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Questioned By Fandom: Aniplex Releases Are Too Expensive

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  • Questioned By Fandom: Aniplex Releases Are Too Expensive

    Widgets Magazine
    One of the more consistent complaints of the last few years is the pricing of certain titles. We’ve heard complaints about pricing since the beginning of anime – $30 for two subtitled-only episodes on VHS? $35 for one bilingual episode on LaserDisc? Oh, the glory days when a $30 DVD had four episodes on it […]

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    Anime is not a right. It is a privilege, a consumer product, art, work for hire, a luxury, a hobby, entertainment.

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  • #2
    Re: Questioned By Fandom: Aniplex Releases Are Too Expensive

    The problem I have most with Aniplex is that they seem to consider every title of theirs a "marquee" title…even when they, by their decisions in how to release it, show that they don't actually believe their own hype. While I'm not exactly thrilled about it (and who is thrilled at spending twice as much or more for a release than one would like to?), I fully understand why a show like, for example, Kill la Kill is released the way it is. It was a show that made a big splash, got lots of attention and good reviews, so it's understandable that they would price and sell it accordingly. They're running a business and you squeeze out as much profit as you can. I think most fans even understand this (if they have any brains) and will accept it for high priority titles.

    But what about a show like Silver Spoon? While it's a great show (as I said in my review for this site), it's not really a "marquee" title when you look at the current segment of the fandom that is still buying physical releases. It's a somewhat more niche title, a critic's favorite that might be well-regarded by the larger fandom, but not something that is going to be selling in the range that a Kill la Kill or Fate/Zero or Sword Art Online is going to be able to do. And even Aniplex of America know that, as we see from the rather elaborate, multiple releases those properties get compared to Silver Spoon's first season, which was unceremoniously shoved onto a bare-bones DVD set at a rather inflated price for what you're getting (and the video quality of those DVDs is fine…but not in any way superior to the DVD video quality you will get from every other North American distributor currently in business). But you will pay twice as much for this set from Aniplex ("What, you want a discount?") of America than for the same type of release (bare-bones DVD in a single keepcase) from any other distributor.

    Your argument about value is an important one, one that often gets overlooked by many, and you're right that some of the North American distributors have indeed erred by weaning the buyers off of singles too quickly for sets selling at prices that made a mockery of the former "standard" (the $30 for 3/4 ep volume). But Aniplex of America's movement towards trying to reestablish the "single" release, which never disappeared from the Japanese domestic market, here for every title is misguided, if you want to increase sales and even try to bring in new buyers. And bringing in new buyers is an important thing, since the older ones among us are only going to decrease in numbers as time moves on (later in life, other things tend to monopolize our time and money). You're not going to bring in new buyers with price points at $60-70 dollars discounted for a single release (which might not even be a complete season of a show). You are going to turn off a lot of people who will decide that watching the legally (or not so) streamed version is fine. Others will simply "find" the works out there in the wild (but legality and ethics mean little for those who believe they are entitled to free entertainment). What Aniplex is doing is milking the elite collector while frustrating the value-conscious buyer (it's not only sellers who assign a value to a product; buyers do too and do so with their purchasing decisions) and ignoring the scum.

    As a short-term strategy this will work out fine. Long-term, I don't see this model holding when technology advances and the younger crowd coming in learns to disdain buying altogether. Good luck Aniplex.
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    • #3
      Re: Questioned By Fandom: Aniplex Releases Are Too Expensive

      Personally, I think Aniplex should continue to offer their blu-ray's at the prices that they currently do, but price their DVDs competitively with the rest of the US anime industry. That way Japan doesn't have to worry too much about any reverse importation fears, their titles will still have "value," and collectors will still have a high quality product to buy.

      The DVDs should be targeted to casual and value-conscious fans. I think Aniplex is losing sales by pricing their DVDs as high as they do. Shows like Blue Exorcist and Sword Art Online both aired on Toonami to a wide audience. Of course we don't know their sales numbers, but I seriously doubt many casual fans are going to buy Blue Exorcist at $59.98 or Sword Art Online at $39.98 for each DVD set. After airing on Toonami, I think both of those shows have the potential to sell much better than they probably are.

