We've been mulling over how best to manage properties digitally in the UK for a while now. While we're strong supporters of subscription based offerings and are open to all different kinds of models including subscription ones as offered by old friends www.anime-on-demand.com and crunchyroll.com - but what we spent ages thinking about was that there had to be a better way to manage Download for TV series than was currently available. This led us to look through other models out there until we found one in France that was super cool!
WHAT DID WE FIND?
In France, there's this platform called Wakanim which shares a lot of the ethics we have always dreamed of aspiring to. In a flurry of activity recently we realised we had the perfect synergy too and their model may be familiar in some ways to anyone who is familiar with iPlayer.
WHY IS IT DIFFERENT TO WHAT'S THERE NOW?
For one month after broadcast in Japan:
- Free streams in SD and 720p, with up to 1 minute of advertising total per video.
- Free Download to Rent offline, files with DRM and valid for 4 days.
There are also premium options:
- Paid streaming rental - at one price regardless of HD or SD, £0.69 / ep
- DRM-free download - MP4, .h264 codec - playable on most systems - £1.25 / ep
No subscriptions - just a chance to support legally and then pay for the shows you want to support - easy!
WAIT...DID YOU SAY DOWNLOAD?
Yes we did and download, as you can see, is very important to this platform and it's built very much on trust on the users. Instead of punishing users from Day 1 - you the user gets a chance to be treated as a responsible user. Isn't that a nice change? Even better - as there are free streams too - you can try before you buy and then vote with your wallet if you love the show!
How does it work? Well Wakanim invests its money in tracking down piracy instead of punishing fans for wanting to show support for shows legally.
Of course as with any model - in the UK not every title will be available on DTO / DTR initially because we need to demonstrate to Japan that this model is something people want outside of France too. So I urge you - give some love to this and support titles as they come up - don't let the effort be in vain there!
On launch all titles, barring Kill la Kill which will be available as streaming only for now, will have the full package of options available for users to choose from, including Samurai Flamenco. We have one or two neat surprises for this season too that will also have the full package of options for people to choose from too!
ARE YOU COMPETING WITH CRUNCHYROLL OR ANIME ON DEMAND?
Short answer – no! Longer answer – no, we’d never dream of it! When we made the decision of how to manage simulcast content - it didn’t come easily. We asked ourselves two core questions:
1. Are there existing models that we gel with and can generate adequate revenue for the Japanese studios and to keep the acquisitions viable.
2. Is there anything missing from the market? An itch that isn’t being scratched if you will.
We came to the conclusion that the answer to #1 was clear – you have both Anime on Demand and Crunchyroll to cater to your needs so no point creating another subscription service. Why create an extra rival for rights and audiences if you can avoid it? The answer to the #2 was far more interesting – we asked around and the one common thing lacking was a download service, something we thought was a distant dream until we saw how Wakanim worked in France.
What we want to do is very simple – offer you the chance to support the series you love directly and have a file you can keep forever. No authenticating on other machines, no tricky proprietary formats – just a simple file you can use as you please so long as you use the same common sense you’d do with a DVD or BD you owned. Even better, by buying on a series-by-series basis – you know the money you pay is going back to the creators in Japan for that show only. No confusion or wondering where your subscription money actually goes each month!
OK, SO YOU’RE A DIFFERENT SERVICE – WILL I BE ABLE TO WATCH YOUR SHOWS ON CRUNCHYROLL OR ANIME ON DEMAND?
We would like to see any title licensed by Anime Limited – either for digital only or all rights to be available to as many people as possible – so if you don’t care about download then there is a viable channel for you to enjoy the titles too. For now we hope the free soon to be ad-supported streaming on our site is a good halfway house, but we know there are a lot of people who’d like to see it on other services too.
Rest assured, we’re currently talking to a wide variety services about what can be done from simulcast onwards in partnership with them. Hopefully we will have good news in the near future and certainly for upcoming seasons!
Glasgow, UK September 27, 2013 - Anime Limited are thrilled to announce the acquisition of Garden of Words for the UK, Ireland and the Isle of Man.
Garden of Words is the latest film offering from the talented up-and-coming Makoto Shinkai, director of Voices of a Distant Star and The Place Promised in Our Early Days. Released in Japan earlier this year (2013), Garden of Words will be making its UK debut as part of the Scotland Loves Anime festival and on home video. The film follows the story of a young high school student, Takao, who wants to follow his dream of designing and making footwear.
While absconding from school, he encounters and befriends a young woman name Yukari. As the story unfolds, we soon discover that as their friendship deepens, the consequences will put their friendship to the ultimate test. Beautifully shot and with a tremendous amount of fine detail, Garden of Words really stands out as one of the most visually stunning anime films of the year.
