Anime Diet Radio Episode 13–Geneon’s Unlucky Star

The mighty, the fallen.

In this most unlucky of episodes, we talk about mostly industry incidents–the “Nice Boat” that sailed over School Days and Higurashi, the collapse of Geneon USA as an anime distributor, and the future of the American anime industry in the wake of a possible crackdown on fansubs by the Japanese companies themselves. As you can tell, this is one of the more serious episodes. We are really saddened and concerned in particular by the fall of Geneon, which was always one of the most fan-friendly of companies. I have already bought the deluxe box set of Haibane Renmei, which I haven’t seen yet, in tribute. Geneon USA, Sieg Zeon!

There’s also a few outtakes in the “xtras” file–mostly relating stories of surprising anime knowledge from supposed non-otakus, and some begging from the surviving anime companies to sponsor us!

Show Order

  • (00:00-02:24): ADR News Prelude: the Nice Boat Conspiracy
  • (02:24-04:23): Intro
  • (04:23-05:39): Agenda
  • (05:39-19:21): News–Discussion of the Nice Boat Incident and censorship in anime
  • (19:21-42:14): Roundtable 1–the fall of Geneon USA
  • (42:14-62:25): Roundtable 2–fansub crackdown and the future of American anime industry
  • (62:25ff): Conclusion

Show Notes

  • –OP: “Eat It,” by Weird Al Yankovic. I think we found a theme song, folks.
  • –ED: “Ashita e no Hikari,” by Asuka Hinoi (ED for Seto no Hanayome–my most recent anime obsession)
  • –The original crime that led to the preemption of so much violent anime with a nice boat is detailed by Reuters. (http://tinyurl.com/2xseh4)
  • –The Answerman answers your concerns about the fall of Geneon USA. (http://tinyurl.com/3y5cnl) The deal that fell through with ADV is recounted here. (http://tinyurl.com/2kny9a)
  • –The Answerman editorializes on fansubs here. (http://tinyurl.com/3y5cnl)

5 thoughts on “Anime Diet Radio Episode 13–Geneon’s Unlucky Star”

  1. “An anime distribution company cannot sustain itself purely on otaku sales.”
    What about Animeigo? They seem to be doing ok with older anime box sets like Urusei Yatsura and the upcoming Yawara. Granted, they also have their samurai and yakuza movies, but those are hardly mass appeal titles either.

    I could easily see the stagnant american anime market edging towards the Animeigo and Bandai Visual models, with higher price points and limited print runs. At least for niche anime that don’t have the mass appeal of DBZs and Narutos, or even Ghost in the Shells. There’s usually going to be a hardcore following willing to pay (almost) any price, especially for a high quality release with lots of fan relevant extras. The question is then of finding the balance between price and the size of the hardcore fanbase with cash to burn(generally implying steady jobs).

    I do think digital downloads are going to be a big part of the anime market, but not in the way expected by DRM proponents. I think this is demonstrated by the sprouting and apparent success of illegal sites charging for access to fansubs. The appeal isn’t only in getting unrestricted digital copies(which you can get anywhere for free if you look hard enough), but in the access to fast direct downloads. Torrents are inconvenient to many and even an impossibility as increasing numbers of ISPs engage in traffic shaping. I think in digital media the real draw for sales isn’t the content but the service that provides fast, easy access to the content. Even iTunes is starting to offer some of their catalog in (slightly more expensive) DRM-free MP3 versions.

    Boy, this ended up a lot longer than I expected.

  2. Hey guys,
    I just got the chance to listen to the latest show and I liked it. I’ve been following the Geneon story around, and I’ve heard arguments from several different angles. You guys took a highly positive view of the company, and though I don’t completely agree that everything they did was as awesome as you guys painted, I do agree that it’s a pretty sad thing that they’re drawing back from the anime business. Like you said later in the show, anime in general seems to be in recession, so hopefully the industry will find a happy balance before we lose any more big, vital companies like this one.

    I do have one question: What’s up with the super negative sentiment towards Funimation? I consider most of their work quality and have always seen them as one of the more fan friendly companies out there. Obviously some of you would not agree. So out of curiosity I’d like to know what exactly Jeremy’s comments during the show stem from. Any specific shows or actions by the company?

  3. I downloaded this episode when it came out but for some reason I didn’t listen to it until last night. I was surprised by how the Nice Boat topic felt current despite it being about four weeks ago (the news intro was hilarious). It also kind of made me want to check out School Days for myself just to see if I too would be thirsting for Makoto to “get what he deserved”. The discussion of Geneon’s fall and the potential effects of Funimation’s cooperation with Gonzo were also refreshing.

Leave a Reply