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Funimation withdrawing Blu-Ray on some shows?


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Zalis116
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:57 am Reply with quote
Maybe I missed something somewhere, but what's with some Funimation series randomly becoming DVD-only when they hit S.A.V.E.?

As I've seen with Cat Planet Cuties (among others that exist), it's not like DVD/BD combos and Blu-Ray only releases are unknown on the SAVE line. Yet I only just noticed after opening BakaTest 2 SAVE that it's DVD-only, possibly because I don't care about Blu-Ray all that much. But if I did, I'd be annoyed. Especially with the case of BakaTest 2, which was released as a limited edition DVD/BD combo, went out of print in less than 4-6 months, and has now gone straight to SAVE, no intermediate Anime Classics DVD/BD, no nothing.

So if you wanted S2 in HD, you're out of luck unless you hit that narrow LE window. BakaTest S1's SAVE release is also DVD-only, though curiously enough the initial DVD/BD combo release is still in stock after 3 years. Did the show in general and S2 in particular just tank that badly in sales to make them cut S2's print run that much?

The only other series I can find where Funi's completely withdrawn Blu-Ray versions is Princess Jellyfish. While BakaTest has reverse-importation crusader Kadokawa attached to it, Princess Jellyfish does not.

Maybe I'm being too entitled for thinking we should get DVD/BD combos for super-cheap prices. But I always thought that the "limited" aspect of Funi's LE's referred to the packaging and physical extras, not, y'know, the resolution and format preferred by videophiles and most forward-thinking fans? Does anyone recall any releases from the late 90s / early 00s that initially came out on VHS and DVD, but were re-released later only on VHS?

But on the bright side, at least my standalone DVD/BD combo of the BakaTest OVA isn't completely redundant now!
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DKL



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 4:26 am Reply with quote
Zalis116 wrote:

The only other series I can find where Funi's completely withdrawn Blu-Ray versions is Princess Jellyfish.


Oh man, it's a good thing I got this...

I'm like looking at the Amazon listings right now and I find it funny that all the shops selling the thing are from Japan.

(and for $80+)
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Animegomaniac



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:45 am Reply with quote
I don't mind really; Once I found out that season 2 was only the limited release and the SAVE version was DVD only, I sold my Baka and Test 2 LE for over a hundred.... and bought the season 2 + OVA SAVE edition for 15.

It was cheaper than buying the OVA DVD/BD set, you see... and it looks about the same on my set up. And all this was only because my season one BD/DVD set was standard and they didn't look right together.

So I also bought the new season one SAVE DVD set and now I'm getting rid of the BD/DVD season one set... It never ends.

Ok, it ends in one more move.

And yeah, some shows are great on Blu-Ray but Baka and Test wasn't one of them.
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Blood-
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:05 am Reply with quote
I hadn't noticed this so thanks for bringing it to our attention, Zalis116. To a certain extent it doesn't make a huge difference to me since there aren't that many shows where I feel it absolutely must be BD, but if a title has originally been offered as a combo pack, it would be nice if the re-releases also offer it.
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Dessa
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:47 pm Reply with quote
Doing a search on RightStuf, and this is what I've found:

Note: Original release info is based on ANN's encyclopedia, so any gaps/errors are due to lack of info.

"Individual" means 3 or more volumes released. "Part 1/Part 2" means the series was split into two sets. "Complete" means a previously individual or split series has a single release.
Some series have had multiple releases in the same format (multiple complete releases, individuals + artbox, etc). These are not listed separately.
Series marked with an * indicate no non-LE/non-S.A.V.E. release exists for part or all of it.
Series marked with an ~ indicate that previously-released material does not have a S.A.V.E. release.

Series that have DVD/BD S.A.V.E. releases
Cat Planet Cuties (original releases: DVD/BD, LE DVD/BD)
Shakugan no Shana (original releases: individual DVDs, complete DVD, complete DVD/BD)
*Shakugan no Shana Season 2 (original releases: Part 1 LE DVD/BD, Part 2 DVD/BD)
Shiki (original releases: DVD/BD, LE DVD/BD)
Strike Witches (original releases: DVD, DVD/BD)
*Strike Witches Season 2 (original release: LE DVD/BD)
Yamada's First Time (original releases: DVD/BD, LE DVD/BD

