Monday, January 31, 2011

Navarre Says No 'Adequate' Offers for Funimation Yet

From Navarre's earnings report released this evening:

"Discontinued operations includes the results of FUNimation Entertainment. Net income from discontinued operations during the third quarter was $1.8 million, as compared to $928,000 in the prior fiscal year. Strong earnings performance in discontinued operations resulted from solid year-over-year sales growth. Cash flow from discontinued operations contributed strongly to the company's year-over-year debt reduction.

The company has not yet received an adequate offer in connection with its efforts to sell FUNimation Entertainment. Although this sales process continues, if the company does not receive an adequate offer in the fourth quarter, it anticipates that these efforts will be halted."

The full report can be found here.

It's late and I'm tired, but I would add a couple things real quick:

1) Here's my blog entry from the last quarterly report.

2) Navarre's 'third quarter 2011' is actually the forth quarter, 2010 (Oct to Dec 2010). That's the holiday quarter and should be their best performing reporting period of the year.

3) 'Discontinued operations' is just financial lingo to separate out the Funimation business segment. It doesn't mean they are discontinuing Funimation, just that they are trying to sell the division and have to report it's earnings separately. This is required by GAAP if you are a public company.

4) Funi has pulled out every card in the deck over the last two quarters to get their revenue up in anticipation of a possible sale. I'm not sure $1.8 Million in quarterly revenue for the holiday quarter of a company that owns 60% of a national market can really be characterized as 'solid sales growth', but they certainly managed to beat their previous, and truly dismal year over year quarter, in 2009. I'm not knocking them here, 2009 was absolutely terrible for everyone.

5) One of Navarre's stated business objectives is now listed as "expanding our products and services beyond digitally downloadable products". That means they want to sell more stuff that can't be downloaded online. Hey, don't we all!

6) During that period I had made them an offer to swap companies, but apparently Gen's office was already bigger than mine and he doesn't like cold winters, so they didn't go for it. He also said something about "wouldn't give a squirt to be on the retail end right now", or something to that effect, but I probably misunderstood... HEH.

If anyone is interested, Navarre's earnings conference call will be at 11:00 a.m. EST tomorrow (Tuesday, Feb 1). The call can be accessed by dialing (866) 831-6243, and entering pass code "83066830" ten minutes prior to the start time. It will also be webcast live and can be accessed in the "Investors" section of their website here.

Listen in if you can, it might be very revealing. More later, I'm pooped.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bandai Announces March & April 2011 Releases - Including K-On!

Bandai has given us their March and April 2011 release schedules, and we now have them available on the store site for pre-order.

Here's what's coming:

Kurokami Part #6 DVD (BLURAY) (Eps #21-24) (English Dubbed) - Mar 22
Melancholy of Haruhi-chan Suzumiya & Nyoron! Churuya-san! Part 1 DVD - Mar 22
The Girl Who leapt Through Time (BLURAY) - Apr 12
Girl Who Leapt Through Space Part #1 DVD - Apr 26
K-On! Vol #1 DVD - Apr 26
K-On! Vol #1 (BLURAY)
- Apr 26

In addition to these new releases, they have also rescheduled the upcoming Code Geass box back to March:

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Anime Legends) - Feb 8 to Mar 22

A couple of comments: With the rescheduling of the Code Geass box, Bandai will have no new releases streeting for the next 2 months. The Girl Who Lept Through Time seems a strange choice for their next BD release, but we will finally be getting the Girl Who Lept Through Space, though only on DVD, and sadly, only subtitled. The Haruhi-chan & Nyoron Churuya-san! DVD's were originally going to be another one of those Bandai Store exclusives, but I suppose they found out they could not sell anywhere near enough copies just on their own store, so they are putting it out on the street to let us carry it. We'll be offering it for a lower price than them - you know, just to say thanks for their consideration. -_^

But really, who cares about all that, because we are FINALLY GETTING K-ON! We'll be offering each DVD and BD at 40% off MSRP*. That means we will barely be making any money on it, but I figure that's the best way we can help get the series into as many fans hands as possible!

UPDATE: Just FYI, I'm checking with Bandai on the 66 Minute thing. It's really hard to believe they would go with a 2 ep per disk release. I'll verify one way or the other on Monday when they get back in the office.

UPDATE 2: The folks at Bandai have just confirmed that the original playing time for K-On Vol #1 is a typo at 66 minutes. Vol #1 WILL BE 100 MINUTES, and contain eps #1-4 of the series. BD Will be Region 'A' encoded according to the producer.

*Not Eligible for Additional or Coupon Discounts

I figure most of you have probably already seen the actual OP by now anyway. ;-)

Friday, January 28, 2011

IDA Posts English Cat Shit One Trailer

IDA has finally posted the long promised English trailer for the Cat Shit One. The director of the war anime, Kazuya Sasahara, also announced on Saturday that the previously announced free English stream of the anime has been rescheduled for February 5.

In addition he said the planned DVD and Blu-ray Disc release has also been rescheduled for the same date on Amazon, but as of today Amazon still shows both as 'unavailable' for order.

~sigh~ This one had so much potential too. Those guys at IDA could F$#& up a cup of coffee. :-) Anyway, here's the trailer (comes after the ads):

I love Botasky's EBR... do want!

