Anime Vice News

Anime Boston Catch-Up: ADV Says No Blu-Ray

ADV declines to move into Blu-Ray for the time being.


One of the (many!) things I unfortunately missed by not being at Anime Boston was ADV's panel, in which ADV's David Williams reportedly noted that ADV has no plans for Blu-Ray at this time, because they think there's not enough support in the market.

For a company who has been repackaging a lot of titles lately, I wonder how much that's true? On the one hand, no, probably no one would be shelling out big bucks to get Indian Summer on Blu-Ray. But what about, say, Evangelion? Would you consider buying a remastered Blu-Ray edition of Evangelion?

Granted, ADV can't just jump straight into such a release, since the original Evangelion TV series and End of Evangelion films haven't been released on Blu-Ray-- only Evangelion 1.0 has, and FUNi has the movie's license. Coincidentally, that Japanese BD release of 1.0 just hit stores today.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand, I could imagine a couple of series tentatively doing okay on BD-- properly remastered, Excel Saga might, and possibly Full Metal Panic!. What do you think?
Zeouterlimitson May 26, 2009 at 10:50 a.m.
I would certainly consider a blu-ray collection but I fully understand ADV's position. Give it another year for Blu-Ray proliferation to grow, it's early days yet.
blackholehearton May 26, 2009 at 11:13 a.m.
For the most part there are no backcatalog shows that warrant me repurchessing them on BD however the new shows are mostly produced in HD and would benefit greatly from a BD release. So much so for some that if there is no R1 BD release I'll likely import the R2 BD's instead.  
Eelcireon May 26, 2009 at 11:28 a.m.
Yeah, I'm not too keen on repurchasing my anime collection, so I can see where ADV might be coming from. Not to mention price would be a pretty big deterrent, as even anime DVDs usually cost a little bit more over other DVD movies; so I can imagine Blu-ray releases being pretty spendy.
Kuroon May 26, 2009 at 11:38 a.m.
ADV has two Shinkai movies. They NEED to be on blu ray.
kratos1010on May 26, 2009 at 4:35 p.m.
Well, I missed this too, and I was at anime boson. Are you coming next year, gia?
godofchaoson May 26, 2009 at 4:46 p.m.
Funny saying Blu-ray doesn't have the support when they had solicited a Blu-ray disk already and just sorta... ignored that they ever solicited it (Lady Death isn't anime... but ADV still solicited it back in January.)

Although we will never get proper Blu-ray's of Excel or FMP though unfortunately.
newtypecjon May 26, 2009 at 4:46 p.m.
I don't know how anyone could make the statement that there's "not enough support in the market" when the news about Blu-ray sales this year has been overwhelmingly positive. There’s a Hollywood Reporter story from just a few days back about its amazing growth despite the bad economic times we currently live in. Where there's really "not enough support in the market" is for anime in general, especially at retail. Amidst shrinking sections at Best Buy and more and more competition from direct download services like Crunchyroll/YouTube, launching a Blu-ray offensive doesn't make much sense for any anime company unless they've got an AAA-title to do it with. ADV doesn't. And my guess is that ADV would have to renegotiate the rights to any catalog titles they wanted to put on Blu-ray for more $$$, which is exactly why they're not doing it. They don't have the $$$ for Eva, Full Metal Panic or anything else. (The only thing they can do with those catalog titles is continually re-release them on DVD with different packaging to hope more people buy.) They can't even do it with a title they do own like Lady Death, which was solicited back in January but never actually came out and was quietly forgotten.

The statement is especially ridiculous considering that ADV has been quick to play the "hey, we're doing Blu-ray!" card whenever they need a piece of promising news to string fans along with. They did it in February 2008 after many of their DVDs started suffering delays and Newtype USA went away, again at Anime Expo 2008 after FUNimation had taken many of their licenses, and again in January 2009 right around the time that it became public that Best Buy was going to be discontinuing (if not at least shrinking) anime's presence in their stores. Just as they used to say "yeah we're still doing manga" and still say "yeah there is significant movement on the Eva live-action movie." As long as you think they're alive enough to buy another ADV title that's on the shelf, it’s apparently worth it.
transgojoboton May 26, 2009 at 8 p.m.
Another major stumbling block keeping a lot of these North American anime publishers from completely jumping on the Blu-ray disc (BD) bandwagon are the licensing fees.

