Tuesday, September 1, 2009

ADV Films shutting down?

Just came across this news post on ANN:

ADV Films Shuts Down, Parent Transfers Assets to Other Companies (Updated)

posted on 2009-09-01 13:44 EDT
AEsir Holdings, SXION 23, Valkyrie Media Partners, Seraphim Studios acquire assets

A.D. Vision, the parent company of ADV Films, has announced that it is shutting down after transfering its assets to several other companies that will continue its operations. AEsir Holdings has acquired selected programming from ADV's film library along with other intellectual property. The SXION 23 (Section23 Films) home video distribution company will assume account servicing and distribution operations for AEsir's assets. Valkyrie Media Partners has acquired 100% of ADV's Anime Network television unit, while Seraphim Studios has acquired ADV's Amusement Park Media production unit.

Former ADV Films staffer Chris Oarr has notified ANN that several former staffers have been hired by SXION 23 and the other companies.

Update: All of the new companies are officially based in Houston, the home of A.D. Vision. SXION 23's business filing was dated on May 20, while AEsir Holdings, Valkyrie Media Partners, and Seraphim Studios were filed eight days later on May 28. SXION 23, Valkyrie Media Partners, and Seraphim Studios share the same address in western Houston, 8 miles (13 kilometers) from A.D. Vision. Sentai Filmworks, another business entity for which A.D. Vision and Amusement Park Media handled distribution and production, is also located in western Houston.

Note that A.D. Vision itself is still around, they're just shuttering ADV Films and a trio of other companies are picking up their titles, distribution and television project.

I really hope some more details come to light on this ASAP (such as which "select titles" have been acquired), as right now it sounds like some elaborate shell game.

Whatever is going on, I hope that come through it. ADV sure rocketed to the top, but then they plummeted down. Hate the big guy all you want, but the anime industry certainly benefits greatly from having a couple giants that can get into mass distribution channels and if ADV's done playing the game, then all we are left with on that scale is FUNimation. As much as I've loved them lately, it's never healthy to have the industry relying so heavily on one company.


  1. The fact that all three of those "companies" seem to have such recent beginnings and all are based in Houston piques my interest. There was a theory being passed around AnimeonDVD a while back that because ADV had apparently gotten on such bad terms with the Japanese companies, they planned to shift away from the ADV name and try to get a new beginning. Of course, I haven't read anything on AoD for so long that this theory may have long been debunked.

  2. It's pretty clear that ADV's selling pieces of themselves to themselves, I'm just curious as to what circumstances required this - and what benefit they're going to get out of it.

    If it's just a brand-name change... that's interesting, but I would hope that the Japanese licensors were a bit more perceptive and aware of the American market and industry.

    If they aren't, I think the American anime industry faces a whole new set of challenges.

  3. Dear lord I suck at copying and pasting. Anyway, previous comment I was trying to post. Given up on trying HTML in comments.

    Addendum: Looked through the websites of those three companies and some other bits of information provided by the forum users at ANN. The owners of these three companies are the same two people, and the state tax ID is the same as that of ADV. Looks like this is just some streamlining and reorganization that's happening. "ADV Films" can declare bankruptcy and get rid of some employees they can no longer afford, bad licenses, commitments, etc. The employees, licenses, etc. they decide to keep are passed on to the new companies and are freed from ADV's tarnished name.

    "ADV," whatever the hell it is now, doesn't seem to be quite dead...yet.

  4. Yeah, I'm betting on financial higgery-jiggery.

    Hope they get themselves sorted out finally. They've been choking for a while now.

  5. Dude, I almost wish they would finally go out of business rather than see any more of these insane cloak and dagger corporate firewalls. Switchblade/Sentai/Whatever The Third One Is have been incorporated for less than a year and they need MORE shell corporations to escape THOSE bad assets?

  6. I'd be right there with you if both Bandai and Geneon hadn't taken their toys and gone home, sulking.

  7. Where exactly did Bandai go? Besides the shelves of my local Best Buy, where I see plenty of recent releases like Gundam 00, Code Geass R2, and shit, even True Tears.

  8. They've shifted around a bunch of their licenses and they're impossible to reach about convention screenings now - they've pretty much gone silent.

    They're certainly not releasing on any volume they used to.

  9. If you wanna say they're diminished, sure, but they've hardly left the building yet, man.

  10. We still have the problem of a lack of 1st and 2nd tier anime publishers.

    FUNimation has clearly taken the lead and spot that ADV used to hold. No one else could be called 1st tier any more.

