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INTEREST: Video Senshi Lezarion Anime From 1984 Gets Its First DVD Release in 2020




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pachy_boy



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:32 pm Reply with quote
So who's the publisher?
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Chrno2



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:04 pm Reply with quote
Oh WOW!! I always loved the OP song to this. My late friend used to watch this. The video game robot.
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NJ_



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:08 pm Reply with quote
pachy_boy wrote:
So who's the publisher?


Toei Video

https://www.toei-video.co.jp/special/laserion
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horseradish
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:26 pm Reply with quote
Confused ? I'm a bit puzzled as to why this was reported on ANN. I vaguely recall hearing a mention about Laserion a while ago, but this is a Japanese release. Is Laserion a big deal In Japan? Will this lead to an NA release? Also wow that 44,000 yen price tag for the whole series on DVD not even Blu-ray...that's like $10 an episode!

Last edited by horseradish on Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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pachy_boy



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:26 pm Reply with quote
NJ_ wrote:

Ah--I did see the word 'Toei' but assumed it was just talking about the animation studio that produced the show. I would have thought this was another Discotek or Anime Midstream announcement.
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OjaruFan2



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:02 pm Reply with quote
horseradish wrote:
Confused ? I'm a bit puzzled as to why this was reported on ANN. I vaguely recall hearing a mention about Laserion a while ago, but this is a Japanese release.

Because it’s relevant to anime.

horseradish also wrote:
Also wow that 44,000 yen price tag for the whole series on DVD not even Blu-ray...that's like $10 an episode!

It’s actually pretty normal to pay roughly that amount for old anime split across multiple DVD box sets in Japan.
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horseradish
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:13 pm Reply with quote
OjaruFan2 wrote:
horseradish wrote:
Confused ? I'm a bit puzzled as to why this was reported on ANN. I vaguely recall hearing a mention about Laserion a while ago, but this is a Japanese release.

Because it’s relevant to anime.

horseradish also wrote:
Also wow that 44,000 yen price tag for the whole series on DVD not even Blu-ray...that's like $10 an episode!

It’s actually pretty normal to pay roughly that amount for old anime split across multiple DVD box sets in Japan.

A lot of older anime stuck on VHS or other older formats eventually get DVD or BD Japan releases, but aren't reported by ANN. I was wondering if this title had some noteworthy significance in Japanese fandom since it seems to be a 35th anniversary release.

Sheesh...I could've sworn it's half that (~10,000 yen) for their DVD releases, but I guess I remembered incorrectly. I usually look at Toei and TC Entertainment releases; some of them are 22,000 yen for 50+ episode shows but it probably depends on popularity.
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RommieSG



Joined: 10 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:34 pm Reply with quote
Are we sure this isn't being released by Aniplex at those prices? I would never think to pay this much for DVD release of any series at that price.
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NJ_



Joined: 31 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 1:40 am Reply with quote
^This is a Japanese release and even for DVD, the high prices have always been common for them.

As for the earlier mention of no Blu-ray, it does suck but with Toei's track record, it wouldn't have made a difference quality-wise because with the exception of Mazinger Z, they have been either upscaled and on SD Blu-ray (which for the latter has happened a lot more lately, newest one being Fist of the North Star).
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horseradish
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:52 am Reply with quote
NJ_ wrote:
^This is a Japanese release and even for DVD, the high prices have always been common for them.

As for the earlier mention of no Blu-ray, it does suck but with Toei's track record, it wouldn't have made a difference quality-wise because with the exception of Mazinger Z, they have been either upscaled and on SD Blu-ray (which for the latter has happened a lot more lately, newest one being Fist of the North Star).

Since the show is from the '80s and I have no idea what it looks like throughout the series, I was thinking along the lines of Discotek's SD Blu-rays rather than improved picture quality. Instead of making an expensive release on several DVDs, perhaps putting the show on fewer discs would reduce costs? Have Toei's SD Blu-rays been noticeably cheaper or are they still the same price as similar DVD releases?

