Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Day No Nipa Was Had

As I'm sure any Higurashi: When They Cry fan has heard, Funimation will not be licensing more of the series nor will they be going after anything "that bears even a minor resemblance." I think this was a hyperbolic way of saying "no, we aren't going after Umineko, so stop asking!"

I would very much like to say that I'm shocked by this outcome but I'm not. Frankly, I expected this would be the outcome for a long time. There are many fans who do what they should do: they buy and support the shows, manga and such that they like. Unfortunately, there are many fans who just go to an illegal source and thereby contribute NOTHING.

Higuarshi: When They Cry had many fans who weren't going to contribute the series success over here. However, I won't bother with some long anti-piracy rant because the truth is those who refuse to actually support anime are so far in the closet of denial that they are giving tours of Narnia.

These so-called fans are always a problem. What really nailed the coffin shut on Higuarshi: When They Cry was the death of Geneon.

When the series was first being released, it had buzz behind it. It had fans interested and it was new! There are so many anime fans who simply don't care about anything that isn't new. Being new and different got people's attention and they thought, "hey, this show is like a mix of Groundhog Day and a horror flick" and they kinda liked it.

Then Geneon fell. The once mighty giant reduced by several costly failures, Japanese patrons who no longer wished to be part of the R1 market and the simple fact that anime fans just don't seem to like buying even when they changed their prices.

For about a year or so, the show was in limbo. I personally didn't even watch the first episode of the Time Wasting arc because I hated the idea of being stuck halfway for a long time. The waiting was terrible and many fans just gave up after a while and either moved on entirely or downloaded fansubs.

After a long wait, Geneon's Japanese parent finally forged a distro deal with Funimation to finish what had been started. Fans rejoiced! Except, the sounds of the cheers were muted because so few remained to nipa about it. How many sales were lost by that long wait? We can never truly know.

Following the completion of the first runs of series, Funimation and Geneon quickly put out full series sets. These could have sold well-enough to prove the franchise viable after the weak sales of the singles completing the first run. Sadly, Higuarshi: When They Cry didn't sell very well.


This is the key question. In this article, the situation is explains thus:
As one can expect, when you start to release a series, or provide the re-release, it may do well enough to cover what it’s done but not enough to justify going after more. Or, it may do so poorly that you run screaming from the thought of ever going near anything like it again

This is, sadly, a very key point in this sad development. The first part of the release by Funimation was just a distro with Geneon. The re-release was, in essence, Funimation testing the waters to see if the series could actually do well. By this point, the buzz is gone and fans are spending more time and effort bitching about the English dub, bashing the show as lolicon fodder or generally dismissing the first series while begging for the sequels.

This was a recipe for disaster. It might have turned out okay except that Funimation was increasingly under pressure to improve their bottom line as Navarre prepared to shed itself of the company and fans found their wallets growing thin as the early recession pains began to spread like cancer.

All of these factors played into this loss to fans. At this point, we can only expect a sub-only release at best from any current company and that itself might be very unlikely as whatever sales numbers the companies have right now are apparently pretty bad. I personally don't think we're going to see any more of Higuarshi: When They Cry's anime licensed. There are newer and more likely to sell well shows to license.

However, that does not mean that there is no hope!


We fans banded together once and fought for Higuarshi: When They Cry! We battled for our goal of nipa-ing with Rika, hanging with Mion, going treasure hunting with Rena, battling Satako and going crazy with all of them, but especially Shion.

This thread, specifically Sophie's post, should be read. One of the things she posted was this:
Heck, you could probably get the money together to license and distribute them yourselves. It’s probably not expensive anymore. If Umineko sold as poorly in Japan as you say it did, then go after that one. It’s not as big an undertaking as you might think especially if you pool your money.

Now, many are taking this as some sort of dig at the franchise. That is a misinterpretation. What Sophie is indicating to us is that Higuarshi: When They Cry, for numerous reasons, is not a hot property and even the Japanese know it. She's telling us that the cost of licensing isn't astronomical.

Consider this for a moment: how many anime fans actually have jobs? How many have some money to spend on things? How many of us couldn't afford to contribute a lot but could throw in a few bucks here and there?

The fact is, fans aren't putting their money where their internet rage is. Without money, NOTHING is possible. If we fans want to get more of the shows we want, maybe it's time we started doing exactly what Sophie suggests? Pool money. It might take years before it was a viable option but to quote a cliche, Rome wasn't built in a day!

