Do you know how hard it was not to bombard this article with cute images of Chi?
As 2014 comes to a close, it is time to reflect on just how big a year this has been. It has undoubtedly been a massive year for the Australian anime industry with the rise of simulcasting / online streaming, numerous conventions with high turn-outs, a wealth of anime releases and a few other surprises and treats along the way. As I did last year, I have reached out to representatives from each of Australia’s major anime publishers with some questions about the year – and potential plans for 2015.
Siren Visual is a company that is all about niche anime releases, including a wealth of titles that they have exclusively brought to Australia. In that regard they have walked away with more “Australian Anime Release of the Year” awards on The Otaku’s Study than any other publisher. While they may not have matched their competition in terms of quantity this year, they were certainly up there in terms of quality, with licenses including Monster (Released over five parts and the first series ever to receive a coveted A+ grade on The Otaku’s Study), a Blu-ray release of DuRaRaRa!! and the insanely adorable Chi’s Sweet Home.
Last year I spoke to Leon from Siren Visual about 2013 and their goals for 2014. I have once again had the pleasure of sending him through a couple of questions in regards to this year and next, which I invite you to read the responses to below:
With another year in the Australian anime industry almost over, how has 2014 been for Siren Visual?
A good year. We released some great titles which remain exclusive to our library and have brought us a lot of attention outside of Australia whilst our local releases of The Devil is a Part Timer! and the Queen’s Blade franchise have been very popular. Our live-action titles have also performed well this year.
With quite a few Australian exclusives under your belt in addition to a number of more mainstream titles, were there any titles that drew in a notably strong reception this year?
From the Oz exclusives, Chihayafuru, Monster and Chi’s Sweet Home/New Address. Our Cannibal Holocaust Blu-ray continues to get rave reviews and Our Man in Tehran garnered an excellent response when it ran in cinemas around the country.
In recent months you have added some classic anime series such as NADIA Secret of Blue Water to your release slate. Do you have strong expectations for these? What do you think is the appeal going back to older series that newer anime fans might have never heard of – let alone watched?
Of course we have strong expectations – they’re great series! The appeal of these older titles is simple: they’re gems. There are not many series from recent seasons which will be hailed as classics in 20 years like Nadia. RahXephon has been out of print in Australia for some time and there are new fans who need it.
Can we expect Siren Visual to possibly announce even more classic anime series in the new year?
You have recently had a couple of your anime series such as Angel Beats! and The Devil is a Part Timer! added to the AnimeLab video on demand service. Can fans expect to see even more of your anime releases added onto the service in 2015?
Certainly. Our AnimeLab titles have had a great response and we experienced a spike in DVD/BD sales for those series once they went up on the site. It’s a big step forward for the delivery of anime content in Australia and it’s great to be a part of that.
With 2015 just around the corner, what can we expect to see from Siren Visual in the new year?
More Australian exclusives, more classic titles, more Blu-ray, more live-action, lots of festival travel. We’re working on a new website, too.
To wrap things up, what has been your personal favourite anime release of 2014?
Monster. When the final volume was released it was like running past home base and collecting the pennant! Hopefully we’ll have our limited edition box-set + booklet announced soon.