UPDATE: OK, just for fun, lets take a look at Packy & Botasky's kit:

Botasky has a pretty straight forward EBR setup, the enhanced 7.62x51 (.308) M14 build that Smith Enterprise (and Fulton Armory I think) puts together for the Military using their parts and a special stock designed by Sage International. The Smith Enterprise three point scope mount for the M14 is about the best you can get - I have one on my M1A. He also is setup with a suppressor and a laser designator (probably an AN/PEQ of some type) for night operations. His optics are probably a variable Leopold Mark 4 with a mil dot reticle, and he has a diffuser cover on the front lens to prevent reflected light from giving away his position. On top the scope he has an Aimpoint reflex site for close in work should it become necessary. Finally, he is using some sort of Harris style bi-pod, which is very common. I think his backup piece is a custom 1911 of some sort judging by the backstrap safety.

Packy's weapon is definately an AR style flat top, but it's not an M4. His rifle has a vertical grip with a pressure switch for a laser mounted under the quad rail hand guard. He has flip up sights and also an Aimpoint red dot or reflex sight (maybe an M68?), and also a Voltor style adjustable stock. These are all features you'd expect to see on a regular M4, but Packy's weapon is clearly chambered for 7.62x39 which is the cartridge the AK uses. While unusual, there are a lot of AR makers that produce versions chambered for this round. This is a good choice for Packy, because as they operate deep behind enemy lines cut off from re-supply, he would want his battle rifle to run the same ammunition and magazines the enemy uses. An interesting choice by the film producers that is a credit to their attention to detail. I believe Packy's backup gun is also a highly customized 1911. This also makes sense, as the two could easily exchange magazines.

Anyone have any other thoughts?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

FUNimation Shifts Digital Strategy - Sues Downloaders

FUNimation Sues 1,337 Downloaders. From ICv2:

Anime distributor FUNimation Entertainment has filed suit in Texas against 1,337 individuals who it accuses of using BitTorrent sites, including,, and, to download copies of One Piece #481: Ace Rescued! Whitebeard’s Final Order!. The suit identifies the individuals only by the IP address used to download the episode, and seeks to use the discovery process under the suit to find out who was using those IP addresses.

The lawsuit was filed under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, and seeks injunctions to prevent further downloading, actual or statutory damages, costs, and attorney’s fees.

Lawsuits against end users have not had great success at slowing downloads in the past. The Recording Industry Association of America sued around 18,000 individuals between 2003 and 2008, when it ended the strategy. Most of the sued parties ended up settling with the RIAA for amounts of a few thousand dollars per person.

Litigation against end users has now shifted to independent film-makers, who began suing thousands of BitTorrent users last year.

Although such litigation affects only a small fraction of the individuals who download copyrighted content, those that bring such suits hope that a deterrent effect will slow downloading by others who hear about the suits.

I really don't have much to say about this that hasn't already been said. This issue is like a shirt that has been through the wash cycle 14 times and is still dirty. Retailers will weakly cheer, paying fans will yawn, and downloaders will be outraged and defiant. Same old, same old. Clearly free legal streams of Anime content hasn't done a thing to deter fans from going to torrents, and has probably only hurt DVD and digital sales.

As the R1 market continues to fall apart, Funi has been trying to sell themselves for nearly a year now with little success. Potential buyers looking to invest in this industry, and trying to peg a valuation on any Anime companies intellectual property, are going to be very concerned about what studios are doing to combat torrent downloaders and how effective those efforts are. They are probably finding out the answers are 'lot's of things' and 'nothing's working'. It's got to be hard to find any group of savvy investors willing to put up serious money to enter an industry where such a huge portion of the potential customer base is unwilling to pay for ANY content and has so many options to view Anime outside any venue that can be monetized by anyone. The phrase "how the hell do you compete with free?" must daily resonate down the halls in the HQ of every company that participates in the US Anime business from studios, to retailers, to digital content providers.

But all that said, torrent users have been getting pretty cocky lately, even going as far as to give paying Anime fans nick names like 'buyfags'. What else is left that anyone in the industry can do to try to protect their market other than start kicking in doors and cracking skulls. That's what Apple does when you fuck with their intellectual property. And it's not like anyone in this industry is some big money corporate son of a bitch like the big music studios were - we've all been living hand to mouth in this business going on 3 years. We only stay because we love it.

Moves like this certainly won't stop torrent downloaders, in fact, they probably won't put a dent in it long term, but maybe it will take them down a notch for a little while - especially the folks that, rather than buy legitimate Anime releases, put hundreds or thousands of dollars into extra computer equipment to seed torrents. I mean they seem to need it, and to date they have gotten off easy. Either way, the studios simply have no where else to go except out of business.

UPDATE: Oh, by the way (Toren brought this up in the comments), 1337 = Leet. That number was not picked at random, it's definitely sending a message to the hard core hackers and torrent geeks. I thought the number looked familiar, but I haven't heard anyone use the term for a LONG time.

Nozomi Bumps the Junjo Romantica Season 2 Box To May

Nozomi, the notorious publishing division of Brand X, sent us a note this afternoon that they are pushing the release date for the Junjo Romantica Season 2 Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #13-24) (RSDVD-1140) up a couple of months.

