Anime Limited updates and ideas - DRR / Gurren edition

anime_andrew

Anime Limited Representative
Industry Representative
On a more cheerful note asides from just responding to stuff, I figured I'd drop in and discuss a few things we're working on to get feedback from folks.

We're doing our Q1 / Q2 planning and here are some things that cropped up when planning:

1. DURARARA

We listened to folks requests to not split things in two and we're willing to test it on Durarara!! for BD and DVD, the downside is that basically we have to keep the costs about the same as the two sets to actually not lose money on the title.

This means:

- Rigid box the same quality as Cowboy Bebop had, but a bit bulkier possibly depending on what kind of Digipack we use and final disc count.
- Complete series using same discs as Siren (we're co-authoring with them).
- Set of 4 art cards with it at least.

BLU-RAY will have an SRP of £79.99 - meaning it'll be less on Amazon for sure.
DVD will have an SRP of £49.99 and come with a different set of 4 art cards plus different artwork to the BD, basically in line with Bebop on DVD

Depending on the second set of discs authoring from Siren, we're aiming to get this out in March latest but it really does all hinge on when the masters are delivered to us. This means we have about a month to make any changes.

2. GURREN LAGANN

I'd like to throw this one out here a bit - what we were toying with so as not to cause too much trouble to the (now mostly sold out) US model points was to do it like this now:

- 1 ULTIMATE SET (Blu-Ray) - £149.99 SRP / Rigid Collectors Box (like Bebop but accommodates all the extras) + Digipack / Numbered and limited to 1,000 copies / TV Series + Movies + Parallel works / Hardback artbook (size tbd, A5 or A4).

- 1 TV SERIES Blu-Ray - £69.99 SRP / Rigid Collectors Box (like Bebop) + Digipack with different art to the ULTIMATE / TV SERIES only

- 1 DVD SERIES - £49.99 / Rigid Collectors box (Like Bebop) using different artwork again + Digipack / 4 art cards to go with.

Realistically depending on how many suggestions we can take on board or changes we have to make - we're looking at around April for this I'd say depending on what your fine selves think of the above ideas and how approvals go. But my team's working on packaging concepts already + sourcing artworks so on that end it's moving and video has been digitised so we can start authoring mid-November.

3. HOW YOU CAN HELP

Feedback! Basically things like:

- Ideas - things you'd like to see in the future perhaps?
- If we could revise the editions in one way, what would you want us to do?
- Items you'd like to see - keep in mind I'll tell you if they are likely too costly!

What we're looking for here is constructive and ideally polite comments on the ideas above - in the case of Durarara!! we don't have much time if we want to make any changes so speak quickly I suggest!

If this works, I'll come back for more opinions in future while at this stage and detail more of how it works :).

Speak soon folks!

Andrew,
El Presidente, Anime Ltd
 
Re Gurren Lagann's Blu-ray release.

I'm getting flashbacks to Beez's Patlabor movie SEs.

I'd release the Ultimate Set first, and the DVD edition. Only commit to a re-release of Blu-rays as the TV series Blu-ray after the Ultimate Set has completely sold out. The TV Series Blu-ray may not even be necessary.
 

anime_andrew

Anime Limited Representative
Industry Representative
Just Passing Through said:
Re Gurren Lagann's Blu-ray release.

I'm getting flashbacks to Beez's Patlabor movie SEs.

I'd release the Ultimate Set first, and the DVD edition. Only commit to a re-release of Blu-rays as the TV series Blu-ray after the Ultimate Set has completely sold out. The TV Series Blu-ray may not even be necessary.

Interesting point of view there - I mean the other option is a limited version like the Ultimate then after 6-8 months a more budget version but I'd rather give people the choice out there.

Let's see what everyone else feels - but certainly I think there's a logic to a delay - question is do we make the ULTIMATE our only one at the Bebop level of packaging or do a step-down for those who just want the TV series and can buy it now for a more accessible price like the £69.99?

Up for debate here anyway!

