So Long, Bandai Entertainment

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So Long, Bandai Entertainment

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2012 is off to a rough start for anime fans, as one of the biggest distributors in North America is shutting down production of new entertainment.

Odds are that you've heard of Bandai Entertainment. ​The company has been one of the major distributors of anime in North America since it was founded in the late 1990s by parent company Bandai (which is based out of Japan). However, it's just been announced that the group will be shutting down distribution of new content in North America starting next month.

This is pretty stunning, if for no other reason than the amount of new anime, manga, and novels that will no longer be appearing out here. Bandai Entertainment, though, will continue to distribute all the content it owns the licenses to (until said licenses expire, of course). Here's the list of discontinued media, according to Japanator:

Anime:
Gosick
Nichijou
Turn A Gundam

Manga:
Code Geass: Renya
Kannagi volume 4, 5 and 6
Lucky Star: Boo Boo Kagaboo
Mobile Suit Gundam 00I
Nichijou
Tales of the Abyss: Jade's Secret Memories
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
Volume 7

Novels:
Code Geass R2

Meanwhile, Topless Robot has a great summary of how a series of dubious decisions from Bandai Entertainment's parent company led to the subsidiary's death by a thousand cuts. From the sound of things, the main problem was that Bandai Japan would force Bandai Entertainment to pay top dollar to license the former's anime series, which would then lead to consumers being charged unreasonable prices for dated series (unsurprisingly, they didn't sell well enough to satisfy Bandai Japan's expectations).

Bandai Entertainment had a lot of talented people working for them, many of whom are undoubtedly starting a new job search as I write these words. Hopefully they'll find new positions soon.

Source: Japanator via Topless Robot

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vansau:

Anime:
Gosick

*cries in corner loudly for the next seven or so minutes*

excuse me for a moment

okay... so now only funimation is left, lets see how long they last

Oh dear, another classic example of the infamous Japanese business model.

Working for Japan is rather like being Moses, you're not allowed to do anything without instructions from above first...

...then when something goes wrong it's never the boss' fault....

Between mass fraud at Olympus, mass stupidity at Honda and Toyota, mass denial at Sony and mass God-knows-what in their financial sector, it's a wonder there's still anyone doing business there at all, nevermind buying anime.

Well that blows.
I'm glad that my list of shows to watch whenever I get around to watching them, is unharmed by this news.
But that still sucks for everyone that relies on their shows and manga.

Now if this was about Funimation, I'd take to the streets with a torch and pitchfork.

fix-the-spade:
Oh dear, another classic example of the infamous Japanese business model.

Working for Japan is rather like being Moses, you're not allowed to do anything without instructions from above first...

...then when something goes wrong it's never the boss' fault....

Between mass fraud at Olympus, mass stupidity at Honda and Toyota, mass denial at Sony and mass God-knows-what in their financial sector, it's a wonder there's still anyone doing business there at all, nevermind buying anime.

Heh ... making me all nostalgic for my time back in Japan.

You forgot to mention 'grandiose marketing strategies based on expansive & expensive market research targeting acutely detailed market segments by ......

... handing out tissues on the street'

Shame about Bandai though. They never handed out tissues, obviously.

I know they are kind of joined with Namco to publish Tekken. So if that's disrupted, then... I don't know, but I'm certainly not going to play no Street Fighter game, no sir-ree.

uhohimdead:
excuse me for a moment

okay... so now only funimation is left, lets see how long they last

Well, and neo-ADV, Sentai Filmworks. They've been on the upswing lately. Plus, Aniplex has gotten into the market recently releasing online-only releases of popular series like Durarara!! and Magica Madoka. The former even got a TV deal. Then there's Discotek for old school releases. Media Blasters is still around and releasing a lot of echi stuff in addition to more mainstream titles like Bakuman. Oh, and NIS America and Right Stuff do some pretty fancy sets for fan favorite shows like Toradora! and Revolutionary Girl Uetena. Oh, and Viz has all that Shonen and kids stuff with a few titles they've been hesitant to release like Monster.

