Sunday, December 24, 2006
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Friday was our 'official' cutoff for ground and US Mail shipments to get in the system and still have a chance to make it to you by Dec 24th. That said, most UPS ground and Priority Mail shipments put in the system up through the 18th might still get to you on time. After that, it will all depend on how close you are to our facility (and if you have good joss). If you need to be sure your stuff arrives on time, I cooked up a great Flat Rate 2nd Day air deal for only $12.98 that should have you smiling! This offer is good until Monday, and it gives you guys a way to get time sensitive orders on time for a good price even at this late stage of the game. After Wednesday of next week, please choose FedEx overnight for your time critical orders and we'll do our best to see that it gets to you before Christmas weekend.
One of the small pleasures of doing customer service this time of year is answering the hundreds of customer e-mails that poor in - especially at the last minute from panicking people who are desperate that their attentions are seen to. As I spend my Sunday combing through e-mails and returning timely and courteous answers, here are examples of a few and how, well, after a long day I would like to answer them:
'I need an item by Christmas, but I can only ship it to a PO Box. Why won't the store allow and order to ship FedEx to a PO Box?'
Sometimes I can't believe how many people still don't know this. Only the postal service can deliver to a post office box. Your SOL for Christmas delivery without a street address for air service. No, I can't 'make' FedEx deliver there, no matter how bad you want them to. Happy Holidays.
'My credit card is being declined, but I know it's good. Why won't your @#$%ing store take my credit card??!!'
Your bank's declining it, not us. Why don't you call your @#$%ing bank and find out why your balance is overdrawn, or you last payment hasn't been processed yet instead of bugging me. Happy Holidays.
'I'm sorry, I need to cancel an order I just made immediately as I do not have enough money to pay for it. I need a full refund and the order canceled ASAP!! Thank you for your time.'
What do you tell the folks at the supermarket when they've just checked and bagged 100 items and you find out your debit card is overdrawn? ~sigh~ Clearly my time means little to you, but thanks for saying thanks and taking up a little more of it. I live to serve. Happy holidays.
'My order shipped on the 11th via Priority Mail and it's now the 15th and it has not yet arrived. Please explain to me why it is not here yet since I paid extra for Priority Mail, and please check and see if there was some problem that delayed shipment'
DO you have a calendar? Every mother loving SOB on the planet, and their brother, is shipping parcels to someone right now. There is so much extra volume that postal workers are committing ritual sepuku by the dozens. Keep your pants on, it will be there shortly. Happy holidays.
'How late can I order and still get my items before Christmas?'
Basically, about 3 Days ago. But if you select Air and order now and we still have everything in stock we might still pull it off. You're welcome. Happy holidays.
'Some other store says they can ship by ground up until the 19th and still guarantee Christmas delivery. Why don't you?'
No one can guarantee ground delivery on shipments that late. They lie. We don't. Happy holidays.
'I know you're really busy right now, but when you get a chance can you tell me when XX series is going to be released on DVD?'
Considering I've never even heard of 'XX' series, it's probably a long way off getting out on DVD here in the US. By the way, we do have an upcoming releases page you can check, but that's OK, you're probably assuming that we might have missed it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. And yes we are very busy, but thanks for at least acknowledging that. Happy holidays.
'I just placed an order [Sunday Evening] and I just wanted to make sure the order ships out first thing on Monday so I get it by Christmas. Thanks!'
There are about 1,000 orders from Friday and Saturday ahead of you, but I'll tell you what, for fifty bucks I'll move you right to the head of the stack. Yeah, I said fifty bucks - by tomorrow morning it might be more. I know, the audacity to give my people the weekend off. Oh, I see you ordered all $5 sale items, choose free shipping and used a discount coupon at checkout. Yeah, we'll jump right on that one. Happy holidays.
Anyway, just a little fun after 3 weeks of non stop work. All names have been changed to protect the guilty. One of the studios sent me a bottle of Sake as a holiday gift.
After this week, I'm certainly going to be able to put it to good use... -_^
A couple of notable date changes in the news this week. Illumination pushed back their entire catalog including Vandel Buster, BtX, Am Driver, etc. See the full list in our news clips below. Geneon also let us know that the release of the initial volume of Princess Racoon has been changed from January to June 07. No reason was given for the delay. Bandai (our favorite company this year -_^) told us that the Gundam Seed Movie trilogy Box (26024) is now sold out at their level, and they are not sure if they are going to repress it again, so (~ sigh ~) we've put it on 'Stock on Hand' status and we'll see what happens.
Finally, Geneon delayed the Ergo Proxy art box one more week, and is now telling us we should have them on Monday or Tuesday next week. We'll see.
Terence, who is a regular RACS customer and also an avid photographer, has put up a site with pictures from several of the cons he attended this year. His gallery is definitely worth a look. His photographer friend Jerry also has a nice site setup with many cos-play picks from his recent Convention stops.
We got so many e-mails from folks about our 48 hour sale (basically saying it was too short), that I decided to keep it running through the weekend until Monday to give everyone more time to take advantage of that rare deep discount coupon we're offering. See the side bar for complete details and coupon codes - they are good through this weekend on every item in the store (EXCEPT our Cardcaptor Bundle)! The figure sale will continue through next week, and the coupons can be taken right on top of those sale prices. We've got end of year inventory coming up, and the less we have to count the better - so I'm going to try to keep these kind of great deals coming at ya!
Our first batch of the last call $69.98 Card Captor Sakura DVD bundles have arrived and most shipped on Friday. Our entire first batch is going to fill pre-orders and we've already pre-sold about 70% of our current allocation of them. We have these priced at 87% off the retail price and 10% to 15% lower than some of those 'brand x' guys and people are gobbling them up very quickly. If you still want one then get your order in soon as I think these bundles are going to sell out in a few more days. After several interminable delays, we have finally received our copies of Eureka Seven #5, just not in time to get it a blurb in this weeks newsletter.
We also got in IGPX #7 and the latest re-release Yu Yu Hakusho volume. They will get official notice on the site sometime shortly. We received a fairly large new manga shipment this week, and while we were able to get the first 45 books posted to the site, the rest (about 20 more) will be following up this weekend as well. Most of the distributor and studio warehouses close up next week for the holidays and don't reopen until after the new year, so I'm not looking for many big new figure and toy arrivals until early January...
...that's fine though, it will give us a chance to rest and digest some of the stuff we already have. And goodness knows, we'll need it! :-)
Friday, December 08, 2006
Over the next few days we will fill more orders a day than we usually do in a week during the rest of the year, we will respond to every sort of customer question regarding stock levels and delivery times, and we will be totally exhausted by the time it's all done! Did I miss anything? Oh yes, a reminder that if you are just now getting your holiday gifts ordered then you have officially waited until the last minute. :-) If you are ordering over the next few days, please make sure to check our holiday shipping schedule and choose your shipping method wisely. Please don't automatically expect us to be able to get your order out the day you place it (though we will try very hard).