AP
 

NormanicGrav

ヽ(⌐■_■)ノ♪♬
AUKN Staff
Those are some excellent ideas you have there especially with the Gurren sets (I will definitely get the Ultimate Set, question is whether it's nearly an exact replica of content to the Aniplex Import without the whole box design [I am aware you've got the Episodes, Parallel Works sub-only and Movies sub-only included, +1 for that]). I recommend releasing the Ultimate first but make everyone aware of the standard version to make sure they don't complain about the pricing etc. Maybe have a standard edition of the movies on its own after a period of time for those who missed out on the Ultimate set (like say 12-18 months after the Ultimate set is sold out) as a Blu-ray/DVD Combo.

To me, I personally don't purchase Parts here in the UK because they just don't look nice on my shelf [The Bebop Boxes you recently released look very nice, but I'm waiting for the second print run for those issues to be fixed] hence why I try and buy the Limited Edition sets from Funimation (and Aniplex versions as they're complete sets) since they have artboxes to fit both parts together (and I missed the Steins;Gate one, shame). So your idea of having a Complete Series set at the cost of having a high retail price is suitable enough for my attention, however it's whether people have the money to purchase them is the problem.

Durarara!! seems to be a good deal for that price, considering the Aniplex version is £140 (saving at least 50% in terms of pricing and having the issues fixed in contrast to USA).
 

Ath

Pokémon Master
I think the plans for Durarara are sound. I can imagine Amazon discounting it to about £50-ish which is about in line with my personal expectations anyway.

Gurren Lagann is interesting. The middle £69.99 RRP option would be my preferred SKU as someone who's never seen the series before, but would be interested in checking it out on BD later on down the line. However, Just Passing Through does bring up a good point with the multiple options problem. I would imagine that anyone who really wants this release day 1 would like something as close to the Aniplex release as possible in terms of physical extras. If you can commit to a lower priced BD re-release of the series 6-8 months after the Ultimate version, I think it's worth doing it that way to minimise the risk of not selling enough to break even.

If you can make the Bebop style packaging viable for a £69.99 version, it would definitely be a nice bonus, but personally my main priority would be purely for the on-disc content on that version to be identical to the Ultimate version over anything.
 

Joshawott

Monsieur Monster
AUKN Staff
Out of the two titles I'm anticipating the release of Durarara more. I originally passed on the Beez DVDs because I heard there were some issues with the subtitles on the first volume. Personally, I'm not too fussed about whether Durarara is released as a complete collection or in two parts. Actually, I might prefer it in two parts, as two hits of £35-40ish (SRP) spread out over 2-3 months would be more comfortable for my wallet than a single £80 release. The only possible problem there is less people buying volume 2 than volume 1 (but I imagine you'll have Cowboy Bebop's figures as a measure of that?).

What would the feasibility be of a two volume release, with volume 1 coming in a larger box that also holds volume 2 (similar to what FUNimation do with their Limited Editions)? Best of both worlds.

In regards to Gurren Lagann, I do agree with releasing the Ultimate Edition first and then the standard blu-ray later on - if anything, that should maximise the sales of the Ultimate Edition.
 

Mangaranga

Za Warudo
anime_andrew said:
2. GURREN LAGANN

I'd like to throw this one out here a bit - what we were toying with so as not to cause too much trouble to the (now mostly sold out) US model points was to do it like this now:

- 1 ULTIMATE SET (Blu-Ray) - £149.99 SRP / Rigid Collectors Box (like Bebop but accommodates all the extras) + Digipack / Numbered and limited to 1,000 copies / TV Series + Movies + Parallel works / Hardback artbook (size tbd, A5 or A4).

Realistically depending on how many suggestions we can take on board or changes we have to make - we're looking at around April for this I'd say depending on what your fine selves think of the above ideas and how approvals go. But my team's working on packaging concepts already + sourcing artworks so on that end it's moving and video has been digitised so we can start authoring mid-November.
Andrew, is this effectively the same as the set which Aniplex released in Japan (Without the massive box). What's the expected Disc count/quality?
I'd love it if you could get this out with the uncompressed Japanese video as that's why I love Aniplex releases so much. Unfortunately I've no doubt that I'm asking too much though as this would increase the disc count to 5/6 BD50's just for the TV series.

Regarding DRRR!! though, I already have the Aniplex release, although I do love DRRR enough that I may double dip for you guys. One thing that annoyed me about Aniplex's release was the lack of a Sub/Signs track...
 

