2011 was a very challenging year for Happy Chicken Group and Studio Happy Chicken. Actually, to say challenge is being very kind and political of me… it was a rough year, and saying rough is being nice. Even as you read this the landscape of how entertainment is being consumed and delivered is changing worldwide, although nowhere is it changing as fast as it is in America, one of our major markets. One of our big challenges is straddling the divide between Asia, where media is still widely viewed on DVD (Blu-Ray is starting to come into its own) and North America where the DVD market is almost dead, Blu-Ray is king as far as physical media is concerned, and more and more consumers are choosing to stream or download their entertainment. Many companies are going to go belly up during this time of tribulation, and I’m working hard to make sure Happy Chicken isn’t one of them. In order to safeguard the future of the studio, some things are going to have to change.
Our biggest challenge in the North American market is the misunderstanding of what gravure is. Many people think, our distributor included, that Happy Chicken Pink makes XXX pornographic films; but we do not. It’s true that some of our titles, such as Ayaka is Your Angel and Les Gamins, contain some nudity, but it is presented tastefully and is never explicit. The idea that something can be sexy without going all the way into full-blown pornography is such a new and strange idea in the American marketplace that it makes it difficult to market. One of our major accomplishments of the last year was that our titles were picked up by such family-friendly retailers such as Best Buy, Target, and Sears. If gravure is to find a lasting hold in the North American market, it must do so by distancing itself as far away from pornography as possible.
The most difficult decision I’ve had to make is shelving one of our most anticipated films, Another Take on Catherine. It’s with an extremely heavy heart that I announce this, as Catherine has brought us the most press and garnered Happy Chicken Pink many new fans. At this time, it just isn’t feasibly possible to get Catherine out the door. Will it see the light of day in the future? Maybe. I wish it could have been released when it was originally slated, but that date slipped and then slipped again. As for the fans, for now I can only offer up my condolences and this clip that gives a little taste of what Another Take on Catherine would have been like. It’s meant to be watched at a resolution of 720p.
It’s actually very difficult to get an idea to transform into reality, and at this time I would like to personally thank Rei Mase, Jarod Hodge, and CoCo for all the hard work and time they put into this project.
One of the things coming from us in 2012 that I’m personally most excited about is a series called Game Girls Go! It’s my hope that Game Girls will help ease some of the sting caused by the cancellation of Another Take on Catherine. I don’t want to give away too much too soon, but we’ve got some big names behind it, and Game Girls Go! should feed the cravings of both video game fans as well as fans of sexy Asian girls quite nicely. It’s the ultimate fusing of games and girls. My hope is that Game Girls Go! will bring gravure into the American mainstream and away from the place in curiosity it now holds.
2012 looks to be an exciting year for Studio Happy Chicken!