Also, don't forget that super saver orders by their nature get the lowest priority on the shipping line and that orders shipping FedEx Overnight, then 2nd Day, then Pri Mail, then Ground service get the highest priority on the line no matter what order we receive them in.
In Anime news this week, I have to sadly report that ADV has informed us that Golden Boy has finally gone permanently out of print, and they will no longer be replicating it - probably due to a license expiration. There are several other older ADV titles that have been on backorder for awhile and we have inquired to them for status updates. Geneon reported to us that the new Fate/Stay box that we received this week is completely sold out at their level, and we won't be able to get anymore until near the street date. We had just enough out of our first allocation to fill all of your pre-books and a few new orders, and then immediately had to put it back on pre-order status. We'll have them in stock again around the 19th, but that shipment will include the remainder of our allocation from Geneon as we won't be able to get anymore after that.
Geneon also let us know that there won't be anymore Hellsing Ultimate Limited editions made until after the New Year, and only a few at that. We have already sold 80% of our Limiteds, and we are shipping those first come first serve until they run out.
We have had excellent order fills so far this holiday season, but a couple of items have caused us some consternation like Stray Little Devil 2, Tsukuyumi Moon Phase 2, and Tsukihime 2 manga's. All three are sold out at the manufacturer and we probably won't be able to restock them until after Christmas. On the DVD side the Ergo Proxy Vol #1 w/ Art Box still is not in, but Geneon promises that we should have it no later than Monday next week. Also, Bandai was late getting out Eureka Seven Vol #5, but we're expecting both the regular and special edition to arrive today - hopefully - or Monday at the latest. :-)
The final piece of news is another disappointment. 4Kids announced this week that they are giving up on the One Piece series due to low sales and ratings. Honestly I think the execs at 4Kids need an education in Anime fandom, as they obviously licensed the title primarily for TV broadcast and thus did not option the unedited Japanese content for release. This meant that Viz had only the terrible edited dubbed version to release on DVD, and accounts for the low sales numbers and TV ratings. I remember when Geneon tried to do the same thing with Cardcaptors. The really bad news is that 4Kid's contract ties up the license until 2009, so there is no chance for an uncut release until after that. You can get the full story on this over in our news section.
All of you know that I pick 3 or 4 of your comments each week to feature in the newsletter (a little shameless promotion), but here is one that I wanted to highlight. Richard, who is currently serving in Iraq, wrote in a couple days ago to say:
"Wanted to say that again and again this site delivers beyond expectations. I always seem to get the good prices, good products and good delivery times. I even received my items in a timely manner while stationed in Baghdad, Iraq. The greatest thing about that is that unlike some services, Robert's Anime Corner Store actually ships to APO/FPO addresses. Without this site, my tour of duty would have felt much longer than it was." - RichardThe greatest thing about getting feedback like this is that we have the honor to serve those who are serving our country. Hats off to YOU Richard! We're glad we could make your tour a little easier and you and your mates will be in our thoughts and prayers over the holidays.
We've posted several more excellent Q1 and Q2 2007 figures for pre-order.
Here is the latest rundown:
It certainly has been an excellent week for new arrivals. Aside from a few studio glitches which I mentioned earlier, we have just about all but a handful of DVD titles scheduled to street prior to Christmas in stock now, including Black Cat, Ergo Proxy, Trinity Blood 3, Hellsing Ultimate, Rumbling Hearts, Fate/Stay, Paradise Kiss, Naruto Season 2 Uncut, and the list goes on and on! This is the last week for non-panic holiday shopping, so be sure to checkout our specials page for all the great holiday deals we are currently offering.
We still have our entire figure section on sale (these make great gifts!), and we are also offering an additional 10% off a selected list, which you can find here.
Our $5 soundtrack sale is still in effect for a bit longer, that list is here.
We still have a few titles left in our Geneon $5 DVD sale. Some are only $4 now.
We have lots of closeout titles discounted up to 75% off retail, which are listed here.
And finally, as you may be aware, Geneon's license for CardCaptor Sakura is expiring on Dec 31st, and the DVD's will not be available after that date. We have done a deal with them that allows us to offer you an unbelievable price on all 18 of the uncut subtitled series DVD's. We expect these bundles to arrive in about a week, and we will shipping them first come first served. If you don't already have it, this will be your last chance to get the CardCaptors series before it goes off the market.
Cardcaptor Sakura Complete Series Set, Vol #1-18, DVD Mega-Bundle (Uncut Subtitled Edition)
Your Price is ONLY $69.98! - Retail Price $539.82 (That's 87% off the Retail Price!)
Now that's a deal worth offering! Happy holidays!
Sunday, December 03, 2006
...it's going to be one hell of a week!
The folks in the mid-west have seen a virtual white out this week due to the first major snowstorm of the year. It looks like just rain and wind for us here, but I'm sure there will be some limited parcel delays in the effected areas, so keep that in mind when ordering and give your parcel an extra day or two to be delivered.
This week Flash Gordon completes his reviews of the Patlabor TV and OVA series with overall ratings and episode guides for the original OVA and the New Files releases.
In the news this week we have a few more product delays. This year the studios across the board have really been struggling to get their releases out on time, and I can't remember when there have been more delays and cancellations. Geneon managed to ship the first DVD of Ergo Proxy on time, but an issue has delayed delivery of the box version until sometime next week. Even as of this morning they were not able to pin down an exact delivery date. Media Blasters says the new Invader Zim boxed set probably won't be shipping to retailers now until the 2nd week of December. They also delayed the second Voltron Tin, resetting the release date back a couple of weeks to 12-12. We've had some trouble recently getting timely manga restocks from Dr. Master, and I'm trying to find out what the story is there. Finally, things have been a little sparse stock wise on the import side as we have not taken any new deliveries from Tokyo since September. We now have our first post move import shipment in process, and will be getting our import stock back up to par shortly. I want to thank everyone waiting for an import CD for their patience during this period.
Geneon did get Hellsing Ultimate shipped on time, but just barely. We received the regular edition on Thursday, but the limited's are not due to arrive until the day before or of the street date. We'll get those guys shipped as soon as they hit the dock. We received our Hellsing Ultimate screener copies last week, and after watching it a couple of times I think the worst thing about it is going to be the long wait between volumes! ^_^ I'm checking right now on the status of Eureka Seven #5, and I'm hoping Bandai will tell us it's already in transit since it streets next week. On the flip side of the delivery coin, ADV has been getting us their titles 2 or 3 weeks early. Last week we saw Pani Poni Dash arrive, and this week we received Nerima Daikon Brothers which was originally not scheduled to come out until Dec 19th. We also received the FUMOFFU and E's Otherwise thin-paks a couple of weeks early. Hopefully this trend will continue and all the other pre-Christmas releases will be in stock in plenty of time for you to enjoy them over the holidays.