NormanicGrav

ヽ(⌐■_■)ノ♪♬
AUKN Staff
Mangaranga said:
Regarding DRRR!! though, I already have the Aniplex release, although I do love DRRR enough that I may double dip for you guys. One thing that annoyed me about Aniplex's release was the lack of a Sub/Signs track...

Is that by any chance when you play the English dub and you get the signs translated from the phone in every scene? Like the subbed version?

Rosencrantz said:
anime_andrew said:
We listened to folks requests to not split things in two and we're willing to test it on Durarara!! for BD and DVD, the downside is that basically we have to keep the costs about the same as the two sets to actually not lose money on the title.

Were these complaints from people who want to buy it in 1 nice box, or complaints from people that assumed that if it was 1 box it'd be cheaper than 2 boxes though?

I'd suspect 1 box overall would be better, full sales rather than more vol 1 than 2 being sold.

Well it's better than having Part 2 onwards cancelled like Manga UK did for some of their Blu-ray titles.
 

Rosencrantz

Dragon Knight
anime_andrew said:
We listened to folks requests to not split things in two and we're willing to test it on Durarara!! for BD and DVD, the downside is that basically we have to keep the costs about the same as the two sets to actually not lose money on the title.

Were these complaints from people who want to buy it in 1 nice box, or complaints from people that assumed that if it was 1 box it'd be cheaper than 2 boxes though?

I'd suspect 1 box overall would be better, full sales rather than more vol 1 than 2 being sold.
 

Cathe

Great Teacher
I'd prefer 1 box for Durarara. Just because I know for sure i've got all of it then and there's no chance of not being able to get hold of the rest of the episodes. As long as its not too huge :p
 

britguy

Za Warudo
I love the ideas Andrew but we all know that anime fans are some of the hardest to please and I can only imagine that sooooo many will see the individual price points for Durarara and say "woah what the hell, an anime series for £70? I can buy 4 sets of Bleach or Naruto for that price (admittedly the hevily reduced sets at say £10 a pop), maybe more, i'll wait until it's discounted to the bargain bin".

I personally have no issue with paying the price you quote for Durarara and I imagine many on this forum will agree they too will. With amazon discounts you'd probably be looking at £50 for the BD and £36 for the DVD set nd I think they're more than acceptable costs. However, the type of anime fans who use forums to discuss their hobby are probably the more hardcore on the spectrum and I don't think we can be used as an accurate barometer of how the wider market will react.

Regarding the Gurren Lagann set, i'd buy the full LE set just for the hell of it because it's Limited, I wanna give teh show a go and I want the best we can get on the market. I have a decent paying job so the outlay doesn't bother me too much, but then I don't represent the majority of the anime market.

Is 1000 a print run that you need to stick to, do you think 1000 sets at full price will sell? How many copies of Cowboy Bebop set 1 did you sell (if you can answer this)? If you weren't releasing a standard set at the same time as the LE set then you'd probably get numerous fans saying "im not paying £150, on AUKN he mentioned a standard set, i'll just wait for that" and that could impact the number you sell. However on the flipside, limiting a set to say 500 could see the limited nature of it attract scalpers who could buy up to sell for profit later. This could work in your benefit as it would guarantee the clerance of the stock but then perhaps annoy anime fans.


It's a hard job you've got Andrew :/

edit - Also RE GL, if you were to not release the LE version, would you plan to release the Movie seperately at a later date with a release like Perfect Blue?
 

Yakumo

Student Council President
Andrew, I have only this to say at the prospect of you bringing the Durarara and Gurren Lagann collections at a less unreasonable price.

You, sir, are a good man. A kind man. A paragon of human virtue. An oasis of goodness in the midst of a desert of deceit. A selfless man, who would seek to edify others longing for anime goodness. And for that, I thank you.
 

LtDiscotek

Kiznaiver
Although a limited edition for Gurren Lagann could work, why not have 3 sets? Part 1 including up till episode 15, which I think is a good stopping point for that volume, and Part 2 including episodes 16-27, and a Movie collection including both of the films and the Parallel Works for £25-£30.

I would probably split Durarara into two parts again, I think your strategies for these are great as theres more incentive to buy the split releases due to physical extras.