      I also wish they would do away with their single volume releases and just do half-season or full-season sets. In any event, I wish Aniplex the best but as things are now, they will not be getting any of my money since I'm more of a value-conscious consumer.

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      • #4
        Re: Questioned By Fandom: Aniplex Releases Are Too Expensive

        Yeah, the problem is that Aniplex doesn't even offer the other companies a crack at their properties anymore (although FUNimation managed to get the latest Black Butler to keep consistent with their releases of the previous seasons). I love Aniplex releases for titles like Fate, Madoka Magica, and Gurren Lagann. But when it's one of the countless titles that fits under the "Sure, I'll buy it at some point" category, that doesn't work when they have so many of those and release them all so overpriced, especially with so many lacking a dub and, worst of all considering it's coming directly from the Japanese company, HD releases (and of course it's even more overpriced if those are included), and with no real extras to speak of unless the price point is going to shoot up even higher, with the only releases I'd consider worth buying that we can get for under $100 on "sale" (which AoA also directly controls) going back to singles that the rest of the US industry has long abandoned, generally resulting in a total price of higher than similar releases from the company that include a cour per set. And now they're even doing away with the sense of premium releases they've had by releasing pretty much everything in those flimsy slipcases for the past year, even for established franchises that had previously gotten artboxes.
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        • #5
          Re: Questioned By Fandom: Aniplex Releases Are Too Expensive

          With Aniplex, I expected them to deliver a premium product for the premium prices they are charging. I remember hearing at their panel that their main mission is to bring the same high quality product that Japan has over to America, hence their justification for their outrageous prices. They delivered that for awhile such as with their releases of Durarara (the BD set with the lunchbox, not the DVD versions), Blue Exorcist, and Sword Art Online. But then they started to really fall out of favor with me that starts with doing away with the chipboard artbox and replacing them with flimsy material. And then reverting to singles release format that everybody in America has long dealt away with is something I don't like because I'm all about shelf space here. While other companies have a single box to hold an entire season's worth of shows, Aniplex releases a separate box with every installment that deprives my shelf of even more space while driving up the price of their releases. Then there is the fact that the number of DVD-only releases are on the rise (whereas Funimation, Sentai, NISA, and Viz would always release stuff on BD whenever possible). On top of that, they are skipping out on dubbing shows that anybody else would have dubbed. For titles like Valvrave and Nisekoi, they would have received dubs by anyone else, but not with Aniplex, and I fear the same fate might happen with Aldnoah Zero and Irregular at Magic High School when all things are considered. And then there are shows that do get dubs, but the audio quality doesn't get the same premium quality of sound the Japanese track gets.

          So basically, while being too expensive is one of the big problems I have with Aniplex, there are lots of other issues that go far beyond the price tag with the declining quality of their releases, the singles releases, releasing artboxes for every installment, high number of BD-less releases, and their unwillingness to dub. To date, I only bought stuff from two of their shows in Durarara (BD version with the lunch box) and Madoka Magica (TV Series LEs and the domestic release of movies 1 and 2 with the intent of getting the third movie once the domestic version is out). With the way things are, Aniplex definitely needs to look at the anime marketing climate in America and see how they want to approach things.

          Of all their releases, the Durarara BD version is what I consider to be a perfect release by their standards as it's a two-cour series released on BD in a single box, and has some really nice bonus items in it, priced at $150 and while it's still expensive, at least it's very reasonable for something coming from Aniplex.
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          • #6
            Re: Questioned By Fandom: Aniplex Releases Are Too Expensive

            The issue with Aniplex releases is that they are trying to mirror the Japanese releases in pricing in an attempt to fight reverse importation. This is however alienating a larger part of the anime buying audience and missing some awesome opportunities.

