Is the £85 pirce for Akeme Ga Kill Collectors Edition BD A Sad Example Of How Bad The UK Anime Marke

britguy

Za Warudo
Buzz201 said:
I know that. I was just saying that fans can't really be "undervaluing" anime, they just don't value it as much as it costs to produce.
That reads like Undervaluing to me ;)

A better complaint/question would be why aren't people willing to pay these prices if they want to see more anime (which they clearly do)? And obviously that's a highly complicated question to answer.
Because at the end of the day, people have other things to pay first like rent/mortgage, bills, food, so your average Joe isn't left with much cash to spend on the things they like, or if they are, then anime isn't a huge priority as they have other things to think of first, so they want as much as they can for as little as possible. That's why the manga model did so well for them, but in the long run, it wasn't a model that could keep them going.

If fans can't afford to buy or cannot justify the outlay of what a physical collectors retail release costs (say an Anime Limited collectors edition around £35-£40) then I believe they should brace themselves, as imo, that is the model I can see most adopting, supplemented by subscription based streaming services and potentially, much later, a standard edition.

Unfortunately, (and this can be directed at a whole heap of luxury products or pastimes people enjoy) Just because you like anime doesn't mean it should be priced within your means. Anime is a luxury product, and it isn't a right or a privilege. If owning the media is too expensive then it's great that things like netflix and crunchyroll exist because it opens up a whole heap of titles to you for a flat monthly fee. I would have killed something like that during the peak of my fandom and then subsequent unemployment. I know what it's like to not be able to afford what you enjoy, it's awful, especially if it's one of your only hobbies/pastimes.

It sucks that anime is expensive, but at the end of the day, we all know the world we live in, and we all know how businesses work. If you want more releases in the future then current/past releases need to be profitable and then those profits are spent on new licenses.
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
Buzz201 said:
I know that. I was just saying that fans can't really be "undervaluing" anime, they just don't value it as much as it costs to produce. That is, assuming we have to be charged that much and isn't Japanese companies being upset that we aren't paying Japanese prices (which RightStuf's Shawn Kleckner suggested it might be on ANNCast).

A better complaint/question would be why aren't people willing to pay these prices if they want to see more anime (which they clearly do)? And obviously that's a highly complicated question to answer.
Then we, as a society, cannot have anime, because we cannot support the cost of production. It's all very well that people are demanding Japanese fans subsidise the entire medium for us, because we're somehow special in the west, but with the evolution of the Internet it was only a matter of time before the Japanese fans started to question the fairness of this relationship and put the whole arrangement in jeopardy. Live action is cheaper to make (well, cheap live action) so I guess the end result is less anime, and specifically less niche (i.e. interesting) anime in favour of surefire hits which don't take risks. Some people in this debate would be fine with that. Some people in this debate consider a Gundam BD completely replaceable by some US drama series box set. I don't.

Let's pretend that the worst case already happened, and Japan stopped making anything other than Attack on Titan and Naruto clones. Then a small number of wealthy lunatics said they didn't mind paying 10x more than the going rate each in order to ensure that niche titles could still be financed, and as a result those people got to have anime. That scenario gave us the experimental insanity of the OAV market, which is directly responsible for turning a lot of us here into fans, and in turn it bled into the more experimental TV shows we got during the anime bubble years. It's also pretty much where the LE trend is heading, because the 'price low, sell in volume' model doesn't work as more and more people move to streaming and abandon physical releases entirely.

It's not fair for people without the means to pay, obviously, or for people who would like to own a show but not as much as they'd like to buy something else (whether essential for life or just a hobby they prefer). However, as long as there is a cost of production involved to create this stuff then we need people who are willing to pay. I'm personally glad that this has only blown up like this now, when we actually have wonderful options for people who can't afford those prices or who are more selective about the titles they want to invest in.

I have no answer for your last question, sadly. I don't know why people are so desperate to put all of the responsibility on the Japanese fans and turn it into 'them' and 'us'. This is a really bad hobby for anyone trying to save money unless they're willing to make some compromises about physical versus digital; it's been that way in Japan for a long time already. The used market and television/online broadcasts are the options for those who can't pay the prices there, and I think we need to be more flexible about everything as well.

