UK Anime Distributor Anime Limited Discussion Thread

Hanners

Anime Limited Representative
Industry Representative
It might not be quite this simple, but can people who preorder from AL directly not just be sent an email on the Friday afternoon before a Monday release if stock is not on-hand at the fulfilment house?

I understand that other retailers will want new dates to update their listings so that should probably come later, but I struggle to think that you won’t be aware the Friday before release if assembled stock is on-hand.
Absolutely, this should be the bare minimum, and I'm sorry that hasn't always happened in some cases. Personally, I'm of a mind that these delays should be communicated at least a week prior to the stated release date, and that's the kind of minimum I want to work towards (barring last-minute delays of delivery of stock to the UK, which are always their own unique brand of issue).

I think Dai is pretty much on the right track that ultimately it's all about processes and having a system in place to ensure the right communications happen at the right time, and that's something for us to work on and improve internally to make these external communications better.
 

Hanners

Anime Limited Representative
Industry Representative
@HannersIf I could give advice when there is a delay and people are emailed maybe things you have established in this post should be included as I believe when people are more aware of the complex workings of what goes on then people can be more understanding and excepting of situations.
This is always a delicate balance, and my policy when we handle delay e-mails is to give details where we can and when it's pertinent (for Violet Evergarden the movie, it was a very specific paper stock shortage for example), but at the same time we don't want to give the impression that we're passing the buck or pointing fingers of blame - all of our manufacturing partners are great and filled with smart and passionate people who love our products as much as we do, so I really want to give the impression that we're being let down by external parties, as the true is very different and more complex with all of the moving parts and modern-day issues I mentioned.

Broadly speaking though yes, we'll always try to explain as best we can what's happening when a release date changes, and why.
 

Girls with Guns

Mad Scientist
@Hanners Are you able to expound any on the issues with the Blood-C Ultimate set and what happened with the planned rigid box for it, which I assumed was one of the main reasons the release was delayed so long? I'm sure it was most likely another shortage that resulted in the decision to go with a thin cardboard slip instead, but I was just curious about any details on the events that caused that change. I'm still very happy with my copy of the release, it's just a shame that after such a long wait for this one, we didn't quite get what we were expecting. Thanks!
 

Takei Daloui

Adventurer
As annoying as delays can be, I don't mind when things are delayed. I've paid at the time so I'm not worried about it now clashing with a time where I can't pay for stuff. But it would be better to hear that news slightly earlier. If a week prior an email is sent out saying this won't make it, or a few days at least, it's what it it. It's annoying but we get that update. But since a few have come right before it releases, those are more frustrating than they need to be purely because if they were to miss that date people would surely have known and could have communicated that prior to that.
So to summarise, getting that update a bit earlier so there's a bit more transparency on the fact there is going to be a delay would be nice.
 

bigzgod

Kiznaiver
Absolutely, this should be the bare minimum, and I'm sorry that hasn't always happened in some cases. Personally, I'm of a mind that these delays should be communicated at least a week prior to the stated release date, and that's the kind of minimum I want to work towards (barring last-minute delays of delivery of stock to the UK, which are always their own unique brand of issue).
I agree that a week is ideal. While a delay is always disappointing to hear, putting it off till the very last second is even crueler to the fans, since it gets their hopes up only to dash it at the last second.
 

bakura

Brigade Leader
This is always a delicate balance, and my policy when we handle delay e-mails is to give details where we can and when it's pertinent (for Violet Evergarden the movie, it was a very specific paper stock shortage for example), but at the same time we don't want to give the impression that we're passing the buck or pointing fingers of blame - all of our manufacturing partners are great and filled with smart and passionate people who love our products as much as we do, so I really want to give the impression that we're being let down by external parties, as the true is very different and more complex with all of the moving parts and modern-day issues I mentioned.

Broadly speaking though yes, we'll always try to explain as best we can what's happening when a release date changes, and why.
I appreciate the delicate balance when it come's to information and what you try to provide and i agree with @Dai on the idea of a RAG rating approach.

As your first post said you guy's are human too so to bring in more fun topic's (and this goes to @anime_andrew and @demiopedia ) what's been your favourite anime release from AL this year.
 

