AyaCon 2013

AyaCon is upon us and I shall be travelling there tomorrow. Stay tuned as this year I’m finally hoping to bring you video updates from the con.

AmeCon 2012 Namco Bandai panel

Unfortunately since the Live Blog plugin I was using got abandoned, I’ve tried to retrieve the information but some of it is a bit jumbled up. The times are also wrong.

Graces f will not have Japanese audio available.

They also have a Euro exclusive day 1 edition for graces f.

European games have to come out all at once otherwise French & Spanish sales get cannibalised.

There is also local multi.

They are concentrating on new Tales titles at the moment.

Multiplayer is supported over psn.

Tales of Graces f has 10hrs of new content and 2/3 more script compared to wii version.

tales of graces f intro now showing.

|Namco Bandai UK are pushing for a psn demo nearer the time.

Sounds like the original Japanese will also be available with English subs.

A boss appears!

No multi in Ni no Kuni but there is in Tales of Graces f.

No plans for 3DS version here as yet. waters will be tested with ps3 version first.

Enslaved wasn’t strong enough for a q4 launch window. Ni no Kuni is not in conflict with much other stuff with its Jan 2013 date.

They speedrun the demo in the Namco offices.

The Wizard edition is a special edition on preorder now, includes a plushie and the wizard book.

The voice acting was mainly done by a UK company who also worked on Dragon Age.

Hollie is explaining Studio Ghibli’s extensive involvement in this project.

There are two ten minute demos.

Intro vid is now playing, dubbed.

Ni no Kuni is on screen.

They managed to get a ps3 hooked up to the projector. I will be holding my phone manually as no space for tripod, so video will be mr. shakycam.

AyaCon 2011 Anime on Demand Panel

1:04:35 PM: @Mithrandir2k and @liceas hosting the panel.

1:06:53 PM: Panel kicking off now, Andrew is introducing what Anime on Demand is.

1:08:43 PM: Started in March just after the tsunami. Tiger & Bunny was their first show, ep21 is out now.

1:09:44 PM: Andrew has been specifically looking at noitaminA titles.

1:11:17 PM: Andrew says there are uncensored Deadman Wonderland DVDs, though it’s not clear if he means a UK release.

1:13:09 PM: Simulcasting is still an emerging market so the companies are still finding ways to drive revenue while remaining competitive.

1:14:45 PM: For some shows Japanese companies want a commitment right through to physical product, so not all shows get picked up.

1:16:04 PM: He doesn’t mention any specifics but is definitely planning to get some October shows.

1:17:44 PM: He says they are looking at ways to get moe shows to sell.

1:19:16 PM: He also mentions they are working on a new backend for the site. He’d like it to be live by October.

1:20:48 PM: Accounts will be transferred and users will receive a password reset email.

1:22:33 PM: Someone asked about HTML5 and mobile support, Andrew says it is on the list for the new platform with apps for iOS and Android.

1:26:05 PM: I asked about social media support in the new platform, Andrew says it has the capacity for that.

1:29:04 PM: Ad revenue is done on x amount per 1000 views. 20k people all viewing an episode would barely cover materials costs, so not viable alone.

1:30:44 PM: Andrew recounts his experience of crap internet in Stranraer.

1:33:32 PM: Someone asked about HTPC platforms, Andrew said he’d rather have it on PS3 than Boxee or XBMC.

1:34:25 PM: He does have plans to get in on YouView.

1:36:16 PM: Until the service is in a position where it’s polished Andrew won’t be doing lots of promotion.

1:37:44 PM: October MCM Expo should be interesting in that respect.

1:40:53 PM: Someone asked about the possibility of classic shows on the platform, Andrew says he is looking at it as an option.

1:42:34 PM: With royalty calculations you are trying to calculate how much per episode the creators will get based on views.

1:45:03 PM: Someone contrasted Crunchyroll’s vision of having everything, Andrew says he’d love to but it’s not practical.

1:52:25 PM: Will asked about the possibility of getting higher profile older titles that never got a UK release, Andrew says Kickstarter style may work.

1:55:21 PM: Andrew recounts a story about the Japanese broadcast of Eva ep 19 and production problems.

1:57:49 PM: Someone asked about the western Nico Nico streams, Andrew says he knows some of their people and would like to collaborate.

1:59:03 PM: Someone else asked about dubs, Andrew says he is looking at it but it involves a separate video upload.

2:02:31 PM: Someone asked about piracy and the government’s censorship plans, Andrew said he’d prefer the site operators get shut down.

2:04:55 PM: The panel is wrapping up now, Andrew thanks everyone who picked up a year pass at Anime on Demand.

