Magazine Looks at Anime Companies' Blu-ray Disc Plans
posted on by Mikhail Koulikov
The Home Media Magazine trade publication has posted an article on how different independent film distributors, including anime companies, are approaching the Blu-ray Disc high-definition format. So far, of America's anime companies, only Funimation Entertainment and the now-defunct Bandai Visual USA have released their products on Blu-ray. After it absorbed Bandai Visual USA earlier in the year, Bandai Entertainment also expressed plans to enter the Blu-ray arena. Bandai Entertainment's first high-definition releases will be Gunbuster vs Diebuster Aim for the Top! The GATTAI!! Movie and a four-disc box set of Freedom, both due out in November.
The article noted that while mainstream film companies have been reluctant to embrace the Blu-ray format because of the higher authoring and replication costs, anime distributors are hobbled in their efforts to work with the format by Japanese licensers' fears of reverse importation of Blu-ray anime. In addition, The Right Stuf International CEO and President Shawne Kleckner adds that anime titles produced for television, up until about five years ago, were not mastered in a quality that was sufficient for conversion to high definition. Still, other anime industry professionals have said that even older anime films and series that were created by hand, rather than digitally, are actually easier to convert to high-definition than shows where the animation was done on a computer.