October 1, 2007
Geneon USA, the third party in America's "big three" of anime distribution (the other two being ADV and FUNimation) has cancelled plans to merge with ADV, and has also cancelled all sales of Geneon USA products to their retailers. The deadline for those retailers to order as much Geneon product as possible has since past.
The Geneon USA letter to retailer cites the termination of the proposed sales and distribution alliance with A.D. Vision, Inc. as the reason for the changes. Geneon USA had laid off much of its own sales and marketing teams earlier this month. Geneon USA's parent company, the Japanese advertising firm Dentsu Inc., said that "from October 1, 2007, Geneon USA will focus mainly on management of its works portfolio." (Source: Anime News Network)
There is no official word on what this means for Geneon-licensed titles that are in "limbo." Series like When They Cry or Hellsing Ultimate may never see full North American release, despite having partial release already.
Geneon has a large and potent backlist. Currently Geneon has four titles in ICv2's "Top 25 Anime" including Hellsing Ultimate (#7), Ergo Proxy (#17), Black Lagoon (#22) and Fate/Stay Night (#25). The fate of some of the series including Hellsing Ultimate is very much in doubt since Dentsu is planning to shut down Geneon's in-house production. (Source: ICv2)
This may be some viewers' last chance to buy series like Last Exile or Paranoia Agent, or Samurai Champloo, which Geneon holds the license to.


As someone who is a huge fan of several of their titles, and who has been eagerly awaiting the release of each Hellsing Ultimate title, this has me very much asea.

One must also note that Geneon USA were the ones who were funding Hellsing Ultimate in the first place.

So one wonders if the series will even continue, much less be released in the US.
It's unfortunate but it's true, through a wide variety of influences, it's tough to survive in a niche market. Geneon's unfortunate luck stems from a wary parent-company, low financial returns and continually shrinking shelve space among other things.

I am reminded of a short essay I wrote about two years ago called "Japanese Animation & Sir Isaac Newton" that argued the moderate success of anime commercially threatened the success of anime in retail (in more ways than one).

Geneon USA licensed and helped distribute a good number of innovative and creative masterpieces, a fact for which I am continually grateful. But as we all know, not all of said titles sell well in the greater picture.

> Search
> Site Archives
> Blog Archives
> Upcoming Releases
> RSS Feeds