If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Just thought I’d share this 3 part blog article here on Planet Tyro as we often discuss the state of anime distribution from time to time….it’s lengthily and has some slight elements of fiction but it can be insightful to those of us who have no idea how these things work it self out in reality
So without further ado lets start with a disclaimer
THE FOLLOWING BLOG IS A COLLECTION OF EXCERPTS AND WERE NOT CREATED BY MYSELF (DONWUN) BUT ONE JUSTIN SEVAKIS OF ANIME NEWS NETWORK – PLEASE LOOK BELOW FOR ALL SOURCE LINKS – THANK YOU
Part I: Licensing
Licensing is as essential to the American anime business as breathing -- it precedes every new release, every translation and subtitling job, every line a voice actor speaks in a booth. New licenses are announced all the time, each one drawing varying amounts of cheering, armchair quarterbacking, and discussion.
Licensing an anime series isn't much different from licensing any other kind of film or television program, a time honored process steeped in a century of case law and a mountain of legalese. The process of licensing a show is not an easily broached subject to begin with, but since pretty much every contract also features a non-disclosure clause, even discussing it in public is usually verboten. As a result, virtually nobody knows what it takes to actually license a title.
Luckily, as a result of certain legal proceedings in the past year, we now have an entire licensing agreement in the public record. We can now explain every part in the process of licensing an anime, and how that license is maintained in the years following.
Why Licensing Happens
But we're getting ahead of ourselves. The contract comes at the end of the process. Before that, an elaborate mating dance must occur. Licensing a show is, after all, something akin to a marriage: a binding, legal agreement between two entities with the intent of doing something together that the two couldn't do separately. It's a long-term relationship that, under ideal circumstances, is built out of mutual trust and respect.
When the motion picture industry first started to develop in the early part of the 20th century, the world seemed like a much bigger place than it does today. An overseas voyage would take weeks instead of hours. Film could only be seen in theaters, and was stored on highly explosive 35mm film that weighed a good 70 pounds for a single feature. The logistics of distributing a film was insanely complicated, requiring detailed knowledge of local freight routes, train schedules and the constant nightmare of maintaining all those reels of film (which could only be played a certain number of times before getting beat up).
In that era, the idea of a company acting as a distributor in a foreign land seemed positively unthinkable. The logistical challenges were too great, the cultural barriers too tall, and communication too slow and unreliable to even think about trying to do such a thing. And yet, in the silent era, great works were being made all around the world. With just a few splices to replace inter-titles with a local language, any film could be quickly and cheaply adapted to a local market. With money to be made, a company anywhere in the world could license their film to local distributors in every country and reach a far larger audience. The film would benefit from the local expertise of the releasing company, and with any luck, they would have a hit on their hands and both companies would profit handsomely.
In the intervening years, the medium and the speed of communication has changed a lot, but the underlying reasons to license a show haven't. A local distributor can usually be trusted to know and understand the market in a way a foreigner never could. They can establish relationships with retailers and TV networks and tailor advertising to local cultural sensibilities. They can interact with customers and form a connection that would be insanely difficult for a foreign company to achieve. In the past, a local distributor would also be able to adapt (i.e. edit/rewrite) the content of the show itself to better suit the local market, though luckily this happens a lot less these days.
The Business of Licensing
So, say you're the producer of an animated TV series in a small island country somewhere in the Pacific. You hear that there is a market for your product overseas, and you want your new show to be seen by audiences around the world. How does one go about finding local distributors? And how do they find you?
The answer is surprisingly low-tech: meetings and phone calls. Producers cold-call or cold-e-mail companies that have released similar shows in their areas of the world before, and ask if they want to take a look at their shows. This is a big job, and requires pretty decent English skills. If a producer is too small to handle it themselves, they might hire a sales agent to handle this part of the process. They prepare screener copies, packets of flyers ("one-sheets") promoting new shows, and fancy catalogs of old stuff that might still be available. Some distributors like to license a bunch of TV shows or movies at once, so having a large amount of good, available content can be a real asset to getting a deal done.
And then there are trade shows, such as MIP-TV, American Film Market, TIFFCOM (attached to Tokyo International Film Festival), NATPE (National Association of Television Program Executives), and just for anime, Tokyo Anime Fair. These trade shows are huge affairs that are, by day, semi-formal meetings at booths (complete with info packets, screeners, and business cards), and at night turn into fun, casual grown-up talk. Much alcohol is consumed, and several hotel rooms are fouled.