In the mean time, we'll stay on top of everything and concentrate on getting all your holiday orders shipped as quickly and as complete as possible!
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Since my parents passed away several years ago, Jamie and I now normally go over to her parents house for holiday dinners, but this year it looks like I'm going to be sitting this one out at home due to not feeling well (it's something that's been coming to a head for awhile now, but I won't bore you with the details). I'll be thinking about all you guys out there though, and I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Of course, we'll be back to work on Friday running a full shift to make sure we keep up with processing your Holiday orders.
Our store wide 15% off figure and toy sale has been pretty successful so far, and since I'm not feeling well (I was stuck at home tonight) I went ahead and used the time to finish keying up the holiday figure specials on the store. Ron and Fuller put together a list of about 20 of our most popular selling figures and toys, and I went ahead and keyed them up for an additional 10% coupon discount. I think it's definitely worth a look as the two sale discounts together puts the price of these guys and gals about as close to cost as we can afford to sell them. I'm going to announce this in the newsletter on Friday, but you saw it here first.
You can find full details right here.
One of things we're working on this weekend is a boxed set page, and we should have that completed and up in a couple of days. We're also working this weekend on posting Feb and March solicitations including some of the series coming from the new studio Illumitoon like Bt'X and BoBoBoBoBoBoBoBoBo. On Wednesday I talked to Richard Ray, the executive VP down there, and they seem to have a really squared away operation setup and I'm looking forward to seeing some very high quality Anime releases from their label.
This will be our 9th holiday season serving Anime fans. Considering how hard we work over the holiday's taking care of everyone else (and really not having much time to celebrate ourselves), I thought I'd mention that you might want to give a little more thought to the clerk or customer service rep at some store who is working long hours to help you meet your shopping goals. Many retail stores are opening up at midnight tonight to get a jump on the Black Friday rush, and while most people have a 4 day weekend, the folks that work in retail will not have much of any weekend at all. Running an online store, I at least get the privilege of being able to work from home this Saturday and Sunday, but even many of the people that make-up the Anime Corner crew will be cutting visits with relatives short to come back so we can process orders on Friday. For online retail, e-mails come in 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and no one is going to tolerate waiting 4 days for their questions to be answered. Anyway, try to have a little more patience with the people putting in those long hours at work while you're doing your shopping and enjoying your time off. They are working very hard for YOU and appreciate the extra patience you show them during this hectic time of year.
Have a great weekend everyone, and enjoy your Anime!
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Seriously though, this year the studios are going to use the holidays to clear out inventory more so than any other time in the past, so sellouts and stock limitations will rule the day towards the latter part of December. If you have any critical gift items that you need to pickup then don't chance it, order as early as possible to help us make sure you get everything you need on time.
To encourage some of you would be 'late' shoppers to get your orders in early, we've discounted our entire figure and toy section 15%. In addition to getting a great deal, you'll have first dibs on all of our in stock toys and figures before they start selling out later this month. I'm going to be consolidating a list of all our sales and special offers here on the blog throughout the holidays, and I'm going to be offering some exclusive coupons here later this month, so be sure to check in often to keep up with the latest store happenings, product status reports, and special deals. Here's what we have currently:
- Pre-Holiday Rush 15% Off Figure Sale
- Geneon Fall Bargain Basement $5 DVD Sale
- Give the Gift of Music $5 Holiday Soundtrack Promotion
- Great Deals and UMD Closeout Sale
- Discontinued Items at Closeout Prices Up to 75% off Retail
You know it's going to be a bad evening when you get home and your broadband connection doesn't work, and that's what I ran into Friday evening. I have a pretty high end business class ADSL connection at home, but I use an older 3-Com 812 ADSL router for the connection.
My network closet at home. No I don't tie up my NIC cables like I'm supposed to. Linksys Wireless-G access point gives me secure wireless for my laptop computer, everything else is hardwired Cat 5e. My 3-Com 812 spare is sitting on top of my regular 812 (mounted to my dumb hub), which turned out to be working pefectly.
I like it better than some of the newer plug and play routers (like a Speed Stream or a D-Link) because it allows you to manually setup just about every setting there is for an IP connection, and it supports VPN and a whole bunch of other features. Last night I came home and my connection was suddenly unavailable, and it took 3 calls, an onsite visit, and about 2 hours of phone time for us to figure out the problem and get it fixed. Our carrier, Frontier, uses PPPoA (PPP over ATM) for the connection, and this requires that an account name and PW authorization be built into the router configuration. Turns out that in my setup, the login domain was changed on their end from citlink.net to frontiernet.net (as part of some network wide upgrade process), and my old router could not be automatically updated remotely. One interesting thing is that since I'm pretty savvy on this sort of stuff, I had to get to a level 2 tech before we were even able to discuss probable cause - all the level 1's just have a check list they go through, most of which I had already done before calling in. The onsite tech that came out told me the router was bad, but I had a hot spare and that didn't work either. The level 2 support guy zero'd in on the problem right away, where it had eluded two level 1 techs. Apparently, they were not aware of their own network changes in progress. Anyway, it's fixed now and thus this post is now up.
Speaking of internet connections, after a 2 month wait Verizon finally hooked up the facilites for our T1 (which is actually though Quest) out at the new office, and we have weaned off a less than optimal WiFi connection we had setup as an inbetweener. The T1 is incredible, speed tests give us rock solid 1.46Mb down-stream and 1.41Mb up-stream. We are running an internal server, VoIP for the phone and fax lines, and VPN out to my house so I can access the office server from home. The VOiP sound quality over it is excellent, and it provides our phone lines for about 40% of the cost of regular business landlines (not to mention it eliminates having a long distance carrier) which paid for the extra cost of the T. Best thing about it is that it's about as close to 100% reliable as you can get, I even picked up a spare Cisco 2524 router with T1/FT1 module for about $30 (those routers were around 2 grand years ago, but can be had for nothing now and still works great for a T). The WiFi connection we had was really terrible. It was a 1mb 'burst' level connection that had a terrible latency and was only up about 91% of the time - which means it would be down off and on about 90 minutes a day. Glad we're off of that!
OK, I'm rambling, back to business... -_^
Peter Paine put up some images on his side blog (that he obtained from this guy) that show some of the real places that can be seen in the Onegai Twins anime. Visiting the real places that are shown in an Anime series is considered a very 'Otaku' thing to do in Japan, but I think it's extremely cool and just had to post a few of the images here for you to see:
We've been working hard this week to keep the site updated not only with new arrivals (as they hit the dock), but also getting all the great upcoming item announcements built on the site. We've added tons of upcoming titles like Coyote Ragtime Show, Utawarerumono, Tales of Phantasia, Gakuen Heaven, Solty Rei, Best Student Council, and many others. Be sure to keep an eye on the upcoming releases page as we're updating it daily as the announcements come in.
