Hey guys! For the second part of our continuing coverage of Bandai USA’s recent announcement, I conducted another interview with our resident otaku, my old friend, and fellow tag-team reviewer, Andrain. The conversation follows below! I hope you enjoy! Oh, and if you haven’t had the chance to check out our first interview, I recommend you do so by clicking here!
Cajun Samurai: I know we actually did a tag team review earlier, and have one planned, but could you please reintroduce yourself to our readers please?
Andrain: Certainly, I’m known on the web as Andrain, well not too known but there are some. I’ve been an anime fan for what… OH crap, well let’s see MY first anime Episode was a Classic part in Part 2 of “Digimon Adventure”; the one where Sora Takenouchi had activated her crest of Love to summon Garudamon and take on that weird Vampire guy. [The episode my friend is talking about is number twenty-six: “Sora’s Crest of Love” (“Shining Wings! Garudamon”). In addition, the Vampire guy is Myotismon…a REAL Vampire I might add…] That was where my love of Anime began, but of course it might have been a little younger… I remember those old days when we all wondered if Goku would ever get off snake way. Anyway, I watch anime from all genres these days… well… I haven’t seen “Gravitation” yet but as a guy, can you blame me?
Cajun Samurai: ah…I remember that second half of the first season…when Fox Kids thought they would build up suspense of which the 8th Child was…that is throwback. Okay, so in one sentence, please explain what’s currently happening to Bandai. And no, I can’t blame you…I accidently picked up the “Gravitation” manga one day not knowing what it was about…it was eye opening to be sure.
Andrain: Well I haven’t been keeping up but as I understand it after their last relief of K-on! Season one they decided to stop distributing Anime due to lack of profit correct? Release of “K-On”!
Cajun Samurai: From the info I gathered on ANN, they don’t mention a specific reason…
Andrain: Ah, Rumors on the web sorry. That’s really disappointing though Bandai was one of the few one could respect.
Cajun Samurai: Oh, it’s okay. Just trying to get some simplicity to this whole thing…the internet is a buzz. And why are they respected in your view?
Andrain: Bandai was a very key player in bringing Anime to the main stream for the simple reason of giving us Stand Alone Complex. Not to mention they topped that with the Legendary “Cowboy Bebop”. Those two Anime alone are something most everyone has seen or at least heard of. They’re quite simply the best of dubbing in an era that dubbing was… well, have you Seen “Voltron” recently?
Cajun Samurai: Not in the last few months, no. But I did see a few episodes on DVD from the library…
Andrain: Don’t do it… I tried to watch it and it’s just simply unwatchable… call me spoiled but he voice acting is worst then terrible which is why the Anime industry in America is having these problems years of subpar product… Bandai However was generally not a contributor.
Cajun Samurai: So you believe that some of the problems are based in how the US handles a product with regards to acting?
Andrain: No. Thanks to Bandai and more recently Funimation, dubbing has become somewhere along the lines of acceptable, albeit limited… Though the Stigma is still there leading to their problems of reaching the market. Both of those companies hit hard, Funimation bringing us FMA, Bandai doing Code Geass both of them extremely respected Dubs. I’m quite sad to see them go on such a low note… pardon the pun .
Cajun Samurai: Indeed. Both companies have their high and low points… The reason I mentioned dubbing in particular was because Richard Epcar and Chris Ayres both hit their respective Facebook pages saying that the bulk of the blame was with anime pirates…and I doubt Monkey D. Luffy was the pirate in question. What are your thoughts on that?
Andrain: Yeah… We’re part of the blame I won’t deny it, they’re releasing something we as the target market should have been buying but we weren’t, you have to ask why that is.
Cajun Samurai: Why is that?
Cajun Samurai: Yeah. That is a very fast turnaround…
Cajun Samurai: Let’s see… “Lucky Star” That’s a good Anime and from Bandai…
Andrain: And I’ll say it’s an excellent but… It started April 8 2007, ended in September 2007… 24 episodes run… The DVD’s in America… Started May 6 2008… not bad but… The last was reached March 17 2009! I’m gonna tell you… Lucky Star was a legendary series. Exceptionally well Dub but any decent fan wouldn’t wait that long! It’s absurd!
Cajun Samurai: I do recall there was an attempt to hype up “Haruhi” when it made its US debut…even an ASOS Brigade…it must’ve looked weird to the Japanese that were only just getting this series, when they moved on.
Andrain: Anime is released in 4 seasons every year in Japan.
Cajun Samurai: So, in short, you feel that if production companies released their products in the US in a more rapid fashion, there would be less occurrences of Pirating?
Andrain: If they keep to the same Quality brought to Digimon Adventure. It’s very possible. The problem is these people STILL don’t understand the demographic and don’t trust us. The biggest criminals of that was 4kids entertainment… Those wretched bastards destroyed Anime left and right.
Cajun Samurai: With regards to the demographic, how would the loss of Bandai affect them?
Andrain: Funimation gets a higher stake and the Anime fans either love them or hate them… Either way they still loudly lash out at their potential customers which is a rather poor business model. Back in the old days you earned your business by making good product and then courting consumer respect. I’ll admit Funimation makes a decent product but… Their screams about what kills their industry just simply angers people. That’ll really drum up sales… sure some people will buy from feeling guilty but that’s not what you do. I attended Texas A&M University Galveston back in the day and someone who worked for the dorms happened to… have deep connections to Funimation… He actively monitored the local Anime Club. It was really annoying
Cajun Samurai: Annoying? How?
Andrain: I’m telling you he actively monitored us ensuring the Anime wasn’t played off of a laptop.
Cajun Samurai: Oh…and if it was? Don’t tell me…
Andrain: I didn’t get to see that… The tiny club had no real pull the threats were made seriously enough to us poor types.
Cajun Samurai: I can see how that could be frustrating. Okay, so seeing the trends that are in play right now, where do you see Anime going in the next few years? Do you see it getting better or worse?
Andrain: In terms of The US? Probably worse Funimation is really the only Dubbing company that’s seriously in the game anymore. They also seem to specialize in Shonen Type Anime. I’ll admit they do go a little bit of everywhere but one company just cannot hope to get all of those amines… Let’s see this winter. There are 26 new anime just this winter alone. It covers every Genre; they’re a mystery Series… A Fantasy Flic (The Long awaited final season of Zero No Tsukima aka The Familiar of Zero) Romantic Comedies Slices of Life Action Adventure and plenty of Mecha and even the Latest “Pretty Cure” series. In fact we’re even graced this season with the latest from Kuroda Yousuke. I’m sure everyone knows him as the man who brought us “Please Teacher”. It’s gonna be a busy season in Japan won’t it?
Cajun Samurai: Yeah. I saw the lineup on a website… it is quite a busy month. So, anything you want to leave us with?
Andrain: My apologizes to those who work hard to bring us a good product but… Us Otaku hate being behind our brothers in arms who all work so hard to keep us caught up for no money at all. For example “Hanamaru” wouldn’t have been possible without a little digging. It’s not been licensed and probably won’t be… too adult after all, encourages dangerous ideas. The Thing we Otaku relish is discovering those new Anime that are truly good but won’t leave Japan for one reason or another.
Cajun Samurai: Thank you very much sir!
And that’s part two of our analysis of Bandai Entertainment and the state of the industry! I hope you found it informative! Coming up, Andrain and I will team up once again for our “Lucky Star” review, and I’ll open up and offer my thoughts and opinions on the State of the Anime Union. It’s something to look forward to!