R
 

Buzz201

Mad Scientist
Rui said:
Then we, as a society, cannot have anime, because we cannot support the cost of production. It's all very well that people are demanding Japanese fans subsidise the entire medium for us, because we're somehow special in the west, but with the evolution of the Internet it was only a matter of time before the Japanese fans started to question the fairness of this relationship and put the whole arrangement in jeopardy. Live action is cheaper to make (well, cheap live action) so I guess the end result is less anime, and specifically less niche (i.e. interesting) anime in favour of surefire hits which don't take risks. Some people in this debate would be fine with that. Some people in this debate consider a Gundam BD completely replaceable by some US drama series box set. I don't.

Let's pretend that the worst case already happened, and Japan stopped making anything other than Attack on Titan and Naruto clones. Then a small number of wealthy lunatics said they didn't mind paying 10x more than the going rate each in order to ensure that niche titles could still be financed, and as a result those people got to have anime. That's pretty much where the LE trend is heading, because the 'price low, sell in volume' model doesn't work as more and more people move to streaming and abandon physical releases entirely.

It's not fair for people without the means to pay, obviously, or for people who would like to own a show but not as much as they'd like to buy something else (whether essential for life or just a hobby they prefer). However, as long as there is a cost of production involved to create this stuff then we need people who are willing to pay. I'm personally glad that this has only blown up like this now, when we actually have wonderful options for people who can't afford those prices or who are more selective about the titles they want to invest in.

I have no answer for your last question, sadly. I don't know why people are so desperate to put all of the responsibility on the Japanese fans and turn it into 'them' and 'us'. This is a really bad hobby for anyone trying to save money unless they're willing to make some compromises about physical versus digital; it's been that way in Japan for a long time already. The used market and television/online broadcasts are the options for those who can't pay the prices there, and I think we need to be more flexible about everything as well.

R
Actually recent articles put the cost of an anime series at about $2m for a 13-episode series or $153,846/£100,963 an episode. Even the average price of something cheap, like a BBC Three sitcom is £180-220k. Anime is far far cheaper than all but the very very cheapest live action...

I'm not going to comment on the rest of it is because you're basically 100% accurate, except in your suggestion that online broadcasts can replace a standard edition. Until you can guarantee absolute availability for a considerable period of time, that won't be the case. It's a shame nobody's willing to experiment, because a solution that might work is having a hugely expensive phsyical CE, and then a slightly more reasonably priced barebones digital version. That way people are incentivised to pay huge sums of money, but there's still an option for people who can't afford it.
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
I was thinking more of the average Japanese TV show, where the average budget seems to be rather low by western standards for many genres. I think the BBC are overpaying if they're spending that much, though their silly funding model doesn't really help.

The first link compares the cost of anime to a regular non-blockbuster US live action series, which sounds fair. The main difference to me is that the actors probably aren't working for pennies in the US, and live action shows - sadly - have more mainstream appeal. I don't know how we can ever get anime out of its rut where it isn't regarded as a proper medium. Loads of people use anime references in daily life and know about Naruto and other big hits, but the number of people willing to buy this stuff stays really low in the UK no matter how low the prices go. I don't really get it.

I agree that experimenting is good (and can see it's happening in other quarters, with the Gundam releases, DTO and special broadcasts etc). Sadly Manga are notoriously slow to experiment with anything (and notoriously quick to throw all of their toys out of the pram when an experiment fails, as the early BD adopters in the UK can attest). If Akame Ga Kill sells terribly, I wonder what their conclusion will be? It could be as bad as "the free streaming version is undermining our release!" with all of the long term problems which that implies. I've heard reps imply that kind of thing at events, and if they start pressuring licensors to restrict streaming even more then I'm done supporting the UK industry.

R
 

Buzz201

Mad Scientist
Rui said:
I was thinking more of the average Japanese TV show, where the average budget seems to be rather low by western standards for many genres. I think the BBC are overpaying if they're spending that much, though their silly funding model doesn't really help.

The first link compares the cost of anime to a regular non-blockbuster US live action series, which sounds fair. The main difference to me is that the actors probably aren't working for pennies in the US, and live action shows - sadly - have more mainstream appeal. I don't know how we can ever get anime out of its rut where it isn't regarded as a proper medium. Loads of people use anime references in daily life and know about Naruto and other big hits, but the number of people willing to buy this stuff stays really low in the UK no matter how low the prices go. I don't really get it.