We were a bit surprised, but none-the-less very pleased, to see several December DVD titles arrive this week including Pani Poni Dash! and Bleach. With the holiday rush coming, the sooner the studios get them out the better. We received the elusive 2nd Raid boxed sets and promptly sold out of them, but I was able to call in a few favors and get them restocked, though only a few. We also saw the arrival of the 3rd Tenchi Ryo-Ohki DVD in a beautiful limited edition Tin art box. This box is limited to the first pressing, so I'm sure they will run out quickly. And the Jubei-Chan box came after we had almost given up hope. Bandai had to delay it's release a couple months due to a license renewal, but they are here now and ready for your enjoyment!
We have yet another excellent manga and book update for you including new volumes from Cheeky Angel and Red River, plus a new title called Punch (that Jamie says is excellent!).
We also received a new figure shipment that contained several overdue favorites including the sexy Chitose Nambu, Burst Angel Jo, and the kneeling Kan-u Unchou. Pre orders are shipping now, and we won't have many left once they are processed. And finally we have some new Gundam Seed kits for those of you who like to model. Stay tuned for even more great new items arriving daily!
Ok, enough of my blabber-mouthing, I've gotta get back to work! -_^
Saturday, November 11, 2006
This Saturday is Veterans day, and I want to say Thank You to all of our wonderful service men and women. It's a privilege to be able to help so many of you with your Anime needs while you serve our country, and I want to personally thank each one of you for your support, and your dedication.
In the past, I've taken some heat from some Anime fans for supporting our troops openly here at the Anime Corner, and it may have even cost us some business from people (especially from some of our overseas customers) who felt my comments in support of our troops were, well, inappropriate. I still have a few e-mails archived that I keep to remind me of how judgmental people can be. The fact remains that I proudly served in Army National Guard (1/170th 29th Div Lt ARNG) for 6 years back during the first Gulf War, and I got out a short time before my unit was deployed to Bosnia for a year as part of the NATO peacekeeping force. In 1990 I won the division soldier of the year award and had the opportunity to go to the 29th Division Reunion that year in Carlisle, PA and meet some of the men who stormed the beach on D-Day at Normandy in 1944. Hearing them tell their stories (and drinking to the 29th with those men) was a surreal experience that effected me very deeply, and one that I will never forget. All of the wonderful people in our military that put themselves in harms way now, and in the past, will always be my brothers and sisters, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for them - you see I understand why they do what they do, and the sacrifices they make - and personally I don't care if other people do or not.
With that in mind and in honor of Veterans day in the US, here is a wonderful music video by Australian Beccy Cole. She supports her troops regardless of her fans' opinions - and so do we. To all of our brave men and women in the military on your day, this is for you:
We're currently in the process of reworking our sale and specials section in a more friendly tabular format. We've also updated the specials and closeout sections and have added several dozen more series to the list (not to mention we dropped prices on some of these to as much as 75% off retail!). Here's a summary of what we've got so far:
- Geneon Fall Bargain Basement $5 DVD Sale
- Give the Gift of Music $5 Holiday Soundtrack Promotion
- Great Deals and UMD Closeout Sale
- Discontinued Items at Closeout Prices Up to 75% off Retail
In the news over the last couple of weeks have been a lot of the inevitable major product delays we always see around the holidays. First, ADV has delayed the release of the 10th Anniversary Edition Eva boxed set indefinitely. If the pre-order numbers were too low, well, I would guess that not a lot of fans are ready to plunk down another $250 for yet another version of Eva. I say release the box for $89.98 and give people an opportunity to buy the jacket separately. In any case, we have had to cancel all pre-orders for the sets on this announcement, and I apologize that we won't be able to get these out to you guys that did want a copy.
Synch-Point announced that the FLCL Ultimate box will be delayed from 11-21 to 12-27. Basically, Synch-Point didn't think they could get it out by Christmas and didn't want to foster that hope so they set the new date post holidays. Media Blasters also told us that they are going to miss the street date of 11-7 on the Ah My Goddess TV Series box. They said their replicator is waiting for replenishment on some of the individual volumes before they can assemble the box set, and that they are hoping to have delivery to retailers within a few weeks - which leaves the question open ended as to whether they will be able to get this box out for the holidays. We'll just have to wait and see.
Speaking of Ah My Goddess, we also got the disappointing announcement this week that because of the cost, Media Blasters was forced to pass on the 2nd Season of AMG. This does not mean that it won't be released, and I'm sure another studio will pick it up, but it keeps the title in limbo for awhile longer. Check the news section for some comments from John Serabella (the owner of Media Blasters).
Production I.G has updated its Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Solid State Society interview series, this time with scriptwriter Shotaro Suga. Their interview with producer Tomohisa Nishimura is still available here.
We currently have another review in the works from Flash Gordon, but I could not get the editing done in time for this weeks newsletter, so it will appear in next weeks issue. To keep you busy while your waiting, here is an interesting test to see how compatible you are with Rei Ayanami (and you KNOW you want to take it!).
We finally sorted out several late titles this week with the arrival of One Piece 5, Trinity Blood 2 Limited, Kaliedo Star New Wings 6, Megaman 11, and Tactics 2. Most of these were just late ships, but a couple were studio mess-ups that we had to jump through some hoops to get in. I think I made a couple people down at Funimation mad this week, but they'll just have to live with it because I don't like having to fix other people problems (especially when it effects our customers) - and I don't mind telling them so (that means you Larry)! -_^
Yet another really nice new manga update this week with 7 new series including Rose Hip Zero which after the first volume looks very promising! Hey - Ron just popped in and told me that the long awaited first volume of FMP 2nd RAID just arrived and is currently getting allocated to pre-orders. As I said previously the Art Box sold out a couple weeks ago at the wholesale level, but the good news is that we received our entire order and should have a few left over after all the pre-books are filled. Anyone who wants a copy should get in your order now before our remaining stock vaporizes.
[UPDATE]: It turns out we had only 22 copies of the 2nd RAID box left after filling all the pre-orders. I doubt they'll last the weekend unless I can scope some more from somewhere else.
[UPDATE #2]: I have so far been able to turn up 30 more boxes from my 'extensive' list of resources (i.e. - calling in some favors). They will be here on Tuesday. It's a good thing, because the original remaining 22 we're sold out before Midnight on Friday... The search continues...
The CD sale continues go well and several soundtracks have already sold out. I'm going to keep that sale up until all of that sale stock is gone. Finally, I put our entire UMD section on sale this week. UMD never came up to the expectations we had for it, but at the sale prices these volumes are still great deals and would make excellent gifts for any PSP owner.
As always, all sale stock will be allocated first come first served. I'm sure you wouldn't want it any differently...
