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Wonder if this might be an opening for Big West to just buy out the macross rights from Tatsunoko.

Though if they did how would that effect HG's contract?

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24 minutes ago, Focslain said:

Wonder if this might be an opening for Big West to just buy out the macross rights from Tatsunoko.

Though if they did how would that effect HG's contract?

I cannot imagine they could legally do that for the North American distribution, due to HG having an agreement on that already. I think HG would have to somehow violate their licensing agreement in a major way for Tatsunoko to pull the licensing and give it to someone else.

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33 minutes ago, Focslain said:

Wonder if this might be an opening for Big West to just buy out the macross rights from Tatsunoko.

Though if they did how would that effect HG's contract?

They might be able to buy whichever rights don't conflict with the HG deal; as well as a right to purchase those in the future (right of first refusal type thing), or just a contract to purchase those once the HG agreement has expired.

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No reason to expect anything to come from Tatsunoko not making money... other than Tatsunoko continuing to do business with HG. 

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It is probably more relevant to the Mospeada thread due to the new project that was announced last year.  Maybe it’s related to the pandemic.  Still, these days it sure looks like many companies and the industries they are a part of which Harmony Gold likes to associate themselves and Robotech with, yet rarely actually contributes to, are in hard times.

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7 hours ago, Einherjar said:

 

That's a significant drop... Tatsunoko must be having a really rough year.

Like every studio, they're going to take a nasty hit as a result of the coronavirus lockdown but they've been in a rough patch for a while now and this can't be helping.  The animation studios run on really narrow profit margins even when times are good.  Whether or not one of their new titles is a hit right out of the gate can be the difference between finishing the year in the red or in the black, while it takes years to recoup the costs for the shows that don't take off (if they ever do).  They've got one show running right now, but I can't find any data on average viewership.  Maybe it's not doing well.

 

6 hours ago, jenius said:

No reason to expect anything to come from Tatsunoko not making money... other than Tatsunoko continuing to do business with HG. 

5 hours ago, TheLoneWolf said:

Nothing changed when Takara Tomy purchased a majority ownership stake in Tatsunoko Production. Likewise, this will change nothing.

Yeah, lean years are nothing unusual for an animation production house like Tatsunoko... though if it becomes a multi-year trend they might be in trouble.  I understand they bet a lot on Egao no Daika and it massively did not pay off.

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11 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

That's a significant drop... Tatsunoko must be having a really rough year.

Like every studio, they're going to take a nasty hit as a result of the coronavirus lockdown but they've been in a rough patch for a while now and this can't be helping.  The animation studios run on really narrow profit margins even when times are good. 

Many companies are having a rough year thanks to the pandemic. If they had profit last year but a loss this year, I wouldn't say "Oh noes! :ph34r:". There has to be a defined trend. Have they been trending downward for a few years now? Yes? Then there's a problem. No? Then meh.

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HG seemed like they were serious about rebooting Robotech in a big way just a year ago with vaguely specific plans, that’s all.  If Remix was it, that’s humiliating.

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That’s every year though. They make a lot of noise, nothing happens, repeat next year. 
 

Even when they get something done they mess it up - shadow chronicles apparently could have gotten a follow-up, but HG has “creative differences” with funimation and scrapped it, thus alienating one of the few companies left still willing to work with them.
 

(not that shadow chronicles was especially good, but it was at least something, and the first production something they’d done since the attempt to do “The Sentinels”).

 

since then I think the only other media they had was a release of the at-the-time 30-year old Mospeada recap episode / Yellow Dancer concert.
 

i am curious if any of this licensing would affect future Mospeada media, assuming anything is actually coming. It doesn’t seem to affect distribution of the toys at least. 

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1 hour ago, azrael said:

Many companies are having a rough year thanks to the pandemic. If they had profit last year but a loss this year, I wouldn't say "Oh noes! :ph34r:". There has to be a defined trend. Have they been trending downward for a few years now? Yes? Then there's a problem. No? Then meh.

IIRC, they have been having a rough couple of years... not a strong downward trend like this year, but a downward trend nonetheless.  

Until that report that they're down 89%, there wasn't really cause for anyone to notice since lean years are normal for an animation production house given the fickle anime industry and the notoriously razor-thin profit margins that come with working in it.

 

1 hour ago, Einherjar said:

HG seemed like they were serious about rebooting Robotech in a big way just a year ago with vaguely specific plans, that’s all.  If Remix was it, that’s humiliating.

