Talking about the industry is like having an itch in the middle of my back. I want to scratch it, but I can only reach the edges.
That said, I still want to do it.
Usually I can trust Author to cut through the BS, but even he is jumping on the “What is FUNImation doing?” bandwagon (at least from what I can tell.)
All because they licensed two shows that no one has heard about, and they’re releasing one as a box set for the half dozen people who will buy it. And the half dozen more people who will buy it because it’s a box set.
Okay… so let’s put this into perspective. Yes, licensing Mamotte! Lollipop! doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, especially with the way the anime industry is going. But there are at least a few things we don’t know. A) How much they paid for it. B) Whether or not they’re going to dub it. C) How much they’re going to sell it for. On top of that, there’s an entirely different way of looking at it. Maybe they licensed it BECAUSE no one’s seen it. So it hasn’t been tainted by fansubs.
But beyond that, comparing ADV and FUNImation is reasonable. They both throw as many titles against the wall and see whether or not they stick.
Except in FUNImation’s case they have (at least twice in the last year.)
One look at the recent, ICv2 list of the “Hottest Titles of early 2008” shows, the company has four of them. And if that’s not enough proof, they’ve reported that the losses to their division weren’t because of FUNI, but because of BCI Films. They also have 27 percent of the market share. Now they could be lying about all of that. But somehow (in this post-Enron world), I doubt it. If there’s one thing FUNImation isn’t doing right now, it’s hurting. Well at least not anymore than the rest of the industry is hurting right now.
Now since BEI seems to be everyone’s darling at the moment, let me remind people of some facts. First, Haruhi flopped. At least that’s what Eric Sherman said back in November and I haven’t seen any change in that. Lucky Star (no matter how good or bad it is) will likely follow suit. (It is number 71 on Amazon.com’s list of top selling Anime and Manga, for what it’s worth.) In fact, I’m curious why they even bothered licensing it. So they have two titles that are likely to do well, Code Geass and Gurren Lagann. I mean has anyone stopped to wonder why a company which has licensed maybe two things a year for the past three years suddenly is releasing so many titles?
But I can’t say they’re really hurting either.
But really, I like playing this game. So my big winner so far:
Yes, VIZ. Right now, they’re releasing Death Note, Naruto, Bleach and Pokemon. Not to mention that they have a pretty firm foothold in the manga market. I mean if I were a betting man, that’s who my money would be on.
But that’s just me.