Here's the change:

Junjo Romantica Season 2 DVD Boxed Set (Eps #13-24) - Mar 1 to May 3

They also sent over a separate note that they are going to re-price the old Shingu: Secret of the Stellar Wars Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Thin-Pak) to $30 down from $60. We'll be selling it for $19.98, and the new price will be available on May 3rd.

The 1st and 2nd quarter release schedule train wreck continues...

Winter Wonderland Closing Notice

It's officially a winter wonderland here today after a blanket of around 12 inches of heavy wet snow covered the landscape.

RACS HQ and warehouse will be closed today while we dig out, but we'll back in bright an early tomorrow morning - I'm even going to post some updates from home later today - so keep those orders coming and we'll get them out to you as soon as we can!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My World - Synergy

This is the 'synergy' I'm looking for (and haven't found yet):

Update on the Ikki Tousen Dragon Destiny Complete Collection

Yesterday we made a little mistake by prematurely announcing the new Ikki Tousen Dragon Destiny Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-12) had arrived and was now in stock. This was not quite correct.

You see, it did in fact arrive, but it is 'not' in stock.

I've been told by our rep at Allegro that the first shipment of the Dragon Destiny box was allocated to retailers because it was under ordered at replication. In other words, they had to ship everyone less than they ordered the first time around, so we got about half of our copies. We are using what we have to fill pre-orders, and I'm pretty sure we have just enough to get all of your pre-orders out for it today.

In the mean time we've gone ahead and put the title back on pre-order status until the rest of our copies are delivered, and I'm told those should arrive before the street date. Sorry folks, we jumped the gun on this one a little yesterday - I had just figured UPS hadn't brought us all the boxes of it they owed us (they split shipments to us all the time), but after checking in with Allegro, I found out that was not the case.

Welcome to the Anime business... :-)

Update on the Chrome Shelled Regios Limited Box

As many of you already know, we received the Chrome Shelled Regios Part 2 DVD Collection this week ahead of the Part 1 box. This is because the part 1 box is one of Funi's new Limited Editions, and ended up getting delayed slightly in production.

Word has it today that they should have the part 1 limited box to us around the middle of next week, so what we are going to do is ship all mixed orders with the part #2 box and pre-order the part #1 box for you (unless you specifically request a 'hold ship').

Pre-orders and regular orders for ONLY the two parts together (and nothing else) will automatically be held until we can ship both at the same time. After all, part #2 won't do you much good if you don't have #1.

Just a heads up if you happen place a big order that includes these and are wondering why you got part #2 before part #1. :-)

Dilbert on Tax Policy

This strip seems to, um, fit a lot of different narratives that have cropped up over the last couple of days:

Funimation Sues 1337 Bittorrent Users Over One Piece...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Something You Need to Know About Me

As someone who has found the time to watch the Pantsu Anime Strike Witches end to end twice, but somehow in 10 years has NEVER seen a single episode of American Idol, I admit I still only have the vaguest idea who this 'Snooki' person is. And apparently she has now written a book, and it has made it's way onto the NYT bestseller list.

It's also one of those books with Amazon reviews that have vastly more entertainment value than any literary merit of the work they review.


"This is by far the best assisted suicide novel I have ever read. I was literally cutting my wrists as every page was turned. Bravo Snooki!!"

"I still pine for the day when Wicket W. Warrick releases his memoirs of the Battle of Endor, but until then, we'll just have to settle for this excellent translation. It's one of the cleanest in the English language, where the grunts and vernacular of the vertically challenged and girth enhanced Snooki come across in all their simplicity."

"I never knew what it was like to stare into the abyss, until I read this book. I now realize the true depths of despair my soul can be driven to. Thanks, Snooki!"

"Could Hemingway have said the same? Faulkner? F. Scott Fitzgerald? I think not! Even in the realm of popular fiction, Stephen King can only boast of 25% tops, and he has never written a spinechilling tale of modern horror the ghastly equal of "A Shore Thing."

"This book reads like a field manual for getting lucky anywhere between Long Branch and Atlantic City. Quite frankly, I'm surprised Mr. Wonka allowed her enough time off from manning the Gobstopper machine to produce such a well thought out work. If Rommel was the Desert Fox, then surely this brilliant author rates unquestionably as "The Beach Chupacabra"

Sometimes great literature apparently comes out of nowhere... and then there is this:

"At first I had my doubts about this book...she weaves a story that is more believable than anything I have read by Paul Krugman."

Now I'll buy that for a dollar.

Funimation Bumps Chobits & Rosario Out a Bit More

Since the word has leaked out on the street, even though Funi hasn't made these dates 'officially' public yet (because they are off the current published release schedule), I'm going to go ahead and confirm that the dates for both Chobits and Rosario+Vampire have been changed again.

Here's the new dates:

Chobits Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-24) (Classic Anime) - Apr 26th to May 10th
Chobits Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-24) (Classic Anime) (BLURAY)
- Apr 26th to May 10th
Rosario+Vampire Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-13) - May 17th to Jul 19th
Rosario+Vampire Capu2 (Season 2) Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #14-26)
- May 17th to Jul 19th

Remember these dates are subject to change again, and could change in either direction.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Another Set of Funimation Date Changes

In case you're having a hard time keeping up with Funimation's utterly schizophrenic Spring release schedule, you're not alone! Right before close of business today they sent over another huge batch of date changes.

