The official thread for discussions about anime pricing (including Aniplex USA pricing)

Buzz201

Mad Scientist
My understanding with DRRR specifically is that the cost would have had to be higher to include them, so Andrew and co had to choose between the bad feedback over unaffordable releases and the (as-yet uncharted) bad feedback over missing content, which Animatsu and MVM have weathered successfully in the past. I would much rather they chose the other way - sales might improve the price problems but missing content is usually missing forever - but I think AL's responsiveness to our comments is a dangerous even while it's also helping improve the products. We don't half moan about absolutely everything (myself included) which must make it tough to understand what our priorities really are. Jerome's comments over the years have made it very clear that he's struggled to understand what fans really want, especially as those 'fans' come in all different shapes and sizes.

R
I don't know that's true, I heard lots of explanations from Andrew, none of which was quite the same. The first was that they had been forced to drop it for 12-episode sets. The second, was that it was too soon and they might have been allowed if they waited. The third was that it was being kept within the Aniplex fold and no outside distributors were being given access. The fourth was that in a professional capacity AL had never been informed/did not know of it's existence and thus couldn't have it. (They later said on a podcast that Kat had seen it during her prep, so that's not exactly true.)

I'm hoping we get clarification when Ten comes out.
 

Lutga

Mad Scientist
I get the feeling we'll be waiting quite a while for the other two DRRR sets anyway - ie. Summer 2017 at the earliest for the next one, given how much else Anime Ltd have on their plate to release at this point.
 

Buzz201

Mad Scientist
I get the feeling we'll be waiting quite a while for the other two DRRR sets anyway - ie. Summer 2017 at the earliest for the next one, given how much else Anime Ltd have on their plate to release at this point.
I thought it was scheduled for March?
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
I don't know that's true, I heard lots of explanations from Andrew, none of which was quite the same. The first was that they had been forced to drop it for 12-episode sets. The second, was that it was too soon and they might have been allowed if they waited. The third was that it was being kept within the Aniplex fold and no outside distributors were being given access. The fourth was that in a professional capacity AL had never been informed/did not know of it's existence and thus couldn't have it. (They later said on a podcast that Kat had seen it during her prep, so that's not exactly true.)

I'm hoping we get clarification when Ten comes out.
The episodes-per-set issue is where I got the idea it was cost-based, I think, since Andrew felt that the market here wouldn't support an AoA-style release (and since he's running a business, I guess he has to go with his gut there). The second possibility would be frustrating if true, though again, Andrew gets a lot of feedback that we need day-and-date releases or no buy. I suspect the real reason is a mix of all of the above since I'm sure Aniplex is being clingy about them in general and not offering them off its own bat in the hope that foreign distributors' offerings do well in their own market and have no appeal to the AoA/AoJ buyers they make the most money off.

In any case, yes, final clarification would be very welcome.

R
 

Buzzkillington

Combat Butler
I still get pretty annoyed at myself for supporting the UK release tbh, I saw it for under £40 and decided that was a fair price (which I guess it is...) but every time I look at it I'm reminded that it's missing an episode I really wanna see and how AL tried to suggest it wasn't important anyway so it doesn't matter.... I'm still tempted to sell it and get the US sets tbh, but than then brings AoA pricing into it and that's a whole other set of ********, guess I can't really win.
 

HdE

Comic Book Guy
No photos. because I'm a grumpy git who doesn't play well with others. BUT...

My Marvelio order of Heroic Legend of Arslan part 1 (which they sent out to partially replace my order of parts 1 and 2, which has apparently been lost in the post) poppedthrough the letterbox today.

Gotta say, I am ACTUALLY ANGRY about the presentation of this release.

That Shogi board, that sounded like a fun, actually worthwhile extra? Cheaply made tat. I'm also NOT a fan of the all-cardboard packaging that collectors edition releases favour. Over time, that's not going to wear as well as a trusty plastic case. I cannot wait for the CE bubble to burst.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
I'm also NOT a fan of the all-cardboard packaging that collectors edition releases favour. Over time, that's not going to wear as well as a trusty plastic case. I cannot wait for the CE bubble to burst.
What kind of stresses are you putting your home media boxes under HdE? Everything ages with time, and I have to say I prefer the way paper and card ages to how plastic cases age, yellowing and the thin plastic that holds the cover losing its tightness so the covers go all wrinkly. I've had more plastic cases break at the hinges than I ever have card digipacks. The way I see it it's like a paperback book or an LP - Yes it's going to age, but so are you and me and that wear will tell a story and ultimately, we're all going to die and the state of our physical possessions aren't going to matter to us any more. Mono no aware man.
 

IncendiaryLemon

Captain Karen
AUKN Staff
No photos. because I'm a grumpy git who doesn't play well with others. BUT...

My Marvelio order of Heroic Legend of Arslan part 1 (which they sent out to partially replace my order of parts 1 and 2, which has apparently been lost in the post) poppedthrough the letterbox today.

Gotta say, I am ACTUALLY ANGRY about the presentation of this release.