I agree that experimenting is good (and can see it's happening in other quarters, with the Gundam releases, DTO and special broadcasts etc). Sadly Manga are notoriously slow to experiment with anything (and notoriously quick to throw all of their toys out of the pram when an experiment fails, as the early BD adopters in the UK can attest). If Akame Ga Kill sells terribly, I wonder what their conclusion will be? It could be as bad as "the free streaming version is undermining our release!" with all of the long term problems which that implies. I've heard reps imply that kind of thing at events, and if they start pressuring licensors to restrict streaming even more then I'm done supporting the UK industry.

R
Well Manga have reportedly said that Netflix kills home video. Which could be a problem, given only Space Pirate Harlock and Knights of Sidonia...
 
It's funny though because I am sure I didn't imagine people complaining on here in years past that UK releases were too barebones, that the packaging wasn't up to much & why couldn't we have releases more like the US. Yet when we do have releases more like that the US it seems people start complaining about that because of the price. Considering the size of the UK anime market maybe people should wonder if it is the fact that we can't have it both ways.
 

black1blade

Thousand Master
If I actually had watched and liked the show, I would pay the price in a heartbeat tbh. What is going to be around £65 for 2 cours is pretty good.
 

britguy

Za Warudo
black1blade said:
If I actually had watched and liked the show, I would pay the price in a heartbeat tbh. What is going to be around £65 for 2 cours is pretty good.
It's 85 (potential to reduce 65) for the first twelve episodes. ..
 

Morbo

Adventurer
I'll be heading to UP1USA to get the US version for around £40, if this is going to be the only version on blu-ray. I'll probably wait to see if a cheaper version is announced as I quite enjoyed the series but not to the degree of paying £80+ for it before it being the last option.
 

britguy

Za Warudo
Morbo86 said:
I'll be heading to UP1USA to get the US version for around £40, if this is going to be the only version on blu-ray. I'll probably wait to see if a cheaper version is announced as I quite enjoyed the series but not to the degree of paying £80+ for it before it being the last option.
40 quid, you mean the standard edition? Definitely a viable alternative.
 

black1blade

Thousand Master
britguy said:
black1blade said:
If I actually had watched and liked the show, I would pay the price in a heartbeat tbh. What is going to be around £65 for 2 cours is pretty good.
It's 85 (potential to reduce 65) for the first twelve episodes. ..
Ahh damn. I guess I was confused with that sentai box. Still I'm probably gonna be happy to pay that for fate.
 

Morbo

Adventurer
britguy said:
40 quid? you mean the standard edition?
Thats the standard edition price!? Jesus thats excessive. But I'm in the same boat as alot of people, I'll rather get a standard edition than have a load of tat that I won't look at. I'll end up waiting to see if a cheaper UK version arrives before I go for that, even then I'll probably wait for a sale to come along on rightstuf or something.
 

mrclt1994

Hunter
Yeah it's actually about £37 including shipping. I think people had begun to complain about Sentai prices for barebones/amaray only releases which I believe (I may be wrong here) prompted them to begin offering Collector's Editions, although they all seem to vary in price, which I guess is down to how cheaply they can get hold of the extras they hope to include - Chunibyo and NGNL were both only £67 when I bought them while Beyond the Boundary is currently just under £90 (i got mine when it was like £110). So either they have found a gold mine and hope to fully capitalise on it, OR, the cost of extras vary for each show - I'll wait to see how Nozaki-kun CE is priced before I come to conclusions as Akame Ga Kill is a bit of an outlier, having that appeal to casual fans.
 

mangaman74

Akatsuki
Buzz201 said:
It's a shame nobody's willing to experiment, because a solution that might work is having a hugely expensive phsyical CE, and then a slightly more reasonably priced barebones digital version. That way people are incentivised to pay huge sums of money, but there's still an option for people who can't afford it.
I can't speak for anyone else but if I was not interested in the expensive CE and the alternative was a cheap digital version I would rather go without as I am not interested in buying a digital version. Most of what I buy (whether it is music, video games or anime) I buy physical versions of and I don't see me changing my buying habits anytime soon.
 

Winkuru

School Idol
I feel the same way. If they want my money then there has to be affordable physical version. I'm not going to support digital releases.
 

Buzz201

Mad Scientist
The problem you guys seem to be missing is that if it involves an affordable physical version, they seemingly don't want your money...

Do I personally think digital is a good solution? Not really*, but it would give people a large and clear reason to buy the CE, whilst not excluding people who can't afford it. And that wasn't the point, we'll probably never know if there's some weird hybrid model that works, because the plan seemingly is just to jump straight from extreme model straight to the other.

