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Post Reply How North American Companies select the anime they license
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Posted 2/12/15 , edited 2/12/15
I have noticed some trends on how companies like Funimation, Sentai, and Aniplex pick which anime they license.

Harem Anime(This one gets its own special section because this is one trend in particular I notice): Typically funimation gets maybe 1 -3 higher quality harem anime per season, while Sentai picks up every other one funiamtion does not get. Aniplex seems to get at least one per season (Ex. Nisekoi).

Funimation: One word can describe a lot of the anime they licence. Fanservice, pretty much they get any fan service heavy show (ex. High school DxD). They also seem to always pick up the anime that will have the most fan girls, but guys will still watch. (Ex. Free!; Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!, any reverse harem). For the most part they also typically license the most popular anime. Also if it’s by Bones they’ll almost certainly get it.

Sentai: Whatever is not picked up by the other companies, Sentai will just license it all, left and right.

Aniplex: They license all the other popular anime with huge and dedicated fan bases (Ex. Kill la Kill, Gurren Lagan, Mahouka) who are willing to spend an Un-Godly amount of money on their products (I’ll admit I’m one of those people). They also pick up anime with top notch animation quality and stellar music (though not necessarily story quality. perfect example; Mahouka). At this point they will also license any anime if the OP or ED is sung by LiSA.

NIS America: pretty much anything popular that is somehow not licensed by the other companies (ex. Toradora, Love Live!, Daily Lives of High School Boys).

Anyway these were just some trends I could not hope but notice. How accurate does this seem? What are some other trends you've noticed from companies that license anime in North America?
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Posted 2/12/15 , edited 2/12/15
For Aniplex, I think it's more or less dependant on the staff and studio involved. For the most part, if Gen Urobuchi is involved, AoA will 90% be likely to pick it up (some exceptions, like Psycho Pass and Guilty Crown -- may be because of studio [both done by Production IG]), and they also seem to stick with Shaft, A-1 (their own studio), and ufotable for the most part (again, with some exceptions - Manglobe [Samurai Flamenco], Bones [Blast of Tempest], Sunrise [Valvrave])

I do agree with Sentai though, they seem to just be left with the scraps from every season.

and NIS America and Viz Media seems to be like wildcards, never know when/what they'll license.
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Posted 2/12/15

ParadoxSpiral wrote:

For Aniplex, I think it's more or less dependant on the staff and studio involved. For the most part, if Gen Urobuchi is involved, AoA will 90% be likely to pick it up (some exceptions, like Psycho Pass and Guilty Crown -- may be because of studio [both done by Production IG]), and they also seem to stick with Shaft, A-1 (their own studio), and ufotable for the most part (again, with some exceptions - Manglobe [Samurai Flamenco], Bones [Blast of Tempest], Sunrise [Valvrave])

I do agree with Sentai though, they seem to just be left with the scraps from every season.

and NIS America and Viz Media seems to be like wildcards, never know when/what they'll license.


Yeah I pretty much agree with NIS and Viz. The only thing that seems like a trend with Viz is that they license anime adapted from Shonen Jump
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Posted 2/12/15

devinreal13 wrote:




Yes they all license Fanservice but Funimation had Barakomon, Pyscho Pass , Space Dandy ,They also have more of the Dark animes like Death Parade ,Assassination Classroom GARO THE ANIMATION , Toyko Ghoul , Terror in Resonance ( A lot of Notianation titles! ) This winter they have Rolling Girls, Kamisama Kiss which really have little or no fanservice!

Winter Schedule

http://www.funimation.com/videos/simulcasts

Recent releases

http://shop.funimation.com/Shop/Shop_Filter.ss?scategory=534834&sortbyvalue=5&stype=23

So I really dont know where you base this on! I dont say they offer fanservice but they offer a lot of other titles too!

Take a look at some of Aniplex Titles Silver Spoon ,Mushi - Sin, Fate Stay Night

http://www.aniplexusa.com/titles/

Sentai's Feb Release is well balanced with non fanservice Space Brps , LEVIATHAN THE LAST DEFENSE , ( very mild FS) ENGAGED TO THE UNIDENTIFIED( Kobemi is demented) but FS is limited to name a couple

http://www.sentaifilmworks.com/february-releases

Here's a New Player Pony Canyon doing NA releases!

http://ponycan.us

So yes there is fanservice titles but not as widespread as you suggest!




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Posted 2/12/15
Yeah I know funimation licenses a lot of other shows that don't have fan service. What I mean is that seem to all ways pick up the shows with the most amount of fan service. For example last year they released Senran Kagura and this year they are releasing Wanna be the Strongest in the world.
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Posted 2/13/15 , edited 2/13/15
As an afterthought it's the fans driving the content fot example Laughing Under the Clouds an really good anime but didnt get traction, A story about Brothers and ancicent Japan . Good Story great animation but no FS ! I could debate for houes! The studios and writers start this so why not point them out!

