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Answerman - When Did US Anime Publishers Transition from VHS to DVD?


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Brand



Joined: 30 Jan 2006
Posts: 954
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:19 pm Reply with quote
I was working at EB when the PS2 released and that seemed to be a big changing point from DVD to VHS in general. DVDs were gaining traction but there was still a lot of VHS. But suddenly tons of people who might of not been in a hurry to buy a DVD player had one.

And for anime fans this was a big deal. People might look back and complain how expensive it was around this time. But as someone who as around for the VHS days it was a huge decrease in costs. A tape might have anywhere from 1-4 episodes on it. Oh! My Goddess, $30 bucks one episode. Eva, $30 dollars two episodes. Slayers was super cheap at like $30 dollars for four episodes. Most DVDs had 3 or 4 episodes and you no longer had to choose if you wanted sub or dub generally you got both. Which also meant you didn't have to special order your sub tapes because they store didn't carry them in stock. Also since DVDs had more episodes on a disk getting a box set of series wasn't quite as insane as it was as getting on VHS tape.
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Spawn29



Joined: 14 Jan 2008
Posts: 267
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:27 pm Reply with quote
I still bought stuff on VHS until 2003 when I got my own PS2 for X-Mas 2003. I only had one DVD player in the living room and I could not watch anything on my own at the time. Not to mention VHS where cheaper than DVD's at the time.
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Hiro94



Joined: 21 Sep 2009
Posts: 297
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:39 pm Reply with quote
I remember getting my first DVD player in 2003. I collected anime on vhs and dvd simultaneously until 2005. once the end of 2005-2006 rolled around I almost exclusively bought my anime on DVD. I can still remember the days in 2001-2002 when sam goody and Walmart had so many Different Dragonball volumes on vhs it was insanity.
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Galap
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:44 pm Reply with quote
We stayed on VHS for quite a while. I don't remember the year we got our first DVD player, but I'd guess it was around 2005 or so.

They say you're used to what you grow up with, so the way VHS looks doesn't actually bother me at all, and I kind of even manage to ignore its video artifacts (while those of DVD are glaringly annoying to me). IDK. even though DVD has higher resolution, it often looks very pixelated and I prefer the softer appearance of the analog signal, even though it has much lower resolution, especially for animation.

That said, BluRay is significantly better than both of them, and there the resolution is high enough to not look pixelated at all.
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Triltaison



Joined: 03 Jul 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:45 pm Reply with quote
According to release dates online and in the ANN encyclopedia, there are two copies of the Ranma 1/2: Big Trouble in Nekonron China movie that actually predate that The Art of Fighting release. This one came out in May of '98. I happen to own it, and the disc comes in a CD jewel case that fits into a larger cardboard box that's roughly the size of a normal DVD box. There was another one that came out in June with a more normal case, as I recall. I only remember the Ranma movie because I always assumed it was the oldest release in my collection, based on that packaging design that was only used in the early days of DVD. Looks like it might possibly be the oldest anime release too, unless someone else remembers one even earlier.

I do remember buying both VHS and DVD at the same time, weighing the costs of the individual item. I've always been curious how the short-lived VCD or minidisc fit into the equation, though. The only VCD series I got to watch was Tenchi, and it was hard to find it even when it was in print and a viable medium.
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epicwizard



Joined: 03 Jul 2014
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Location: Ashburn, VA
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:55 pm Reply with quote
Based on research I did online, Doraemon 2005's initial rental home media release in Japan in February 2006 was on DVD and VHS. However, it seems that Toho stopped releasing the series on VHS after volume 6 since I couldn't find any images for a VHS version of volume 7.
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Zin5ki
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Joined: 06 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:55 pm Reply with quote
Galap wrote:
They say you're used to what you grow up with, so the way VHS looks doesn't actually bother me at all, and I kind of even manage to ignore its video artifacts (while those of DVD are glaringly annoying to me).

I am still quite satisfied by DVD, for the very reason you state! That said, a Blu-Ray release of my favourite anime has finally been announced, which may be the requisite spur for me to finally consider adopting the newer format.
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Spawn29



Joined: 14 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 1:05 pm Reply with quote
I only buy Blu-Rays unless the Blu-Ray sucks (Like the FLCL blu-ray) or there is no Blu-Ray version. I still own several anime on DVD due to not having a Blu-Ray release.
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jsevakis
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Joined: 28 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 1:06 pm Reply with quote
Art of Fighting may have been late 1997. The release definitely beat all of the Viz and Pioneer titles to market, and was beat by Ninja Mono by only a month or two. But exact release dates on these discs in both countries are very hard to nail down -- everywhere I look has something different, or lists a January 1 release date, which is clearly a filler "dunno, sometime that year" date. I wish I had some old print magazines from that era, because I can't trust any dates from the Internet from that era. Nothing reliable survives.
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FLCLGainax



Joined: 10 May 2010
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Location: USA
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 1:09 pm Reply with quote
Triltaison wrote:
I only remember the Ranma movie because I always assumed it was the oldest release in my collection, based on that packaging design that was only used in the early days of DVD. Looks like it might possibly be the oldest anime release too, unless someone else remembers one even earlier.

