Christmas Wishes: Anime Licenses

Santa Claus is coming to town, bitches.

I officially hate Christmas music. Except for one song… which is also, coincidentally, the only song that my workplace’ll probably never ever play. Dammit.

Anyway, Christmas is starting to creep upon us, and thus it has become that season when people keep asking, “Well, what do you want?” My problem being that, generally, I don’t know. Other than for the sorts of things that cannot be given anyway, like admission to a good grad program or for Buddha-sama ga Miteru to get popular enough to warrant a manga or anime.

So, with that in mind, here are four anime that I would be thrilled to see get an American license and physical release. I specify a physical release as there are shows that have streaming licenses, but remain unavailable in a hard-copy format. I’m one of those people who, while I admire the digital revolution, still has a need for a physical copy of whatever (music, books, DVD’s) when I really love it. I guess I’m just a really tactile person.

And, let’s roll:

Shiki

Well, we’ve already hit something that has a streaming license but doesn’t appear to have a DVD license. And with Funi up for sale at the moment, I wouldn’t anticipate this status changing any time soon, unfortunately.

The fact is, with most of the shows I watched streamed I feel little to no desire to actually own the show. I really enjoy Yumeiro Patissiere, but I don’t feel a need to own DVD’s of it, because I know that I’m not going to re-watch it. Same goes for stuff such as Honey and Clover, Nabari no Ou, and Natsume Yuujin-chou. I loved all these shows, but not enough to compel me to want them on DVD, and I don’t predict that I’ll re-watch them ever.

However, with Shiki I already want to re-watch parts of it. Streaming is nice, but I would prefer to be able to pull them off of the shelf and toss the DVD in rather than contend with the commercials that run during it on Hulu. The streaming format also makes it more cumbersome to jump around and re-watch certain scenes; I do do this all the time, but streams are inconsistent and will freeze out sometimes if you do that. With a DVD, this would be much easier.

I would snap Shiki up in an instant if it was released on DVD in America.

Aoi Hana

Guilty secret: after persuading so many people to watch this, I only watched the first three episodes. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it; I stopped because I got ambitious and decided I was going to re-read the chapters each episode was adapting, watch the episode, and then re-read those same chapters again to make note of exactly what was changed. This is a ridiculous thing to do, especially since it prevented me from doing what I should’ve done: sat back and just enjoyed the damn thing.

The streaming license Crunchyroll held has lapsed now, although I have no idea when exactly this happened. Even if it was still available for stream, though, I’d prefer to buy it on DVD. Aoi Hana is one of my favorite manga, and what I saw of the TV series convinces me that they were doing a capable job of adapting it (even if I was annoyed at the color changes for the school uniforms).

Goldfish Warning

Now here’s an old one!

A while back, AnimEigo basically set up a suggestion box online for what anime title they should license and release next. This was a truly amazing concept – fans getting to tell a company exactly what they want! And suggest ways to go about releasing it, such as extra goodies to include! My suggestion? Goldfish Warning, released in maybe four boxsets with gashopon-style toys of Wapiko, Gyopi, and some of the other cast. Yawara ended up triumphing, which I approve of wholeheartedly, but I still would’ve rather had Goldfish Warning.

Goldfish Warning is old. The animation and art look decidedly dated. I have no idea of who would buy it (other than myself). But its an incredibly charming show, and its also quite funny. I can’t recommend it highly enough. So for my total dream pick, this is it.

Mouryou no Hako

Mouryou no Hako is beautiful and criminally under-appreciated. But I do think that it could find an audience in America were it licensed – a tiny audience, but an audience nonetheless. IFC has broadcast a few anime before (Samurai 7 and Jigoku Shoujo amongst them), and I think Mouryou no Hako would fit in easily with their line-up. Granted, I’m talking about broadcast rights now, but my point is that this is a show which could be marketed, and could be marketed to an audience beyond the anime one. In fact, I’d go so far as to argue that it would probably do better outside of the American anime fandom than within it given the average tastes of the average American fan.

