the AnimeCon91 Desslok video for example.)

    If you don’t have a DV camcorder, then the simplest option is to get an NTSC-DV video converter. With some quick googling, the cheapest I’ve been able to find is the PYRO A/V Link, also available on Buy.com. There’s also this one from Datavideo. You can look to see if you can find a better deal, YMMV.

    Once you have a converter, you just import and edit the DV with iMovie (which comes with your Mac), or tools like Final Cut if you have that.

  20. To Gooberzilla –

    You ruined my mind. I’m no longer innocent and sweet. Not Totoro!

    Seriously though that was effin A. Hilarious.

  21. Paul is a closet Totoro fan. Don’t believe the hype.

    He was just disappointed that Totoro didn’t have vampire fangs and drive a taxi.

  22. Also, that’s quite an apocalyptic prediction you’re making there, Clarissa, what with us going back to the “stone age” of fansub-only anime fandom.

    I don’t really think it’s likely that it’ll go down that way. Even if companies like ADV and Viz are forced to “trim the fat” by licensing fewer things and maybe moving to box sets, I think they’ll still be in existence.

    But at least it’s somewhat comforting to know that if things somehow went totally haywire and the domestic industry *did* die, we wouldn’t be totally out to sea. Info and fansubs are way easier to come by, and the importing situation is much better–though Japanese media prices are still ridiculous.

  23. vz, if you could transfer those old training tapes of Captain Power I would be oh so overjoyed. I still have one of my old ones but its worn out now.

    On the subject of mags changing names and content I remember all to clearly when my subscription to Mixxzine got replaced with Tokyopop only to have Tokyopop canceled a few months later and my twelve month subscription left unfilled, bastards.

    On to Piq, I might be in the minority here but I think this is actually a good thing. True there are a lot of magazines that are your all purpose lifestyle magazines but hey those magazines are successful. I think a prime example, not in the least the best, of this would be Wizard. It wasn’t to long ago that Wizard was the top dog when it came to doing articles on comics, toys and anime. Now look at them, their mag is thinner and the content is no longer just focused on comics, but hey they’re still in there. I’m not saying that Piq should take the route that Wizard went but almost anything is better than the dribble that was Newtype. I mean come on do I really want to see the character sheets for Argentsoma.

    Also comparing anything to Rajin Comics is unfair. Lets face it the Western world wasn’t ready for the hard hitting manliness that was delivered week to week in every issue. I’m just saying could the Witchblade stand up to the awesomeness that is Bomber Girl. UH UH!

  24. clarissa: I’m just wondering if the upcoming DBZ and Speed Racer films will reverse the trend in smaller sales or, if they suck, increase the trend. I think the studios behind the productions are hoping they’ll get Pokemon: The Movie-type grosses, just because names of other big anime shows are attached to the films. But Pokemon was a toy-collecting gimmick meant to save Nintendo’s ass after the failure of the N64.

    My theory for why that franchise was so successful was because the merchandising trend associated with American cartoons/hybrids died out after the 80s; and so there was no competition. DBZ was likely the result of Warner fucking up Batman: TAS, Hasbro fucking up Transformers with Beast Wars, and Aeon Flux having a short shelf-life. This led to a huge demand for another action cartoon to fill the void.

    Anyway, Speed Racer suffers from the same problem as Herbie, which is it only appeals to a niche audience nostalgic for 60s pop culture. If the market’s any indication, the “oldest” show the casual fan will go for is Ranma 1/2. Still, compared to Watchmen, Speed Racer will likely do gang-busters at the box office. [Assuming Watchmen actually gets finished…]

    DBZ’s success is going to depend on it looking like Blade, not “The One”. They fuck that up, and anime/manga fans are gonna be as mocked as Joss Whedon fans after “Serenity”. [Yeah, I know Whedon’s shows are practically anime remakes in themselves, but I think of him as more of a hack than a fellow geek. A wannabe geek, to be precise.]

  25. m.a.: Bomber Girl was dumb, but fun, and I always wished Raijin would release that ecchi sequel they only hinted at before they closed up shop. But at least they sort of tried to acknowledge the female market.