Friday, November 03, 2006
Speaking of the holidays, Nov 1st officially kicks off the start of the holiday shopping season for us. That means that it's time for me to give the obligatory annual speech about stock outs and early shopping. This year, in particular, with the number of products we are offering I expect hot items to sell out well prior to Christmas, and many may not be immediately available for re-order. This especially applies to imported items like CD's, figures, calendars, and other merchandise (and perhaps anything from Bandai -_^). So if possible, be sure to pickup your holiday items as early as possible to avoid the 'rush'. We are expecting this year to be the best holiday season for Anime ever!
We've now posted our holiday shipping schedule, so be sure to consult it this season for critical Anime Corner shipping dates and cut-offs.
In the news this week, we heard from Bandai that the Magical Meow Meow Collection is now delayed, and no new date is set, so we are not going to post it for pre-order until we have a good release date. ADV announced that they have licensed Le Chevalier D'Eon and Viz announced they will have the upcoming Claymore Anime series. I'm a big fan of the Claymore manga, so I'm really looking forward to that! AAA Anime has issued a bootleg warning regarding the multiple illegal versions of the Ikki Tousen: Kanu Unchou 1/6 Scale (Crouching version with Spear) PVC Figure that have shown up on the market recently. More info can be found here.
These sorts of bootlegs and knock offs are getting more and more prevalent in our market as Anime's popularity continues to grow. Of course, you never have to worry about this sorta thing when you order from us! :-) Finally, Geneon has gotten their Hellsing Ultimate page up and they've posted a short trailer for the upcoming series (see the news section link below). So far Hellsing Ultimate pre-orders have been good but a little lighter than expected, and based on the number of inquires we are getting about it there seems to be a lot of confusion about what it is. Ultimate is NOT a re-release of the original Hellsing series, it's a brand new series based more closely on the Hellsing manga and will be a must see for any Hellsing fan. You can find more info about it over on our news page or at the offical site here.
The Anime Emperor is our 2006 Pumpkin contest winner! Congratulations, and thanks to everyone who submitted an entry!
The new arrivals kept coming this week, and we've been busting our butts to get all the new stuff up on the site as quickly as possible. Along with several great early DVD arrivals like The FMA Limited Movie, Trinity Blood 2, My-Hime 5, and UFO Ultramaiden we posted a huge new manga and book update. Among the 57 new manga's we posted are new volumes from Evangelion: Angelic Days, Genshiken, and Full Moon plus several new series like Penguin Revolution and La Corda d'Oro. We have also posted a large new Yaoi manga update (over in the adults only section) that includes almost a dozen new arrivals. The character merchandise section got a lot of attention this week with lots of new hats, bags, wallets, plush toys, and trading figures. We have a fantastic new figure of Miharu from Girls Bravo in stock that will just take your breath away! This one is from Eye Scream, a new company that we've recently picked up, and the detail and quality is just excellent. We also received a wonderful set of Girls Bravo trading figures from them, so be sure to checkout the whole line-up.
Finally, we kicked off our holiday soundtrack sale this week by putting over 50 licensed Geneon Anime soundtracks on sale for only $5 bucks each (more info below)! CD's make great gifts, and you can use this sale to really stock up, but quanties are limited (we only have 10 or 15 copies of some in stock) and we'll be taking down the sale prices as our sale stock sells out, so of course, don't wait to take advantage of these great deals!
Friday, October 27, 2006
Well, it's been a couple of weeks since the last newsletter, and a lot has happened since then. Let me explain..., no there is no time for that, let me sum up... :-)
After closing for part of last week, the final phase of or move was successful and we have begun operations out of our new facility as of Oct 23rd. We all pretty much worked 18-20 hour days right through the weekend to get everything up and running, and aside from a few small glitches we are just about back to a regular shipping schedule. Store updates started again on the 25th,and we should have the store completely updated by early next week. This very necessary move has been in the works for about 1 year and our new facility is just awesome! We finally have room to move around again!
One of the glitches we ran into this week was a problem with the integration between the new shipping terminals and our order status system, which resulted in a few days without e-mailed order confirmations or status updates, even though orders are shipping out on time. I apologize for this, and we should have the problem resolved by Monday. In the mean time, Jamie (bless her heart) is in the process of sending out all the confirmations from this week by hand, so order status's should be completely up to date by close of business on Friday.
The new place is about 3 times larger than our old facility in Ranson, and the move to Winchester VA puts us within 2 miles of a large regional postal facility and a regional FedEx office which means we have much later drop off times for your parcels, and will be able to put them directly into the system which should reduce 'in transit' times to some areas. There are also many more benefits that will help us to serve you even better in the months ahead.
We want to thank all of you for having extra patience with us while this process took place. We are looking forward to being able to provide everyone with even better service from our new location!
OK, back to the Anime...
In the news over the past couple of weeks are several notable items that I thought you'd like to know about. First Funimation let us know last week that the Fullmetal Panic 2nd Raid DVD #1 w/ Limited Art Box is already sold out in pre-order at the wholesale level. We still have some room left in our allocation, but I recommend you order early to ensure one will be available for you when they come in.
Geneon announced a couple of new release delays:
Shana Vol #2 DVD 11-7-06 to 11-14-06
Disgaea Vol #1 DVD 12-19-06 to 1-9-07 (also, the Art Box version has been cancelled)
Central Park Media announced a few discontinued titles this week effective immediately, probably due to license expirations:
Legend of the Dragon Kings
Birdy the Mighty
Harlock Saga (Sold Out)
Agent Aika (Sold Out)
Labyrinth of the Flames
Hyper Speed Grandol
A couple of these have not been repressed for several months, so the 'announcements' are coming a bit late. We've placed all these CPM titles on 'stock left on hand' status. CPM also announced they moved their offices, apparently someone is still alive and kicking over there - a good sign! :-)
Flash Gordon has just completed what has to be one of the most comprehensive reviews I've ever seen on a fan-favorite classic 'mecha' series. Don't miss this one!
The folks at Media Blasters have made a Demo of new Bible Black game available at the Kitty Media site. Remember though, it's strictly an Adults Only affair so no one under 18 is allowed:
Our annual Noemi-O-Lantern Pumpkin Contest is almost over, and we've already gotten several excellent entries. There is still time to get yours in - all you have to do is carve your Noemi-O-Lantern and send us pictures (or video) of it on display. Entries with video posted to You Tube will get special consideration, just include the link with your entry. The winner will be awarded a $100 Anime Corner gift certificate! Full details of the contest can be found here. One enterprising pumpkin carver has already shot a short video of his creation and posted it to You Tube!
