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Old 2012-04-15, 20:14   Link #21
relentlessflame
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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I thought a lot of Blu-ray content was distributed in 24 fps progressive with "stepdown" applied as needed to adjust to the frame rate differences in different countries. Is the frame rate on a Region B Blu-ray different from that on a Region A, or is there just some type of region coding on the disc that makes it Region A or B?
The region coding is just a setting on the disc, and it doesn't necessarily mean that the frame rate is one thing or another, so there's really no limitation in terms of what could be played in whatever region other than this arbitrary bit. (I think pretty much all HDTVs support the whole list of frame rates.) In terms of most anime today, at least on the Japanese Blu-Rays that I have it's either 1080p24 or 1080i60 (with telecine/pull-down to get to 24 fps most of the time). I don't know if anime Blu-Rays mastered in Europe are changed to 1080p/25... but they probably have to do it anyway for the DVDs, so it's possible.

Basically, the reason each region keeps producing their content at the old NTSC/PAL framerates is so that it can be easily downscaled to SD for SDTV broadcast and DVD (and kept compatible with the old sets). If it weren't for that, it probably wouldn't matter since the HDTVs and Blu-Ray players are all essentially compatible (barring, I suppose, the odd cheap model that's messed up).
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Old 2012-04-16, 07:30   Link #22
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Basically, the reason each region keeps producing their content at the old NTSC/PAL framerates is so that it can be easily downscaled to SD for SDTV broadcast and DVD (and kept compatible with the old sets). If it weren't for that, it probably wouldn't matter since the HDTVs and Blu-Ray players are all essentially compatible (barring, I suppose, the odd cheap model that's messed up).
It's actually the players that deal with the downscaling as my old philips BDP3000 (and my PS3 before my first one broke and had to be replaced) always switched to NTSC mode (or PAL60 mode) when it was playing a blu ray disc, and the toshiba BDX1200 (with region free firmware for DVD and BD installed) that I'm currently using doesn't.
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Old 2012-04-16, 08:05   Link #23
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The reality is that few titles are selling respectable numbers in Western markets. So the rationale is if you jack up the price by at least six times and lower the sales to a third, you generate far more profit regardless. Aniplex's model is despicable - but the grim reality is that is one of the most viable. Marketing to 300-500 hardcores willing to be excessive in the name of loyalty works. Supposedly this is a swipe against piracy, but really, isn't that just going to ostracize the fanbase more? Hard fact of life is it's hard to afford to live these days and that luxuries are harder to afford.

I'm just hopeful the split of Siren staff leading to the formation of Hanabee won't lead to this happening in Australia, since Eric Cherry has said he values Aniplex's methods and content highly and wants to bring a similar scenario to Australia.
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Old 2012-04-16, 19:48   Link #24
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Hmm... maybe I should put a 'blu-ray only' policy for my purchases this year (barring special exceptions that I have not yet thought of; never say never after all).

I honestly don't know how else to combat this restriction, though I'm afraid its the licensors who would affected most by it, not Kadokawa. Instead of 1 grand of dvd sales per convention that I spend, it would essentially shrink it down to maybe 300 at the most. :shrug:
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Old 2012-04-16, 20:30   Link #25
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Originally Posted by Last Sinner View Post
So the rationale is if you jack up the price by at least six times and lower the sales to a third, you generate far more profit regardless. Aniplex's model is despicable - but the grim reality is that is one of the most viable.
I don't think its despicable. Anime is a niche product. As with niche products, it is sold in low volumes at high prices. The combinations of a few factors in the western market allowed anime to be sold at higher volumes and lower prices for a while, but that obviously isn't working out for them, since anime isn't mainstream enough for that.

So you can't own every anime you like. It makes life harder if you are a collector short on cash, but for everyone else, I think it improve things. It means more money for the anime companies, which means more budget to put out quality anime , or possibly enough budget to take more risks and put out series that aren't guaranteed to be popular (like most of the stuff the mainstream western fanbase likes, hard sci fi, and other niches).

