Anime Reel – Anime & Manga TV News

Nippon Ichi Software America Throws Hat Into Anime Ring

Posted on: February 12, 2010

It wasn't my thing, but it should find an audience.In a surprise move, NIS America, the American branch of Nippon Ichi Software, announced that it has moved into the American anime industry. The press release listed four anime titles that are set to be translated and released on DVD (and who knows, maybe via streaming or download): Toradora!, the 2008 vehicle for tsundere queen Kugimiya Rie, Persona -trinity soul-, the anime sequel to popular RPG Persona 3, Pandora Hearts, a strange gothic fantasy that borrows from Alice in Wonderland, and Our Home’s Fox Deity, a modern fantasy about an ancient spirit protecting a family from demon attacks.

It’s interesting that Toradora! went this long without an American company picking it up, and the other shows on the list are pretty interesting grabs too; even more interesting is how NIS America’s entry into the anime market will shake things up (if at all). More speculation on that after the jump.

In some ways, this is the perfect time for a company to join the market. Abunch of competitors have fallen on bad times (see: ADV/Section 23, Bandai), and with a smaller number of anime companies getting pickier and pickier about what titles they are willing to market and distribute (see: FUNimation, Viz), there is a lot of space in the cracks. I wouldn’t be surprised if NIS managed to get some pretty sweet deals for these licenses because no one else was willing to take the chance on them, and since they already have a staff of translators who aren’t doing very much video game translation (N1’s Japanese game division is in especially bad shape after 2009), this is a calculated risk that could pay off well.

The Toradora! license leads to some interesting speculation, as well: since Nippon Ichi has one J.C. Staff show already, there’s a strong chance they will be able to pick up more major J.C. Staff titles as well, like the as-yet-untouched To Aru Kagaku no Railgun and To Aru Majutsu no Index. Let’s see what happens next, after NIS America announces its release schedule and pricing plans. There is a lot of opportunity in this new venture by the video game company, but there are a lot of pitfalls too. Time will tell how well this sticks.

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2 Responses to "Nippon Ichi Software America Throws Hat Into Anime Ring"

Wow, I thought ToraDora was licensed out already, and I just hadn’t noticed, that’s a good grab for a romantic comedy that’s not totally crazy harem based. And Index/Railgun are both pretty decent watches, that I think will do just fine, as long as they’re done well.

It always amazed me that no one picked up Toradora, considering it was one of the best shows of 2008. There’s a lot of great older titles that were lost in the corporate bankruptcy shuffle that they could rescue as well, particularly from JC Staff if they get in good with those guys.

Here’s hoping they do a good job and everyone wins.

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