Laziness Abounds?

It's odd that one can feel so much stress meeting one's obligations, get them all complete, and still feel behind. That's the convoluted way of saying "I've been busy not updating here." But there's good news coming from all over the place now.

The con season is a tricky thing for Classic Japanese animation - you can have two cons within two weeks of each other on opposite ends of the North American continent and get nothing newsworthy, yet, practically smack dab in the middle, we get a license announcement for 3 "new" titles! From a "new" company, too!

Sakura Con was held in Washington State early in April. Nothing for classics fans. Anime Boston, towards the end of the month, and also nothing. However, brightening my dreary Monday on the 16th, ImaginAsian announced they have reached a deal with TMS and would be broadcasting and releasing on DVD three classic anime titles:

Ie Naki Ko 『家無き子』 under the title Nobody's Boy Remi
Cat's Eye Season 1 『キャッツアイ』
Superdimension Century Orguss TV Series 『超時空世紀オーガス』

From ANN's press release, they will be broadcast in Japanese with subtitles and the DVD releases will also be with Japanese dialoge and English subtitles. Orguss is a little special, the first 17 episodes will be dubbed because there was already an existing dub available. According to Justin Sevakis (who writes ANN's excellent Buried Treasure column), who is also working on these releases from what I gather, the second season of Cat's Eye also has a good chance of being released if these are successful. Broadcasts will begin in early June and the DVD releases will begin in late June and early July. These DVDs have me excited not just because it's more classics coming out here, but the price point is extremely cheap.

The DVD releases will feature 4-7 episodes per disc from the Region 2 Japanese DVDs (so, our quality will be high, but not as high as in Japan) with the first disc plus box retailing at $12.99 USD. Subsequent discs will be priced at $9.99 retail. Or, wait for the boxes which will be around $80 USD. Coming from Bandai Viual USA's pricing scheme I spoke about last post, this is a big jump. Once more, on the production side of the business, the discs will be made to order. This is a cool thing because it eliminates production expenses for making units that are sold to retailers but never make it into the hands of buyers.

However, there are some drawbacks to mention. The discs will only be sold via ImaginAsian's online store, which means we might only see shipping to the US and Canada. Secondly, is packaging. For people who like decorated singles cases (strong opinion to follow), buying into these might be a bit of a sacrifice because it looks like only the box may have art on it. Disc 2 and up will come in Tyvex sleeves to fit into the box with the first disc. Third, and perhaps what the worst may be if this fails, is the mention of "limited time". Classics fans wanting good, cheap classics should probably jump onto this as soon as they're released.

Now, strong opinion time. I'm not big on packaging outside of "physically ruining DVDs". For the art work, I'd rather get desktop wallpapers or posters. Since the shrinking of media and its packaging, and this may be rose-tinted or what not, I think LaserDiscs had the best packaging in terms of art. Mostly because taking up the cover itself is practically a 144 sqaure-inch picture with plenty of room for a good manfacturing transfer. DVD and VHS cases just don't measure up. I understand that 99.99% of all packaging is for marketing purposes, but if I can save a few bucks by forgoing it on my DVDs to devote to other media (the aforementioned posters and such), then my DVDs can be bland.

I'm most excited about Orguss because I'm a fan of those 1980s, sci-fi, Real Robot type of series that were popular then. It's also easier to find more material for research about Orguss for a couple of reasons: it's been released in the US before and it was considered the sequel to Superdimension Fortress Macross ages ago. Even though Cat's Eye was wildly popular in the early and mid 1980s when it aired in Japan, it's not seen a whole lot of exposure elsewhere to my knowledge (I'm only vaguely familar with it myself). Cat's Eye is the story of three sisters who are cafe proprietors by day, art theives by night with a detective hot on their trails who is also the fiancee of one of the sisters. Sounds like some action, intrigue, and romance, which I think can be hard to go wrong. Ie Naki Ko is well-known in Latin America as Remi, based upon a French novel Sans Famille. It seems to be an emotional piece about love and family. Needless to say, I'll be trying to check out these series as much as possible, but I am immediately most excited about Orguss.

In other news, I'm working on getting the main domain up by the end of this month. I've requested some friends who are better at the whole image editing and web design thing to use their skills and most of that work is mostly done. I probably won't be updating much here in that case as I'll be busy with migration and adding more content. I hope that those of you reading Akihabara Renditions will follow when we make the big jump from little blog to little full-out website. Thanks for reading!

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