Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowadays

anime_andrew

Anime Limited Representative
Industry Representative
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

Emulsion said:
HdE said:
Some of those guys I mentioned are actively boycotting the Kill La Kill and Space Dandy releases for that reason.
I understand why with Kill la Kill, but I'm curious, these people are Boycotting Space Dandy why? price or because they think it's being split into two parts, when in actual fact Space Dandy is the complete season 1.
I'd argue for Dandy that it can be seen as two halves of the same season in part - but the relevant point is release schedules. Even the US is doing Season 1 first then a Season 2 release as it helps cut the wait down particularly.

At least on my end I imagine the issue based on places like Amazon listing it elsewhere is the standard BD especially wasn't easily locatable for ages and the complete DVD collection has only popped up recently too :). Could be wrong!

AP
 

anime_andrew

Anime Limited Representative
Industry Representative
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

Just Passing Through said:
I can't overestimate how big streaming is going to become over the next few years
Tell that to the 'rural' third who were peeved by Virgin's 'upgrade' plans this week. While I love my Crunchyroll, and have enough of a download speed to let me stream, I'm lumbered with a TV that's light on apps, and which suffers from lack of developer support one year after each new model is released, so the useful apps drop month by month. It's four years old, and I wouldn't call it a Smart TV anymore. Even Youtube is being pulled this year. All that's left is Viewster, and that doesn't even work. They expect us to upgrade to new tech each year.

Streaming's overrated, especially for people who want decent surround audio, and who expect content at their control, not at the whim of content providers, server issues, app problems and the dreaded circle of buffering.

Agreed that the UK needs a budget label for anime, just to keep the classics in print. Say five years after release, a title should drop to half the original RRP and live out the rest of its license on the UK equivalent of SAVE.
Good points all round there. I actually grew up in a very rural region, basic broadband was a thing that came in only in the last 6-7 years really for my old stomping ground actually which was one of the last areas to get it. That's why I think we're actually talking about 10 years before digital removes the requirement in the UK for segments 2 & 3 of the marketplace I flagged before.

Certainly enough time to try another line like Anime Legends for me another 2-3 years on when our first wave of titles reaches the stage described above and a point not far from my mind :).

AP
 

Emulsion

Stand User
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

anime_andrew said:
I'd argue for Dandy that it can be seen as two halves of the same season in part - but the relevant point is release schedules. Even the US is doing Season 1 first then a Season 2 release as it helps cut the wait down particularly.
Fair enough point. I've always seen it as two seasons rather than two halves of the same season, due to most places having it list as season 1 and 2.
 

Joshawott

Monsieur Monster
AUKN Staff
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

To be honest, I haven't purchased an anime release in a good few months now because it has become increasingly expensive (especially given my low income). I can understand why Anime Limited's releases cost as much as they do, but at times I find it hard to justify the cost (which is a shame, because the Kill la Kill sets are gorgeous. If I had a more stable income, I'd snap them up). Instead, I've looked towards Crunchyroll and Netflix for my anime fixes.

However, I've even started looking at some of MVM and Manga UK's releases and wondering whether the price is worth it. For example, as much as I loved Usagi Drop, I find it hard to justify spending £27 on a barebones, sub-only DVD. Same with Kokoro Connect; the TV series is a safer £19, but then there's the OVAs that almost double that.
 

st_owly (witch)

Time-Traveller
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

I just wait for MVM DVDs to hit deal of the week. £10 for an entire series is a bargain.
 

Lutga

Mad Scientist
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

st_owly said:
I just wait for MVM DVDs to hit deal of the week. £10 for an entire series is a bargain.
Especially when it's a two-cour show.
 

AntAce

Student Council President
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

From my time reading various discussion forums, I think the issue isn't so much individual series/releases being expensive, but that the fandom tends to be predicated towards the mass consumption of anime, with no real regard for quality. Of course if you want to buy every release under the Sun the hobby is going to be expensive - that's just a given.
 

Lutga

Mad Scientist
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

I think naturally any hobby becomes expensive, the more you become involved with it.

When I first seriously got into anime around two years ago, I started off buying very few releases - generally just sticking to landmark titles/shows I knew I absolutely wanted to see, but the more I found I loved this brilliant medium of entertainment, the more my curiosity got me wanting to explore deeper and deeper into the medium - both old and new. Hence, going back and buying a lot of old titles, and being more open with blind buys/checking out new shows.

