Beez Entertainment Discussion

Espy

Thousand Master
Hi,

I've been a fan of Cowboy Bebop for ages, and started to rewatch it last night for the first time in three years. Though, on volume 1 (English dub), I noticed that the sound kept moving in and out of synch. I checked on a second DVD player, and the problem was the same - the lips moved at different times to the speech (though this wasn't as noticeable as it was animated) and explosions sounded too early. I didn't notice it towards the end of the disc, but perhaps I had just got used to it. I was wondering if this was a common problem with the disc? It was one of the earliest copies - I bought it not long after the volume was released here. I don't remember noticing it when I first watched it, but the disc is spotless, so I don't think it's down to the disc getting scratched.
 

Ninja Boy!

Thousand Master
Espy said:
Hi,

I've been a fan of Cowboy Bebop for ages, and started to rewatch it last night for the first time in three years. Though, on volume 1 (English dub), I noticed that the sound kept moving in and out of synch. I checked on a second DVD player, and the problem was the same - the lips moved at different times to the speech (though this wasn't as noticeable as it was animated) and explosions sounded too early. I didn't notice it towards the end of the disc, but perhaps I had just got used to it. I was wondering if this was a common problem with the disc? It was one of the earliest copies - I bought it not long after the volume was released here. I don't remember noticing it when I first watched it, but the disc is spotless, so I don't think it's down to the disc getting scratched.

i have the same similair problems as you do.
and i bought the collection boxsets.
from what i recall i found that on the final volume, the english audio track was spot on, whereas the japanese track was slightly off.
was somewhat annoying.
 

beez_andrew

Great Teacher
First of all sorry for the delay replying - wrote a nice long explanation yesterday and then my work computer's power adaptor died. So now am left typing from a very old laptop that isn't in the best of health x.x. Not a great day it has to be said, so apologies if this is a long post!

ayase said:
Hi Andrew, it's nice to see an anime company take an intrest in the community. I have pre-ordered the Patlabor Collectors bundle - that question was already answered for me!

Glad that question has been answered and hope you enjoy the release!

ayase said:
I have a question about price discrepancy. I know it costs more to release dvd's in the uk because of the BBFC* and other factors, but yesteday I ordered the R1 Planetes collection for £16 (Below the import limit too, so no extra tax), when the UK version would set me back £60. The same can be said of Cowboy Bebop. As much as I want to support the UK industry, I just can't justify spending that much more. If it had been £20-£25 I might have felt differently. It seems you are heading in the right direction with your Gunbuster 2 release, and Manga's Death Note strategy of putting two volumes together - but isn't it time certain older anime got a budget release of some kind?

Ah this one is a long one, Dave summed up the issue relatively well in one aspect but I'll go over it from scratch again along with some of the other points put forwards as it's one you all deserve to know about. Keeping everyone in the dark rarely helps - especially as I'm a big fan of Planetes myself ever since working with it back when I started at Beez!

Honestly I could write a whole essay on the topic of box set prices (in fact I think I did a while ago in this thread xD) so I'll try to spare everyone from most of it.

To answer your question first - I'd say it is indeed time certain older anime got a budget release of some kind and indeed they are! More on that in a few though - first to explain the price list as given by Mantis:

Mantis said:
Unfortunately I can't bring myself to buy something if I know I'm payomg too much! My current anime box-set purchases that I've bought and watched to date are:
Heat Guy J (26 eps, 6 discs) - £7.50
Hellsing (13 eps, 4 discs) - £16.14
Full Metal Panic (26 eps, 7 discs) - £14.98
Martian Successor Nadesico (26 eps, 6 discs) - £19.99
Otogi Zoshi (26 eps, 7 discs) - £15.97
GiTS: SAC (26 eps, 7 discs) - £17.97
She: The Ultimate Weapon (26 eps, 7 discs) - £12.97
Gunslinger Girl (13 eps, 4 discs) - £14.35
Cowboy Bebop - both boxsets (26 eps, 6 discs) - £49.98

(And yes I bothered to look back through my online purchases to find out!)

All these boxsets were bought brand new from major UK retailers. I'm quite proud of the fact that I won't let myself get ripped off - even though Bebop is my favouite purchase so far I still feel annoyed that I paid so much for it.

