Lucky Star OVA: Third Trailer

Posted by Michael Pinto on Sep 29, 2008 in Animation |

This is the latest trailer for the Lucky Star OVA release — this latest promo stars a live action actor playing the owner of the comic book shop. While wandering around on Friday at the New York Anime Festival I asked the marketing director of Bandai here in the States if they we’re planning on bringing over the OVA and reading in between the lines my sense is that they’re waiting to see how the current box set for the first series does on the market.

To me this sort of represents a major issue that the “Anime Industry” in the US faces — unless you can sell at least 5,000 copies of a DVD it just isn’t worth the effort to even think about a show. And even then it can take well over a year from when a show comes out until it can be packaged for America, and by that time tastes may have already changed. The flip side is also that the Japanese may want a premium for their show, which while it may be a hit in Japan could be a risk for an American distributer. And inside of this gap the niche audience for a show will either “share it” via P2P or a brave few will order a DVD from amazon.jp.

I do see some hope emerging as slowly companies seem to be waking up: At NYAF Funimation was pushing people to watch their channel on YouTube or order their channel on Verizon FIOS. I was also hearing about a Hulu channel for Anime and it even seems that Anime News Network is getting into the act by streaming some show in a “low quality resolution”. But I think the real solution will be for the Japanese companies to cut the middle man out and put their stuff on YouTube, have fans subtitle it at low cost and make their money by having Google sell the advertising. This is just a theory of course but I have noticed that even with this economic meltdown that Google’s stock price has yet to go below $400 a share.

The other nice thing about the Google/YouTube model is that it will allow indie film/video folks to produce a show that can hit a global market: So you might see a flood of new work coming from Bollywood and Hong Kong aimed at a larger audience.

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