In two years, I'll graduate from law school. In three, I will hopefully have passed the bar and in four I hope to be gainfully employed by the military (branch yet to be determined) as a JAG officer. Now, that's going to provide me with a fairly decent income. If I can get a job as an assistant DA after leaving the military many years after, that would pay much better. If I managed to become a judge or get certain side jobs, I'd be well off.

Money is something all of us are pursuing on some level, so why not be thrifty while we're doing it and prepare for a day in the future when we CAN pool money and we CAN license an anime ourselves! What's more, there are many people in the US who are willing to invest in the future. With the right pitch, we could even get investors.

Really it all comes back to fans. Whether you accept the truth that pirating and illegal streaming distribution and bootlegging are a cancer on the industry or not, I think it would be foolish to deny that fans have power.

We the people can do almost anything we set our minds to. It just takes time and money.

So do you think a few nipas are worth it?


Well do you fanboy?


Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I've been a little hesitant to post my feelings on the depressing news of no more Higurashi: When They Cry or Familar of Zero licenses for Funimation but a recent bit of news has me a bit happier.

Now, I don't want to alarm anyone but a cephalopod invasion force, said to be headed by a powerful squid, is soon to be upon us! Militaries worldwide are preparing for the terrible war that is to come while some are already turning into quislings to welcome our new squid overlords. Truly it is a dark day when any man chooses to abandon his fellow humans in favor of joining forces with the creatures of the deep blue sea.


John Sirabella has informed us of the coming war and confirmed that the enemy has learned several languages, including Japanese and English! They will arrive with plenty of extra support as well, so we must be on our guard and ready to prevent this dangerous force from taking over the land!

We do have photo intelligence on the enemy's leader and there are some sketchy reports of an ability to vomit ink. One agent reports that the enemy has tentacle hair!


We lost contact with that agent shortly thereafter but we do not fear the worst as the agent was male. We've never lost a man to a tentacle yet!

Unfortunately, gender equality laws forced us to place women on the front lines of the last skirmish with the tentacles, resulting in unspeakable casualties. Fortunately, our early intelligence does not suggest that the squid's tentacles are naughty.

The first battle will begin on September 27 according to our intelligence. The Squid Girl, as she is known, will personally lead the attack on we dry-landers! All hope is not lost however as we've heard rumors that she may have a weakness!

We must all join together and take part in this battle against the Squid Girl! You can pre-order intelligence reports regarding the effort to battle the cephalopod armies here. Or you could attempt to gain favor with your new squid overlord by buying an idol to worship.

Together, we must stop the Squid Girl!

Although, her arrival will be another victory for English dub fans.


Look for despair next time as I discuss why there's not much to nipa about. Future blog entries shall be reviews and perhaps a video.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Return of the Heretic

Sorry all for the long absence. First it was my Legal Writing assignment (80% of final grade) and then studying for and taking finals (several being 100% of final grade) and then I packed up and came back home for the summer. Yes, I returned home to a house that isn't air-conditioned on account of my mother not being able to afford it and the power company being a bunch of lying, cheating, evil and cruel jerks who send out employees to read meters when then just put down whatever the year before's reading was and leave. (Aside from a signed confession, we're quite sure we've enough evidence that anyone, except the power company reps who INSIST that mistakes NEVER happen, would believe.)

Of course, none of you are interested in my trials and tribulations.

Sadly, this post is mostly that kind of chatter. I got a late start on it due to a power outage yesterday and today being a "run around with my Mother and take care of things" day.

Well, I got a new phone out of the deal. Once the rebate check comes in, it will only have cost like $10. (I can't find a belt holster I like though.)

So enough about me, let's talk about this blog. Some of you have surely wondered if this blog was dead.

I hereby assure all of my readers (God bless all of you or if you'd prefer may Haruhi bless you) that I fully intend to keep up this blog and get back to posting my thoughts on things. I make no claim to know any deep secrets or to have any special knowledge but I do love English dubs and I do worry deeply about the legal anime industry. While others may worship at the alter of digital-only subs forever, I never will.

Also I'd like to do more contests in the future but for now, the current one will be it for a while due to financial strains. (I have to get my own anime before I can get anime to give to you for free!) However, there will be a second Strike Witches contest when the second season comes out. Same deal as the first one when the time comes.

As for now,

please enter the current contest

if you have any interest in any of the series or if you don't want them for yourself, enter if you know someone who'd like them. Currently I can flip a coin to decide the winner. Go here for contest details.

Finally, I'm going to try and post more because I'm seriously falling down on the job! I'll post again before Monday about some of the current dubbing plans, promises and possibilities.