Hanners

Anime Limited Representative
Industry Representative
@Hanners Are you able to expound any on the issues with the Blood-C Ultimate set and what happened with the planned rigid box for it, which I assumed was one of the main reasons the release was delayed so long? I'm sure it was most likely another shortage that resulted in the decision to go with a thin cardboard slip instead, but I was just curious about any details on the events that caused that change. I'm still very happy with my copy of the release, it's just a shame that after such a long wait for this one, we didn't quite get what we were expecting. Thanks!
So, our Blood-C Ultimate is an interesting case of us doing something outside of the norm - we haven't tried doing a limited run Ultimate Edition like this one, where we printed less units than we typically do for such a release.

What we've found as a result of this is that to keep the price of the product reasonable, it does pose some questions in terms of the build of the product, which ultimately manifested in the slipcase that you'll see in the final finished edition on this occasion.

We hear and totally appreciate people's feedback on this one on two fronts - both in terms of the rigidity of the slipcase versus what you'd expect from an Ultimate Edition product, and also our communication of product specs where we need to be much clearer in our language. This is a perfect example of where frank but constructive feedback has been helpful to us!
 

Hanners

Anime Limited Representative
Industry Representative
As your first post said you guy's are human too so to bring in more fun topic's (and this goes to @anime_andrew and @demiopedia ) what's been your favourite anime release from AL this year.
Mine is utterly personal, but Cardcaptor Sakura. In terms of the historical importance of the title, it's been the biggest product release I've been manager on since starting here - I started out having never seen the show and ended having watched the whole thing and loving every minute of it.

It took a long time, and a lot of hard from a whole multitude of people on the authoring side in particular, but we couldn't be prouder of the end results on-disc, it looks incredible and is to my mind exactly what I demanded we create when we acquired the license - the best edition of the series released anywhere in the English-speaking world.
 

WMD

Railgun
So, our Blood-C Ultimate is an interesting case of us doing something outside of the norm - we haven't tried doing a limited run Ultimate Edition like this one, where we printed less units than we typically do for such a release.

What we've found as a result of this is that to keep the price of the product reasonable, it does pose some questions in terms of the build of the product, which ultimately manifested in the slipcase that you'll see in the final finished edition on this occasion.

We hear and totally appreciate people's feedback on this one on two fronts - both in terms of the rigidity of the slipcase versus what you'd expect from an Ultimate Edition product, and also our communication of product specs where we need to be much clearer in our language. This is a perfect example of where frank but constructive feedback has been helpful to us!
Thanks for explaining. I have a couple of questions on this if that's ok:

1) Are you able to let us know what the final price of the product would have been if a rigid case had been used either/both of rrp/EB price?

2) How much of the book (number of pages) would have needed to be lost to keep the price point the same but have a rigid box?

From a personal stand point a nice rigid box with nice art is one of the key reasons to go for UE over a standard collectors edition. Escaflowne, TiR, FMP, Perfect Blue (along with some similar sized Spanish sets) are all on my shelves side on so they can be seen in all their majesty. I guess I'm hinting that depending on the numbers involved in the answers to my questions above my personal choice would typically be to make the book smaller to ensure the box is the best it can be.

(When I have more space and suitable place for it NGE will join them)
 

Hanners

Anime Limited Representative
Industry Representative
Thanks for explaining. I have a couple of questions on this if that's ok:

1) Are you able to let us know what the final price of the product would have been if a rigid case had been used either/both of rrp/EB price?

2) How much of the book (number of pages) would have needed to be lost to keep the price point the same but have a rigid box?

From a personal stand point a nice rigid box with nice art is one of the key reasons to go for UE over a standard collectors edition. Escaflowne, TiR, FMP, Perfect Blue (along with some similar sized Spanish sets) are all on my shelves side on so they can be seen in all their majesty. I guess I'm hinting that depending on the numbers involved in the answers to my questions above my personal choice would typically be to make the book smaller to ensure the box is the best it can be.