Quote:
Supposedly this is a swipe against piracy, but really, isn't that just going to ostracize the fanbase more?
If anything it is quiet acceptance of piracy. It is them coming out to say that "we realize that not many are buying what we produce, so we are going to ask for more money out of those who are able and willing to pay and let everyone enjoy our creation gratis."

Quote:
Hard fact of life is it's hard to afford to live these days and that luxuries are harder to afford.
The cost of anime isn't more than electricity, a computer, and an internet connection. The cost of anime is going up zero. It's just the cost of owning anime that is going up, and that is a good thing because the anime industry needs more budget to use if we want amazing things out of it.

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Originally Posted by DragoonKain3 View Post
Hmm... maybe I should put a 'blu-ray only' policy for my purchases this year (barring special exceptions that I have not yet thought of; never say never after all).
Yay imports! Kadokawa probably wants you to do that.

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I honestly don't know how else to combat this restriction,
You can't by yourself. You need to convince the entire western fanbase to put their money where their mouths are and convince the companies that anime is mainstream enough to be sold as a mainstream product instead of a niche one.
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Old 2012-04-16, 20:46   Link #26
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If anything it is quiet acceptance of piracy. It is them coming out to say that "we realize that not many are buying what we produce, so we are going to ask for more money out of those who are able and willing to pay and let everyone enjoy our creation gratis."
That certainly seems the motivation behind the way Aniplex is distributing Madoka. As I said, I'm still a little puzzled that they chose to dub the series at all. Fansubs created an intense demand for a very niche product. The decision to stream the subtitled version on Crunchyroll seems intended to expand the market, but we're still talking about reaching generally younger viewers who are comfortable with streaming and subtitles.

And, at least in North America, fansubs are fading quickly as a method for building demand for most new series in favor of streaming. For the large portion of the audience who only wants to watch the shows and doesn't care about owning them or watching dubs, optical discs are fading fast as a distribution medium. Disc purchases will become ever more concentrated among a small group of collectors and people who will only watch dubs. As the disc market shrinks it becomes inevitable that prices must rise.

It's not a matter of enjoying their creations "gratis," either. People like me pay my monthly fee to Crunchy, and people watching on services like Hulu generate advertising revenues. True, these sources of income aren't as lucrative as selling discs, but they are definitely an improvement over a situation where thousands of people were watching their creations and giving back nothing in return.

Overall, I see these trends as generally positive. Many more shows are available for legal viewing in R1 than ever before, so the audience as a whole has benefitted greatly. These developments won't please people whose commitment to the hobby is based on building collections of discs, but those people have always represented a small and declining portion of the total audience after fansubs became widely available via torrents. I'd say the biggest losers will be the dub-only audience as they'll have fewer and fewer options available, and the English voice actors who'll have less work as time goes on.
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Old 2012-04-16, 21:58   Link #27
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Probably they'd be the last ones to adapt or the first ones to quit.
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Old 2012-04-16, 22:05   Link #28
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Originally Posted by Last Sinner View Post
Aniplex's model is despicable - but the grim reality is that is one of the most viable. Marketing to 300-500 hardcores willing to be excessive in the name of loyalty works. Supposedly this is a swipe against piracy, but really, isn't that just going to ostracize the fanbase more? Hard fact of life is it's hard to afford to live these days and that luxuries are harder to afford.
Hmmm, more like its an acknowledgement that there's a "patron class" and a "peanut gallery". Like many other niche industries, they're just explicitly saying - "if you have to ask the price, you can't afford us".
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Old 2012-04-16, 22:19   Link #29
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The main problem with Aniplex USA is even their regular editions are priced too high with nothing to show for it.
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Old 2012-04-17, 10:45   Link #30
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I don't think its despicable. Anime is a niche product. As with niche products, it is sold in low volumes at high prices. The combinations of a few factors in the western market allowed anime to be sold at higher volumes and lower prices for a while, but that obviously isn't working out for them, since anime isn't mainstream enough for that.
Even during anime's peak in the US, merchandise was the main source of anime-related income in the US. Merchandise had always been a major force in what garners revenue in Japan. Ever since Gundam and Eva proved merch power, it's been a standard. There's plenty of people who don't buy a series and buy merchandise of it instead. As for why people aren't buying in the numbers they used to, merch is part of it but living expenses and shift in content have a lot to do with it to. If you take a look at what titles have sold most in recent years, it's pre-existing big names like Eva, DBZ, Pokemon, Bebop, etc. The fact that shows around for a decade or more now are outselling current material surely means something.

