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

Rui

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

HdE said:
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.
Apologies if it comes across that way; I do tend to feel that sometimes I make a point about something and it gets overlooked. And when ignoring my point harms other customers, I will continue making it until I'm blue in the face. For example, the anomalous pricing of Gundam Unicorn on Amazon UK when a UK-based distributor exists and sells it at half the price - I love Gundam passionately so I want more people to be properly informed of their options (thank goodness Anime Limited is handling the promotion for Origin so the word can spread better) ^^;

The problem I have with these shy friends who aren't members of the forum is that anyone can say they have friends who back up their opinion and it's impossible to prove either way or move forwards in a debate if we're taking the word of silent lurkers into account. I'm not saying they don't exist, but it's the easiest thing in the world to come into an argument and say "I think this and by the way I have 100 friends who think the same thing so my point is especially valid!". Of course I know you're not that kind of person, but if people don't care enough about a topic to jot their individual opinions down and add them to the debate then I'm not sure how much those opinions should be worth to me either. Just my personal take on third parties - like I said, I have friends who have opinions which run closer to my own, too, so I have no reason to doubt yours exist. Mine aren't interested in joining debates because they're not into forums, so as a tradeoff they sacrifice the privilege of having their opinions heard.

Oh, and I don't think you're a monster for wanting to save money! Like I've said (twice) I buy budget releases too, and when they can be supported without screwing the industry over they should definitely exist as an option for shows which already made their money back. I do feel that the 'Japanese prices for Japanese fans' assumption is rather privileged though; on one hand it's true that we still don't have the same access to free airings they do, but that still doesn't explain why we feel we deserve to pay less for our OAVs and movies too just by virtue of living in the UK and let foreigners subsidise our hobbies. It also means they're the ones choosing which titles are hits and which shows get cancelled if they're the only ones investing in anime's success as a medium.

Ultimately I think my ideal model would be to have everything given a worldwide Japanese-style release one day and then those titles which are big enough hits to sustain it can then be fully localised with cheaper editions and boxed sets to let them reach a wider audience across the world. Which is, I think, what is planned for Gundam Origin. I hope it's successful.

(Dear lurkers, I'm really not that scary. I promise.)

R
 

HdE

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

I've actually been unable to log in for some reason over the last couple of days, so only just seeing the latest posts (also: Comics. Deadlines. Stress. And sponge cake.)

(The last requires explanation, but... you'd never believe me if I tried.)


Rui said:
HdE said:
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.
Apologies if it comes across that way; I do tend to feel that sometimes I make a point about something and it gets overlooked.
No sweat, Rui. I figure the board can accommodate different opinions and perspectives. It's my belief that a lot of good stuff comes out of these discussions. And it does no harm whatsoever, obviously, to supply information that's on point, or may not be immediately accessible to a casual onlooker. Rest assured, I'm not ignoring your observations or even necessarily arguing with them. They just don't necessarily jive with the point of view I'm trying to put across. That's not to suggest that I think what you're saying isn't valid a lot of the time.

It's probably worth mentioning that a big part of my personal viewpoint comes down to a desire to see the anime fan base grow. That in itself feels like a pipedream sometimes (whch is why Andrew's comment upthread about tens of thousands of people streaming is such an eye opener for me). But the thought occurs to me quite often 'would a newly interested person be attracted by this or that?' Or, conversely, what could be a turn off for them? And there are several things that are on my mind this way - pricing, release format, availability, advertising, visibility of the product itself - in either a positive or negative light. Sometimes I'll hear things from other folks that demonstrate they're an issue for them, so it's this stuff I'll pass along.

I may not be 100% clued up on the details of all these topics, but I figure a perspective is a perspective. So I share mine on a 'for what it's worth' basis. It quite honestly sometimes surprises me to see it validated!
 

HdE

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

And what'll be my final word on this part of the discussion:

ayase said:
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.
I agree! And I think you put that as concisely and elegantly as could be hoped for.

Tricky thing where online discussions are concerned, though: For whatever reason, some folks just won't do it. I dunno why, but it's a thing. I know of comics forums, for example, where some people actively stay away because they feel their input won't be well received because they go against popular opinion. Some folks stay out of dicussion because of personalities they observe who are participating. These are never good enough reasons to abstain from speaking your mind.