Amazon lists the Tenchi Muyo In Love DVD from Pioneer as being from 1997. I happen to own that release and it came in a jewel-case inside a cardboard sleeve. It may have been identical to what was released in Japan, since it has a Japanese menu option.

Quote:
I do remember buying both VHS and DVD at the same time, weighing the costs of the individual item. I've always been curious how the short-lived VCD or minidisc fit into the equation, though. The only VCD series I got to watch was Tenchi, and it was hard to find it even when it was in print and a viable medium.

There was a licensed VCD of Slayers in the US. It may have been only one volume (last pic on this page).
The format had mainstream success in Asia earlier in the '90s, but by the time VCD came to the US it was overshadowed by DVD.
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EricJ2



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 1:24 pm Reply with quote
FLCLGainax wrote:
Triltaison wrote:
I only remember the Ranma movie because I always assumed it was the oldest release in my collection, based on that packaging design that was only used in the early days of DVD. Looks like it might possibly be the oldest anime release too, unless someone else remembers one even earlier.

Amazon lists the Tenchi Muyo In Love DVD from Pioneer as being from 1997. I happen to own that release and it came in a jewel-case inside a cardboard sleeve. It may have been identical to what was released in Japan, since it has a Japanese menu option.


Back in the days when they sold DVD's in jewel cases with cardboard sleeves, the TMIL disk was actually the FIRST DVD I bought, right after the player, and Viz's Ranma 1/2 Movie 1 shortly after.
(Think it was right after the DiVX War ended, DiVX players were being converted to DVD, and I went to see if I could get a bargain player, but was told that DVD was still technically superior to even the converted models.)

And they sold DVD's in jewel cases because we still thought they were CD-Roms.
Few brave souls had a player yet, and most folks were watching the disks on their desktop MOFC's and Playstation 2's.
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Kougeru



Joined: 13 May 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:04 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Blu-ray is far harder and more expensive to produce, and only Funimation,


This is hyperbole. This not "far" harder or "far" more expensive. Maybe that's the excuse they told you, but it's not true at all.

DVD just needs to die out already. It served us well, but there's no legitimate reason to waste resources on DVD anymore. Bluray are far more durable/long-lasting, much higher quality, more space, ect ect.... and again, they're NOT that much more expensive to produce.
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Animegomaniac



Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 2855
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:10 pm Reply with quote
I had some anime on VHS that I bought mid 90s but after my VCR chewed up my third tape... including the ridiculously long and somewhat expensive widescreen director's cut of The Abyss... I switched over to DVD in 1999 with my first anime DVD purchased in 2002.

Why the wait? Because all DVDs were expensive in those days. Evil Dead was almost 40 and Bug's Life was more than that. Even the more normal ones were only half that.

Funny enough, the only reason I bought Ultimate Tenchi Muyo OVA series on DVD- total package plus a separate DVD of Tenchi in Love for 115 from Amazon- was because I wasn't able to record the whole show off Toonami/Adult Swim/whatever it was. I missed the first episode few episodes and instead of restarting it, they went straight in Universe.

But the reason I didn't start collecting anime DVD was that, let's face it, how long did it take for the rest of the industry to equal that set in both terms of quality, mastering and use of space? Did they ever?
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jsevakis
ANN Director of New Media


Joined: 28 Jul 2003
Posts: 1641
Location: Los Angeles, CA
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:12 pm Reply with quote
Kougeru wrote:
Quote:
Blu-ray is far harder and more expensive to produce, and only Funimation,

This is hyperbole. This not "far" harder or "far" more expensive. Maybe that's the excuse they told you, but it's not true at all.
DVD just needs to die out already. It served us well, but there's no legitimate reason to waste resources on DVD anymore. Bluray are far more durable/long-lasting, much higher quality, more space, ect ect.... and again, they're NOT that much more expensive to produce.

I, uh, LITERALLY make anime DVDs and Blu-rays for a living. But I guess why do I even go to the forums but for nerds to "well actually" me? Rolling Eyes
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Dr.N0



Joined: 04 Oct 2012
Posts: 100
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:15 pm Reply with quote
FLCLGainax wrote:
Triltaison wrote:
I do remember buying both VHS and DVD at the same time, weighing the costs of the individual item. I've always been curious how the short-lived VCD or minidisc fit into the equation, though. The only VCD series I got to watch was Tenchi, and it was hard to find it even when it was in print and a viable medium.

There was a licensed VCD of Slayers in the US. It may have been only one volume (last pic on this page).
The format had mainstream success in Asia earlier in the '90s, but by the time VCD came to the US it was overshadowed by DVD.

AFAIK, VCDs are still in circulation, although maybe not in print, in Greater China and Southeast Asia. Also, they continue to be a popular format for bootlegs.
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