While I appreciate that some newer Beez titles are competitively priced (S-Cry-Ed, Fantastic Children) most of them are consistently at silly prices (Cowboy Bebop, Wolf's Rain, Planetes, Witch Hunter Robin, Escaflowne) and I'm not going to buy them.

Basically the box set problem breaks down into several parts. To sell a box set at circa £20 for an entire 6 DVD season you usually need to be under one of several circumstances (have marked it out with ----'s so you can ignore or skim if you like!):
----
A) It's part of a promotional deal where company X will take YYYY units of said boxset for a particular special price, designed so it will gain a profit. This has risks though as discussed in a few due to the population size / anime fan ratio in the UK vs US as anything not sold will be returned to the distributor. This price may or may not raise after a short while.

B) You've done very badly with single volume releases so a cheap price box set may encourage fans who didn't buy the singles, or random people to sample a series. There are plenty of examples of this - a lot of which come out before single releases were supposed to even end.

C) The series did so well on single release you've made back what you need to so the box set can be lower priced because you'll still make a tidy profit on it and will guarantee higher sales relatively from people who didn't buy single releases.

Each of the boxsets excluding Bebop falls into one of the above categories.

The overall problem is that, even including importers, anime is an extremely niche interest in thr UK still. Of the population you'd be lucky to perhaps have whole percent of the UK population keen on anime, and a fraction of that is willing to buy ANY kind of anime. Be it R1 or R2.

On an asides note, I'd say that it's not accurate to say the UK and US have same % ratio of population / anime fans though. Keep in mind, like France they had exposure for over two decades if memory serves at least of anime on TV. Robotech, while not technically anime it's roots were and style is very much so for the time, was a US children's classic for a long time before we had any main TV saturation (such as Sci-Fi channel or CNX). So let's arguably say, off top of head here, that they have at least an extra quarter percent or such - that still makes for in the case of the US a lot more anime fans.*

Take Planetes for example - a series horribly under-rated by people first time round both in the UK and US. A $50 box set with all 6 volumes works because they can probably coax a much larger number of people into buying that - at worst pulling close to making production costs back, at best making a small profit. That asides, while $50 to us is far less in UK money, keep in mind for the US it is still a higher rate for a box set than we perceive it when converted to UK money at the very least!

* That being said irrespective of the % difference or not, the population size being larger, whatever the percentages you're looking at at least double the number of people in the US than the UK who may be willing to buy anime...
----

I'm sorry you feel annoyed at paying £8.33 a DVD was too much for the DVD - but keep in mind at the time it, and each of the other series released in box set at the time, were released (as early as late 2004 for Escaflowne through to mid 2007 latest for the Wolf's Rain sets) the market was very different for box sets. Only recently has the market found ways to make boxsets even sustainable at a lower price, even then not always successfully.

So yes, I would agree the boxsets you listed were consistently priced - but keep in mind this was in some cases several years ago!

While due to production costs at time etc the current iterations of those sets cannot be lowered - I can go toe to toe and list series released since Wolf's Rain that are older Beez titles being competitively priced along with newer ones - here we go!

Short series, circa £20-25 usually at retailers:

- .hack//Legend of the Twilight
- Crest of the Stars
- Gunbuster 2
- Gundam Movie box
- Stratos 4
- Yukikaze

Longer series, circa £25-45 tops at retailers:

- .hack//SIGN Box 1
- .hack//SIGN box 2
- Fantastic Children
- s-CRY-ed

Collectors edition releases:

Gundam Seed Box 1
Gundam Seed Box 2

With more to come in each range you can see the number of boxsets out at competitive prices outweighs those which aren't so older Beez titles are already being repacked at cheaper rates :). Sadly not much can be done for some of the older titles right at this moment but we have listened to what you all have been saying, that's half my reason for being here and I'm glad everyone is so vocal.

We've given people a chance to buy series with premium and exclusive items and a chance to pick up older classic series at budget rates. Obviously some still in circulation with units left like Cowboy Bebop, Planetes etc are harder to price down without making a loss right now though but we're getting there. If you like what you see then please support the newer releases at the very least or it's when the strategy's are evaluated unsurprisingly they'll not be looked on all too kindly...

Not only that but we're bringing you a lot of the titles you've asked for from us! I'd not be surprised to see some very interesting press releases after Anime Expo from us as well (not to mention things to talk about at Amecon!)- there's all sorts of things underway right now, some of which should eventually lead to making importing a bit pointless.