            Example: Sword Art Online

            A show that recently aired on Cartoon Network's Toonami block and got some wide exposure. To own the entire series would mean purchasing 4 DVD sets at $40 per set for a total cost of ownership $160.(never min the bluray sets that run $90 each bringing the total up to $360) This show could have been put in the Wal-Mart, Target and Best Buy to really net some cash with the "As seen on Toonami" sticker but instead it is being sold almost exclusively online or at conventions limiting the possible buyers. The high sticker price makes it not attractive to large retailers as they would see little return for a really expensive DVD or bluray.

            So lets take a look at another recent Toonami show, Black Lagoon. It is available for $50($25~35 on sale) for a bluray/DVD combo pack including all 26 episodes. Same length series. Arguably the same production value at a fraction of the price.

            While I understand the argument that Aniplex uses "premium packaging and extras" to me it is not a relevant selling point for me. I am fine with a plain case disc only with show and extras.

            Even if you want to compare apples to apples Aniplex releases out price NIS America's premium releases which are, in my opinion, far superior.

            I really hope that Aniplex start to take what fans say to heart an move to a more reasonable pricing structure.

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            • #7
              Re: Questioned By Fandom: Aniplex Releases Are Too Expensive

              I’m not exactly swimming through a vault of gold coins, which pretty much automatically removes me from Aniplex’s customer base. They have shows I’d like to see, but when the price of admission is in some cases over $100 with minimal discounts online, I have to weigh that against what the other companies are releasing. Sentai and Funimation have shows I want to see, and frequently their $60 releases can be had for $30 or less on Amazon, or a few bucks more on a TRSI studio sale. NISA premiums are a bit higher than I want to pay, but it’s easier to cost-justify a NISA release than one from Aniplex. Their prices are, for me, a barrier which is very difficult to overcome in and of itself; and when compared to the other major US distributors, who might sell me as many as six titles for the same price, it’s virtually impossible to choose Aniplex over the others.

              (On a side note, I did buy the Aniplex Baccano! BD set for $50. I wasn’t as impressed with their BD quality as I have been with NISA’s. If that was just a low-end release all the way around, so be it. But if that’s as good as Aniplex gets?)
              I recognize terror as the finest emotion and so I will try to terrorize the reader. But if I find that I cannot terrify, I will try to horrify, and if I find that I cannot horrify, I’ll go for the gross-out. I’m not proud.
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              • #8
                Re: Questioned By Fandom: Aniplex Releases Are Too Expensive

                Yes Aniplex's prices are too high. That being said the high price is not the real problem for Aniplex. When they first started out they put out some awesome releases that kinda justified their much higher price for the series. Now, expect for a few releases you are lucky to getting anything expect a dvd case and a few post cards. All the while not dropping the premium price for sub premium releases. I have no problem shelling out more money for a release but the release needs to justify the cost. Look at NISA they charge more per release than most companies but all their premiums are treated as premium releases. You get an awesome artbox, a great artbook, great video and audio quality and an extra physical item or two(if bought through their store). If Aniplex wants to charge their high price then fine but treat the show like a premium show. If they don't then I refuse to support any of their releases.
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                • #9
                  Re: Questioned By Fandom: Aniplex Releases Are Too Expensive

                  Originally posted by Hitsugi Amachi View Post
                  As a short-term strategy this will work out fine. Long-term, I don't see this model holding when technology advances and the younger crowd coming in learns to disdain buying altogether. Good luck Aniplex.
                  The thing about that thought, though, is if you really go down that road, then it means everyone is going to suffer or die off, regardless of how relatively "affordable" their releases may or may not be, because streaming will be the preference. The only true survivors will be the ones that conceive of a way to properly monetize the streaming model, which not even major TV corporations have truly figured out yet. That's a much larger problem that everyone involved should really be spending more time thinking about.

                  And, really, when you get to the point where physical releases of a niche hobby like anime become a niche themselves, the companies in the best positions to survive are the ones that have a sustainable business model that relies less upon volume and more upon profit margin per unit sold in order to cover operating expenses, because more and more fans won't care about buying a disc, but the ones that do will still be willing to pay what it takes. And the company best positioned for that scenario is... AoA.

