Late Breaking News: Geneon and ADV Merge!

For those who haven’t heard already, Geneon and ADV have a new “strategic alliance” that essentially puts ADV at the helm of the distribution, marketing, and sales of all Geneon titles come October 1st. Geneon will still be licencing anime in North America but ADV will now be responsible for getting these titles to the store. It has not been announced anywhere why this merger occurred, though many are speculating that a lack of advertising on Geneon’s part lead to less profits than they would have liked.

So the big question that means a lot to our readers is, what does this mean for Sailor Moon? Readers may recall that during the last round of releases years ago, the series was split. The first two seasons were licensed to ADV, and the third and fourth seasons, as well as the movies, were licensed to Geneon. ADV’s rights to Sailor Moon expired before Geneon’s. Both companies have said so many times that they are still very interested in licensing Sailor Moon. So, if Naoko and Toei were to reach an agreement that the series could come to international markets again, and if the rights were granted to Geneon , ADV would still win a good chunk of the profits. Moreover , if Geneon got a longer contract than ADV, ADV would be able to do more with Sailor Moon. Which can be seen as fair dues as ADV was unable to release boxsets of the dub, and they did not have the rights to the subtitled versions of the first two seasons for very long (in comparison to the time Geneon had). Fans interested in all the gory details of the licensure in North America should check out the infamous Total Eclipse Article.

One of my main concerns is still distribution and pricing. Sometimes popular ADV and Geneon titles can be found in larger numbers than ones that aren’t as popular in Canada, but the prices are still too high. ADV’s distribution is slightly better than Geneon, but it still leaves a lot to be desired. One of the things though I admired about Geneon was that at major anime cons in Canada, their reps would be standing at a retail booth filled with their titles, and they were very close in price to what you would pay in the United States. I remember at CN Anime 2004 I was happy to see the signature editions of S and SS going for $17 a pop. Where I was from, they were $28-30 -if I could find them in a store. Most fans in Canada don’t have a con they can go to easily and compounded with titles in short stocks in stores, it’s not a very good situation. If ADV can improve distribution of Geneon titles, this alliance may hold some hope. However, considering ADV’s distribution isn’t anything to rave about… they probably have a long way to go.

And I had to agree with Zac Bertschy’s sentiments in his Answerman column. The booth will probably disappear and Geneon just won’t be the presence it used to be in the anime industry. Of all the reps I’ve had the opportunity to meet, they were the nicest and were always ready to listen to their fans at cons. Geneon is also a huge pioneer in terms of Japanese music, as they were the first to release many OST’s from their anime, giving many fans a huge sigh of relief! No longer did they have to go to great lengths to get music they liked! They even helped to bring singer Yoko Ishida, Angela, and other acts to North America. It will be sad to see these staff members go. Geneon president and CEO Eiji Orii was quoted as saying, “This is a great alliance. The efficiencies we’ll achieve ultimately will mean more anime for the fans to enjoy.” ADV’s co-founder and president also commented, “This alliance makes both companies stronger. Anime as an entertainment category is in competition with every form of entertainment, and our partnership with Geneon gives us the scale to help widen the anime market in North America.” We hope ADV can remember that North America means more than just the United States and that fans like having more than just anime to enjoy.

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One Response to “Late Breaking News: Geneon and ADV Merge!”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    ADV, Geneon merger on hold. I have been told from a very trusted source that this merger will likely not happen. This all after Geneon cans Sales/Marketing depts. and places many people out of work.
    This is a real insult to any Sr. Management at Geneon that took such drastic measures before the ink was dry.

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