So, I just recently watched a few random episodes of Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens. As far as "series I was pretty crazy over back when they first aired" goes, Kannagi is one that really holds up relatively well. There is lots of great humor throughout the series, love the characters, and it's consistent in that regard from start to finish. The epic cuteness of Nagi and Tsugumi as cosplay waitresses is eternally wonderful (Sawashiro Miyuki ). The series also had a very satisfying ending even if it is more of a "stopping point". Given its success in Japan, it's possible there will be more at some point (will Yamakan come back to direct it after Fractale? Who knows...). I am not disappointed or impatient with the status quo, though. Having my R1 DVD's out reminds me that there is one thing that does disappoint me in regards to the series, and that's the treatment its North American DVD release got.

Now if a series comes that I really enjoy, I am still happy that it gets licensed period, and that I can collect it in R1. I can't afford R2 releases, so that's just not an option for me, and much as it would tempt me if I could, I do like to have English subs on a release at least too. When a series I love this much gets such a thoroughly barebones release as this, though, with no English dub and only the textless OP/ED as an extra, I still can't help but wish it could have gotten something more (as much as I love my Kannagi T-shirt). One thing I've thought of, particularly after reading a thread on Mania by Fenris21 and replies to it, is maybe it came at just the wrong time. Had Kannagi aired and been licensed just a few years earlier, I think the chances of it getting dubbed would have been much better. Bandai didn't seem to be in the best shape around the time it got released, with prominent sub-only disappointments coming up such as first-disc-only-dubbed Galaxy Angel X and failing to dub Lucky Star's short OVA after the whole TV series had gotten one. On the other hand, had it come later, it would seem like a title that the fledgeling Aniplex of America release division would be doing. Maybe it still wouldn't get a dub, but perhaps something more "premium" anyway? It's all just speculation of course, and there's no telling if Kannagi's "fate" really would have been different if it came earlier or later, but interesting to think about how it seemed to be wedged in an unfortunate point of time there as far as R1 licensing goes.

On the other hand, that got me to thinking about how the reverse could be true as well, and given the flood of licensing that happened in the early 2000's, there may be much more to come to mind there. We don't see near as many titles coming over and being treated as well lately. I think the title that really epitomizes this for me is Princess Tutu. Unfortunately, as great as the series is, I don't think this is the kind of title that was ever going to do decently here. ADV really tried their hardest anyway with this series and it shows. It has such a great variety of interesting extras, and an absolutely top-notch dub. In the end, though, it did terrible for them, only selling in the double-digits on the first volume according to info from ANN's podcast. Even in the Sojitz era where ADV was still spending money dubbing everything, they really seemed to avoid magical girl stuff like this, and I don't think it would have gotten as good of a release then. In the Sentai era, it definitely would have been a sub-only barebones release if anything at all. I don't think I've ever been so grateful for a fantastic R1 release. Guess it's sad to think about how costly it was for ADV, but I did my part in buying the singles right as they came out at least (in such a small crowd there apparently )

The market may not ever be as good as it was back then, but I'm not too bitter as there's still potential for releases that really please me lately. Some really surprising things happen too, like Squid Girl, a series I thought was almost certain to be sub-only if it came over here, getting licensed by Media Blasters and being promised a dub and lots of extras. So, all is not lost, and I still hope for the best on some of my favorite titles.