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Geneon Universal Entertainment
Type Subsidiary of Universal Pictures International
Founded March, 1981
Headquarters Akasaka, Tokyo, Japan
Industry Home Media, Anime Media and Entertainment
Owner(s) NBC Universal's Universal Pictures International Entertainment (80.1%)
Website http://www.geneonuniversal.jp/

Geneon Universal Entertainment Japan, LLC. (ジェネオン・ユニバーサル・エンターテイメントジャパン株式会社 Jeneon Yunibaasaru Entateinmento Kabushiki-gaisha?) (formerly known as Pioneer Entertainment, or Pioneer LDC - Pioneer LaserDisc Company, a former subsidiary of Pioneer Corporation) is a Japanese anime and home entertainment production and distribution enterprise headquartered in Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo, Japan. Geneon has been involved in the production and distribution of several anime in Japan. Geneon's North American branch specialized in translating and distributing anime and related merchandise, such as soundtracks across the region. Geneon is a portmanteau of the English words, generate and eon. On February 1, 2009, Geneon merged with Universal Pictures Japan into Geneon Universal Entertainment.

Contents

History

Geneon Universal was originally formed under the name Pioneer LDC in 1981. In July 2003, the company was acquired by Japanese advertising and marketing company firm Dentsu and renamed to Geneon Entertainment, while its North American division, Pioneer Entertainment, was renamed to Geneon USA.[1]

They also signed a deal with Viz Media to release their properties to DVD such as Pokemon and Ranma 1/2 before Viz began producing their own DVDs.

In November 2004, Geneon USA signed a deal with Toei Animation to distribute some of their titles into the North American market.[2] Launching titles included Air Master, Interlude, and Slam Dunk. However, in late 2006, the deal ended and all of the released titles went out of print.[3]

In March 2007, Geneon became the exclusive North American distributor for Bandai Visual USA.[4] Four months later, it was announced that ADV Films would take over the distribution, marketing, and sales of Geneon USA's properties in the United States, starting October 1, 2007. According to the announcement, Geneon USA would continue to acquire, license, and produce English subs and dubs of anime for release in North America.[5] However, the deal was canceled in September before it was ever implemented, with neither company giving details as to why beyond stating they were "unable to reach a mutual agreement."[6][7] On December 3, the Geneon USA division was completely shut down, with titles solicited through November 5 shipped. Titles that were in mid-release or licensed but unreleased were left in limbo.[8] The Bandai Visual USA titles that were being distributed by Geneon were not affected by this closure, though some were delayed while Bandai Visual found a new distributor.[9]

Another North American anime distributor, Funimation Entertainment, began negotiating with Geneon USA to acquire some of the company's licensed titles.[10] In July 2008, a formal arrangement was announced and Funimation acquired the rights to "manufacture, sell, and distribute" various Geneon anime and live-action titles.[11][12] On November 12, 2008, Dentsu announced that it was selling 80.1% of its ownership in the company to NBC Universal's Universal Pictures International Entertainment (UPI), which plans to merge the company with its Universal Pictures Japan division to form a new company.[13] The merger closed on February 1, 2009. The new company is named Geneon Universal Entertainment Japan.[14]

Reception

In 2006, Geneon was named "Best Anime Company" by the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation.[15]

References

  1. ^ "Dentsu acquires Pioneer". Anime News Network. July 21, 2003. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2003-07-21/dentsu-acquires-pioneer. Retrieved September 16, 2007. 
  2. ^ "Geneon Entertainment Signs Distribution Agreement With Toei Animation". Anime News Network. November 11, 2004. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/press-release/2004-11-11/geneon-entertainment-signs-distribution-agreement-with-toei-animation. Retrieved December 24, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Toei DVDs Cancelled". Anime News Network. September 18, 2006. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2006-09-18/toei-dvds-cancelled. Retrieved December 24, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Bandai Visual USA New Licenses And Distribution Deal". Anime News Network. March 5, 2007. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2007-03-05/bandai-visual-usa-new-licenses-and-distribution-deal. Retrieved December 24, 2009. 
  5. ^ "ADV Takes Over Geneon's Sales, Marketing, Distribution". Anime News Network. August 24, 2007. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2007-08-24/adv-takes-over-geneon-sales-marketing-and-distribution. Retrieved September 16, 2007. 
  6. ^ "ADV Films, Geneon USA's Distribution Deal Cancelled". Anime News Network. September 20, 2007. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2007-09-20/adv-films-geneon-entertainment-distribution-deal-cancelled. Retrieved September 20, 2007. 
  7. ^ Dentsu (September 21, 2007). "Geneon USA Withdraws Appointment of Anime DVD Distribution Business to A.D. Vision" (PDF). Press release. http://www.dentsu.com/news/2007/pdf/2007064-0921.pdf. Retrieved September 21, 2007. 
  8. ^ "Geneon USA to Cancel DVD Sales, Distribution by Friday". Anime News Network. September 26, 2007. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2007-09-26/geneon-usa-to-cancel-dvd-sales-distribution-by-friday. Retrieved November 13, 2008. 
  9. ^ Bandai Visual (September 26, 2007). "Bandai Visual USA Continues to Release New Titles as Scheduled" (PDF). Press release. http://www.bandaivisual.us/pdfs/PressRelease070926.pdf. Retrieved May 2, 2008. 
  10. ^ "Navarre/FUNimation Interested in Some Geneon Titles". ICv2. February 2, 2008. http://www.icv2.com/articles/home/12043.html. Retrieved February 2, 2008. 
  11. ^ "FUNimation Agrees to Distribute Select Geneon Titles". Anime News Network. July 3, 2008. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-07-03/funimation-agrees-to-distribute-select-geneon-titles. Retrieved November 13, 2008. 
  12. ^ Anime News Network (July 3, 2008). "FUNimation Entertainment and Geneon Entertainment Sign Exclusive Distribution Agreement for North America". Press release. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/press-release/2008-07-03/funimation-entertainment-and-geneon-entertainment-sign-exclusive-distribution-agreement-for-north-america. Retrieved November 13, 2008. 
  13. ^ "Geneon to Merge with Universal Pictures Japan". Anime News Network. November 12, 2008. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-11-12/geneon-to-merge-with-universal-pictures-japan. Retrieved November 13, 2008. 
  14. ^ "Geneon Universal Entertainment Japan Official Website" (in Japanese). http://www.geneonuniversal.jp/. Retrieved February 22, 2009. 
  15. ^ "Akimbo Adds Geneon to Its Acclaimed Anime on Demand Collection". Anime News Network. June 13th 2007. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/press-release/2007-06-13/akimbo-adds-geneon-to-its-acclaimed-anime-on-demand-collection. Retrieved May 18, 2009. 

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