Like Andrew says a page or two back, if fans don't speak up with what they want, how are they going to get it? Last checked, there haven't been any major advances in mind reading technology, so it should be a simple point of logic.

But, alas, people are complex, it seems. I'm gonna keep twisting a few arms, though.
 

Rosencrantz

Dragon Knight
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

Lutga said:
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.
This does seem to have become a trend and is probably only warranted for specific shows. Monogatari has short arcs that fit into this pattern, but I'll have to say I'm amazed at how quick and cheap MvM are following the US release, with Bake & Nisi at least you got it well ahead of the UK, feels like I'm being had by Aniplex (good work by MvM getting it out so quick though). I'm also rather concerned about Pony Canyon suddenly following this model because from what I can see they are not offering top tier must buy shows that could justify it.

I have no issues with 4 episodes only per disc if they have superior video and sound quality, they seem to be able to get a lot of discs in smaller boxes thesedays too so that's not such a concern, though undoubtedly it could be slightly smaller if they crammed everything into a 2 disc release. I do wonder why they use 2x BD25 rather than 1x BD50 in some instances. Complaining about disc switching does seem a little lazy, but I do tend to take a short break after a few episodes to get a drink etc so I naturally break up the viewing pace.
 

Rui

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

I think the 'people who willingly pay more' camp is actually the minority view here (even in this thread where it's made up of people arguing against the premise, not for it!) but I guess we're louder ^^;

If you feel the people wanting cheap prices is the minority view, it's probably unique to this forum and possibly a couple of other highly niche geeky places online.

On the disc thing, I actually feel relieved when discs don't contain too many episodes so I can mix shows up without fiddling around half-finishing discs or marathoning something mediocre. But I still like to get them in as few sets as possible, so collections beat out singles unless there are a lot of interesting extras.

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

Anime has always been an expensive hobby. It is still relatively niche within the general population, but certainly, is recognisable now. The main reason why prices remain high is due to small distribution and demand. There is a premium on releases which do not cater outside the mainstream. Also, because streaming has become popular, people are reluctant to spend their hard earned cash on physical release when they can go on Netflix and watch anime in near HD quality for example. I prefer physical media but sadly streaming is the reality for media. The future is not ownership but subscription based (I digress).

However, I do think that prices have fallen when compared to the anime boom of early 2000's. There were no S.A.V.E. collections when I was a wide-eyed teen, I remember shelling out £20 per volume of Sailor Moon S by saving up for 2-3 months at a time.
 

black1blade

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

Do you think there would be more demand if anime was really cheap (like the comparative cost of american tv shows)
 

Lutga

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

Well there's certainly evidence of cheap anime selling well - look at Origin for example, in my eyes a pretty poor film, but regularly in Amazon's Top 20 anime best-sellers because it's priced very cheaply.

See also Ouran or High School DxD - to be fair, they're both pretty popular, but im of no doubt sales have been buoyed by the cheap price they retail at.
 

ilmaestro

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

black1blade said:
Do you think there would be more demand if anime was really cheap (like the comparative cost of american tv shows)
Anime is generally that cheap in this country.
 

Morcombe

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

back in 2005 when the original Fullmetal Alchemist anime was released over 13 single dvd's costing £20 each from places like HMV, Virgin and Zavvi, that was £260 for 51 episodes.

Last Year I got Brotherhood complete collection on DVD from Amazon for £40 which has 64 episodes!

Anime is much, much cheaper nowadays, except for anime limited, thur is no way in hell I'm giving them £120-150 for Kill la Kill which only has 24 eps when I can get stuff like Brotherhood for £40 and it has 64 episodes.
 

ayase

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

Morcombe said:
Anime is much, much cheaper nowadays, except for anime limited, thur is no way in hell I'm giving them £120-150 for Kill la Kill which only has 24 eps when I can get stuff like Brotherhood for £40 and it has 64 episodes.
Do you have to? Maybe if you wait a while there'll be a standard version for around that price. Y'know, that thing that has happened with all the other AL releases.
 

