Collecting US-Release Anime

setokaiba

Dandy Guy, in Space
Okay so, I don't own much physical anime because... the series I really like always seem to get US-exclusive releases! It drives me crazy, whenever I find one I actually want to buy, I find out it's actually a US release. Usually this leads me to feeling sad but dropping it, but I've been thinking that actually I do want to collect them.

So, when it comes to a region free DVD/Blu-Ray player, what am I looking for? I'm thinking of converting my PS4 into one since I heard you can change the region (only 4 times so it would have to be a permanent decision, that's why I'm slightly uncertain) but I'm not sure if it would be an easier option to just buy a new player entirely.
What do you think? Could I get some advice?
 

setokaiba

Dandy Guy, in Space
You can buy blu-ray modding kits or just a pre-modded blu-ray player, which enables you to pick change your region at will to play a blu-ray or DVD from any region in the world. I personally use this pre-modded blu-ray player and have never had a blu-ray I couldn't play using it.

You change the region by pressing a button on the remote and it can also change your area code to bypass geolocking from the settings menu.
Wow I had no idea that such a thing existed, thank you for sharing! Is there a similar way around it for DVDs? I'd ideally like something that does both.
 

CommanderZx2

Adventurer
Wow I had no idea that such a thing existed, thank you for sharing! Is there a similar way around it for DVDs? I'd ideally like something that does both.
Multi region DVD players are really easy to find, if you search for multi region player on Amazon you'll find numerous players that play any DVD region including the one I linked above. However there aren't many players that will play any blu-ray region, as someone would have to have developed a mod kit for it and so there's only a select few player models that are available. The one I linked above plays both DVD and BD all regions, there are others of course with better features including 3D BDs, but that just adds cost to the player in my opinion this one is relatively cheap in comparison.
 

setokaiba

Dandy Guy, in Space
Multi region DVD players are really easy to find, if you search for multi region player on Amazon you'll find numerous players that play any DVD region including the one I linked above. However there aren't many players that will play any blu-ray region, as someone would have to have developed a mod kit for it and so there's only a select few player models that are available. The one I linked above plays both DVD and BD all regions, there are others of course with better features including 3D BDs, but that just adds cost to the player in my opinion this one is relatively cheap in comparison.
I see, that's really helpful thank you!!
 

Lambadelta

Cardcaptor
there is also the option if you have a desktop pc, or laptop to use a Blu-ray drive and either rip the disc for your own watching pleasure later, or you can integrate the functionality of makemkv to playback the disc without ripping in vlc/mpv/mpc-hc with no issues.

I mostly watch anime at my computer so I found this to be one of the cheaper ways to enjoy watching import discs, and for Japanese/Foreign releases with no english subtitles. I can add them to the playback and enjoy them also
 

setokaiba

Dandy Guy, in Space
Thanks everyone for all the suggestions and advice!! Looking forward to fixing this issue (still just deciding which method to go with, really thankful for all the options) and getting my hands on some of those awesome US releases.
 

SkwigglesWorth

Adventurer
I use both PC and a modded/CFW PS3
PC works fine and going MakeMKV works fine, or straight from disc playing with Leawo Blu ray player, by default seems to play alot of Region A blu rays and B without change. And I'm pretty sure this is down to the default selecting the correct region for you via "settings > DVD Blu-ray > Forced BD player region = Auto"

PS3 works reasonable well, requires manaually changing the region rather than just being region free. DVD's region changing I have just never managed to get to work, and I'm pretty sure is a know problem. And the way it works does take a bit of getting used.
I'm sure you've worked this out but I think the reason most people go with a PS3 is cause you can grab a 2nd hand one pretty cheap and with it being your likley your first time modding a playstation it's less daunting if you do things wrong.
I'm pretty sure this is the guide I used for modding my PS3 to CFW:
Youtube - How To JAILBREAK Any PS3 Model In 10 Mins! 4.86 (Ps3 slim,Super Slim,FAT) in 2020

NOTE: I have also seen people on ebay selling already modded PS3 and that might be an option for you if you don't have the time or don't feel comfortable doing it (but as you would expect probably gonna cost a bit more)

And in case you haven't come across it here's Denny Fisher list of Overseas titles that are compatible with region B:

Also Australian blu ray titles are your friend too.
 

