MangaUK license announcements ...

ayase

State Alchemist
ilmaestro said:
No-one with even a speck of brain tissue remaining would hang around on a forum where they and their company receive such a... calm and well reasoned... reaction from a vocal minority.
Yeah, because choosing to ignore criticism rather than responding to it is a really good way to get your potential customers on side... Contrast this with Andrew and Beez / Kaze. There's not much contest who has the better rep there.

I'd have been more than happy for Jerome (or whoever) to have stuck around even if they were prepared to actually offer the kind of rebuttals as they now do on Twitter, but at the time they came across as though they were somehow entitled to better treatment than anybody else, or that people shouldn't be criticising them at all. This is the internet, if people are going to involve themselves in it to any degree they need to grow thicker skin.
 

ilmaestro

State Alchemist
It is not a case of needing thicker skin or responding to criticism, it is a case of having better things to do than "converse" with certain people. "Jerome" ("" because it does not matter that it is him specifically, only the person fulfilling the role) would not be dealing with criticism when it comes to some of the things that MangaUK (as a company) have done, he would be dealing with vitriol.

If you, in his role, can honestly say you would spend your time replying to most of the things said on here about Manga, you are not as sensible a person as I thought.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
I would, because I would want to set the record straight and make sure everyone knew the facts rather than continuing to debate hypotheticals (and what can I say, I quite like arguing and have no life).
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
I would personally enjoy him getting into a proper discussion since the Twitter format just ends up with him coming off as a nutter with his quick-fire snarky comments and contradictions; engaging without the pressure, backrubbing and technical constraints of the character limit might make him a lot easier to read and understand (he comes across just fine in person). Having said that, even the MVM rep was given some grief here (Andrew has had it too from time to time), and the MVM rep is an anonymous, inoffensive triangular entity who has been nothing but friendly and engaging from the outset.

I don't think that speaking to a handful of regulars is seen as too beneficial for Manga, compared to the 12,478 followers who might be reading every word they post about miscellaneous nonsense on Twitter at any time. Especially as most of us here are the kind of fan MangaUK hates the most, nitpicking technical details and comparing foreign releases rather than leaping on the local versions without question. It's a better use of their time to keep courting the more casual fans their cheap RRPs are aiming at and let us come to them, annoyingly for us.

R
 

Joshawott

Monsieur Monster
AUKN Staff
I think responding to every bit of criticism would be unwise personally, considering the volatile nature of the internet in regards to flame wars etc (unless it was a major fault), but they should at least read it all to get a feel of what the fans do want.
 

Rosencrantz

Dragon Knight
Joshawott said:
I think responding to every bit of criticism would be unwise personally, considering the volatile nature of the internet in regards to flame wars etc (unless it was a major fault), but they should at least read it all to get a feel of what the fans do want.
Agreed. In fact responding creates a weird situation where it would appear that memebers on this board, or whatever board used had influence.

It'd be nice if they looked over various posts and perhaps did an announcement style post every now and then that covered some key points. Not directly responding back to a single poster, rather in a broader sense that would at least show they have seen some of the feedback being given.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Rosencrantz said:
In fact responding creates a weird situation where it would appear that memebers on this board, or whatever board used had influence.
Implying we shouldn't have? We post on a specialised anime forum with a UK focus; if there is anyone the UK industry should be willing to correspond with and take on board the opinions of, I think we should be fairly high up on the list. I'm sure some people will disagree with me there and claim that we're largely irrelevant, but if there's one sure-fire way to make absolutely sure you're irrelevant, it's to believe that you are. We tend to be fairly vocal here, and anyone can read what we have to say. I think that makes us relevant enough.

Rosencrantz said:
It'd be nice if they looked over various posts and perhaps did an announcement style post every now and then that covered some key points. Not directly responding back to a single poster, rather in a broader sense that would at least show they have seen some of the feedback being given.
And that's exactly what Andrew does for Kaze (and used to do for Beez) when he can find the time. And I think the general consensus is that we're grateful for that.

Rui said:
even the MVM rep was given some grief here (Andrew has had it too from time to time), and the MVM rep is an anonymous, inoffensive triangular entity who has been nothing but friendly and engaging from the outset.
Comes with the territory though, doesn't it? If people have opinions they're going to express them, and I dislike the idea that people should withhold their criticism because someone represents an official organisation rather than simply being an individual like the rest of us. Like I say, I would hope that people have thick enough skin not to be offended, and care enough about the opinions of their potential customers not to consider conversing with them a waste of time.
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
Criticism is fine (my Manga UK moans generally start as this, though I always end up carried away by the frustration of it all and descend into whining), but griping without any constructive intent is a problem and things often do get carried away in the heat of a discussion. Andrew handles it beautifully because he's an extraordinarily patient chap; sadly few people can be as gracious under fire. Unfortunately, Jerome has a superhuman knack for saying exactly the wrong thing when he feels threatened and ends up making himself a huge target.

It's probably more viable to get them talking on something like the podcast than the forums as things stand; the environment is more controlled and the message will get out to more fans than a discussion limited to the forum itself. If I put myself in Manga UK's shoes that would be my preferred route.

