Agree or Disagree? Aniplex Of America should lower their set prices on anime series.



  • I feel that in my honest opinion that Aniplex should lower their prices on the anime shows they own. Sets like Gurren Lagann Blu-Ray Set can cost at around $500. I mean that's just darn expensive. I can buy a Television with that money. I can buy seven to ten FUNimation-owned shows with $500. Does anyone have the same idea or have an opposite opinion on the matter?



  • The reason they cost so much is because most of them come with a whole lot of extras, such as art books and the like. Even so, $500 for a complete series? I agree, they should cut their prices at least by half; maybe then we'll see more retail stores start selling them.



  • Physical media is a luxury, companies have the right to charge what they want. ecspecially for a niche market like anime.



  • Not only that, but their non-English DVD-only releases for 12 episode seasons, like Oreshura, go for about $60



  • The Gurren Lagann BD set is $500 because it's a Japanese import. Japanese product, Japanese price. I see no problem with the import pricing beyond thinking Japanese releases are overall just very expensive.

    For their domestic releases:

    I'm fine with them charging higher prices for premium sets, because they are aimed at collectors who are willing to pay more to get more. I love love love my Madoka LEs. But there aren't many shows that I'd splurge on like that. I really like the Monogatari series, but I've come to realize that even though I want the show on BD, I'm not quite willing to spend what they're asking, so I'm waiting to see what happens in the future. Same goes for Fate/Zero, but those boxes and OSTs are sooo tempting.

    But I would like cheaper, barebones releases alongside these fancy ones. I'd like to see more releases like Madoka's from them (though not in singles). Plain DVD and BD, and super fancy editions for fans who want more.



  • I'm with Monkey on this one.

    If the market wouldn't bear it, they wouldn't maintain those margins.



  • Like I said, it's not the discs themselves that ramp up the price, it's all the other literature and extras that come along with it. $60 is a perfectly reasonable price for a 12-episode series without all the extras, and probably $100 if there are extras along with the set.

    @Firefly:

    But I would like cheaper, barebones releases alongside these fancy ones. I'd like to see more releases like Madoka's from them (though not in singles). Plain DVD and BD, and super fancy editions for fans who want more.

    That sounds like a good idea; they should give customers more options.



  • @GalaxyCrisis:

    $60 is a perfectly reasonable price for a 12-episode series without all the extras, and probably $100 if there are extras along with the set.

    I think $60 is a perfectly reasonable MSRP for a show with dual language on Blu-Ray or combo pack. Servant x Service, meanwhile, has an MSRP of $75 with one language and a DVD-only release



  • People have been pissed off with their prices since Durarara, welcome to the club.
    Aniplex of America is the last surviving American publishing arm of a Japanese anime company, these companies have traditionally been very expensive to buy from, and follow a similar pricing scale to their Japanese counterparts.
    If anything, as time goes on we'll just see Aniplex prices get higher and higher until the company folds, while I'd love to see lower prices (hell I'd like everything to be free while you're at it) it's never going to happen.



  • I'm sorry, but I'm gonna have to agree with the original poster here. Aniplex's prices are asinine even if you consider that they're imports. They still seem to do enough adaptation to them that they're technically new products, so we shouldn't be beholden to pay Japanese prices. And even then, I still feel that Japanese prices even in Japan are asinine - it's no wonder fans who buy a lot of stuff are looked down upon in society there.

    The biggest problem with Aniplex's pricing is that often times, that's the ONLY way to get something. Take their Gurren Lagann set. That's a re-release. Yes, it has tons of pretty awesome extras, but it's a $200 RE-RELEASE. And it's the only currently in print way to buy the series. That's just beyond ridiculous. If they would also offer an alternate set, even if it was barebones, at a more realistic price range, then my anger would be abetted somewhat. But they don't. Then look at their Madoka releases. It's $30-$40 (depending on if you're after the DVD or the Bluray) a pop for three different discs to get a 13 episode series. So for that entire $13 episode series, if you wanted just the DVDs even, it'd cost you $90. That's the kind of prices that people call out as BS all the time on old out of print things on Amazon, so why it's so acceptable for Aniplex to do it…just boggles my mind.

