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Editorial: A Year In Review

By Chris Beveridge     October 31, 1998

With any luck, this editorial will be less controversial than some of my previous ones. :)

As of the end of October, I've now had my DVD player for a year, so I'll be doing a year in review here. A lot has gone on for the format during the past year, not all of it good, but the majority of it is. Divx was announced, and promptly thrashed (again and again and again). Studio holdouts Fox, Paramount and DreamWorks finally signed onboard, and with the exception of Fox, they're showing some serious commitment to the format.

In the anime arena, we've seen a serious commitment by Central Park Media that still impresses me. Pioneer has indicated a change in their original plans from releasing only OVA's and movies to essentially promising their entire catalog on DVD. When those announcements begin, you'll most likely see more anime fans climbing on board, since a lot of recent shows aren't available domestically on laserdisc. Rumors of Right Stuf bringing out the Taylor TV series are sounding more and more likely, and the ever elusive Bubblegum Crisis from Animeigo is closer than before. And from what I've heard from those who saw a preview of it at the AWA earlier, it'll definitely be a great looking disc.

Of course, one of the more welcome and yet not came from ADV Films, with their first title due in January, Tekken. The downside to their announcement is the now persistent rumor that this is a make or break title for their DVD entry. If it doesn't sell, we won't see anything else from them. On the plus side, it's the only way to get the show subtitled. Will that be enough? I'm not sure. They certainly have more than enough great catalog titles to have tried out instead. We shall see.

There also seems to be a certain energy in anime fans that have DVD that I haven't seen since the commercial/domestic era began in the early 90's. Anticipation for titles is high, and the search for information is always on. The amount of visitors I get here now is testament to that.

In the 8 months I've now been running Anime on DVD, it's grown by leaps and bounds. When I began, it was me, a Sony 3000, and about 3 or 4 DVD's. Now I have 28 anime titles in the collection, with at least another dozen in the pipeline due in the next 3 months, if not more. Central Park Media has also indicated that they have a full slate of titles set through the end of 1999. There's certainly plenty of things coming down the pike to keep this site busy. We've gone from once a week updates to almost daily now, and I can see it only getting busier as we get into next year.

Things are especially picking up now. We've started adding on here with hardware reviews, we've had an excellent 20 Questions session with Central Park Media, and we're still hoping to do one with Pioneer in the future. I'm also working at the moment to get over 2 dozen region 2 reviews and cover scans to help round things out. We've gone from my being the sole operator of the site, to having myself and 4 staff writers who provide columns throughout the month. We're also hosting the Anime DVD Support Campaign, which has made serious inroads with the companies in showing the amount of fan interest in not only DVD, but in seeing more and more anime on the format.

One of the more popular sayings at my office now, with our being in Annual Enrollment phase (our busiest time of the year), is "The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades". Yeah, it's corny, but it's also accurate. Things are going well, and improving along the way. There are fewer roadblocks in the way of bringing more out, and things are brimming with the excitement I've not felt in a number of years in regards to anime.

So, with one year of DVD under my belt, I'm even more confident now in the success of the format and the ever growing place of anime within it.

And it's due to you, the fans, that this is coming to pass. My heartfelt thanks go to you, in helping this happen. Your support and emails are greatly appreciated!


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