    I’m still wondering why Dark Horse would rather license guy-centric
    [the comic book store-buying fan kind of guy, too] manga like Eden and Corpse Delivery Service, but they’re too stubborn to go back through catalog and re-release manga which might appeal to chicks, such as “3×3 Eyes”, “YUA” and “Legend of Mother Sarah”. (Then they have the audacity to call OMG “shoujo”!)

    I think Gantz and Blood+ are probably the only new manga titles they picked up on their own-without DMP’s help-which show they want to break out of their “more obscure and expensive than the competition” phase. I even remember a comment from Toren’s blog about him not being impressed with the company’s selections, and that they mostly ignored his suggestions.

  26. I got all my issues of Tokyopop magazine for free: ordered something from their online store forever ago, and Mixx just wouldn’t stop sending that shit to me, all the way to the end of its run. Awful mag, but it didn’t cost me anything.

  27. Dan, I wanted to say that few of the new titles Dark Horse has released in the last four years are in association with DMP; you can generally tell by looking for the presence of DMP’s logo on the book (as HELLSING and BERSERK carry).

    I’m interested in your view that 3×3 EYES, YOU’RE UNDER ARREST, and THE LEGEND OF MOTHER SARAH are manga which “might appeal to chicks.” Well, it’s possible that they might (although I would like to ask why you think these particular titles are good candidates in this regard) but it seems more sensible to put resources instead towards new Dark Horse titles with appeal to female readers, such as TRANSLUCENT, and CLAMP’s Mangettes project.

    TRANSLUCENT and OH MY GODDESS! are not, technically, shojo works, in that they didn’t run in shojo magazines in Japan (this is also true of many of CLAMP’s works, even though they are generally seen as “shojo” artists), and, while I might say they have appeal for shojo fans, I would try to watch out for any claim that they are literally shojo works. The majority of letters and fan art sent into OH MY GODDESS! are from girls; while that doesn’t necessarily mean the majority of readers are female, it does mean they’re the majority of people who take the effort to write in.

    Dark Horse is very proud of EDEN–it was Wizard’s pick for manga of the year in 2007–and even if that means it appeals to U.S. comics readers, I’m not sure when that became scandalous; the three manga you suggested reviving were all chosen in part for the same reason. As for THE KUROSAGI CORPSE DELIVERY SERVICE being guy-centric, the other day I came across a fujoshi who was shipping Yuji x Karatsu. Now *that’s* chick appeal.

  28. carl: “Dan, I wanted to say that few of the new titles Dark Horse has released in the last four years are in association with DMP;”

    True, but with the exception of Freeman and Old Boy, I’d imagine bookstore buyers would recognize the DMP stuff more than the bulk of the stuff DH has tried putting out in recent years. [But hey, I’m still ready to get that “Wind Named Amnesia” novel whenever it’s translated!]

    “I’m interested in your view that 3×3 EYES, YOU’RE UNDER ARREST, and THE LEGEND OF MOTHER SARAH are manga which “might appeal to chicks.”Well, it’s possible that they might (although I would like to ask why you think these particular titles are good candidates in this regard)”

    Well, the horror-romance angle thing works for Hell Girl, Pet Shop of Horrors and the Takahashi Mermaid stuff[You yourselves wouldn’t be licensing some of the Blood+ stuff if you didn’t agree.]; the girl cop duo would skew towards the emerging yuri market, and wouldn’t depend on how many action movies/shows you’re familiar with, like “Miami Guns” did[Plus it would fill the demand for similar series like Haruhi and Lucky Star.]; and what better way to cash in on that third RE film than bring back Legend of Mother Sarah?

    “but it seems more sensible to put resources instead towards new Dark Horse titles with appeal to female readers, such as TRANSLUCENT, and CLAMP’s Mangettes project. “

    Translucent looks ok, but doesn’t quite stand out among the pack. It seems more like a place-holder for a possible future license. CLAMP’s easy money, but their work should be used as gateway titles to other manga in your library.

    “The majority of letters and fan art sent into OH MY GODDESS! are from girls;”

    Yeah, I’ve noticed a dominant number of female fans since the series first got released here. Hell, there are a lot of female fans for Ranma, too.