Quote:
So you can't own every anime you like. It makes life harder if you are a collector short on cash, but for everyone else, I think it improve things. It means more money for the anime companies, which means more budget to put out quality anime , or possibly enough budget to take more risks and put out series that aren't guaranteed to be popular (like most of the stuff the mainstream western fanbase likes, hard sci fi, and other niches).
Marketing a series properly and making good but smart purchases can do just as much for a company. If Aniplex's model was truly the way, then why are Sentai, NIS and Funi still able to expand their range in these times? Not everything they pick up sells, but they have improved significantly at how they market shows, what they pay for them and understanding what paying fans want. ADV overspent on titles and it cost them. Bandai US poorly marketed big titles that should have been big sellers and went bust on them. If you make an effort and let people know shows exist, you will find buyers. If you think the fandom knows the majority of the titles out there at present, that's an illusion. A good deal of people still don't know where to find titles from certain timepoints and it's always been one of the major failings of the industry outside Japan. Streaming current material is helping bridge that gap, but not everyone uses the net. Plenty of people are still tied to traditional mediums. Madman were able to market Vampire Knight in Australia well and get good sales of it mainly from getting considerable TV exposure for it. Even in modern times, some traditional advertising methods still work. Not everyone traverses cyberspace like we do.


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If anything it is quiet acceptance of piracy. It is them coming out to say that "we realize that not many are buying what we produce, so we are going to ask for more money out of those who are able and willing to pay and let everyone enjoy our creation gratis."
I find that pathetic and I also find that to only be partly true at best about the fandom. There's plenty of paying fans out there. But people set limits or standards on what they buy. Most what buy everything they like. They'll confine it to their top tier titles for the greater part, which makes sense. And adults have spread opinions on what they like. Consensus isn't as big as some people might want to believe. The brands associated with some licensing companies is also a deterring factor for some fans. And anime fans generally aren't fans of only anime. Manga, games and merchandise often factor into their spending habits too. And I'm sure other hobbies/lifestyle factors take up money too. All again limiting what people can spend. The notion the majority of people simply don't want to pay is overblown. Yes, there are some people who would never pay. Buy I know plenty who buy regularly and some who have invested tens of thousands into their collection, but buy smart. The mention of Aniplex's model to these people makes them laugh and unanimously say they would NEVER buy ANY title under such a model. I get that response every time I've asked someone locally.


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You can't by yourself. You need to convince the entire western fanbase to put their money where their mouths are and convince the companies that anime is mainstream enough to be sold as a mainstream product instead of a niche one.
Perhaps fans don't want the medium to be mainstream? The suggestion anime would go mainstream and be a cultural factor globally to that degree is fanciful and then some. Remember, we are talking about a product where elitism and ego-pandering are big factors in driving sales within Japan. If you bring the overpriced model overseas, that's the kind of behaviour within the paying fandom you will see more prevlaent and people with common sense will stop buying. And is that what we really want within the fandom and industry? I hope not. People are entitled to like what they want within the laws and morals of where they live and to have the right to pay a sensible price for a product. It's up to the companies to compel them to buy their products and to devise marketing strategies and budgets to bring about such an end. Good companies will be able to do so.


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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Hmmm, more like its an acknowledgement that there's a "patron class" and a "peanut gallery". Like many other niche industries, they're just explicitly saying - "if you have to ask the price, you can't afford us".
Tthat mentality to make their material exclusive will encourage the qualities that make the fandom somewhat resented within Japan. I doubt that's what licensing companies in the West want.


It is worth noting the anime fandom isn't the only type of fandom experiencing exclusive prices. Plenty of sports and their teams are very costly to be able to see them live now. Pay-per-view oriented fandoms are ealso fairly exclusive and they survive. But it's also worth noting that in those cases, merchandising and marketing play a very big part too.