R
 
I think any anime rep would be best served by not necessarily interacting with the fans on forums, but at least spending a couple hours a week lurking on them, or paying attention to what is said following an announcement or a release. Ignore the extreme comments, but pay attention to what fans have to say regarding content, disc screw ups, and the like.

For at least two weeks following the Haruhi S2 announcement, the single most posted comment on UK anime forums was "It better not have mono audio" Just being aware of that and making note of it would have averted so much grief!

By interacting you set yourself up for grief, as someone is bound to criticise. If you can handle it, then by all means interact. But even by just lurking, you have the most informed source of market research going. You'll know what the hardcore fans want, and you won't have to pay for any silly worded surveys or questionaires.
 

Vashdaman

Za Warudo
even the MVM rep was given some grief here (Andrew has had it too from time to time), and the MVM rep is an anonymous, inoffensive triangular entity who has been nothing but friendly and engaging from the outset.
I hope he didn't run away due to my accusation that his triangular avatar was sinister, lol.

Generally speaking, when it comes to a relatively small and dedicated forum like this, I agree with Ayase. From what I've seen in the discussions with various reps on this forum, as far as I can tell it seems that the unreasonable posters who fill their messages with venomous and irrational hatred are in vast minority, and the other regulars usually step in to try and put those posters in their place anyway. I don't see why the very small amount of unchangeable and intolerant haters can't just be ignored, while the majority of constructive feedback or legitimate criticisms can be responded to thoughtfully. If you let one or two unreasonably angry posts rattle you, then your completely useless as a spokesperson as far as I'm concerned. I don't think Andrew is unusually patient, I just think he's a reasonable bloke who likes what he does and responds as any such balanced individual would do.

Seeing and being able to talk to the people behind these faceless companies is what's needed to help the consumers feel less estranged and cold towards them. Jerome's twitter rants do add personality, but the format is completely inapt for having decent discussions with the fanbase, and so it usually devolves into the nonsense Manga's twitter feed is known for. If Jerome articulate his motivations in a reasonable manner on this forum and didn't run away, I think we'd all have more respect for his company.
 

ConanThe3rd

Railgun
I'm not apologising, I'll call someone who, in the space of one hour long podcast says that the company he represents is seriously screwed financially and then in self same episode acts as if the company came from heaven and will reign forever more, exactly what that is.
 
Did the MVM rep get stick from people here? I do not remember zis. As for Andrew, I've complained many times about Beez and Kaze releases, but I've never attacked him personally and don't recall anyone else doing so either (which doesn't necessarily mean it hasn't happened).

It must have been around four years ago that Jerome posted here briefly. It was a turbulent time in which the term "Mangle" was thrown about liberally, and that seemed to irk him somewhat.
 

ilmaestro

State Alchemist
Interesting, nice to see someone actually doing something constructive!

ayase said:
I would, because I would want to set the record straight and make sure everyone knew the facts rather than continuing to debate hypotheticals (and what can I say, I quite like arguing and have no life).
Well then either you are more stupid than I thought, or you don't read all of the comments about Manga on here as carefully as you thought. To sound more cynical for a second, if you think mere "facts" stop idiots from being idiots, then there is no hope left.

ayase said:
Rosencrantz said:
In fact responding creates a weird situation where it would appear that memebers on this board, or whatever board used had influence.
Implying we shouldn't have? We post on a specialised anime forum with a UK focus;
This is entirely the problem. Which successful companies anywhere in the world take advice from the tiny minority of people crazy enough to post on dedicated boards? No-one with any sense who wants to sell more than ten copies of their game/book/DVD, I'll say that. There is probably a nice middle ground somewhere, but finding it is quite literally a minefield.

ayase said:
Rui said:
even the MVM rep was given some grief here (Andrew has had it too from time to time), and the MVM rep is an anonymous, inoffensive triangular entity who has been nothing but friendly and engaging from the outset.
Comes with the territory though, doesn't it?
Then again, I ask you, why would any sane person bother? Having your nuts smashed into the metal pole in the middle of our sixth form common room "came with the territory" for a lot of the kids below us in school... let's get everyone to join in!

--

Apologies for sounding mad aggressive (I don't work for Manga, honest!) but please put yourself if the other party's shoes for a second, and really think about some of the nonsense you would have to put up with. If your conclusion is "I would put up with it, because I am moderately abnormal in my love of arguing on the internet"... I think you have your answer.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
ilmaestro said:
ayase said:
I would, because I would want to set the record straight and make sure everyone knew the facts rather than continuing to debate hypotheticals (and what can I say, I quite like arguing and have no life).
Well then either you are more stupid than I thought, or you don't read all of the comments about Manga on here as carefully as you thought. To sound more cynical for a second, if you think mere "facts" stop idiots from being idiots, then there is no hope left.
Perhaps not, but it should at least shut them up. If somebody keeps spouting off what they think is happening and you tell them what actually is happening, they no longer have a valid argument. After that point, continued unfounded/personal criticism? Ignore it. Why would anyone let it bother them unless, as mentioned multiple times now, they were simply too thin skinned? I think we've had a similar exchange before along these lines on an unrelated issue, and it could well be that people are more sensitive to criticism than I imagine them to be. We judge people by our own standards, I suppose.

