Over the MCM Comic Con weekend Animatsu Entertainment and Manga UK unveiled an awesome array of new licenses and blew us away with their sizzle reel and trailers. Their panel was exciting and informative, and even extended to a lengthy and very interesting Q&A sessions that I felt deserved its own article.
Since I no longer remember the exact questions asked this will be more of a summary of each of the topics covered during the Q&A session.
Releases on DVD
This was an interesting point concerning the viability of DVD in a High Definition era, I for one have wondered why companies continue to release DVD considering Blu-ray has been around almost ten years now. Blu-rays are cheaper than ever, barely a difference price-wise compared to DVD, and with Blu-ray players being very affordable it does make you wonder. The answer however makes perfect sense – a large percentage of the target audience still buy on DVD it’s that simple, no company would cut of a large portion of their customer base when it still generates money.
While many may think that services like Crunchyroll and Viewster are hurting the distributors by offering titles for free, it comes as a surprise that companies actually look to these services to gauge streaming figures. Jerome states that the streaming figures for Gintama are very good and would be interested in taking a “punt” on the series. He also mentions websites such as MyAnimeList, again gauging consumer interest in series and stating that Assassination Classroom is a hot property at the moment while also expressing an interest in series Silver Spoon.
Does an employee opinion on a particular anime have any influence on whether a series is licensed, an interesting point to which Jerome declare that a series would not be licensed based on one person’s particular views on that series. Although Jerome did mention that Fraser helped push him towards licensing Golden Time.
Would more sports anime such as Kuroko’s Basketball and Free! be licensed in the UK, immediately Jerome expressed interest in Free! given the length of the series being only 12 episodes. When series tend to be longer the risk involved in such a license would need to be offset but the consumer interest, so if the interest is there then yes more sports anime could be licensed. Jerome also commented that he enjoys Yowamushi Pedal.
The third movie is currently being approved by the Japanese company, this actually raised some interesting insight into the anime industry. Distributors around the world have to okay every major decision with Japan including menu and packaging design, subtitles, dubbing etc, which can create a back and forth that can delay a release quite considerably. This is why UK distributors work with other companies from US and Australia, to use assets that have previously been approved by Japan to speed up the process.
Funimation High School DxD season 2, Pyscho-Pass and Ghost in the Shell: Arise were all mentioned and with Funimation holding the UK licenses for these shows there were no details on a specific release date but that they will see a UK release.
An offer for the movie has been put forward but not acquired as of this time, if acquisition was successful they would be looking to include an English dub for the release which would rely on a US company producing one first.
Other Titles Toriko is unlikely to be licensed in the UK due to poor sales figures in both US and Australia, there a no current updates on the series Future Diary. Sailor Moon, Jerome states is a title that every distributor wants despite the poor sales figures of its original release in the UK. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is another property that they are looking into but all comes down to Warner Bros Japan.