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Bandai Dumps US Anime – “Foreigners Are All Pirates!”


Bandai has announced its withdrawal from the US anime publishing business, a move greeted by the usual litany of piracy accusations from angry Japanese otaku with a less than favourable view of their overseas brethren.

The company’s US subsidiary was established in 1998 as Bandai Entertainment, distributing various anime and manga titles in North America. Another subsidiary, Bandai Visual USA, was established in 2005 but was folded into Bandai Entertainment in 2008.

Bandai Entertainment will cease all anime and manga releases by February, and will instead focus solely on licensing the rights to publishers rather than publishing and distributing titles itself. Its online store has already been shut down.

Since Bandai was formerly translating and distributing many titles it did not actually originally publish in Japan, this presumably means it will now only be licensing titles from its own stables (most notably Gundam, via Sunrise) to US publishers.

It has also been noted that some of the group’s Japanese anime releases, such as Gundam Unicorn, have been published as multilingual discs, obviating the need for an overseas distributor and potentially allowing them to be sold directly to an international audience.

Games and other properties are handled by a complex network of international subsidiaries, and are likely to be entirely unaffected by Bandai Entertainment’s withdrawal from the US anime business.

Despite publishing English versions of such hits as Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, Haruhi, the company has somehow failed to make vast amounts of money. Predictably, the spread of the Internet has been implicated.

Online explanations for their abject failure seem to concentrate on the ever-popular “all foreigners are thieves” explanation, along with Bandai simply being incompetent – although many have been pondering the rather problematic quandary of how to sell anime at low prices overseas without letting sneaky English-reading Japanese get their hands on it as well:

“Cool Japan…”

“Cool, but not in that sense.”

“So the Yanks got tired of Japanime?”

“Just how much were they selling them for?”

“Weren’t they selling them at rip-off prices?”

“They were trying to sell them at prices similar to the Japanese ones. This is the result.”

“It’s obvious you’ll fail if you sell BDs at ¥7,000 overseas.”

“Who’d buy at that price? Not me.”

“I’ve bought a few of their US DVDs. They certainly weren’t as expensive as the Japanese releases. However, by American standards they were still expensive.”

“Bandai as a whole has not been producing many hits lately. They are too dependent on Gundam.”

“They are making some CG anime of Tekken… seems a total waste of money.”

“They say the tastes of US fans have changed, but really they are the same. The problem is all the anime made in Japan is now for the creepy otaku demographic and doesn’t interest them.”

“They just illegally upload as much as they want and have no intention of paying a dime for anime. It’s incredibly cheap compared to Japan, yet still they pirate. Rather than sell titles cheaply on and have Japanese buy them there, they might well make more by withdrawing.”

“With the BD releases of Akira and Freedom, they were simultaneous in the US and Japan, but the price in the US was far cheaper.

Obviously all the Japanese ordered from and sales were great, but it turned out most were just Japanese buying it overseas. So they revised the pricing on Gundam UC so it’s just as expensive everywhere.”

“With all the Japanese using those sites to order, they either have to sell at prices too high for foreigners or withdraw.”

“This is a conundrum. You can’t sell overseas at those prices, but at lower prices the Japanese start buying them instead. How will the Japanese contents business cope in the age of the Internet?”

“I felt no satisfaction buying those overseas editions. They are fine just to watch, but they have no specials or anything, you can’t collect them.

And how come the original was in stereo but the US versions end up in 5.1?”

“The biggest problem is illegal downloads. Self-proclaimed right-wing patriots are always whining about how horrible China is to Japan, but really Americans are just as horrible to us.”

“What they were actually selling:

5 Centimeters Per Second
Ghost Slayers Ayashi
The Girl Who Leapt Through Space
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
Gurren Lagann
Hayate the Combat Butler
The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Mobile Suit Gundam
Mobile Suit Gundam 00
Mobile Suit Gundam UC
Tekken: Blood Vengeance

Was it really that hard to sell all these popular titles in the US?

If you look at’s anime best seller ranking, they are all anime which didn’t really take off in Japan. Interesting.”

“They won’t buy even at those low prices!”

“The market was small to begin with. You cannot just increase sales by reducing the price like that, there simply isn’t a large audience to begin with.”

“Isn’t it just because only a few ever got shown on TV? If the only way they see the first episodes is by having to go to the trouble of downloading it, your audience is not going to increase.”

“All this despite increasing numbers attending their events…”

“Yankee otaku don’t care about video or audio quality so they just watch on YouTube.”

“It’s just because overseas a culture of piracy has taken root.”

“There is no way this is solely the fault of illegal downloads.”

“Bandai has already failed to expand into Europe and America numerous times. I guess they’ll just have to keep trying.”

“What do you expect from a company which didn’t even bother including the Japanese language audio track on its Kurokami BD release? All the NA fans think they are total retards.”

“That is just moronic. Even the most basic market research will reveal that the majority of the fans there don’t care about dubs and listen in Japanese with subtitles. It’s obvious Bandai is not cut out for this kind of business.”

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  • This is a good thing actually. If no anime ever got released in the US, that means that fansubs will always be legal to distribute. Fansubbers do a better job than these for-profit places anyway…

    • Also, could you imagine Candydoll being sold overseas? That will put the nail in its coffin extremely quickly. The reason we can have nice things is because the foreign press does not pay much attention to Japan.
      I tell fellow pedophiles the same thing about not letting certain TV shows and Youtube girls know they’re hot. Look at the results of Jack McClellan – More laws and anti-pedo attention. We’re better off if the mainstream doesn’t know we exist.

  • It’s very difficult for many fans to get exposure to new anime without piracy, youtube, etc.
    And when I what I want to buy are excellent quality blu-rays with subtitled, Bandai wasn’t delivering.
    Where is my North American Blu-ray Strike Witches? OreImo? I’m only going to spend my limited resources buying what I really want.

  • “Isn’t it just because only a few ever got shown on TV? If the only way they see the first episodes is by having to go to the trouble of downloading it, your audience is not going to increase.”

    Damn, you sure this dude is Japanese? He must have visited America or something, because he’s so right… Nothing good anime-wise airs on TV here, so we see all the good stuff online… Ergo we’re all “pirates” in a sense, but piracy isn’t “watching” it online or “buying pirated DVDs”. It’s distributing illegal copies of DVDs… It’s not downloading or buying that’s necessarily illegal… It’s distributing illegal content that’s illegal 😉

    “There is no way this is solely the fault of illegal downloads.”

    “Bandai has already failed to expand into Europe and America numerous times. I guess they’ll just have to keep trying.”

    “What do you expect from a company which didn’t even bother including the Japanese language audio track on its Kurokami BD release? All the NA fans think they are total retards.”

    “That is just moronic. Even the most basic market research will reveal that the majority of the fans there don’t care about dubs and listen in Japanese with subtitles. It’s obvious Bandai is not cut out for this kind of business.”


    “Yankee otaku don’t care about video or audio quality so they just watch on YouTube.”

    Disagreed 😉 I care about quality… But apparently I’m the only Yankee who does .-.

    I like how some of these Japs are supporting America on this matter |DD

  • Yeah because there isnt a single person in japan that pirate music, movies or games am I right? They pay for everything themselves…


    “They say the tastes of US fans have changed, but really they are the same. The problem is all the anime made in Japan is now for the creepy otaku demographic and doesn’t interest them.”

    So fucking true.

  • fansubbers “db” would get a subbed version of a series out the same day. With a karaoke’d opening and ending animation and end up with about 300k downloads. So what do the geniuses do? Put out a crappy dub then a even crappier subbed version in giant helvetica font.

    If people want what you got and you go out of your way and change it. Then your just f’ing idiots.

    BTW, nobody who would be here would ever like the English dubs. So could the people who work Canada/US dub companies please stop trolling?

  • “Despite publishing English versions of such hits as Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, Haruhi, the company has somehow failed to make vast amounts of money.”

    Nobody wants those crappy dubs so they just count on the internets to get them the originals. And they will never get that through their thick heads.

  • Yea i heard it was investors not caring much for the US consumption habit of buying low price releases as opposed to the higher price or “rip-off” deals. Its pretty sad T^T no mugi for me until someone buys the distribution license T_______T

    and no Nichijou either since their deadline is lame DX

    AND i blame marketing; lets face it, the japanesesuck at it when it comes to overseas things. i never see one commercial on even Spike TV or Adult Swim promoting anime and they have the capabilities to and have in the past. Bandai just sucks harder at it.

  • I have been an anime fan for years now, and I agree that dubs from times long ago were quite awful with a few exceptions only.

    I am from North America though, and I’m utterly aghast at how some can say the dubs are bad. Just..How? I watch nearly everything subbed, have at least 30 figmas, PVC’s, etc. And I still believe that the voice acting, especially in the last 5 years or so, has really shaped up in the US.

    Take voice actors such as Travis Willingham, Wendee Lee, Johnny Young Bosch, Laura Bailey, Steve Blum, Crispin Freeman. How, on god’s green earth, can you tell me you didn’t find Crispin Freeman as Kyon fitting or well done? Or perhaps how Laura Bailey played Lust in Full metal alchemist? Undeniably, voice acting in North America has received a general increase in quality.

    I can only surmise that those saying that “dubs sux lol” must be posting from other countries with dubs I have not heard. I’m all for subs, but to say with no shred of evidence that all english dubs suck is absolutely crazy.

  • Real issue is tastes are different in North america. One only has to look at the kinds of videogames that sell megamillions. Call of duty Modern warfare and mass effect.

    The truth is Japan just doesn’t get the aesthetic tastes are different between nations and won’t cater to the tastes of a north american audience. They just want to make what they want to make and the wishes of the audience be damned.

    Usually anime that has high cross over has adult themes (Ghost in the shell) or kids shows (pokemon, escaflowne) something akin more to the style of american comics/cartoons. See: Ninja turtles, Transformers (yes I know it was animated in japan/korea/asia).

    IF american companies can profit by making american cartoons and family movies there is no excuse for Japan.

  • Apparently Japan doesn’t want foreigners watching their anime.

    Well, they’re known to be xenophobic and have some sort of racial superiority complex so something like this isn’t surprising.

  • I was introduced to K-on! via fan subbed pirated versions. I would never have heard of it other wise. Since then I’ve wanted to buy it but when they finaly release a version in the english market they rejion lock it to America.

    Do they not know that America isn’t the only english speaking country in the world? England for example…

  • I don’t know if anyone else has pointed this out, but this whole fiasco just reminds me of what Valve Software’s Gabe Newell said: “The key to defeating piracy is to provide a better service than the pirates” (not the exact quote).

    I think it’s obvious that Bandai failed to keep up with the fan subbers. That’s all there is to it.

  • So now Bandai Ent are no longer going to be releasing “Turn-A Gundam” (not to mention other titles) in the west, how am I supposed to get myself a legit copy. What companies don’t seem to understand is that by not making your product easily available for a decent price your encouraging piracy!

  • They were trying to sell at Japanese prices with nothing in the box other than the DVD itself. Not collectable, no extras, no specials. This is what otaku in Japan aspire for when they buy their expensive DVDs/BDs. As do I. If they actually put some exclusive stuff in the DVDs, I’d be glad to pay up.

  • “That is just moronic. Even the most basic market research will reveal that the majority of the fans there don’t care about dubs and listen in Japanese with subtitles. It’s obvious Bandai is not cut out for this kind of business.”

    i Live in Ireland and i watch anime online and read manga on line for the simple fact that the selection of anime here is still terrible and the online prices are very expensive i do buy anime online when i can afford it and i do download what i can’t find to buy legit……..Bandi were not doing the company any favours with their terrible dubbed anime i like most other anime fans that i know watch with the original Japanese audio and English subs…….. it just seems that Japanese company’s just don’t care about their over seas customers, they just don’t give a fuck as long as we give them money they will take it but we are still the foreigners and its ok to screw us over……. just look at how Sony treated its international customers and subscribers it took the treat of huge libel cases for them to do anything….. i love Japanese culture and plan on visiting as soon as i can but i still get a nagging feeling that not everyone wants anything to do with foreigners.