Series that have separate DVD and BD S.A.V.E. releases
Black Blood Brothers (original releases: individual DVDs, complete DVD, complete BD)
Casshern Sins (original releases: Part 1 DVD, Part 2 DVD, Part 1 BD, Part 2 BD)
Devil May Cry (original releases: individual DVDs, complete DVD, complete BD)
Heroic Age (original releases: Part 1 DVD, Part 2 DVD, complete DVD, complete BD)
Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom (original releases: Part 1 DVD, LE Part 1 DVD, Part 2 DVD, complete DVD/BD)
~Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE Season 1 and Season 2 (original releases: individual DVD, complete DVD, complete BD, S1+S2+Movie DVD, S1+S2+Movie BD, S1 Viridian DVD, S2 Viridian DVD)
Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE OAV (original release: DVD, BD)
*Vexille (original releases: DVD, LE DVD, LE BD, LE Viridian DVD, LE Viridian BD)

Series previously released in DVD/BD combo with DVD-only S.A.V.E. releases
Baka and Test Season 1 (original releases: DVD/BD, LE DVD/BD)
*Baka and Test Season 2 + OAV (original releases: S2 LE DVD/BD, OAV DVD/BD)
*Princess Jellyfish (original release: LE DVD/BD)

Series previously released separately on DVD and BD with DVD-only S.A.V.E. releases
D.Gray-man Season 1 and Season 2 (original releases: S1 Part 1 DVD, S1 Part 2 DVD, S2 Part 1 DVD, S2 Part 2 DVD, S1 Part 1 BD, S1 Part 2 BD, S1 complete DVD, S2 complete DVD)
Guyver (original releases: individual DVD, complete DVD, Viridian DVD, BD)
Nabari no Ou (original releases: Part 1 DVD, Part 2 DVD, complete DVD, Part 1 BD)

All of their other S.A.V.E. releases, near as I can tell, have only ever been on DVD.

Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom seems to be a unique one, in that the series was originally released in 2 DVD sets, then later as a complete BD/DVD combo, and then was split into separate DVD and BD S.A.V.E. editions.

With Tsubasa, it seems that the S.A.V.E. editions may be copies of the Viridian releases, rather than the earlier full series releases, as neither the S.A.V.E nor the Viridian releases include the movie, which is in the full series releases, as well as a double-feature release with the xxxHOLiC movie.

With D.Gray-man, since the second season never got a BD release, nor a complete season BD release, and they never got more of the series, I'm guessing the DVD-only S.A.V.E. is more due to low sales of BD than anything else. The same with Nabari no Ou, which only got a Part 1 on BD.




So, other than pure DVD-only releases, we've got 7 DVD/BD S.A.V.E. releases, 9 separate DVD and BD S.A.V.E. releases, 3 DVD-only (formerly DVD/BD) S.A.V.E. releases, and 4 DVD-only (formerly separate DVD and BD) S.A.V.E. releases. That's well under half losing their BD releases, and 2 of them appear to be due to sales.

I'd say we'd have to look at the dates of the original releases and the S.A.V.E. releases, to see if it's a new trend, or if it's simply isolated to a few releases. Or wait until more series that were released on DVD/BD combo are released in S.A.V.E. editions.
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jlaking



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:00 pm Reply with quote
Maybe in the contracts FUNimation cannot set the retail price for the BDs of Baka and Test Season 1, Baka and Test Season 2 + OAV and Princess Jellyfish past a certain price point or FUNimation might release them on BD sometime in the future.
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Alan45
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:57 pm Reply with quote
Most likely it is a simple business decision. They likely decided what residual market was available and set the release accordingly. As has been noted before, some of the SAVE editions that were combo packs were in fact left over LE stock with a sticker. I doubt they even bothered with a new print run on those.
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One-Eye



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:45 pm Reply with quote
Dessa wrote:
Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom seems to be a unique one, in that the series was originally released in 2 DVD sets, then later as a complete BD/DVD combo, and then was split into separate DVD and BD S.A.V.E. editions.

Just to add to what you posted Casshern Sins aldo had a BD/DVD combo release before SAVE.