And in the end, if the BDs become unobtainable, is settling for the DVD version that bad in the end? At least you can still watch the show. I can tolerate the picture and sound not being as pristine if it means I can still watch the show.
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Old 2012-04-17, 12:17   Link #31
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I know plenty who buy regularly and some who have invested tens of thousands into their collection, but buy smart. The mention of Aniplex's model to these people makes them laugh and unanimously say they would NEVER buy ANY title under such a model. I get that response every time I've asked someone locally.
They're probably not "plentiful" enough to make a difference in the anime market, which is why obscene BD prices are still the norm for anime in Japan.

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And in the end, if the BDs become unobtainable, is settling for the DVD version that bad in the end? At least you can still watch the show. I can tolerate the picture and sound not being as pristine if it means I can still watch the show.
DVD quality is certainly "enough" to enjoy most anime, but if I know that there is a BD version out somewhere, I would feel entitled to get that instead. When I can easily snatch BD-rips of an anime from download websites, why should I buy and watch an inferior DVD?
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Old 2012-04-17, 13:39   Link #32
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it's pre-existing big names like Eva, DBZ, Pokemon, Bebop, etc. The fact that shows around for a decade or more now are outselling current material surely means something.
It means that the western fanbase doesn't agree with the Japanese fanbase, and isn't large enough to influence anime production in the direction they want.

Quote:
And in the end, if the BDs become unobtainable, is settling for the DVD version that bad in the end? At least you can still watch the show. I can tolerate the picture and sound not being as pristine if it means I can still watch the show.
For the purpose of supporting the creators, a DVD sale isn't much different than a BRD sale. So torrent a good BD rip and buy the DVD.

Quote:
DVD quality is certainly "enough" to enjoy most anime, but if I know that there is a BD version out somewhere, I would feel entitled to get that instead. When I can easily snatch BD-rips of an anime from download websites, why should I buy and watch an inferior DVD?
To watch it would be idiocy, but buying it is supporting the creators so they can make more anime.

I think people need to think of buying discs not as a way to obtain anime to watch, but rather as a way to support people the making anime they like.
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Old 2012-04-17, 13:59   Link #33
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I am kind of confused about some of the comments in those articles. IIRC there is no difference between a region A or B release, except for the region coding, if the publisher decides to use it. The only issue that sometime happens is, if European pictures that were mastered or shot in 50Hz, for an US those shows have/had to be remastered, but not the other way around. Having said that the PS3 did had issues in the past with blu-ray playback, but those were really just specific PS3 issues.

If I read correctly it is mainly about imports, unlike with DVDs japan and the US have the same region code which makes it tempting for people to import the less expensive US version. But this view is really short sighted, otakus, their main costumers, will buy the limited edition version domestic release anyway, and in some cases they are likely to get all releases they could use/play. It is only the people who won't buy blurays and watch the shows on tv, who would be tempted to import the less expensive version.
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Old 2012-04-17, 14:41   Link #34
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I think people need to think of buying discs not as a way to obtain anime to watch, but rather as a way to support people the making anime they like.
The problem with this is that the production companies will NEVER change their business model as long as people keep buying their over priced discs. I really don't know how the tv business works in Japan, but I do know a thing about it in the US and I can say that tv shows here don't implicitly depend on dvd sales to survive. In another words if it can happen here then it can be made to work in Japan. The problem is, unfortunately, is that the business won't change until the Japanese otakus stop throwing their income at BDs. Seriously how do they even afford it?
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Old 2012-04-17, 15:15   Link #35
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I really don't know how the tv business works in Japan, but I do know a thing about it in the US and I can say that tv shows here don't implicitly depend on dvd sales to survive. In another words if it can happen here then it can be made to work in Japan.
The two situations are really quite different. American DVD sales of TV programming are "gravy." The production costs are covered in the initial network run. DVD sales, syndication, and overseas distribution are all supplementary profit streams, but most if not all the upfront costs are paid for by the initial network run.