Here's the updates this time:

Neon Genesis Evangelion 2.22 You Can [Not] Advance Movie DVD - Back to Mar 29th from Apr 5th
Neon Genesis Evangelion 2.22 You Can [Not] Advance Movie DVD (BLURAY) - Back to Mar 29th from Apr 5th
Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood Part 4 DVD Boxed Set (Eps #40-52) - Mar 29th to Apr 5th
Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood Part 4 DVD Boxed Set (Eps #40-52) (BLURAY)
- Mar 29th to Apr 5th
Yu Yu Hakusho Season 1 DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-28) (BLURAY) (Classic Collection) - Mar 29th to Apr 26th
Samurai Champloo DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-26) (Classics Collection) - Mar 29th to May 24th
Samurai Champloo DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-26) (BLURAY) (Classics Collection)
- Mar 29th to May 24th

So the Friday 'Fun' continues!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

RACS Clannad After Story Upgrade Program

With the new dubbed release of Clannad After Story coming on April 19th, RACS will be participating in Section 23's Clannad After Story upgrade program.

If you have already purchased one or both of the prior subtitled only Clannad After Story releases, you can trade them up for the new Dubbed version. Here's how:

Just send in both of your old Clannad After Story releases:

SFCL/300 Clannad After Story DVD Collection #1 (Eps #1-12) (Subtitled Only)
SFCL/400 Clannad After Story DVD Collection #2 (Eps #13-24) (Subtitled Only)

- plus -

(US & APO/FPO Customers)
$20 to cover the upgrade (no extra shipping charge)

Canadian & International Customers)
$20 to cover the upgrade + $6 shipping

Payment can be made via:

-Personal Check
-Money Order
-Cash (not recommended but we will accept it)
-Credit Card (Visa, MC, Discover, AmEx, or JCB) by providing the following information:

Full Name on Card, Card Number, Exp Date, & CVV Code

Send them along with your payment (or payment information) via regular mail to:

Robert's Anime Corner
Attn: Clannad Trade Up Program
P.O. Box 4277
Winchester, VA 22604-4277

If you only have one of the two disks, just include your DVD plus $35 instead of $20. It's just that easy, and there are no forms to fill out. Just send in your disks + payment and we'll do the rest. And hey, it doesn't even matter if you originally bought the subtitled disk(s) from us - everyone is eligible! DVD's sent in must be complete and include all the DVD disks, the DVD case, and the DVD cover art or they will be refused.

In exchange we will send you (once released in April):

SF-CL600 Clannad After Story Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-24) (Bilingual Edition)

This version contains all 24 episodes of season 2 and will include both the original Japanese language tracks (with English subtitles) plus the new English Dub.

Upgrade disk(s) must be received in our warehouse before May 31st, 2011 to be eligible.
If you have any questions, just drop us an e-mail.

Hey Nice Package! - Sacred Blacksmith Limited Box

The folks at Funi finally got around to putting together a preview of the new Sacred Blacksmith Limited Edition boxed set:

We still have the sets in stock - so get your copy before they are gone!

RACS Store Site Server Maintenance / Upgrades Notice

Just and FYI folks.

We'll be performing server maintenance and upgrades over the next day or so.

Most of what we are doing will be transparent to you and and will not effect the live store site, but if you run into any anomalies on the store site (especially late this evening or overnight tonight), this is probably why.

We'll try to keep all the weird animal noises to a minimum while we're working... -_^

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My World - The Business Cycle

Outliers matter - and can fool you.

One this graph the top of the dotted line in the middle would be April 19th, 2006.

That was the day the R1 market peaked and turned. I'm not quite sure exactly where we are on the right side though...

Sentai Picks Up Infinite Stratos

Sentai (aka Section 23) announced today that they have licensed the Infinite Stratos TV series, but they did not say how (or when) it might be released.

The Infinite Stratos anime adapts Izuru Yumizuru's "popular high-speed low drag school battle" light novel series. The story centers around the IS Academy: a school for training the pilots of the Infinite Stratos weapon system, which can only be used by females.

Summary: Infinite Stratos (IS), a weaponized exoskeleton system, has become the dominant tool of warfare and conflict. Unfortunately for the men in society, only women are able to operate Infinite Stratos... with very few exceptions. One of those exceptions is ORIMURA Ichika, an orphan raised by his older sister who is herself a famous IS pilot. When his compatibility with IS is discovered after he accidentally touches an IS at the age of 15, he's given a scholarship and enrolled in a school that specializes in training IS pilots. Which of course means an... intersting life surrounded by girls for this shy, unassuming boy.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Section 23 April 2011 Releases - Now Available for Pre-Order!

Section 23 has sent over their April 2011 release schedule and we've now got them posted to the store site for pre-order.

Here's what's coming:

Special A Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-24)
Needless Collection 2 DVD (Eps #13-24)
Needless Collection 2 DVD (BLURAY) (Eps #13-24)
Clannad After Story Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-24) (Bilingual Edition)
Asylum Session (Movie) DVD

Asylum Session

In a world where civilization has run its course, where the mechanics of society have failed, a chosen few are still born with the ability to dream. Forced to run when her father blocks her visions of becoming an artist, Hiyoko finds herself drawn into a strange tent city set up in the ruins of an abandoned stadium, a place the residents call The Asylum. It is in this shadow community, were she meets other gifted youth, including the mysterious Akira, that she finds herself and her purpose. When profiteering officials and police plot to tear the Asylum down, destroying their last sanctuary, Hiyoko and the other refuges choose to fight back rather than flee. But rather than resort to weapons, their unexpected challenge is to create a street festival, using art and culture to win the hearts of the people: a festival they call the Asylum Session.