I toyed for a while with going digital-only due to save money/shelf space - figuring that there's so much on Crunchyroll alone, I could probably quite happily just work through everything on there for a year, but by that point I was so badly hooked, I couldn't resists buying stuff like Anime Ltd's sets etc.

I think especially when it comes to anime - and as recent history has shown - the industry is often affected by stuff going OOP, so operates on a 'buy it now, just in case...' principle, especially when it comes to deals/shows going for bargainous prices etc.
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

It extends to a lot of Japanese products in general too; audio CDs, merchandise and even books tend to have limited print runs and first edition bonuses because the Japanese market is set up to distribute a lot of content for (close to) free e.g. television, streaming, radio. The buyers are relatively hardcore people who don't mind sacrificing some of their limited storage space and funds for a permanent, deluxe copy of something (even the barebones rereleases are deluxe compared to what we usually get). In return, the items hold their value well and appear extremely desirable to other fans.

The UK model of wanting to build up a massive collection of tat by paying peanuts is sort of unusual. When it's economically feasible and things can be mass produced, it's great to be able to go to Amazon and grab a full television series for eight quid - I buy such things myself - but when people are demanding that creators sell below cost in order to support this broken system, it's clear that something isn't working.

R
 

elaniel

Vampire Ninja
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

I myself don't think anime is too expensive at all. I think my opinion comes from being a fan for so long and having to buy 2 episode VHS's as a teenager and choose between sub or dub (or both!). I was used to paying high prices for a show in singles. The few years we have been able to buy complete sets for so cheap was great, but I do appreciate a good collector's edition. Not to mention I think anime was extremely undervalued over the last few years on home media.

With the way home media sales are going, and quite simply anime is not cheap to produce the high quality shows, I think we're going to see a variety of options going forward. Much like we see now.

You have the AAA shows / sets which come in a premium release (price and contents).
You have the "middle of the road" shows which will be a basic Blu-Ray set (perhaps with a chipboard box).
Then you have the streaming options for a very cheap price. Look at how much anime can be consumed on Crunchyroll for under £40 a year.

Western anime companies are really trying to give as many options as possible, especially with Funimation's dub simulcasts. So if you do not want to pay a large price, then there are cheaper options available to enjoy a show. The buying of physical content will be a more premium price and be a collector's market. I feel it should not be about quantity but quality. Hopefully it doesn't get to Japan level pricing on all shows, but the popular and high end ones will probably come with a higher cost going forward on most shows.

Unfortunately a lot of the great ideas from the USA are not available in the UK. If we're talking the UK market, I think Funimation are doing some damage by taking UK rights for a show which then prevents streaming in the UK. So essentially they are taking away an option for UK fandom / supporters.

The Japanese will always play a side too. They know the economy has bounced back, and can justify requiring a larger cost for licensing / selling prices overseas. The economy plays a big role. The creators also have every right to say how much they feel their art is worth. If you worked tremendously hard on something and someone told you it was worth a fraction of what you thought, that would cause some upset. Much the same, consumers have a right to purchase at the value they feel something is worth. If they don't feel it's worth it, they won't buy it.

In years past I bought so many shows because they were available, now I have become very selective and buy shows I find to be of high quality and those I enjoy very much. Streaming is a brilliant way to enjoy anime that I would never have given the time of day to if I had to purchase outright, and to also not spend my cash on a home video release if it's a "one time watch" show.

Our options are now so much more than they used to be.
 

HdE

Comic Book Guy
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

It behooves me to say - again... just how lucky are we to have such an open line of communication with someone who can field all this stuff and engage with us so graciously? Andrew - you're a class act, sir.

Really wanted to specifically say something by way of acknowldegement of this:

anime_andrew said:
I'd say what is worth saying is I kinda hope me being here does not remove from people talking directly. If people don't tell me what they want, they won't get it (simple as)! Doesn't mean I can deliver it if asked, but I can at least discuss / explain the logic.
This is exactly why I feel like it's the responsibility of fans (and yes, that sounds very serious and po-faced, I know) to discuss some of the viewpoints and opinions I shared earlier. Some forum regulars may not agree with them... but those folks aren't you. And with anime being such a niche thing, it really, really IS important for fans to speak up with their observations.