GolGotha

Death Scythe
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

Morcombe said:
back in 2005 when the original Fullmetal Alchemist anime was released over 13 single dvd's costing £20 each from places like HMV, Virgin and Zavvi, that was £260 for 51 episodes.

Last Year I got Brotherhood complete collection on DVD from Amazon for £40 which has 64 episodes!

Anime is much, much cheaper nowadays, except for anime limited, thur is no way in hell I'm giving them £120-150 for Kill la Kill which only has 24 eps when I can get stuff like Brotherhood for £40 and it has 64 episodes.
But what you have to take into consideration is, that release of Kill la Kill is

1) A Collectors Edition with rigid artboxes, artbooks etc
2) Released a couple of months after it finished airing, where as Brotherhood was released more than 2 years after it finished airing
3) That price is the RRP, a lot of people have picked up the two available parts for £20 each on blu-ray
 

IncendiaryLemon

Captain Karen
AUKN Staff
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

I don't think part 2 has been that low yet. If it has, someone please point to me where, because I've only seen it for like £40.
 

HdE

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

I like that FMA: Brotherhood got a mention here. It brings up some interesting stuff.

I actually picked that show up for £28 from Amazon, plus P&P, complete, all 64 episodes, on DVD.

I was curious to see if it was available on BD, and it was... if I was willing to pay just a bit more than DOUBLE that amount for two volumes.

From this, I gather demand may play a part in the low price of FMA: B complete on DVD. I can see that it's not necessarily going to sell as many units on blu ray.

But this does suggest as well that it's not accurate to make sweeping statements like 'anime is much cheaper these days' (sorry whoever said it - not picking on you to be mean, I swear!)

Fact is, it's always been a case by case thing. There's no 'one price fits all' method with anime, more's the pity. A lot depends on what consumers expect versus what they can afford plus the vagaries of any particular show when it comes to business related issues dictating price. If that makes sense.
 

NormanicGrav

Yume no Shima Shinen Kōen
AUKN Staff
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

IncendiaryLemon said:
I don't think part 2 has been that low yet. If it has, someone please point to me where, because I've only seen it for like £40.
At one point it got to around £30 on Amazon last month, I managed to pick one up for that price.
 

Morcombe

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

I said it was cheaper nowadays and it's definitely cheaper nowadays no matter how I look at it.

I just got Rahxephon today for £18 of amazon for the whole series + the movie.
Buying the original ADV release over 7 volumes and the movie release back in the early 2000s would have cost £20 each way totaling £160.

as for getting brotherhood on Blu-ray on amazon they are currently £33 for collection 1 and £31 for collection 2 so you max at £65 which is still cheaper than what the original fma release over 13 volumes cost which was £260, include the movie and it's £280.

anime is much, much cheaper now no matter how I look at it.

I simply opted for the DVD (£40 at the time) because I wanted to spend that extra £25 on another series and blu-ray isn't a huge deal to me so I don't absolutely have to have a show on blu-ray.

DVD only release's like Sankarea would have been released over 3 or 4 volumes back in the early 2000s making it cost a total of £60-80 but I picked it up on Amazon for £21.50. But people choose the far more expensive option of importing the blu-ray version cause for some reason lots of anime fans have this dumb superiority complex that Blu-ray is so much better despite the fact that most anime don't have a good enough budget to make a massive difference between dvd and blu-ray.

the only anime that is way overpriced in the uk at least is those collectors sets from anime limited and more recently this upcoming special edition of A Lull in the Sea that MVM is doing. But you can always wait for the standard releases, although honestly I don't see why they cant just release the standard edition alongside the special edition like video games do.
 

HdE

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

Interesting point coming out of your post, Morcombe:

You opted for the FMA:B DVD because you wanted to spend more money on another series. This interests me because I'm always curious about the spending habits of people at different levels of the fandom.

I know a few folks who spend very little on anime, and have a mindset of making their purchases count. Some will only ever spend up to a limit of £30. For some, that limit is even lower.