AyaCon 2011 State of the Industry Panel

12:00:30 PM: Hosted by Will Blewitt, with Andrew Partridge, Matt Mercer, Stephanie Sheh, Michael Sinterniklaas.

12:03:34 PM: Andrew is recounting the Sony DADC riot arson incident. 38426 units lost. 1.6 million pounds worth.

12:05:40 PM: Manga Ent and MVM are ok as their stock was held elsewhere. Beez titles are replicated in France so release schedule is ok.

12:08:38 PM: Older titles that are less popular (eg Stratos 4) will not get reprinted. Kaze are helping Beez pick up the pieces.

12:12:26 PM: Andrew recounts an amusing anecdote from Hyper Japan about BitTorrent, Vampire Knight and BBC Radio 4…

12:14:26 PM: Hashtag #butilistentoradiofour for amusing and creative excuses for piracy. Andrew will be judging them from the dealers room.

12:17:37 PM: Jerome and Tony are on holiday which is why it’s just Andrew from the UK industry.

12:20:09 PM: Andrew is describing the Manga issues with only releasing half a show on Blu-Ray, this has been discussed and will be resolved w/future disc

12:21:55 PM: Andrew announced that he has Mardock Scramble. He describes it as Ghost in the Shell but watchable referring to the movie.

12:23:54 PM: Andrew has a pet peeve about US companies getting rights for all English speaking territories.

12:28:23 PM: Stephanie has a question – what’s a good average number of units for a UK release? Andrew says 2000 units would be shockingly good.

12:29:00 PM: That figure is for month one of a new release.

12:32:47 PM: UK sales expectations are around half to a third of US ones.

12:35:48 PM: Someone asks about K On Blurays, Andrew says wait for Jerome to announce something.

12:36:59 PM: Someone asks if sales are still haemorrhaging in Japan, Andrew says yes.

12:38:50 PM: There have been several studio closures and cutbacks during the past year.

12:40:51 PM: TV broadcasters in Japan are not picking up as many shows as before so funding is an issue.

12:44:32 PM: Gundam Unicorn DVD version will be coming out.

12:47:51 PM: Professor Layton did about 24 to 25 thousand units.

12:53:27 PM: I asked about Gundam Unicorn Blurays volumes 2 and 3 and apparently it’s a worldwide fixed price set by Japan.

12:56:12 PM: Someone asked if anime companies are becoming less dependent on retail and more on online stores.

12:56:45 PM: Andrew says it has already been going that way.

12:58:29 PM: Someone asked how succesful the Durarara sub only discs were, Andrew says it is doing quite well.

1:00:45 PM: Someone asked about UK releases of older Gundam shows, Andrew says they will see how the US release goes.

1:01:17 PM: Will wraps it up and the panel is now over.

AyaCon 2011

Hello folks, sorry this blog has been inactive so long. It’s been an interesting year for streaming anime and while I am here at AyaCon 2011 I will be reporting on the latest info from the State of the Industry and Anime on Demand panels. If you check my Twitter feed you will see I already have a few pics and videos from the con. If you’re here, I hope you have a great time and if you’re not, stay tuned to hear the latest goings on!

AmeCon 2010 State of the Industry Panel

1:37:55 PM: State of the Industry panel is starting, Andrew Partridge of Beez, Tony Allen of MVM and committee leader Will Blewitt attending.

1:38:50 PM: Tony is going to kick off with some MVM news.

1:39:40 PM: No new acquisitions from MVM other than what’s already been announced. 6th Sep Moribito. First venture into departing from single discs

1:40:10 PM: October – Blade of the Immortal, cost a lot so it is coming out in single discs despite the new direction.

1:41:14 PM: Blade of the Immortal is 3 individual volumes. New Slayers series also licensed (Revolution and Evolution-R).

1:41:48 PM: MVM are hoping to have some new acquisitions in 2011. They have also started going into live-action titles.

1:42:33 PM: Tony compares live-action sales of around 20,000 units for the same effort and the same cost as an anime which may sell a few hundred.

1:42:54 PM: Even the dodgy B-movie stuff has done really well, getting into places like ASDA.

1:43:24 PM: Older series are being reissued as fatpacks at a rate of around 4 a month, at reasonable prices.

1:44:15 PM: Andrew asks the audience how many people would be interested in live-action Japanese TV series.

1:45:01 PM: Someone asks Andrew what are the chances of Turn-A Gundam, he said to ask at the Beez panel.

1:47:36 PM: Andrew asks what people think about the feasibility of international releases at Japanese price points.

1:47:47 PM: The answer is a rousing noooooo from the audience.

