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Madman anime division sold to Aniplex. What's gonna happen?



Madman anime division sold to Aniplex. What's gonna happen?
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IForgotMyUsername
Doraemon


Joined: 29 May 2018
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:53 pm    Post subject: Madman anime division sold to Aniplex. What's gonna happen? Reply with quote
So this article says that Madman sold the anime division to Aniplex. I want to know more about the future because this seems really concerning, given the reputation Aniplex has in the western anime community.

Like Aniplex USA is notorious for pricing their releases really high, so will that happen to Madman as well?

How will Madman operate now? Will management change significantly, or is Aniplex just gonna leave it as independent as possible?

Like Madman currently has a near monopoly on anime in Australia/NZ. Siren's distributors went out of business a while ago, and Hanabee hasn't gotten anything new in like ~8 months, so if something were to change for the worse, it'll hurt a lot of anime fans here.

Also, there's some hysteria on the Anime News Network forum about this article.

Like Madman hasn't given a statement yet, so I might be panicking too early, but I hope everything works out for the better.
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Greoboruri
Nene Romanova


Joined: 04 Mar 2004
Posts: 2363
Location: QBN

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hysteria? In the Anime News Network forums? No, that can't be right... Laughing

I think this has been on the cards fro a while. I thought it was rather odd that Aniplex producer Atsuhiro Iwakami was a guest at the Madman Anime Festival in Melbourne in November 2017, but in February the next year, Aniplex became a significant shareholder in the company. And now a year on we have this development.

Madman had a deal in place with Funimation to pretty much distribute their titles. Can't see that changing in the short term. Interestingly the US division of Sony Pictures owns Funimation and Aniplex is owed by the parent Sony Pictures Japanese company.

Can't see Madman changing to the Anipex of America model of home video distribution. I don't think there is any demand for it here. People who do like collecting the expensive editions mostly buy from the US or Japan anyway. I suspect Madman still moves a lot of product via JB Hi-Fi and Sanity. I can't see why they would want to change that, especially with their deal with Funimation.

But you can already see the effects of Aniplex on Madman; Aniplex shows are being heavily promoted and pretty much all the major guests for Madman Anime Festival have connections to Aniplex properties and are promoted as such on the website. I think it's going to a bit of shame if Australian audiences eventually end up with Aniplex titles as pretty much their only choices for anime.
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Speeny
Doraemon


Joined: 18 Jul 2014
Posts: 73
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hmmm. This is interesting.

I sure hope they aren't going to start releasing the expensive sets.

The only sets I've bought from Aniplex directly were the Gurren Lagann Blu-ray volumes as well as the movies. It was expensive let me tell you.

But I wanted them because of those few seconds in the Madman Blu-ray release that didn't look all that great in one or two episodes. (Think they were the UK masters anyway.) Sad
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strideryb
Minawa Andou


Joined: 06 Dec 2003
Posts: 523
Location: Perth, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Cheers for the heads up. Hope there's no overall change to the consumer end.

Streaming has such an effect on on all media, including anime , viewing over the last few years, I'm not too surprised there's changes in the physical media. I don't personally know anyone else who buys physical media nowadays.

I was expecting way more over-reaction in the ANN forum. Where's the comments predicting the heat death of the universe because of this. Very Happy
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Slykura
Madman Staff


Joined: 13 Jan 2001
Posts: 13610

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
The short answer is nothing is changing. People shouldn't be worried but rather should be seeing the brighter side in all of this.

The Madman brand is still sticking around.
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quasar
Doraemon


Joined: 08 Oct 2012
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Most of my pondering I think was related to why would Sony run both Animelab and Funimation Now, and if so just what impact it might have on licensing non-Aniplex stuff.

Also what it means for Madman cinema distribution of anime. Does that stay with Madman because its cinema? or does that come under Sony/Aniplex now?

As it is I've been unhappy about Madman not getting distribution of certain prominent films given no-one else distributes anime in Australian cinemas.
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quasar
Doraemon


Joined: 08 Oct 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
strideryb wrote:

Streaming has such an effect on on all media, including anime , viewing over the last few years, I'm not too surprised there's changes in the physical media. I don't personally know anyone else who buys physical media nowadays.


Yeah. I'm mostly in that boat inside and outside anime. And given my preference for subbed anime, buying digitally from iTunes or other services is problematic.
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IForgotMyUsername
Doraemon


Joined: 29 May 2018
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
quasar wrote:
Most of my pondering I think was related to why would Sony run both Animelab and Funimation Now, and if so just what impact it might have on licensing non-Aniplex stuff.

Sony Pictures owns Funimation. Sony Music owns Aniplex. These different branches of Sony are very independent from one another (almost like separate companies), so Aniplex would not be involved with any of Funimation's stuff, or vice versa.
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Slykura
Madman Staff


Joined: 13 Jan 2001
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
quasar wrote:
Most of my pondering I think was related to why would Sony run both Animelab and Funimation Now, and if so just what impact it might have on licensing non-Aniplex stuff.

