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News: Voyager goes it alone: Star Blazers 2199 on home video

PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:40 pm
by Steve H
As seen here:

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/20 ... -subtitles

Voyager Entertainment seems to have failed to find a partner, so in eerie echo of the early '90s they have decided to release Star Blazers 2199 on DVD and Blu-Ray all by their lonesome.

This will be a subtitled only release. I think having Spanish subs along with the English is a good move, but they should also have French-this would be necessary for importation into Canada. Sorry, Canucks.

I assume they will do the bare-bones transliteration and just globally replace 'Yamato' with 'Argo' in the subs. le sigh.

I note there is an obvious lack of any pricing information. I would expect prices closer to Japanese norm (near $70 USD per disc) than American (no more than $30 USD per disc).

So we have an official Yamato Girl to be the 'face' of the project. I don't think she is at all prepared to deal with American fans.

So here it is, all of you expecting Yamato 2199 to come to the U.S. No dub, no extras, expensive, only available via the Voyager website.

I might suggest one would be better off buying the Japanese Blu-Rays. More expensive, yes, but I bet they'll be much better quality.

Re: News: Voyager goes it alone: Star Blazers 2199 on home v

PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 6:18 pm
by Series5Ranger
Agreed, importing would be better, due to the insert booklet, Accurate subtitling, and the Japanese Blu-Rays are sturdier, imo.

Color me disappointed too. My best friend loved Star Blazers as a kid but he prefers dubs.

Re: News: Voyager goes it alone: Star Blazers 2199 on home v

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 1:09 am
by Tim Eldred
This new Yamato Girl has already been placed in the public eye; she was the "host" for the Bang Zoom screening of episode 1 at Comic Con. She can speak a little English, but she seems to be little more than eye candy. She's a professional model with a LOT of soft-core videos on the market. So let's just say they didn't hire her for her sparkling prose style.

Anyway, they have a figure head who can sort of speak English and is easy on the eyes. That's part of a sales strategy, but not even close to the whole picture. They also need a fulfillment house based in the US that will handle their products for them. Blue Fin is going to be trafficking the model kits, so maybe they'll do double duty. Interested to see the next announcement.

However, someone else will have to buy these and report in; I already bought the series on both DVD and BR.

Re: News: Voyager goes it alone: Star Blazers 2199 on home v

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 1:30 am
by August Ragone
I don't think that Voyager has failed to find a US Buyer; I don't think that anyone is interested — I mean, how many US companies are left? And out of them, who isn't going to cut these to shreads for US broadcast? Rather, I think that they've looked at the US market and realized that TV broadcast is going to be too problematic and risky, and so they've done something very un-Japanese — they've rethought their US marketing strategy and instead of sitting on their hands, they've taken action themselves. Believe me, I've worked directly with several Japanese companies who were trying to market their product in NA, and there's a common pattern among all of them in being too Japanese for their own good. And when all is said and done, more was said than was ever done. So, I'm glad that they are taking direct action into their own hands (although I suspect that Bandai Visual may be their partner in producing the DVDs/Blu-rays). Of course, only time will tell...

Re: News: Voyager goes it alone: Star Blazers 2199 on home v

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 1:39 am
by Ithekro
Well depending on the price, I know of one person who will by buying these as they come out. He wanted to get in on the Japanese BD, but they were a little too expensive for his tastes. There might be a few more as well. The ones that only heard about the show from others, but were not part of the fandom, and thus didn't hear about the Japanese BD at all.

They might have drawn more in if they had a streaming release of the show this year along with the like of the show that is beating it on sales "Attack on Titan".

Re: News: Voyager goes it alone: Star Blazers 2199 on home v

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 1:42 am
by Tim Eldred
Nobody should be looking at increased access as a negative. I think we all knew their chances of scoring a major distribution deal were next to nil, so if they've come to that same realization on their own they deserve some credit for it. The next thing to watch is how efficiently they serve their customers and whether or not they stick with "Yamato" in the subtitles. Both will be critical.

Re: News: Voyager goes it alone: Star Blazers 2199 on home v

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:24 am
by Steve H
August Ragone wrote:I don't think that Voyager has failed to find a US Buyer; I don't think that anyone is interested — I mean, how many US companies are left? And out of them, who isn't going to cut these to shreads for US broadcast? Rather, I think that they've looked at the US market and realized that TV broadcast is going to be too problematic and risky, and so they've done something very un-Japanese — they've rethought their US marketing strategy and instead of sitting on their hands, they've taken action themselves. Believe me, I've worked directly with several Japanese companies who were trying to market their product in NA, and there's a common pattern among all of them in being too Japanese for their own good. And when all is said and done, more was said than was ever done. So, I'm glad that they are taking direct action into their own hands (although I suspect that Bandai Visual may be their partner in producing the DVDs/Blu-rays). Of course, only time will tell...


August, I'm afraid I disagree with this just about 100%. They're actually following old playbooks.