If nothing else, they probably weren't referring to Remix.  That's an alterniverse story, not a reboot.

Harmony Gold likes to talk a big game, but as you know talk is all it ever turns out to be.

Rebooting Robotech would require a major outlay... the kind of cash that neither Harmony Gold nor any of its partners or licensees has NEVER been willing to invest in the series.  It'd require them to throw out the original three shows and create all-new material to replace it... and even doing a crap job on that scale costs a lot of money.  Money the franchise does not have, and never did.  Every Robotech production has been done as cheaply as possible because nobody has ever really been convinced that a new Robotech development has the potential to succeed.  Tommy Yune only got his sub-million dollar budget for Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles because it was the flagship animated property in Robotech's plan for a reboot and "comeback" in the early 2000s and because he swore blind that it would elevate Robotech into the ranks of mainstream anime and bring in investors that'd bankroll all of the subsequent installments.  That support never materialized, so funding never materialized and the next title had to go beg for money on Kickstarter in order to bankroll a pilot for a new series that looked even more amateurish than Shadow Chronicles did.

TL;DR: There's nobody out there dumb enough to put up the kind of money Robotech needs to do a reboot... not even in Harmony Gold itself.

 

48 minutes ago, jeniusornome said:

Even when they get something done they mess it up - shadow chronicles apparently could have gotten a follow-up, but HG has “creative differences” with funimation and scrapped it, thus alienating one of the few companies left still willing to work with them.

Is that what they're saying these days?

No, the reason that the Shadow Chronicles OVA was cancelled after just one episode was that a budget for Part II never materialized.  Tommy Yune had to make some fairly grandiose promises to get Harmony Gold to put up the rather paltry budget they provided to produce the first episode and Shadow Chronicles failed to deliver on all of them.  The most critical of those was that the success of the OVA's first episode would attract investors who would bankroll the rest of the episodes.  Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles was released directly to home video and promptly ignored by basically everyone who wasn't a Robotech fan or actively mocking Robotech fans... so it never elevated Robotech to the ranks of mainstream sci-fi anime, it never brought in that new generation of fans, and it certainly never attracted any investors.  Even Robotech fans hated it.  So Part II was put on indefinite hiatus because it had no budget.  There were none of the promised outside investors clamoring to put their money into Robotech, and Harmony Gold wasn't willing to sink any more money into what was looking increasingly like another Robo-flop.

Harmony Gold did have some trouble with Funimation later on... but that was when they were negotiating a license renewal for Robotech and went into the negotiations on a colossal ego trip like they thought they were doing Funimation a huge favor by licensing them a property to rival Gundam instead of practically begging Funimation to license a series that's a laughingstock and borderline nonentity in its own genre.  Funimation opted to pass on renewing the Robotech license in the face of Harmony Gold's ridiculous posturing.  I'm sure it probably privately amused Funimation to see Harmony Gold come crawling back years later with a much more appropriately humble attitude... though I'm equally sure they're far too professional to let it show on their faces.

 

48 minutes ago, jeniusornome said:

since then I think the only other media they had was a release of the at-the-time 30-year old Mospeada recap episode / Yellow Dancer concert.

With a few minutes of poor quality original animation thrown in to tenuously connect it to Robotech, yeah.

 

48 minutes ago, jeniusornome said:

i am curious if any of this licensing would affect future Mospeada media, assuming anything is actually coming. It doesn’t seem to affect distribution of the toys at least. 

Harmony Gold's licenses exclude Japan, so it won't have any impact on anything Tatsunoko or its licensees produce for MOSPEADA in the Japanese domestic market... 

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5 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

IIRC, they have been having a rough couple of years... not a strong downward trend like this year, but a downward trend nonetheless.  

Until that report that they're down 89%, there wasn't really cause for anyone to notice since lean years are normal for an animation production house given the fickle anime industry and the notoriously razor-thin profit margins that come with working in it.

 

If nothing else, they probably weren't referring to Remix.  That's an alterniverse story, not a reboot.

Harmony Gold likes to talk a big game, but as you know talk is all it ever turns out to be.