For new distributors, these confabs are essential to getting into the content business -- it's an easy place to meet a number of influential producers, get to know them, and also meet peers and learn from them. The people doing deals are professional socialites. The friendships and acquaintences that begin at a convention often lead to decades-long business relationships. Likewise, an ill-advised bong hit at a company hospitality suite can result in nobody ever wanting to do business with you again.
Time to Do A Deal
Like any relationship, each agreement is its own story, with its own complications. The easiest way to explain it is to tell one from start to finish.
So let's say the new company AniProducer Co., Ltd. just made their first late-night TV series, Saliva Princess. They sent an English speaking representative to Tokyo Anime Fair, and there he met the owner of the new startup company 1Up Pictures LLC, who happens to be an American company that's just getting their feet wet in the DVD business. After a long night that ended in drunken vomiting at the classiest izakaya in Odaiba, the two are now best friends and the rep is CONVINCED that 1Up is the perfect company to release the beloved Saliva Princess in the U.S. And more importantly, the dude from 1Up seems to be interested. He thinks the market for saliva fetish anime is woefully underserved.
So the next week, the guy from 1Up e-mails the guy from AniProducer. The e-mail is a formal proposal:
"We are requesting ALL RIGHTS, including but not limited to, Video-On-Demand (via cable or internet, including free, subscription or paid), broadcast rights (including terrestrial, cable, satelite and IPTV), download-to-own, videogram (including DVD, Blu-ray, and any forthcoming technologies not yet invented), mobile, theatrical and merchandising."
The AniProducer rep shivers. That's a lot of rights to give up. He reads on.
"We will pay a minimum guarantee of US$50,000 for all 12 episodes, plus cost for delivery on HD-CAM, and a 15% share of adjusted gross revenues. We are requesting a term of seven years with a 6-month sell-off, with territory covering the US, Canada and Mexico. 50% of the MG will be payable upon signing, and 50% upon release of the first volume."
What does all that mean? Let's break it down…
• Minimum Guarantee is the up-front license fee. The name comes from the idea that, should the release completely tank, that's the minimum amount they'd ever have to pay for the license. Many licensors ask for a huge minimum guarantee, since publishers can easily fudge the numbers when it comes to royalties later. A bird in the hand, as they say.
• Delivery on HD-CAM is literally having someone duplicate the master tape (this can be up to US$300 per tape, which typically has 2-3 episodes on it), and FedEx it overseas. Not a big deal for a movie, but for a TV series that can add up quickly. Nowadays a publisher is just as likely to ask for broadcast-quality video files on a hard drive, since HD-CAM decks cost close to US$50,000.
• Adjusted Gross Revenue is what's left of the sales revenue, after the publisher pays themselves back for marketing, manufacturing, production and the minimum guarantee. If a show bombs, or is too expensive to bring to market, that could be nothing, but for a hit, that could be quite a bit of money. 15% is a pretty low split – most licensors ask for 20%, and some go as high as 30%.
• Term is how long a license lasts. For home video or all-rights, 7 years is pretty standard, though 5 or 10 years are both common as well. For TV or online-only, it can be as short as 1 or 2 years, though in the case of online, some contracts can automatically renew without having to renegotiate.
• Sell-off is a period of time after the Term ends, where home video publishers are not allowed to print any more copies, but can sell (or liquidate) whatever stock they have on hand. Six months is pretty standard.
• Territory is the chunk of the world where the publisher is allowed to sell the show. The US and Canada usually get sold together (though not always), or this can be broken up by continent, official language (“all English speaking territories” is a phrase that gets used a lot).
There are other details for theatrical and TV that the 1Up guy neglected to mention. For regular, linear TV broadcast, there's usually a restriction on the number of times each episode can be played. Theatrical revenues and costs are broken down separately. But it was silly to even ask for those things – nobody is going to see Saliva Princess in a theater.
The AniProducer rep breaks out a calculator and discovers that 1Up is offering just over US$4,000 per episode, which is not a lot. But at least he's offering to cover the cost of copying and FedEx'ing the master tape, which at least cushions the blow.
The rep knocks on the CEO's door and pokes his head in. He explains the offer to the CEO, who looks nonplussed.
"Does Funimation want it?" The rep shakes his head. "What about Sentai?" Nope. "NIS? Viz? Right Stuf? Discotek?" None of them even wanted to see a screener. Saliva just wasn't their thing.