This week has been catch up week for posting new releases that have arrived since the Oct 16th update. Getting inbound shipments re-routed to our new location has delayed the arrival of a few titles, but that will clear itselfup in short order. Lots of new DVD's and manga have been posted to the site, including a record 14 new DVD boxed sets! We also have a large shonen-Ai and Yaoi manga update that is currently in progress, and we'll be working on getting all the new items and the rest of the Dec and Jan pre-book items posted over the weekend (I might even have time to update the front page - finally!). We also received a large figure shipment that included Amy from Burst Angel and Carmen99 ('99' for her bust size in cm) from Gun X Sword which is one of my favorites. There was not nearly enough room to highlight all the new arrivals here in the newsletter, so make sure to checkout the Geneon $5 sale is coming to an end shortly, so please make you final selections from whatever we have left in stock:
Finally, I want to thank everyone again for your patience during our move. In return, I've included a sale coupon that should help makeup for any delays or bumps that we might have experienced over the past couple of weeks! Just use one of the following coupon codes when you place your order:
To save 4% off any order over $101, use the following coupon code during checkout:
Or, to save 7% off any order over $301, use the following coupon code during checkout:
Coupons are valid ONLY for NEW orders, and good through Tuesday, October 31st only, so don't wait!
Now, we're all going to finally be able to get some sleep! Well, at least a little... -_^
Friday, October 20, 2006
The new place is going to be great though. :-)
We closed up Wednesday afternoon after shipping out the regular orders for that day. Then the big trucks starting lining up outside. I'm happy to report that we are right on schedule, and all of our primary stock is now at the new location (just not all put out yet). We've moved approx. 14,000 manga volumes, 3,000 figures and just about 870 '30 count' cases of DVD's over the past 48 hours.
We started at 7am on Thursday morning and worked until midnight, and the next 2 days look like it will be more of the same. Our IT cutover is happening on Sunday so we will be ready to start processing orders again first thing Monday morning. Needless to say I will be out of touch until Monday, but send me your e-mail inquires anyway and I'll work through them next week. I expect we should be settled in an caught up again with regular business and store updates by Friday the 27th.
Please see my Oct 6th post for the whole schedule, which has gone off pretty well. I attribute that to all the planning and preparation we did ahead of time. The only SNAFU that we've run into so far has been with Verizon. We won't have phones for another week or two. It's my fault, I didn't order the lines until the end if August.... Verizon is without a doubt the worst run company in the United States. And yeah, I'm taking Central Park Media into consideration there. -_^
Friday morning our entire crew will be getting together for breakfast before we start putting out the DVD's at the new place. If you are getting breakfast in Winchester tomorrow morning and see a bunch of very poorly dressed hoodlums making a lot of noise about Anime, that's probably us. :-)
I'm off to bed. We'll talk next week.
[UPDATE]: Friday Oct 20th, 8:40pm - We started early and made good progress today. We ended up a bit ahead of schedule late in the day, so we broke off about 6:30PM so everyone could go home and have an evening with their families. First time in several days for some of us. I took a few pictures today to share so you can see how things are coming along.
Trading figures as they start to be put out early Friday morning.
Racks of DVD's after they are put out at the new warehouse.
A good shot down one of the DVD isles at the new warehouse (note the GITS SAC special edition boxes to the right AND left). We cartonize or bin a lot of the products for pulling, but we actually hand stack all the DVD's in their designated area so that every DVD gets inspected prior to being put out on the racks. This process really helps us keep defectives to a minimum.
Monday, October 09, 2006
We will be closed from Noon on October 18th through October 22nd for the final phase of the move. Orders placed during this period will resume shipping on October 23rd from our new location in Winchester, VA. We've devised this schedule to cause the least disruption to our daily order processing operations, however, some shipping delays will be inevitable and we greatly appreciate your patience and understanding during our move. :-)
Right now here is what the move schedule looks like:
Administrative Office Furniture Area
Art Book section
How to Draw Book Section
Urban Gear Section
Import Magazine Section
Overstock DVD Section
Blank CD & DVD Media Section
Model Kit Section
PolyResin Statue Section
Wall Scroll & Poster Section
Figure & Toy Pre-Pack Section #1
Trading Figure Section
Figure & Toy Pre-Pack Section #2
Snack and Food Section
Character Merchandise Section
Oct 18th-22nd (store closed)
Primary DVD Stock Section (28,000 DVD's)
Primary Manga Section (14,000 Manga Volumes)
Remaining Figure Inventory
All Remaining Racking and Fixtures
Oct 23rd: Orders Begin Shipping from the New Facility
So far, so good. Wish us luck!
Here's the list of delays:
Betterman DVD Complete Collection - 10/10/06 to 10/17/06
Fantastic Children DVD 4 - 10/10/06 to 10/17/06
Geneshaft DVD Complete Collection - 10/10/06 to 10/17/06
IGPX: Immortal Grand Prix DVD 5 - 10/10/06 to 10/17/06
Shakugan no Shana DVD 2 - 11/7/06 to 11/14/06
Due to popular demand, we dropped the pre-order price of the upcoming GITS SAC DVD Boxed Set down to $59.98 (from $69.98), which means we're offering it for pre-order at 40% off the retail price! And no worries, if you already have a pre-order in for it your price will automatically be adjusted down.
It's October and our Third Annual 'Noemi-O-Lantern' pumpkin carving contest is off and running! Everyone has carved a 'Jack O' Lantern', but have any of you ever made a 'Noemi O' Lantern'? Well, here's your chance! Bosatsu has used our logo model Noemi and painstakingly created a comprehensive guide to carving your own personal Anime Corner pumpkin, just in time for Halloween! E-Mail us photo's of your finished Noemi O' Lantern on display and win a $100.00 Anime Corner Store merchandise certificate! We will evaluate each entry and pick the best Anime Corner carved Halloween pumpkin, then we'll announce the winner in an Anime Corner Newsletter in early November. Good Luck!
Finally, I wanted to mention again about the big figure sale that we have going on through the weekend. I decided earlier this week that we could save a lot of effort during the move if we could clear out some of our figure inventory, so I put every figure on the store on sale for 20% the regular price. RACS fans have responded, and we have sold 5 full racks of figures so far, and we've been able to sell out and delete over 20 different figures off the site pre-move. We appreciate the help from everyone that has taken advantage of the sale so far, and I also want to let everyone one else know that there is still time to grab a few at the sale prices before the sale ends and we start moving the figures to the new place on Tuesday the 10th!
Saturday, September 30, 2006
This week we heard that the new Robotech production 'Shadow Chronicles' was named the Best Animated Sci-Fi Feature at the 2006 International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival, but unfortunately the DVD release that was originally scheduled for November has been pushed to Spring of 2007. Figures. We received some more of the Voltron tins so it finally came off pre-order status as I think we have enough now to say that's it's in stock. The Shana DVD/CD combo pack experienced a last minute delay from Geneon (they missed the street date of 9/26), but we've confirmed that they are now on the way and we should have them in a day or two.
I've noticed lately that Funimation's limited edition boxes REALLY ARE limited, and that we have been unable to go back to them for restocks (on the popular ones) after our initial shipment. Because of this we're ramping up our initial orders for these types of items to make sure we can keep them in stock longer. A couple of recent releases that come to mind are the Negima Limited box #1, and especially the new Trinity Blood DVD box, both of which are sold out at Funimation's level and are getting in short supply in our warehouse. We have also run out of the Samurai 7 collectors art boxes and Funimation will not be pressing anymore. With this in mind, my advice for everyone out there that wants a new Funimation limited release is to go ahead and pre-order it so that your place in line for one is secured.
