Saturday, September 29, 2007

Geneon USA RIP

According to AnimeNation News, Geneon USA, the third largest anime licenser in North America, has essentially ceased operations. They will no longer supply any new DVD's to the market, nor will they license anymore series. Geneon in Japan is fine, it's just the American branch shutting down.

According to some sources, the main reason for this is because Geneon's Japanese owner, Dentsu, no longer thinks Geneon is profitable. One reason is because Geneon licensed a number of duds, costing them market share. There's also the general downturn in music and movie sales that's been impacting the anime industry, caused primarily by economic woes (not piracy, as the propaganda would have you believe).

One positive trend I've noted with US anime releases is the inclusion of extras with the DVDs. Geneon was doing a fair job at it. The sleek metal case with Black Lagoon vol 1 was great, as are some of the bonuses with Hellsing Ultimate. Those specials are how companies earn their money, since it shows they're willing to put in extra work on their titles and not just give you what any guy with a computer can put on the Internet.

Things are still in the air on what will happen to Geneon's titles. It's likely the most popular ones will be picked up by other companies (hopefully not 4Kids!), but expect significant delays. This means Higurashi, Black Lagoon, and Hellsing Ultimate - all of which were still in the middle of being released - won't be coming out with new volumes for a while. It's also possible that several series Geneon has the license for will revert back to unlicensed status, ending their R1 in-print status.

For Hellsing fans like myself, this development is ironic, given how long it was after the TV series before they started doing a "correct" Hellsing series and all the delays that have plagued the OVA itself. At least there are assurances the voice acting cast won't change.

So, get your Geneon DVD's while supplies last!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Forum Closed Due to Hack

The pOnju forum has been hacked and shut down. So until it returns, you can post comments in the guestbook, in the rant space, or in the OO discussion thread on the Professor Forum. Posting an idea or suggestion here in my rant space or in the Professor forum is the best way to ensure I'll see it.

In other news, there's a good chance I'll be attending AtsuiCon 2 as a special guest in summer 2008. More on that as they send me more info.