1:50:08 PM: Andrew asks what the audience thinks of the idea of Japanese companies directly entering into the English language market.

1:52:42 PM: The reply is a general feeling that Japanese companies may not understand Western markets. The example of Toei and Slam Dunk was cited.

1:54:06 PM: Andrew brings up the subject of Crunchyroll, it turns out there are a few people in the audience who have not heard of it.

1:55:26 PM: Fudce asks how MVM and Beez are dealing with Funimation’s apparent vacuuming up of licences.

1:56:00 PM: Andrew replies that it is a bit of a mixed bag and says that Funimation are somewhat the Madman of America now.

1:56:43 PM: Tony remarks that it was MVM who really launched Funimation into the UK market with titles such as Fullmetal Alchemist.

1:57:07 PM: This changed when Funimation was bought by Navarre who already had a UK distribution deal with Revelation.

1:57:27 PM: Tony says it is quite frustrating when the UK rights just sit there and are not available for sublicensing.

1:58:20 PM: He cites Chobits, his licence for this expired and when he went back to Kodansha, he was told it had been bolted on to the Funi US deal.

1:59:11 PM: He also mentions the case of a French company that was sitting on UK rights for Dragonball Z.

2:00:23 PM: Baccano is coming out this year from Manga, in October or so.

2:00:54 PM: I asked Tony if he has any plans for Blu-Ray releases, he says the minimum print run for them is around 3000.

2:01:20 PM: He does have some Blu-Ray rights but at this point he is just in the position of waiting and seeing.

2:01:57 PM: Apparently Evangelion 1.11 made up the bulk of 5,000 unit sales on launch.

2:03:15 PM: Andrew says that Blu-Ray production costs are very high and consequently it would be very hard to put titles out at prices people would pay.

2:04:13 PM: Andrew says that companies like Apple are more into HD downloads but the Japanese companies are leery of allowing this kind of thing.

2:05:14 PM: Someone mentions that people are willing to pay for well constructed online streaming services, Andrew says he likes Spotify.

2:07:28 PM: I asked about Bandai Channel’s yet-to-materialise European launch. Andrew says they are still working out how to adapt it to Western markets

2:07:52 PM: More user research is necessary before it becomes a viable platform.

2:08:59 PM: Tony grumbles that Andrew and Jerome are always grabbing up new titles so he tends to look towards older ones.

2:09:36 PM: Tony says that old series that have fallen through the cracks can often do really well and he cites FLCL.

2:10:04 PM: He says his contract for FLCL is entirely in Japanese, they wouldn’t give him an English version.

2:11:04 PM: He also says that it’s often possible to get reasonable deals on older titles.

2:12:34 PM: Andrew says he’s interested in looking at older titles now that he has the necessary remit to do so, he mentions Irresponsible Captain Tylor

2:13:56 PM: Andrew says that old titles can have down sides such as the difficulty of PAL masters.

2:15:34 PM: Someone asks just how bad the market in Japan is, Andrew mimes chugging from a bottle of Captain Morgan! ROFL

2:16:48 PM: Andrew says that fans are finally starting to realise there are things they can do to help, like supporting services such as Crunchyroll.

2:17:12 PM: Tony suggests that the questioner should read the half-page article from Johnathan Clements in this month’s NEO Magazine.

2:18:45 PM: Someone asks if the Emergency Budget has affected them at all, Andrew says the VAT rise affects all companies.

2:21:31 PM: Someone asks if the Funimation buy-up of the Tenchi TV shows is preventing a UK relaunch of those. Tony says it’s not something he’d revisit

2:22:02 PM: Panel is coming to an end, there will be a short break and then the Beez panel is on.

AmeCon 2010 Beez Panel

2:31:02 PM: Present are Andrew Partridge of Beez and Will Blewitt, committee leader.

2:31:53 PM: Andrew is about to announce the licenes mentioned in the guessing game earlier, he has renamed the files so nobody can tell what they are

2:32:57 PM: First up is Sora Kake Girl a.k.a The Girl Who Leapt Through Space.

2:34:25 PM: Next is Sora no Woto, which he’d renamed as “DOUBLE RAINBOW ALL THE WAY”.

2:36:43 PM: He says they’ll be coordinating with Rightstuf on that. Someone asked about soundtracks, he says he’ll look into it.

2:37:38 PM: Next up is Lucky Star (renamed as “HUMAN CENTIPEDE”).

2:39:27 PM: He says he chose Lucky Star as it’s now down to a reasonable price due to having been out in the US and Oz for a while now.

2:39:40 PM: Contract includes the OVA and he plans to release it in half-season sets.