    The 2nd tier used to be Geneon (gone) and Bandai (dramatically shrunken). CPM's dead-dead.

    The 3rd tier were people like Sync-Point and AnimEigo and other tiny-ass, niche publishers.

    Media Blasters used to be on the line between 2nd and 3rd, but they're starting to look like a pillar of stability in the industry.

  11. Yeah, I was actually just thinking that about MB; they've kept up more or less the same pace they always have, but the rest of the industry has kind of contracted around them.

    Oh, and we mustn't forget Manga, with its consistent one release per year policy. I think they're still technically around.

  12. And even Media Blasters has slacked off a bit on their anime, leaning more on their pr0n and live-action stuff.

    As for Manga, I don't think they're actually still active. What was the last thing they released? And the only guy I knew who worked there has dropped off the face of the earth...

  13. I was actually thinking this had been an unusually active year for MB anime, with Simoun, Ah My Buddha, Doujin Work, and Genshiken 2.

    Last thing I remember Manga releasing is Strait Jacket, which I have actually never seen a physical copy of. Their branding is all over a couple cable channels' anime blocks, and some iTunes and Playstation Network stuff. Manga's been an arm of various big companies for well over a decade now, I doubt they'll ever vanish entirely, but it's not like they're a pillar of industry either.

  14. Why are you listing four titles I wouldn't scrub my ass with and not Moribito, the one MB title worth a flying fuck?

  15. Because I'm actually not sure if they released any Moribito this year. Wasn't that last summer that they released the first ten eps, in like three different formats for maximum confusion, before halting the release and citing some unnamed silent licensing partner as the reason?

    ...there is entirely too much wacky skullduggery going on for such a small industry. Man.

  16. Nope, there was another Moribito release this year. Volumes 5 and 6, and the set that contains both discs were released in July. Bought it not too long ago shortly after it was released.

  17. Yeah, Media Blasters had more Moribito this year (in rather interesting packaging too, I might add). They're also releasing it in normal, individual volumes, aren't they?

    Are you thinking of Gurren-Lagan that Bandai put out half of a while back as a subtitled-only brick or something?

  18. No, I was deeeefintely thinking of Moribito. This might have been some odd Wal-Mart exclusive or something-- I recall it trumpeting the number of discs it contained (five or six), while downplaying the number of episodes... it came off as a weird attempt to trick the unwary into thinking they were getting the entire season. I swear I've held that in my hands, in addition to the single-disc releases, and the normal box set they put out that was just the individual discs bundled.

    OK, I found an eBay listing. Sadly, can't get a good look at the package, but please note that it specifies a six-disc release of ten episodes. I'm not crazy, John Sirabella is!

  19. Joe's right about the sudden halt of Moribito from the previous year; there was some odd wall between the the licensor and adult swim about the remaining episodes, and that apparently had to be resolved.

    Gurren Lagann went from ADV to Bandai after Sojitz pulled out from the former for whatever reason.

    As for this ADV nonsense, as long as upcoming titles aren't affected, I couldn't care less. Ghost Hound and Honey and Clover (which Viz is FINALLY releasing) are the only anime series coming out for the rest of the year that I gave a damn about -- wouldn't want to have another one cut down.

  20. Speaking of Bandai, do they have any new titles coming out other than that Gundam show? From my fairly limited and ignorant perspective, their future prospects seem far more dire than ADV's.

  21. There's a long piece on AoD/Mania that goes through most of the drama and another article on ANN that looks to paint it as a slow poison from the Sojitz deal.

    Sounds like ADV expanded to fast, started choking on what it had bitten off, partnered up with Sojitz to recover and then had nothing to fall back on when that deal with majorly bad.

    The shell game with all the dummy corporations is apparently an attempt to salvage what they can from the dissolving ADV Films. I wouldn't be surprised if the number of separate companies is in part a bulwark in case anything like this ever happens again.

    They might be a wee bit paranoid about getting one corporate entity too involved in too much now...

  22. I'd say the most noteworthy bit of that analysis is the (possible?) revelation of what A.D. stood for. At last the mystery ends!

  23. @ Derek: The weird thing is the cases. For some damn reason, Media Blasters decided to use the Super Jewel Box cases that are more commonly found in Japan instead of normal DVD cases. Those things break so easily. I hate them.

  24. I kinda figured they'd be pretty fragile, but they sure are pretty and impressive.