Leave it to Facebook to get info on the state of the anime industry. Apparently, Bandai is throwing in the towel on its anime products because of video piracy.
My friend and colleague Voice Actor Steve Blum wrote on Facebook:
I’m going to address this once and move on. Sad that I even need to. Piracy does affect the business – in all areas of entertainment. Those of you who so vehemently dispute this fact is obviously breaking federal law and intending to continue this trend with no regard for the damage you cause real people – some who have sacrificed everything to produce the products you steal. I wish you the best of luck building a career based on entitlement. Please allow us to pay our respects to a company that was one of the primary building blocks for the anime industry in America. Thank you, Bandai, for one helluva ride. Bang.
Check out this article:
Bandai Entertainment Shutters Its Anime Operation, Scraps New Titles
By Max Eddy
Bandai Entertainment has announced that it will no longer publish new manga, DVD, or Blu-ray titles as of February 2012. The company will be restructuring, taking its dedicated staff down from five to three, and will entirely change focus. Instead of new releases, the Bandai Entertainment will shift over solely to merchandising, broadcast licensing, and digital distribution.
The move is not too surprising considering that the company closed its online store in late December. Though the company will continue to distribute its existing titles, it’s unclear whether or not it will keep those existing titles in print. Given the company’s new focus, it doesn’t seem likely.
That said, this could be a smart move for the company.Platform Nation points out that Bandai Entertainment has struggled in the face of competition from Viz publications and FUNimation. These moves would place Bandai Entertainment in a position where they could still make money — arguably much more money than before — without the overhead involved in producing a physical product. Though perhaps that is looking for a silver lining in the midst of a shutdown.
The following titles have been canceled, according to the Anime News Network:
- Turn A Gundam
- Code Geass: Renya (Code Geass: Shikkoku no Renya)
- Gurren Lagann volume 7
- Kannagi volumes 4-6
- Lucky Star Boo Boo Kagaboo (spinoff by Eretto)
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00I
- Tales of the Abyss: Jade’s Secret Memories volumes 1 and 2
Here are the titles currently slated for 2012, according to Toon Zone:
- Star Driver Part 2 will be released on 1/17/12 on DVD ($39.98) and Blu-Ray ($49.98). Running time 300 minutes, with English subtitles
- Tales of the Abyss Part 2 will be released on 1/3/12 for $29.98 ($34.98 for the limited edition with volume 2 of Tales of the Abyss: Asch the blood). Running time 175 minutes, with with English subtitles
- The Girl Who Leapt Through Space Volume 4 will be released on 1/17/12 for $29.98. Running time 150 minutes, with English subtitles
- The following titles are all currently solicited for 2/7/12:
- Akira on DVD for $19.98, running time 124 minutes
- Mobile Suit Gundam Complete Collection 2 for $49.98, running time 500 minutes
- Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn part 2 on DVD, running time 120 minutes
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Season 1 and 2 for $49.98 each, running time 625 minutes for both
- Tales of the Abyss part 3 and 4, both $29.98 each. Running time 150 minutes for both
- Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 Collection for $49.98, running time 625 minutes
This affects Code Geass, which I have a major part in. Bummer. What do you think should be done about this?