    I just don’t like when one of your reps claims you’re catering to the shojo crowd with a shojo title, when it’s clearly not the case.

    “Dark Horse is very proud of EDEN–it was Wizard’s pick for manga of the year in 2007–and even if that means it appeals to U.S. comics readers, I’m not sure when that became scandalous;”

    There’s nothing wrong with it in itself, but that market’s niche nowadays. I mean, even you’re acknowledging that, after stopping your single issue sales of Blade of the Immortal. [BTW, if you ever re-release those in cheaper editions, you might consider adding, “From the artist behind the ‘Blood Will Tell’ video game” on one of the covers.] And I hate to bring it up, but my local comic store actually discounted an unsold copy of the Dirty Pair novel for $2. (Brand new, too.)

    I imagine the people who used to go to those places actually did care about the story, but the whole “multiple comic book cover/shitty alternative ending” fiasco of the early 90s seems to have turned off those readers for good. Now, the places have become basements full of back issues rotting in boxes and overpriced figures gathering dust in display cases.

    I’d like to give Eden a shot, too, but it doesn’t seem to stand out like the Takemiya stuff; and I imagine Endo’s less of a hack than her.

    “As for THE KUROSAGI CORPSE DELIVERY SERVICE being guy-centric, the other day I came across a fujoshi who was shipping Yuji x Karatsu. Now *that’s* chick appeal.”

    True, I don’t want DH to turn into
    http://walker.zeroesunlimited.com/;
    But catering solely to bungee-jumping Mountain Dew drinkers is just not going to fly in today’s market. Even http://www.superdickery.com/dick/233.html
    made fun of that gimmick.

  29. carl: I hope you actually find some of my comments helpful, cus I don’t want to aggravate your inner Toren or something. That guy would probably eat me for breakfast, which is ironically why I admire him, since I actually do agree with him on certain types of fans. I’m just trying to explain what makes the tolerable fans tick-at least based on my experience around ’em.

    Anyway, the only other gripe I have is that DH has taken so long to re-release the Shirow stuff. If it’s already been translated from 20 years ago, I don’t see why it needed to be delayed for another year.

  30. I only ever bought Newtype for about the first year it was out before I lost interest.

    I still think I’m an old fart to say I hate the new TV Guide! The old one was much easier to keep around due to it’s size. The only time I ever bought the newbie issues was because someone in my family needed 3D Glasses in an issue for some show on NBC or whatever.

    Thinking of the change in magazines as of lately, I’m only surprised they’re still publishing MAD at all. It’s longtime cheapo competitor, Cracked, got turned into a Spy clone a couple years ago before that fizzled out (feel ashamed I used to buy that back in the late 80’s). The only thing about today’s MAD I can’t get over is the REAL ads inside. I liked them when they were fake. 🙂

    Vampt Vo said…
    Also, that’s quite an apocalyptic prediction you’re making there, Clarissa, what with us going back to the “stone age” of fansub-only anime fandom.

    I wouldn’t mind that. I felt better when I was the only one who saw something cool and everyone else hadn’t! It was easier when there wasn’t much ‘noise’ involved.

    VZ said…
    I wanted to know. What would I need to transfer a VHS tape to my iMac? I have alot of old things I think the internet deserves to see. Various sentai and the animated training videos of Captain Power (animated by ARTMIC/AIC with mecha designs by Shinji Aramaki).

    I already got my Poor Man’s method at play to use, since I have those Captain Power vids as well so I could easily get them up someplace if need be, but the strobic, flashing might not get seen too easily if I “deinterlace” my vids to XviD or such.

  31. I picked up Newtype once and I found it to be the most positive spun crap magazine I’ve every seen, everything was good or better so bias I couldn’t read the whole thing. I reckon that it’s a good thing its gone because people getting into anime would get turn off it they followed there bias opinions like that. Newtype did have good points, design, layout and reach but I could see why it failed. I was thinking with the technology today why doesn’t some one start an online magazine; peer-to-peer, fair reviews, it would free and easy to get. All you really need are some people willing to get there time to write articles and others to design the layout. I don’t know if someone’s done it by I wouldn’t mine giving it a try if they haven’t

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