Japanese anime production committees actually buy time from the television networks to show their programs. They may be able to sell some availabilities to advertisers, but often the ads are for ancillary products like OST CDs associated with the anime themselves. Production committees rely almost entirely on sales of DVDs/BDs, the adapted manga and novels, and merchandise to make a profit.

Do an "advanced search" for threads with "industry" in them if you're interested.
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Old 2012-04-17, 15:21   Link #36
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It works in Japan for mainstream products. Anime isn't mainstream. Anime is a niche product for a small group of dedicated fans. The mainstream method doesn't work for a niche product.

In a regular television series, the network buys the show to run so they can make money off of ads. In late night anime, the production committee buys a slot to run their show in so they can show off their product and hope people buy it. They might make some money off of ads if they are lucky, but its no where near what they need to even come close to breaking even.

Quote:
The problem is, unfortunately, is that the business won't change until the Japanese otakus stop throwing their income at BDs. Seriously how do they even afford it?
That isn't the problem. That is what is keeping the anime industry alive. Niche products can't be sold at mainstream prices since they can't be sold in mainstream volumes. Since they are low volume, they have to be sold at high prices.

Also, they afford it by having jobs that pay decently, spending little money on anything else, and sometimes have near free living expenses since Asian parents tend not to kick their kids out as quickly as American parents do. Be thankful for them, otherwise, we wouldn't exist.
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Old 2012-04-17, 15:48   Link #37
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Japanese anime production committees actually buy time from the television networks to show their programs. They may be able to sell some availabilities to advertisers, but often the ads are for ancillary products like OST CDs associated with the anime themselves. Production committees rely almost entirely on sales of DVDs/BDs, the adapted manga and novels, and merchandise to make a profit.

Do an "advanced search" for threads with "industry" in them if you're interested.
That completely ass-backwards. Do you mean to tell me that tv rating are so low for anime that they can't get advertisers to to air the shows. Thats kinda hard to believe. I guess you really do learn something new everyday.
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Old 2012-04-17, 16:00   Link #38
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That completely ass-backwards. Do you mean to tell me that tv rating are so low for anime that they can't get advertisers to to air the shows. Thats kinda hard to believe. I guess you really do learn something new everyday.
It's not always about ratings. Most late-night anime is created by a production committee which pays for the production of the show. Since they buy a timeslot, they can air ads that are related to the program/committee. Ratings don't matter in these instances except for the cost of the timeslots. Thus they recoup their expenses for production of the show/timeslot purchases via disc sales, CD sales, manga/reference book sales, merchandise, etc.

Conversely, mainstream programming is paid by the station that airs it. Since the station pays for the show, they hope to recoup their expenses by selling ads at a high price. To get that high price, they have to have decent to high ratings.

It's all about who's producing the show to see how ratings matter to anime. Shows like Naruto, Conan, and other mainstream titles depend on these ratings to keep the stations paying for production. Late night anime like Moretsu Pirates and Fate/Zero don't depend on ratings since a production committee paid for the production of that show.
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Old 2012-04-17, 16:01   Link #39
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That completely ass-backwards. Do you mean to tell me that tv rating are so low for anime that they can't get advertisers to to air the shows. Thats kinda hard to believe. I guess you really do learn something new everyday.
Most animes air between 11pm and 4am. Aka times that automatically are low rating. It is rare for an anime to air in prime time.
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Old 2012-04-17, 17:25   Link #40
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That completely ass-backwards. Do you mean to tell me that tv rating are so low for anime that they can't get advertisers to to air the shows. Thats kinda hard to believe. I guess you really do learn something new everyday.
Yes. Browse the ratings thread. You'll see most late-night shows draw something between 0.5 and 2 percent of households. Here's a good summary table from earlier this year. One complication is that ratings undercount viewing somewhat in Japan because, unlike US Nielsens, time-shifted viewings on DVRs aren't counted.

Anime telecasts have more in common with the infomercials carried in the overnight slots on American cable networks. In many cases the anime telecast is an infomercial for the adapted material, the DVD/BD releases, and associated merchandise.
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