BTW, when are you starting the Bebop replacement disc program?
 

britguy

Za Warudo
ConanThe3rd said:
You can take a flying leap with the £150 box of GL if that's the only way I'm getting the movies and parallel works.

This is what Im on about Andrew, you'll never please everyone. Even thought its over 50% cheaper than the LE USA set you'll still have fans who won't go for the pricing and will always want things cheaper.

Thats not a dig at you btw conan, just trying to back up my point to Andrew that really, no matter what price he launches at there'll always be people who have issues with it.

Also, would it be safe to assume that the companies you've dealt with to get the licenses for GL might take issue with you releasing the movies etc in a separate release?
 

Ath

Pokémon Master
I dunno, even for Anime, I still think Aniplex prices really do push it, especially in comparison to the likes of NISA. Even a 50% discount on their stuff is way beyond what I'd personally consider to be reasonable for a western release. But I'll stop before I turn this into yet another rant about Aniplex :p

Thinking about the future, I remember you guys had trouble getting clearance for new extras on Perfect Blue. I'm now thinking of what Hong Kong Legends used to do, by doing their own really cool in-house commentaries and documentaries with Bey Logan. How much would it cost to drag someone like Jonathan Clements in to record an audio commentary or something? :p
 

anime_andrew

Anime Limited Representative
Industry Representative
Joshawott said:
Out of the two titles I'm anticipating the release of Durarara more. I originally passed on the Beez DVDs because I heard there were some issues with the subtitles on the first volume. Personally, I'm not too fussed about whether Durarara is released as a complete collection or in two parts. Actually, I might prefer it in two parts, as two hits of £35-40ish (SRP) spread out over 2-3 months would be more comfortable for my wallet than a single £80 release. The only possible problem there is less people buying volume 2 than volume 1 (but I imagine you'll have Cowboy Bebop's figures as a measure of that?).

What would the feasibility be of a two volume release, with volume 1 coming in a larger box that also holds volume 2 (similar to what FUNimation do with their Limited Editions)? Best of both worlds.

This is one of the things we did consider actually too - the trouble is the actual cost of the box would mean it would be costlier, i.e. by the time you factor in print cost, extra fulfilment for a cardboard part to pad the box, retailer cut, distributor cut etc then to cover those costs the first part would be £49.99, not £39.99 - which I'm not sure is as attractive a proposition and puts people off purchasing part 1 then.

Not sure how folks feel on that? Open to a discussion on it :).

Joshawott said:
In regards to Gurren Lagann, I do agree with releasing the Ultimate Edition first and then the standard blu-ray later on - if anything, that should maximise the sales of the Ultimate Edition.

Will keep that in mind! One way of doing things is go from Ultimate Edition for 1,000 copies then start a standard edition 6-8 months or so later with all the same video content (inc movies + OVAs) but less fancy packaging. Tough call on it though.

Let me go through all the costings I guess! The key reason for asking though was to get these opinions in :).

AP
 

anime_andrew

Anime Limited Representative
Industry Representative
Mangaranga said:
Andrew, is this effectively the same as the set which Aniplex released in Japan (Without the massive box). What's the expected Disc count/quality?

My experience is you can get the disc count to about 4 BD50s safely for 26-27 eps + 1 disc for extras depending on what is available. All really hinges on what the best value proposition is for everyone as every disc we use increases the cost that has to be transferred.

Mangaranga said:
I'd love it if you could get this out with the uncompressed Japanese video as that's why I love Aniplex releases so much. Unfortunately I've no doubt that I'm asking too much though as this would increase the disc count to 5/6 BD50's just for the TV series.

Yeah, this ties into it as every disc costs a lot of money to author so we have to really be careful how much is spent honestly vs quality - it's a very tight rope to play with. Will see what we can do.

Mangaranga said:
Regarding DRRR!! though, I already have the Aniplex release, although I do love DRRR enough that I may double dip for you guys. One thing that annoyed me about Aniplex's release was the lack of a Sub/Signs track...

This one is being managed by Australia - but I'll look into it and see if they're sorting it :).
 

anime_andrew

Anime Limited Representative
Industry Representative
britguy said:
I love the ideas Andrew but we all know that anime fans are some of the hardest to please and I can only imagine that sooooo many will see the individual price points for Durarara and say "woah what the hell, an anime series for £70? I can buy 4 sets of Bleach or Naruto for that price (admittedly the hevily reduced sets at say £10 a pop), maybe more, i'll wait until it's discounted to the bargain bin".

