The Anime DVD Conundrum

Topic started by parasyteFMA on March 25, 2012. Last post by sotyfan16 2 years, 5 months ago.
Post by parasyteFMA (113 posts) See mini bio Level 10

For some reason, every spring/summer brings to me the urge to watch anime. Now unlike most of the people on this earth and people I know, I prefer good ol' fashioned physical media. DVDs/Blu-Rays. The only problem this poses to me is the one of the monetary variety. I know why anime DVDs are so expensive, but why punish the people who are loyal to these distributors? I want Black Butler season 2 enough to pay upwards of $50 for it, but why $50? I know they have to make a profit and all, but why so much? Does anyone have their two cents on this topic?

Post by tomar (11 posts) See mini bio Level 10

This is a legacy of the 2000's system of rights. It was a lot worse where I have a Pioneer LDs for Serial Experiments Lain that was $80 per disk. I believe the reason that came about was Japan's price structure for everything video based around regular disk releases while over here it was box sets. If the show ran long enough there would be 10 or even 20 cassets or disks where only the super die hard fans would make it to disk 20. The less die hard would wait till it went used or went pirate. The combination inflated the price a lot to compensate compared to the west.

Hopefully things are on the mend but it is too bad we had to kill US companies along the way. Personally I am not willing to buy series piecewise any more and these days Netflix and multiple for profit streams are filling the void. Its changed my habits on what I buy on disk and view less legitimately which is a good thing, Now if only the CR would show more Magical Girl shows....

Post by parasyteFMA (113 posts) See mini bio Level 10
@tomar: For me, the cause of buying physical media is for security. Especially with Netflix, I don't know when something will be taken down. Perfect example is Highlander (I know, not anime). I bought the entire series boxset and then not long after, the entire series was off Netflix. I know if I have the DVD, it's going to be there for as long as I have it.
Post by colorbrandon (30 posts) See mini bio Level 12

From what I hear, anime sales are always a struggle to break even. The only real insidery information im aware of was the decline of Hello-Project (although its music, its the same story). Sadly, many of the albums sales depended on otaku support, that is people who are willing to buy multiple copies of a product to show support. I would not be surprised if the dvd/blu-ray market is the same.

Post by FadeToBlackBolt (35 posts) See mini bio Level 7

DVD/BR are the only real option to purchase anime legally where I live and I try to get as much as I can afford, but the Neon Genesis Evangelion Complete Series was $100 when I got it. Same with Cowboy Bebop. It's insane. I can understand the need to make a profit, but come on.

Post by parasyteFMA (113 posts) See mini bio Level 10
@FadeToBlackBolt: The first season of Black Butler cost me $80 for part one and two. Now they are re-releasing it on a BR/DVD Combo pack for $40...
Post by FadeToBlackBolt (35 posts) See mini bio Level 7

@parasyteFMA: Ugh, sounds about right. And by right, I mean horrendously wrong.

Post by sickVisionz (4,289 posts) See mini bio Level 24
Moderator

@parasyteFMA: You can get Black Butler for like $41 on TRSI and Amazon. Anime isn't ultra cheap to make and license nor is it super popular to the point where a company can sell all of their series for $20 and still sustain themselves. That last public report Funimation, the largest anime distributor in the US, put out (back in 2010) had their profit at only around $8 million and the multi-year trend was profits decreasing. These aren't billion dollar companies rolling in hundreds of millions of dollars and gouging their customers. They are small organizations and many of them have gone out of business trying to stay alive at the bottom of the barrel prices the market craves.

$40-$50 for a complete show is a fair price imo. The price of anime in the US is extremely cheap compared to basically everywhere else on the planet yet people still complain about it being too expensive. We aren't in the old days where everything was like 3-4 episode volumes sold at $30+. You can get tons of series for $30-50 these days. You don't have to be rich to be able to easily afford a purchase and I don't think think that price for a BD/DVD set with an English dub is a rip-off.

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

@parasyteFMA: Ugh, sounds about right. And by right, I mean horrendously wrong.

It's wrong for the price of things to drop over time? I guess, but prepare to be "wronged" constantly and forever throughout your life as nearly everything sold follows this pricing structure.

Post by parasyteFMA (113 posts) See mini bio Level 10
@sickVisionz: Now you can. This was around the time these sets came out, and it was Best Buy... so that's probably why they were that expensive. I completely understand where you're coming from and I get that it's hard to sustain profit when you're really only distributing anime. I guess it's just that I have so many hobbies and interests, that it's another expense to add onto the pile. I'm currently juggling music (this includes CDs and drum equipment), video games, comics, and tattoos are slowly coming into the mix. I will say that when you said this...
 
@sickVisionz said:

$40-$50 for a complete show is a fair price imo. The price of anime in the US is extremely cheap compared to basically everywhere else on the planet yet people still complain about it being too expensive. We aren't in the old days where everything was like 3-4 episode volumes sold at $30+. You can get tons of series for $30-50 these days. You don't have to be rich to be able to easily afford a purchase and I don't think think that price for a BD/DVD set with an English dub is a rip-off.

I totally saw your point. I never said it was a ripoff though. I just said I thought it was a little much. Then again, I am getting a season of an anime with a dub in a Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack and seeing how I prefer dubs most of the time, this is something I am willing to spend money on. This being said, I did buy the entire series of Yu Yu Hakusho for less than $60. Granted it was probably because those sets had been around for a while and it is an older series and they were on DVD.
 
Regardless, I will end up buying a couple sets within the next couple of months which include all of the following: 

  • Black Butler II (BR/DVD Combo)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Seasons 1 and 2. The Viridian versions (DVD)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Complete Vol. 1 (Blu-Ray)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos (Blu-Ray)
  • Eden of the East: The Complete Series, The King of Eden, and Paradise Lost (Blu-Ray)  
  • RIN: Daughters of Mnemosyne (DVD)
 
That's really it for what I plan on buying this year because I'm not up to date with new series. I just get recommendations from friends. While Netflix is a cheaper alternative, nothing is better than having a shelf of anime DVDs.
Post by FadeToBlackBolt (35 posts) See mini bio Level 7

@sickVisionz said:

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

@parasyteFMA: Ugh, sounds about right. And by right, I mean horrendously wrong.

It's wrong for the price of things to drop over time? I guess, but prepare to be "wronged" constantly and forever throughout your life as nearly everything sold follows this pricing structure.

That's not what I was saying, I was saying that the initial pricing was ludicrous and wrong.

Post by tomar (11 posts) See mini bio Level 10

I've discovered along the way that although disks are fun and neat, they are also heavy and my viewing patterns (as well I suspect most others) don't justify buying everything. Take for instance Cowboy Bebop where you'll find no bigger fan of the show but its been many years since I dug them out and put them in the player. For a show like Zero no Tsukaima there is no way I'd spend $50+ for that because it just isn't that good of a show.

On the other hand, both would get more of a chance to get watched if they were easily available "on demand".

Post by sotyfan16 (1,341 posts) See mini bio Level 20

I watching everything online in order to absorb more of the medium and to find out what I will buy. Of course, there are many that do not get licensed so I'm stuck either buying an import or keeping to watching online. The prices have gotten better even over the last couple years. The use of BD boxsets now I think is part of it along with basic collections like FUNi's "S.A.V.E." and "Viridian" lines. I made up my mind to limit my hobbies so I can spend more on specific ones.

Post by parasyteFMA (113 posts) See mini bio Level 10
@tomar: I wouldn't buy something I wasn't already emotionally invested in. I only buy things I have seen before from at friend's place or a recommendation from a friend, and even then I only watch a few episodes. If I don't like it, I won't pursue it. Also, as I stated before, it's about security. I don't know if a site or Netflix will take something down. If I like it enough, I will buy it so there is always a chance to watch it over if I want to.
 
@sotyfan16: If it isn't licensed, I might watch it on a legal streaming site. I generally prefer dubs (sacrilege) so that's another reason for buying DVDs. As for watching online to absorb more; I have too many hobbies as it is and anime isn't my primary source for entertainment. If it was, then I would be seeking out a stuff all the time. Anime is sort of a secondary hobby for me. New stuff to me is usually a couple years old. I will agree with the fact that pricing has gotten better in the last few years.
Post by sotyfan16 (1,341 posts) See mini bio Level 20

@parasyteFMA:

If you are watching shows that are a few years old then look into the Beginner's Guides and my Dunce Cap review video blogs. They should help give you more options on what to check out though I've mostly been covering new shows/releases recently due to new purchases. But for your purchases, keep an eye on RightStuf. There are new promotions every week or two and then weekly deals and such. I've started picking up BD for $33. I know many people don't see the point of getting anime on BD but if it costs the same or only a little more I'll get it and I generally only get the DVD version now if that is the only version available.

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