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A question / thought on newer Blu-ray anime releases.




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etempest2k7



Joined: 05 Feb 2007
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:49 pm Reply with quote
This is going to be a minor vent about direction the anime industry, but wondering if anyone else noticed this.

Increasing number of blu-ray releases being limited edition / quantity / priced pretty high. Once it becomes out of print, the price just get ridiculous. I thought tracking down / buying Bandi Usa series I wanted was pricey when they shut down / stopped production of dvd's faster then they planned.

I'm thinking this is due to Japanese companies afraid of reverse importation, but this has cut down my anime purchasing, causing me to not watch some series at all. Aniplex seems to be the one doing this at the moment the most.

I did manage to find a copy of Puella Magi Madoka Magica Rebellion blu-ray for $20 on Amazon no less (more of an anomaly based on other's selling prices), but I'm glad I own the original series. Looking at prices for the 1st two movie and owning the original, I can't justify spending the money.

I also feel part of the problem, since to save money will have to pre-order buy upcoming Sailor Moon / New Sailor Moon series. But I'm buying less and less anime over time. Crunchyroll is a good source, but nothing on there lasts for ever and I want to own a copy of some series,

I'm wondering if I'm noticing a trend or I'm noticing more isolated cases?
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DJStarstryker



Joined: 16 Jan 2010
Posts: 54

PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 8:13 am Reply with quote
It's mostly an Aniplex thing. Aniplex is charging almost the same prices as in Japan.

Anime is ridiculously expensive in Japan. 13 episode series shows are split out to 1-2 episodes on 6-7 volumes - $420-$490 for the whole thing.

The other US anime companies (Funimation, Sentai, Viz, NIS America) are charging more reasonable prices. TBH, anime is far cheaper in the US than it was up until the mid-2000s. That's when anime was $30 for a 4 episode VHS tape/DVD. There was a big anime bust in the mid-2000s - people stopped buying. So cheap DVD sets started coming out. The prices are starting to crawl back up, but they're still pretty good.
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yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
Posts: 1380

PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:00 am Reply with quote
I think Aniplex realizes what many of us have known for some time. The combination of streaming and piracy fulfills most of the casual demand for anime, so the only real market for discs is collectors. They'll pay the $10/episode Aniplex charges to own a personal copy of Madoka or Kill la Kill. The rest of us are happy to watch those shows on Crunchyroll or Netflix, or download fansubbed rips of Japanese BDs.

Demand for US anime seemed more price-elastic when the only competition was illegal content. Now that streaming has provided a legal option to purchasing discs, the demand for DVDs and BDs is becoming more inelastic just as it always has been in Japan.
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Animegomaniac



Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 1485

PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:59 pm Reply with quote
yuna49 wrote:
I think Aniplex realizes what many of us have known for some time. The combination of streaming and piracy fulfills most of the casual demand for anime, so the only real market for discs is collectors. They'll pay the $10/episode Aniplex charges to own a personal copy of Madoka or Kill la Kill.


Who is this mysterious "they"? But again, this must be part of the "Real fans pay an arm and a leg" crowd so take it however you want.

AoA has succeeded by playing a different game; Mostly by not playing. They set a sales mark, reverse engineer to a price point and aim to sell that many copies, very much unlike Bandai's and Geneon's "produce, produce, produce!" strategy. The secondary market shows by how much the primary market underscores. It's better for them, not the market and in this case, the market is "us" {I think it's "us". Certainly "me" anyway}.

They do not care. Any sort of realizations they have is in subservice to their main Japan branch, which is to not affect prices there.

A fine line exists though which this post clearly ignores. Why produce a dub for a show you don't really want to sell? Why sell a show only on DVD that you can stream in HD? Those releases aren't for collectors {"Collectors" don't care about dubs but do care about HD, right?} yet they're still priced that way.

The argument can also go that piracy predates streaming yet still coexists along side it {and it probably created it}. Physical releases declined with the economy {everyone always ignores this in favor of "AoA is always right!"} but they seem to be on the rise; Discotek continues to expand, NIS is trying new things, Funimation continues to broaden, Viz is going retro with "nostalgia" and Sentai is ... continuing to following two steps behind Funimation.

And the rise is because of streaming. And a better economy but that's a pointless fact in the face of piracy and dirt cheap streaming {or is it?!}.
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Ggultra2764
Collector ExtraordinaireCollector Extraordinaire


Joined: 21 Jan 2004
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Location: New York state.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:34 pm Reply with quote
It's not just Aniplex adopting the whole "special/ limited edition" craze for their titles. NIS America's been doing the same thing since they started releasing anime and the more affordable distributors (Funi, Sentai and Viz) are just starting to get in on the act from seeing how well it works for Aniplex and NIS, though we at least get the option of regular editions from the mentioned three distributors. It looks like the industry may be going in the direction of more limited/ special edition releases with more folks adopting legal streaming to get their anime fix as it is much more easier to watch a title online legally than it was 5-10 years ago.
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Sailor S
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Joined: 20 May 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 10:56 pm Reply with quote
Animegomaniac wrote:


Who is this mysterious "they"? But again, this must be part of the "Real fans pay an arm and a leg" crowd so take it however you want.


There is nothing mysterious about it. yuna49 clearly spelled it out by saying "collectors" and he/she is right. It's got nothing to do with a "real fans" argument, rather collectors are happy to get a nice looking set and as long as it's within a price range they can afford, it doesn't matter what the rest of the market thinks. Now, you do make some good points as to Aniplex doing DVD only sets, and as a collector myself, those sets irritate me. It also irritates me that when asked about why they only give the bullshit answer of "it's on a case by case basis". So, for their DVD sets, screw them. But their BD stuff is golden.
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Blood-
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Joined: 07 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 6:13 am Reply with quote
AoA is by far the worst offender. Every other company that offers LEs also offers market price cheaper alternatives. Even on the (somewhat) rare occasions when AoA deigns to offer a cheaper alternative, those bare-bones releases are still more expensive than the other distribs.

The other factor which the OP mentioned is that when a title goes OOP, the price naturally sky rockets as the Iron Law of Suppy & Demand kicks in. The only good thing is that sometimes an OOP title gets re-licensed and re-issued, making prices sane again.
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Violynne



Joined: 09 May 2014
Posts: 45
Location: Megaton, Captial Wasteland

PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:40 pm Reply with quote
etempest2k7 wrote:
Increasing number of blu-ray releases being limited edition / quantity / priced pretty high.

I'll not speak of the Aniplex issues, since most people covered that, but overall, blurays are more expensive as most local distributors will split them into two parts, making a series over $100, in some cases.

Don't expect the prices to get lower over time for new releases. While no one will confirm the numbers, the common knowledge is as demand decreases, prices increase.

It's truly becoming a collector's market, as many people will stream a series since it's no longer necessary to buy it to watch it.

Just this year, I've noticed prices have gone up again by about $2 per collection, so it's not surprising.

You could wait and see if prices drop through the normal windowing, but this also seems to be getting longer. I've been keeping an eye on a few titles, but so far, they've not come down in price. Three of them have been out for three years and all are still at regular price, which has gone up $3 since I put them into my wish list.

My advice is to write down a pros/cons list if money is tight, and buy those titles you really want.

Oh, and Rightstuf usually has a great year-end sale, so you can take a chance and hope the title(s) you want get reduced.
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