The Cash Cow Says "Moo"

While Akihabara Renditions has been busy echoing and commenting on the news of classic anime of the day, another piece of news has come across the wire that seems to have fans in an uproar. As reported by Anime News Network and Anime on DVD on May 17, ADV Films is releasing yet another Neon Genesis Evangelion 『新世紀エヴァンゲリオン』 TV Series set. Hot on the heels of their latest set, Platinum, the new box is to commemorate Evangelion's Tenth Anniversary and is supposed to be coming with a plethora of extras, some not even mentioned yet at this moment.

I am not one to advocate companies produce series at a loss; asking them to do as such would mean financial ruin for those involved in the process, especially to do it in a legal manner. But here we have a title from ADV, and probably their highest selling title (though I'd be surprised if that weren't the case). In fact, this will be their fourth Eva TV series box set in four years. It seems to me that Eva is getting some manner of special treatment.

I suppose this wouldn't be so bad as it might be. After all, Eva has just completed a run on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, which was bound to pick up a few new fans, though with the TV series being on a lot of people's "must see" lists for years now, I think there is only a small portion of people who are not exposed to anime that have either never seen it before or have not had it recommended before. And why not lure those fans into a brand-spankin' new DVD box set that has an MSRP of $249.99?

But, in my opinion, it is as bad as I suggested. I mentioned above that this is the fourth Eva boxset in four years. ADV is pimping this title just as much as the fanbase is. Yet, ADV has also complained to fans in panels that older titles and classics like Aura Battler Dunbine 『望戦士ダンバイン』 have not sold well and that fans don't want classic anime, despite Dunbine's DVDs being of very nice quality. As has been discussed in some forums over the subject, it seems to be the opinions of many fans, as well as myself, that if ADV had spent half as much of an effort on pimping Dunbine to consumers as they did Eva, they would have had a higher seller. Right now, I would wager that the majority of Dunbine new sales come from references of other Dunbine fans. ADV, to my knowledge, has only dropped the price and offered limited ultra-cheap sales for the series. One wonders how well their Science Ninja Team Gatchaman 『科学忍者隊ガッチャマン』 and Dirty Pair 『ダーテイーペアー』 TV series are doing? Much like Dunbine I had no idea these were even produced; Dirty Pair because I'd heard nothing after it was licensed and only ran across it in a store; Gatchaman when I'd seen it on a table at AWA last year. Yet, the new Eva set won't be out until late this summer (22 August is reported street date) and it's causing as much ripples as some of the fan backlash.

C'mon ADV, Eva will sell itself; it doesn't need extra help from you and another box set. New fans can buy the Platinums if they really want DVDs. Please don't compare poor sales of something like Dunbine, which has pretty much been dead in the water since it was released from your marketing department, to something like Eva when you seem to be slobbering over it as much as the fanboys. Let's compare Apples to Apples.

Or... steal a page from AnimEigo's book -

AnimEigo announced a special collector's edition of their old Oh! My Goddess 『ああっ!女神さまっ』OAVs on 2 May. AnimEigo is also doing a promotion until June 5th that if you send them both of the old discs, the cover art from the DVD cases, and a money order for $15.00 ($20.00 for single disc) they will send you a brand new copy of the OAV Collector's Edition. If you're a fan of Oh! My Goddess already, I highly suggest checking them out for a short afternoon viewing enjoyment. Not to mention, it is my personal opinion, the music is so much better than that of the new TV series and follows a more solid plotline than the movie.

So, ADV, how about it? I think an Eva buy-back program would be great, unless that might ruin the prospects of continuing to release a new box-set every year.


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