We have been working on some site enhancements that you have requested, along with upgrading some of our backend functions. We changed the software that monitors site statistics, and as a result went ahead and reset our counter back to 10 Million from 12 Million unique visits. The new software keeps track of visitors more accurately, and I felt the reset was probably indicative of the margin of error with the old software. We are also changing the layout for our upcoming releases page to make it more manageable. We're also experimenting with features that will allow that list to be sorted by date and title. I'll let you know in a few weeks how that's coming along.
A few new DVD releases in this week, most notably Speedgrapher #3 and the final volume of Ichigo Mashimarof, and a lite manga update that included Berserk #13 and a new series 'Line' which looks really good. We received another nice new figure shipment including two Ex figures of Rei and Asuka, and a truly lovely figure of Asa Shigure from Shuffle, plus several others. By the way, Sega is calling the Rei figure 'Rei Matsuri', and several people have written in thinking that's a typo. Matsuri just means 'festival', so Rei Matsuri basically translates to 'festival version Rei'. We do indeed know her last name is Ayanami. -_^ Finally, our cheap-skate of the week is devoted Anime fan John S., who by way of our e-mail conversations this week is taking both 'Frugal' and 'Perfect Condition' to a new level. Are you reading this John??!! We love you man! -_^ Actually a lot of you guys have written in recently about financial strains and such (the biggest reason we participated in the Geneon sale), so I did a coupon for our newsletter subscribers this week that should help ease the pain a little. :-)
Friday, September 22, 2006
In the news segment this week, I want to confirm the we have received our first batch of Voltron tins, however as expected we did not get our full shipment and I don't feel we have enough to make it 'available' yet, so it will stay on 'pre-order' status a little while longer. I'm sure other stores won't hesitate to show it in stock, and then promptly backorder units for customers when they run out, but we don't do things that way.
Just when you thought you had seen everything, someone in Japan has decided to make a 'Ramen Hamburger'. Looks delicious doesn't it? -_^ (thanks to Jerry for sending that over)
Geneon hit us up this week that Sherlock Hound is going out of print, so whatever DVD's we still have in stock will be first come first served and will not be replaced once they are sold out. We also got word this week that the company that owned Manga Entertainment has changed hands yet again,which is maybe the third or forth time that Manga Entertainment has been sold. Aside from GITS SAC, Manga hasn't published any titles of note in several years, but the word is that the new owners may put some more funding towards licensing and production so we might see some good titles start coming out of Manga's studio again - which is always a good thing!
Can you believe it, I have no DVD delays to report this week!? I must not have read this weeks new release mailers very well. -_^
Flash Gordon has offered up another fantastic review of a Studio Ghibli title, and he also discusses the legacy of the late Yoshifumi Kondo in the studio's productions.
I've been asked a few times recently why some of the street dates we show for new manga don't jive with the publishers release dates. There are several good reasons for this, one of which is that we regularly get e-mails like this one that came this morning:
'Broccoli Books apologizes, but due to a slight delay with printing KAMUI v5 has been pushed back 2 weeks to 10/25/06'
We had already set the street date for KAMUI v5 on the store at 10/31/06, and it's not because we're psychic. It's been my experience that manga street dates set by the studios are more guidelines than hard fast dates that they actually try to meet. Any particular manga volume can come in as much as a month early or a month late (or more) to the actual release date that was set by the publisher - with late being the case more often than not. We just tend to set the street dates we show on the store by our actual experience with that publisher as opposed to always showing the exact date they have set for it - you know, the one they probably won't meet anyway. That's why some of our street dates that show on the site are set 2 or 3 weeks after what the publisher originally announced. We're probably the only store around to think about it this way, and I'm sure it causes some consternation among fans that want a particular volume out as soon as humanly possible. If a release comes in early, great, we go ahead and post it to the site, but otherwise we try to keep our dates for manga set a little more, um, realistic. :-)
The Geneon sale is now about 10 days old, and we have sold over 50% of our total sale stock, and have already sold out of about 30 titles. We'll continue to run the sale until all our current sale stock is gone. I think the guys over here that package your orders will be glad when the rest is gone! Props to them for the great job they have done this week, they have been busting their butts!
New arrivals this week include the previously late My Hime #4 DVD and the 'rescheduled' early arrival of Seed Destiny #4. We also received Inu Yasha #46 early, along with several more new boxed sets and thin-paks. We received a more manageable manga shipment this week that included two notable new releases from DarkHorse: 'Satsuma Gishiden' for samurai action lovers and 'Banya' which can be put in a category all it's own! We also received a new batch of imported figures (and have yet another batch inbound) including the highly anticipated battle 'damaged' version of Ryofu Housen (which is incredible), and two large and gorgeous swimsuit versions of Rin and Sakura from Fate/Hollow Ataraxia. Finally we received a new batch of import books with several new artbooks including Murata's Robot 5, and two artwork anthologies by one of my favorites Toshihiro Kawamoto - they are keepers!
Saturday, September 16, 2006
This week we started the fall Geneon sale a little sooner than we had anticipated as Geneon shipped us our sale inventory a bit early. Order volumes since the sales started have been huge, and I had to call all the folks in that were working on the new place back to HQ to help process the extra orders. Also this week we've seen a dramatic increase in the amount of e-mail inquiries that have been coming in and we've had to par our immediate responses down to mostly store business only. Still, we're making good progress and should be ready to start moving our actual inventory and operations during the first week of October. Several folks have asked about new addresses for mail in payments and such, however nothing is going to change right now and we'll let everyone know when the time comes in a few weeks.
In the news is another group of date changes and a few other interesting tid-bits. First, here are the changes we've been able to confirm so far:
In addition to these changes, most of Bandai's 9-12 titles are shipping late and are not expected to arrive until early next week. This includes My-Hime Vol #4 which a very large number of you have on pre-order, in many cases holding up other items to ship complete. Rest assured we'll get these shipped as soon as our copies arrive.
Changed From 9-12 to 9-26
Gundam Seed Destiny 4 DVD
Changed From 9-12 to 11-14
Clockwork Fighters 1 DVD
Changed From 10-17 to 10-24
Elemental Gelade 3 DVD
Geneon let us know that all Toei partner products (Air Master and Slam Dunk) have now been officially discontinued and won't be repressed. For anyone interested we have sale stock on all the Air Master and Slam Dunk DVD volumes that were released last year before the Geneon/Toei distribution deal fell apart.