  • ““That is just moronic. Even the most basic market research will reveal that the majority of the fans there don’t care about dubs and listen in Japanese with subtitles. It’s obvious Bandai is not cut out for this kind of business.””

    The reason Bandai doesn’t include Japanese audio tracks is because Japanese anime fans are importing the US releases for a fraction of the cost of Japanese BD releases (which are like $65 for a BD with 2-3 episodes on it).

    They’re hardly the first — Toei, for example, fucks over anyone who tries to work with them for this specific reason.

  • Bandai isn’t good with pricing anime in the US, but “ironically” Aniplex USA is despite their crazy high costs, and you know why? Because Aniplex’s releases are targeted to the hardcore fans that they know WILL pay for the ridiculous prices. Aniplex’s releases sure as heck are limited, to the point that some of their anime is sold out within half a year if not sooner (ex: Garden of Sinners, Oreimo). Aniplex is smart because they know who their consumers are and what they’ll pay, even if the casual anime fans are pissed off by their pricing, they know that the hardcore fans will eat it all up anyway for them to make a profit. Aniplex sells premium content at premium prices to hardcore otaku, while Bandai tries to sell mediocre content at semi-premium prices to the casual consumer that isn’t that crazy about anime. Aniplex sells way more expensive releases than Bandai, but they know who they’re selling to and know how to sell it to them, so they succeed; and Bandai is the opposite.

    • Fuck Aniplex, dude. I still know them as part of those fuckers who tried to forcefully make a move against “piracy” by sueing random Joes and Janes.

      They are aiming for dominance on the anime market and they go over the corpses of the regular schmoes. Fuck them.

  • I’m probably in the minority here, but these days I’m far more interested in live action Japanese shows and movies than anime. And while there is a large number of live action movies officially available in the US, live action TV shows are extremely hard to come by. So most of the time I absolutely have to resort to fansubs. I’d probably be more interested in what Bandai was releasing if they delved into live action more often. But they kept licensing more and more anime, and to me that’s not a very good incentive to give them money.

    And I think it’s at least slightly unfair to put all the blame on piracy. Like many in the US, I’m currently between jobs. I might actually go out and buy some anime occasionally if I had more money to spend.

  • Butthurt fags all over the place…

    Whatever, Ill buy more DVDs when they dont cost an arm and a leg and the quality of the translations/subs increase. Why are fansubs freely made and distributed by fans within days of airing of such higher quality and visually more appealing than the official stuff done by people getting paid to do it? OP/ED karaoke, nice fonts, good quality translations with minimal mistranslations/typos (and v2s when there are) versus ugly fonts that look like 70s foreign film fonts, no karaoke, and spelling errors everywhere… and they have the balls to try to charge me for that dribble? Yeah, I know which one Ill pick.

  • “Since Bandai was formerly translating and distributing many titles it did not actually originally publish in Japan, this presumably means it will now only be licensing titles from its own stables (most notably Gundam, via Sunrise) to US publishers.”

    Oh….not as life ending as I first thought. So we’ll still get our gundams. Just a different publisher has to get the license. Hope they keep the VAs for Unicorn.

  • “Isn’t it just because only a few ever got shown on TV? If the only way they see the first episodes is by having to go to the trouble of downloading it, your audience is not going to increase.”

    Thanks a lot Anon, truer words were never spoken.

  • lmao so true dubs usually suck badly compared to the japanese and not even given them the option on the BD is a super fail, same with lack specials and features thats even more of a face palm.

  • Bandai made the right choice here. Anime is dying in America. What once captivated children across the globe at very young ages with action and adventure beyond what could be found in traditional media has been thrown to the wayside for silly toilet humor and poorly made Ameranime. Turn on your television on any given night and see where shows like Yu-gi-oh, Dragonball Z, Sailor Moon, Yu-Yu Hakushou, and Cowboy Beebop are replaced with Spongebob Squarepants, Adventure Time, and the dreaded *shutters* iCarly. Kids not exposed to anime will really have no desire to find it again when they can actually enjoy the good ones. The times they are-a-changin’, and this next generation of kids will have no interest in anime. They would rather listen to Justin Bieber and comb their long hair. Shame on you American teenagers!

    • Anime in America is Funimation. No competition, no alternatives. Only the tight clutch of a monopoly. Back in the old days, when they were just another competitor on the market, their stuff was merely decent…watchable if you want to put i that way. Nothing changed that much. Their stuff is still watchable but the lack of imagination and creativity on their part is turning everything so very stale.

      Anime has a huge PR problem. And that’s a problem all around the globe. Even in Japan for some part. While i wouldn’t like anything i like to go “mainstream”, it’s sadly true that weak marketing is lethal for niche products.

  • Prices are too high, selection is crappy, there’s almost no exposure to various IPs on TV and specialized Anime channels on cable/satellite are either completely unavailable on only available in really big markets like New York, LA, San Francisco and such. With the exception of Adult Swim there’s almost no mass audience anime here in the US.

    Of the fans some will only watch Subs, the mass market typically only watches Dubs. Bad Dubs basically destroys any interest in anime as no one can take it seriously. There’s also the stereotype that animation is solely for children by the unknowing masses. Throw in things like this recession the US is in and you end up with companies like Bandai leaving.

    I notice many racist/extremist Japanese here stating that we’re all pirates and acting like you really know what Americans are like. You can stop acting like fools because you haven’t a clue what we’re about as individuals or as a group. Saying that if we don’t like anime then GTFO essentially. Why do you think we’re here on Sankaku, because we like being berated for not being Japanese like you do with the Chinese, Koreans, and any other group of people you don’t care for? There’s many fans of anime in the west and many of us buy anime.

    The Japanese have a much higher exposure to anime because it comes from your culture, do you even consider this? How much anime can you find on TV right now if you turn it on? How much do you see in advertizing when you’re out shopping or walking around town? For we Americans that answer will almost always be ZERO. You have market saturation, we have Adult Swim and a couple others and that’s it.

    If you want something to make money then you need masses to see it and that’s not happening.

  • Surely”piracy” isn’t the only reason.
    If you think distribution for anime is bad in the US, take a look at the UK!

    We get anime releases sometimes years after they air (or even release in Japan)
    and even then, for example, half a season of gundam can release as high as £30
    and “complete box sets” are no cheaper, sometimes going as high as £80 in my experience

    that’s around $120 for one series!
    The “Anime Legends” sets are godsends though, offering some of the best series for dirt cheap

    admittedly all these series do go pretty cheap after a while, £25 for a full series of something isn’t so bad
    But I feel hype plays a huge part, so I’m forced to watch them all online and buy the releases when they finally crawl out

  • Shut up you anonymous fags!!!

    Japan doesn’t have to sell none of their anime to any country.

    It is we, the outsiders, the foreigners that requested anime in the first place. People forgot how Anime actually came overseas and to neighboring countries by Anime Clubs. It doesn’t matter to Japan if certain series doesn’t do well in other countries, because they can still sell 50,0000 – 100,000 copies of multiple volumes of series and call it a done deal.

    It is we, that bitch and moan about the titles we need translated, and distributed through physical means. This whole world of consumers has become a bigger ass of itself in thinking that Japan owes everyone better titles when countries can’t create good stories of their own than slap-happy cartoons (Simpsons & Family Guy) that deteriorates the mind.

    Cartoons that make fun of race, the opposite sex, rich & poor (mostly poor) people who falls in the pitfalls of entertainment. Sure it can be funny at times, but sometimes they push the envelope too much.

    It is not Bandai Entertainment’s fault that shit fell apart in everyone’s market. Stop using Japan as as scapegoat for your damn problems that you buy PS3s, XBOX360s, Nintendo Wiis and Japanese why you broke all the time.

    It’s your own damn fault for ****ing up in school with math and your damn own right for ****up your own finances.

    When Bandai Entertainment was the only company in America that was still volumes for “New Series” they were trying to please fans that “Always” and “Always” complain about DVD/Blu-Ray Artwork. Bandai Entertainment understood their consumers’ complaints, because certain idiots kept mailing/emailing them to keep doing Volumes when the American Market was moving into cheaper box sets.

    And let’s be real here, the only reason Anime Companies were getting bashed for “Reasonably Priced Anime” was mostly from all sides of foreigners. U.S. companies were doing the right thing in selling understandable prices to “Old” and “New” Anime. “Old” Anime were either priced at $25 – $40 for 13 – 26 Episode Box Sets(people still complained they were too expensive and not enough extra goodies). “New” Anime were priced at $50 – $80 for 13 – 26 Episode Box Sets (Consumers all around wanted to boycott these companies for selling such expensive anime – THESE RETARDS WERE THE BIGGEST IDIOTS OF THEM ALL!!!)

    It was either people didn’t understand Anime or “Anime was too expensive, so I pirate” Cry me a mother****ing river you ***holes!!!

    People (Foreigners) don’t understand the mechanics and the time Japanese Animators & Writers put into Anime. To put it plainly, they just don’t want to and feel that they should follow their way of life. Japan and other countries just live in two different worlds of how they spend their time and live differently.

    This world is such full of ***holes, I swear…

  • Just like all Japanese are cowardly, wanna-be nazi assholes, right? Man, the world is actually devolving into the dark middle-ages again.

    Whatever. I call them out on being dicks and pricks. That’s still worse than being a “pirate”. Yarr-harr harr.

  • God, the English market is terrible, but have they considered the SPANISH SPEAKING market??

    United States has 312 million people, however Hispanic America alone has over 372 million people. These two potential markets dwarf the Japanese market in comparison (over 128 million people). And they don’t want to adapt to those two markets why?

    Maybe anime in the USA market is a pretty niche affair, with pretty crappy dubs; but a good deal of working class (all the way to the upper class) kids have grown watching anime, and in most Latin American countries more than 50& of the population is under 30s.

    You want to know what I watched when I was little on NATIONAL Tv? DBZ, Sakura Card Captor, Samurai Pizza Cats,FMA. It has the potential to go mainstream. Did I mention the population is over 372 million yet? that’s not even getting on what cable TV used to run (Medabots, Gundam Wing, and so much more)

    English anime fans complain that dubs are shit and they have been driven to watch fansubs. We kind of have the inverse problem. Dubs are fairly good (DBZ; Spirited Away, etc.) as a general rule to superb (Card Captor Sakura, etc.) however, we have been driven to watch subs due to the dubbing companies reducing outputs, releasing episodes erratically nad making the good voice actors quit over the (shitty) way they’re treated. It does help that we already had a dubbing tradition with translating the USA series and movies so there’s a lot of talent.

    (Mind you, this in turn causes the dub vs. sub debate to be even more polarised because there’s a lot of good stuff but it’s dwarfed in comparison to the output of fansubbers and the bad stuff, not that there isn’t a lot, is over-lampshaded and over-criticised)

    However, when they DO bring the legal options such as the DVDs they are overpriced. Overpriced in comparison to the local market and overpriced in comparison to the USA DVDs, which are already considered overpriced (I don’t know the situation in other countries, but in my birth country USA DVD distributors and rental businesses have collapsed in comparison to local stores because they don’t understand the market).

    I can get a fancy, expensive, with maître d’ and-whatever-you-like restaurant meal for 4 people for $USD 30. It really puts a lot of things in perspective. I can feed a family of 4 for the Week for under $100. I can buy good, 100% cotton shirts at $8.00. I can buy good necklaces, earrings and bracelets at $0.99 a pair. And they’re asking ME to shell out $30 for 3 or 4 episodes? What. The. Fuck.

    Realistically I know that they can’t sell the DVDs at prices that are considered decent for the Latin American market, so online distribution is the way to go here, possibly in a similar way to the way Steam distributes its games.

    And there isn’t almost always the option to go legal, so piracy is deeply entrenched in the market; besides, most of the legal options available are in English. Excuse ME, I may be fluent in 3 languages (Spanish, English, CHinese), but I think that I woould prefer things in my own birth language thank you very much.