The CEO takes a deep breath. "So they're it, huh? Well, it can't be helped. But try to negotiate at least 20% and US$5,000 an episode. And don't give them broadcast, a company that small won't know what to do with it." The CEO wasn't really counting on a huge international sales price anyway. The Japanese DVD distributor shrewedly packaged the first disc with a large plastic balloon filled with water and corn starch, turning it into an instant bestseller.
So the rep gets back on his computer and replies:
"Thank you very much for your proposal. We would like to offer the following counter-proposal..."
Time to Put It In Writing
These are the broad strokes of the agreement – the basic structure of the deal. Once that's agreed upon (and cleared by the production committee), the two could write up a “deal memo”, which is basically just a formal one-page not-really-a-contract that they both sign. Deal memos are done so that work can get started while the contract is still being worked out.
However, most Japanese companies don't really like doing deal memos. They're an unnecessary step, and they require almost as many approvals and hand-holding as the full contract, so it's a lot easier just to cut to the chase.
So in this case, the next step is to work on the contract.
Part II: The Contract
When we last left our two companies, licensor/producer AniProduce Co., Ltd. and American DVD publisher 1Up Pictures had just agreed on a deal. AniProduce will give 1Up the North American publishing rights to their new show Saliva Princess, and 1Up will pay them money.
But at this point, nothing is actually accomplished. Before anything can actually happen, the two parties must come together on a written contract. While people who have never had to deal with contracts might think of them a something of a formality, the truth is that creating them is the hard part. At this stage, every detail of how the two companies are to cooperate needs to be worked out and agreed to on paper, and then signed off on by a senior executive at the company (and the creator's agent, and possibly the production committee). Needless to say, this is where things can get seriously messy.
So where do we begin? With a template, of course. Nobody in their right mind would write out a 15-20 page document of legal jargon from scratch every time. Every company that does a lot of licensing deals has a working draft of an agreement that has every element laid out in advance exactly how they like it. Which side gets to use their own template for a deal depends on a combination of politeness, and which company is larger: a large company will doubtlessly need to jump through a lot more hoops to sign off on an unfamiliar contract, rather than one they already know and just need to tweak a bit. (This is usually because they have an in-house legal team that's tasked with doing pretty much everything at the company and is always weeks behind.)
Legal documents can be constructed in a number of ways, but they all must cover three major areas in great detail:
• The terms of the deal (i.e., the fees, the length of the term, the territories, etc.)
• The logistics of the deal
• The "boilerplate" legal clauses
We covered the terms pretty well in part 1, so by this point those should be pretty easy to lay out. Both parties have already settled on them, so they just need to be written out formally. It's the logistics where things get hairy.
These items are all about the meat and potatoes of how everything is going to work. How will the publisher get the materials? When does the producer need to be paid? Who pays for music rights? When is the Minimum Guarantee due? All these questions and more need to be answered in this section. Whether anyone actually adheres to what's written here is another matter.
• Materials - If there's any one section that drives foreign publishers crazy, it's this one. The Materials section lays out exactly what the licensor is obligated to give them, in what format, and by when. Planning to release a Blu-ray? Then you'll need an HD master. Want to make promotional posters? Better get high-resolution artwork.
The producers are not always cooperative. With Japanese companies terrified about their own domestic consumers importing much cheaper American-made discs, there's no shortage of paranoia and passive-aggression on both sides. Accusations abound, from intentionally delaying materials, to intentionally adding video problems to the masters, to just never sending anything at all. For older shows, a licensor might not automatically want to send the nice new remastered version overseas -- or they might try to charge a huge fee to try and make back what they spent on the remastering.
It's not just the video that can be a problem. Want those gorgeous illustrations from the Japanese boxed set? They might cost extra. What about all those extra features? The director notes? The commentary track? The 5.1 mix? What ever it is you want, now is the time to make a want list, and put it in writing, while you still have the option of pulling out. Should you ask for something new after the contract is signed, the producer is under no obligation to give it to you. (To be fair, most Japanese producers are pretty easy to work with, but as with every job, you tend to remember the horror stories.)
Some contracts require that the publisher use absolutely nothing but the materials the licensor gives them. Other limitations here might include how the supplied artwork can be used (most creators HATE it when the approved artwork gets flipped backwards), and other details most people would never think about.