So, the anime industry is down, but not out. Also, Funimation has the Dragon Ball license, they'll be fine.

I remember their original prices being utterly ridiculous for the US market. Japanese consumers might be willing to pay $20-40 an ep for a series, but I'm not. Perhaps they lowered prices since, but I haven't been keeping track.

This... this makes me sad. Having less anime and manga here in the States just makes me sad. :( Did I mention I'm sad?

Downer. I mean i dont watch any of those licensed animes but its never fun to see something in an industry i like go the way of the buffalo. Doesnt bode well for the industry which doesnt make sense to me since it seems to me its making more western headway then ever before? maybe im wrong.

Japan has such unrealistic workplace mentalities that this comes as no surprise that the higher-ups in Japan have no grasp of the reality of North American consumer culture. They just expect people to have the same sort of mindless brand mentality that Japanese people hold to. Yes, Americans like established brands. No, they won't be blinded (except in very special cases) to poor release schedules, overpriced merchandise, and outdated product. The INTERNET exists, and yet these companies anchored to a Japanese overlord seem to be inept at embracing simultaneous or near-simultaneous release dates to Japanese products, or at least have a method of delivering product to a North American product without the product being years out of date.

I feel bad for the Japanese who get jerked around with fewer alternatives other than to keep giving their money to an archaic corporate structure. The amount of patience the average Japanese consumer has is astounding. They are very aware that their economy sucks but the corporate wheel is stuck in place. Without calls to overhaul their ridiculous bureaucracy from within, every company that has ties to Japan is going to get sucked into their inefficiencies.

Of course, right after I receive Mobile Suit Gundam volume 1 for X-mas. Fuck.

Well, that's a shame. On the plus side, less anime!

And suddenly the amount of fansubs found online increases a bit.

Japanese companies weep.

vansau:

Manga:
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Volume 7

Denying the rest of the world that which is pure manly...?

JUST WHO THE HELL DO THEY THINK THEY ARE?!

Gee, Escapist, if only you'd picked up on this when I sent you a tip about it THREE DAYS AGO.

Well, glad I never really got into anime.

SachielOne:
Gee, Escapist, if only you'd picked up on this when I sent you a tip about it THREE DAYS AGO.

They needed an official citation. Did you give them one?

OT: Gah. I hate hearing about popular companies shutting down. ;_;

If they could do free (ad-supported, obviously) streaming online with a decent quality translation, I would watch it.

chaosyoshimage:

Well, and neo-ADV, Sentai Filmworks. They've been on the upswing lately.

On a related note, my father was the CFO for ADV here in the states when all that shit was going down. And to anyone with any doubts, selling out like they did was the only thing that kept them from dying completely.

oldtaku:
I remember their original prices being utterly ridiculous for the US market. Japanese consumers might be willing to pay $20-40 an ep for a series, but I'm not. Perhaps they lowered prices since, but I haven't been keeping track.

Ha 20.... bucks..... hold on *does some reasearch*

well not twenty bucks but hell still pretty pricey for me.... Funimation away!!!!

xyrafhoan:
Yes, Americans like established brands. No, they won't be blinded (except in very special cases) to poor release schedules, overpriced merchandise, and outdated product.

**cough** **cough** Apple **cough** **cough**

Oudated not so much but its like a lazer pointer to a cat.... oh shiney must follow much catch

Phlakes:

chaosyoshimage:

Well, and neo-ADV, Sentai Filmworks. They've been on the upswing lately.

On a related note, my father was the CFO for ADV here in the states when all that shit was going down. And to anyone with any doubts, selling out like they did was the only thing that kept them from dying completely.

I can see that since Geneon was too bloated and completely imploded upon itself.