    It doesn’t help that they don’t get the way the Latin America market works. theres’ an economic boom right now, but after so many years of hardships people are really tight with their money and won’t buy easily an overpriced DVD, if EVER. In my birht country there’s an open pirated DVD market of surprisingly good quality of dubbed movies (since the cinema is also dirt cheap here, people have already watched the sub). Everybody has one. My grandfather has a complete pirated DVD collection and he’s a very honest guy, but he wouldn’t have to resort to that if the legal offer was prohibitively expensive and so reduced.

    The same goes for the manga, only worse because most publishers automatically assume it has no future. At least people who live in Mexico and Argentina have some legal options, but it’s not enough to combat the manga fansubs.

    Japanese focus too much on the Americna market, which is fair, I guess, as there’s a lot of money to be made there; but other markets have the potential to be bigger. If only they were smart about it.

    • >I woould prefer things in my own birth language
      >thank you very much.

      I don’t. German subs suck ass _because_ they are german. I prefer english subs. And I’m working on my japanese. I’m a purist, that’s why.

      The funny thing is that japanese abandoned the american market back in, what was it, 1967? Fans came to the rescue, everything worked just fine. Then there were fansubs. And the internet. Suddenly, there was a market again. Just… it isn’t needed anymore. There are still fans willing to spend their cash on anime, but it became really, really difficult to do so. And the japanese are partly to blame for that because, frankly, they’re just too stupid to understand foreign markets. I mean.. they expected Hollywood to be interested in Evangelion 2.22. Get real, lol.

      So they sell their licences at ridiculous prices, which makes it kinda complicated to sell the actual anime at less.

      But because I understand all that, I really have no problem with piracy. I’m willing to spend money for my hobby, sure. But I only pay for what I want the way I want it.

      • @Chen: That’s why he/she said “I would prefer” with emphasis on “I.” I don’t know the German dubs, but most of the Hispanic anime dubs go from decent to holy-shit-amazing. I also rather watch, for example, Sailor Moon with Hispanic dubs than the Japanese version any time.

    • “In my birht country there’s an open pirated DVD market of surprisingly good quality of Subbed movies (since the cinema is also dirt cheap here, people have already watched the Dub)”


    • What this anon said! Everyone who has watched anime with Hispanic dubs will prefer them over Japanese ones, hell yeah! 😀

      Not to say there aren’t bad dubs, the ones that really hurt me (because they deserved a lot better) were the Rurouni Kenshin and Magic Knight Rayearth dubs, but most monster series have a more than decent dub. They should really tap into that market because I agree I’d pay to re-watch those shows online with good quality.

      • If it isn’t the original (in this case japanese) it sucks per definition. Maybe you have fond memories of the inferior hispanic dubs because you watched them as a kid. Doesn’t change that they suck ass.

        • Not according to sankoms voting system.

          Yes, everything that isn’t the original sucks by definition. It’s by definition so my opinion on the matter has little to do with the facts at hand. Maybe I like hispanic re-dubs. Maybe I don’t. Doesn’t change that they are inferior to the original. By definition.

          I can see why people would prefer it though. If your mom always gave you burned food you wouldn’t like stuff that isn’t, well.. burned. Experience talking.

          Basically this means that your perception is warped. I don’t blame you for not recognizing the truth.

        • Wow, what a bigotted response! So everything that is not the original sucks by definition? That’s a very limited point of view you have. By any chance, do you know Spanish and have listened to the dubs I mentioned? Or are you just blowing BS out of your ass by unsuccessfully trying to sound intelligent?

          The only one who “sucks ass” here is you.

  • It’s not about pirating…or subs/dubs the amount of people willing to voice the work oranything like that. It’s just two simple reasons why. Xenophobia and asshole buercrats which equals money. You wouldn’t belive how much work it is just to have a op of a anime play. Why do you think they cut off most of them or just destroy the ed period.

  • The actual problem the US has is that that there isnt Anime on TV any longer. The only channel that has any is the Cartoon Network that runs a few shows Saturday at Midnight.

    The general public no longer has access to it. A few years ago the Saturday morning lineup of the two channels that still showed cartoons were mostly anime. But Saturday morning cartoons no longer exist… at least where i live. And there isnt any anime being shown around the time kids get home from school either.

    The market in the US now is made up of people that go looking for it. Anime is no longer something that a kid in the US gets naturally exposed to. The market has gone back to what it was in the beginning, a few folks looking for the stuff at specialty shops.

  • In the past I read “amime invastion” magazine here in the U.S. as a source to scout out new titles. Every good anime magazine here in the U.S. pretty much has folded (I don’t consider “Otaku USA” a good magazine). Even the online anime review sites don’t update much anymore. What I am left with is fan-subs, I watch the first three episodes if they past my test when it is released on DVD or Blu Rey I add the series to my collection. There is only one pirated anime in my entire “Huge” anime collection, and it is only there because it has never been released here. There are many series I would have purchased, but they never made it out of japan. These days all we get is School Girls with guns, School girls with swords, singing school girls, and Dead school girls, you get tired of the same crap. IMOP there has been a drop story, animation quality and variety of animation styles. If good stuff was sent our way we would buy it.

  • I was about to have a panic attack when I read this, so when I went to Anime News Network, I was relieved to hear that what’s actually going on is that they are not going to stop distributing titles they already licensed. So, no need to go on a binge and buy up every Bandai title. What they are doing is ceasing distribution of any new titles. All new licenses will be contracted out to other companies. So, stuff like future Gundam titles, season 2 of K-On, etc., will likely be coming out from Funimation, Sentai, or Viz.

    As for the piracy issue, whether we want to admit or not, is part of the problem afflicting the “R1” market. We Americans are some cheap-ass motherfuckers. Spending on anime and manga peaked about 8 years ago, long before the recession, and Geneon was the first R1 distro to back out of the market back in 2007, with ADV and CPM following suit. So if it’s not the economy that started the decline of the R1 market (though it certainly complicated things), then it has to be something else, and that something else has to be fans’ spending habits. It’s pretty clear that a good percentage of people will find ways to view stuff for free, and the rise of digital fansubs offered the means to do so. Now we have legitimate means to watch anime online for free (Crunchyroll, Hulu,, etc.), but the simple fact remains that if people watch this stuff for free, whether via a fansub or a legit streaming site, without buying the actual DVDs, it’s money that is not going into the pockets of licensors. You really think Funimation can subsist solely on ad revenue and (optional) subscription fees alone? You really think Crunchyroll is viable in the long term unless it gets bought out by a major telecom or media company (maybe integrated into Hulu)?

    Now, I will be the first to admit that I’ve partaken in both fansubs and legal streams. They do serve useful purposes as previews for titles. However, I’ve also spent a fortune on anime and manga, probably something on the order of $10,000 since 2001. I love anime and I want to support my hobby without having to spend $40 for a two-episode DVD imported from Japan with no subtitles. Everything I’ve watched on fansub, I’ve eventually purchased the DVD of. I know that there are a lot of people like me who do watch fansubs and streams and read scanlations, but they do buy the official domestic release. However, I also know for a fact that there are some people who can afford to buy DVDs, BDs, and manga, but choose not to because they’re either cheapskates or they’re snooty elitists who actively wish for the R1 market to cease to exist so anime can go back to the “good old days” of being some underground thing. Y’know, like back in the 90s when we traded third-generation VHS copies of DBZ fansubs. I guess fansubs and poor-quality bootlegged DVDs from Hong Kong is the way to go, huh? Who needs good-quality BDs, anyway? *rolls eyes*

    Long point short, if you really enjoy your hobby and want it to be a viable, quality, and affordable experience, then buy the DVDs, BDs, and manga volumes of the titles you like if yo can afford it whenever you get the chance to. You can get good deals online from Amazon or Right Stuf. And convince your fellow fans to do so as well if they’re keen on getting everything for free.

  • Hey hey, I’m not a pirating. I supported Bandai and was buying titles from them. This kinda sucks. I was hoping to get a hold of some of their titles.

    I wish the Japanese would stop blaming it on piracy though. Piracy won’t die out but that’s not what everyone is doing now. Now a-days its all about web streaming. This is why anime clubs and US anime circles are disappearing. People can sit home and instantly access web streaming on sites like Funimation, Viz, etc. That’s what everyone is doing. Bandai just wasn’t keeping up in the internet field such as setting up web streaming profits. Japanese otaku are just not informed about business. They don’t understand that the uploads they are talking about are legitimate strategies put out by US license corporations putting anime up streaming for the web. Bandai lacked on being aggressive with their streaming plans.

    • Bandai actually has a dedicated streaming/online rental website (called Bandai Channel) for the Japanese market. And not since yesterday, it’s been up for about 10 years.

      You can’t say they weren’t keeping up, they were pretty much the first ones out there. They just never left the Japanese market with it. I think the site is actually region locked to only streaming from JP IPs (or used to be).

  • Like other people have echoed in their comments, one of the huge issues is price. But also amongst those issues (the deal breaker for me) is the god. awful. English dubs. There are actually a select few Animes out there that are way better in English (Evangelion, FLCL) but for the majority of other Animes the English dubs are so bad that they make you want to stab your ears. Like K-ON! for example, I heard the English dub in a YouTube video once and it nearly made me cry. And compounding that problem is the fact that Japanese-done English subs are just as god-awful as the dubs are and the producers are too cheap to have properly done subs.

    Also, thanks to pirated anime, I started to collect figmas and plushies, and those aren’t cheap. America really needs an Anime channel or two and then things would change.

    This is just another case of “I failed miserably but I’ll blame everything but my own failings.”

  • I totally agree with this quote from the article:

    “Yankee otaku don’t care about video or audio quality so they just watch on YouTube.”

    I would add “or Crunchyroll” at the end of that quote.

  • I’m actually surprised, when I clciked on this I expected more “Hurrrr dubs are gay who cares” and no legitimate discussion.

    i swear, the only people with anti-dub bias nowadays are mid-30’s losers who grew up with 90’s dubs and people who don’t watch anything but moeblob shit.

  • I’ve spent close to $150 USD on a number of imported things because I couldn’t find them at all in the US (mainly Hakoiri Devil Princess manga), The Girl Who Leapt Through Space was one of the ones I’ve been collecting since it came out too. It really sucks that they’re shutting down, but I guess if they can’t make money doing that it’s probably in their best interest…

    Doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck for us though.

  • I refuse to pay 60 dollars for 12 episodes thats about 4.50 an episode. theres nothing bundled with it, it’s an obvious ripoff i remember when the sold single dvds with 4 eps on it at 30 bucks a pop. It’s an outrageous price. I’m not gonna shell out that kind of money unless i absolutely love it.

  • money is not in the anime show itself, nor selling it on disk for that matter.

    the real money is in merchandise and collectables.

    figures, posters, cups, video games, art books, clothes, accessories, models, that’s where all money goes if you really like an anime and have the dough.

  • kajunbowser says:

    Sad, yet inevitable demise for Bandai. Their sales model failed to evolve, they didn’t go after online services as fast as their competitors over here, the economies of the US and Japan suck in unison right now, and they couldn’t capitalize on Haruhi or K-ON here enough to keep afloat. Hell, if they treated the Gundam franchise with more care (like UC and 00), Bandai might’ve done better in staying viable here in the states.

    …And no, fansubs (or “piracy”) wasn’t the problem. I know several other people who watch fansubs that will buy a series if it gets licensed and is good; I do, as most of my DVD/BD collection is now near half of previously fansubbed-then-licensed series. Bandai, just like Pioneer/Geneon, I am disappoint in your lack of evolving in the industry on this side of the Pacific.

  • You mean I won’t be able to spend $80 USD for 4 episodes on a DVD anymore!? Say it ain’t so!

    No shit, piracy of anime is rampant in the US. Anime publishers have been charging way too much for way too little for way too long.

  • “They just illegally upload as much as they want and have no intention of paying a dime for anime. It’s incredibly cheap compared to Japan, yet still they pirate.”


