NEWS – BEST MOTORING AND HOT VERSION KILLED OFF

April 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Japanese News, Latest Articles


I have just gotten off the phone from a 30 minute convo with Yasuhiko Tanabe, Manager of the Media Development division for 2&4 Motoring and I’m still reeling from what he told me. 2&4 Motoring, a subsidiary of the publishing giant Kodansha, are the awesome guys who brought to the world the publications of Hot Version and Best Motoring for over 24 years. Both publications are being killed off with immediate effect as of next month…

Forgive me for sounding a touch dramatic but these titles are part of the staple diet for JDM lovers the world over and have been around all of our adult lives, so to see them just removed with only a moments notice… well to be honest, it hurts a great deal. Our plans at 7TUNE involved re-igniting the International versions of Hot Version and Best Motoring – plans that will now have to sit to the side and gather dust.

And honestly, I’m extremely PISSED off about that. Excuse me while I find my voice…

These decisions cannot be changed but 7TUNE had a great working relationship with the team from 2&4 Motoring and they accepted us as part of their program. It was so awesome to be there with the team on location and we feel so privileged to have been invited to attend the shoots and sit in on the fun and we were very proud to bring you guys behind the scenes action from the events.

I’m sad to say this but I personally feel like there was more I could have done to stop this from happening…

Some have claimed it is the Best Motoring series that is being culled but the cuts run deeper with the whole 2&4 office set to close next month, and along with it, the Hot Version series as well.

Nothing I can say here will explain how absolutely gutted I feel about this news.

FaceBook majorly needs to make a HEAVILY DISLIKE button so we can all click it a million times in a show of support for these awesome productions…

Tanabe san, who was kind enough to give us some time on the phone today and deal with my terrible Japanese language abilities, told me that the team will disband and head to other areas, whether that be in television or other media. One positive thing he told me was that some members of the team will be continuing with their previously scheduled arrangements – most notably those matters relating to the Drift Muscle Championship. More to come on this shortly.

From what we understand, Hot Version #110 and Best Motoring April 2011 will be the last issues of the series and we are now in the process of putting together an order for 7TUNE readers that want to take a small slice of history before it disappears for good.

The reasons behind the culling are mixed but we are told sales have been declining for 3 years to this point; something the board at Kodansha couldn’t justify. Currently the management is assessing online options and this could bode well for a possible resurrection in one form or another. We, like you, hope this is sooner rather than later.

THANK YOU 2&4 MOTORING. YOU GAVE THE WORLD SOMETHING TO LOVE AND STOOD FOR ALL THAT WAS GOOD ABOUT JDM. WE HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL AGAIN SOONER BEFORE LATER…

We will keep you posted as we learn more but in the meantime, take a look back at some of our travels with the 2&4 team…

http://www.7tune.com/hot-version-battle-sendai-highland-part-1/

http://www.7tune.com/hot-version-battle-sendai-highland-%E2%80%93-part-2/

http://www.7tune.com/preview-hot-version-volume-108

  • Bucc-i

    In other news… Top Gear: Japan has been green lighted to start production!

  • http://7tune.com Adam Zillin

    Really? The light at the end of the tunnel presents itself!

  • Josh

    :(

  • http://hoonart.wordpress.com Bryce

    I’m shocked. This majorly sucks!

  • Bill

    YouTube killed it.

  • http://7tune.com Adam Zillin

    Sorry but excuse me while I say that view is rubbish.

    All they needed was one full time staff member to monitor online traffic, notify web entities of breaches to the content and hunt through sites to track down offending url’s and the game would still be on.

    They didn’t do that and I’m still pissed off about it. VERY pissed off.

  • http://7tune.com Adam Zillin

    HV and BM did NOT need to die off… that much is clear.

    There was a future outside Japan.

  • KyShro

    Sad day for all motorsports fans :( The series was influential to sooooo many people.

  • http://7tune.com Adam Zillin

    How much more gutted can the JDM scene get… I mean seriously…

  • Mikael Hinojosa

    I am guilt of loving the videos but never buying them. If they would have had some type of monthly video subscription, I would have joined but being the fact that you normally had to buy from a third party and pay shipping per video made it fail for me.

  • Ken

    Sh!t…….

  • Stephen

    Damn that sucks! I hope something can be resurrected of it.

  • Chong

    However tragic this is for all us Racing fans, there is a silver lining to be had; the Touge scene has just been put up for grabs. I see this as an opportunity to push to sport to mainstream here in the US…

  • Joel

    its a true shame. this is something that all car enthusiasts wanted to see the most: everyday (or modified) cars with professional drivers/racers at the wheel and pedals.

    there are only so many times you can watch the same youtube clips of your friend drag racing his Civic/Evo/S13/WRX/Mr2, before you want to see what a car can really do.

    if the videos were made available for online purchase (streaming) or online purchase (dvd/blu-ray) via the parent website on a subscription basis (buy 5, get 1 free, etc), i’ve no doubt that they would have made enough money to stay afloat.

    i’ve purchased a few BMI/HT dvds – due to the price, i only purchased the exact ones that interested me the most.

    i am sad to see HV and BMI fade away. :(

  • Justin Gardiner

    Couldn’t agree more. If 2×4 had moved with the times and offered their wares for download through iTunes, Amazon, Gree, Android or whatever they’d be quids in. Sending a DVD internationally through the post? Get real. Here in Japan too the DVDs disappeared from convenience store shelves years ago – neccessitating a trip to Autobacs or wherever just to buy a DVD – which would be freely available on YouTube by the time you get there. I’m as guilty as the next man of chosing option 2 (pun intended).
    The writing has been on the wall for these guys for quite some time.
    I just hope that Rev Speed, Option et al. are savvy enough to avoid the same fate.

