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Movies/TV Would ADV lasted longer if they had their own "Dragon Ball Z"?


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Funimation has Dragon Ball Z, Viz has Naruto, Bandai had Gundam, Saban had Digimon, and 4kids had Pokémon, hell even DiC had Sailor Moon. These were all anime that helped fuel the american anime boom in the early-mid 2000s. However, famed anime distributor ADV Films, despite being one of the early pioneers of American anime distribution, never really seemed to have had its own long running anime giant, and was more known for niche titles, rather than ones with mass market, TV appeal in America. The closest they had was Evangelion, and while it was hugely influential in japan, the problem was that it was only 26 episodes. And despite a brief, heavily censored run on Cartoon Network (3 episodes during Toonami's Giant Robot Week), it really seemed to be more popular with hardcore anime fans in America rather than the masses.


So I've been thinking, would ADV still be around today if they had their own long-running, mainstream anime hit like DBZ or Naruto? The vast majority of shows ADV aquired were around 26 episodes or less. I remember before Funimation got Sgt. Frog, ADV had the series. Apparently ADV was in talks with Nickelodeon for them to air the show. I read that they pitched 3 pilots, one for the anime fans, one for mass market, and one for kids. Nick liked the kids' pilot and said they would pick up the show if ADV could secure merchandising rights. However, Sgt. Frog, along with 29 other anime ADV licensed, were quickly transfered to Funimation before the pitch was completed, so it never aired on TV. Here's the opening theme to ADV's TV version of the show.
So, maybe Sgt. Frog could've been the mainstream TV hit ADV supposedly wanted. Now I understand you don't always need 100+ episodes to be a mainstream success in America, FMA had around 63 episodes, but it was extremely popular when on Adult Swim. And not all 100+ episode anime make it to mainstream TV popularity, Fairy Tail still has yet to air on Adult Swim.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, did ADV needed a mainstream TV hit?
Edited by TheMisterManGuy
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While ADV isn't around per se, they do still exist as all those smaller companies split up like Seraphim, Section 23, Sentai Filmworks, etc. As Adam Sheehan from Funimation put it, "ADV isn't out of business. ADV did remaster itself, as you might call it, and change itself into multiple different companies (Section 23, etc.), holding different parts of its brands, of its marketing, so [it's] still around...the best way I would describe it is to think of it as Voltron. if it turned back into the five lions, so its not the one Voltron robot anymore, so the ADV logo is no longer around, but the lions and all the properties are still around."


To my knowledge, part of their downfall came from over-extending themselves with manga licenses in the years leading up to the dissolution of ADV. They got hit hard when the manga bubble burst, like Central Park Media, Tokyopop, etc. On the anime side, they did have a few shows that showed regularly on TV like Monster Rancher and Rurouni Kenshin, but none that had seriously long runs. I'm not sure that Sgt. Frog would have "saved" them anyway with the severe contraction that occurred in the market, not that their current situation is terrible, either.

Edited by HocusPocus
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