It's two different markets mostly - we'll come back and address the budget market in due course and they'll be able to buy it then when it's in an Amaray bog-standard package and that's absolutely fine too. The current business model of most of home entertainment revolves around skipping straight to that stage and sliding down the prices there - which removes the chance to put something really shiny on the shelves.

It's a tough tight-rope to walk but it'll earn us no more ire than exists just now for other companies doing the reverse I suppose and we're not snubbing the cheap market, just asking for some understanding why it does not start in that kind of formula by and large. Hope that makes sense ^^;;

britguy said:
I personally have no issue with paying the price you quote for Durarara and I imagine many on this forum will agree they too will. With amazon discounts you'd probably be looking at £50 for the BD and £36 for the DVD set nd I think they're more than acceptable costs. However, the type of anime fans who use forums to discuss their hobby are probably the more hardcore on the spectrum and I don't think we can be used as an accurate barometer of how the wider market will react.

As we rely on you guys to tell us if we're on the straight and narrow for our first iterations I'd say you're on a good track there :). The wider market is something best engaged via a string of digital samplings followed by an accessibly priced (and ideally nicely presented) physical product.

britguy said:
Regarding the Gurren Lagann set, i'd buy the full LE set just for the hell of it because it's Limited, I wanna give teh show a go and I want the best we can get on the market. I have a decent paying job so the outlay doesn't bother me too much, but then I don't represent the majority of the anime market.

Is 1000 a print run that you need to stick to, do you think 1000 sets at full price will sell? How many copies of Cowboy Bebop set 1 did you sell (if you can answer this)? If you weren't releasing a standard set at the same time as the LE set then you'd probably get numerous fans saying "im not paying £150, on AUKN he mentioned a standard set, i'll just wait for that" and that could impact the number you sell. However on the flipside, limiting a set to say 500 could see the limited nature of it attract scalpers who could buy up to sell for profit later. This could work in your benefit as it would guarantee the clerance of the stock but then perhaps annoy anime fans.

500 unit print cost is just not really viable sadly or we'd look into that - maybe as time advances we can come back to that point though - I think 1,000 can sell given a bit of time. Cowboy Bebop Part 1 has sold over double that since launch - although there is a huge price difference so I think you have to assume of 1,000 your max goal is to sell 60 - 75% of them before you do a discount edition perhaps. But it's one to almost analyse as you go. I guess and revise plans accordingly.

britguy said:
It's a hard job you've got Andrew :/

edit - Also RE GL, if you were to not release the LE version, would you plan to release the Movie seperately at a later date with a release like Perfect Blue?

Re the movies - it really depends how many want it, we discussed this concept initially and find ourselves wondering if the minimum run (1,000) would buy it even in it's cheapest form or not? Open to hearing people's thoughts on it...?

Best,

Andrew
 

anime_andrew

Anime Limited Representative
Industry Representative
LtDiscotek said:
Although a limited edition for Gurren Lagann could work, why not have 3 sets? Part 1 including up till episode 15, which I think is a good stopping point for that volume, and Part 2 including episodes 16-27, and a Movie collection including both of the films and the Parallel Works for £25-£30.

We debated it - as well as 2 parts: Part 1 with TV series up to Ep 15 + Movie 1, then Part 2 with Movie 2 and the PW split between - pricing just didn't make sense for an attractive deal. To do it in two parts I feel like justifiably the show has to be less than £39.99 / Part. With the costs for both and to maintain a great quality product for Gurren it just didn't make financial sense for anyone involved.

LtDiscotek said:
I would probably split Durarara into two parts again, I think your strategies for these are great as theres more incentive to buy the split releases due to physical extras.

It's a tough call - we suspect the split of people who want two parts or one whole my be a close race there. We do believe quality of packaging as well as the overall package does help persuade people to buy physical copies though for sure :).

LtDiscotek said:
BTW, when are you starting the Bebop replacement disc program?

Hopefully very soon - let me check how things are progressing :). New rep masters are with Sony DADC now though so once low enough stock wise it is an easy enough thing to do at least :).

Very best,

Andrew
 
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