    Total number of illegally downloaded anime episodes in my collection: 130 to 150

    Total number of legally purchased anime titles in my collection: 469

    And the latter figure includes box sets. At roughly 4 episodes per DVD, that amounts to 1876 anime episodes that I’ve bought fair and square, which means that my collection is 93% legal.

    So screw you, Bandai AND foreigner-hating Japanese. 😛

  • Well it doesn’t matter, if those Japanese could produce anime DVD and Blurays with English subtitles then I will buy them. But if not well, theirs free copy out their, why should I bother buy those. But it great if they produce those.

  • If pirating kills k-on, then i will pirate as much k-on as i can.
    And i love how these otaku act so high and mighty, japan’s pirate scene is bigger than anywhere, everything that gets released fansubbed has been previously ripped and downloaded by millions of japanese otaku.

  • I’d buy more Anime if I had more money.
    Seems like if I had been born 10 years earlier I’d be in a much better to buy more.

    Yeah that and the fact that it’s 30+$ for like 3/4 episodes of K-on is a joke when you can buy whole entire shows for less than that price.

  • “The following previously announced anime titles have been cancelled: TURN-A GUNDAM, NICHIJOU and GOSICK.”
    Just read this on Crunchyroll

    No Nichijou and Gosick…

    I’m so pissed, insulted and depressed right now.

  • Dear Bandai,
    What about your loyal customers who buy the anime from you, such as the anon posting this comment, who owns:
    All 8 Discs of Hayate the Combat Butler DVD
    All 4 Discs of K-ON season 1 ON BLU-RAY who’s expecting both the second season and the movie to be released in USA
    All the Haruhi DVDs

    What about the other people who also bought your merchandise? Isn’t it a stupid idea to just say “fuck you” to us customers?

    This is a huge insult.

    P.S. If you don’t want to lose money, do the smart thing and instead of going old school and releasing each disc separately after x months, but release it all at the same god damn time, you morons.

    • I started buying anime with VHS Dragon Ball. Some had 2 episodes per VHS, and were all 30-35 dollars. I’ve spent well over 10,000 dollars on anime. If they anime is not sold here legitimately (or unedited/uncut) then I have no choice but to download it. It started with One Piece (which I wanted to buy) but has so edited by 4kids that it was not the same show, and ends with companies saying it won’t legitimately sell to the US. Sounds like a garbage business plan, come up with some way to get money from us, don’t just give up.

  • So Bandai hates pirates & they’ll punish all Americans by cutting them off, thereby insuring that 100% of American Bandai Anime fans become pirates???


  • There is something that crossed my mind and its a very good reason why they shouldn’t abandon the foreign market. They are playing into the hands of the internet pirates by not having an available release outside of japan, and will only ruin themselves further because they will have more pirates doing illegal subs online because people cannot buy up the animes.

      • Well, no matter how many people are at the convention, they are still the minority of general public, and it all links back to the first statement, general girls think otakus are losers, otakus dun dare to show their face at events for fear of being judged, girls on the other hand, are not judged etc etc. therefore you get your events packed with more girls than guys. Elementary, my dear anon.

  • I surprised the big companies haven’t started hosting their anime on a site like Hulu, or created one of their own.

    1. They’d make their money through ads.
    2. Its really hard to steal streaming.
    3. They can put optional subtitles on it.
    4. They can determine what’s popular enough to sell by view count.
    5. People like having what they want when they search for it, instead of waiting for it through crap with cable tv.
    6. They can add a paid member’s section for access to the old anime that’s not currently airing.

  • Are the comments here by idiots?

    Anime DVDs come with duel audio, sometimes even three (Spanish), why do you guys act as if you’re so helpless that you can’t work an audio menu?

    I watch anime in many languages.

    • Yes they are all idiots. When you download your anime instead of buying DVDs you don’t know that they are hybrid and have both English dub and Japanese(not “Jap”) with English sub.

  • What do they sell that Americans actually watch?

    The Big O
    Blue Sub no.6
    Code Geass
    Cowbot Bebop
    Escaflowne (movie only)
    Eureka seveN
    Ghost in the Shell
    Gurren Lagann
    Nearly every Mobile Suit Gundam
    My-HiME (and Otome, but that sucked)
    Outlaw Star
    Please Teacher!/Twins!
    Samurai Champlee
    Wolf’s Rain

    I’d say these guys hit the nail on the head:

    “Bandai as a whole has not been producing many hits lately. They are too dependent on Gundam.”

    “They say the tastes of US fans have changed, but really they are the same. The problem is all the anime made in Japan is now for the creepy otaku demographic and doesn’t interest them.”

    • There is an issue of justifying your purchase.

      Consider these two examples:

      Q:Why did you pay money for Cowboy Bebop on disc?
      A:Because it has better cinematography than any Hollywood movie.

      Q:Why did you pay money for Onegai Twins on disc?
      A:Because I have a twin fetish and I’m too scared of AIDS to hire two prostitutes.

  • We pay $30 for 24 episodes of american shows. And they expect us to pay $30 for 4 episodes of a japanese show? THERE is the issue. Cut the costs and I will happily pay for anime. But at the moment, I can’t afford anime at those prices.

  • They might also care to mention that what likely keeps the anime industry afloat in Japan is their insane amount of expensive merchandise. Even American series don’t have anywhere near the quality/cost of figures, statues, wallscrolls and endless other things that even obscure or niche series do in Japan.

  • The Girl Who Leapt Through Space ¬¬

    I thought it was a continuation of the excellent The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.
    A Garota que Saltava no Espaço ¬¬

    Pensei que fosse a continuação do excelente A Garota que Saltava no Tempo.


  • The dubs coming out recently have sucked anyway. Its like they just pushed them though with no attention to quality. The original audio always portrayed the emotions that the dubs just couldn’t. Not to mention the translations going for family friendly rather than folloing the original script. That is why I have preferred the original subtitled recently.

  • As expected from those filthy Americans, they act all high and mighty when they pirate everything. That is what will happen when you spend all your money on food to get obese.

    Those filthy Americans love to be obese and pirate from other countries.

  • >overcharging cartoon network for airing rights
    >failing to capitalize on the popularity boost CN brought to anime beyond demanding more money
    >not establishing a widely available network station before the market began to bottom out
    >failure to establish an online steaming site that hosts in 720P dual studio with styled subs
    >sending out c&d letters for amv clips

    fuck the whole US anime industry. let it burn to the ground.

  • why are so many anime businesses in Japan run by morons? The market here is many times larger than the market in Japan. The only way you could not make a large profit is either by rigging the game so you can’t, or because you’re an idiot.

    So, I guess I’ll go buy their stuff from the pirates now, rather than BANDAI because they’re not a bunch of stuckup assholes.

  • >dubtitles
    yeah, I’m going to buy a a dvd/db with shitty dubtitles. fuck you bandai. fuck you in the ass.

    and to the retards that say dubtitles aren’t a big deal, you obviously don’t know what dubtitles really are. they’re subs times to the dub track. meaning they don’t have to and often do not sync with the native track. that’s some bullshit.

  • I was never a fan of Bandai’s releases because they were rather expensive and and low-quality, but this still makes me very upset.
    My biggest problem is with K-On! DVDs. Bandai thought it would be a “good idea” to release the anime in 4-episode volumes at $20. Do the math. With 41 total episodes, that’s over $200 for the entire series!!! THAT is a poor marketing decision on their part.
    Now, people who bought those volumes will be furious to discover that they wont be continued. Let alone, we can’t expect a stateside release of the K-On! movie unless FUNimation gets their greasy hands on the licensing.
    I truly am sickened by Bandai’s decision to ruthlessly pull from the market. This creates a huge problem for the already tortured anime lovers of the U.S. who struggle to get any sort of anime/manga goods.
    I want to own Nichijou on DVD, and I want it now!
    Screw you Bandai.
    Good day.

  • “Isn’t it just because only a few ever got shown on TV? If the only way they see the first episodes is by having to go to the trouble of downloading it, your audience is not going to increase.”

    This guy just gave me the faith that not all Japanese have a retarded view of oversea anime, chopping out fansubs/scanlations is the same as cutting the oversea market off at the neck, they would basically forsake majority of their overseas market

  • They hit the nail on the head in several posts.

    1. Our tastes differ
    2. The market is minuscule
    3. They may feel like were getting a deal but I can buy True Blood Season 1 new on DvD as the same price as one anime BluRay. They really are over priced considering what their competition gives you.

  • “Isn’t it just because only a few ever got shown on TV? If the only way they see the first episodes is by having to go to the trouble of downloading it, your audience is not going to increase.”

    I feel really warm inside.

  • Overpriced anime combined with a low episode count and no special box or add-ons with said package recently…

    Thanks but no thanks, I rather buy from “the only game left in town” now, Damn Funimation…

    Pretty soon they really WILL be the only game in town O_o, monopolies suck.

  • piracy to me is to see if it’s good or not if it’s actually good i’ll go ahead and buy the collection but lately after about 3 to 4 years ago they started to make some lazy work like adding extra stories that don’t even make sense to the episodes that means to us your shits not worth even a click to download on the pirate sites but instead stream it online so we know not to waste or harddrive/ssd space. so whatever downfall bandai wants let it happen because one way or another we will get their shitty products anyways.

  • I will never go to a store to buy some anime related goods, ever.
    And ordering online would take 3 weeks for anything to get to me, so I may as well just download the anime…
    If they had a good platform, similar to what Steam did with games, where you could literally buy a digital copy of the dvds/blu ray without being infested by tons of DRMs that limits and spy on everything you do your pc, at relatively good prices, with region lock so those filthy Jap wouldn’t be able to buy them cheaper, that would be another story.

  • “They say the tastes of US fans have changed, but really they are the same. The problem is all the anime made in Japan is now for the creepy otaku demographic and doesn’t interest them.”

    At least one of their posters understands. But yeah, like a previous poster said… stop wasting money on dubs when we just want subs! They almost never get the voices right anyway! The only anime I’ve watched in English that the voices were actually decent in were Outlaw star, Blue Sub 6, and Cowboy Bebop (and a couple others I can think of). The rest were so bad when I watched the trailers that I cancelled my plans to order it and just watched it online with subs.

  • Am I the only one who thinks the piracy reason is beyond hypocritical/contradictory? I mean who do they think rips off the raw vids/episodes that are on the internet that other people in other countries use to make subbed versions? For a society that brags about having a higher education standard than the US, they really are stupid

  • “It’s just because overseas a culture of piracy has taken root.”

    54% of the traffic over at Nyaa is from Japanese pirates.
    That’s 4% more than the rest of the world combined!
    Pot calling the kettle black etc.

  • You cannot expect people to buy blu rays if they do not think that they are worth their money.

    When it comes to anime I do not feel like re-watching even the best of series (apart maybe for fapping reasons).

    If I will spend money at a blu ray it will be something like getting the entire harry potter movie series when they sell it all at once or something.

    I would not spend 45 euros x 6 to get all the blu rays of an anime just to be able to see it in better quality and less or no censoring.

    If the anime industry wants to make money off overseas fans they need to make something with subcription like crunchyroll. However unlike crunchyroll it should not have a crappy streaming which may stop at random times and other crap ( not obnoxiously bad subbing either_.

    If I was able to pay a low and reasonable subscription to a site which would allow me to view any anime I wanted subed and with the ability to watch it as well as on media player classic with pause and step slow motion etc I would indeed pay for it.

    If anyone of the anime industry reads this: you need to make something like crunchyroll without doing the same mistakes they did which made people lose interest in paying them for what they offered.

  • Bandai was of course of the major companies involved in the anime boom of the late ’90s and early ’00s, and introduced many, many people to the wonders of giant robots with the delightfully insane Gundam Wing. Unfortunately, that means they were burdened with the Gundam license, which caused them a lot more problems than good. What do I mean? Well, after Gundam Wing’s surprise success, someone at Bandai Japan decided that Universal Century Gundam needed to be as big a hit in America as it was/is in Japan, so they could sell a jillion dollars of model kits to American kids, despite the fact this was totally insane and never going to happen.