2:40:02 PM: He says he’ll have news on the exact release details by the time Expo comes around.

2:41:56 PM: The fourth video, which was already known about, is Outlaw Star.

2:42:29 PM: Unlike the other three videos which were just rips of the shows’ OPs, this one is a trailer style video complete with gravelly voiceover man

2:43:38 PM: Outlaw Star and The Big O are going straight to Anime Legends. Andrew says that if he was planning to do Turn-A that would also go there.

2:44:15 PM: Andrew thanks people in general for a 200% rise in sales due to the launch of Anime Legends.

2:44:29 PM: The next video to be shown is Durarara!!

2:46:45 PM: Both the first and second OPs to this show are shown.

2:48:31 PM: Andrew says he already knew the studio and author because of Baccano, so he licensed it before it started in Japan.

2:48:50 PM: He says it’s now not an impossibility to release titles in the same year that they get broadcast in Japan.

2:49:41 PM: A sub-only release is coming out in October time in time for Expo, across 3 sets, £24.99 RRP for each (8-9 eps in each one) including OVAs.

2:51:31 PM: Dubbed release will come later. An upgrade scheme is planned.

2:52:53 PM: Andrew also mentions Baccano which is coming out in October as well. He says they are now moving towards getting timely releases out.

2:53:40 PM: Someone asks if the UK will get the 2 Gurren Lagann movies. Andrew says he has mixed feelings, he’d like to release them.

2:54:14 PM: However it is a compilation movie.

2:54:30 PM: Someone asks about Outlaw Star, it is going to be released in a 1-pack set.

2:55:17 PM: Someone asks about translated credits on DVDs, Andrew says where a subtitle track is available they will do it.

2:57:23 PM: Andrew tells the story of Beez’s misadventures with the BBFC over the tiny Code Geass edit.

2:58:31 PM: Andrew says they try to avoid retouching video where possible, mainly for cost reasons.

2:59:08 PM: Someone asks about Dennou Coil, Andrew says he is interested in it and he really likes it, but he is concerned that it would not sell.


3:00:48 PM: Someone asks about Kaiba and Garden of Sinners (Kara no Kyoukai). Andrew says he’s not so sure about Kaiba.

3:01:15 PM: He also says Jerome of Manga would love to get Garden on Sinners and it’s already licensed in France.

3:02:11 PM: Someone asks about Guu and Utena, Andrew says there was a complication with the rights back in the day for Guu.

3:02:20 PM: He says for Utena it may be better to ask Tony of MVM.

3:03:03 PM: Someone asks if Beez are planning to do live action stuff, Andrew says he plans to stick to anime at the moment.

3:05:03 PM: Someone asks if Beez have considered doing licenses from other companies than Bandai and Andrew explains that many of the new shows are.

3:06:28 PM: I ask if there’s any chance of Gundam 00 Blu-rays, Andrew says if Bandai USA do them he may be able to.

3:07:19 PM: Someone asks if Sora no Woto will have a Blu-ray release. Andrew says he would sell his own grandmother to do one but it may not be possible

3:08:52 PM: He mentions that a lot of BONES titles are not designed for HD and are actually upscaled.

3:10:15 PM: I asked if Andrew knew if the Aniplex ROD box set was likely to be region coded, he said he thought it probably would be.

3:11:05 PM: He says that generally if there is a UK licensor for the title, it will probably be region-locked.

3:11:32 PM: Someone asks about Macross, the bottle of rum comes out again!

3:12:40 PM: Someone asks if the Code Geass incident has made Andrew more cautious about what shows to license, but he says it’s hard to predict.

3:14:47 PM: Someone asks how the removal of the BBFC would affect the anime industry. Andrew says a system like the Irish one would be better.

3:15:18 PM: In the Irish system, lower rates are charged for shows which are expected to sell only limited numbers of units.

3:16:42 PM: Someone asks about Magical Index and Scientific Railgun. Andrew says he will look into whether the US deal included the UK rights.

3:17:34 PM: Apparently there was a programme on the BBC recently where a few clips of anime were shown, someone asks if anything more is likely.

3:20:10 PM: Andrew thinks it is more likely that we could see something similar to Anime Central rather than the BBC picking up anime.

3:22:18 PM: Someone asks about The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. Andrew says that he’s involved in the new Scotland Loves Anime film festival.

3:23:02 PM: He says it will be premiered on 35mm at this festival.

3:23:44 PM: However he says it’s not coming to DVD any time soon as it hasn’t been licenced yet.

3:25:44 PM: Panel is coming to an end now. Andrew jokes about the panel having been sponsored by Captain Morgan and says he’s off to the dealers room.