Quick news roundup

Today is the 63rd anniversary of the Hiroshima bombings, John Thomas reminds us, and he takes a look at two manga that deal with that event and its aftermath: Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms and Barefoot Gen.

The MangaCast team weighs in with their selections from this week’s new manga, and Ed has covers and commentary on the new titles from Viz.

Also Erin Finnegan posts cover images and lots of other info about the upcoming foodie manga Oishinbo.

Matt Blind presents the week’s manga rankings (online sales) at Rocket Bomber, and they are more readable now that he posts the top 10 and puts the rest behind a cut. Somehow 500 titles at once was just too much to digest.

I don’t usually cover anime, but I was interested to read about Scott’s VonSchilling’s experiment at Anime Almanac: He went a month without fansubs and found that there was plenty out there to see for not very much money.

Reviews: Sam Kusek gives vol. 3 of Fairy Tail an A at PopCultureShock’s Manga Recon blog. EvilOmar posts some brief manga reviews, including Aspirin Crayon Shinchan, and Me and the Devil Blues, at About Heroes. Lissa Pattillo reads Love Circumstances and Love Lesson, and D.M. Evans checks out vol. 5 of Wild Adapter, at Manga Jouhou. At Slightly Biased Manga, Connie posts her take on vols. 16, 17, and 18 of Berserk, vol. 12 of Iron Wok Jan, vol. 35 of Dragon Ball, vol. 5 of Go Go Heaven, vol. 20 of Eyeshield 21, vol. 13 of Saint Seiya, vol. 8 of Click, and vol. 5 of Kashimashi.

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  1. Scott’s got some great points, and of course Netflixing is infinitely better than just downloading fansubs, but it’s not exactly the method that’s going to save the industry. I mean, he says it himself: there he pays something like 30-40 cents an episode. If we generously guess that Netflix takes only half of that and the rest go to all the companies involved, it still gets broken up between the US companies and the easily dozen or so Japanese companies who created the show in the first place, leaving only fractions of a penny per company, let alone per individuals involved.

    I suppose if EVERY fansub watcher went the Netflix route instead it would add up, but I’m not sure if there are even enough anime fans in the US for it to become significant— a half-penny per company, even with 100,000 renters, is only $500.

  2. A sale to Netflix is still a DVD sale.

    I have no idea how many warehouses they have (wikipedia says ‘more than 100’ but that’s vague enough to be useless) and of course on occasion they ship me DVDs from Hawaii, Alaska, or McMurdo (though that is-or-was part of their throttling strategy — and they’ve gotten better) so anecdotal evidence seems to point to a less than one-for-one stocking strategy when it comes to anime —

    But say Netflix buys 100 copies of every popular series, and at least 10 copies of everything else. And on top of physical DVDs, my guess is that Netflix also kicks something back for every instance of a streamed-video rental (free to the customer, with subscription, but I some pennies must go back to the licensor-or-owner-of-record or there wouldn’t be streaming video at all)

    It’s certainly not perfect, but it’s money. Fansubs don’t offer that.
    And it’s a marketing expense. Say one customer in 1000 buys the DVDs after renting (or watching online video) on Netflix. —that’s a sale that wouldn’t have happened otherwise

    I have absolutely no idea how many of the reported 8.2 million Netflix customers are anime fans, or how many of the 1.9 million discs shipped *each and every day* are Naruto et. al., but when we toss around numbers in the millions even small fractions are significant.

    (number from Wiki:

    And speaking from personal experience, there is *no way* I would have bought Chance Pop Session, but free online videos combined with a DVD sale on RightStuf — and ADV scores a sale.

    anecdotal, apocryphal, and atypical evidence, sure — but I still own the box set


    Oh, and it’s not just the top 500, Brigid: I post *two* top 500 lists (the main list and the midlist) plus a top 50 series plus the new releases & preorders plus whatever else I can coax out of the spreadsheet: I’m as aware as anyone (more aware) of the data overload and am always looking for ways to make my blog, well, readable.

    Since hardly anyone comments, I’m often at sea on my own. It’s good to hear that the summary post introduced two weeks ago is appreciated by at least one reader.

  3. ooof. Typo-tastic.

    y’all know what I was trying to say, right?

  4. Matt, a lot more people read than you know. Just because you don’t get a lot of comments doesn’t mean a lot of people aren’t checking it out. I read it every week. But what can I comment?

    I would like to say, do you include all “light novels”? I see Battle Royale on this week, but that is a border-line “light novel” (the manga was based on it, I understand) and other light novels don’t seem to appear… just curious.

  5. Netflix is not the way to go, it’s the right idea but the wrong approach. Companies need to look at how Gonzo have started to do it. They signed up with BOOST and Crunchy where fans can have a digitial download. BOOSt works out at $3 an episode, though it’s cheaper if you buy a full season. Crunchy is a ‘donation’, and i’ve seen some people on there paying $70 an episode.

    They need to cut out both Crunchy and BOOST though and go it alone, yes the initial cost will be high, setting it up, getting the software etc etc. However once it’s up and running it’ll pay for itself fairly quickly.

    Funi have done this, they have their own version on their site, you buy an episode for $1.99 and you can choose between subbed or dubbed, and you get a download of it.

    The problem is though they don’t push it enough. People aren’t aware there are cheap and legal options instead of fansubs. However no matter what they do, or hw good a system they get, fansubs will never go away, and until they give up the delusion that they will, and start looking at how to work with and around fansubs, they’ll always be in second place.

  6. John:

    I include as many novels as show up in sources. I don’t go out of my way to include them, but the manga categories at most sales sites include quite a few light novels once you get past naruto 1-32, bleach 1-25, death note 1-13, etc etc etc

    The last time I did a pull I was still posting on comicsnob.

    maybe this week or next I’ll cover manga-ish items again in a commentary and post an updated novel chart.

  7. That would be great, Matt!

    Netflix has teamed up with Xbox360, so you will be able to stream (DL?) movies with a Netflix account and Gold membership this fall.