Also what it means for Madman cinema distribution of anime. Does that stay with Madman because its cinema? or does that come under Sony/Aniplex now?

As it is I've been unhappy about Madman not getting distribution of certain prominent films given no-one else distributes anime in Australian cinemas.



None. We are also now majority owned by Aniplex which is a division of Sony Music Japan, not Sony Pictures which is who owns Funimation. We're like distant cousins. All of our existing licenses and how we license moving forward doesn't change, we are still Madman and we are not changing our name to Aniplex. The branding stays.

Cinema distribution remains the same, we assess all movies that get released if they are viable to do so and whether if we are able to obtain a license for it. Which films, in particular, are you referring to, as we have released many anime films in cinemas around 1 a month over the last few years?

Keeping in mind the key word here is viable. Not every film is a viable release if we do not believe enough of an audience will go to see a film it is not really worthwhile to spend extra effort to chase after a title, pay money to license it and then set a distribution plan. We have to prove to cinemas that certain titles are worthwhile doing and this is not always easy, I'd like to think that we have done a lot to expand the availability of content . We have great slate of films coming up including Fate/Stay Night Heaven's Feel 2, Love Live! Sunshine!! and more. Not to mentionwe just did Dragon Ball Super at over 170 locations in our biggest release of an anime film ever in Australia history.
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IForgotMyUsername
Doraemon


Joined: 29 May 2018
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
quasar wrote:
As it is I've been unhappy about Madman not getting distribution of certain prominent films given no-one else distributes anime in Australian cinemas.


Well the Danmachi movie is confirmed to be screened in Australia, according to the Official Japanese Twitter, but we don't know by who or when.

Half Symbolic Films seemed to have snatched Lu over the Wall (31 January 2019) and Night is Short, Walk on Girl (21 February 2019/14 February 2019 in Melbourne) films for theatrical release on those dates, though these screenings are super small.
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quasar
Doraemon


Joined: 08 Oct 2012
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Slykura wrote:
[..]
Cinema distribution remains the same, we assess all movies that get released if they are viable to do so and whether if we are able to obtain a license for it. Which films, in particular, are you referring to, as we have released many anime films in cinemas around 1 a month over the last few years?


From last year the main one was Liz and the Blue Bird. Prior to that was the frustration over not being able to see the Kizumonogatari films.

But also last year the Natume's Book of Friends film, though I'm not sure that's been shown anywhere outside Japan. Same with the Non Non Biyori film.

And related to Liz and the Blue Bird of course is the Sound Euphonium films. I guess given whats happened I'll miss out on the new one this year. Similar to that is the expectation that I'll miss out on the Zoku Owarimonogatari film.

That said yes, I am happy to see more films come, especially for folks like me who live outside the capital cities. getting to see Your Name, Silent Voice, Maquia, and I want to eat Your Pancreas in recent times has been great.

Just that omissions pain me, especially when no-one else is distributing films that madman might decide isn't for them.

Hopefully you at least bring the new Shinkai film over this year.
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quasar
Doraemon


Joined: 08 Oct 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
IForgotMyUsername wrote:
[..]

Well the Danmachi movie is confirmed to be screened in Australia, according to the Official Japanese Twitter, but we don't know by who or when.


Thats good to know. I didn't think it would. Ditto the Bunny Sempai film. But then I kind of generally don't expect show spinoffs (at least of shows i watch) to get into theatres.
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Slykura
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
RE: Liz and the Blue Bird - There was no local licensor for Sound Eupho which makes it hard to release a film into cinemas when we do not fully know if there is enough of an established audience or not and is not an original stand-alone feature film.

Zoku Owarimonogatari - There was no US release for this film either and it is currently slated to become a mini TV series anyway. We also did not see any demand for these films during its Japanese theatrical run.

We can't release every single film, it's just not commercial to do so and we have to make the right choice to release the right films that will have the best chance for success or at the very least break even.

I also think that a lot of ppl don't realise a lot of Japanese theatrical releases for anime are also quite small scale as well and also in very limited theatres if you don't live in places like Tokyo or Osaka. We all live in a bit of an echo chamber because we all live and breathe anime so a lot of the "big" series' get amplified a lot more than the actual results. What's successful in Japan also may not translate as such locally so we have to do what we feel is best for our market conditions.
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quasar
Doraemon


Joined: 08 Oct 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Slykura wrote:
RE: Liz and the Blue Bird - There was no local licensor for Sound Eupho which makes it hard to release a film into cinemas when we do not fully know if there is enough of an established audience or not and is not an original stand-alone feature film.