I wonder how the market in Japan ended up this way. I've heard that the diehard fans/collectors are willing to pay the price and that lowering the price point doesn't bring in enough buyers to make a noticeable difference in Aniplex's case. Has physical media always been this expensive or did someone just take a risk and figured that there'd be enough people to support the release and it became a practice? Maybe it's the smaller market and entertainment industry compared to the US, but European releases don't seem that expensive either. Strange. Confused
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OjaruFan2



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:39 pm Reply with quote
horseradish wrote:
I wonder how the market in Japan ended up this way. I've heard that the diehard fans/collectors are willing to pay the price and that lowering the price point doesn't bring in enough buyers to make a noticeable difference in Aniplex's case. Has physical media always been this expensive or did someone just take a risk and figured that there'd be enough people to support the release and it became a practice? Maybe it's the smaller market and entertainment industry compared to the US, but European releases don't seem that expensive either. Strange. Confused

Justin Sevakis posted an excellent article back in March 2012 that explains why Japanese home media releases are so overpriced: animenewsnetwork.com/feature/2012-03-07

Borrowing points from the aforementioned article, many Japanese home media releases are priced the way they are because they're not aimed at people who just want to watch the show. Rather, they're for otakus/hardcore fans that would be willing to pay a fortune to physically own their favorite show in the highest quality possible. And yes, physical media has always been super expensive over there because they were originally produced specifically for the rental market. Video rental stores would buy them at those high prices, whlie regular consumers would rent them out for a much cheaper price. However, otakus bought them outright at those high prices instead of just renting them. There were a few attempts to market home media releases at cheaper prices. Didn't work out, so they reverted back to expensive prices.

In the world of kids and family anime (such as Doraemon, Pokémon, and Hanakappa), many of their home media releases (which consist of cherry-picked episodes, instead of every single episode in chronological order) are marketed at cheaper prices in Japan because those are aimed specifically at the mass-market (like a mom buying it for their kid, or a kid buying it with their allowance money). Some shows (such as Nintama Rantaro, Yo-kai Watch, and Monster Hunter Stories Ride On) do get complete series/season DVD/BD boxsets that coincide with the mass-market compilation DVD/BDs and/or rental-only DVDs. Just like with late-night anime DVD/BDs, those boxsets are aimed at the otaku market and thus they are super expensive.


Last edited by OjaruFan2 on Fri Oct 25, 2019 12:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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horseradish
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:43 pm Reply with quote
Thanks for linking to that informative and well-written article! Since it was published in 2012, I wonder how things have changed with the greater prevalence and popularity of streaming now. It'd be great if ANN wrote an updated version someday. The rental model reminds me of kashi-hon, though I'd assume books are easier to mass produce due to the materials involved. Unfortunately due to the language barrier, I don't know much about this particular title. Was this popular enough in Japan to at least financially break even on VHS sales back then? Is there an enough of an audience to make the 44,000 yen price tag a good business idea? Surely there are shows that would take a loss. I guess they just don't get a release then? Like Kick Off 2002.
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OjaruFan2



Joined: 09 Jul 2018
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 9:10 pm Reply with quote
^You're welcome! Wink

Streaming in Japan hasn't exactly caught on the same levels as in the West (heck, there's still some Japanese companies, such as TV Asahi, that seemingly refuse to jump on the simulcast streaming bandwagon to even domestic streaming services, like U-Next), so there's still a great number of Japanese consumers (especially those that fear the Internet) that still prefer to watch shows via linear TV and maybe buy the home media releases later, over paying a monthly fee for one or more streaming services.

Video Senshi Lezarion never got a home media release back then. Not even on VHS. Perhaps there were various licensing issues that got in the way. Perhaps the original masters were destroyed, went missing, or deteriorated so badly that a remaster wasn't possible until better masters could be discovered. Perhaps it was just simply due to lack of interest. The ¥44,000 price tag, while severely overpriced, is a good business idea because the show is so old and obscure that only a small minority of people would care enough to actually buy it. The box sets will most likely only sell a few-hundred copies. If they were priced at ¥8,000 for example, they would have to sell thousands of copies in order to be considered a success.
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