Anyone can build up a huge library. It’s what ADV does with it that’s interesting. Ledford aims his shows at small groups, knowing that if he can keep costs down—licensing properties on the cheap, basing his operation in low-cost Houston, using non-union actors to do voice-overs in his own studio—he does not need boffo box office to make money. (His average per-title margin: 25%.) As long as the otaku are nice and frenzied, the formula works. So Ledford makes sure voice actors and execs in his companies make a big presence at the fan shows. He’s also adept at creating useful controversies: When ADV thought a Scooby Doo-esque series called Ghost Stories would be a dud, it issued a version with an intentionally inaccurate translation of the script—redubbing the characters to be more American (the leader now has attitude, and the boring sidekick was made into a born-again Christian)—knowing that would stir powerful passions. Authenticity being the Way of the Otaku, fans obliged by erupting in a furor. Then they ran out to buy the DVDs to assess the damage. Some found they actually liked the show and turned Ghost Stories into a mini hit for ADV. That’s just what Ledford’s looking for. “Our company is built around base hits,” he says.