  • Dustin

    I am very sad to hear this. I bought what I could afford to buy. I went to media production school and these videos are part of the reason I wanted to combine my to passions. I know it is alot of $$ to produce a video, so that’s why the price was kept high. But as a video magazine they could have sold ads to offset the price. I would rather watch 2 minutes of JDM car parts ads between every segment than to lose my favorite JDM video mag. I wish all envolved that are losing their jobs the best of luck!

  • http://7tune.com Adam Zillin

    I think this is a wake up call for the entire industry – and as Justin Gardiner eluded, us at 7TUNE as well. We’ve found there to be significant demand for bread and butter media purchases but there is no escaping the fact that traditional print and digital media cannot exist in the current forms they employ.

    Magazines will become a niche market and these producers will need to start looking at online opportunities to get their product to the masses.

    The entire business model needs to change – the current model is outdated and the collapse of BM and HV are perfect examples of why the current system just won’t work anymore.

    Let’s see if 7TUNE can’t help usher in the new wave next gen of JDM multimedia goodness!

  • http://7tune.com Adam Zillin

    The other thing is that the media companies here HAVE to start looking outside the Japanese market for sales. They tried in the past but demand is there – it’s all going to come down to the system used, how well that system works and on what level they will be able to provide the content.

    Publishing in English is a good place to start – even if it is only subtitles!

  • http://www.stayslideways.com StaySlidewaysdotCOM

    This is TERRIBLE…This is how we learned what drifting was…

    This is AMERICA’S JDM! GONE!

    Thumbs up to a online version. I’ll help produce it! lol.

  • Azlin K

    Unbelievable. So no concrete reasons were given for the closure? This reminds me of America’s Sports Compact Car Magazine. It was the best selling compared to the others but they were the first to be axed. Even now SCC cannot be replicated or duplicated.

    I would understand if Best Motoring sucked but they are so popular all over the world! I don’t think they are easily replaceable.

    *Sigh* No more Subaru Wrx Sti vs. Lancer Evo, no more drift battles, no more old vs new generations and just no more plain JDM goodness. This year just got even worse.

  • oskrB18

    ….so so sad with this… :(
    I love those vids, they are the real proof for the street racing cars and sport cars…

    No more Doridori laughs…

    Good bye BMI, Vtec Club, AE86 Club and Hot Version…

  • Yaroslav

    What the hell is going on?(((BMI, HotVersion….Restricions everywhere….
    Guys!!!What can you say about WRC??? Remember times…Group B-WRC-Now super 2000?What’s next?
    I REALLY TIRED OF THIS.
    Hope someday something will change!!!

  • Justin Gardiner

    I certainly see an opportunity for a web savvy entrepreneur here. Adam, you take a look at what Dennis publishing are doing with Evo’s contents these days. They seem to be on the ball.

  • http://7tune.com Adam Zillin

    Thanks Justin – checking it all out now. :)

  • http://jn-r.blogspot.com junior

    this is sad…a tear dropped from the deepest spot of my soul…

  • http://www.onlydominican.com scientist

    they should have move with the times. Bring their content to netflix, hulu and the like. The japanese are stuck in their ways, it keeps showing over and over as these japanese companies fall one by one

  • http://www.dzonemotorsporttv.webs.com Justin

    That series is like the Top Gear of Japan. To kill it off is like a stab in the colon.

  • am still young

    what about that guy (cant remember or spell his name) the owner of j’s racing? i heard he killed someone.

  • the_garynator

    they should make it into a tv show, sort of like top gear and include an international version as well…and like some have said, have it available on netflix, hulu or other sources.

  • Kev.sempaiR34

    This is some bullshit! This is the best car show out there with some of the best drivers in the world. Zannen desu! Mttaku arienai darou!

  • Eddyeddy46

    The day that the drifting and jdm scene was taken over by america was the beginning of the end and I said it then. The biggest appeal of BMI and the whole JDM scene was that it was Japanese and all of the fun and excitement that the Japanese people can bring to something like this. Had the scene remained local and not tried to make extra money from the large US market, it would have survived. The US love affair with JDM was always going to be only a fad and when the Americans got bored, the extra efforts made to Americanise Japanese motorsport interests diluted the insane passion that came from the Japanese fans and we were left with an over produced phoney tried hard Fast and Furious version that could not last because it was contrived for quick market growth.
    The exciting JDM scene in Japan will not die. It will just go back to its grass root, the real fans of this unique Japanese car scene and hopefully, if it regrows, the lessons learned will be remembered and international profits will not overun JDM culture again.