That Shogi board, that sounded like a fun, actually worthwhile extra? Cheaply made tat. I'm also NOT a fan of the all-cardboard packaging that collectors edition releases favour. Over time, that's not going to wear as well as a trusty plastic case. I cannot wait for the CE bubble to burst.
Will it burst though? It's been a few years since AL started up this whole trend of Collector's Edition releases taking precedent, and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon, especially with companies like MVM and Manga also taking shots at CE releases, to varying degrees of success. The only way I see it crashing down is if AL become too greedy and start hiking prices up even more so than they have already.
 

HdE

Comic Book Guy
What kind of stresses are you putting your home media boxes under HdE?
Mostly the perilous conditions of being stored on a shelf.

Yes it's going to age, but so are you and me and that wear will tell a story and ultimately, we're all going to die and the state of our physical possessions aren't going to matter to us any more. Mono no aware man.
Deep man... deep.

To answer Incendiary Lemon's question as well: Yes. I do firmly believe that the day is coming VERY soon when folks become fatigued with CE releases. I know some folks elsewhere online who have (if they're to be believed) simply stopped buying anime because they dislike the current sales model so much. Given how long it's taken some shows to get an affordable standard edition release - which is sometimes not considered quite so affordable - I can't say I blame them.

But, that's me done ranting on the subject. Really. Seriously. I mean, like, for reals. At least for today.
 

Smeelia

Thousand Master
To answer Incendiary Lemon's question as well: Yes. I do firmly believe that the day is coming VERY soon when folks become fatigued with CE releases. I know some folks elsewhere online who have (if they're to be believed) simply stopped buying anime because they dislike the current sales model so much. Given how long it's taken some shows to get an affordable standard edition release - which is sometimes not considered quite so affordable - I can't say I blame them.
I wouldn't say it applies all of the time, but I'm not sure that standard edition releases are really taking any longer to happen than they used to. I suppose the main difference that collector's edition releases makes is that the show ends up available a bit earlier but in a more limited format that isn't as accessible. It can be frustrating to know that something is available but not in a format that's suitable for you but I'm not sure that collector's edition releases are making things worse in a practical sense.

There are probably a good few releases that simply wouldn't have happened if they were unable to be a collector's edition (at least initially). That may be especially true for older shows that might not be able to justify a standard release but can be made to work as a collector's edition aimed primarily at existing fans of the show (and those who just enjoy the extra material for any release). If a collector's edition is a lower risk option, it can also help the distributor to get an idea of potential demand for a standard release.

Having said that, standard edition releases can end up coming a good while after the collector's edition (if at all) and I could understand people feeling that standard releases are being treated as less important at times. There are cases where there will be decent (or, at least, external) reasons for the delays but they're not always going to seem acceptable to people who already feel that they're getting lesser treatment than other customers.

I suppose my main concern would be if collector's editions become too superior an option for profit and end up causing delays/removal of standard releases purely for profit reasons. A certain amount of "business reality" is likely to remain a factor but it's always a shame when that goes too far. I have to admit, I do also feel that it's less than ideal when a group of fans are forced to wait while others enjoy the same material just because of the way it is released. I suppose there are practical reasons for it, but it would be nice if everyone could access shows in a format suitable for them as soon as possible.
 

HdE

Comic Book Guy
Hmm, I guess only time will tell. As I say, the releases don't seem to be slowing down, or getting cheaper.
It's a new day! So here's a new rant:

They certainly won't get cheaper until / unless folks send the message that the asking price is getting out of hand. Which it already is. And before anyone argues with me on that point - DON'T. Seriously - why would anyone WANT to pay more money for a product they're consuming? I'll leave that hanging here as a rhetorical question.

Usual discalimer applies: The worth of an item is defined by the consumer. But remember that there IS such a thing as a bad deal.
 

IncendiaryLemon

Captain Karen
AUKN Staff
It's a new day! So here's a new rant:

They certainly won't get cheaper until / unless folks send the message that the asking price is getting out of hand. Which it already is. And before anyone argues with me on that point - DON'T. Seriously - why would anyone WANT to pay more money for a product they're consuming? I'll leave that hanging here as a rhetorical question.

Usual discalimer applies: The worth of an item is defined by the consumer. But remember that there IS such a thing as a bad deal.
I mean, I'm guessing you're the kind of guy who just wants a show, but I think that nice packaging and bonuses are worth the price, to me anyway. Despite this, even I would draw the line somewhere, which is about where we're at. If things get much more expensive than they are now, I'll be right there with you.
 

Smeelia

Thousand Master
It's a new day! So here's a new rant:

They certainly won't get cheaper until / unless folks send the message that the asking price is getting out of hand. Which it already is. And before anyone argues with me on that point - DON'T. Seriously - why would anyone WANT to pay more money for a product they're consuming? I'll leave that hanging here as a rhetorical question.

Usual discalimer applies: The worth of an item is defined by the consumer. But remember that there IS such a thing as a bad deal.
It's not necessarily easy to send the right message though, you can post about things and refuse to buy things but the company might not get the right message (especially if a lot of different issues/perspectives are being discussed). If sales are terrible, the company might not have the chance to improve their prices if they can't afford to continue releases.

