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The Great ADV Furore PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 29 January 2008 05:25

ADVAnime fans can be great fun to watch, especially at the moment. Ever since Geneon USA shut up shop, they've been especially twitchy - and so when ANN reported yesterday that a large number of titles had seemingly been purged from ADV's website, the jitters well and truly began. Was the biggest R1 distributor of anime about to go under?

On one level, I can understand that response - add this to the closure of Anime Network's linear services in the US & UK, the replacement of Newtype/USA with PiQ, the end of ADV's European operations, the closure of the ADVocates scheme... Put it all together, and it really doesn't look good. But hold on: if the company was in that much trouble, surely they'd just kill AN and Newtype/USA completely? Surely they wouldn't continue signing new carriage agreements for AN's video-on-demand service? Cue the scratching of heads. If you want to see the end result, pop over to AnimeOnDVD and read this rapidly-expanding thread. It's fun.

Perhaps I'm just a glass-half-full person, but from here I see a company that's seen the way the market is going and has decided it needs to cut its cloth to fit, to make sure it can ride out the hard times. That means trimming the fringe projects like AN and their overseas operations, and by the looks of it may have extended to handing back licenses for a number of shows - but if that's what the company needs to do to ride out the current stormy times, then that's what they've got to do. That's not to say that there's isn't the possibility the company will still fail - just that it's doing what it can to avoid the possibility, and that the end - if there is one - may still be a way off.

But one thing has annoyed me greatly about this: I've seen a number of comments around the place from people pointing out that the possibility of companies going bust and not completing releases is the reason why they're not buying, and sticking with fansubs. These people are creating a self-fulfilling prophesy: if you don't buy the product out of fear that someone might go bust, the companies will go bust. Get out there and damn well buy something, instead of whining about it - do your part to help the situation, instead of hindering it.

Rant over. In terms of what I buy from them, I probably wouldn't miss ADV myself - my fondness for them is more down to the people connected with them than the titles they've released - but they're such a mainstay of the English-language anime scene that we'd be in real trouble if they disappeared. The best way to make that happen is to retreat into some sort of "it's-all-their-fault", fansub-downloading haze. Fans hold the pursetrings of all the US releasing companies, in their own way - and only the fans can ensure whether they live or die.

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