Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Otakusphere: ADV, ADV, ADV, the end of an era and some more ADV.

So a while back I tried writing this column called Anime Bloggers Unite! It didn't last too long. Well I resurecting it and giving it a name I actually liked (and stole from a much better blogger than me). And it makes me feel like singing, "I've been around the Otakusphere and I can't find my baby."

Okay enough of that, onward and forward.

So ADV's news has been the biggest thing that's hit in the last week. The mysterious pulling of several of their titles from their online store, and the even more cryptic letter they sent to ANN about it. Well there's several opinions floating around out there, probably the most positive coming from Nigorimasen! which basically says everything that I would say about it. That it's a good thing that they're trimming the fat. It also mentions the canceled IcV2 article over on Robert's Anime Corner Store.

Now I want to point out two things here. First, it's a damn shame that we get one part of the information as hearsay and no information from the PEOPLE WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO BE GIVING US INFORMATION! I'm a little ticked at the people over at ANN for running with the first article without having any actual facts other than they pulled the titles. Granted, someone could come along and say they'd be irresponsible for not writing about it. But writing about it without the facts, is in my opinion, just as bad.

Of course, if you want to stock up on some ADV titles before whatever shit hits the fan, there's a fire sale going on over at RightStuf. And to top it all off, ADV has made their choice as far as the format wars: BluRay. Oooo who... Yet another format that I probably won't start buying until it's been out for about five years and they force me to switch over. CuteProxy had an interesting editorial about whether it's a good thing or not. Personally, I can hope that it'll drive the price of DVDs down. But personally I don't think it will. At least not until it's almost the end. I mean I remember the clearances in VHS right up to a couple of years ago when the movie companies said they would stop producing them.

On a more general note Nakama Brittanica had an interesting post about there being a golden era of anime from 1995 to 2003 (basically from Eva to Fullmetal Alchemist). In part, I want to agree that there was a lot of creative stuff that came out of Japan during that time frame. And there is a lot of current anime that is having to live up to the pretty high bar set by shows like Cowboy Beebop and Fullmetal Alchemist.

But on the other hand, I think it's a bit heady to call it a Golden Age. I mean from what I've seen and heard there have been series like Welcome to the NHK!, Monster... even Beck that seem to live up to and even surpass some of those earlier shows. In part I think there's a halo placed around some series that really shouldn't be.

That said, I do think that there needs to be another series that would have wide Western appeal (among non-anime fans), because that is what series like Cowboy Beebop and FMA had. They appealed to audiences that didn't usually watch anime. The industry is ripe for it. But sadly, it might be a couple more years before we see it.

And that might be a couple years too late.

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