NIS America seem to have stopped releasing anime and they seemed to be doing decent collector's editions at prices that didn't get nearly as much complaint as Aniplex Of America prices (to my knowledge anyway). Of course, it's not necessarily easy to say why their anime releases didn't perform well enough to continue (or even to say for sure that was the case).

I think people will generally only continue to pay as long as they feel they're getting a good deal. It's certainly worth trying to encourage people to think about what they're getting and whether it's really worth it to them but people value things for all sorts of different reasons. I do think there's a bit of a risk of making it seem like you're attacking other people's opinions on value and that can distract from the idea of actually giving it some thought. To be fair, I'm not sure of any good way to reliably avoid that, since even a simple question like "is it really worth that much" can put people on the defensive.

I suppose I maybe shouldn't answer something presented as a rhetorical question, but paying for things can contribute to their creation and reward and support the creators (and anyone else working on the product and distribution). There's a reason that we pay for things (even if the reasons aren't always perfect), so paying less isn't always going to be better from a wider perspective. Even selfishly, paying less for things we like can lead to less of those things we like being available.
 
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Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
Unfortunately it's inevitable that they will get more expensive, but not due to any dark plan. The distributors have been pretty unanimous in telling us that the tanking exchange rates and greater production costs anticipated post-Brexit are going to be hitting anime buyers in the wallets and the costs of business are already rising substantially for the former reason. Standard editions will absolutely be affected too; Manganimatsu aren't immune to rising costs. And as costs rise, it's a fact of life that fewer people are going to fritter as much cash away on daft luxuries like anime sets across all demographics.

Of course everyone wants to get as much anime as possible for as little as possible. That's common sense. But having all of the companies bankrupt themselves to prop up a business model that can never work is impossible for the reasons Smeelia explained so beautifully.

Also, I'm moving this entire debate to a different topic as it's jamming an unrelated thread up now even though it was never on topic to begin with ^^;

R
 
Food for though, Trump wants to smack 20% tariffs on all goods coming from Mexico to pay for his benighted wall. Funimation and Sentai get their discs pressed in Mexico.
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
Food for though, Trump wants to smack 20% tariffs on all goods coming from Mexico to pay for his benighted wall. Funimation and Sentai get their discs pressed in Mexico.
Yep, those of us who import will be paying that 'wall tax' on production then again when things pass through our beloved local customs. Then the UK distributors will be helping to cover the increased production costs when they deal with the US companies for assets, and when we're out of Europe they'll also be paying much larger import fees on our discs, which are mostly pressed in Eastern Europe. My spending is going to nosedive as I move over more and more to streaming when that happens, and when my budget is smaller you can bet that a release is really going to have to impress me to get me to open my wallet.

R
 

ayase

State Alchemist
They certainly won't get cheaper until / unless folks send the message that the asking price is getting out of hand. Which it already is. And before anyone argues with me on that point - DON'T.
You're not the boss o' me HdE. :p

Seriously - why would anyone WANT to pay more money for a product they're consuming?
Because selling at higher prices keeps the industry afloat? As I've said before, about as many times as you've said this, anime is not in the grand scale of things any more expensive than it was a few years back - Those cheap prices everyone got used to in the late 2000s caused a race to the bottom that very nearly destroyed the anime industry in the west. How much stuff went oop for a good while after ADV went under? How many Japenese companies didn't even want to release in the west / sell the rights because they didn't think it was worth doing?

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I was used to paying £10 per volume, between 4-7 volumes for shows on DVD back in the early 2000s. That's £40-£70 for a series. Anime Limited's prices therefore seem perfectly reasonable to me, even less than I used to pay in many cases. I'm happy to pay that if it means we can continue to have more (and more diverse) anime released in the UK. I honestly don't want things to get cheaper. I want people in the industry, in both Japan and the UK, to be fairly compensated for their work. Mass consumerism and race to the bottom pricing is good for no-one, ultimately.

Food for though, Trump wants to smack 20% tariffs on all goods coming from Mexico to pay for his benighted wall. Funimation and Sentai get their discs pressed in Mexico.
Guess they'll have to start making those discs in the USA and paying people a decent wage for their labour instead of relying on exploiting cheap non-unionised foreign labour. Seriously, of all the things people complain about Trump's policies I find it difficult to reconcile that so many on the left are apparently perfectly okay with exploiting the world's poor so they can have cheap consumer items and creating unemployment and poverty in their own country as a result. The way to help those people is to make sure they have workers' rights and a minimum wage, which they might actually start fighting for if other countries stopped buying their virtual slave labour produced goods - Something the multinationals wouldn't want to happen at all.
 

ThatguyfromNorway

Brigade Leader
Just speaking for myself here, of course I would like my anime cheaper.

As of right now, 95% of my UK imports are collectors editions from AL. I buy Collectors Edition because I think they are nice.
Do I WANT to pay more? Of course not. But when I'm stuck with customs anyway, I can allways save up and pay bit more for a nicer release. Give me the right show and I will save up a small fortune if I have to.

I will rather accidentaly do a bad deal on a expensive release than support piracy.
 
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