Anime Monopoly – Bandai Entertainment edition

Before I begin, I would like to thank McDonald’s for justifying my decision to make this July Monopoly month. I swear I did not know they would run their annual contest this month. So I’m taking this little bit of serendipity and running like hell with it…

Bandai Entertainment is an interesting case study in what not to do in marketing. Almost every decision they made was wrong because the parent company assumed that whatever worked in Japan would be equally successful in the United States. If it feels like I am being too harsh on Bandai, it is because, yes , I am still upset that I never received my Vision of Escaflowne Tarot deck….
English: Bandai Visual logoBandai was behind the curve in the DVD marketplace. Their DVDs were generally overpriced compared to the competition, and were one of the last companies to issue complete series boxsets. (I am not referring to the Collectors’ Edition version in which only consists only of Volume 1, and requires you to buy the subsequent volumes later. Most of the anime distributors had this business model.) Their biggest mistake was backing the wrong horse in the High-density optical disc battle. They went with Toshiba’s HD DVD, while everyone else went with Blu-ray.

They did one thing right – they got several of their titles on the air via multiple cable television networks (most importantly, Cartoon Network, but there were others). I could give them credit for their partnership with Sunrise Inc, but that would be like crediting Disney for Pixar.

It is quite easy to do an entire Monopoly board consisting of nothing but the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise. And the same hold true for the [dot] hack series, and the Galaxy Angel titles as well. Wait, wait… don’t tell me … Rule 200, right? So when you see these entries below, it is implied that I am referring to all of the shows in their respective franchises. Bandai had quite a  quantity catalog of quality titles to pick and choose. In fact some of my personal favorites (and um.. guilty pleasures) did not make the cut. Even though the list is subjective, I’d be remiss if I omitted certain titles that I absolutely detest (*cough* Love Hina *die*), or shows that are overrated (*bad dub* Escaflowne *dumb plot twist*).

With that in mind, here is my Bandai Entertainment Monopoly titles:

Dark Purple = Eureka 7, Ronin Warriors

Railroads = Crest of the Stars, Galaxy Angel, Please Teacher, Saber Marionette J

Light Blue = Blue Submarine No. 6, Silent Mobius, Planetes

Light Purple = Code Geass, My-Hime, K-On!

Utilities = Freedom Project, Arjuna

Orange = Gurren Lagann, the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Cowboy Bebop

Red = 5 Centimeters per Second, the Girl who leapt Through Time, Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade

Yellow = Ghost Slayers Ayashi, Outlaw Star, Big O

Dark Green = Escaflowne, Love Hina, .hack//SIGN

Dark Blue = Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, MS Gundam

Next week: Monopoly month continues with the company that gave us the best, consistent English dubs, but was doomed by a dubious name change, and a more dubious faith in the marketability of the shojo genre – Geneon Entertainment, nee Pioneer USA.


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