  • Nissanfreak81

    My heart is broken,these dvds were my only connection to drift king and friends,i have every possible one that in english,dubbed or sub titled. I hope they can release the 1s that never got subtitled,in a subtitled form,but I doubt it ll ever happen. I just hope that Drift Muscle is where they all go and the dvds or whatever they make with it will have the battles we love again!!!! Something…..

    • Anonymous

      It’s quite sad :( We grieve with you.

  • gordon

    this is really bullshit. Now, all there’s left is just Clarkson’s ramblings and driving (which were done by stuntmen and later edited as his work)….

  • Punisher

     ”The US love affair with JDM was always going to be only a fad and when
    the Americans got bored, the extra efforts made to Americanise Japanese
    motorsport interests diluted the insane passion that came from the
    Japanese fans and we were left with an over produced phoney tried hard
    Fast and Furious version that could not last because it was contrived
    for quick market growth.”

    Very true. I actually moved to Japan in November of 2010 because I wanted to race here. I got a chance to hang out with team Mecca, who I’d never heard of until I came to Tsukuba circuit. Apparently they’ve been racing at Tsukuba circuit for over 20 years as a team, and Nakayama-san founded Mecca racing in the classic “enthusiast means-to-an-end” way to pay for his racing. That was 30-40 years ago? They told me the same thing, the passion has been fizzling out. They also told me 10 years ago a different American came here and tried to do the same thing as me. He actually learned Japanese and he drove FJ16 cars.
    When I got to Tsukuba circuit now I don’t feel the excitment that you see in this TV show. It’s completely different in real life. There is racing and only racing.

    What do we watch now?

    I never watched Best Motoring or Hot Version until after I first visited Japan and Tsukuba circuit in 2009. I fell in love with the place and that’s where my passion for it came. The racing passion is so thick you can’t help but get sucked in. There is NOTHING like this in America or anywhere in the world that I have seen. It’s been an epic disaster since I got here though and everything is getting in the way of my racing. I only got to race once, and it was more of a shakedown than a race because it just unveiled problems with the car. Now the economy is so bad I can’t afford to keep doing it. Just the train fare to get out there is $30 and it takes 4 hours, one way. They don’t tell you that in the show.

  • Punisher

     ”The US love affair with JDM was always going to be only a fad and when
    the Americans got bored, the extra efforts made to Americanise Japanese
    motorsport interests diluted the insane passion that came from the
    Japanese fans and we were left with an over produced phoney tried hard
    Fast and Furious version that could not last because it was contrived
    for quick market growth.”

    Very true. I actually moved to Japan in November of 2010 because I wanted to race here. I got a chance to hang out with team Mecca, who I’d never heard of until I came to Tsukuba circuit. Apparently they’ve been racing at Tsukuba circuit for over 20 years as a team, and Nakayama-san founded Mecca racing in the classic “enthusiast means-to-an-end” way to pay for his racing. That was 30-40 years ago? They told me the same thing, the passion has been fizzling out. They also told me 10 years ago a different American came here and tried to do the same thing as me. He actually learned Japanese and he drove FJ16 cars.
    When I got to Tsukuba circuit now I don’t feel the excitment that you see in this TV show. It’s completely different in real life. There is racing and only racing.

    What do we watch now?

    I never watched Best Motoring or Hot Version until after I first visited Japan and Tsukuba circuit in 2009. I fell in love with the place and that’s where my passion for it came. The racing passion is so thick you can’t help but get sucked in. There is NOTHING like this in America or anywhere in the world that I have seen. It’s been an epic disaster since I got here though and everything is getting in the way of my racing. I only got to race once, and it was more of a shakedown than a race because it just unveiled problems with the car. Now the economy is so bad I can’t afford to keep doing it. Just the train fare to get out there is $30 and it takes 4 hours, one way. They don’t tell you that in the show.

  • JiSiN

    i’m so shocked!

    i have so many BM and HV at home.
    and now Tsuchiya, Orido, Taniguchi, Gansan all of them gonna stop that?
    its a big change in my life… cant believe this is happening!

    if there is a dislike button i need to find that one.
    i really want them back!

  • Stevieratcliffe

    Real shame. I’ve been watching these for the last 12 odd years thru CRX and Integra R ownership. What a real bugger. Totally kicks the ass of all other car programs esp top gear. Sad new indeed. Now where can I buy all the back issues!

  • Thmoas

     I’m so sad now, I only found out just today.
    I hope some entertainement group will revive this series. It was so fun to watch and there were a lot of cars that could be made/set up by the viewer self. Affordable and people with a budget. Offcourse the supercars are not for everyone. But still.

    I think the marketing around this series is a problem. I’ve showed these series to friends and they loved it. But never heard of it before!

    I’m looking for all the DVD’s & episodes to buy, but I cant find a good site were there all located on 1 place to buy.
    Any suggestions, I would be very greatfull!

    Greetings out of Belgium!

    • K_oduornoah

      Thomas first off, Hot Version was reinstated. secondly, check out Duke Video, or GT Channel website to get dvds

      • Thomas

         Ow, good news!
        Thank you for the information! I will sponsor by buying the dvd’s ;-)

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