With older shows, publishers ask for (and usually require) some more flexibility. Many shows over 10-20 years old tend to have little to no artwork available, so the producer might actually find themselves hunting down old issues of Newtype or Animage and scanning the artwork in from there. Some licensors might balk at this, but with some shows there's little choice – you have to work with what's available.
• Approvals - Back in the dark ages of the anime business, Japanese producers didn't check in much with their international release partners. This meant that publishers could work without adult supervision and do pretty much anything they wanted to a show. This ultimately made for some nasty surprises later on. Producers were dismayed to discover edits, replaced music, and all sorts of translation weirdness -- some of it by accident or negligence, but just as often by design.
So around the time anime was just getting big in the States -- around 1999 or so, the licensors started cracking down. At first it was packaging, then it was print advertising, and eventually translations, dub script and casting choices, trailers, and pretty much everything else that the publisher would do ended up being subject to licensor approval.
This sounds like a good thing, and it usually is -- licensors can help catch mistakes, and ensure that everything is the way the creators intended. But just as often, it can introduce new headaches. Licensors with limited English ability might question a figure of speech that they've never heard before, or suggest a clearly wrong grammar choice. In other cases, a licensor might hate the publisher's menu or package design, and insist on a redo. Or several.
Frustrating though they might be, such approvals are now an expected part of doing business with Japan, so there's not much a publisher can do about it. However, most try to prevent an overzealous licensor from playing havoc with their production schedules by building in limits: a licensor will only get a set amount of time to voice their concerns before the publisher can stop waiting for feedback and move on.
• Copyright language - You've no doubt seen them, on boxes, on artwork, and even on ANN. They're the sometimes-incomprehensible jumble of company names, people names, and production committee names that must, at all times, accompany a show's artwork, footage, or anything else related to the show. The copyright line is sacrosanct: you cannot change it, you cannot correct or modify the capitalization or punctuation on it, and God help you if you forget it.
The copyright line is entirely symbolic. All creative works are legally protected by copyright without it, and while it's a good idea to legally include a reminder that the work is copyrighted, there's no legal reason for it to absolutely be a certain way. But for the Production Committee, who spent a long time aligning themselves and arranging the funds to produce the show, it's a reflection of their hard work, and they're fiercely protective of it.
So yeah. The copyright line. It's a part of every contract and every interaction. And it's defined here.
• Reports - It's common sense that, since the whole goal of releasing a show in foreign markets is earning money, a licensor would want a regular progress report of how things are going: how sales are, what revenues look like, how much money was spent on subtitling and dubbing and marketing.
And so, the publisher must provide a breakdown of all the numbers on a monthly basis. Since it sometimes takes a while for retailers to pay their bills, and collect the royalties from online services like Hulu, these reports are usually delayed by a few months. If royalties are owed, those typically get sent out a few months later.
Trust is a big issue here. The publisher could pull these numbers out of their butt, and the producer would be none the wiser. Therefore most contracts include a provision where, should the producer smell a rat, they can send over an auditor to go over the books and then present a claim for more money. This is relatively rare in the small and insular anime business, but in the larger entertainment world it's so common that every major film studio has dedicated office space for outside auditors, who literally work there year 'round trying to decode the studio's funky accounting.
Long story short: nobody wants to rely on royalties, and most licensors would rather have a bigger up-front payment if they can help it.
They call these sections "boilerplate" because they're meant to just be mindlessly stamped on every agreement without any changes. That pretty much never happens in real life, though -- every time two companies without a previous working relationship come together in a contract, somebody inevitably has SOME problem with the boilerplate language, and that part has to be renegotiated.
While the name implies a bunch of boring and inconsequential details, there are a few pretty major points in here that can drastically affect the relationship between the two companies, especially should something bad happen. And bad things happen all the time.
• Force Majeure - French for "superior force," this clause basically spells out that if one or both parties are affected by riots or a natural disaster or some other cataclysm and can't fulfill their obligations, they get a free pass.
• Bankruptcy and Insolvency - This is a big one. Most contracts have a clause where, if the publisher goes out of business or declares bankruptcy, the contract is over and the rights go back to the licensor. While that makes sense (a bankrupt company won't be able to pay royalties), that means that, should a publisher find themselves in financial trouble, Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization is not an option -- if they did that, they'd lose all of their rights and never be able to sell anything again, effectively committing suicide. This is why struggling publishers have to resort to all sorts of financial black magic to keep going -- the normal methods to heal a troubled business are not open to them.
