Well, that didn’t take long.
2012 has claimed its first publishing casualty as Bandai Entertainment has announced they will be canceling their manga and home entertainment publishing to focus on licensing their brands as they undergo a restructuring.
Their Facebook and Twitter accounts will also be shut down.
It had been a long time Bandai had made any manga publishing news but still…
In a decision made last October, but only now becoming public knowledge, Bandai Entertainment’s corporate parent at Namco Bandai Holdings made the decision to exit the American home video business. Iyadomi says he wasn’t privy to the fine details. “The decision was made in Japan by the contents SBU (Strategic Business Unit).” That business unit originally included the video games division, but recently was merged with all of the company’s audio visual businesses, including Sunrise, Bandai Visual and Bandai Channel.
But the broader reasons are quite clear from the outside. The physical anime business in North America has shrunk substantially over the last five years, and shows no sign of returning to its former glory. “A couple of times we were hit with huge returns, and the financial result was pretty bad,” Iyadomi admits. Still, he believes the division might have been able to keep going for a few more years, had the SBU allowed it.
Bandai Entertainment announced today that it will stop releasing new titles on DVD, Blu-ray and Manga formats starting in February of 2012. The company will continue to sell catalog titles and shift its operation to licensing which will include digital distribution, broadcast and merchandising.
As a result of this change in strategy for the North American Market, Bandai Entertainment’s organization will be restructured at the end of January 2012.
The following previously announced anime titles have been cancelled: TURN-A GUNDAM, NICHIJOU and GOSICK.
Similarly, the following manga titles have been cancelled: KANNAGI 4-6, CODE GEASS: RENYA, GURREN LAGANN VOL. 7, GUNDAM 00I, LUCKY STAR BOO BOO KAGABOO, NICHIJOU MANGA, CODE GEASS R2 NOVELS, and TALES OF THE ABYSS: JADE 1 and 2.
Additionally, Bandai Entertainment’s facebook and twitter will be shut down.
About Bandai Entertainment Inc.
Bandai Entertainment Inc. is a subsidiary of Namco Bandai Holdings (USA) Inc. and a premier
distributor of Japanese animation in North America. Titles include K-ON!, Gundam 00, Code Geass:
Lelouch of Rebellion, Lucky Star, Gurren Lagann,The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Cowboy Bebop,
Outlaw Star, Escaflowne, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, My Otome.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.