Importing vs. UK editions

ilmaestro

State Alchemist
Very interesting thread to read through, I'll keep my own answer brief since I'm bumping something that seems to have run its course.

Lutga said:
So I'd be interested to know - for people that import - what are the chief motivations that mean you import? And if those issues were solved by UK distributors, would you still import?

Release date - ie. you import because foreign editions come out before UK editions?

On-disc quality - ie. quality of the show's assets itself, ie. print quality, sub quality, bitrate etc.

Physical release quality - ie. Blu-Ray when the UK release is DVD only, extra goodies like art cards etc, chipboard case etc.
All of the above, but the more singularly overriding factor is I would rather have my money going as directly as possible to the content creators. This is why the vast majority of my anime spending goes on imports from Japan.

I'm not as inclined to split hairs between US and UK releases if it comes to that for shows that I don't buy from Japan - if the UK release has some crucial flaw, I'm more likely to simply not buy the show.

And I suppose the last question is - if the brutal reality is that the UK, due to the size of the market/restrictions like BBFC costs etc. cannot ever address these issues in the foreseeable future - would you care if the UK physical anime industry essentially died away, and that a potential future scenario would be that if you wanted to see anime, you either streamed it or *had* to import?
Overall, I take a lot of pleasure in buying the UK releases that I do end up buying these days, because I have a lot of respect for the effort MVM have put in over the last few years and also for the ambition Andrew and friends have shown in his various endeavors. But, ultimately, I wouldn't really care. I don't think anime in general "needs" the domestic UK market (especially if the UK market can't support proper releases long term), and I'm far more concerned with the health of the industry overall than with the health of niche overseas distributors.
 

Buzz201

Mad Scientist
ilmaestro said:
Overall, I take a lot of pleasure in buying the UK releases that I do end up buying these days, because I have a lot of respect for the effort MVM have put in over the last few years and also for the ambition Andrew and friends have shown in his various endeavors. But, ultimately, I wouldn't really care. I don't think anime in general "needs" the domestic UK market (especially if the UK market can't support proper releases long term), and I'm far more concerned with the health of the industry overall than with the health of niche overseas distributors.

Anime in general might not "need" the domestic UK market, but what about anime in the UK? It's easy for hardcore anime fans to just import, but the lack of a domestic industry would pretty much end casual involvement (especially if there's nobody to dampen FUNimation's anticompetitive practices and Crunchyroll continues their "North America is the only continent exists" approach) and it would probably send people who are more involved but aren't 100% committed otaku for life away.

It's easy to consider this from your own perspective, but really for anime to continue to exist in the UK, a domestic market in some form is required and obscure websites like Crunchyroll probably won't be enough.
 

britguy

Za Warudo
Talk to me 10-15 years ago and I'd have been importing everything. Nowadays, if I could not buy Uk I'd likely not buy at all. I'm not a massive anime fan. I need the UK market, so I am happy to support endeavours like that of Anime Limited and what MVM are trying to do with collectors editions too, as without these companies, I'd likely leave anime completely.
 

crashmatt

Death Scythe
TBH the saving on US releases is very minimal at times. I usually import where there is no UK Blu ray eg Spice & Wolf and most recently Sekirei. The US has some nice CE but most are not on the cheap side. I'm also limited as I don't have a multi region Blu ray player. If a UK version is available I will usually get that.
 
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