Rebooting Robotech would require a major outlay... the kind of cash that neither Harmony Gold nor any of its partners or licensees has NEVER been willing to invest in the series.  It'd require them to throw out the original three shows and create all-new material to replace it... and even doing a crap job on that scale costs a lot of money.  Money the franchise does not have, and never did.  Every Robotech production has been done as cheaply as possible because nobody has ever really been convinced that a new Robotech development has the potential to succeed.  Tommy Yune only got his sub-million dollar budget for Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles because it was the flagship animated property in Robotech's plan for a reboot and "comeback" in the early 2000s and because he swore blind that it would elevate Robotech into the ranks of mainstream anime and bring in investors that'd bankroll all of the subsequent installments.  That support never materialized, so funding never materialized and the next title had to go beg for money on Kickstarter in order to bankroll a pilot for a new series that looked even more amateurish than Shadow Chronicles did.

TL;DR: There's nobody out there dumb enough to put up the kind of money Robotech needs to do a reboot... not even in Harmony Gold itself.

 

Is that what they're saying these days?

No, the reason that the Shadow Chronicles OVA was cancelled after just one episode was that a budget for Part II never materialized.  Tommy Yune had to make some fairly grandiose promises to get Harmony Gold to put up the rather paltry budget they provided to produce the first episode and Shadow Chronicles failed to deliver on all of them.  The most critical of those was that the success of the OVA's first episode would attract investors who would bankroll the rest of the episodes.  Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles was released directly to home video and promptly ignored by basically everyone who wasn't a Robotech fan or actively mocking Robotech fans... so it never elevated Robotech to the ranks of mainstream sci-fi anime, it never brought in that new generation of fans, and it certainly never attracted any investors.  Even Robotech fans hated it.  So Part II was put on indefinite hiatus because it had no budget.  There were none of the promised outside investors clamoring to put their money into Robotech, and Harmony Gold wasn't willing to sink any more money into what was looking increasingly like another Robo-flop.

Harmony Gold did have some trouble with Funimation later on... but that was when they were negotiating a license renewal for Robotech and went into the negotiations on a colossal ego trip like they thought they were doing Funimation a huge favor by licensing them a property to rival Gundam instead of practically begging Funimation to license a series that's a laughingstock and borderline nonentity in its own genre.  Funimation opted to pass on renewing the Robotech license in the face of Harmony Gold's ridiculous posturing.  I'm sure it probably privately amused Funimation to see Harmony Gold come crawling back years later with a much more appropriately humble attitude... though I'm equally sure they're far too professional to let it show on their faces.

 

With a few minutes of poor quality original animation thrown in to tenuously connect it to Robotech, yeah.

 

Harmony Gold's licenses exclude Japan, so it won't have any impact on anything Tatsunoko or its licensees produce for MOSPEADA in the Japanese domestic market... 

Nobody wants to fund a brand-new RT anything because RT is just a mish-mash of 3 series, and the first one was the most worthwhile out of the three. It's a shame the animation for Macross couldn't be fully updated, but I don't think Tatsunoko is interested in that, as that would be revisiting the past (which Kawamori-san doesn't like to do), and they'd much rather focus on future projects.

While RT got me into Macross (and I promptly abandoned RT when I found Macross to be superior), Southern Cross was just... let's just say that if Dana was the last girl on Earth and I were lonely for 500 years, I'd still jump off a cliff rather than talk to her for five minutes. And Mospeada.... that series is so depressing, I'm convinced that all the mechs run on Zoloft.

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1 hour ago, pengbuzz said:

It's a shame the animation for Macross couldn't be fully updated, but I don't think Tatsunoko is interested in that, as that would be revisiting the past (which Kawamori-san doesn't like to do), and they'd much rather focus on future projects.

Oh no, no... Tatsunoko Production would LOVE to get their foot in Macross's door again.  They want a piece of that action REAL bad.  So bad that they went to court to try to claim they were owed royalties from subsequent Macross works because of their involvement in funding production of the original series.  The courts shot 'em down.

It's not hard to see why that would appeal to them, though.  Like every animation production house, Tatsunoko has to cope with the razor-thin profit margins of the anime industry and therefore nothing would be quite so appealing as having even a modest percentage of the steady revenue stream produced by a fairly consistent earner like Macross.  

Of course, with Kawamori being a bigshot at Satelight there's basically no chance that Tatsunoko will ever get to be involved in a Macross production again.  Kawamori, for his part, does still seem to be averse to the idea of direct sequels.

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Didn't the bulk of Tatsunoko's talent from that era leave to staff up Production I.G.?

Anyway, as it was said many times before: Why pay royalties to HG when you can just make Sci-Fi movie/show with none of the legal baggage.