But, of course, it is a pipe dream. This is a show, after all, which spends an entire two episodes (of a thirteen episode run, no less!) sitting in a room watching three guys talk about psychology and mythology. Personally, I LOVED these episodes. They were part of why I consider MnH to have been such a good adaptation. I read the English translation of the first novel from this series (Summer of the Ubume/Natsu no Ubume), and it had a lot of this type of stuff. Which is part of what made the book so interesting itself. And the use of this in the TV series is part of what makes the TV series so good.

A boxset release would be fantastic. And maybe Vertical could be so kind as to translate the novel and partner with someone so the two could be bundled together…?

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27 Responses to Christmas Wishes: Anime Licenses

  1. Caraniel says:

    I’d be all over Shiki & Mouryou no Hako if they ever got a domestic release! Of course chances of that happening are just about as good as my chances of winning the lotto (considering I never buy a ticket!).

    • adaywithoutme says:

      Well, Shiki’s got better odds than Mouryou no Hako, that’s for sure.

      Northern Ireland falls under region two, right? Too bad, if so, ’cause otherwise I’d just mail you the DVD’s if there was an American release…

      • Caraniel says:

        Yeah we’re region 2 – we get nothing *grumble grumble*

        I should invest in a multi-region DVD-player one of these days, that seems to be what most anime fans do over here in order to avail of the stuff thats only licensed in region 1.

      • adaywithoutme says:

        Hmm, if you know anyone who is good with tech stuff, it is possible to modify a region-coded DVD player to be regionless. There are also guides to doing so online, but that’d probably be a bit risky.

  2. Dop says:

    Totally with you on Mouryou no Hako, I absolutely loved it and it’s a golden example of “Anime for grown-ups”, and what CAN be done in the medium.
    (Kyougokudo laying down the smack on the crooked priest is one of my all-time memorable anime moments)

    The ideal audience would be fans of psychological murder mysteries, although you’d need to push hard to get past the typical “anime? Isn’t that all big eyed schoolgirls and tentacle monsters?” cliche.

    It’s a damn shame people would sooner license crap than really work hard to improve the fanbase.

    • adaywithoutme says:

      Well, unfortunately, market forces being what they are, crap is going to get licensed at greater frequency than anything else ever will. At least there are still some smaller companies out there willing to take on shows with less broader appeal, like Nozomi and AnimEigo have. But the contraction of the market has made things much harder, especially given the ascent of Funi as monolith (in contrast to even just five years ago when it was more of a ‘Big Three’-style set-up).

  3. Baka-Raptor says:

    That girl’s eyes are as big as her hat.

    I’m not into buying stuff. I hoard my wealth and live in austerity. This makes commercial-based streaming the best thing ever. I’m sorry if that’s not good enough for Princess Day.

    • adaywithoutme says:

      If I’m the princess, I’d hate to see who the prince must be.

      You live in austerity because you are a law student, not because you’re hoarding your wealth. Its ok to admit that, we don’t judge you for it.

  4. glothelegend says:

    I officially hate Christmas music. Except for one song… which is also, coincidentally, the only song that my workplace’ll probably never ever play.

    Amen to that. Whenever I say that I absolutely HATE christmas music, people ask me why. Well let’s see….it’s the same old shit every year, and none of it sounds any good. I too have only one Christmas song that I like, in a specific version. And here it is:

  5. Yi says:

    Good to see Aoi Hana on that list! Although I don’t really buy DVDs or mangas…

  6. Scamp says:

    Good thing about being boringly fond of uber-popular stuff? They all get licensed and available whenever I feel the need to dish out the money. Out of my top 30, only LOGH (old and too long), Kaiba (too artsy), Arakawa (recent so still awaiting licensing), Detroit Metal City (why isn’t this licensed?) and Moyashimon (de fuck why isn’t this licensed!) have been licensed. Hurrah for predictable mainstream tastes!