AFAIK, in order for a studio like ADV Films to distribute Blu-rays and use the Blu-ray logo, they'd have to pay a licensing fee and sign a Content Provider Agreement (CPA) with the Blu-Ray Disc Association. The annual fee for a CPA is $3,000. The catch, however, is that the agreement term lasts for FIVE YEARS. While ADV only has to pay $3,000 each year, it still adds up to $15,000 for the right to make and sell Blu-ray discs. Ouch.

Hold on. It gets even better.

Once ADV Films signs up for their CPA with the Blu-ray Boys™, they are REQUIRED to pay a one-time licensing fee to AACS (Advanced Access Content System) in the amount of $3,000, a per-title fee of $1,300-1,600 and a "royalty fee" of some kind for each disc that's made.

So, once you do the math, an indy/boutique publisher like ADV could be looking at a $7,300 "buy-in" before their first Blu-ray disc is even produced or sold. That's not even counting the additional $12,000 they'll have to pony up for the rest of their BD licensing agreement or whatever costs there would be for each disc they replicate.

By the way, I'm also not even factoring what costs there would be for ADV to license the high-definition materials from the Japanese parent companies. Who knows how many more zeros would be added to that total? For something like Evangelion? Quite a lot, I would believe, like newtypecj mentions upthread.

While the Blu-ray and AACS fees are peanuts to the big Hollywood studios, for the smaller distributors like ADV, Media Blasters and Bandai it can kill any chance of making a decent return profit on a Blu-Ray anime title.
HSaabedraon May 26, 2009 at 9:33 p.m.
newtypecj said:
I don't know how anyone could make the statement that there's "not enough support in the market" when the news ... [more]
I know I've attacked you before for being an ADV shill Chris, but I just have to agree with everything you've stated (and I'm willing to bury the hatchet if you are.)  It's funny that you bring up Lady Death, because if they couldn't even bring that out after the initial solicitation, that leads me to believe they can't afford to do Blu-Ray releases, much less anything else besides repackaging.

Anyone else remember the claim of Full Metal Panic and Rahxephon on WMV-HD as a way to claim being ready for HD releases in 2004?
newtypecjon May 26, 2009 at 10:58 p.m.
Hey HS! Long time no see brutha. I think the word you're looking for is detractor, not shill. ;) And I do remember FMP/Rahxephon on WMV-HD, and thinking what a horrible waste that was going to be. Thankfully, those never made it out. I never understood why anyone thought that was going to be a good idea.
HSaabedraon May 26, 2009 at 11:29 p.m.
@newtypecj: Oh, my mistake ;)   The funniest thing is they keep playing up the whole Sentai/ADV smokescreen as a "partnership" :P.  Tell you what,  I'm looking for staff for my anime blog and you'd be perfect for it since I'm looking for people willing to call out those that deserve it within the industry.  Let me know if its something you might be interested in, since I'm looking for people to grow with the site and know a thing or two.
DJTyranton May 26, 2009 at 11:51 p.m.
Eva on Blu-ray would be a waste of resources and I wouldn't buy it. It's not in a widescreen format to begin with so unless they redo it (which would be stupid since they're already doing the rebuild series) a Blu-ray release would be pointless.
Macon May 27, 2009 at 9:41 a.m.
I LULZ at newtypecj who is just a disgruntled employee for months always spreading lies and doom and gloom on every site. All his predictions in the last year have proven false. A notorious liar. When he worked for ADV he lied to the consumers (i bought into one of his lies) and I will never believe him again. Clearly biased and nothing to do since he spends all hours of the day as a liar. Quite pathetic. Even your fans at anime news network don't believe you anymore. You have shown to be biased and mental nutcase.

As for HS no wonder Zac shooed you off from Anime News Network and your former partner Quarkboy at mania publicaly said you have no journalist ethics and why he doesn't want to have anything to do with your site. LULZ
newtypecjon May 27, 2009 at 1:27 p.m.
Wow, all hours of the day? Really? When did I "lie" to you when I worked at ADV? Actually I'd be curious to for you to tell me which predictions of mine have proven false. I don't recall making any. And anything I posted above are ADV's own words in regard to Blu-ray. I didn't solicit Lady Death or get ICV2 to publish an fluff article on how ADV was going with Blu-ray.

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