setokaiba

Dandy Guy, in Space
I use both PC and a modded/CFW PS3
PC works fine and going MakeMKV works fine, or straight from disc playing with Leawo Blu ray player, by default seems to play alot of Region A blu rays and B without change. And I'm pretty sure this is down to the default selecting the correct region for you via "settings > DVD Blu-ray > Forced BD player region = Auto"

PS3 works reasonable well, requires manaually changing the region rather than just being region free. DVD's region changing I have just never managed to get to work, and I'm pretty sure is a know problem. And the way it works does take a bit of getting used.
I'm sure you've worked this out but I think the reason most people go with a PS3 is cause you can grab a 2nd hand one pretty cheap and with it being your likley your first time modding a playstation it's less daunting if you do things wrong.
I'm pretty sure this is the guide I used for modding my PS3 to CFW:
Youtube - How To JAILBREAK Any PS3 Model In 10 Mins! 4.86 (Ps3 slim,Super Slim,FAT) in 2020

NOTE: I have also seen people on ebay selling already modded PS3 and that might be an option for you if you don't have the time or don't feel comfortable doing it (but as you would expect probably gonna cost a bit more)

And in case you haven't come across it here's Denny Fisher list of Overseas titles that are compatible with region B:

Also Australian blu ray titles are your friend too.
Thanks so much for all the info!
 

setokaiba

Dandy Guy, in Space
Bought my first US release anime... Super Gals Complete Collection! So let's see how this goes.
Well, I got it today. There were a few negative reviews about a flimsy case but I didn't think much of it, since my standards aren't too high... if it holds the disks I'm happy.
Unfortunately the situation was much, much worse than I anticipated. There are 10 disks inside and the portions holding 8 of them just fell out immediately, and I'm going to have to get really crafty to find a way to DIY a solution for this because it cannot simply be put back into place.
The case is also already falling apart, with the front cover part half falling off (split down the side) and tearing part of the paper cover in the process.
The case is non-standard size so I can't buy a replacement one online, or at least I couldn't find one, so I'll have to just try and make it work somehow.
I may upload photos but I thought I'd just warn others that it really is that bad. Not the best introduction to buying US-release anime, huh?
 

zappi

Brigade Leader
hi there
for fun I went thru the Rightstuf catalogue and added BRs that will never be released in the UK to a wishlist
after I passed the 50(!) mark I figured it was maybe time to finally buy a region free BR player
so I guess I have some questions for veterans:
what places do you import BRs from? are there any UK based ones?
are there any tips/tricks for reducing postage etc costs? any forwarding services?
and finally why are Aniplex titles so expensive?!?! I'm glad most of that stuff gets released over here at more reasonable prices!
 

NoSurprises

Straw Hat Pirate
what places do you import BRs from? are there any UK based ones?
Amazon.com do a global shipping thing that pre-pays fees (I think).
United Publications is a UK site that seems to basically order wholesale from rightstuf and then ship to you.
Rightstuf themselves ship overseas now making the above a little out of date.
Stackry is a forwarder I've used if vendors in the US simply did not ship overseas.
And keep an eye on eBay and this forum I guess for other weirdos who are looking to offload their US BRs.
are there any tips/tricks for reducing postage etc costs? any forwarding services?
No, I think you're mostly out of luck now, imported stuff almost always gets caught now I find, it's just where you take the hit and how long you have to wait. All I can suggest is trying to group stuff if you can so you only have to pay shipping/fees once.
i.e.
Either you save a bit of money not paying fees upfront depending on how you buy your stuff, and run the risk of your package getting caught by customs, so you have to wait for the card and have to pay the additional admin fees.
Or
You pay the fees upfront and don't have to deal with any of the mess.
and finally why are Aniplex titles so expensive?!?! I'm glad most of that stuff gets released over here at more reasonable prices!
Sets are generally nicer and people buy them regardless of cost since it's a niche. Aniplex seems to take the approach of selling less copies for a higher price than more copies at a lower price.
 