• Attorney-In-Fact Privilege - This allows the publisher to protect the show they're licensing by legal means. (i.e. sue a bootlegger) Some licensors are fine with this, others don't want to give another company the power to sue in their name. More often these days, any legal action will have to be done in consultation with the licensor anyway.
• Non-disclosure - A promise to keep the contents of the agreement secret. Information about the amount of money paid for a show could be really embarassing, or cause problems with other negotiations. Nobody ever seems to balk at this one.
• Arbitration - A pledge to use an arbitrator to resolve legal disputes, rather than go straight for the jugular with a potentially insanely expensive lawsuit. Arbitration is basically a single neutral third party acting as a mediator.
So yes, licensing is a complicated, horrifyingly detailed ordeal, but it's a necessary step. After both sides have had their lawyers pour over this agreement, one of them prints out two copies, they both sign and keep one, and the deal is done.
And then the real work can begin. Next time, we'll take a look at what happens when people ignore the contracts, and things go entirely out of control.
Part III: Success?
The contract is signed. The materials are delivered. And soon, our upstart anime company takes the stage at an anime convention and announces their new acquisition: the 13-part late night TV series Saliva Princess. The audience is dead silent. A few people snicker. It occurs to the young executive that licensed the show that maybe, just maybe, doing this deal was a mistake. But it's too late now. They sent the money, they have the masters, and dammit, they'd better release a DVD.
Under the best of circumstances, the DVD sells, the publisher makes a good amount of money, the licensor gets paid, and everyone is happy. Under mediocre circumstances, the DVD doesn't sell, the publisher takes a loss initially, but keeps in touch with the licensor, files their reports, and the companies stay friends.
But that's not interesting. As industry observers, it's far more fun to see what happens things go wrong. (Besides, what's the fun in making a fake example company if we can't light it on fire?) So what follows is a composite of things that have actually happened and things that have not: a scenario of just how badly a deal can go awry. Or at least, how badly they can go over a mediocre late-night TV show nobody wanted in the first place.
Sloppiness Begets Sloppiness
1Up Pictures was an up-start anime company. Sensing that they'd probably never make money on Saliva Princess, the company president started looking for corners to cut. They'd previously released a handful of DVDs, but this time they decided to author one themselves. "DVDs are easy," the company president said in between sips of double-espresso. "Anyone can make one! The software does it all for you these days! No need to pay an authoring house!"
Unfortunately, the company had neither the equipment nor expertise to actually make a functioning DVD. After months of delays and missed street-dates, the disc finally ships, and as soon as the first copy goes out, screenshots are posted to the internet. "This looks like it was made in iDVD," observes one forum member. "I can tell because there's still an Apple logo in the corner of the screen." Only a few fans were planning to buy this series to begin with, but now they're all so enraged that they've cancelled their pre-orders.
Horrified and embarrassed, the company quickly has a proper authoring house redo the disc, and offers a trade-in program. But the disaster added several thousand dollars to the production budget, and mysteriously, that extra money ended up in the recoupable expenses column.
The licensor gets their first report. The show hasn't even come close to breaking even, but seeing that the production costs are way higher than they should've been, they inquire, “why were production costs so high?” 1Up doesn't respond.
The next month, no report comes at all.
If the licensor was to be honest with themselves, they don't really care THAT much about Saliva Princess. The show made its money back in Japan already and the fan base has moved on, the production committee has already disbanded, and nobody is really expecting much in terms of foreign sales. But for the young executive that made the deal, it's a point of pride that things get done the right way. After all, it was his first big deal.
One night, he has drinks with another licensor at a much bigger production company. He learns that 1Up has actually always been pretty sloppy about reports, and if he waits long enough and annoys them enough times, they might catch up.
And so he waits. And pesters. And no more reports come. Time passes, and the next year's Tokyo Anime Fair rolls around. The two finally meet; the guy from 1Up is apologetic, but explains that it's not his department, and he'll make sure that he gets on the Finance department's case when he gets back.
But from that point on, they never send another report. Or another check. And since there's no new shows that the licensor is offering that 1Up is trying to get hold of, there's really no incentive for 1Up to fix things.