I relay info (and outright bitch) about certain things because, at the end of the day, I love anime, and I love supporting the UK distros, and my hope is that this stuff is useful to you. Hopefully the stuff I relay here is fairly couched and honest, and hopefully I get the balance right more often than I get it wrong. I'll be completely candid and admit that I don't know all the ins and outs of how the business side of licensing and selling anime works, which is why I appreciate the insights you share so freely here. They're very useful in my discussions away from this forum. The only insights I can authoritatively offer are: 'this is how much money I have in my wallet, and I can give Anime Limited so much of it' and 'I've spoken to X, and they had this to say.'

The key thing is, your attitude is DYNAMITE. It makes it very, very easy to post my observations. Sure, I'll doubtless bark up a wrong tree or relaying something irksome occasionally, but I'm not afraid to put something out there and look clueless for it. That's because I AM clueless on certain issues and I know it! But you're not busting my chops for it, and you're doling out the right kind of information for me to learn from. So, as a fan who's trying to speak up with concerns, thank you for your patience.

It actually occurs to me that it's a bit bogus for me to come here reporting what other folks elsewhere have said on the subject of this thread. So I'm actively encouraging a few of the people I've spoken on behalf of to register here and get involved in these kinds of discussions. Certain folks especially I think may be able to offer something useful, so I'll see if they can be persuaded.

REALLY grateful and appreciative of such a thorough response to my posts, though. You - all the currently active UK distributors, in fact - are working a tough market. It's tempting to comment further on some things, but either through your comments or others in this thread, they're pretty well adressed (especially re: Space Dandy - I've made the incorrect assumption myself of it being two half-series sets, so yes, that's definitely a perception that's easy to fall into.)

Very interested to hear about your plans for the near future, and lots of positives to take from your comments, Andrew. I'd like to say that I personally really prize your input here, and I promise I'll keep up my end of the distributor / consumer dialogue.
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

HdE said:
'this is how much money I have in my wallet, and I can give Anime Limited so much of it'
For the record the main problem I have with this stance is that I find it unfairly dismisses the realities of business. I know you completely disagree with everything I have to say on this topic - and we're both entitled to think the way we do - but there are many things which should be cheaper in an ideal world. People living in poverty may not be able to afford food, but does that mean food should be all be made free at the expense of those producing it? Perhaps we can get there one day after we're all long dead when humanity is living in a global society with perfect communism, but at the moment there are market realities at play which means the minimum price of a product has to cover the cost of production or someone is getting screwed somewhere.

Anime producers can't price according to whatever HdE's pocket money currently happens to be; they have to price to reality. If that can be made to match your budget too, that's fantastic - however it still might not match the budget of someone living in poverty, and they'd have every right to come on and complain about that too, leading to a downward spiral until anime is completely free and the already-exploited production staff can no longer justify making it in the first place (I note that every time I cite specific examples of this actually happening numerous times over the course of the last 30 years, they go unchallenged).

By all means get your friends on to talk about this too, but I deliberately ignore secondhand references to random strangers. I have friends who don't use the site too; if we all start posting assumed opinions from multiple people who aren't involved in the debate in the first place then there's not much point in discussing it here as equals (my partner's views after glimpsing the topic title as I typed my first reply were far harsher than mine).

R
 

st_owly (witch)

Time-Traveller
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

Anime ultimately is a luxury product, it's not essential to your basic survival. If you only have so much disposable income to spend on it, you have several options.

1. If you just want a large physical media collection and aren't bothered about fancy extras and owning a show as soon as it's released. There are ways to buy shows cheaply. (second hand, sales, MVM's DOTW for example). If you want fancy extras and/or to own a show as soon as it's released, see option 2.
2. If you want nice editions and/or to own a show as soon as it's released, but don't have a lot of money, you can use the numerous legal streaming options to sample things before you buy them and make sure you really like them enough to spend the money. AL have realised, and quite rightly so, that if they're going to put out expensive editions, they need to make the product easy to sample (thus available on as many platforms as possible) so people don't have to drop lots of money on something they might not like.
3. AL's fancy editions are not /instead/ of a cheaper edition. They're filling a gap which would otherwise be empty because the Japanese companies don't want cheap foreign editions being released while a show is still hot in Japan. If the fancy edition of KLK wasn't being released, we probably wouldn't see it on home video in the UK for at least another year I would think.