    Bandai Japan demanded that Bandai Entertainment get the original ’70s Mobile Suit Gundam series on Cartoon Network, despite the fact it was 20 years old, looked 20 years old, and was waaaaaaaay too boring for young American audiences. Cartoon Network, not being insane, refused. Bandai Japan then paid CN to run the original Gundam anime, thus fucking up the Toonami block for years — because once CN got paid to run an anime, the CN executives weren’t going to run any anime without getting a check for it first. If you’ve ever wondered why an anime that would seemingly have been perfect for Toonami never, chances are it’s because the licensor couldn’t afford CN’s asking price.

    It gets worse. Bandai Japan forced Bandai Entertainment to bid on its anime licenses, including Gundam. This is insane for several reasons: 1) Bandai Japan was never giving any of its anime licenses to anyone other than Bandai Entertainment. 2) Since Bandai Japan owned Bandai Entertainment, they would tell them what to bid. Which meant in order to “win,” Bandai Entertainment had to bid slightly higher than everyone else, which inevitably meant they overpaid for their own products. 3) Because they’d paid a steep licensing fee, BE was forced to charge more and sell an unreasonable amount of product in order to break even — and then, when they inevitably didn’t, Bandai Japan would get pissed. It was a vicious, stupid cycle, and that’s before you start trying to sell a 20-year-old cartoon to modern American kids.

    -via ToplessRobot

  • It is true we would so totally buy the anime we already watched on our torrents if it was sold so cheaply the making company lost tons of money doing it. Actually most of us never buy nor support our fav anime makers past posting that someday once we had a job or the DVDs where cheaper we might just buy them. Until then we deserve to get it for free just cause we, um, like do so stop talking about pirates!! ^_-

  • Good i hate ENGLISH DUB anime its lame i like the ORIGINAL JP VER with ENG SUBs and yeah im a pirate but at least i buy 1 or 2 figures from the anime i watched if i liked it enough like the most recent one i seen was MADOKA which i loved and im planing to get a figure =) see im not so bad am i? lol after all im out of work and very little income =(

  • Well lets see here, reasons I could care less, 1.) English dubbed anime pale in comparison to subbed anime. 2.) I don’t feel like paying 20-30 dollars for 4-5 episodes of an anime, it’s a complete rip off. 3.) Because obviously all of us “Oversears” RRRRRRRRRRR pirates.

  • see the real problem is that we don’t have a way to way to watch anime except for pirating. because who wants to spend all that money on dvds when you don’t know if its any good? then, since people already have it on their hdds, it really hard to be motivated to go out and spend the money on it. I typically use piracy as a way to rent anime and then i decide if its good enough to buy.

    • Anime companies should really start tapping into that. If they release HD 720p subs with karaoke (not essential but even fansubs can do it with romanji, kanji and translation) for streaming AND download at a reasonable price then people will start buying into that, especially people who don’t want to clutter their homes (I live in the dorms and I’m already squeezing in as it is). Then it’s up to the consumer to either just watch it online or get a hard drive. They’d make mad money since they wouldn’t have to deal with boxes, shipping, the middle man, etc.

  • Good i fucking hate ENG DUB anime i want it SUB with ENG SUB TITLES ONLY NOTHING MORE YOU FAGGETS!!!! anything that comes to AMERICA gets fukkin twisted and they edit shit out!! do they not learn real JP anime fans like the ORIGINAL with JP voice!! RAGE!!! lol

  • I recall a SDCC where the Raijin comics imprint was launched. and it failed to grasp
    the market. but i do feel it was greatly because they tried to sell pure trash, instead of the good stuff. also the low airing, sometimes non existent, are indeed greatly important to the lack of interest in anime. in previous years when we had the good stuff on CN, Nickelodeon, and other channels anime was very well received around the world. but now is limited to a few knowing fans.
    also the current type of anime they are producing is rather unappealing to most of the audience outside the U.S.
    I think the problem is the Japanese never took real interest in uderstanding their audience, outside Japan. and they have this hatred of foreigners so deep inside that they are more willing to withdraw crying like babies, rather than to reevaluate things and come up with a good solution.

  • I will be honest and say I am a bit bummed about this seeing how BD released both the Melancholy and Disappearance of Haruhi, for what I believed, to be a fair price. However, blaming piracy for their decline is full of crap. Like others have said before, I will not buy an anime series unless I really like it. I will turn to services such as Crunchyroll or fansubs to watch anime that I would not normally be able to watch otherwise. If I like an anime enough, I will buy it. I, like many of you here, dislike English dubbing. In the time it takes to dub an anime, you could just sub it in several languages and release it around the same time as it goes out in Japan.

  • “That is just moronic. Even the most basic market research will reveal that the majority of the fans there don’t care about dubs and listen in Japanese with subtitles. It’s obvious Bandai is not cut out for this kind of business.”

    Last quote is so True . I rather buy one that has Japanese voice with english subtitles !

  • Bottem line is that no Westerner is sane enough to buy anime for Bandai prices. Bandai is acting like the US is still Japan and they think they can rip us off just like they do in Japan. Fact is, no one here will pay that price and Bandai refuses to change.

    And the foringers are pirates and theives argument is getting old. We download because Bandai prices are to high and to unreasonable whether or not illegal downloading is moral or not. Everyone knows Bandai can do decent if they just lowered their prices and change the marketing tactic. But unfortunatly, incompetence makes them a bit racist.

    Consumers will get their matarial from any means whether its illegal or not. The fans will only buy the official version if its reasonably prices, otherwise, they to, will download just like the rest of the world. Im sure Japan also downloads illegally to. Just a matter of supply and demand, and Bandai can’t supply the demand reasonably.

    I hate Bandai because of their stupidity and feel no sympathy for them. All I want from them Is the Girl who leapt through time and Im done with them. Nothing they have interests me. I just think they are stupid racists that blame westerners when they should be blaming themselves for not changing.

  • “They say the tastes of US fans have changed, but really they are the same. The problem is all the anime made in Japan is now for the creepy otaku demographic and doesn’t interest them.”

    “That is just moronic. Even the most basic market research will reveal that the majority of the fans there don’t care about dubs and listen in Japanese with subtitles. It’s obvious Bandai is not cut out for this kind of business.”

    I wouldn’t figure the Japanese would know much about the American market, but these guys have pretty much hit the nail on the head.
    As far as pricing and piracy goes, it’s always been cheaper over here to buy anime than it is in Japan to buy it, but even still those prices are shit compared to the average DVD. A portion of the pricing has to do with them hiring dub voice actors for the english version, when even today most people who buy anime would rather have Japanese with subs. It’s a waste of money and the industry has just outright refused over the years to listen to anime fans.
    Most of the people who are into anime today in America are the very people that don’t have much disposable income, so they want don’t waste money on this stuff. And a lot of them haven’t been. Sales of anime and manga have declined horribly in the last few years, partially because of their high pricing, but also because of the lack of non-otaku pandering titles.
    Me, personally, I won’t buy an anime now unless I’ve seen it first and KNOW it’s good. I’ve been burned too many times by anime that looked cool as hell and then turned out shitty in the end. So, yes, the foreign devil pirates anime. Because I don’t feel like wasting my hard earned cash on something that might turn out shitty. If the anime is good enough, I buy it afterward. IF I can even find it for sale here.

  • So Bandai intend to stop supplying anime we can actually buy. This leaves the anime fans with what other option……. oh yes, that’s to torrent stuff they want to see.

    Nice one Bandai. Stop trying to assrape your own bretheren with stupid prices and you may find more people willing to actually buy your products (including us filthy piratical foreigners).

    Then again being accused of being filthy by the average 2channer is a bit of an oxymoron.

  • Do they know that the official translation for the K-On girl is Azu-meow?

    Most R1 subs are fucking terrible. The Black Rock Shooter subs from Japan are better than most shit the R1 companies try to pawn off on us.

  • “That is just moronic. Even the most basic market research will reveal that the majority of the fans there don’t care about dubs and listen in Japanese with subtitles. It’s obvious Bandai is not cut out for this kind of business.”

    this is the most logical situation … I never buy and watch any anime that have been dubbed, only watch the original voice ones … I bough some in the past, and I quit because of this …

  • Bandai kinda fails at localizing their products anyways… You just need to have a look at their recent >Tales of the Abyss< for the 3DS (EU Version).

    They didn't bother to dub the Skits and the Opener is just an instrumental. They fail to understand, that the people who'd buy their games are actually anime-fans and are totally fine with japanese dubs with subs.

    Same applies to some of their anime… they just don't include the japanese audio for whatever reason. I hope they stop publishing their games as well and let Atlus take over. At least they know what they're doing. …

  • pot calling the kettle black when they say that priacy in america is worse tahn in japan lol i know plenty of japanese that do this also 😛 especially when its bandai. who has not had much lately. but with funimations bullcrap taking everything down accept the dwlds they cant find im kinda getting tired of looking for something i can actually get with little issue

  • I dunno. I find a few things wrong with nearly everyone’s arguments.

    1a) We’d be complaining, too, if we were Japanese and had to pay such “outrageous” prices for our anime while foreigners payed significantly less and we still only heard about them pirating. I mean, in terms of “fairness,” it’s pretty unfair for the Japanese side.
    1b) On the other hand, in the West, the anime market is niche to the point of it having barely sold at all in the history of anime. If they want to sell things, they have to do so at reduced prices.

    2a) Even if “pirating” comes out as good advertisement, I find it hard to believe the number of people who buy things after watching them surpasses the number of people who simply watch them and never buy them. Even if it “helps” the industry, there’s a good number of sales being lost in the end that would definitely heal the industry if they were regained.
    2b) Some of the marketing tactics of these Western companies, though, are far from intelligent. TokyoPop’s situation was one thing, but I’ve gotten my fair number of English-dub-only DVD’s from quite a few of the big distributors, including Funimation. Not to mention, I am pretty sure that when some of the companies shut services down, they shut down some of their most-receptive first, leading to a downfall in other sales as well…

    3a) Whether it’s an official English dub or sub, due to the standards of the English market, they have to change enough that it loses the original meaning much of the time. That’s just… something that can’t be helped. They are a business, after all.
    3b) …But fansubs sometimes do the same thing. Some fansubbers even do it because they feel going for the niche audience is wrong (emitting honorifics in subtitles just to prove they aren’t “weeaboos”), even though the niche audience could possibly benefit from the specific references.
    3c) …But this is one (of many) reasons I learned Japanese. Though it pains me that, unbenownst to most Western fans, even the more Japanese-focused DVD’s tend to give you two options: English dub, or Japanese with English subs. That’s when I usually just buy the DVD for me and my friends, and then download the Japanese RAW for myself…

    4a) Where are the good old days where they put more adult-focused anime on television? I think they only have the special-service stations for that kind of thing now. Even if they are mostly English dub, I think it wouldn’t hurt to put them on again…
    4b) With the internet, though, I see many companies like Funimation are going in the right direction by putting stuff up on their website for streaming. Definitely a positive step, though it’s hard to say it works all that well, unless those who stream Funimation are oblivious to higher-quality downloads…

    On a side note, I already put away some hard-earned money for the Limited Edition Puella Magi Madoka Magica Blu-Ray sets. Even if I can’t buy everything, I at least want to show my support for the series they put effort into bringing to America–especially when they’re some of the better stuff out there.

  • That comment from 2ch sums it up well /me thinks:

    “What do you expect from a company which didn’t even bother including the Japanese language audio track on its Kurokami BD release? All the NA fans think they are total retards.”

    Apart from that, dinosaurs are well, just dinosaurs.

    The anime scene is after 10+ years of divx/xvid/avc, now 10bit, with softsubs, karaoke and overall better on pretty much every front imaginable. Without drm or physical media nonsense hardly anyone wants.

    The demand is set. Meet it with the supply, or go fucking bankrupt complaining about internet … The sooner the better. Less technically clueless people perhaps will take the stick.