If I recall manufacturing BDs is more expensive than DVDs. Plus, if something sold really poorly it makes sense that they might release it DVD only on SAVE as expectations of how many units might sell would be low. Hopefully its a trend for really poor sellers and not something new and across the board for all shows entering SAVE status.
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Ggultra2764
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:44 pm Reply with quote
Would this have anything to do with whatever Japanese media companies that Funi licenses titles from only allowing DVD releases at first to prevent reverse importing of Blu-Rays?
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Polycell
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:39 pm Reply with quote
One-Eye wrote:
If I recall manufacturing BDs is more expensive than DVDs.
This is true, but mostly for licensing reasons: licensing CSS is a cheap formality, licensing AACS costs a pretty penny.
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Zalis116
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 5:00 am Reply with quote
Thanks for the detailed analysis, Dessa. I'd reached roughly the same conclusions searching around on TRSI, but had missed a few like Guyver and the fact that Nabari no Ou only had its first half released on BD. But at least there are just four series that were completely released on Blu-Ray but only released on DVD for its final version. For now. And with Nabari and D.Gray-Man, IIRC the Blu-Rays were such lousy upscales that they weren't really worth it anyway.

Ggultura2764 wrote:
Would this have anything to do with whatever Japanese media companies that Funi licenses titles from only allowing DVD releases at first to prevent reverse importing of Blu-Rays?
It certainly could. As I mentioned, Baka&Test is associated with Kadokawa, who have been implicated in some of Funi's initial DVD-only releases of HD shows. And on closer inspection, Guyver is also associated with Kadokawa, though Princess Jellyfish is not.

Alan45 wrote:
Most likely it is a simple business decision. They likely decided what residual market was available and set the release accordingly. As has been noted before, some of the SAVE editions that were combo packs were in fact left over LE stock with a sticker. I doubt they even bothered with a new print run on those.
The "residual" market must've kicked in awfully soon with BakaTest 2 (the S1 DVD/BD combo is still easily available), because I think I remember searching for season 2 in mid/late 2013 and finding the LEs unavailable. The SAVE version has a brand new insert, updated to reflect the DVD-only specs. If they really did have a bunch of overstock, what did they do with the Blu-Rays? Bury them in a landfill somewhere off I-20 in west Texas?

And in another unfortunate turn, I've found that the BakaTest S2 SAVE DVDs are missing most of the extras from the original release, aside from commentaries and trailers. I'm guessing there was a dedicated Extras DVD (the Amazon page lists 5 discs) that didn't make it to SAVE, even though the case could've easily held a 4th disc from overstock. Or the extras could've been placed with the OVAs if new discs were authored... but maybe this is also Kadokawa forcing Funi's hand. I guess there's historical precedent for cheap re-releases losing on-disc extras, as seen with ADV's thinpacks and such. But I hadn't seen it from Funi yet; the aforementioned Cat Planet Cuties SAVE still contains copious extras.

Either way, gotta say I'm disappointed in how Funi handled the BakaTest franchise, or at least S2. I even watched S2 on Funi's streams (ah, the days when Funimation had functional streaming video) since the hilarious trollsubbers from S1 didn't return, so there wasn't even piracy guilt obligating me to buy S2 in the first place.
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Ggultra2764
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 5:49 am Reply with quote
Zalis116 wrote:
And in another unfortunate turn, I've found that the BakaTest S2 SAVE DVDs are missing most of the extras from the original release, aside from commentaries and trailers.


This is a regular thing for many of Funi's cheaper releases (SAVE line, Viridian Collection, Classics line) from what I've noticed. They remove many of the special features from the original release they had on a series, leaving it rather bare-bones with offerings of special features. For instance, my Viridian Collection set I have for Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad only has textless versions of the opening and closing sequences while the original DVD single volumes releases of the series also had music videos and director/ cast commentaries.
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Alan45
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:12 am Reply with quote
@Zalis116

The fact that the season 1 set of Baka and Test LE is still available should tell you something. If that sold poorly they probably only made a minimum print run of the season 2 LE. No point in making a lot if they will not sell. You are correct the extras are on a separate disk in the LE of season 2.

Sometimes waiting for a bargain works, sometimes it doesn't. Everyone makes their own decisions. The fact that you are not guaranteed a Blu-Ray version with a SAVE edition is something that you have to consider in making the decision to wait or not.
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Kruszer
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:33 am Reply with quote
None of my SAVE sets are combos, they're all DVD only.
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Dessa
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:34 am Reply with quote
Ooo, yeah, Alan has a good point, it's something that gets brought up at manga industry panels: attrition. Each subsequent volume will sell less than the previous (part of why they don't flood the market all at once, they need to see what the attrition percentage will be). If the BD are readily available, they didn't sell well enough to justify a larger release.
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