In addition to the limited theatrical release, Garden of Words will be released digitally and on homevideo alongside Shinkai’s other titles licensed by Anime Limited (Voices of a Distant Star and The Place Promised in Our Early Days).
Andrew Partridge, founder and president of Anime Limited says: ‘Makoto Shinkai’s work has gone from strength to strength over the years and remains one of the top must-watch directors coming out of Japan. Garden of Words is an excellent example of this strength and is a sweet and beautiful film. We’re very happy to be able to introduce the UK to such a new director. We expect to see great things from Shinkai-san in the future’.
Earlier in the week, we posed a question on our Facebook & Twitter accounts and it was a big one - how do you all feel about blu-ray and DVD combo packs? The results were a mixed bag - as you can imagine.
It seems the biggest problem a lot of people have in the 'Nay' camp is the whole feeling of waste that comes with combo packs - as many confirmed that they would only use the discs of one format over the other. It seems a lot of you 'Nays' are more upset about the waste of unused discs than just the general annoyance at the extra materials.
The other area of concern for the 'Nay' camp was the potential (or perceived) increase in cost of a combo pack vs a single-format standalone version. While some combo packs do come with an increase in price, this is not always necessarily the case.
From the response on both Facebook and Twitter, there were quite a few of you in the 'Yay' camp. Many were of the opinion that combo packs offered a more 'Complete Collection' of a TV series or film - as in, being able to own it on multiple formats. Just having the option of watching it on blu-ray or DVD seems to be a huge bonus in terms of buying such a set.
However, we do have to break the numbers down and it seems that the 'Nay' camp won out - but not by as much as you would think. Granted, this wasn't a hugely scientific poll and the sample size was fairly small - but those who did respond (and there were many!) were passionate in their arguments. And it seems to us that it's fairly representative of the attitude in general around combo packs with a 29% difference between the Nay and Yay camps, with Nay winning out.
This result offers us here at Anime Limited HQ plenty food for thought.
Glasgow, UK September 09, 2013 - Anime Limited, the Glasgow-based anime licensing company and parent company of All the Anime, are pleased to announce the release of the musical comedy anime series Nerima Daikon Brothers on DVD for the first time in the UK.
A hilariously original anime series loved for it’s send up of popular film and television tropes, Nerima Daikon Brothers stand out as a real innovator in the industry. It follows the exploits of brothers Hideki and Ichiro and their cousin Mako who are by day Daikon farmers, and by night nourish their dream of building a giant stadium to realise their destiny: to play sold out arenas! In order to fund this dream, they… acquire funding by taking out some bad guys and appropriating their cash.
Originally aired in 2006, Nerima Daikon Brothers heavily satirises anime, prominent people and groups in Japan. Drawing influence from other musical comedies (a rarity in the industry) such as The Blues Brothers and Bollywood musicals, Nerima Daikon Brothers throws reference to many well known and loved genres to support the stories.
Nermia Daikon Brothers will be released on a single DVD set in Q1 2014.
Andrew Partridge, founder and president of Anime Limited says: ‘Nerima Daikon Brothers is an innovative and hilarious series that we are proud to bring to the UK for the first time. It is an unusual series with a tremendous amount of laughs and reference humour. Things we really appreciate at Anime Limited’.
Glasgow, UK September 6, 2013 - Anime Limited, the Glasgow-based anime licensing company and parent company of All the Anime, are pleased to announce the release of the popular supernatural anime series Durarara!! on Blu-ray and DVD for the UK.
When a young boy named Mikado moves to the big city to live with his friend Masaomi, who promptly warns him who and where to avoid in Ikebukuro - including the mysterious gang called ‘The Dollars’. On his first day in Ikebukuro, Mikado meets an urban legend - the mysterious ‘Black Rider’, an Irish dullahan Celty Sturluson. What follows is a series of stories, characters and adventures that all intersect unfolding a wider ranging story arc.
Originally aired in early 2010, this supernatural thriller has become a popular and much loved anime series. The theme and the overall story quality of the series has led to fan and critical acclaim. Called ‘strangely addictive’ and ‘very highly recommended’ by Twitch Film, Durarara!! makes a great addition to the Anime Limited catalogue. Durarara!! will be released on two hybrid Blu-ray and DVD sets will be released in the first quarter of 2014.
Andrew Partridge, founder and president of Anime Limited says: ‘We’re very excited to be able to bring Durarara!! to the UK on Blu-ray and DVD. It’s a personal favourite of ours here at HQ so it’s great to add it to our growing catalogue!’