Section 23 Cancels Guin Saga BD Release

Section 23 just send over their April schedule (we'll have that up in a few minutes) along with an announcement that they have CANCELED the Guin Saga Collection 1 DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-13) (BLURAY) SFB-GS100.

Section 23 only cited 'circumstances beyond their control' as a reason for the cancellation.

The regular edition Guin Saga Collection 1 DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-13) SF-GS100 is unchanged and will still be released as scheduled on March 29th.

All current RACS pre-orders for the BD edition will automatically be canceled, and we will need customers who pre-ordered the BD to place a new order for the regular edition if they are still interested in purchasing the title.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

You Can't Be 'Just a Little Pregnant'

Steven DB, who abandoned legit Anime releases for torrents awhile back, seems to have found his guilty conscience - but in a rather odd way.

Steven abandoned the R1 industry a couple of years ago because no one here 'could produce what he wanted when he wanted it'. OK, fair enough. It certainly is hard to participate in the hard core Anime 'geek' community if you are relying on DVD releases. But now he is having issues downloading Anime torrents - but only from groups that rip off Crunchyroll.

Really Steven? You know what they say about being 'a little pregnant'? -_^

I think Steven's logic here is bit obtuse. He's all in. Why would he feel guilty about anything at this point?

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Celebrate the new year and save 5% off any order for 'in stock' items. Place your order between now and midnight January 17th and save up to an additional 5% off any combination of IN STOCK items listed on the store!

No minimum!

To save 5% off any IN STOCK order just use the following coupon during checkout:


The more you purchase the more you save, so be sure to take advantage of this great opportunity to load up on some of the Anime stuff you've had your eye on! US customers can combine this offer with our super saver shipping option to save even more on your favorite in stock Anime series, Manga, Figure, or Character Items!

Note: Valid for new orders of IN STOCK items only. Offer expires at midnight EST on January 17th.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Funimation Changes Ga-Rei / Eden of the East Movie to DVD/BD Combo Sets

Funi just sent over another memo about an hour ago letting us know that they have changed the release format of both Ga-Rei Zero and the Eden of the East Movie.

Instead of the previously announced separate DVD and BD releases, Funi will be combining both versions into DVD/BD combo sets.


Ga-Rei Zero Complete Collection DVD (Eps #1-12)
Ga-Rei Zero Complete Colelction DVD (Eps #1-12) (BLURAY)

now becomes the:

FN-08880 Ga-Rei Zero Complete Collection DVD / BLURAY Combo Set (Eps #1-12)

Eden of the East Movie 1: King of Eden DVD
Eden of the East Movie 1: King of Eden DVD (BLURAY)

now becomes the:

FN-08843 Eden of the East Movie 1: King of Eden DVD / BLURAY Combo Set

The price for the new combo sets is the same as for the previous versions, and all existing pre-orders for these will be updated to the new combo set version. No action is required on your part.

Sometimes on Friday I can't wait for it to be five o'clock in Texas so they stop making changes and I can go home for the weekend. :-)

More Funimation Delays

In what is becoming a rather ubiquitous Friday afternoon ritual, Funi has sent over several more changes in their February and March original release schedules, bumping more releases out into April and May.

Chrono Crusade Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set - Feb 8th to Feb 22nd
Sgt Frog (Keroro Gunso) Season 1 Complete DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-26) - Feb 15th to Mar 29th
Sgt Frog (Keroro Gunso) Season 2 Complete DVD Boxed Set (Eps #27-51) - Mar 29th to Apr 26th
Samurai Champloo Complete DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-26) (Classics Collection) - Mar 1st to Mar 29th
Samurai Champloo Complete DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-26) (BLURAY) (Classics Collection)
- Mar 1st to Mar 29th
Soul Eater Collection Season 1 Complete DVD Box (Eps #1-26) - Mar 15th to Apr 12th
Soul Eater Collection Season 1 Complete DVD Box (Eps #1-26) (BLURAY)
- Mar 15th to Apr 12th
Darker Than Black Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps # 1-26) (Classics Collection) - Mar 22nd to Apr 19th
Shigurui: Death Frenzy Complete DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-12) (Classics Collection) - Mar 22nd to May 10th
Shigurui: Death Frenzy Complete DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-12) (Classics Collection) (BLURAY)
- Mar 22nd to May 10th

Black Butler Limited Edition Sold Out at Wholesale!

Funimation just sent us a quick note to let us know that the Black Butler Season 1 Part 1 DVD Collection (Eps #1-12) Limited Edition is now completely sold out at wholesale.

We still have them IN STOCK, but this means we cannot reorder it so our current inventory of the sets is it. Once they sell out we'll revert the set over to the regular edition. Full details on the limited edition can be found here.

Get em while they last!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New RACS Shipping Rates - Economy Shipping Now Free Over $49!