    • To add a bit to my above comment:

      Niche ?

      There’re far, far more fans to let it be called “niche” just in US – they just don’t even bother to even consider “legal” route – because you try to ram a total nonsense down their throats. And speaking worldwide ? You have trucks of cash waiting for you, from the fans from over the whole fucking globe – but you won’t get them through:

      – physical media
      – drm
      – region locks
      – dubbing and/or removed original audio tracks
      – overall shitty releases

      Digital distribution, open standards, matroska, h264, vorbis (and flac for retards), styled softsubs. For reasonable price.

      Want to make a profit ? Get the above in your thick skulls (along with how supply/demand works – the customers _set_ the rules, not the producers). Otherwise, go fuck yourself dear japanese studios and go bankrupt with the dinosaurs inside. The sooner the healthier for the industry.

      • I think we both know that the Japanese would rather take their outdated business model with them into their graves rather than improve anything. Not for their own people or the foreigners.

        Truth is, they don’t even understand recent consumer mentality. And that’s because their Japanese consumer put up with all the shit without ever seriously rattling their own chains.

        I always get into a laughing-fit when i see Japanese fans happily buying a one-episode Blu-Ray Disc at 80$ upwards. They don’t do that because it’s cool and they WANT to help their industry. They do it out of a retarded sense of obligation and necessity. If not because they are forced to.

        The foreign markets have reached a point where full-set boxes have to be sold at comparatively low prices because there would be no more profit otherwise. I can still see the old ADV, all full of themselves, stroking their own inflated egos, directly attacking their own fan-base with their cheap “anti-piracy” campaigns. And look at them now.

        The Japanese are totally lost on foreign markets. Especially if they want to pull the strings from their own country. So let them call us “pirates”. They know that all the “pirated goods” come directly from Japanese sources. It’s getting really old now.

      • @msoltyspl

        You obviously don’t live in Japan or the U.S.

        You foreigners are the ones that shouldn’t be saying anything. And Region Locks was not Japan’s Idea, because even America, Europe and Australia has region locks.

        You need a mother****ing history lesson about how Anime started? And I don’t mean in Japan! I’m talking about how you ****tards, got into anime in the first place. Japan wasn’t jabbing Anime down your throat, it was your countries’ choice to market certain titles.

        The Internet has ****ed up your brains and reasoning. Get your facts straight whoever the **** you are.

        • This guy is replying to everything with incoherent rage, and it’s kind of baffling. Americans didn’t buy what they didn’t want to buy, and that’s bad because they didn’t want it and didn’t buy it? … OK then.

        • And your point?

          You think it’s magically the foreigners fault that your animation industry is going down the drain?

          If anything, it’s the Japanese who want to force their way on the foreign markets, which is outright stupid. Region Locks are a tool for achieving control. Control beyond national restrictions and common laws.

          Who the fuck are you to try to forbid foreigners their rights for self-expression?

  • Now imagine that. I’m living in Ireland, I’m interested in Anime for the last 18 years. I was one of the first anime pirates in the country I was born – Poland. Now, even though I have loads and loads of anime downloaded, I’m buying all the Anime BluRays released in US (at least for the series I liked). I even purchased an American region BD player solely for those titles that are region locked. I think that Anime on BD are really cheap. Recession or not I can afford 20-30 euro for the series I like.

  • It’s more about Bandai (and maybe other Japanese companies in the future) changing their business strategy overseas to more closely match the model they have in Japan.

    We’ve already seen their plans at work with Gundam UC. The Blu-rays will go on sale worldwide with multiple languages subtitled. This way the overseas fans get the BDs the same time as Japan, and the Japanese companies don’t have to worry about reverse importation (because the price is the same worldwide). Japan will get less sales overseas due to the high prices, but they’re banking on still being able to sell enough BDs that they’ll make equal or more money anyway (and again, no reverse importation).

    As for shows airing on TV, Japan seems to finally be seeing that legal streams are the way to go. We’re probably going to see more shows streamed to more regions with subtitles in more languages. Yes, sites like Crunchyroll have region-locks on shows and are only available with English subs, but that’s going to change over time. The BDs for these shows will follow the model above.

    There will always be pirates of course, but this seems to be the way Japan believes will be best at making money overseas.

  • And nothing of value was lost. Bandai sucks. Did buy some stuff from them, but the translations weren’t what I (a purist) hoped for. So Bandai made a new entry in my “to boycott”-list. Incidentally this is also a near complete list of all american publishers. Japanese have it easy, they just have to pay ridiculous prices but at least they mostly get what they pay for (not with the censored BDs of Hidan no Aria, though).

    But we pay for shit and even worse: english dubs. So I say fuck it.

  • “Bandai has already failed to expand into Europe and America numerous times. I guess they’ll just have to keep trying.”

    I dont think they ever tried expend in my country [Netherlands] or most parts of Europe exept England. Pretty much all localised dvd’s I can buy here are based on French dvd,s

      • Ghost in the shell and other Bandai stuff was released by Manga entertainment or BEEZ, Other shows are released by KAZE, and the French dvd’s with French/Dutch subs are Dybex I believe.

        Dont think anything is released by Bandai directly

  • for once alot of the statements listed in this post actually make sense. especially the last two. They waste tons of money dubbing anime when all we care about if the japanese language + subtitles. Charging us $50 for a low quality disk just isn’t going to fly. So stop wasting money on the dubbing and spend it on quality instead and we might actually consider spending some of our hard earned money.

    • Is there actually any evidence to support this? Obviously readers of this website will slant towards subs, but does the same trend remain when applied to all customers of DVD/BD?

      For example, a lot of rip groups keep the dual audio, why do this if no one really cares about it?

    • Agreed.

      You know, video games, anime, movies, etc. all have multiple editions released. There’s special editions, director’s cuts, etc.

      The way to fix all of this is as follows:

      1) As soon as it gets on DVD/BR in Japan it should be released in America w/ subtitles. Translation does NOT take that long. Even at $50/hour to hire professional translators, the cost would be small in the grand scheme of things. Take advice from fansubbers. HIRE fansubbers. Get out subtitles with good quality, add them to the DVD, and get them over here.

      2) Despite all of the sub/dub wars that have been a part of American/Euro otaku history past, subs are almost universally preferred. Dubs are a niche market within a niche market, and therefore a dub edition should come out *after* a sub edition has come out. Registration/vote cards can be shipped with the subtitled version to see if there is or is not demand for them. Hell, you can even include a “pre-order” form, with pre-orders being refunded if enough “votes” for a dubbed version do not come in.

      3) U.S./Euro fans had to “make do” with fansubs – first with VHS tapes, then downloaded files. Fansubbers put out subs on a professional level for free. Remove the option to purchase them legally stateside and they will just revert to not purchasing them at all.

      4) Like many entertainment mediums, the anime industry has failed to embrace the Internet. Get your episodes (with subs, dammit!) on iTunes. Get your manga on Kindle/Nook/iPad etc. Adapt to the digital age or die.

      • >2) Despite all of the sub/dub wars that have been a part of American/Euro otaku history past, subs are almost universally preferred.

        I doubt that. I was very surprised myself though, but e.g. Kazé, the German/Swiss derivation of Viz Media got a gigantic shitstorm of fans saying they won’t buy the DVDs when they announced they’d release the second season of Haruhi without dub.
        There also is a general dislike of Beez Entertainment, not because their subs are shit (which at least the German subs are), but because they don’t dub shows.

      • See, if someone out there came with a model not unlike Valve’s Steam (yeah, I know, there will be complaining) but for anime, I’d sign up right away. Anime anywhere I want? Nice. Forever? And with backups? Awesome. No shipping or taxes (except in certain area, from what I understand, some states tax online transactions,) hell yeah!

        I’m sure there would downsides (what system doesn’t?) but I must admit that I haven’t pirated a damn game since Steam exists. I think that says much…

        (Or perhaps I’m just an idiot, eh?)

        • Anime equivalent to steam…this would help everyone.

          Although, it makes me wonder…why isn’t there already a steam-esque software for anime?

          Maybe make the first episode free so that you at least get a preview of the show? Just a thought. It’s no different than a free demo for a video game.

        • Also there is itunes,Rhapsody and Amazon Video on demand.

          Another thing they need to do is get stuff on cable even if the company owning the channel does not want to pay the highest price.
          Syndication gets exposure to new demographics which sells merchandise.

        • You could even control the prices by region like Steam does. Of course you could circumvent region checks, but most people just don’t bother anyway (lack of care, knowledge or skills).

          Issues are obviously pricing and portability of the content.

        • Agreed, steam is the right way to do drm, it actually ADDS value instead of taking it, and i would probably run out of money pretty fast if i could buy anime eps on a similar service 😛

      • Not to mention paying the shipping costs to send the disk from the US (or some other country) to me.

        Though Bandai made an interesting choice – since non-Japanese pirate anime, Bandai is going to leave piracy as the only option, because there will be no legal ways of getting the shows. Or does Bandai really think that by preventing US companies from selling anime, no anime will be available in the US and so pirates will be punished because you know, anime fans will either make do without anime or learn Japanese and import the discs, but nobody (who was buying anime) will turn to piracy… right…

    • Agreed. Looking at the post title I expected a lot of random trash and idiot talk ala 2ch and SanCom usual. Which is entertaining on its own, but not very good for an actual discussion.

      This time, I can read the arguments and actually respect them. Most of them make a lot of sense and mirror my own thoughts. And there’s no stopping reverse-importing; we’d do the same if it’d save us a couple bucks.

      The dub-vs-sub debate has been going on for ages, and to be honest it’s been misinformed-businessmen vs. everybody else. I imagine the only reason for dubs is to make it more accessible to new foreign viewers, but the poor VA usually does the opposite since they can’t take it seriously.

      Really, the root of the whole problem is that no one has figured out how to properly monetize content in the new media and internet age. There’s been inroads, but no winning formula. Speaking as a professional filmmaker in North America, I can say it’s not just an anime problem.

      • How much Japanese do you speak? I honestly believe that there are just as many bad performances from Japanese seiyuu as American/English voice actors; we just can’t tell that the bad seiyuu are bad. We can point out a bad performance in a language we understand much easier than in one we don’t.

      • It’s true about the new media issue. A lot of creative industries are still trying to figure it out.

        Take for instance, newspapers in the states. They’re largely a dying breed, largely because most people get their news and information from now net nowadays. Yet few have really set to embrace the new medium, as it puts them as a new dog in a kennel with a lot of much bigger dogs right next to them.

        Scott Kurtz, a pretty big online comic creator (who made the Player vs Player webcomic) has been lamenting for years his own industry’s reluctance to pursue a new business model (i.e. comic creators going online).

      • Market research can easily be flawed. But let’s be honest: it was a business decision. For whatever reason they either weren’t making money or they thought their liabilities were too great being a distributor and decided to pull back and let others handle that part of the market.

        Many companies do this all the time, letting other local companies handle distribution of a product into another market, though it seems to happen more the more unsettled the market is that the company wants to move into.

        It’s likely Funimation or the like will be picking up the rights to the shows they want to release in the states, and Funimation will be raking in all the profits, as they know how to work anime sales in the states.

      • The people who actually buy anime wouldn’t buy it if not for the dubs. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that everyone has exactly the same tastes as you.

        I actually HAVE to buy anime dubbed, because my eyesight isn’t good enough to read subtitles.

      • I agree with you even though people voted you down. people don’t realize the we are the minority. A lot of people would rather watch anime dubbed. The problem is that far too many people think that they deserve to get everything for free. With that said, I do support downloading anime from fan subbers but, if you like an anime and don’t go and actually purchase the dvds ,how can you expect companies to want to spend money making a product that you’red going to just steal anyway?

