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On Aniplex’s New Domestic Releases, Revisiting Their Angle on Imports

Humberto Saabedra:

In December of 2011, I wrote an editorial on Aniplex’s angle on official imports after the first Fate/Zero Blu-Ray boxset was solicited at $399 after a 20% discount from Japanese MSRP.

At the time the editorial focused on how the initial reaction to the boxset and Aniplex in general leaned towards a general misunderstanding of how the company positioned its releases, as there was much complaining and overall petulant entitlement over the fact that the show was being sold for such a high price compared to domestic releases.

Now, with Friday night’s announcements of both the Nisemonogatari domestic limited edition Blu-Ray release being released almost simultaneously with the official import of the Japanese OreImo Blu-Ray boxset, we can see Aniplex’s strategy show itself in how it decides pricing for each release.

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koga883455d ago

While the article does make some good points, the use of "entitlement" seems to really be thrown around a lot in this article. I believe that the reason most fans complain about the Aniplex pricing structure is the fact that, unless you're a die-hard fan of the series and must have everything related to it, any show that they license for release in North America instantly becomes a non-starter for a large majority of people.

FUNi picks up a series, we know it'll be dubbed, Sentai gets one, it's usually 50/50 sub/dub, NISA obtains a license, we know it'll be subbed but sold at a not so outrageous price with a nice art book and big slipcase. Whenever Aniplex gets a series, it'll always be subbed yes, but then also always be sold at a $200 price point. Instantly putting it out of most fans' hands.

While being the "Collector's" seller is a nice strategy and obviously it's like buying the porche of the anime world, there always are people who will be angry over the fact that they are now stuck with a release with barely any noteworthy bonuses that they had to pay almost triple for what they would have paid anywhere else. At least the Nisemonogatari release isn't too outrageous... Oreimo is retarded. At that price it is literally $20 an episode...

garrod3454d ago (Edited 3454d ago )

Honestly I've never had a problem with Aniplex's pricing(Look at most Anime pricing in Japan and you'll see just how lucky we are even with most Aniplex releases.) Yes it is significantly higher than other publishers, but if it's a show that you consider worth buying I feel they give you the most bang for your buck and then some with most of their releases. The incessant whiners about pricing get on my nerves (usually because they go on and on about how AoA should have a business model similar to Funimation's).

The way I look at it is, if you want it that bad get it, save up and get it, you wont be disappointed. If you don't/its not worth it to you. That's fine no one is making you buy it, we live in the internet age, stream it; don't complain about. I enjoyed Oreimo as a show. I love LE box sets and would love to own the show on Blu-Ray but that price is too steep for me based on my enjoyment of the show so I will pass on that release. That said there are more than a few who feel otherwise and good for them they're gonna get a great set and it will be worth it for them. I will be purchasing the Nisemonogatari set, I love the Monogatari series far to much to pass this one up and it will look great on my shelf next to my Bakemonogatari box.

As to the whole "entitlement" point. I completely agree with the article. In Japan a single Blu-Ray volume usually contains 2 episodes of a show and retails on average around 60$USD, while most BD "Compete collections" start at a minimum 200$USD. Comparatively here in the states you can easily get a whole series set for well under that price($60)/more than one DVD collection. We have it very good in general for what we get, though for me personally I get rather annoyed by the bare-bones releases/crappy dubbing jobs done by the US release companies. I would rather them give me a nicer box or soundtrack or other goodies and extras over a weak dub with poor scripting and overused voice actors.

GillHarrison3452d ago

I completely agree. For Oreimo, at least give me a dub to even consider deliberating over the price.

Archaic3454d ago

Seeing the prices of some of these releases, I honestly have to wonder about the sanity of whoever it is who sets these. When it's easy to compare your products to competitors, the idea that you can have such a high price without offering a solid value proposition is just foolish. Even if you do somehow manage to make an identical profit after sale, the fact is that you're not positioning yourself to grow any larger in future. It's actively positioning the fans against you to the point of generating and encouraging piracy.

koga883452d ago

If I really wanted to get the Aniplex shows, I would honestly import them from Australia and play them on my region free blu-ray player and they would still save me about 20% from buying them normally. At least the Nisemonogatari isn't too terribly priced but I would love to find someone who would be able to defend charging $20 an episode for Oreimo, especially since the extra features are barely above things released in the US by other countries.