    I admit, I'm bitter against the company. And I admit, that it's their prerogative what they want to charge people for their products, just like it's up to each person if they actually want to spend that much cash on something. But I am never going to find it acceptable that their products cost far more than they're worth it to me, 'luxury' or not. As things stand right now, I don't plan to give Aniplex even a dime of my money in the foreseeable future, not when there are other companies such as FUNimation and Discotek that do a fine better offering of their products - even if that does mean I have to forego something I really really want, like the Persona 3 movies.



  • Overall if their current way of doing business becomes detrimental to them, they will eventually change it or die off. So either way even if they do charge to much it's not a big deal in the long run. They'll either keep doing what they are doing and continue to profit from a small but loyal customer base, or change things up and expand. Or just die off. As of now though what they are doing seems to work for them, fans may not like it, but unless they see reason to change they'll keep their current business model.



  • I strongly agree. I have been very vocal about my dislike of Aniplex of America, not just because of their prices, but of the practices as a company in general.

    Here is a company that claims to charge more for "higher quality releases" than everyone else. And yet, when you examine closely, you're able to find holes in literally every one of their excuses for their higher costs:

    Excuse 1. - "We charge more because it comes with a lot of extra stuff"
    Nine times out of ten, that extra stuff is nothing but paper stuff. Postcards that probably only cost 18¢ to print, wafer-thin art booklets containing art that you can easily see online for free and episode descriptions with info that you can learn by watching the show itself. Sometimes it'll come with a soundtrack CD or a bonus DVD, which are nice, but they're certainly not worth an additional $30-$60 more. Oh, and a "rigid box", which is something that FUNimation has been offering for a while now at around $5 more. Hardly anything I see that I would justify such an enormous leap in price.

    Excuse 2. - "We put more effort into our releases."
    Bull crap. Aniplex actually put LESS time and effort into their disc releases than most other companies, especially when it comes to credits. While some like the fact that they don't edit the credits on the episodes directly like FUNimation does, they have never even bothered to offer full English credit scrolls like Sentai or Nozomi do. All they do is include the English credits as a "special feature" as a flip-through menu with only the director, production company, and some of the big studio heads listed, as well as a small list of some of the English and Japanese cast. Everyone else, including all the little people who worked on the show and any cameo or supporting voice roles in both English and Japanese, go completely uncredited. Which if you ask me, is an enormous slap in the face. And even worse, if their release of Vividred Operation is any indication, Aniplex has even stopped translating the opening and ending credit songs. I mean… that's Anime 101 stuff right there.

    Excuse 3. - "Our video and audio quality is higher than everyone else's."
    In some cases, yes. One thing I will admit is that their bluray video quality is some of the best on the market. But if you haven't noticed, FUNimation and Viz's recent releases haven't been slouchy either. And Aniplex's recent DVD releases such as SAO and the Blue Exorcist movie have had some of the ugliest DVD masters I have personally seen in a long while. Blue Exorcist looked so bad it reminded me of the terrible looking DVDs from the days of Manga Entertainment. And their claim of higher-quality audio is a total lie. Slowly but surely, they have been steadily decreasing the audio quality from the English dubs - and in some cases, even the Japanese dubs - of their releases. While the Madoka and Blue Exorcist releases had lossless audio, SAO went down to 320kbps, Fate/Zero down to 192kbps, and most recently Magi only had 160kbps. That's barely acceptable quality for an audio CD.

    Excuse 4. - "Our prices are high to reduce the chance of reverse importation."
    This one actually has some level of truth to it, but it's still pretty flawed. Companies like FUNimation and Sentai have proven that the best form of battling reverse importation is time delay. Most anime series in Japan make the majority of their money within the first few months of a show's release. After a year or so, when most people in Japan have already bought it, you can afford to release a lower-priced bluray release in America without too much worry of losing sales. Aniplex claims, however, that they put out their shows faster than anyone else. With the exception of the imports, this isn't really true. The majority of Aniplex shows come out around a year to 16 months after the show's initial broadcast, which is basically the same amount of time a typical release from FUNi or another distributor will come out.

    There are other reasons why Aniplex's reasons and excuses are full of garbage, but those are the main ones I can think of at the moment. Needless to say, their products aren't nearly the perfect collector's items that they claim them to be, especially when you have FUNimation, NISA, and most recently Viz getting into the collector's edition game with sets that actually have MORE stuff in them at significantly lower prices.