  • I’m sure Bandai is trying to make me feel bad, but legit anime is overpriced compared to other movies. When I started watching anime, DVD hadn’t even come out yet. It was $20 for a dubbed tape or $25 for subtitled. And you got 2 episodes per tape. When DVD came out, it was $30 per DVD. Most new release movies are $20, so $30 for 2 hours of video seemed pricey. Best Buy took the Walmart approach and sold anime at $20 a DVD, which was fair. But Best Buy’s selection dwindled and dwindled. Now, every anime DVD at Best Buy is strictly a “sure-fire seller” and consists of either an Adult Swim anime or Dragonball.

    So, in short, it is no wonder the anime market died in the west. Personally, I miss the 90s when anime was still an underground market in the west. And I miss the late 90s, early 2000s when anime exploded in the west. But, like everything else that becomes trendy with teens and young adults, it was exploited until over saturation, and what was left was a dried out remnant that the “normal” kids will grow up and cringe over that silly hobby he/she had in high school or college. At the same time, the actual fans of anime have to suffer as society tries to move on with their next money maker and leaves us out to dry.

  • I think the problem with the anime piracy is not about money, about paying for something. I thinks this is about service, starting with the fact that they are rarely up-to-date as the fansubbers are.

    I could wait some days or even a couple weeks for something of higher quality, but BDs won’t do if that same anime was on TV many months ago.

  • When I first got into anime I bought it on VHS/DVD since at the time that was pretty much the only way to watch it. Rental places like blockbuster barely carried any anime at all and I had dial-up internet so the only way I could see new stuff being brought to the states was to buy the DVDs which got very costly since a 26 episode series could easily run between $100-150. I feel like one of the main things that pushed me into watching fansubs was that its hard to continue to shell out that kind of money on series you don’t even know if you will like until you watch it. I have a lot of stuff just sitting on my shelf that I’ve watched one time and have been collecting dust for years. Now I kind of use a combination of netflix and fansubs to watch anime and if I come across a series that I really like and will watch again I tend to buy the DVDs.

    • I thought of doing that, but then I figured out fansubs are superior to official translations. Mostly because I’m a purist. So I rather rewatch a good fansub than bother with the official crappy version. I like my translations as literal as possible, doesn’t have to make sense in english. It’s just there to help me better understand what the japanese voice actors are saying.

      • I couldn’t agree with you more on that too. If I’m going to choose between watching a release on a DVD through netflix or a fansub I am going to go with a fansub. Fansub groups usually explain things like Japanese puns that you wouldn’t pick up on if you weren’t familiar with the language, while subtitled DVDs rarely explain stuff like that. The more I’ve become familiar with the language the more I’ve grown disappointed with the quality of the DVD releases here. I love anime so I do want to be supportive of the industry, but it is hard to be when the cost of an anime series DVDs is still higher than that for a season of a U.S. TV series and when they put more focus on a crappy English dub than on putting decent subtitles for the Japanese.

        • I gotta agree with this too. After watching so much anime you eventually pick up a LOT of puns, dialects and the like, and more often than not a literal translation or an explanation shown at the moment makes things a lot more enjoyable.

          The problem is that companies aim to cater to also buyers who aren’t hardcore anime fans (or not at all) and need to translate the puns or trade them for English ones to fit the situation. Sometimes it works, but a lot of times it doesn’t.

  • Part of the problem is a lack of promotion, not the internet, if you want a larger foreign fan base get your anime on TV! Like get the latest gundam on Adult Swim!

    To think I was going to try to work with them about making a live gundam movie.

  • I wonder how long it’ll take them to figure out why pirating happens… It’s not all that difficult, as pirating is much like selling or distributing illegal goods.

    Reasons are…

    1. Demand. People want this stuff, and will go to lengths to obtain it.

    2. Accessibility. If it is not normally accessible, people will be willing to break a few rules to obtain it.

    In the case of anime, the reason would be both of these. Anime is not normally accessible in stores, but thank god for the internet. Accessibility has improved, but is still a far cry from satisfying the general masses. And don’t even get me started on the global scale of demand.

    Of course, Bandai pulled it out in fear of pirating, which is ironic, considering if they don’t make it available in the US, pirating the DVD becomes demanded in excess.

    One thing people can do to at least reduce pirating is making free merchandise to come with the product, like the cloth maps in Skyrim’s release.

    But well, TNCs are only money grubbing useless old men who only know how to grub at money and make it. They only think of profit, and as a result, miss out on the consumer’s point of view. They are unwilling to make some extra expenses that would impact them little, unless they stood to gain profit from it. This lack of generosity is what makes these third world countries so poor…

    but then this is the anime industry, that last point extends mainly do the other industries.


    I think I’ve talked a bit too much.

    • ‘1. Demand. People want this stuff, and will go to lengths to obtain it.’

      Lots of anime watchers are not addicts. They want something that is quick, easy, and hassle-free. Fansubs are quick, easy, and hassle-free.

      If fansubs all vanished tomorrow, their audiences would find something else that was quick, easy, and hassle-free.

  • “Bandai as a whole has not been producing many hits lately. They are too dependent on Gundam.”

    “They say the tastes of US fans have changed, but really they are the same. The problem is all the anime made in Japan is now for the creepy otaku demographic and doesn’t interest them.”


    “What do you expect from a company which didn’t even bother including the Japanese language audio track on its Kurokami BD release? All the NA fans think they are total retards.”

    That’s to deter reverse importing, due to bluray not having separate Japan region protection. In-other-words you cheap fucks reverse importing animu fucked us foreigners. If there is a BD release, I won’t buy some shitty dvd, nor buy a stripped bluray. Fuck them. And yes, they are retards.

  • Part of the problem with anime sales is this, we have a bad economy right now! (I also dont watch illegal dubs or subs I actually pay for my anime, or watch it on official sites sponsored by the studio that owns the rights in full like funimation.

  • Really Bandai Entertainment has made so mistakes in America I’m not surprise by the shutdown. Like announcing the Zeta Gundam Movie Trilogy for the US in 2007 and releasing it in 2010. Another thing tv shows in the US are sold as completed season box sets at a cheaper price as suppose to single volumes, its just how the market works in the US.

  • If you get the whole collection the prices are ok in the US but if you have to buy it in 4 episodes parts its expansive like hell. For example on you get already the whole Angle Beats Season at ones. The DVD for 33.99$, the Bluray for 39,99$. In Germany we have only the first DVD with 4 Episodes yet for the price of 19,99€=25,84$
    For that price you get a whole sitcom season with 4 or 5 times the run Time.
    Outthere are not only hardcore otaku but also anime fans which are not that dumb to buy overpriced things

    • Maybe it is, maybe not. Do you know how licensing in Europe works?
      And please don’t forget the transmission prices for DVDs or Blurays.
      Oh and one more thing, I don’t think europe licensors can’t release 1 whole box with all the episodes. I don’t think they’re allowed to do that.

      • They are allowed to do so… Most of the anime series in Europe are sold by batches of 13 episodes…

        But there are also some exceptions…

        And most of the DVD or blu-ray cost between 25Euros and 70Euros(collector box)…

    • I think the guy who made the most sense was the one who said otaku culture is to blame and we haven’t really changed. When you make all your shows fanservice it turns away a lot of people.

      • i have to agree greatly with you.
        long gone are the days of great animes, with awesome characters, settings and plots. i am sick and tired of cute school girls.
        but haven’t once they considered the current crisis as a reason for low sales?

        • The Japanese make anime for the Japanese market. They don’t care what some tiny foreign market wants to watch. Either get over it, or watch something else.

          A little fanservice never killed anybody. It’s not like the shows with fanservice are intended for little kids, anyway.

          I’m not saying there aren’t great anime out there that don’t rely on fanservice/don’t have fanservice scenes, but it’s not like Japan is going to create anime to fit a tiny foreign markets tastes when they make plenty of money in their own country.

          You don’t have to watch or like those kinds of shows, but to claim that it is ‘ruining anime’ is exactly the sort of thing that makes Japanese companies think about giving up on overseas releases.

        • Sorry HouseLife, but as a die hard anime fan even I can tell you that I cannot take many series seriously because more often than not they abuse the so called “fanservice” full of panty shots, people “accidentally” falling on top of each other and girls grabbing other girls’ boobs. It’s as if the people making the anime or manga considered their work not good enough that they had to resort to cheap pandering. I’m not talking about those series where that kind of stuff is part of the show (often romantic comedies), but there are too many shows that are good enough without having to resort to those things and do anyway.

        • There is still a stigma from buying them though, because other people will find out and look at you weird.

          I personally don’t watch moe/fanservice anime anyway i don’t judge people who do, but other people are not as forgiving as me.

          And if you only watch and not buy… then the publishers aren’t making any money.

          It’s one thing to be idealistic about this, but the world is not ideal, unfortunately.

        • @ Red

          “No offense to Japs” except that Jap is derogatory term in and of itself… fool.

          Cuteness and fanservice have their place and always have had their place. They sell well now for a very good reason, albeit not a reason that everyone thinks of off the bat. The state of the world has shifted what many people want to see as well. There are those who are sick of cute simply because it’s saturated, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with cute.

          Fanservice is an inside joke as it is. Many people don’t find it funny, nor try to, because they are somehow guilty or whatever about it being perverted. And when it’s unrelated… yes, it’s unrelated. But I’ve yet to see fanservice put in a show where it was completely out of place in the atmosphere, but that’s not to say it probably hasn’t happened once or twice.

          The fact that there is a dichotomy between being a complete pervert, or being some type of story purist is also part of the issue. Like there’s no in between for those of us who can see the fanservice and smirk at the foolishness of it. I will happily enjoy a great story with panties in it here and there, or even just a story that I know is going to shove tits in my face if they respect the fact that that’s what they’re doing. Lest we forget there’s nothing perverted about loving hot clothes on a female. Morons throw that word around without knowing it’s meaning at all.

          And lest they forget, we’ve been in a perpetually collapsing economy for the last 3 years now. The Japanese may be used to a dead economy for a longer period of time, we’re not. I haven’t had money for a decent Christmas in 4 years, but I still buy a few DVD box sets when they discount them.

        • @gaelstrom
          Or HouseLife
          You see, trying to be socially proper and all is fine.
          But I don’t think I should be so official and courteous towards Japanese online community that usually refers to us as “gajins” which strangely enough got some sort of offensive vibe to it for me.
          Therefore ‘fool’, no, I do not feel bad about using “japs” in my comment.

          I’ll also stick to what Anon-06:46 stated.
          I’m not watching anime since yesterday and saw my fair share. At this point it’s obvious for me that a lot of stories is strongly based either on moe aspect or fanservice…or both, if the author lacked original concept for scenario.
          It’s also how I’m unable to laugh my ass off like an idiot, or smirk even by watching same cliche ‘fall on a girl’ accident, grope and lingerie flashing.
          Was funny first and second time, but not anymore past third onwards.

          Trust me, despite Your valiant argumentation, there is a lot of stories there that are using said aspects as selling card and prime point.
          And currently I’m seeing those more and more often.

  • This seems a lot more like a smart business decision as opposed to anything based off of piracy. Having publishers pay you for licenses to your products is much cheaper than establishing your own branch in the respective country. Overhead is going to go down a lot for Bandai’s manga and anime sales in the US.

  • Woah american Anime are really cheap OO. I just compared Angel Beats and Gundam 00 and in Germany Anime costs a lot more.

    Angel Beats: You get the complete collection for 34$. (
    Only the first volume is out in Germany and it costs 20€ alone! ( The next two will be released this and next month for the same price. So the whole anime will cost me 60€! That’s about 76$

    Gundam 00: Ok the german edition has also german and france dub and 50 minutes more runtime (dunno how). But both first volumes of the second season have two disks. English costs 27$ and german costs 38€ (Or 45€ if you want to buy it from Amazon and no one else.) Link:

  • not really a big loss proper anime fans would only want subbed dvds with subtitles not really dubs also where i am there is no anime on tv at all so the only anime i watch comes from sites like cruncyroll where i can watch what i want when i want if it shows series on tv instead then i’d be motivated to buy dvds just to see the full series what namco bandai should be doing is setting up its own tv station and shows movies and shows on that i believe that would motivate people to buy dvds

  • I don’t see why Japanese anime companies couldn’t make money overseas; Simply invest into subbing anime into english and create a free online viewing service which relies on localised advertising. Release episodes at the same time they are aired and then gather advertisement profits. However, the problem in the end is that they have no interest in selling anime overseas.