    • adaywithoutme says:

      Yeah, but those are still five series that you’d like to have licensed and aren’t – I only came up with four. Granted, in this case I did mean licensed for hard-copy releases as opposed to streaming, but still.

      Yeah, I’m fairly surprised that DMC hasn’t been picked up by anyone. I think the live action has been streamed by someone? One would think it could find an audience in the English-speaking world.

  7. Shinmaru says:

    I’d like to see a company ballsy enough to license Mouryou no Hako, but I guess Akane-iro ni Somaru Saka is higher priority.

  8. AMUK says:

    Damn you Day!! If I wasn’t following this blog, I wouldn’t have read about Mouryou no Hako, and I wouldn’t have gotten curious and started watching Mouryou no Hako, and I wouldn’t have gotten addicted to Mouryou no Hako… And my final’s in two days! T_T I’m totally blaming you if I fail Dynamics of Machinery…

  9. nazarielle says:

    I officially hate Christmas music.

    /hifucking5

    My parents played Christmas music OVER AND OVER AND OVER when I was younger, EVERY FUCKING YEAR. I cannot stand Christmas music.

    I’d love to see a Saki get licensed, but it’s such a niche anime I doubt it’ll ever see an official US release. :<
    Pandora Hearts is another one I'd love to see licensed, but it didn't seem very popular so I doubt it'll get licensed either.
    Most of my Christmas wishes would go to second seasons and/or remakes of series that I loved but felt got shafted or left unfinished. Claymore is at the top of that list. But it's a very long list 😐

    • adaywithoutme says:

      Well, I’m planning to do some more Christmas Wishes installments, and sequels will probably get their own post.

      I’m honestly just not a huge Christmas fan in general, let alone the music portion. My workplace plays some truly heinous Christmas music – I’m talking techno remixes of the Carol of the Bells, intensely creepy versions of Baby, It’s Cold Outside, absolutely soul-sucking covers of Last Christmas… its driving me completely crazy.

      Pandora Hearts would’ve been licensed ten years ago had it aired in the 90’s. Unfortunately most people just aren’t willing to look past the animation quality.

      • nazarielle says:

        Animation quality? I mean, it’s not the prettiest anime out there, but it doesn’t look like it’s from the 90’s either imo. They do some weird stuff with the colors sometimes, but other than that I didn’t get an ‘aged’ feel from it.

        I actually realized I do have one Christmas song that I’ll listen to every now and then: The Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Carol of the Bells Rock version.
        And I hear you on just generally not liking Christmas. I love winter, but Christmas is just annoying.

    • hikaru says:

      Didn’t Pandora Hearts get licensed by NIS America? *checks ANN* Yup, looks like it was released late October, only problem I guess is that NIS only does ‘premium editions’ meaning its pretty expensive…

  10. kadian1364 says:

    Stuff that needs to be licensed:
    Dennou Coil
    Mononoke
    Mind Game
    Moyashimon
    Detroit Metal City

    My 5 top shows not available streaming or on DVD today that could realistically do well for whoever licensor picked them up.

  11. hikaru says:

    Woohoo! Mouryou no Hako! I watched it and liked it heaps but not sure if I’d want to sit through those episodes of non-stop talking again. It’d be great if the novel was released though!

    I’m with you in hating Christmas music too. Just recently visited Malaysia and every freaking shopping centre kept playing this one Christmas (non-carol) song over and over again, it was driving me insane. (Don’t know the name of the song but the beginning lyrics were ‘Last Christmas I gave you my heart, the very next day you gave it away’…cue me losing it in the middle of the shopping centre).

    As for Shiki on DVD, would you buy a R4 import? Because the chances of Shiki (and other Noitamina anime) getting an Australian release look pretty high considering that Siren Visual has announced releases of House of Five Leaves and Tatami Galaxy.

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