Damn I wanted to watch that Turn A dub

:/ well that sucks, i liked their dub work

Arizona Kyle:

xyrafhoan:
Yes, Americans like established brands. No, they won't be blinded (except in very special cases) to poor release schedules, overpriced merchandise, and outdated product.

**cough** **cough** Apple **cough** **cough**

Oudated not so much but its like a lazer pointer to a cat.... oh shiney must follow much catch

Well I see someone got what I was hinting at.

Sadly every time I go to Japan the price of media there is ridiculous. $10 for a single? $30-$40 for an album? Of MUSIC? $40+ for a DVD with 3 episodes on it? $80+ for a single game? Japanese companies are trying to make the same margins per unit sold as in North America, but I feel that NA is more about volume sold moreso than mark-up and those prices just don't fly in the digital age.

These companies almost make Apple look like a savant in terms of pricing for value.

Oh, shit. Funimation is all that's left...

Nichijou makes me very sad but you know what's worse?
They also had a license of Star Driver.
I liked Nichijou more but I don't think a Dub would work well for a show like that, Star Driver on the other hand would have been perfect.
Kiraboshi to all!
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Wow, I did not see that coming. I guess we're at the mercy of Funimation now, which already likes to package anime in "seasons" so they can split the series and hit you twice for the whole series. Ugh...what can you do (nothing)?

Damn it!
MY AVATAR DEMANDS MORE GUNDAM 00 MANGA!
00F WAS THE ONLY ONE WE GOT AND IT WASN'T EVEN THE FIRST ONE!

Unless this is JUST North America, instead of this site only commenting on North American things...
Is there still hope for Europe?

It probably shows how much anime I watch when my first thought was "Noooooooooo, Power Rangers toys =(" despite the fact the last time I owned one was about 12 years ago.

This just affects dubs, Bandai doesn't make anime for America, they make them for Japan and they will continue to do so, any real anime lover wouldn't feel perturbed by this at all and would keep being a huge fan of the series they love despite it not being brought over.

Hell, most fans have already watched all these series months before they're even brought over here, it's that delay and failure which made them not turn in enough profit and close up shop.

They thought that anime fans in America are still living 20 years ago where the only things they knew about anime was what Japan wished to share with them when in fact anime fans around the world can watch a fan-subtitled episode a day after it premiers in Japanese tv in subtitles often better than an official sub.

Victorique is still adorable as hell, I mean, look at her:

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Does she seem any less cute because you won't be able to buy the blue ray version of her anime at your local store? Does the lack of a dub somehow affect her existence at all? I don't think so.

Dr. Pepper Unlimited:
Wow, I did not see that coming. I guess we're at the mercy of Funimation now, which already likes to package anime in "seasons" so they can split the series and hit you twice for the whole series. Ugh...what can you do (nothing)?

Well we still have section 23 (former ADV) , Viz , the right stuff and sentai filmworks.

No offence but the closing of Tokyopop was much worse for me(so many unfinished mangas :/ )
Although i wanted to get K-On after a while. Although Bandai did release some really interesting titles in the past.

D Moness:

Dr. Pepper Unlimited:
Wow, I did not see that coming. I guess we're at the mercy of Funimation now, which already likes to package anime in "seasons" so they can split the series and hit you twice for the whole series. Ugh...what can you do (nothing)?

Well we still have section 23 (former ADV) , Viz , the right stuff and sentai filmworks.

No offence but the closing of Tokyopop was much worse for me(so many unfinished mangas :/ )
Although i wanted to get K-On after a while. Although Bandai did release some really interesting titles in the past.

Tokyopop was dead for me ever since I read this article on ANN about them hosting an "America's biggest Otaku" or something. I said to myself then and there that I would not help turn anime into something as disgusting and whored out as those types of reality shows where people try to pretend to out-otaku others (as though being an otaku is a good thing...sigh...they weren't going with the actual meaning of the word that's for sure) and behave in the most ridiculous and fake manner imaginable.

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