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On 6/25/2020 at 8:27 AM, jeniusornome said:

That’s every year though. They make a lot of noise, nothing happens, repeat next year. 

I argue that this was not the case this time around at least storytelling-wise.  There are varying opinions about the Robotech universe, (primarily, secondary, etc. canon stuff for those who take it seriously), but at the bare minimum you can at least appreciate that the powers that be at one point tried to craft a story and universe that was distinctly original from the source material.  To see a lot of that thrown under the super dimensional bus, blatantly and unnecessarily at that, just to make the franchise more like Macross in ways previous staff never had the guts to do is pretty cruel.

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You mean, you think they made a lot of noise this time and had something in mind other than the comic?

Small group of a real estate company with minimal staff, shrinking revenue and dwindling relevance of IP with a smaller and smaller fanbase, grasping at straws to make a big deal out of anything they can to try and generate some revenue?

Given HG's failed attempts over the years to do anything with the property, I think it's unlikely it was anything other than talk to try and drum up interest/funding. Like HG is doing the equivalent of saying "hey remember Robotech? Wasn't that great? How about some money for old time's sake?"

We still don't know what actually happened with Robotech Remix, but HG obviously didn't care enough about it to try and keep it going.

Speaking of Mospeada, how's the licensing for that handled? It's a Tatsunoko property so I assume HG has some license with them for it, but when Sentinel, Evolution Toy, whhoever, makes a Mospeada product, does HG get a cut when it's sold in the US?

Maybe they'll hang their hat on a new Mospeada and call it a day.

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15 hours ago, DewPoint said:

Didn't the bulk of Tatsunoko's talent from that era leave to staff up Production I.G.?

Yes and no... Production I.G. was originally I.G. Tatsunoko Limited, a satellite production house that Tatsunoko Production set up to help it retain talented staff in '87.  They bought out Tatsunoko's 20% stake in the company and went solo in 1993 to become Production I.G., and now own an 11.2% stake in their former parent company.

 

15 hours ago, DewPoint said:

Anyway, as it was said many times before: Why pay royalties to HG when you can just make Sci-Fi movie/show with none of the legal baggage.

Indeed.

 

 

6 minutes ago, Einherjar said:

I argue that this was not the case this time around at least storytelling-wise.  There are varying opinions about the Robotech universe, (primarily, secondary, etc. canon stuff for those who take it seriously), but at the bare minimum you can at least appreciate that the powers that be at one point tried to craft a story and universe that was distinctly original from the source material.

Eh... it wasn't really something they were actively trying to do, it just kind of happened because their plans to release their bowdlerized localization of the Super Dimension Fortress Macross TV series were shot to hell by Revell and they had to start over from scratch and invent ways to tie Macross into two other shows on the fly to meet the new demand for a series long enough for first-run syndication.  They didn't plan a damn thing, they were very literally making it up as they went... which is why there are so many inconsistencies and outright errors in their version.

 

6 minutes ago, Einherjar said:

 To see a lot of that thrown under the super dimensional bus, blatantly and unnecessarily at that, just to make the franchise more like Macross in ways previous staff never had the guts to do is pretty cruel.

Oh my, no... the previous staff, by which we mean Carl Macek, absolutely had the guts (and the necessary lack of creative integrity) to do exactly that.

Every pitch he made for a Robotech project, save one, was built on Macross and making Robotech more like Macross.  The few ideas he had that weren't shut down by the lawyers at Harmony Gold and/or Tatsunoko Production for being dangerously close to, or actually, infringing on Big West's copyrights were shut down by his own incompetence.  Robotech II: the Sentinels was the closest he got, a story about the Macross cast and a new generation of characters who were all just thinly disguised knockoffs of Macross characters, using the closest he could get to a VF-1 (the Legioss) and a bunch of imitation-brand Macross mecha that were meant to be distinct enough to not incur a lawsuit while looking enough like designs from Macross to be familiar.  Fortunately for him, his own ineptitude flew the poorly-funded project into the ground before the exchange rate crash administered the coup de grace before most of the potentially-infringing material could be animated.  The one time he got away from his obsession with trying to "Macross-ize" Robotech was the biggest flop in the franchise's history prior to Robotech Academy... Robotech 3000.  Since he wasn't allowed to rip off Macross the way he wanted to, all he could do was bash it in interviews like a petulant and deeply disingenuous man-child.