*or at least not at the moment, but if they could offer DRM-free 1080p files, I'd consider it.
 

serpantino

Vampire Ninja
It feels like a fad where the other UK distributors have looked at anime limited's success with CE's and decided to copy them. Sometimes they are quality releases, sometimes they're just obvious cash ins.

The problem though is it prices those of us with lower disposable incomes out of the market and alienates newcomers to the genre.

Unless it's a slow month I wouldn't even consider a CE. Sure I have a few anime limited ones but solely because I got good prices on them in sales. Series like 'A Lull in the Sea' which I was interested in completely price me out of the market and I've always resented a bunch of extra junk thrown in to hike the price because things like that are readily available for the fans who enjoy the series enough to want to get an art book or soundtrack CD etc.

The UK market can't be that big as it is and whilst a vocal minority seem to relish CE's I think a happy medium needs to be found to avoid alienating portions of the already small fan base and newcomers. (Maybe just a nicer presentation box than the standard amaray cases).
 

Winkuru

School Idol
Why are you assuming that we didn't get that. What we are just saying that if the option is between physical editions with ridiculous prices and between digital version then plenty of people are dropping their support completely.

I have hard time believing that people would start paying for digital version unless they were sold for pennies. Most people would start torrenting everything because i highly doubt that there's many people in Western countries that are willing to support this crazy expensive CE's.
 

Buzz201

Mad Scientist
If they're interesting in buying a release instead of torrenting to begin with, you'd assume they have morals/are willing to support the industry. Buying a digital release would be a way to do that, without spending the extortionate amount they're charging for some CEs.

But, you're reading far too much into it, it was an off the cuff suggestion, meant more as a call for them to look at trying other models which didn't exclude people, rather than leap straight from the cheapest release they can get away with to the most expensive release they can get away with. I was not genuinely calling for that model to be adopted immediately...

serpantino said:
It feels like a fad where the other UK distributors have looked at anime limited's success with CE's and decided to copy them. Sometimes they are quality releases, sometimes they're just obvious cash ins.

The problem though is it prices those of us with lower disposable incomes out of the market and alienates newcomers to the genre.

Unless it's a slow month I wouldn't even consider a CE. Sure I have a few anime limited ones but solely because I got good prices on them in sales. Series like 'A Lull in the Sea' which I was interested in completely price me out of the market and I've always resented a bunch of extra junk thrown in to hike the price because things like that are readily available for the fans who enjoy the series enough to want to get an art book or soundtrack CD etc.

The UK market can't be that big as it is and whilst a vocal minority seem to relish CE's I think a happy medium needs to be found to avoid alienating portions of the already small fan base and newcomers. (Maybe just a nicer presentation box than the standard amaray cases).
RightStuf's Shawn Kleckner was asked about this on his ANNCast and he said he thought the drive to release stuff quicker was partly to blame, as obviously Japan wants higher RRPs the quicker you release, and the only way to convince people to spend that money is with a CE. But also physical media is in decline, if you want people to spend money you have to give them a reason and rightly or wrongly, they believe CEs are the best way to do that.

He also suggested that Japanese companies were encouraging foreign companies to adopt the Collector's Edition-centric market, as they felt that foreigners were getting huge bargains and really we should be paying the same sort of prices they do.

To be honest, I don't think other companies are copying Anime Limited, I think Andrew knew which way things were going and got in ahead of the curve. And now, CEs are becoming a big deal, AL has already ironed out the kinks and gained a reputation for quality.
 

serpantino

Vampire Ninja
Japan really needs to learn that the rest of the world doesn't work the same way. Their games industry & movie industry have worked that out but the anime industry is such a dinosaur & by now falling international sales should have alerted them that it's not a sustainable model in the long run and losing markets means losing money.

I very rarely torrent anything but if I can't get hold of a release because all that is available is a digital or prohibitively expensive release then I might look to them as digital holds little to no value to me and I don't want to fund/encourage digital releases. Most of the time though I'd just completely ignore that series existence and find another.

OTT (Opinion on digital)
I keep hearing the digital is the future argument but digital prices are rarely competitive. Why should I pay the same price as a basic physical release for a product? I have to spend ages downloading digital, it's likely to be lower quality, I have to pay additional costs to store locally (external hard drive etc) on media less reliable than processionally manufactured BD's and my purchase could become inaccessible at any time due to company bankruptcy etc. Digital favours the distributor not the consumer.

It also tends to tie you to one service because it's a nightmare trying to remember what you bought where.
 
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