We've been revamping our shipping rates and schedule to be more compatible with our new (slightly heavier) eco-friendly packaging material, and to try to deal with the massive rate increases imposed on us by both UPS and the Post Office starting at the beginning of the year.

So here are the changes we've made, in a nut shell:


Super Saver (economy) - In exchange for slightly higher Priority Mail rates, we have LOWERED the threshold for our Super Saver free shipping option in half DOWN TO ONLY $49 shippable total, and we have made economy shipping our DEFAULT shipping method. It's what 63% of you already choose anyway, so I think this just makes sense. Super Saver orders will ship either standard mail or ground service (at our discretion). We are getting an average delivery time of 4.3 days for standard mail anyway vs. 2.8 day for priority mail, so again, this just makes sense.

Priority Mail - This is the biggest change. Priority Mail will remain available but will no longer be our standard shipping option - meaning you'll have to select it now at checkout. Our Pri Mail shipping rates have been increased, especially for larger orders, to reflect the reality of the Postal Service's recent rate hikes (again). The post office has increased transportation costs across the board, has now added the zoning of all weight classes all the way down to 1 lb, and has implemented even stricter dimensional size restrictions with extra charges for even what we consider small packages. A regular 2 lb parcel (that's 3 manga, for instance) to the west coast is now costing us $9.55 in postage alone for Pri Mail, and it's clear the post office is trying to discourage people from using the service as their Pri Mail rates are now comparable or higher for us than 2nd day air with a commercial carrier. Please keep in mind we have not changed our Priority Mail rates through 4 years of rate increases, and these adjustments are really way overdue.

FedEx - Our FedEx Air and FedEx Ground rates have stayed the same. FedEx 2nd Day day air is still flat rate $16.98 any order. FedEx ground (home delivery) is still flat rate $12.98 any order. All FedEx parcels ship fully insured, are fully trackable, and FedEx ground still delivers ground parcels on Saturday at no extra charge.

UPS - Our primary ground carrier is FedEx, but we know some of you like UPS. UPS ground service is still available but is no longer flat rate. The new cost now $9.95 + $1 per lb anywhere in the continental US. This change helps us deal with their new dimensional weight requirements for all parcels larger than, well, basically a snuff box. All UPS parcels ship fully insured and are fully trackable. UPS air freight service is not available, but wasn't before either. All RACS air parcels still ship FedEx.

Overseas - For international shipments, our Canadian rates have been increased slightly but are still very competitive. We haven't raised those rates for 4 years either, so we really needed to bring them in line with reality. I'm looking into a free shipping threshold for Canada also, so we're looking into a few different shipping options we might be able to use to make that possible. EMS and FedEx International rates are unchanged except to Australia, where they have increased about 4 1/2% to offset the additional remote zone delivery fees we are now incurring to that zone. Most of that increase effects smaller parcels under 5lbs, and rates for over 5lbs to that zone have hardly changed at all.

That's about everything. We've done a lot of testing prior to making these new rates live, but if you experience any 'glitches' while trying to place an order, please let us know. :-)

Borders Troubles Are a Problem for Manga Companies Too

A couple of weeks ago is was reported that Borders, the big book store chain, was in such financial peril that they were suspending payment to vendors and trying to renegotiate their credit lines. That was also around the time when Borders started shedding top execs who were leaving en-mass to look for greener pastures.

Today ICv2 is reporting that Borders account has been frozen by Diamond Booksellers, and that they will no longer make any shipments to Borders until they can get their account back in good standing:

"Diamond Book Distributors has troubled book chain Borders on hold, and is not shipping it any new products or restocks from its client publishers, publishers and Diamond confirm. Diamond has been talking to its client publishers about the situation and reports that they are supportive of that decision.
DBD represents a number of important mid-range graphic novel publishers, including Dark Horse, IDW, Image, Dynamite, Oni, Top Shelf and Udon. Three of those publishers, Image, Oni, and Dark Horse, published 12 of the Top 20 Graphic Novels in the adult fiction category in bookstores in December, according to Bookscan."

None of the big book chains are doing well, but Borders is especially relevant to Manga fans because they account for about 20% of the total new manga sales in the US, and are one of the most important customers to US manga firms like Viz, Tokyopop, and others. Even with all the online retailers put together (even Amazon), bookstores still account for more than 75% of total manga sales, so it's bookstores that overwhelmingly make the industry as it exists today possible.

ICv2 has a good article on this here, though frankly I'm not drinking the coolaid regarding the big manga sellers being able to recoup their looses because they sell through big distributors. When Circuit City was in trouble, everyone though someone would buy them out and all the vendors would be made right, but when they went under, all the big distributors got hosed and all the stores just closed up. Not all Borders customers will just go somewhere else, a certain percentage of sales from these bigs chains is always lost somewhere in a bankruptcy.

I don't think the failure of Borders could be as devastating to the US manga industry as the failure of Suncoast's parent was to the Anime side a few years back, but it would certainly give the US manga industry a haircut at a time when it's already struggling to maintain it's market.

I guess we'll see what happens.

Customer Comment

Today Kerry writes in to say:

I love your site. Every time I order from the site I get exactly what I ordered a few days later. That is what I call excellent service. You guys have a permanent customer on your hands here : ) you guys are awesome and I appreciate your hard work to send it to your customers all over. Don't ever change your service. I will be ordering from you guys for a LONG time to come.