Unfortunately, making anything will cost money as long as those who are making things have to pay for their basic survival needs. If in order to survive, they have to charge a higher price than you (generic you) deem affordable, then tough, really. There are other options. You can't have your cake and eat it.

I'm a student, and my budget is therefore pretty limited. Sure, I'd love to own all of AL's fancy editions, but the reality is that I just can't afford to (Gurrenn Laggan for example is about half a month's rent), so I'll only get them for shows I really really love.
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

I would add that a more productive answer to the problems with streaming in the UK is to talk about why streaming can't work for some people, and try to come up with solutions where the technology exists to support more users ('I don't want to stream' is a valid preference but the industry can't be run based around a niche opinion held by an aging generation).

For example, Anime Limited and Wakanim have clearly identified that not every customer wants to stream live video as not all connections will accommodate it, so Gundam: Reconguista In G and all the Wakanim titles are available for download too in a variety of files sizes to suit any kind of Internet connection and download quota. I personally prefer to stream and don't mind downgrading the video quality to fit the connection where the technology permits it and my line contention is too bad, but those with unreliable Internet will do much better using download-to-own or download-to-rent services where buffering problems don't exist. It's often been cited as an attractive feature of illegal digisubs by people with bad Internet connections.

Few other services offer this feature and just provide streaming like the US where connections tend to be better. If DTO options are helpful to UK customers with bad connections, this is something we should be asking for more often. If some sites have players which work better on bad Internet connections than others, or handle long buffering delays better than others, this is feedback we need to be giving to the companies so that we can have a better service for people who are being denied the right to stream anime legally right now. If people are having fixable technical problems using Crunchyroll or the like, we should try to help them and not let it get in the way of progress where avoidable.

R
 

HdE

Comic Book Guy
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

Really busy today, so I can't really make as full a response to previous posts as I'd like to, but:

Rui said:
HdE said:
'this is how much money I have in my wallet, and I can give Anime Limited so much of it'
For the record the main problem I have with this stance is that I find it unfairly dismisses the realities of business. I know you completely disagree with everything I have to say on this topic - and we're both entitled to think the way we do - but there are many things which should be cheaper in an ideal world.
I wouldn't say we completely disagree, Rui. You make a lot of very good points in these discussions - I particularly like your point about discussing why streaming doesnt work for everyone.

I do feel sometimes like you try to act like my own personal policeman on the subject, which I don't get (it's also deterred one of the guys I mentioned before from posting here) but, ultimately, we're all here because we love anime, and we're getting into discussion about stuff that's pertinent. I don't mind the oddd difference of opinion if it gives rise to something useful.

The thing is, though, I think some folks around here aren't seeing my point. It's not about getting anime at a bargain price, or making demands of distros that obliterate their profit margin. It's about sharing a consumer perspective. Everyone in this thread is doing that. The stuff I'm trying to bring in here is just a different angle.

There's a lot of ground to be given and taken here. Maybe some people do charge more than anime is worth. Maybe some people also undervalue it and want to pay an unrealistically low price for it. Lots of facets to this discussion.
 

Lutga

Mad Scientist
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

One problem I do have is with a lot of the American / Japanese releases being put out for big money - I know people have their own tastes re. visual fidelity, but in my eyes, any less than four episodes of anime on a disc in this day and age is silly, and inconvenient for a viewer. No one wants to be switching discs around or filling their shelves with tons of cases. Yes, you might get various 'goodies' with the release, but when it comes down to it, the crux is the show itself. Yes, Anime Ltd's releases can be pricier at times, but KLK aside, they've always gone for full cour sets.
 