                  Anyway, as for the topic at hand, the problem with fandom being concerned with the affordability of AoA's releases is that it's pretty much a non-issue to AoA, since the business model is working. We can hand-wave all we want at the thought that it would be better if their releases were cheaper because it would let more people buy them, but there's no point in AoA actually considering it if that's not really going to make a significant difference in terms of balance sheets, and also taking into account the fact that it's all streaming anyway.

                  The very simple concept that people need to keep in mind (as I use some made-up numbers here to illustrate the point) is that if you have a class of things that cost $50 each to produce, one company can sell 100 of them for $100 each, and another company may want to sell them for $60 each but to make the same profit as the first company they have to sell five times as many. On top of that, then you have to deal with the idea that you're likely going to find 100 people who are going to decide that $100 is okay for one reason or another, but it's tougher to find so many more people to get to 500 that are going to want to pay $60. Particularly when a third company is offering the experience of the same products for basically zero dollars.

                  There is a reason, after all, why so many FUNimation products are so heavily discounted, and why so many relatively new things are available for hardly any money at all via liquidation outlets on places like the Amazon Marketplace, and why FUNimation itself is selling such a wide range of titles for up to 75% off directly via their own store this holiday season. This is not the same thing as re-releasing a title with a lower price because the initial release has already helped recoup the licensing costs. This is a company thinking "well, at least pennies are better than zero," as well as needing some sort of cash flow for license royalties so that their catalog isn't entirely cannibalizing, and being so heavily supported by a very select group of extremely well-performing titles.

                  Their pricing may be more appealing to most fans, but that doesn't mean their business model is any better, and the potential for a negative end result (on both sides of the equation) is still the same.

                  Let's not pretend that the higher-priced, super-fancy special editions that Sentai and FUNimation have been trying out are being done out of the goodness of their hearts, after all. If they could simply charge as much as AoA is, or at least raise every single one of their prices by $10 or $20, they'd do so in a heartbeat. Frankly, I'm surprised they haven't raised prices already, aside from Sentai's $10 price point increase very early on from $39.98 to $49.98, which is hardly insignificant, and was poorly received at the time (and which, notably, everyone stopped openly complaining about long ago).

                  And I'm also surprised (this is a new thought, for those of whom have already seen me go over everything else in this post more than once by now) that they haven't simply tried raising their wholesale prices. I mean, that's basically what Viz has done (even though it's really come largely as a result of signing on with Warner Bros. as their distributor), and because the concept of wholesale prices is so obscure and behind-the-scenes for most fans, no one has really gotten up in arms about it, other than casually lamenting the lack of 40% off studio sales at TRSI.

                  Anyway, I'm not saying it's wrong or bad for fans to focus only on how much more cheaply releases from everyone besides AoA can be acquired for. As customers, that's really the only responsibility fans have. But there should at least be some level of understanding of why AoA operates the way they do, and why simply conforming to the market "standard" that has been reached by race-to-the-bottom pricing as a result of overreaction in the wake of the boom years isn't by default the best decision to be made for the convenience of fans being able to buy things cheaply.
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                  • #10
                    Re: Questioned By Fandom: Aniplex Releases Are Too Expensive

                    Originally posted by adc View Post

                    (On a side note, I did buy the Aniplex Baccano! BD set for $50. I wasn’t as impressed with their BD quality as I have been with NISA’s. If that was just a low-end release all the way around, so be it. But if that’s as good as Aniplex gets?)
                    Keep in mind that Baccano! is an upscale. Let's not confuse that with the actual quality of the encode and the presentation of the material, which along with the work that Justin Sevakis does with NISA's Blu-ray discs, is standard-setting for the domestic industry.