    So I don’t see why they then complain when somebody pirates their property outside Japan as if it would cut their sales. WTF Japan?

    • Followup:

      You have excellent suggestions, fxc2! As an individual I have no real clout expressing this and Bandai seems to have no real fan feedback feature, so prehaps the producers of Sankaku Complex, which represents tens of thousands of out-Japan fans, should knock on Bandai’s door and relate to them how they can adjust their operations without turning their backs on a profit.You have excellent suggestions, fxc2! As an individual I have no real clout expressing this and Bandai seems to have no real fan feedback feature, so prehaps the producers of Sankaku Complex, which represents tens of thousands of out-Japan fans, should knock on Bandai’s door and relate to them how they can adjust their operations without turning their backs on a profit. I also like the idea of them offering on-line goodies like cut-rates on action figures or maybe some Nico or interactive manga artist (with fans!) interviews which are hard (make no sense) to pirate. You can be anti-piracy without being anti-profit, Bandai!

    • You have excellent suggestions, fxc2! As an individual I have no real clout expressing this and Bandai seems to have no real fan feedback feature, so prehaps the producers of Sankaku Complex, which represents tens of thousands of out-Japan fans, should knock on Bandai’s door and relate to them how they can adjust their operations without turning their backs on a profit.

      • The inflated prices come from the a very simple fact: Japan has, just like the UK, a different economic level from countries like Canada or the USA. People in the UK and Japan earn higher revenues (or at least, they used to!) Since companies have to pay higher wages, the price of their products or services follow suit. Food, electronics and discs, for example, cost much more then in North America, and when these products get there, their price seem inflated compared to similar locally manufactured (or grown) products.

        I cannot say that Bandai are without fault because of difference between two nations’ economy, but it certainly didn’t help them. (I do agree that they seem to be ill-intent on trying the same outdated business model and failing horribly at it, and THEN blaming it on piracy, when it was their fault to begin with.)

        As a fan of anime, I do buy CDs from Japan and oh god, the prices! It’s TWICE as much as any CD I would buy locally, and that’s -without- shipping or taxes. I can’t imagine how much I’d pay for figures now if they made them here! (I’d save half! Or alternatively, buy twice as many!)

        • “You’re crazy! Food in Japan is more expensive, yes. Especially if you buy them as INGREDIENTS. You can still have a nice meal out for more or less the same as in the US (maybe a little more for some things; definitely a lot cheaper than in Canada) despite somewhat different sizes in portions.”

          That is unfortunately not true. A lot of foods as ingredients are not cheap in Japan. Why do you say?: Because most ingredients in supermarkets come from overseas including a ton of them from America. While Americans/Canadians probably don’t need to worry about the price of food that only takes several minutes of driving to get to. People may think living in America/Canada is high maintenance, but it’s probably even more so in Japan.

        • You’re crazy! Food in Japan is more expensive, yes. Especially if you buy them as INGREDIENTS. You can still have a nice meal out for more or less the same as in the US (maybe a little more for some things; definitely a lot cheaper than in Canada) despite somewhat different sizes in portions.

          About any other shopping item is more or less same as in the US. Canada is still way more expensive. There are a few exceptions: some electronics will seem slightly more expensive than the ones in North America, but despite the same model it is -made in Japan- instead of China or Indonesia or whatnot. If you ever get to see a Made-in-Japan television or camera, you will notice picture quality differences. May be too subtle for some people though.

          You may also notice that even for Made in China clothes in Japan, a lot of them are of higher quality than random ones you find in North America, also made in China.

          I think the only thing that is a heck lot more expensive in Japan is anything to do with land/space– parking (even bicycles!), renting apartments or parking spaces, and definitely buying a house.

        • Well, I don’t know about UK, but if you noticed the shift in anime themes and genre’s in Japan ,you’ll see a lot more anime being made for the “creepy otaku” demographic. Shows like Cowboy Bebop and Big O are definitely not in that demo, so the Japanese producers had to make a choice between Japan and international. They chose Japan and ended up losing the rest of the world. Just think about it, Haruhi- a show about a fucktard queen of a bitch, was really popular in Japan. But man, come on, that show cannot compare to Ghost in the Shell when it comes to international viewership.

    • No dubs. I am not very good in Japanese, but i still prefer to hear nice Japanese seiyuu voices instead of all bad dubs, in whatever other language.
      Japanese voices are simply of outstanding quality.
      You can easily have many different subs to that, they don`t demand much data.

      • The Japanese actors act. The English dubbers just read the line turn the page read the line turn the page… Oh maybe throw in British accent, lame.

        And they refuse to do what fansub groups do. No karaoke of the opening and ending animations, if they even keep them on. And they make up their own names for people and things instead just translating it.

      • I keep hearing about the bad dubs but a lot of them are pretty good now. Some are even great. It’s just a matter of marketing them properly and with the right price. Bandai’s anime were sold almost like it would in Japan, with only 3-4 episodes per release, compared to most other Blurays having anywhere from 10-20 episodes in a release (or even better, the whole 26 episode run in some cases).

        I’m sure there’s a market for anime in the world. I wish people have less of a defeatist attitude and stop trying to accuse other anime fans for it. Though I do think more anime fans support their hobby with real money instead of thinking fansubs are the only way to go, or you’re somehow ‘supporting’ it by only watching it, not giving it some revenue.

        • That’s your problem that you live in Sweden. Don’t complain to Japan, complain to your own government.

          And if you notice about your buying habit. You’re buying it at thirdhand sellers. Gurren Lagann for complete can be found for $40-$50. When you see it expensive somewhere else, you blame the Japanese. But you honestly should be blaming your own country.

          Foreigners are the ones that created the market, Japan didn’t ask everyone to buy their shows. That’s where internationally it becomes twisted with foreigners…

        • Sure, there’s a market. But…
          Where I live, Sweden, I managed to find Gurren Lagann on DVD. A third of the series for $60, plus shipping. But, only the first third is available.
          Sure, it has the Japanese sound track, but that won’t endear me to buy something that was released quite a while ago if I can’t get the whole series.
          And heck, I can buy an 80h game at that price.

        • There you go. As I mentioned, bad marketing.

          Seriously, why do they seem to release less while technology is increasing capacity? Why not release one DVD or Blue-Ray for half the discs? And how would the general population know about buying the DVDs when the majority haven’t even watched part of it?

          The only people who are going to look at the ‘new releases’ are those already interested in anime. Hence only One Piece, Naruto and Bleach. They’ll have to actually show something more current and during prime time on some channel besides “Adult swim’…

      • But what percentage of Americans who buy Anime actually know or follow the seiyuu’s? and would watch a series based on who is voice acting.

        You can’t replace a Yui Horie, Rie Kugimiya, Yū Kobayashi etc and have the anime take on the same depth and feeling.

        • > and would watch a series based on who is voice acting.

          It is not about following particular voice actor/actress.

          It seems you do not understand the problem

          Just watch pretty much any English dub. 99% of them are dubbed so horribly, voices do not match the character or setting at all, with poor or no acting whatsoever – or worse, over-acting. It is as if random people picked on a street were given text to read.

          Note that the problem doesn’t exist with the most animations produced in the West – it is the problem what kind of dubbers redistributors hire here.

        • that could be true, however piracy does contribute to lost of sale.
          had it not been for the internet and anime was available licensed here, I’d be jumping all over it.
          I’ve bought two series, K-on and Clannad, how much did I spend? a cool $1,500 on four seasons worth of shows. As much as I love to support the industry, it is simply not possible.
          why don’t I buy the English licensed version? I feel it is a much inferior product and comes when the hypes already comes down

        • That’s the problem not all American Anime fans are Purists who would rather spend their time reading poorly localized subtitles that are as literal as possible.

          Hence why though they also put SUBS on DVDS. Don’t like Dubs? Then don’t ruin it for the rest of us.

          I also love though they count Piracy as if it’s a lost sale.

          You can’t lose something that you never had. And you can’t lose a sale from someone who never intended to buy something.

      • This is why they failed in making money. I would buy tons if the voice acting was good. Take Ryuk from Death note his voice in Japanese was spot on in English… well I threw it away.

        What Bandai should have done was invest in some professional voice actors.

        • Amen. I buy only after I hear the dubs or go strictly with subs.

          I personally do not like any of the American voice actors. They suck because they sound out of context. A cop who sounds like a cheerleader? A pilot sounding like a playground brat? Would you listen to any of the music if they had someone off-key? That’s how I look at American Dubs and much of the cartoons.

          IMHO, the biggest problem is how they promote it. It’s like how EGames is struggling here in the US. It isn’t popularized and is usually stigmatized. I’m not saying there isn’t a market but that marketing hasn’t been done well and the ‘administration’ are heavy handed on it.

      • Well thats mostly because in japan they are full time voice actors. In the US atleast I belive most normlay do other jobs at the company as well as voice acting. so your basicly getting a dub by non-professionals. Another issue most people fail to understand is europe and america are just extra money for the japanese companys anime is not and outside possibly a few shows never has or will be made for a non japanese audiance so companys expecting non-japanese customers to buy at japanese prices which is ment to make a profit and recover cost doesnt work well outside japan. Also remember most anime broadcast on tv over there like normal tv shows so they get fees form tv stations and advertisments as well to cover costs.

        P.S. while some may argue I also submit that in all honesty a lot of anime in resent years has been well crap mostly fanservice or loliish crap mind you thats my opinion but while i download anime as well I do buy quite a bit just like american tv shows if its good i’ll buy the box set and i say box set because american companys dont release single disk versiosn ie 1 to 4 episodes per disk its a box set only kind of thing be it some did do the single disks at times I remember stargate sg1 did that some but 98%(pulled from my ass) are box sets only.

        • Bleach, One Piece, and Naturo are all suffering from Akira Toriyama syndrome.

          The authors of all 3 are openly begging to move on to something else, and the publishers are basically forcing them to stick around because the money’s too good.

          So you have the authors trying to wrap the series up, only whoops, the publisher won’t let them, so it’s time for an even BIGGER bad guy. Shock, Awe, etc.

          Eventually they’ll have saved up enough money from the rather absurdly low pay even people like Eiichiro Oda make in that abysmal pit of an industry, and they’ll just flat out quit.

          Which should be interesting to see, eh?

        • I agree with Anon 23:06,

          @12:12: You must be freaking crazy to think that Bleach is good…have you even comprehend the plot of why Kubo didn’t finish it with Aizen. It was a okay show at the beginning, but it’s been a complete bloody *** mess afterwards.
          Bleach is so inconsistent with the series that we can’t tell WTF timeline they’re suppose to follow.

          At least One Piece, doesn’t do 30 – 100 episode filler like Bleach and Naruto does. It blows my mind that people’s brains are so numbed about that fact on those two shows alone. These people only care about the action, and not the story.

        • In Japan they have people like Megumi Hayashibarain, the US we have people like Rebecca Forstadt.

          Occasionally the US gets a good team, The Sayers, but that’s rarely the case. Usually they’re just tolerable, like Bleach or Full Metal Alchemist.

          Of course some I found intolerable in Japanese, One Piece for instance. But the Japanese seem to love it. So whatever.

    • I’ve even heard English dub actors (from Non-Bandai releases) comment & scratch their heads at Bandai’s inability to capitalize on the titles they do get.

      VizMedia uses Adult Swim, Sentai Filmworks (old ADV) has AnimeNetwork, FUNimation thrives Online and crushes competitors… I don’t see a Bandai presence anywhere but BestBuy & Netflicks and that model was ‘dated’ 5 years ago. They should get Online streaming,a TV station or STFU!

      How do you lose money with “Haruhi” & “K-On!”? Kodakawa must be ashamed!