Serdar Yegulalp writes: "The very definition of anime is a cultural product which is born in Japan and then exported to the rest of the world. But the reverse is also true: U.S. and other editions of anime titles also find their way back into Japan—a phenomenon known as "reverse importing."
Reverse imports have a big impact on anime. They make it that much more difficult and costly for titles to be licensed, force fans to wait that much longer for releases (yes, even in this day and age of simultaneous streaming), and cause the releases themselves to be crippled by omitting features (as was the case with the Ghost in the Shell BD, shown here; compare prices). Why this happens, though, is worth a detailed look."