I also know people who buy a LOT of anime, and their habits are more unpredictable. Some hoover up cheaper to mid-price releases. Some have a set budget every now and then and buy whatever appeals. Some ONLY buy anime on blu ray (and I agree that not every show benefits from the blu ray treatment by default) and some buy everything BUT the higher priced current releases.

For me personally... I have NO spending habits! I literally buy anime when I can afford it. So, sometimes I'm in a position to get hold of stuff... sometimes I just have to go without. Them's the breaks.

But this is why I think the discussion gets sticky. It gets very hard to offer an authoritative opinion on whether anime is overpriced or not when the folks hearing that opinion could have a broad range of opinions themselves.

To illustrate: Speaking strictly for myself, I've never been particularly won over when people cite the price of buying individual volumes of a show by way of an argument that says, effectively 'this is what it's supposed to cost you'. I've never supported multi volume releases with my money when I've known a complete collection would appear later. The cheaper option has almost always been the only option for me, as it represents (again, I stress this is just my personal stance) the only serious value for money option. So, while I perhaps should be more sensitive to things like the price of a show in multiple volumes as opposed to a complete set, I'm also predisposed to not be interested in that. I've never been able to justify that kind of expense, it's never been how I've bought anime when there's been a choice to do different, and so that argument becomes noise to me.

I'm not saying this to argue - just by way of explaining my personal standpoint, and also that I think this is where some perceptions of anime being overpriced come from. Almost NOTHING else in the home video market is being released piecemeal now, and I doubt anime would be getting that treatment at all if not for licensor dictates from Japan, which also explains why cheaper standard editions don't appear alongside the premium editions.

I certainly recall folks in the business of DVD distribution saying a few year ago what a perilous model that was. Multiple volumes of one product equates to less sales on subsequent volumes. So it makes more sense financially to release, say, a mainstream TV show in one set. A certain portion of the fanbase has grown to accept the general home video market trends, and doesn't see why it shouldn't apply to anime.

What I find especially interesting to contemplate, off the back of your post, is: when anime is cheaper / more affordable, do people buy more of it?
 

HdE

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

Oh, also - another point specifically regarding the price of FMA:B

(And seriously folks - it's a STEAL on DVD for the asking price.)

Had I not been able to get so much of that show, in such a complete package, for such a keen price, I'd simply not have bothered with it at all. That's because - here's the kicker: I was interested in the show, but only up to a certain point.

That's to say: I wasn't Gundam Unicorn interested in it. Or Majestic Prince interested in it. I wasn't even 'Huh, MVM's deal of the week ain't really my bag, but for a tenner I'll throw down on it' interested. But I WAS 'I kinda need to watch something different' and 'DANG, that's a bargain' interested. And coincidentally, I had a little cash bonus to splurge.

So... it's highly unlikely that I personally would have thought twice about buying the show plus movies / OVAs etc at the kind of price Morcombe cites for blu ray. The show was never on my mental shopping list of cool shiz to check out, but circumstances and the price conspired to make it an attractive purchase.

So, there's that for what it's worth.
 

IncendiaryLemon

Captain Karen
AUKN Staff
Re: Is It Me Or Is Buying Anime Just Way Too Expensive Nowad

Would you mind explaining your point on why Blu Ray isn't better by default? Nowadays I will out right refuse to buy a DVD unless there is no Blu Ray option and I can't think of a single Blu Ray I own that I think looks worse than it would on DVD.
 

st_owly (witch)

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

What I find especially interesting to contemplate, off the back of your post, is: when anime is cheaper / more affordable, do people buy more of it?
An interesting point. I know I personally am buying more now. As a teenager with limited money in the days of single volume releases, I simply could not bring myself to spend £20 on 4 episodes when I could buy 3 volumes of manga for that amount of money. For me at least, I think the combined factors of having more disposable income, no parents to judge what I'm spending my money on, cheaper box sets (MVM's DOTW is a godsend) and the odd bargain in HMV/Fopp means that overall I'm buying far more anime than I used to (I got the first 2 seasons of D Gray Man for £14 in total when they were trying to get rid of the part releases in favour of the complete collection). A lot of the people who were teenagers like I was in the mid 2000's boom and are still fans might be in a similar position to me.

TL; DR I think it is a factor, but one of many.
 
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