I kind of think that's a weird stance given how much Crunchyroll dominates the market. Of course no-one outside Crunchyroll (or any other animelab competitor) really knows what the numbers are for a title (well I assume KyoAni would have some idea in this case).

That said its weird that there's no disc licensor for a major KyoAni show like Sound Euphonium. You'd think such a premium studio would have all their shows well distributed. Of course theres history there, which Hyouka, which was long my favourite KyoAni show.

Quote:

We can't release every single film, it's just not commercial to do so and we have to make the right choice to release the right films that will have the best chance for success or at the very least break even.


I certainly understand. I probably mostly annoyed at the fact that no-one else is there to distribute anime films and so I'm left relying on Madman to release everything or resort to other means to see said films which i really hate doing.
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IForgotMyUsername
Doraemon


Joined: 29 May 2018
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
It sucks that nobody is willing to distribute Crunchyroll's titles down under other than Funimation, who just cut ties with CR. Especially since that they've gotten titles which are sequels to current Madman titles, like Yowapeda or Food Wars S3.

Well Madman probably will have to deal with Crunchyroll at some point if they want to get Konosuba dub onto AnimeLab and physical media. Hopefully this will also ignite a working relationship between Madman and Crunchyroll.
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Greoboruri
Nene Romanova


Joined: 04 Mar 2004
Posts: 2363
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Slykura wrote:
RE: Liz and the Blue Bird - There was no local licensor for Sound Eupho which makes it hard to release a film into cinemas when we do not fully know if there is enough of an established audience or not and is not an original stand-alone feature film.

Surely Pony Canyon does know. They would have the data via Crunchyroll in regards to who watches it and where they're from. You would think it would be in the best interest of Pony Canyon to release this title and others in their catalogue in as many territories as possible, especially with shrinking home video sales in Japan.

Not knowing how partnerships work between licencor and licencee, as a general member of the public, I would also think it would be in the best interest of all parties involved to have as much data to show cinema chains that there is an audience there for the product.

I note that there are no longer any "one off" screenings of films. Why is that? Surely this might work for the more niche films. Also, why not bring back Reel Anime? Depending on what you might be able to work out with distributors you could could potentially screen four or so smaller anime films over a day.
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Slykura
Madman Staff


Joined: 13 Jan 2001
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Greoboruri wrote:
[..]


Surely Pony Canyon does know. They would have the data via Crunchyroll in regards to who watches it and where they're from. You would think it would be in the best interest of Pony Canyon to release this title and others in their catalogue in as many territories as possible, especially with shrinking home video sales in Japan.

Not knowing how partnerships work between licencor and licencee, as a general member of the public, I would also think it would be in the best interest of all parties involved to have as much data to show cinema chains that there is an audience there for the product.

I note that there are no longer any "one off" screenings of films. Why is that? Surely this might work for the more niche films. Also, why not bring back Reel Anime? Depending on what you might be able to work out with distributors you could could potentially screen four or so smaller anime films over a day.


licensing 101 - Usually you have to pay an Advanced amount of money to the licensor to secure rights for a certain period of time, exclusively or non-exclusively. Then you have to add the costs on top of that of bringing it to the cinema, that costs someone's time, and money to pitch it to a local cinema, let them know about possible box office expectations and if it is worthwhile for them to put it on (no point if only 2-3 people show up to a screening). There are other costs as well- DCP creation, marketing, distribution to cinemas, CLASSIFICATION etc. Not to mention the cinema's cut before we get our cut and share that with the licensor. Every little thing adds up.

Whilst the REEL ANIME style of festivals was great for us to showcase titles back in the day, it is not really feasible anymore as we would much rather showcase each film individually. It means you don't have to wait around for a film to come out to gather it all up for a film festival. One off screenings still has all of those costs attached to it as well. So with that much effort you might as well try and go as wide as you possibly can. We also have been doing one off screenings the last 2 years with the Love Live! sunshine!! concerts. So it's not like we aren't not doing things either Smile
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IForgotMyUsername
Doraemon


Joined: 29 May 2018
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
What I'm curious is whether Madman will pick up any existing Aniplex titles that have gone out of print, or otherwise unreleased.

Like will Kizumonogatari get released here by Madman because of Aniplex? Hanabee seems to not be releasing home video in general, and it's getting released in the UK by MVM even though MVM used Hanabee authors for previous Monogatari titles.

Same thing with Angel Beats!. The Sentai Filmworks license expired back in 2017, and from what I've seen, Siren had sublicensed that from Sentai, so would Madman be able to get this title, even just for streaming on AnimeLab (I noticed that Angel Beats left AnimeLab a while ago).

There's also unreleased titles like Blend S, Today's Menu for the Emiya Family, Anthem of the Heart, etc., and continuations like Silver Spoon Season 2 (which is getting a UK BD release soon).
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