This is an open letter written by me, on behalf of all Monogatari fans in Australia (and New Zealand), and directed straight at Hanabee.
Dear Eric Cherry, CEO of Hanabee.
From one anime fan to another, I love Monogatari, and I have ever since Bakemonogatari aired in 2009. I was so excited when they announced at the end of Bakemonogatari they were going to make a Kizumonogatari film. More Araragi, the teasing in the film, Kiss Shot, so excited for the film!
This was 2009. A time when I doubted we’d even get the Monogatari series in the West, or better yet Australia. I didn’t think seeing the film in cinemas was going to happen.
Fast forward a few years to 2013, when you released Bakemonogatari DVD only, in that amazing book. It was great finally having the physical copy of a show I loved so much, and such beautifully presented. I was disappointed at the lack of Blu-Ray, but happily that came later. Monogatari is such a gorgeous series that needed to be presented in high definition and you delivered that, upon fans request and you continue to do so.
Since 2013, Monogatari has continued to grow and grow, but without Kizumonogatari, a film that fans had been waiting years for. Then it happened, in October 2015, Kizumonogatari was announced to be 3 films, more than we hoped for, we’d waited half a decade for it.
In that time, we’ve had Australian film releases for Madoka Magica (an Aniplex of America title like Monogatari, and Shaft-based too!), Evangelion 3.0, Love Live!, and so many more. Anime is on the rise in Australia, and with a fanbase salivating for Kizumonogatari, it’s such a shame that when I asked you about it at Supanova Melbourne, Cameron said that there weren’t any plans for it.
This made me upset, as a fan of Monogatari, and one that highly praised your release of it in 2013, myself and many others were left out in the cold.
Is it so hard Hanabee?
This is only compounded by the fact that Kizumonogatari has had releases in the States from Aniplex of America, and in Germany! Where’s the love for us?
Now, I understand better than anyone the difficulty of getting a Japanese production into Australian cinemas. The contracts, the encoding of DCP’s, transportation, making sure you’re not waiting for this day, etc. I understand that you may have a cost/benefit analysis and thought that it wasn’t worth it based off the current sales of Monogatari in Australia. Is doing a one-day Australia-wide screening worth it?
Personally, looking at the outcry from Monogatari fans, and the competition of anime films ramping up, and the fact that you can screen a web series in theatres and have people show up, says to me that yes, it is profitable.
Now, I don’t know how much you’ll have to pay Japan to get the rights, and to be fair, I can’t know as every contract is different, but the cost of the great publicity this would garner would, and could outweigh that.
Though, if you don’t want to go wide, you could always do what you did with Lazor Team and RWBY and use Tugg to gather support. I’m sure you’ll get it.
The last issue is that you don’t seem to be responding to questions about this on social media, with people even calling you out on it. Build back that trust you had when you started, be that #1 challenger in Anime you want to be, because at this rate, it just seems like you’re paying more attention to Rooster Teeth than anime.
Hell, with the second film coming out soon, why not a double feature?
If all else fails, I’d at least buy a cinema out to watch it.
Thank you for reading Eric and the guys over at Hanabee,
Daryl “DoctorDazza” Harding