This week has been a very interesting week when it comes to looking ahead in the Anime industry in the UK.
The first piece of news that was revealed via the Manga UK twitter account, is a very interesting fact about how much Anime has been shifted by retailers in the UK.
“Interesting! Did you know that for the year to date approximately 750,000 anime DVD/BRs have been sold in the UK?”
That quote originally posted on December 16th, gives a unique insight as to how well the the UK Anime industry is thriving. Especially given another piece of news that Manga UK revealed earlier in the week (details below). There had been a few indications that this year could be a very tough year for the Anime in the UK, but this figure according to UK-Anime.net covers “DVD and Blu-Rays were sold this year across all UK distributors to date; this includes Manga, Beez and MVM Entertainment as well as other entities like Optimum Releasing, Sony and so on.”
This to us (and we hope everyone reading this) is a promising sign that the Anime in the UK is not in a state of panic, and shows release tactics by each company (for example, Manga UK releasing 13 episodes volumes of certain series like Naruto Shippuuden) has proven to be a successful venture that has helped paved the way forward for 2011.
In other news relating to Manga UK, they had the unfortunate task of issuing a statement announcing effective immediately, ceasing the release of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood on Blu-ray just one week after the release of the second volume of the series on both DVD and Blu-Ray.
Here is statement issued –
It is with sincere regret that Manga Entertainment has decided to discontinue the series, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood on Blu-ray. This difficult decision had to be made in light of the high production costs of producing the series on Blu-ray and the disappointingly low sales of Part 1 and 2 on the format. To clarify, this will mean that there will be no new Blu-ray sets released by Manga Entertainment after Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood – Part Two. However, the series will continue to be released on DVD with Part Three released on 23rd February 2011, Part Four to be released on 25th April and Part 5 released on the 12th September (to be confirmed).
Jerome Mazandarani, Marketing Manager from Manga Entertainment has offered his sincere apologies to all fans that will be disappointed with this decision:
“It is never our intention at Manga Entertainment to disappoint our very loyal customers who we appreciate enjoy collecting a complete series on their favourite format. However, the exceptionally high inception costs involved in releasing the series on Blu-ray and the relatively small sales we enjoy in the UK have made the endeavor unviable. I cannot apologize enough to the fans that have already started collecting the series on Blu-ray for the disappointment this may cause them. I sincerely hope that you will continue to collect the series on DVD.”
This comes as very sad news for those planning to collect the series on Blu-Ray which seems to have garnered far less success that than the DVD release here in the UK. But, fear not as there is still a way to acquire the series in its entirety on Blu-Ray if you (potentially) have a fair amount to spare.
I should note that we do encourage everyone to purchase the DVDs being released by Manga UK, but if you are determined to own the entire series on Blu-Ray, then importing might be the solution!
While there are still region codes (the UK being labeled as part of ‘Region B’), Australia is also listed as Region B. Because the releases by Madman Entertainment are also in PAL encoding, they are effectively a UK release… just from Australia. Now we should mention that while this is fantastic news for Blu-Ray collectors, the price of importing may be quite costly.
Having done some research, depending where you intend to order from, the Australian release of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood volume 2 on Blu-Ray for example, can be priced in the region of $65 (Australian Dollars). Converting that into British pounds makes it roughly £42. That on top of the potential high postage cost can make it quite a costly venture.
We are sure there are other places that could make the price more inexpensive, but at the end of the day if you are someone who is determined to advance your collection of Anime into the next generation of formats (so to speak) then this will be the only way to do it when it comes to Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
To conclude, yesterday (Friday 17th December) via the good old Manga UK Twitter account, they announced that they have secured the UK distribution rights to the ‘Evagelion 2.22 – You Can (Not) Advance’ feature film. They intend to release it on both DVD and Blu-Ray by June of 2011.
In a interview with us, Jerome made it clear that the ‘Evangelion 1.11’ Blu-Ray release was one of the their top Blu-Ray sellers earier this year. Given the large gap between the release of the first and second movies, there is potential for it surpass that fact!
To add to this, Manga UK have confirmed that the following titles will also be released on Blu-Ray in 2011 –
*Disappearance Of Haruhi Suzumiya
*High School Of The Dead
There are more titles to be announced for release on Blu-Ray as well.
Thank you very much for reading. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out already, we released a new podcast this week containing the entire Voice Actors panel from the Saturday of the London MCM Expo in October. You can find it at http://animechronicle.podbean.com/
We’ll be releasing another podcast in the coming days.