Recently, I read Mike Toole's latest article at his column at Anime News Network, with a very interesting focus on the topic of rare out of print anime. This really got me thinking that the concern of titles going OOP is one thing that motivates me to buy things I really like sooner rather than later. There is even one recent example of that motivation coming immediately to mind.

Aniplex of America's upcoming Oreimo release is particularly expensive for a cour set, and while it will come with extra goodies, it lacks some features many would like to have, such as Blu-ray, a dub, and significant on-disc extras. It seems like it's probably going to be a decent release at the very least (not particularly barebones as some sub-only releases get these days), but those are noteworthy drawbacks. It's hard for me to get too excited plunking down what amounts to a lot of my remaining anime spending money on it, and I wavered a bit on pre-ordering it. When situations like this come up, a lot of anime fans tend to say they're just going to wait and hope a cheaper version or a better version comes up later. What if that hoped future release never comes, though, and then the initial release becomes one of those OOP rarities? I really value collecting R1 releases of my absolute favorites, and that's a chance I don't want to take by waiting around. While it varies from title to title and company to company, the risk seems high for Aniplex given their (admittedly short, so things could change) history. They haven't released cheaper versions or BD later for their own DVD-only titles so far, and Kara no Kyokai went OOP frighteningly quickly. So, that in mind, and being tempted by a few of the external bonuses and my love for some aspects of the series, I stopped wavering when I had the chance to preorder it along with Squid Girl Vol. 2.

I guess some of my own seemingly close calls on this matter had me thinking about it. I waited a little while before replacing some five CCS single volumes that got stolen a long time ago, but thankfully I did it when I could still buy fresh new copies with no problem at all. Most of the time, it doesn't really feel like it's much of a legitimate concern, I realize. You can usually wait at least a few years on getting around to recently released titles, some companies churn out re-releases constantly, and if you keep an eye on forums and retail sites you can get some notice of titles becoming rare. Never know when poor sales or some form of NA release company catastrophe (Geneon, ADV/Sojitz, etc.) is going to happen and works against the availability of favorites, though. Bandai seems to be particularly notorious for some of their poorer sellers slipping into OOP status in the past under my radar. Thus, it's certainly one, though of course far from the only reason, that I like to be as quick as possible on high priority titles.