Production Committee of the “Ro-Kyu-Bu!” Anime Series Buysback Home Video Rights from Sentai Filmworks
Sentai Filmworks has announced that they will be complying with a request From ASCII Media Work’s “Ro-Kyu-Bu Production Committee” to buyback the home video rights to the Ro-Kyu-Bu! television anime. Sentai Filmworks will retain the rights to broadcast the series on TV, and to stream it digitally online. The request was extended to all publishing companies outside of Asia.
No apparent reason was given for the buyback, though there are some theories present.
Is this another case of the Japanese distributor being worried about reverse importing? This seems unlikely, as sales for the Blu-Ray releases were decent in Japan. In addition, Sentai Filmworks only had plans to release the series on DVD, rather than Blu-Ray (Japanese Blu-Ray discs share the same region code as that of US discs).
It is doubtful that the committee was worried about situational subject-matter in the show, which features a male high school student coaching a young-girl’s basketball team. There have been other recent releases which are on a far more suggestive level than Ro-Kyu-Bu! It is interesting to note that Sentai Filmworks is able to retain streaming rights, where suggestive content is usually censored. Home-video releases usually contain the uncut and uncensored version of any given show.
Perhaps the committee is actually wary of releasing the show due to some of the recent sports-related scandals in the US (Jerry Sandusky). Though I think that this is a plausible theory, we may never truly know.
Via. Anime News Network