Technically, 1Up is in breach of their contract. They are not abiding by the terms of the agreement, they've been mostly unresponsive to the licensor's requests, and if the licensor really wanted to, they could send legal notice and try to get their master tapes back. They could also sue (well, arbitrate) to try to get what they might be owed in terms of royalties.
But really, there's not a whole lot of incentive to do that. The release bombed for 1Up, and the odds that they've recouped what they spent on it are pretty low – even if the licensor decided to make a federal case of it, they probably wouldn't get much of anything. And they'd spend a whole lot of money on lawyers. And even if they got the rights back, nobody else wanted them before, so it'd be unlikely anyone would want to rescue the show and re-release it.
So the guys at AniProduce decide to just overlook the issue and let the contract continue as if nothing was wrong. Besides, they're busy and have better things to do than hover over an aging property that was never going to make them much money overseas anyway.
A Final Straw
If you'll remember from Part 1, 1Up originally held out for broadcast rights to the show, but ultimately didn't get them. Unfortunately, the company president didn't get that memo, and he thinks he has a large number of shows that are cleared for broadcast in North America.
After visiting a trade show in Vegas (and doing enough cocaine to kill a bear), he finds himself staggering home after signing over broadcast rights to about 12 different shows to a small cable channel. Among them… Saliva Princess!
The cable channel is not big – in fact, nobody has ever heard of it. But it's big enough to send out a press release, which promptly gets printed by ANN and most other anime news outlets. The licensor just happens to be visiting these sites when he gets wind of the TV deal, and immediately fires off a Cease and Desist letter. They also try calling, but nobody picks up the phone and nobody is responding to voice mails.
As one might imagine, the guys at AniProduce Co., Ltd. are not happy with 1Up. They're considering legal action, but after consulting with the company lawyer, they're informed that it's still probably not worth suing over. The laws are murky, and a costly court battle would still be way more trouble than it's worth.
But at this point, the bridge is burned. The licensor might have considered doing business with 1Up again before this, should they offer enough money up-front for something. But now? No way.
The Moral Of The Story
Contracts really are like a marriage between companies. Over the course of their agreed-to commitment to each other, they may break their promises, fail to meet expectations, or screw up royally. But unless there's some real gigantic train wreck that clearly costs people lots of money and/or embarrassment, it's usually not worth involving the legal system in a costly and messy divorce. Especially since the term is only for seven to ten years.
The other thing to remember is that small, one-season TV shows are comparatively low-stakes commodities. If this were aNaruto or a Yu-Gi-Oh!, the stakes would be exponentially higher, and a lack of reports and royalties would make any content owner immediately see red. But again, given the cost of litigating an issue in a foreign country, things would have to get really, really bad before anybody would consider legal action.
But there is one other thing to take note of here: you'll notice that nearly all of the examples of horrors that can happen over the course of a license are things that the publisher can do to the licensor. The licensor is actually in the vulnerable position – once they hand over the materials, a rogue publisher can basically do whatever they want, and the licensor will be more or less helpless to stop them.
But by and large, such occurrences are rare. The vast majority of deals get executed, have a few initial bumps in the road during contract and materials stages, and then pass through the rest of their terms quietly and without too much drama. But given the difficulty and the inherent insecurity in letting another company adapt and distribute your content, one certainly can't blame the licensors for wanting to be as hands-on as possible.
Even if they sometimes don't know what they're doing.
END OF BLOG
Phew….that was a hellava read!
I think this is a pretty good overview of the way licensing works out in the West.
Getting more anime buyers is always a problem, and current marketing methods don't really offer any viable solutions. That said, one thing that should really be looked at is television, as it continues to be one of the most powerful methods to advertise products in the world. In addition to that, if a show is broadcast on television then it gains a degree of "legitimacy" in the eyes of people who aren't fans of the medium, or only know about it in passing. This helps when it comes to the sales of DVD's, Blu-rays and merchandise as anime and manga become less defined as a "niche interest" which personally irritates me a bit
It’s good Toonami is back n all, and that will certainly help for the short term but I’m not very confident it will help the ongoing crisis in any major way
Now I know most of you may question the validity of this post in the form of “How the hell does this guy know all that %$&£…it can’t be that elaborate to get an anime secured and most of the big companies like funimation probably have a more casual relationship regarding acquisitions”
well all I can say is judging from Justin’s background I think he’s well acquainted with how the process goes.
Anyhow, you can follow the original and ongoing discussions this blog spawned from the following links.
You can also check out this extra article which is somewhat related