ilmaestro said:
ayase said:
Rui said:
even the MVM rep was given some grief here (Andrew has had it too from time to time), and the MVM rep is an anonymous, inoffensive triangular entity who has been nothing but friendly and engaging from the outset.
Comes with the territory though, doesn't it?
Then again, I ask you, why would any sane person bother? Having your nuts smashed into the metal pole in the middle of our sixth form common room "came with the territory" for a lot of the kids below us in school... let's get everyone to join in!
But I would have thought anyone who chooses to become a PR person, to be the public face of a company, would accept that when they're on the stage sometimes they will be thrown roses and sometimes they will be pelted with rotten tomatoes. If you can't handle the criticism, then what are you doing on stage in the first place?

I think my conclusion is this: PR people should be made of tough enough stuff not to let unfounded criticism bother them, and they should also be relating with the public to ensure both parties know what's going on. I would put up with it because I'd consider it my JOB to put up with it.
 

ilmaestro

State Alchemist
Perhaps a fundamental difference of opinion on the role of PR is the root cause of our disagreement, then. "Relating with the public" is not done on a direct basis by almost any company out there, there are channels by which information is passed.

Certainly if you look at the video game industry, to take a moderately useful analog, the role of PR is, in part, to cover up as many dissenting opinions as possible, not bring attention to them and start some kind of rational debate about whether their product "really" is any good or not.

If you are a being of no significance and you make noise, you will be either hushed up or ignored, it is the way of all things. If there was a more structured sense of anime industry journalism in this country, and our site was seen more "officially" as part of it, then bothering to reply would be a lot more likely to fall into "Jerome"'s wheelhouse.

Andrew does ridiculously over the top good work in this regard for Kaze, but I am pretty sure he is doing it by personal choice, rather than anything considered a mandatory part of his job.

Also the level of "naivete" that you are showing by thinking that "being wrong" would shut anyone up on the internet... :p

ayase said:
We judge people by our own standards, I suppose.
This is an interesting idea, I agree that I do so in some situations, but in others I try to consider things more objectively and think about whether my own standards for something are a bit crazy and overly individualistic.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
ilmaestro said:
Certainly if you look at the video game industry, to take a moderately useful analog, the role of PR is, in part, to cover up as many dissenting opinions as possible, not bring attention to them and start some kind of rational debate about whether their product "really" is any good or not.

If you are a being of no significance and you make noise, you will be either hushed up or ignored, it is the way of all things. If there was a more structured sense of anime industry journalism in this country, and our site was seen more "officially" as part of it, then bothering to reply would be a lot more likely to fall into "Jerome"'s wheelhouse.
Well it has been the way of things, but now I think certain criticisms do need to be answered or they just get louder and more prevalent... Unrelated to anime, but I can see it happening now with Games Workshop's "Citadel Finecast" line. They seem to be refusing to comment on the issues with these miniatures at all, meanwhile more pictures of badly cast figures continue to be uploaded, more people are starting to say "I'm not buying any of these miniatures until GW fix these problems". In an age of ever more prevalent mass communication, dissidence can't be silenced so easily nor can problems be swept under the rug any more. Insignificant or not, one person posts something online and it's there for however many millions to see (and potentially agree with and add their voice to). iPhone aerial issues? Mass Effect 3 ending? I think companies ignore the power of the internet at their peril.

ilmaestro said:
Also the level of "naivete" that you are showing by thinking that "being wrong" would shut anyone up on the internet... :p
Ha! Perhaps "shut up" was a poor choice of words; "make anything they say after that point an exercise in pissing into the wind" might have been better.
 

Vashdaman

Za Warudo
Certainly if you look at the video game industry, to take a moderately useful analog, the role of PR is, in part, to cover up as many dissenting opinions as possible, not bring attention to them and start some kind of rational debate about whether their product "really" is any good or not.
But if you lurk (or indeed post) on some gaming forums you do see some cases of members of development teams addressing and consulting with the fans. Sure, most of them are mostly there on a personal basis, but nonetheless I seen many occasions where they face significant criticism, don't get raged and run away but instead address the problem honestly, and generate a feeling of understanding amongst many of the forums readers. Though it could be argued that consulting with a 'vocal and stubborn minority' is the wrong thing to do, but in the case of AUKN, I don't think there's as much irrational hatred as you seem to think there is, I think most members are just baffled by Manga.

I think in Jerome's case (since he's the 'voice' of manga) I think this is important. His company seems to have a bad reputation amongst many long term anime buyers, this is because they seem to make a lot some strange and very unpopular decisions, while Jerome's twitter feed often just ends up exasperating the issue. By coming online and conversing in a way any company frontman would be expected to, I think he could help his situation. I don't think the UK anime industry is big enough for Jerome to ignore these disenfranchised/baffled customers.
 
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