(When I have more space and suitable place for it NGE will join them)
The not particularly helpful answer (sorry!) is that it isn't that quite that simple, and especially for more ambitious products - it isn't really a series of sliders where you can drag one down and another up, as there are a lot of complexities to consider. Sometimes making a book smaller can actually make manufacturing more expensive, for example, for reasons beyond the scope of discussion here! Throw in other production costs like translation, authoring/masters etc and the solutions often aren't straightforward.

In the case of this product, the only other viable option would likely have been to stick solely with the Limited Edition SKU, with a much smaller book but more in our standard Collector's Edition mold.
 

Girls with Guns

Mad Scientist
1) Are you able to let us know what the final price of the product would have been if a rigid case had been used either/both of rrp/EB price?

From a personal stand point a nice rigid box with nice art is one of the key reasons to go for UE over a standard collectors edition.

Yes, I was actually a little surprised that an oversize CE was priced so low when it was first announced last year - I would have readily paid more to guarantee a chipboard storage box. Never heard of a UE without one. It almost made me wish I could trade it back in for the CE set, which did get a chipboard box with the same external artwork. At least the UE slip was side-load and not an o-card, but it's one of those type I really, really dislike - it has those dang ugly little tabs sticking out at the top and bottom because of the hinged-flap style spine, which are unsightly and easily get damaged, just like the ones StudioCanal uses for their Studio Ghibli sets. But, I do like the digibook, and personally would not want to sacrifice any of the pages in it just for a chipboard box. Ah well, I may eventually double-dip on the CE set for the chipboard when it goes on sale during one of AtA's free international shipping sales.
 

WMD

Railgun
The not particularly helpful answer (sorry!) is that it isn't that quite that simple, and especially for more ambitious products - it isn't really a series of sliders where you can drag one down and another up, as there are a lot of complexities to consider. Sometimes making a book smaller can actually make manufacturing more expensive, for example, for reasons beyond the scope of discussion here! Throw in other production costs like translation, authoring/masters etc and the solutions often aren't straightforward.

In the case of this product, the only other viable option would likely have been to stick solely with the Limited Edition SKU, with a much smaller book but more in our standard Collector's Edition mold.
Yeah I guess it tough so so many moving parts. Would be nice if there was a UE stats generator with slide bars and you could dial it up easy peasy.

Yes, I was actually a little surprised that an oversize CE was priced so low when it was first announced last year - I would have readily paid more to guarantee a chipboard storage box. Never heard of a UE without one. It almost made me wish I could trade it back in for the CE set, which did get a chipboard box with the same external artwork. At least the UE slip was side-load and not an o-card, but it's one of those type I really, really dislike - it has those dang ugly little tabs sticking out at the top and bottom because of the hinged-flap style spine, which are unsightly and easily get damaged, just like the ones StudioCanal uses for their Studio Ghibli sets. But, I do like the digibook, and personally would not want to sacrifice any of the pages in it just for a chipboard box. Ah well, I may eventually double-dip on the CE set for the chipboard when it goes on sale during one of AtA's free international shipping sales.
I didn't want to make itvsound like I was salty about the book. Its far beyond what I would have expected for a Blood-C UE and I'm very happy with the book. Just wanted to see what a hypothetical might have looked like with a rigid box.

Jeebus, the German Evangelion set sure made...choices.

The Spanish UE uses the same art for the disc cases!
 

Titan

Chuunibyou
Hi Hanners,

I would just like to say thank you for your detailed explanation, I have learned a lot about what goes on in the manufacturing of your products, and if any of my comments were harsh then I apologise, as I did not mean for them to be taken that way.

As long as you remember that our staff here are all human (yes, even me, I can confirm)

What!! you mean you're not a cyborg sent from the future to stop Sony from taking over the anime industry. 🤣 🤣
 

bakura

Brigade Leader
hi @Hanners just got one more question not related to what we've been talking about. crunchyroll is releasing Mobile Suit Gundam Cucuruz Doan's Island in cinema's which has caused confusion for us gundam fans who assumed AL were involved in all thing's gundam so are AL handling the home video release or as far as you know are crunchyroll handling everything with the release of Mobile Suit Gundam Cucuruz Doan's Island?
 
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