Akemi's Anime World

Sentai Filmworks Anime Company

A bit of info about Sentai Filmworks.

Company Overview

Sentai Filmworks is, at least in North America, a very new company. They have, however, been growing rapidly, both with new licenses and several older ones they bought from Geneon when it closed up shop. Sentai Filmworks handles the licensing end of things; Section23 handles the localization and distribution of their titles in North America, a relationship that company inherited from its predecessor, ADV. While Sentai Filmworks isn't, in the strictest sense, part of the post-rebranding ADV pantheon, due to their close relationship with Section23 they are for practical purposes the modern rebirth of the old powerhouse.

Their Catalog

Their catalog is already of reasonable size and is growing rapidly. It's mostly composed of newer TV series, with a few slightly older ones from Geneon's back catalog rounding it out, and even a classic or two--they recently released Ghost Sweeper Mikami. The range is broad, but tends toward lighter comedy/action fare, with a general lean toward at least teenage audiences. Some of their better-known titles include Orphen, Mahoromatic, Clannad, the Sakura Wars TV series, and the older of the two new CG Appleseed movies, one of the handful of exceptions to their TV-series-heavy catalog. Notably, they've been quick to license and release shows like Maria+Holic.

They also get credit for picking up the licenses to several high quality offbeat shows from Geneon, in particular Daphne in the Brilliant Blue and Dokkoida?! They even grabbed Petshop of Horrors, which had been out of print for a while.

What Their Releases Are Like

Thus far Sentai Filmworks has done a solid job of DVD releases. Their catalog is almost exclusively comprised of TV series, which they've consistently released as full-season sets at a reasonable price, or, for two-season shows (Daphne in the Brilliant Blue, for example), as both two one-season sets and a box of the whole show for a little less than the two half-sets combined. Their prices aren't dirt cheap for 13 episodes, but they're not expensive, either, and certainly a lot less than a one-disc-at-a-time release would be.

One thing they have not done much of is dubbing; the shows that had existing dubs from Geneon include an English audio track, but only a handful of their own most recent new licenses include an original dub.

The company claims that they have a presence on VOD sites--listing iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, and more--but at this point that appears to be pretty much limited to Appleseed and maybe a couple of other titles. They have jumped strongly on board with Blu-ray, however, with several full-series sets and simultaneous BD/DVD releases; their BD prices aren't as cheap as Funimation's, but they're also not unreasonable for two seasons of high-def anime.