HdE

Comic Book Guy
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

Got a bit of a chance to respond more fully to comments in this thread today. So here goes:

Rui said:
By all means get your friends on to talk about this too, but I deliberately ignore secondhand references to random strangers. I have friends who don't use the site too; if we all start posting assumed opinions from multiple people who aren't involved in the debate in the first place then there's not much point in discussing it here as equals (my partner's views after glimpsing the topic title as I typed my first reply were far harsher than mine).
Like I've already said, I'm trying to encourage said parties over here to either join in the debate or sign up and join in the distributor discussion threads. I personally consider that, as this is a pretty broad subject we're discussing and they have opinions on it, they ARE involved in the debate already, albeit in a loose sense. Some of them are already looking over the boards, I know, but for whatever reason feel reluctant to jump in. We'll see what transpires. I can tell you that more than one person now has said they don't want to post here because they feel they're going to get jumped on for expressing an opinion somebody doesn't like. Something to think about. People are easily deterred.

Moving on:

On the subject of streaming: I think maybe we'd do well to have a discussion about the merits / pitfalls of streaming here on the boards more fully. Andrew's comments have been really enlightening on this subject. Tens of thousands are streaming... that's quite something to contemplate. One of my worries over the issue of pricing and release models has been the impact they could have on attracting new fans. Could it be that this is the new gateway?

I've got my own personal thoughts on why I wouldn't want streaming to become the accepted norm for viewing anime. Specifically, I live in an area where it's actually not unheard of for some burroughs to have NO BROADBAND. It's a geographical thing, apparently. My own internet connectivity has been pretty poor for the last few months as is. I'm actually unable to atch short YouTube videos detailing tutorial stuff for the work I do. So I dread to think what my experience would be trying to watch anime or TV online.

There's also the issue of ownership. I'm the kind of fan who really cherishes his DVDs. I watch and re-watch stuff quite a bit (and in that respect, it's worth noting there are a few things I'm actually very happy to pay a premium price or double dip for. See? I am not a monster! :p )

Streaming, as best I gather under the present scheme of things - just wouldn't allow me to dig out an old show and watch it at my leisure. I like the luxury of being able to do that, and that's a big part of why I'm personally concerned about the safety of physical releases being assured. The caveat here is that I'm not going to blindly accept a deal where I feel I'm being charged a premium JUST to own something on disc. NOT saying anyone distributing anime in the UK is doing that, I hasten to add. I just don't want to pay Japanese prices. It's that simple for me.
 

HdE

Comic Book Guy
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

Figured I'd break my post into two to respond to another point that's come up:

With regard to comments about MVM's deal of the week being viewed as a sort of budget line for anime. My take: I don't think it really holds up that way. But it's an interesting angle to consider.

My preferred, ideal solution there would be to have a branded line like the Beez Anime Legends box sets, in the sense that there's a catalogue of releases at a keen price point to choose from, and to buy at the consumer's convenience. Different proposition to what MVM affords us with DotW. There, we have 50 opportunities a year to buy a show at a bargain price. But it may be something we're not interested in. Or it might be something we DO want, but are a bit strapped for cash for during its window of availability. To my mind, it's a GREAT deal, but it's not the same as a mid / budget price line.

The concern which this thread has thrown up, as I said when I brought it up, is that maybe the UK market / fan base can't support such a thing. It breaks my heart to hear how the Anime Legends line was clogging up storage space towards the end. Especially as they were such great shows! Those collections were such a gift! Wolf's Rain, Eureka Seven, Gundam SEED, Outlaw Star... a crying shame to contemplate that the appetite for them seemed to die off.

Also - with apologies to whoever said it - but buying second hand as a means of getting anime at an affordable price? Not really as edifying a solution as you might think. I mean, sure, it's an option, and I'm not saying I won't buy second hand, but I have a few reservations there:

1. Buying second hand isn't giving a sale to the industry. It may get me my anime, true. But I WANT to support the UK market. I'm not looking for reasons not to.

2. Buying second hand is a lottery. You just don't necessarily know what you're getting.

My recent track record buying second hand hasn't been great. On one hand, I suspect simple bad luck has been a factor. On the other... I've received items that were not as described, reeked of cigarette smoke or were incomplete. Goes with the turf, unfortunately. In all cases, I've returned items and got a refund, so no harm, no foul. But it DOES irritate when these goods are only marginally cheaper than buying brand new and passed off as being near mint or like new by the sellers.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

Back in the day I used to have a bit of a go at the UK distribution model (and bugger me, it really is "back in the day" now, around 08-09) and my points at the time, condensed for simplicity, were as follows:

- Why would anyone buy UK releases when things like the Anime Legends line in the US exist? - It was the exact same product at around half the price (as it was then with exchange rates).