Thanks again sincerely.

Kerry C.

We do try VERY hard to make sure your orders ship out quickly and as complete as possible. Sometimes in this biz it's harder than you might think.

Thanks Kerry! We REALLY appreciate it!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sacred Blacksmith Limited Edition - In Stock and Shipping Now!

Just an FYI folks, we've got the the First Pressing of the Sacred Blacksmith Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-12) in from Funimation that includes the limited edition art box. Pre-orders are being processed as we speak.

The limited edition is only for the first pressing, so they are not going to make anymore after this. This one comes with a 32-page art book, a special edition pinup poster, and a collectors art box.

Our pricing for these limited editions will be the same as for the regular edition, and the limited is the only version we're going to ship until they run out - so get em while they last!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Phantom 1 Limited Edition - In Stock and Shipping Now!

Just an FYI folks, we've got the the First Pressing of the Phantom Part 1 Collection in from Funimation that includes the limited edition art box. Pre-orders are already on the way to you.

The limited edition is only for the first pressing, so they are not going to make anymore after this. It comes with a chipboard art box, a special edition bullet necklace, and is designed to hold the DVD volumes of both parts 1 and 2.

Oh, and we have the part #2 set in stock too, so you can buy the whole series all together. :-)

Our pricing for these limited editions will be the same as for the regular edition, and the limited is the only version we're going to ship until they run out - so get em while they last!

Ah My Buddha - Back in Stock at Last!

Great news everyone!

After being out of stock and on backorder for nearly 6 months, the Ah My Buddha (Amaenaideyo!!) Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-26) is now officially back in stock as of this morning!

All standing backorders from all the way back to July last year will be filled today, and we have plenty of copies left over for general orders, so if you have been wanting a copy - we've got em!


Celebrate the new year and save 5% off any order for 'in stock' items. Place your order between now and midnight January 17th and save up to an additional 5% off any combination of IN STOCK items listed on the store!

No minimum!

To save 5% off any IN STOCK order just use the following coupon during checkout:


The more you purchase the more you save, so be sure to take advantage of this great opportunity to load up on some of the Anime stuff you've had your eye on! US customers can combine this offer with our super saver shipping option to save even more on your favorite in stock Anime series, Manga, Figure, or Character Items!

Note: Valid for new orders of IN STOCK items only. Offer expires at midnight EST on January 17th.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Free XL T-Shirt with Every Eden of the East Movie Pre-Order!

Just and FYI to everyone.

Pre-Order your copy of the Eden of the East: King of Eden Movie DVD or BluRay (now scheduled for April 26th) and we will ship it with a free (Size XL) King of Eden T-Shirt, compliments of RACS and Funimation!

So get your pre-orders in today!

The Hypocrisy of Marketing

I've been working on preparing a post about our switch to the more 'eco-friendly' corn starch bio-degradable loose fill for order packaging. Having switched over to them over a month ago, I'm in no hurry though. I wanted enough of you to start getting orders packaged with them so that when I do post about it, you'll be able to give us some reliable feedback about their effectiveness. See, I'm mostly concerned with this material's usefulness as a package protection, with the environmental aspects being a necessary, but secondary perk.

Anyway, this got me to thinking. We do a lot of stuff to help protect the environment in the course of our business. We recycle all of our cardboard and chipboard waste (we have a special dumpster for it), we recycle our paper waste, we use a very efficient natural gas based HVAC system (we paid extra for the highest efficiency rating), we use recycled materials whenever possible in our order processing and packaging processes (and we try to use vendors that do the same) - hell, we even keep the thermostats set low in the winter and bundle up, and turn the light off in parts of the warehouse we are not using during certain parts of the day to save energy. Jamie and I commute back and forth to the office (most of our driving) in a fuel efficient little Kia Soul. The Bimmer mostly stays parked at home. Lots of other little things.

We do this stuff out of a simple common sense approach that any responsible company should take in their attitude toward environmental concerns. But it has never really occurred to me to make a big deal about it as some sort of 'marketing point' to promote our company - like printing that we do it on our boxes. Making folks aware of what you are doing is good, but making it a point of contention in your marketing propaganda, as if to say - "see, my company is better than yours because we recycle" - well, seems a bit adolescent to me. I really don't think smart people can be bought off by those sorts of concerns - I mean it's 2011 - people should EXPECT companies to do whatever is economically feasible to be environmentally friendly. Why wouldn't we. Anything else would just be irresponsible.

So it also occurs to me that in this digital age, when you already consume plenty of electricity to spin the hard drives that make your digital catalog/online store available 24/7, don't you think it's a little hypocritical to sell people on what a green company you are, but still mail out tens of thousands of tree killing paper product catalogs every quarter? Can you imagine the extra fossil fuel burned by the delivery trucks as they carry thousands of pounds of these paper catalogs? And the energy and resources consumed in making the paper for and printing those catalogs? Even if you use recycled materials, you know the endgame of these is to just become landfill fodder after their usefulness is over.

Frankly, while I think they are completely unnecessary for an online e-tailer, if you feel like having a printed catalog is an essential part of your online business, so be it. You gotta do what you gotta do. But if you do, don't turn around and start making a marketing pitch about how environmentally friendly your company is. If you don't mind, please sell stupid somewhere else.