    It's like I always say: If you're gonna sell stuff at BMW prices, don't give them KIA-quality parts.



  • @Gyt:

    Aniplex's prices are asinine even if you consider that they're imports. They still seem to do enough adaptation to them that they're technically new products, so we shouldn't be beholden to pay Japanese prices.

    Any specific import release you're thinking of here? Beyond the addition of an English translation of booklets included in the set they don't change the imports at all as far as I know. I'm fairly certain that TRSI is selling the same Madoka Rebellion LE that I imported from AmiAmi, I just don't get the translation booklet and the shop-exclusive bonus, which are external bonuses.

    Japanese fans would be infuriated if AOA started selling imported anime here for less than what they pay. Take in mind that some AOA imports of the new Madoka movie have started shipping out and some customers have already gotten theirs, TRSI states that the official release is Tuesday for the import. The movie came out on the 2nd in Japan.

    It's fine that you don't like their prices. I'm not overly fond of them either and wish they gave more options to the non-hardcore crowd. I'm just interested in this point in particular.



  • I actually don't have a problem with AoA making their imports available here. After all, there is a rather devout market of importers here in the States, so much so that even FUNimation themselves are jumping on the bandwagon with the GITS: ARISE releases. The main difference between FUNi and AoA, however, is that FUNi came right out and said that there would be a domestic, bilingual release later down the road for GITS, whereas anytime AoA puts out an import, there's always the chance that the import is all you're EVER going to get.



  • @Firefly:

    Any specific import release you're thinking of here? Beyond the addition of an English translation of booklets included in the set they don't change the imports at all as far as I know. I'm fairly certain that TRSI is selling the same Madoka Rebellion LE that I imported from AmiAmi, I just don't get the translation booklet and the shop-exclusive bonus, which are external bonuses.

    Japanese fans would be infuriated if AOA started selling imported anime here for less than what they pay. Take in mind that some AOA imports of the new Madoka movie have started shipping out and some customers have already gotten theirs, TRSI states that the official release is Tuesday for the import. The movie came out on the 2nd in Japan.

    It's fine that you don't like their prices. I'm not overly fond of them either and wish they gave more options to the non-hardcore crowd. I'm just interested in this point in particular.

    No specific release, just saying that on my general knowledge of how much Japanese imported products usually tend to cost. Like I said before, it amazes me that they sell any of those in Japan even. That's why reverse importation is a fear. If I were a Japanese citizen, I'd probably be importing everything to avoid those prices too. It's their pricing system's own fault as far as I'm concerned.

    As far as the 'them making changes' thing, I'll admit I'm making an educated guess on that one. I knew they had some translated booklets, but they often have to add subtitles in as well don't they? I know Japanese Blurays often have English subs already on there, but the DVDs wouldn't, so that would be something Aniplex would have to do themselves I would think. And then I'm going to guess that all the text on the boxes describing the show, if it's present at all, has been translated rather than being left on there as kanji. If that's the case, all of that alone to me is enough to make it a new product clearly meant more for the US market than Japan, and therefore should be based on our pricing scale, not Japan's.



  • @SpacemanHardy:

    The main difference between FUNi and AoA, however, is that FUNi came right out and said that there would be a domestic, bilingual release later down the road for GITS, whereas anytime AoA puts out an import, there's always the chance that the import is all you're EVER going to get.

    Yes, there is that. I didn't buy the first two Madoka movies because they're basically just the TV show, which I already bought. I was beyond certain we'd see that get a domestic release yet they've yet to say anything about it. :\ I'm hoping that even if they do skip over giving those a domestic release that they'll at least dub Rebellion. And with the LEs of the TV show finally OOP, I'm hoping they give it a re-release, the entire show in one set for a more reasonable price.

    @Gyt:

    No specific release, just saying that on my general knowledge of how much Japanese imported products usually tend to cost. Like I said before, it amazes me that they sell any of those in Japan even. That's why reverse importation is a fear. If I were a Japanese citizen, I'd probably be importing everything to avoid those prices too. It's their pricing system's own fault as far as I'm concerned.