Hera are my Top 16 anime of winter Except for 11 12 14 some in 3 ,16 they are pretty much low on Fanservice . So the titles are there

1 Sanzoku no Musume Ronja
2 SHIROBAKO
3 Nanatsu no Taizai / Seven Deadly Sins
4 Yowamushi Pedal: Grande Road
5 The Rolling Girls
6 Akatsuki no Yona
7 World Trigger
8 Durarara!!x2 Shou
9 Ansatsu Kyoushitsu / (Assassination Classroom)
10 Kamisama Hajimemashita / (Kamisama Kiss Season 2)
11 Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo
12 Death Parade
13 Miritari! Short
14 Kantai Collection: Kan Colle
15 Gundam Build Fighters Try
16 Gundam: G no Reconguista
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Posted 2/13/15
There is also a connection between Funimation and Sentai Filmworks that I have not discovered other than conveniently located in the same city. I mean something besides same city and same VAs.
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Posted 2/13/15

devinreal13 wrote:

Yeah I know funimation licenses a lot of other shows that don't have fan service. What I mean is that seem to all ways pick up the shows with the most amount of fan service. For example last year they released Senran Kagura and this year they are releasing Wanna be the Strongest in the world.


I like heavy fanservice shows but have to be at least funny or compelling! Freezing , Date A Live, as a cuple of examples!
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Posted 2/13/15
Another thing to keep in mind is that, aside from a few exceptions, series that air on the Noitamina block will either be licensed by FUNimation or Aniplex.
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Posted 2/13/15 , edited 2/13/15
I think you oversimplify a bit, though some of those trends aren't innaccurate.

What it comes down to is what each company thinks will make them money. Funimation somewhat focuses on harems and fanservice because there are proven audiences for these titles. NIS and Aniplex focus a bit more on collectors. The point is that each company has a target audience that they focus on.

One thing you have wrong is that companies like Sentai aren't picking up shows solely because others haven't. They have a target audience too, though it overlaps with some of the other companies. Behind the scenes there may be bidding wars and each company has a budget, so there's a limit to what each can license. But ultimately, each company is focusing only on shows they believe they can sell. This is one of the reasons why niche shows like Joshiraku and Chihayafuru are not licensed in NA, not even by Sentai.
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Posted 2/13/15 , edited 2/13/15
Aniplex of America only licenses shows its parent Aniplex in Japan has a hand in. AoA basically has the right of first refusal when an Aniplex of Japan show goes up for bidding, meaning they can either say yes or no to it and get it without a bid war.

Otherwise, the general trends you point out are more or less pretty accurate. Viz Media is another major player in the market focusing mostly on shounen titles like Naruto and Bleach. Then there's companies like Media Blasters and Discotek that get more obscure or older anime; ones where sales projections might not justify the bigger companies to go after them but they take a chance on. Also, GKids and Disney license some movies and big family friendly anime franchise titles from time to time. A new company is Pony Canyon USA which is basically just like Aniplex of America except for Pony Canyon of Japan instead of Aniplex.
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Posted 2/13/15

devinreal13 wrote:


Yeah I pretty much agree with NIS and Viz. The only thing that seems like a trend with Viz is that they license anime adapted from Shonen Jump


Thats because one of the major shareholders of Viz is Shueisha, the company who publishes Weekly Shounen Jump.
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Posted 2/13/15

sonic720 wrote:

Aniplex of America only licenses shows its parent Aniplex in Japan has a hand in. AoA basically has the right of first refusal when an Aniplex of Japan show goes up for bidding, meaning they can either say yes or no to it and get it without a bid war. .


This is more or less accurate, though keep in mind that they are allowed to pick up shows/movies that are not Aniplex Japan. One exception to this being Expelled From Paradise, in which the producers are Toei Animation, Nitroplus, and Graphnica.
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Posted 2/13/15

devinreal13 wrote:

Yeah I know funimation licenses a lot of other shows that don't have fan service. What I mean is that seem to all ways pick up the shows with the most amount of fan service. For example last year they released Senran Kagura and this year they are releasing Wanna be the Strongest in the world.


Testament of Sister New Devil, Isuca and Trinity Seven all wound up as CR exclusives in NA, which kind of sucks because I'll have to hope Madman Australia puts them out on disk to ever buy them. Those are probably the three most fanservicey shows of the last two cour, so I think your theory about funi is wrong.

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Posted 2/15/15
OK The thing most of you are missing is the licensor relationships each of the Companies have:

For Example:

Funimation has relationships with Media Factory (High School DxD, Haganai) Kodansha (Attack on Titan, Maria The Virgin Witch) Production IG (Ghost in the Shell, Psycho-Pass) Kadokawa (Date A Live) are their main Partners in licensing.

They've licensed stuff from others as well like Shochiku (Noragami) etc.

Sentai Filmowrks has relationships with TBS (Rail Wars, Gourmet Girl Graffiti) Toho (Akame ga Kill, Haikyu!!) and Showgate (Is the Order a Rabbit?) Kadokawa (Chaika, the Coffin Princess, Fate / Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya)

They'e also licensed stuff from NTV (Log Horizon) and Shochiku (Captain Earth)

The reason Sentai's licensing announcements have been pretty non existent this quarter was because there were no Showgate titles this quarter (Winter 2015) and any Kadokawa titles they may have licensed are always on an announcement delay.
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