The current staff aren't any sharper, but they ARE aware that there are alternative media formats where they CAN get away with that kind of thing because of the way their license is drawn up.  That's why the flagship title for the rebooted and relaunched Robotech franchise in the early 2000s was a collection of Macross-based comics.  It's likely no coincidence its first title was a prequel about the development of the VF-1... conceived around the time Macross Zero promotional materials started doing the rounds online and published the same month as the debut of Macross Zero's first episode.  The one non-Macross comic they did had to have a Macross mini-comic in it to sell it.  When the time came to do animation, the same legal constraints were applied and they had to go for a more Macek-level attempt to Macross-ize the MOSPEADA ships and mecha... and as with Macek, a lot of their proposals ended up rejected by legal for "are you trying to get us sued?" reasons.

Apart from the "original" series, Robotech's history is a nearly-unbroken continuity of "how can we be more like Macross to make people like us?".

 

 

30 minutes ago, jeniusornome said:

Given HG's failed attempts over the years to do anything with the property, I think it's unlikely it was anything other than talk to try and drum up interest/funding. Like HG is doing the equivalent of saying "hey remember Robotech? Wasn't that great? How about some money for old time's sake?"

Same reason they were constantly banging on about the live action movie license and insisting it was not only practically a done deal but set to be a tentpole franchise for a major studio... trying to drum up enough interest to actually get funding to do something.

 

30 minutes ago, jeniusornome said:

We still don't know what actually happened with Robotech Remix, but HG obviously didn't care enough about it to try and keep it going.

Well, we now have Diamond Comic Distributors' cancellation lists for both June and July (there is no May list due to the shutdown)... and there are some new minor developments on that front.  Robotech Remix #5 is still listed as cancelled, and as of June Robotech Remix #6 is also officially listed as cancelled with Status 2 ("will resolicit").  The series is still absent from Titan's release schedule through the end of the year.  With issue #5 now almost six months late, it seems highly probable the series was quietly cancelled due to poor sales or some other issue that Titan doesn't want to draw attention to.  The total silence makes me suspect legal problems.

Titan's trade paperback editions of Comico's Robotech comics also showed up on the list with status 2, though in that case it appears to be a multi-month delay with Titan's release schedule now showing the next volume as planned for 2020 Week 38 (the week of September 14-20).  

 

30 minutes ago, jeniusornome said:

Speaking of Mospeada, how's the licensing for that handled? It's a Tatsunoko property so I assume HG has some license with them for it, but when Sentinel, Evolution Toy, whhoever, makes a Mospeada product, does HG get a cut when it's sold in the US?

Nope... not unless they import it and resell it in their own store.

Harmony Gold's license excludes Japan, so if a Japanese company decides to license the property to make merchandise intended for sale in the Japanese domestic market HG has no involvement at all because that's all occurring outside the scope of their license.  Likewise, if that product intended for the JDM should happen to be sold internationally by a store in Japan... Harmony Gold can't do a damn thing to stop it because it's a Japanese product made under a Japanese license and and the sale technically occurred in Japan.  They wouldn't receive any percentage of the sale... which is why toy collectors should only buy authentic Macross and MOSPEADA merchandise from Japan, and not the stuff made by Toynami and KidzLogic under licenses from HG.

That's also why Harmony Gold can't do anything to stop stores like HobbyLink Japan, Amazon Japan, Mandarake, etc. from selling Macross goods outside of Japan.  Those stores are still based in Japan and thus the sales technically occur in Japan, where Harmony Gold has no rights to the property and therefore no legal standing to bring a complaint.

 

30 minutes ago, jeniusornome said:

Maybe they'll hang their hat on a new Mospeada and call it a day.

Unlikely, Macross is Robotech's money spinner... MOSPEADA toys and goods don't sell anywhere near as well for them.

They're still trying to offload Toynami MOSPEADA stuff they made over a decade ago..

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3 hours ago, jeniusornome said:

You mean, you think they made a lot of noise this time and had something in mind other than the comic?

I think the comic was supposed to be the main focus for the foreseeable future.  The staff would not have been given so much freedom to shake up the universe as they did if that was not the case.  I would argue that they were given responsibilities normally held by a certain Creative Director for Robotech.  Then again, as with how other comic books work the people responsible for some the the drastic changes did could not stay for even one generation of the story to complete.  Hopefully their replacements were left with a rough plan for where this off the rails story was supposed to go.

Edited by Einherjar
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