SkwigglesWorth

Adventurer
hi there
for fun I went thru the Rightstuf catalogue and added BRs that will never be released in the UK to a wishlist
after I passed the 50(!) mark I figured it was maybe time to finally buy a region free BR player
so I guess I have some questions for veterans:
what places do you import BRs from? are there any UK based ones?
are there any tips/tricks for reducing postage etc costs? any forwarding services?
and finally why are Aniplex titles so expensive?!?! I'm glad most of that stuff gets released over here at more reasonable prices!
Blu-ray players, I personally use a PS3 I bought 2nd hand and then modded and because I'm lazy kept my other PS3 and use that for region B (although the modded one can switch between them). NOTE: PS3 I don't think work with region 1 DVD's.
Also have an internal Blu-ray drive that I use with Leawo Player, which can switch between Blu-ray regions. Or just put it into MKV (doesn't check region as far as I'm aware) and use as digital.
I pretty sure I also have a internal DVD drive that was just super old and spare that I just set the region to be 1 (limtied number of region switches)
So just depends on how you watch things really. But yeah for out of the box simplicity a region free blu-ray is your best bet.

NoSurprises mentioned a good amount of them, but Denny's no import fee thread is worth checking out/ a read. But others are (mostly mentioned in no imports thread):
Otaku.co.uk
Wow HD (plus vat if above £15 shown at checkout)
Occassionally I use Ebay via it's global international shipping (which does get exspensive but occasionaly there are some very good prices for the actual item and still works out cheaper but the import fees and shipping are all paid for ahead of time)
DeepDiscount (although haven't personally used yet)
RightStuf to make it worth is usually only worth it if you place an order for a good amount, also sales are your friend (but not your wallets).

Got tempted to try using forwarding services, but in the end never really got round to it and as NoSurprise mentioned with RightStufs change to ship internationally I just went with that option.
 
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zappi

Brigade Leader
Amazon.com do a global shipping thing that pre-pays fees (I think).
United Publications is a UK site that seems to basically order wholesale from rightstuf and then ship to you.
Rightstuf themselves ship overseas now making the above a little out of date.
Stackry is a forwarder I've used if vendors in the US simply did not ship overseas.
And keep an eye on eBay and this forum I guess for other weirdos who are looking to offload their US BRs.

No, I think you're mostly out of luck now, imported stuff almost always gets caught now I find, it's just where you take the hit and how long you have to wait. All I can suggest is trying to group stuff if you can so you only have to pay shipping/fees once.
i.e.
Either you save a bit of money not paying fees upfront depending on how you buy your stuff, and run the risk of your package getting caught by customs, so you have to wait for the card and have to pay the additional admin fees.
Or
You pay the fees upfront and don't have to deal with any of the mess.

Sets are generally nicer and people buy them regardless of cost since it's a niche. Aniplex seems to take the approach of selling less copies for a higher price than more copies at a lower price.

Blu-ray players, I personally use a PS3 I bought 2nd hand and then modded and because I'm lazy kept my other PS3 and use that for region B (although the modded one can switch between them). NOTE: PS3 I don't think work with region 1 DVD's.
Also have an internal Blu-ray drive that I use with Leawo Player, which can switch between Blu-ray regions. Or just put it into MKV (doesn't check region as far as I'm aware) and use as digital.
I pretty sure I also have a internal DVD drive that was just super old and spare that I just set the region to be 1 (limtied number of region switches)
So just depends on how you watch things really. But yeah for out of the box simplicity a region free blu-ray is your best bet.

NoSurprises mentioned a good amount of them, but Denny's no import fee thread is worth checing out/ a read. But others are (mostly mentioned in no imports thread):
Otaku.co.uk
Wow HD (plus vat if above £15 shown at checkout)
Occassionally I use Ebay via it's global international shipping (which does get exspensive but occasionaly there are some very good prices for the actual item and still works out cheaper but the import fees and shipping are all paid for ahead of time)
DeepDiscount (although haven't personally used yet)
RightStuf to make it worth is usually only worth it if you place an order for a good amount, also sales are your friend (but not your wallets).

Got tempted to try using forwarding services, but in the end never really got round to it and as NoSurprise mentioned with RightStufs change to ship internationally I just went with that option.

Thanks both for this. I used to buy books/manga from United years ago and forgot all about them until now, I remember getting the FLCL novels for £1.95 each on clearance! Seems like they haven't changed their website in all this time either haha.
 

NoSurprises

Straw Hat Pirate
Thanks both for this. I used to buy books/manga from United years ago and forgot all about them until now, I remember getting the FLCL novels for £1.95 each on clearance! Seems like they haven't changed their website in all this time either haha.
I like their website, makes me want to visit neopets and trade some pogs after visiting it.
 
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