Friday, October 05, 2007

Updates - October 5th, 2007

This week has actually been a bit surreal. Not only has the weather been unseasonably warm (still feels like August), we have needed to drop all other plans for a few days to focus on Geneon's departure. Still, chaos is business as usual in the Anime industry, and we've been through stuff like this many times before. As we come up for air we find that time has crept up on us and the holiday shopping season is only a few weeks away, so it's time for us to start getting ready for that as well. Even with some of the Geneon stuff going away, there are still many great titles in the pipeline, and those are what we're going to be focusing on in the coming weeks.

So no news is good news, aye? Baka. -_^

There were a couple of delay announcements this week, all from Bandai:

Galaxy Angel AA, Vol #3 DVD Oct 3rd to Oct 23rd
Eureka Seven, Vol #10 DVD Nov 6th to Nov 13th
Eureka Seven, Vol #10 DVD Limited Edition
Nov 6th to Nov 13th

None of them are really a big deal and the delays look routine.

In store news we have finally let go of DHL as an international carrier, which has been a long time coming. I know that we still have a handful of customers who prefer them, but their service has been steadily deteriorating for the past couple of years while their delivery pricing has skyrocketed with higher rates, extra fees, and ridiculous fuel charges exceeding 30% to some destinations. FedEx has proven themselves to provide our customers better express service worldwide at lower shipping rates. And, of course, you will still be able to select regular Airmail or Express Mail services if you prefer economical delivery of your orders by the postal service.

Bosatsu has created another absolutely brilliant set of top banners for us featuring more of the Anime Corner girls engaged in various antics. Look for more of them to appear in our regular rotation over the next few weeks!

Bandai Visual, who sports several excellent (but overpriced) DVD releases, has yet to find a new distribution partner since dissolving their partnership with Geneon last week. So a couple of days ago they announced that their corporate website will become their 'interim' retail channel, meaning that they are self distributing directly to the public until they can find another suitable partner to keep their stuff in the stores. So for now they temporarily are without a warehouse operation and retailers cannot restock their product, at least not directly. This will also probably delay retailer availability of their upcoming titles in the next few weeks. I love most of what Bandai Visual publishes, but I like virtually nothing about the company itself (I've written about their pricing strategy before). From conversations with some high ups at other Anime companies I understand that their retailer and distribution agreement is difficult and highly unprofitable for the company handling their titles, which explains some of why they are looking for a third distribution partner in less than a year. My advice to them is to get a new distribution agreement in place ASAP. I like Tatsunori Konno (the head of BV) as he's a very smart guy, but his attempts to remake the US Anime market into a mirror image of Japan's has no future.

I finally spoke with Jim Yardley out at Geneon this week, and now I feel like I have a much clearer picture of what happened and where we are at going forward, but for now the situation has not changed. We have been absolutely swamped with orders for Geneon products over the past few days and I've been spending a lot of extra time personally arranging product and reviewing customer orders individually to decide what orders will be shipping immediately and which ones need to hold for incoming product so they can ship as complete as possible. A few titles have already stocked out, however, we have one very large final shipment in route from Geneon that is scheduled to arrive on Monday. In fact, we had originally planned to take Monday off (Columbus Day) but in the Anime business chaos reigns. So we'll be working on Monday to keep up with the increased order volume, and to ensure that when our final Geneon shipment arrives any orders we are holding for product will ship right away. If you currently have a Geneon order in with us that has not yet shipped we appreciate your patience, and I want you to know that we will ship your order as soon (and as complete) as possible.

New Arrival Alert! As usual, Ron just peeked in a told me that several new DVD titles just arrived a few minutes ago and are being checked in now, including:

Inu Yasha Movie Collection DVD Boxed Set Limited Edition
Kashimashi Girl Meets, Vol #3 DVD
Prince of Tennis Collection #3 DVD Boxed Set

They will be posted on the site later this evening but we'll be including it in outgoing orders today, as well as processing your pre-orders for them now. And as usual, we've got lots of new stuff (especially DVD's & Manga!) already on the site for you guys to peruse this weekend. Check below for the scoop on everything that's come in, or check our updates page for the complete story!

Volume #17 of the Ai Yori Aoshi manga is now in stock and in it those two finally get it together - and I mean for REAL - so my parting words for you this week are - Kaoru-Sama (you're the man!) If this volume doesn't put a smile on your face, then nothing will! :-) A word of caution though, we haven't received all of our copies from TokyoPop yet, so there are only a few to go around until the next shipment arrives.

That's it for this week. Have a great weekend - and ENJOY your Anime! :-)

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