In My View: On PiQ, ADV and sentimentalism

So I meant to write this when it was a bit more topical, but I got distracted by Final Fantasy V.

And to be honest, there’s something really fun about 16-bit graphics and turned-based combat. Something that reminds me of a time before computer RPGs got complicated by having to make sure you hit the X-button when the circle crosses the other circle so that you can get the full effect of your hit. No. If you hit, you hit. And if you don’t hit, then we all know what happens. The Skelesaur is going to beat the crap out of you because you didn’t level enough before you went up Dragon Mountain.

But in all truth, I’m a sentimental type of guy. I like little knickknacks of my past or at least the happier times of my past.

Which is why I hope that ADV makes it.

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t have any illusions that the capitalist system should be a pastel picture filled with fields of flowers while dewy eyed moe girls stare wistfully off into the horizon. There’s no room in the capitalist system for nostalgia or sympathy. The capitalist world instead is made out of steel and concrete, where those doe-eyed moe girls weep softly in the alley after being gang raped by a bunch of men in business suits.

And make no mistake; ADV has taken a lot of hits in the last few months. The least of which being losing Gurren Lagann, the Anime Network’s Linear Service closing down, having their production held hostage for almost a month and cutbacks in Europe. And now PiQ is shutting its doors. I mean if ADV isn’t heading for that slow slide into that good night, then I’ll be surprised. They are as one person put it, a company that rode the wave when it was high and now can’t find their footing once the wave has collapsed. Or at least that’s what it seems like to my untrained outsider point of view.

But still, I hope that they find a way to make it. Because like Central Park Media, Geneon and for most part Media Blasters, they’re an icon from a better time. Now as someone who has at least been on the periphery of this hobby for the last 10 years. I’ve seen it go through all of the stages: from the initial “Wow they’re releasing it on VHS?” days in the mid-1990s to the “Cool it’s actually on Cartoon Network” in the latter part of that decade, to “Neat, it’s in Sam Goody” in the early part of the decade to now when it’s almost become commonplace. (And dare I say mainstream. Although that’s another post for another time.)

And more than anything else, it’s that initial excitement that I feel nostalgic about. That feeling that anime was something different and new and kind of edgy or kind of silly. That it was something that could pull a few dozen people into a darkened room on campus so we could watch a few hours of it on a big screen because someone had bought a disk.

Granted, it was this same initial excitement that ADV capitalized on. And it’s silly for me to feel nostalgic about that, they are just a distributor. They don’t make anything. They just repackage it with subtitles and a fairly decent dub and put it out on the market. They’ve made their mistakes. They’ve gotten smacked by the market for it. That’s really the end of the story.

But I can’t help thinking that when they go a little of the magic of those times is going to go with them. I can’t help but remembering watching the last two disks of RahXephon on no sleep. Or popping in the disks from Gasaraki. Or any of the other memories, I have related to their releases.

And I can’t help but hope that they manage to make it. Even if sentimentalism doesn’t have any place in a capitalist world.

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6 Comments

  1. Funny you say that, because I’m feeling plenty sentimental about Newtype USA and to ditch that magazine for PiQ is… well, not the classiest move in the book.

    Maybe ADV is just the next doe-eyed doll being raped in the alley.

  2. ADV has been around for quite some time right? Wishing it to survive this arduous trial is probably because of nostalgia linking ADV as part of the beginning of one’s affair with anime.

    I would feel pretty much like drab if ADV gets ‘raped’ since my first DVD purchase was from them.

  3. I’m not buying all the doom anf gloom speculation about ADV (yet!), but add me to the list of those who want to see the company succeed partly because of nostalgia. It’s like they’ve been around forever, and to see them go would be very sad indeed.

    Now what’s this about moe girls being raped by business suits? Explain more please. Maybe ADV can save itself by releasing more stuff like that.

  4. That’s how I’ve felt too. I haven’t been around in the game quite as long, but when I passed by them at AnimeNEXT, I felt kinda bad for ADV and made sure to pick up a few things from their booth. It’s not much, but it’ll help ’em stay open for a bit longer.

  5. @omo – I totally agree that dropping Newtype for something like PiQ wasn’t the classiest move in the book. And it didn’t really make a whole lot of business sense. I mean the magazine market is already jam packed with stuff and new mags die every month. In fact, most of them die in general.

    @The Sojourner – I completely agree that it’s probably because of the fact that it’s linking it to the beginning of my collecting days and even prior to that.

    @nckl – I’m not sure if I’m counting them out yet. I mean there’s still a chance, but I’ll be surprised. I mean it doesn’t seem like any of the companies really know what to do in this market. Whether it’s Funi’s grabbing stuff that no one’s watched method or if it’s Bandai’s “release what’s really hot right now in as few packages as possible” method. I don’t think people will get it figured out until the industry hits a stable year (which they don’t seem to be on track for this year although this year sounds better than previous ones).

    @DickMcVengance – I can understand 🙂

  6. […] about the company’s (inevitable?) demise. I’ve already said in my comments in this topic that it’d be sad to see ADV go, but it seems there are those out there who are really sad. […]


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