Are the releases we want going to be the releases we get?

One complaint always leveled at anime companies is that they charge too much for anime. It’s something I’ve criticized in the past myself. Well, companies are finally listening and we’re seeing a variety of attempts to lower the cost of watching anime.

Gonzo plans on continuing its free online subtitled broadcasts with a continuation of Strike Witches.

Gainax and Bandai Entertainment have made it possible to watch the smash hit Gurren-Lagann on network cable via the Sci-Fi Network. Not only that, Bandai is planning a blitzkrieg release with 9 episodes per disc with a release of 1 disc per month. That’s 3 months for ALL of Gurren-Lagann.

Maria-sama ga Miteru, officially titled now as Maria is Watching Over Us, has an upcoming release of the entire first season at once. That’s 13 episodes from the get-go. No waiting, no nothing.

Media Blasters is releasing the second half of Gaogaigar all at once for practically nothing as well. This has less to do with plans and more to do with the fact that GGG did not do so well in the US, but it’s there.

And finally, Toei Animation has given the courtesy of releasing episodes of Hokuto no Ken and Slam Dunk online at $2 per episode. Granted, there’s some Digital Rights Management crap that we have to deal with, but they at least figured out that this is a better way of giving exposure to older series such as these.

So the anime industry has finally stepped up their game, and made it easier than ever to obtain anime from legitimate sources for affordable prices. It is now up to us as fans to support them, to tell these companies that, yes, we are willing to give you money directly provided you make it possible for us without sacrificing an arm and a leg when we do not have the fortune of being Edward Elric.

I don’t expect people to buy every single example I list here, and of course people’s income situations vary greatly, but I think it’s important that the anime fandom show that we are supportive of new attempts to get anime in our hands.

4 thoughts on “Are the releases we want going to be the releases we get?

  1. It is nice that Bandai Entertainment is going back towards the eight or nine episode sets like they tried out a few years ago with Outlaw Star and Saber Marionette J. I know they’re also releasing Terra e… that way, although in that case they’re also releasing it in four episode sets for about $15 each.


  2. Hope they smell the coffee and give iTunes some of these. It’s criminal the way the captains of industry in Japan from music to anime have locked arms to keep most good stuff out of iTunes in Japan, clearly wanting to keep Apple from becoming a force in media here. That would be so illegal elsewhere….


  3. And where the fuck is Rightstuf’s acquisition and subsequent release of fucking ARIA for 40 motherfucking American fucking dollars for the whole fucking series?

    …Sorry, too high on something :V


  4. Nearly all of those releases you mentioned are pretty good deals, especially the GaoGaiGar one. You can preorder that online for about $20, which is a bargain for the entire part of GaoGaiGar that anyone bothers to remember.

    But I don’t know if Toei really figured out all that much from their massive failure the first time. Charging $2 an episode for low-resolution, low-quality encodes of series from 20+ years ago that ran over 100 episodes is not going to win over fans. There was no valid reason for Manga Video not to have used the restored Fist of the North Star masters back when they did their failed R1 DVD release so many years ago, and there is no valid reason for Toei to not use them now. But they aren’t.

    Tezuka Productions had the right idea when they did those online releases of all of Phoenix TV, the Black Jack OAVs, the 1980s Astro Boy, Jungle Emperor Leo, and Tezuka’s experimental films for about $10. Nobody would have paid $2 an episode for Astro Boy from decades past, and with over 50 episodes, that’s over $100 in all. But at about twenty cents a shot, I bet more people checked it out than would have otherwise.

    Who am I kidding? I doubt anyone bought that or Phoenix even at those prices.


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