Blabbering of a Fool
The Slaughtering of Anime in Singapore III – Solutions (Whether Feasible or Not)
Gave the situation some thought while I was sleeping…OK, wasn’t during sleeping (I dun think one can think during sleeping, but one can dream)…instead of people (me included… :P) ranting about what ODEX is doing is wrong, and how we should bring ODEX down, we should join our minds together and think how the situation can be ‘alleviated’, and perhaps, some people might disagree to this, but still…help ODEX out, in improving on their goods/products and their service to the anime community in Singapore.
After all, if they dun come to us (anime fans), we can always go to them, right?
But of course, there lies the problem of whether they are willing to listen to the words the people have to say. This is rather common in companies…I think…’turning a deaf ear to everything’.
Below are some of my ideas…
- What should be on top of ODEX’s priority list is to establish their reputation as an anime distribution company which distributes original, high quality copies (DVDs is the more common medium…unless they get rich somehow and manages to release the anime titles in BlueRay discs, that would seriously rock my world!) of anime titles, quality which can compete with that of fansubs. As almost everybody knows right now, the quality of their videos are simply too poor to even match the simplest of fansubs, and I’ve read that ODEX seems to be having financial restrictions in having to release high quality videos in DVDs. Well, that’s no excuse, I believe. I have saw the DVDs released by ODEX (titles include Fullmetal Alchemist, Bakuretsu Tenshi, Chrno Crusade), and I was attracted by the packaging, especially that of Fullmetal Alchemist and Bakuretsu Tenshi. I really think they did a great job in the packaging of their DVDs, and I really wanted to buy them, but they remove them from the shelves before I could earn enough to buy one (the price, if I didn’t remember wrongly, was like $39.90 or $49.90). What remained on the shelves are the VCD boxsets, which I had foolishly bought 5 boxes of. But that is for the packaging. I haven’t got a chance to watch what’s inside the DVDs, but I would think that the resolution will not disappoint (except for the subtitles though). See? ODEX actually can make their products appeal to the public (I’m already attracted…and since I’m a sucker for details, others will be like me too…I think…), so what’s the excuse of not having enough money? But if it is really the case, what ODEX can do now is to just spend money on releasing ONE anime title, at most TWO, on DVDs, with quality that does not disappoint. Of course, this is a gamble as there are only 2 outcomes: Success, or Failure, but they shouldn’t focus on having profit right now, but on building their reputation. Prove themselves that they are able to do so, and chances are that they will eventually become the focus of the local anime community.
- Next thing: publicity. I shall describe what I saw today. I walked into Comics Connection, and under my feet, a giant poster featuring Trinity Blood, ‘publicizing’ about ODEX and their products. Now, as I can remember, my folks and elders have always tell me not to look at the ground when walking, for you cannot look at where you are walking into. And since I dun see Singaporeans banging their heads on lampposts and on people all the time everyday, I would deem such a publicity move as useless. Another thing that I’ve read on the net. ODEX’s website has been down for almost 2 months. And if this is they call ‘吊胃口’ (lit. meaning: hang your appetite – kinda like keeping someone in suspense…dun really know to explain…), I’ll tell you, ‘我们的胃给ODEX吊走咯！’ (lit. meaning: our stomaches have been hung off by ODEX) They have a website, and yet in this IT age, they dun make proper use of it. That’s a waste indeed. What they should have on their website is 1) previews/trailers of the anime they release, like perhaps 30 mins of footage or more; 2) a sample episode that is available for download, e.g. the 1st episode of Fullmetal Alchemist, so that the consumer can know for certain what kind of anime they are buying, and not be conned by the sometimes ambiguous summaries found often behind the DVD boxes. And facing the undeniable fact that people are addicted to downloading, this is one way of appealing to them. And as stated in many places on the net, they can always employ the help of local anime bloggers. With the amount of visitors they have on their blogs, news about the latest anime released will be spread far and wide in no time at all! And of course, I believe these bloggers will be happy to do so, though one must always remember that no one would always like to do favours for others for free all the time.
- Lastly, the war against piracy. It always comes down to this, but remember, Singapore isn’t the only country facing this problem. I only have this to say about, or to, ODEX: Leave the fighting to the proper authorities in charge of facing the piracy beast. Dabbling in the war only makes ODEX look like a bully: ‘Since you people dun like my toys, and prefer the toys from the other person, I will snatch all of his toys and break them, and I will bash up all who dislike my toys!’ Yup, that’s the idea I get from the actions of ODEX. In the meantime, I’m not saying to succumb to piracy, but to focus on what’s important to the company (points above). I dun see Bandai bashing people who download the animes they have released on DVDs (maybe they did, but I haven’t heard of such a thing… :)), but yet they are still able to have good sales of their products, and the piracy problem hasn’t gotten all hell out of control in America (though it still exists…nothing’s perfect in the world).
Anyway, that’s all I have to say about the situation…whether is it feasible or not, I have no idea, but still, better than having myself cursing at the plight of the anime market in Singapore, and not doing anything about it, ya? (Though just thinking isn’t really considered ‘doing anything’…I think…)
And as I’ve said, links:
- THAT Animeblog – “It’s in the news: AVPAS acts upon copyright infringement of anime anime downloading”
- haitaka – Notes from a Conversation with Dr. Toh See Kiat
- TedFox in Singapore – Odex taking a positive step towards DVDs
- RDrake’s anime roamings – ODEX: Emotion or Pragmatism
There may be be other links, but hey, I ain’t a search engine, so I can’t possibly list them all… 😀