Sorry for the long post and hope this helps clarify :). I know I'd hate not knowing or being able to get an answer on it!
 

beez_andrew

Great Teacher
melonpan said:
Anyway and now for something not entirely completely different:

Andrew, I'm wondering if you can elaborate on your plans on the Wolf's Rain boxset coming out later this year - is it the same style as the Japanese boxset (like you've got simultaneous releases off the ground) or is it just coincidence that the Japanese are re-releasing boxsets of older titles at the same time you are.

Different is good! I can indeed elaborate - it will be different to the Japanese boxset and more in line with our own premium range that is slowly building momentum. Sadly the production overlap was not quite enough for collaboration on that particular product.

We're finishing the 3D visuals for it now but it's going to be made to ressemble a copy of The Book of the Moon down to a leather-bound style box to hold the DVDs (which will be repackaged into what should look like pages from the book) along with several limited edition pack-ins to make it worthy of its name as the definitive edition.

It'll be extremely limited based on its production costs at 500 units total for the release and I'll confirm the LE extras by Amecon where hopefully I'll have a live sample to show the press/blog crowd etc :).

More news to follow!

melonpan said:
Also, can you confirm or deny (or no comment) on whether or not the Bandai Channel idea is part of a worldwide strategy? (i.e in line with Bandai Entertainment USA's mega-ultra-massive-OTT hype for a new era and massive massive new things to come)

Well it certainly is a part of the worldwide strategy. Where it fits in I can't comment on or such yet but big things are coming soon :).
 

beez_andrew

Great Teacher
Espy said:
I know you had a lot to catch up on, but... you missed my question!

Nope - I see your question, I'm just going from the earliest one unanswered first - as I've made people wait ages due to a lot of work taking me away from being able to check the forums of late :)! Will answer in a few minutes ^^;
 

beez_andrew

Great Teacher
Dave said:
Apart from media exposer to make people more aware of anime existence, the only way i can see anime becoming cheaper is for less companies to exist in the uk.

Currently there 5 Companies which are competing against each other and against a lot of the time cheaper and earlier imports from the USA. With so much money spread thinly between 5 companies a lot titles will never will be cheap or ever sell well enough. The only exception MANGA who titles do sell well as they have got a media present, but can the uk support another company on the scale of MANGA?

Arguably it's all about retailer ties at the end of the day - afterall you are only as likely to sell a lot as the amount of stock on shelves (WWW retail has changed that in a way, but success is often measured in units shipped as well as the profit). Outwith that arguably there's room for one more that size only if some of the smaller ones bow out really at the end of the day.

A simple look at the maths and it becomes clear though - the UK market can't easily support the volume of releases it's been putting out at the over the past year or so (now is only slightly more stable due to particular unfortunate circumstances really I'd say...)
 

beez_andrew

Great Teacher
Espy said:
Hi,

I've been a fan of Cowboy Bebop for ages, and started to rewatch it last night for the first time in three years. Though, on volume 1 (English dub), I noticed that the sound kept moving in and out of synch. I checked on a second DVD player, and the problem was the same - the lips moved at different times to the speech (though this wasn't as noticeable as it was animated) and explosions sounded too early. I didn't notice it towards the end of the disc, but perhaps I had just got used to it. I was wondering if this was a common problem with the disc? It was one of the earliest copies - I bought it not long after the volume was released here. I don't remember noticing it when I first watched it, but the disc is spotless, so I don't think it's down to the disc getting scratched.

I'll take a look into it with a later produced DVD - I know there were some problems with one volume but I've not heard of any on DVD 1 before so will have to check...
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Thanks for answering my question Andrew, it's good to know that you're thinking about some budget releases and more special editions. Both of those are good in my book.

With regards to the number of fans in the UK, something which has been mentioned a few times, I'm sure this is growing pretty rapidly these days with the internet and the amount of Manga in our bookshops.

Just one more question before I leave you alone. I have noticed european anime releases all tend to be different, wouldn't it be more cost effective to make one European release (with all the countries' ratings on as I've noticed some dvd's have) And just have different sleeves for each country? (or even replica Japanese packaging with a sticker in the language of where it is going to be sold) Or is there not enough space on the dvd's for all the language tracks / subtitles?
 