    As far as the 'them making changes' thing, I'll admit I'm making an educated guess on that one. I knew they had some translated booklets, but they often have to add subtitles in as well don't they? I know Japanese Blurays often have English subs already on there, but the DVDs wouldn't, so that would be something Aniplex would have to do themselves I would think. And then I'm going to guess that all the text on the boxes describing the show, if it's present at all, has been translated rather than being left on there as kanji. If that's the case, all of that alone to me is enough to make it a new product clearly meant more for the US market than Japan, and therefore should be based on our pricing scale, not Japan's.

    No, the subs on their imports are there on the Japanese discs (it's far from common however, Madoka TV and Titan, both major hits, lacked English subs on their Japanese releases). There are even untranslated extras. The packaging is the exact same as the Japanese release, untranslated text and all. They don't import DVDs because of the differing region code and lack of subtitles. I've seen plenty of people say they would pay for an imported DVD were it subbed, but I guess Aniplex doesn't care.

    And yeah, I kinda feel bad for Japanese fans in a way. I don't mind dropping big bucks on something from time to time, but having to do it every time I want to buy a show? Ouch, no way.



  • I agree that it would be nice if their releases were lower in price because let's face it; in comparison to Funimation's prices, Aniplex of America are pretty expensive. It would even be nice if they offered up other options as Funimation is beginning to do with many of their standard, deluxe and collector edition releases, but, at the end of the day; what are you gonna do?

    That's the Aniplex of America business model and it seems to be working for them. While I'm at it, I'm going to be perfectly honest; I spent $120 on the generic Blu-ray release of Puella Magi Madoka Magica; no extras, no comic books, posters, soundtracks; nothing; but I really liked watching the series so much that I do not regret spending that money one bit.

    I feel the same way about my Fate/Zero series which ran me about $290, but, it is worth every penny, even my Bakemonogatari set that went for $150; I'm glad I bought them, and if Aniplex of America released Fullmetal Alchemist, or Queen's Blade or Princess Jellyfish; I would pay that outrageous price. I agree, it would've been nice had the price for Fate/Zero and Bakemonogatari been lower, but, there's no use crying over spilled milk.

    There is one cheaper Blu-ray title I have gotten from Aniplex, but that's because the DVD was released through Funimation and that one is Baccano.

    So, I'm in the position that it would be great if Aniplex had more competitive pricing in comparison to Funimation or Sentai, but at the same time, I don't buy too many of their releases and what they're doing seems to be working. If it ceases to work, I'm sure Aniplex will reevaluate their business model.



  • @Firefly:

    No, the subs on their imports are there on the Japanese discs (it's far from common however, Madoka TV and Titan, both major hits, lacked English subs on their Japanese releases). There are even untranslated extras. The packaging is the exact same as the Japanese release, untranslated text and all. They don't import DVDs because of the differing region code and lack of subtitles. I've seen plenty of people say they would pay for an imported DVD were it subbed, but I guess Aniplex doesn't care.

    Ahh, all right, I was unaware of that aspect of their releases. You got me on that point then. I still stand by the rest of what I say however, and still feel Aniplex is a terrible company in comparison to the other major players in the anime game right now.



  • @Gyt:

    Ahh, all right, I was unaware of that aspect of their releases. You got me on that point then. I still stand by the rest of what I say however, and still feel Aniplex is a terrible company in comparison to the other major players in the anime game right now.

    They're towards the bottom of the totem pole of favorites for me as well, I wasn't trying to sway your opinion about their domestic pricing, just trying to point out that the imports are very much a different beast and do not belong in a discussion about their pricing.

    In comparison to AOA, NISA gives nice releases at decent prices, and Toradora marks their entry into dubbing. Funi's also entering the premium sets game with Kamisama Kiss, Psycho-Pass, and Attack on Titan, and their prices are less than AOA but also come with a comparable level of extra goodies. Of course, Funi also gives fans the option to go for the cheaper standard release, also on BD, something AOA seems reluctant to do. NISA doesn't guarantee a cheaper Standard Edition, but it seems like the majority of their titles head that way eventually. Honestly, I'd be much happier with AOA if they'd just give fans more options.



  • ^ Don't forget that Viz is getting into the collector's market as well. Both their K and Ranma 1/2 collector's editions are very nice without breaking the bank.



  • Oops. Sorry Viz, I forget about you guys far too often.

    I doubt AOA will change their prices anytime soon given their circumstances, but this increased involvement in the collectors market by other NA companies should surely start putting pressure on them.


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