- Why would anyone buy UK releases when, for much the same price, they can collect the US single volumes which (back then) usually came with a swanky rigid box and nicer cover art?


Since then these issues have been almost entirely addressed, first by Bandai/Beez who in addition to producing seriously nice collector's editions and offering worldwide simultaneous releases of their first Blu-ray sets also began their own Anime Legends line to offer older series at a budget. It was a sad day when Bandai essentially gutted all operations outside Japan, it certainly was for me because I had really warmed to the way Beez were doing things.

Happily, Andrew appears to have brought a very similar business model and attitude to Anime Limited, who are doing much the same thing. Sure, you can't buy a full series on day one for peanuts, but then you never could. All those cheap Manga and MVM series' people go on about? Most of them were still released as single volumes for £10-£15 each, I don't know if some people just haven't been around long enough to remember the days you had to collect GitS:SAC in seven separate releases for much the same price per volume the boxed set goes for now. Budget releases take time, they did even in the US. Those Gundam Anime Legends sets only happened after single volume releases were done with. As I understand it this is as much to do with license stipulations as it is anything else.

Anime is much the same price it has ever been in the UK, but now we have a choice between nice collector's editions and cheap budget releases that we previously had to go to the US for, because the UK releases of yesteryear were neither collectible nor budget. I really don't see how anyone has lost out in this transition. The budget releases just aren't budget enough? The only real time I can remember them being cheaper was around the time ADV collapsed (or should that be "uncombined") and all their old stock got sold off cheap.

As for the possible views of people who aren't posting, if they want their voices and opinions heard they need to speak for themselves and speak to the people who matter. That goes for anything you want done in the world.
 

qaiz

Pokémon Master
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

ayase said:
I actually agree with you. I think it has a lot to do with how everyone is online and connected now and thus we have more tools at our disposal to seek out and compare releases among regions. All of a sudden I see a release I wouldn’t have in the past, across the pond that is a better package or a cheaper price, however we too get our fair share of releases that go above and beyond and deliver great content for a great price. Look at Lagann, or better yet Madoka. A lot of it might have to do with the fact that the US shares the same region with Japan so they sometimes end up being a bit more lenient towards us here in the UK.

I think in general we have a healthy mix of cheaper releases with companies like MVM and Manga, singles, box sets and now a healthy dose of higher end stuff with Anime Limited, who also do a good job of catering to the lower end too. A lot has to do with the fact that we keep up to date with the latest releases out in Japan, so everyone flips out when Kill La Kill costs X amount when we forget that the show is still pretty recent and that we'll get a complete, cheaper set in due time (and even that would all in all end up coming out not too long after the show finished, especially considering its a popular show.)

Madoka was a cheap, complete release in the UK, but because it came out later (Oct 29th 2012 compared to the US release with Vol 1 out on Feb 14th 2012, and the last set Vol 3 out on Jun 12th 2012) with swanky limited editions all being region free, however one has to assume that maybe people do have the money to spare if they are willing to fork the money over, but I'm sure other forces were at play here (video quality etc.)

You look at Bebop, which released in two parts in the UK with the first out on Jul 29th 2013 and the second set out on Oct 14th 2013, with the complete set out on Oct 06th 2014 where the US set released on Dec 16th 2014. Obviously these are tent-pole releases, with the more obscure titles being hit and miss. I'd agree with the notion that the UK misses out on a lot of shows/movies but at the same time looking at the data outside of the Ghibli releases (which we get more promptly than the US at a great price), everything else shifts numbers that make it hard to justify releasing things like the whole of Patlabor TV series on Blu-ray for example.

And that's just it, a case by case basis. We get a lot of cheap low end stuff, as well as high end stuff. We get shows/movies the US doesn't get, or at least we get them earlier but some that we miss altogether. It seems like we get less choice, but that’s more to do with the fact that companies just tend to release the higher end stuff first, promptly after the show ending and then release the complete set for less later (which as you said, compared to the past is still prompt enough) with streaming filling in the gaps.
 
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