Back in the '90s, when Nishizaki was gearing up for Yamato 2520, there supposedly was a lawsuit, West Cape Vs. Kidmark nee Westchester Films over payments regarding home video sales of Star Blazers. Seems Westchester's contract with West Cape didn't have a home video clause, only natural as there really wasn't a home video market circa 1978/79. Westchester lost and all rights to Yamato and the distinct intellectual property called Star Blazers was transferred to West Cape Corp.

West Cape continued to sell the videotapes under the Jupiter Films label, a company Nishizaki had set up for foreign film sales. Duplication and sales fulfillment continued to be handled by Tapeworm Inc. while Nishizaki's agent tried to sell someone on picking up the rights. One rumor has it only John O'Donnell of Central Park Media was contacted, based on the previous sale of Starlight Sailer Odin to them, and O'Donnell passed on it as being too expensive. The price I was quoted was something in the realm of 1.5 Million USD.

So the clock was ticking, West Cape wasn't finding any buyers, and Nishizaki said 'screw it' and formed a company in America called Voyager Entertainment Inc. to sell the videos. This was supposed to somehow be a secret which lasted all of a month or so when Nishizaki reformed West Cape Corp. as Voyager Entertainment. This process took just about the same amount of time as what has happened recently, with the Japanese taking over VEI officially, the dubbing, the clumsy marketing, the lack of communication.

So, now it's 1995 all over again. I fully expect Tapeworm to handle replication and distro, they may open an Amazon store (I think they may have already done so), sales will be nowhere near the Japanese expectation, and so on. If not Tapeworm look for Image to be doing the job.

I don't think they've even LOOKED at the American marketplace, or discussed what mass distribution channels still exist, or thought about how to market the discs beyond saying "hey, here's the discs". If they even have an American adviser on the ground they're stuck not being listened to.

Tim could do it. I could do it, You could do it. As long as we were actually listened to and our plans followed.

But that old playbook is so handy, and after all, we wouldn't want to disrespect the person who first made these plans, would we? He would lose face.

Tim says this should be seen as a good thing. I get that. I just shake my head in sadness over how much BETTER it could be, with so little additional work.

Re: News: Voyager goes it alone: Star Blazers 2199 on home v

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:29 am
by Tim Eldred
I don't necessarily disagree with any of that, but we don't know how far Bang Zoom took the dub. It could be that they shopped it around to everyone and everyone said no for whatever reason. All I know for sure is that when I talked with Bang Zoom in September about possibly showing it at AWA, they told me they'd been directed to stand down. I'm going to guess that's about the time the Bluefin deal went into negotiation and here we are at the other end of that.

I think we all knew a big distro deal was a longshot, and a TV deal was a non-starter, so now we've cut to the chase. Sure, it could be better if there was a real partner taking it to a bigger realm, but it could also be worse if that partner got too much control and made the wrong decisions. As we wait for more info to roll in, let's look at this as a first step rather than a last resort.

Re: News: Voyager goes it alone: Star Blazers 2199 on home v

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:56 am
by Steve H
Tim Eldred wrote:I don't necessarily disagree with any of that, but we don't know how far Bang Zoom took the dub. It could be that they shopped it around to everyone and everyone said no for whatever reason. All I know for sure is that when I talked with Bang Zoom in September about possibly showing it at AWA, they told me they'd been directed to stand down. I'm going to guess that's about the time the Bluefin deal went into negotiation and here we are at the other end of that.

I think we all knew a big distro deal was a longshot, and a TV deal was a non-starter, so now we've cut to the chase. Sure, it could be better if there was a real partner taking it to a bigger realm, but it could also be worse if that partner got too much control and made the wrong decisions. As we wait for more info to roll in, let's look at this as a first step rather than a last resort.


Remember, Bluefin is a Bandai company under a shadow ownership from Hong Kong. I believe it's the company that used to be Uchino International. Bluefin appeared after the whole big deal with Toynami died on the vine. Hmmm, gee, sounds alot like how VEI came to be, huh? :)

I'll tell you, I honestly don't understand why Bang!Zoom! was tasked with selling Yamato 2199 to begin with. That's not what they do! It's not their area of expertise. It's like starting a new car company and saying "Hey, that guy over there does detailing on cars, let's have HIM sell our automobile line to prospective dealers!"

My bet would be Bang!Zoom! took StarBlazers 2199 to Funimation and said "look at this!" and Funi said "why are you bringing this to us? You're not Voyager or Studio I.G. or whomever."

I wonder what will be done to prevent reverse importation of the discs to Japan, other than pricing the discs somewhere in the area of Japanese pricing. This is a HUGE fear for some odd reason, reverse importation is.

So who handled that table over in France, and the one in...where, Brazil? Who did that? At least the French appearance had support with official goods.

Re: News: Voyager goes it alone: Star Blazers 2199 on home v

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:34 pm
by macloud
So who handled that table over in France, and the one in...where, Brazil? Who did that? At least the French appearance had support with official goods.


Please please PPPLLLEEAASSSEE let it have been Kaze - with their regular dealings with Manga entertainment and Anime limited we could get a chance [albeit slim] at a UK release via a sub-licence :mrgreen: