I was aware of this growing problem for the past two years, but it really hit home for me the moment I went on Amazon to see if any companies managed to license Nanoha THE MOVIE, and release it on BluRay for a reasonable price. I typed “nanoha” in the search query and was blasted in the face with the most atrocious of filth:
Not only are the old Funimation prints of the first two series being sold for nearly 240$, but the only version of the Nanoha movie available for order is the Japanese edition. I understand it comes with “English” subtitles, but now I have to pay extra for importing fees. I could not believe my eyes, so I went to Rightstuf to see just how dilapidated the anime market had become. With the exception of a few titles from Sentai Filmworks, there was hardly any anime that I had considered worth buying available for a reasonable price.
The only anime that caught my eyes from among the shallow cesspool of bullshit, was Fate/Zero published by ANIPLEX. So without thinking, I added it to my shopping cart, in hopes that there might still be redemption for the American market… and gasped at the price. The box set for Fate/Zero turned out to be $370.00 for the first thirteen episodes! I can not remember anyone ever having to pay so much for anime outside of Japan. I asked around online, and it seemed this was the official “English” release… so I punched in my credit card number while rather piqued. All these neat little extras that come with the bundle are great ideas; but releasing only in Japan and charging dirty foreigners extra on importing fees to circumvent money lost through third party distributors is just dirty.
I have dealt with ANIPLEX before, when I made my decision to purchase the Puella Magi Madoka Magica series a while back. The Madoka Magica series was broken into three limited edition sets each going for around 70-80 dollars. The reasoning for the steep price, was due to the BD/DVD combo, Original Soundtrack, illustrated post cards, the cheap non-corrugated box it came in and the fact that I am stupid enough to fall for it. Why release BluRay at all? I understand that I am getting my money’s worth in paying this ridiculously large sum, because these BluRay/DVD combos are not the run-of-the-mill cheap American mastering that I begrudgingly dished out 18-30 dollars per disc to purchase back in the old days. However, most anime watchers are not bright enough to notice a significant drop in quality to cartoons, and I find it ridiculous that there are bluray releases of televised anime series in the first place. I am more understanding of animated full-length movies warranting a bluray release. Once again, only a good handful of people would be able to notice the difference in the first place. But at some point, someone has to point out: it’s just anime.
So while this may sound blasphemous, and wholly counterproductive to the progression of anime in the United States of America:
Mr. Big Publishers, please retrogress the quality of anime, and start releasing them in small clunky DVD compilations encased in cheap plastic for the standard low-wage American audience. This is for the sake of the anime community.
Oh, but they’re not the only sinners. The rest of you better stop streaming anime, get a job and start buying shit. Otherwise, the fate of anime in the United States is doomed. All the best anime will never make it to American shores, and the price will only drop once the company that released them goes bankrupt and disappears. Or in the case of Nanoha (Geneon), cost you $240…
From what did manage to jump the Pacific onto American soil, despite the constant sabotage by you fucking pirates, here are some of the more “decent” titles you may consider buying:
AnoHana: The Flower We Saw That Day
Eden of the East
Highschool of the Dead
Arakawa Under the Bridge
The World God Only Knows
There are still so many titles I have yet to see make it to America…