Congratulations in advance to Ubu for joining the Haibane Renmei renmei. Almost as noteworthy are his comments about the state of the R1 anime industry, partly in response to Steven’s earlier comments about the size of the market and even earlier commentary about the impact of fansubs. Ubu writes,
At nearly 40 times the going rate for an American series, fansubs be damned: they arenâ€™t giving value for their money, and they will go out of business if thatâ€™s their plan.
In fact, I worry that it is their plan â€” to self-justify retreating from the R1 market. […] thereâ€™s obviously a fundamental disconnect between Japanese management views and R1 market conditions.
I have to agree that the problem isn’t fansubs. The disconnect is at least partly because of region-coding. However, it should be noted that Blu-Ray (the likely victor of the nextgen DVD format wars, at least as far as anime is concerned) compresses Japan and the United States into a single region. I’ll leave informed speculation as to the ramifications of that to the experts, but it’s definitely time to start taking Blu-Ray into account.