Really, Really Tragic

That's some really, really bad business that went down Saturday afternoon in Tucson. People do such stupid things. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of those involved.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Friday, January 07, 2011

Funimation Lowers the Price of Gunslinger Girl S1 & S2 on BluRay

Funimation has reduced the MSRP on both of the Gunslinger Girl BD sets from $49.98 to $39.98:

Gunslinger Girl Season 1 DVD Boxed Set (Eps #1-13) (BLURAY) FN-08197
Gunslinger Girl Season 2 Il Teatrino DVD Boxed Set (Eps #14-26 + OVA) (BLURAY) FN-08198

We have lowered our regular price on both sets from $32.98 to $26.98 and they are in stock and shipping now at the new price!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Some Kitty Stuff Trickling In Again

After several months of backorders, Kitty stuff is finally starting to trickle in again. Remember that while Media blasters has turned over their Anime Works and Tokyo Shock stuff to the distributor Allegro, they have kept their adult line (and most profitable line I might add) Kitty in house.

Notable recent restocks of Kitty adult items that previously spent weeks on semi-permanent backorder include:

Body Transfer
Learning the Hard Way
Bible Black New Testament 3
Sexual Pursuit
Kite/Mezzo Double Pack

There are still plenty of Kitty stuff on backorder though. Titles that remain AWOL with no apparent ETA include Viper GTS, Booby Life, Discode, Hills Have Size, and Cantaloupe Collector. Our backorder log is full of these, and I'm hoping we will be able to ship them again soon.

Kitty has also started feeding us new release info again, and they have a few new things coming up in February and March, but we're not going to offer them for pre-order - we'll post them once they actually arrive. I'm tired of taking Kitty backorders and then making excuses for them when stuff doesn't ship on time. They are using poor Brand X for retailer fulfillment after all...

So with regards to Kitty the light is at the end of the tunnel, we're just still in the tunnel. We really appreciate everyones patience who has been waiting for any of these.

Queens Blade DVD #3 - In Stock at Last!

Arrived this afternoon - now in stock and shipping!

Pre-orders shipped today. :-)

All the QB singles are now on 'stock on hand' status, which means we won't be reordering any once they are sold out. Get em while they last!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

My World - Uncertainty

Where I'm at in regards to the Anime Industry and our family business:

Black Butler Collection 1 Limited Edition - In Stock and Shipping Now!

Just and FYI folks, we've got the the First Pressing of the Black Butler Part 1 Collection in from Funimation that includes the limited edition art box. Pre-orders are already on the way to you.

The limited edition is only for the first pressing, so they are not going to make anymore after this. It comes with a chipboard box embossed with silver foil accents designed to replicate the original Japanese packaging and is designed to hold the DVD volumes of both parts 1 and 2.

Our pricing for these limited editions will be the same as for the regular edition, and the limited is the only version we're going to ship until they run out - so get em while they last!

In stock and shipping now.

And of course, the less than enthusiastic but always obligatory propaganda direct from Funimation:

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Customer Comment

A really nice e-mail from Kyle regarding our packaging:

Happy New Year!

Got my order in today, and when I saw the box, I feared the worst. Looks like it took it pretty bad from the USPS (I wont say the worst, because I have received just pieces of cardboard or paper labels from them in the past).

Thanks to the superb packing, the two NIS special sets were unscathed. I am a big fan of the post office, I think for what they accomplish with as little hiccups as occur is amazing, but it is nice to know when a package gets on their bad side there is some pretty effective protection!

Will be sending more of my business your way in 2011!

Kyle B.

Thanks Kyle! Much appreciated! :-)

Media Blasters March Releases

Media Blaster's new distributor for Anime Works has confirmed three more new releases for us today - this time for March release. Here's what they say is coming:

Genshiken Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set (TV Season 1 & 2 + OVA)
Kanokon: The Girl Who Cried Fox Complete Collection DVD Boxed Set(Eps #1-12)
Loveless Vocal Collection DVD Boxed Set (Bilingual)

So it looks like we will finally be getting whole Kanokon series in one shot, and as promised, the set will be priced to not cause too much pain for the folks that previously bought the Vol #1 DVD. Our price for the whole season will be only $19.98. The Genshiken box is just a re-release of Season 1 & 2 and will not include any DX episodes - so please don't ask. Those will, hopefully, still be coming later. Loveless is also a re-release, but the new version will be bilingual and will now include an English Dub for the same price as the old sub only set.

I've also got word that they will be bringing back out the Ah My Buddha and Blade of the Immortal boxed sets soon. Buddha has been on backorder since last July, and the Blade set never did ship back in October when it was originally scheduled. We've gotten broken promises on these before, but now they are in Allegro's release book. Anyway, I'm working on pinning them down to some sort of definite ship dates for these. Wish me luck.

Again, I just want to reiterate that everything coming with Media Blasters right now has to be taken with a grain of salt until they prove to us that they are getting their operations back on track. Just sayin.

Monday, January 03, 2011

E-Mail Down - Fixed!

Happy 2011 Everyone!

We came in this morning to a downed e-mail server.

Working on the problem now.

Update: Fixed!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Speed Walking?

This is possibly the best commercial - ever.

And the runner up? Oh yeah.