After comments by me and some other key retailers were published two weeks ago, TokyoPop has announced that they are going to relent a bit on their direct marketing plans for certain manga titles. This is good news as there was also a great deal of fan backlash to their plans and I'm glad to see that they have taken some of that to heart. See the news blurb below for more details. We're not sure yet how the new plans will shape up and TokyoPop still has a long way to go to fix their problems, but this latest development is at least encouraging.
I want to welcome aboard our newest recruit, Jennifer Judd, who joins the pick and order preparation team in the warehouse under Ron's tutelage. Jennifer comes to us with an great background in order fulfillment, retail, and warehouse operations, she's a lot of fun to have around, and we look forward to 'indoctrinating' her into the 'way of the Anime Corner'... :-)
Part of the shipping production area being built out at our new location. The new loose fill dispensers will hold 120 cubic feet of packing material each which means refilling them less often. Less time spent refilling means more orders shipped.From the IT Desk: We will be conducting platform upgrades on Monday evening 9/18 from 11:00pm to 3:00am (EST). You've probably noticed that the store has been running a bit slow on an intermittent basis recently, especially after the high traffic increase due to the Geneon sale. One of the things that will be worked on will be improved server load balancing that should take care of these recent issues. You will still be able to place orders as normal on our front end during this period, however Gift Certificates and Coupons will not work while the upgrade is in progress.
I'm sure you are all aware of our Geneon Fall sale by now as there is scant an Anime web log or blog that has not picked up on it in the last couple of days. In addition to the sale we actually have had a pretty lite week in terms of new releases, though we did get in two key new titles in Trinity Blood and the final GIT's 2nd Gig DVD. The Limited version of Trinity Blood includes a really neat 'split opening' art box and a set a tarot cards, and the final volume of 2nd Gig is available with a Gorgeous tin art box that we were not expecting considering the original box art Manga video sent us. Ellcia is back out on DVD again after being off the market for over a year. Only a handful of new manga and books this week which actually is a welcome relief) the most notable being the 5th Vampire Hunter D novel and the 2nd Ghost in the Shell SAC book. We have another pretty large figure shipment inbound, but we did already receive the new Hajime Sorayama Silver Bobbed Replicant figure which is pretty expensive but absolutely gorgeous in both size and detail - plus she comes in a sumptuous collectors box to keep her safe.
And you can't imagine how long I've waited to use the word 'sumptuous' here! :-) Have a nice weekend everyone!
Friday, September 08, 2006
I wanted to mention again that while we are trying to make the move process as transparent as possible, there may be some delays filling a few orders here and there as we will be giving special attention to making sure orders go out complete this month in order to cause us fewer backlogs. This is complicated further when companies like Bandai do not print enough of new items like the .Hack//Sign DVD boxed sets and we have to hold some orders for a few days until we can make arrangements for copies from somewhere else to fill the gap in the interim.
So please be patient with us during this period of time as we will have the move completed in the next 3 to 4 weeks.
Speaking of companies not printing enough copies, my comments on TokyoPop last week seem to have created quite a stir. I'm not sure what the folks at TokyoPop are thinking about, but making some titles direct only and moving to an 'on demand' model for reprinting manga is probably the worst idea anyone in this industry has ever come up with. For folks in the direct market like us it means we will have to take deeper stock of non returnable new releases (which raises our overall cost on TokyoPop's line), and fans will see a higher number of blackout periods on manga volumes that are backordered because they are in reprint. Of course, what this boils down to is that direct sales only = no competition, scarcity = higher demand, and increasing retailer costs to carry a product = lower margins...
...which all will equal higher prices for fans and that IMHO sucks. I bite my thumb at anyone who says differently. -_^
In the news this week we've received word of several release date changes, which is very typical for the fall Anime season. I would expect this to be the norm for the next 2 or 3 months.
Here are the changes we've been able to confirm so far:
Changed From 8-29/9-6 to 9-26
Green Green 2 DVD
GaoGaiGar 1 DVD
GaoGaiGar 1 DVD w Art Box
Trinity Blood 1 DVD
Trinity Blood 1 DVD Limited
Changed From 9-26 to 10-3
Basilisk 2 DVD
Basilisk 2 DVD Limited
Changed From 10-3 to 10-10
Hare + Guu 5 DVD
Changed From 9-26 to 11-14
Fullmetal Alchemist Movie Limited
[UPDATE] As fate has it, we received Green Green Vol #2 in a late afternoon shipment arrival on Friday 9-8, so they will begin shipping on Monday 9-11. As to if it's actually arriving late or early, I'll let you guys decide... -_^
We have LOTS of preorders booked for the FMA Movie Limited edition - in fact about 75% of youpre-ordered the limited version of the movie, and many of those orders include other items that are holding for it's release, so if anyone has one on order and would like to change it just drop us an -mail (include your order number please) and we'll take care of it. It seems that the Zatch Bell movie got on a solicitation spreadsheet by mistake and is not even on Viz's 2007 schedule yet, so we have removed it from the site and cancelled any prebook orders for it that were placed during the short time it was up. Finally, Brocolli has let us know that they are sold out of all copies of the old pressing of the three FLCL DVD's, and that it will not be repressed as it is being replaced with a new edition in November (we'll have that up for pre-order shortly). We still have a few copies of the old FLCL DVD's for anyone who doesn't want to wait.
After some feedback on my search terms posting, we did a little experiment recently regarding who buys Yaoi titles, and the results might surprise you.
Not directly related to Anime, but Sony announced a couple days ago that they were delaying the launch of the PS3 game console in Europe from Nov 2006 to March 2007 in order to have enough units available for the Nov 2006 launch in Japan and North America, though they only expect to have 2 Million Units available for shipment in 2006 rather than the 4 Million they originally estimated would ship by years end. The problem is mainly that there will not be enough Blue Ray drives to go around because Sony has fallen way behind on their original manufacturing estimates. This does not bode well for the near future of the Blue Ray DVD format, as a serious shortage of components will limit the number of players available over the next few months and will keep the price high.
I've never been fond of Sony's predatory business practices which date all the way back to the 80's, so if this helps HD get a leg up on Blue Ray, that's fine with me. The sooner a single common standard is adopted, the better it will be for future high def Anime releases.
Even though it was a short week there was no lack of new early item arrivals. Some of the new volumes that came in on the manga side were not slated for release until October, which offsets the August Infinity titles that finally arrived 3 or 4 weeks late. This kinda stuff drives us nuts you know! :-) We also received the first part of a nice new figure shipment that included the absolutely gorgeous Yoakemaeyori Ruriirona Feena statue that is even bigger than I originally thought - so you know where the first one of her went! Finally, sorry we haven't updated the front page for a couple of weeks - that will be done next week for Sept along with adding about 80 new prebook items for November and December that have been accumulating in my inbox. Also I'm currently finalizing our choices for 2007 import calendars, so look for those to start going up on the site soon for pre-order. There is some great stuff coming later this fall, and I'll let you know the whole scoop on it right here over the next few weeks.