Is out of here

Great Teacher
:thumb: Good to see responses about the price of anime...........i dont mind paying top dollar as long as the series is good and there is acctually some extras on the dvd somthing which i have noticed recently beez seem to be doing and unfortuantly adv did not :cry: Oh and reading that post i will now be very suprized if gurenn laggan aint coming.
 

melonpan

Death Scythe
beez_andrew said:
Not only that but we're bringing you a lot of the titles you've asked for from us! I'd not be surprised to see some very interesting press releases after Anime Expo from us as well (not to mention things to talk about at Amecon!)- there's all sorts of things underway right now, some of which should eventually lead to making importing a bit pointless.

I'm super excited over this paragraph. Seriously VERY excited!

For me, though, the only viable way I can see the last part of the paragraph being true is if all releases are Blu-ray (upscales or not) because I can't stand NTSC to PAL conversions.

And for everyone else - I can't see Japan lowering their prices ever, and as history will show - higher prices don't work for the Western markets (ala Bandai Visual).

Though, for all I know I could be speaking out of my ass and the real facts are quite different, because really all I'm going off is educated speculation and the use of facts and figures where available. And, Bandai Visual's liquidation could have not necessarily been because of low sales values - seeing as Bandai Entertainment has just relisted the majority of BV's releases at the same price point as they always were. So, I'm going to cease speculating and see what comes of Anime Expo... I'm sure whatever turns out there will be the culmination of the putting together of everything history has shown - from the thinktanks in Japan/America/Europe to make the anime industry keep on its toes.
 

Gawyn

Magical Girl
melonpan said:
... And, Bandai Visual's liquidation could have not necessarily been because of low sales values - seeing as Bandai Entertainment has just relisted the majority of BV's releases at the same price point as they always were. So, I'm going to cease speculating and see what comes of Anime Expo... I'm sure whatever turns out there will be the culmination of the putting together of everything history has shown - from the thinktanks in Japan/America/Europe to make the anime industry keep on its toes.
My understanding of this from what others have said is that Bandai Visual is simply being moving under the Bandai Entertainment banner. The cynic in me sees this as a move to placate those who spoke out against Bandai Visual, making use of the relatively good reputation of Bandai Entertainment while using the term "liquidation" to make it sound like it was really gone...

The reality of course is probably to prevent consumer confusion and to maximise profits by not competing against themselves and cross-marketing products.
 

melonpan

Death Scythe
Gawyn said:
My understanding of this from what others have said is that Bandai Visual is simply being moving under the Bandai Entertainment banner. The cynic in me sees this as a move to placate those who spoke out against Bandai Visual, making use of the relatively good reputation of Bandai Entertainment while using the term "liquidation" to make it sound like it was really gone...

The reality of course is probably to prevent consumer confusion and to maximise profits by not competing against themselves and cross-marketing products.

I hadn't thought about it in that sense, to be honest. It had seemed all this time that the Honneamise label was no more for North America, and was solely for Japan (ANN reported that). It was made clear from the information at the time that Bandai Visual had been "dissolved" into Bandai Entertainment, so my understanding was that all the materials Bandai Visual had, including all the production materials, office, etc - was now under the Bandai Entertainment umbrella. But yeah, now you say it like that it does seem to be just a case of Bandai Visual's name being literally deleted and replaced by Bandai Entertainment, and with the recent re-solicitations of titles it looks like it's back to business. That information of the re-solicitations did point towards there being scope for lower priced releases or boxsets as well, though.

I'm bored of speculating now though, there's not enough information to go off to make any more assumptions about what's happening, and there's a proper "what's next for the Honneamise label" panel at AX in a day or two anyway, so all will be revealed.
 

Ryo Chan

Symphogear
beez_andrew said:
Collectors edition releases:

Gundam Seed Box 1
Gundam Seed Box 2

wait... there's Gundam Seed Boxsets out

and they have t-shirts in them?

Why am i only just learning this now...... Sod Funi's DBZ collection, i have a new target on my list :D

on that slight note, any idea if there will be Destiny colleciton boxs too?
 

Ryo Chan

Symphogear
Kireek said:
there's all sorts of things underway right now, some of which should eventually lead to making importing a bit pointless.


Same day realease??


that'll happen when America admits invading Iraq was wrong
 

chaos

The Boss
Ryo Chan said:
Kireek said:
there's all sorts of things underway right now, some of which should eventually lead to making importing a bit pointless.Same day realease??
that'll happen when America admits invading Iraq was wrong
did they ever admitted Vietnam was a bad idea?
 
Top