                    And, all things considered, Baccano! is itself standard-setting in terms of being an upscale, because of how not-destructive and not-meddlesome the process used on it was. Maybe the real lesson to be learned, adc, is that you're more sensitive to upscaled content than you might have thought, and should probably not plan on buying, viewing and enjoying pretty much any of the other upscaled anime on Blu-ray out there, because from Baccano!, it's all downhill.
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                    • #11
                      Re: Questioned By Fandom: Aniplex Releases Are Too Expensive

                      Originally posted by Hayate Kurogane View Post
                      Keep in mind that Baccano! is an upscale. Let's not confuse that with the actual quality of the encode and the presentation of the material, which along with the work that Justin Sevakis does with NISA's Blu-ray discs, is standard-setting for the domestic industry.

                      And, all things considered, Baccano! is itself standard-setting in terms of being an upscale, because of how not-destructive and not-meddlesome the process used on it was. Maybe the real lesson to be learned, adc, is that you're more sensitive to upscaled content than you might have thought, and should probably not plan on buying, viewing and enjoying pretty much any of the other upscaled anime on Blu-ray out there, because from Baccano!, it's all downhill.
                      Then I guess the trick is to find a list of upscaled works, so I know what to avoid. But it doesn’t change the fact that, given the opportunity-cost situation that exists in anime fandom, it is really hard to choose one Aniplex title over as many as six Sentai or Funimation titles, or perhaps three NISA titles, given a general length of 12–13 episodes per release. “More” and “Better” are not the same thing, of course, but “More” is more likely to contain “Better” than “Less”. That’s the scenario I see for Aniplex versus everybody else.

                      I guess if the current business model is working for Aniplex, more power to them. For the time being, they still exclude me from their customer base with those prices. Since I have other shows to watch, I’ll live with that.
                      I recognize terror as the finest emotion and so I will try to terrorize the reader. But if I find that I cannot terrify, I will try to horrify, and if I find that I cannot horrify, I’ll go for the gross-out. I’m not proud.
                      Stephen King

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                      • #12
                        Re: Questioned By Fandom: Aniplex Releases Are Too Expensive

                        Originally posted by adc View Post
                        Originally posted by Hayate Kurogane View Post
                        Keep in mind that Baccano! is an upscale. Let's not confuse that with the actual quality of the encode and the presentation of the material, which along with the work that Justin Sevakis does with NISA's Blu-ray discs, is standard-setting for the domestic industry.

                        And, all things considered, Baccano! is itself standard-setting in terms of being an upscale, because of how not-destructive and not-meddlesome the process used on it was. Maybe the real lesson to be learned, adc, is that you're more sensitive to upscaled content than you might have thought, and should probably not plan on buying, viewing and enjoying pretty much any of the other upscaled anime on Blu-ray out there, because from Baccano!, it's all downhill.
                        Then I guess the trick is to find a list of upscaled works, so I know what to avoid. But it doesn’t change the fact that, given the opportunity-cost situation that exists in anime fandom, it is really hard to choose one Aniplex title over as many as six Sentai or Funimation titles, or perhaps three NISA titles, given a general length of 12–13 episodes per release. “More” and “Better” are not the same thing, of course, but “More” is more likely to contain “Better” than “Less”. That’s the scenario I see for Aniplex versus everybody else.
                        I'm kind of surprised that, being the community we are, we don't actually have a master list somewhere in the US forum of which Blu-ray releases are upscales, and more or less how they rate against one another. Guess we should get on that.

                        Anyway, that was just for clarification's sake. If your lone AoA purchase happened to be just about any other Blu-ray title of theirs (except for maybe Kill la Kill, where the animation doesn't really scream "HD" for various reasons), you probably wouldn't have thought to make that comment, or possibly would have instead said something like "their Blu-ray quality is just as impressive as NISA's, but that's not enough to make me buy more of their titles."

                        Which is of course a thought that comes up often with regard to AoA. Certainly, one can make the case that one benefit or feature or whatever you want to call it that you're getting from an AoA title is optimal video and audio quality, which is a fact. But that is legitimately not really a priority for most fans (more people are still buying DVDs, after all), and not enough of a difference-maker for almost all of the rest, and not for the price in any case. Rather, it's not really the way to try and win an argument or convince someone otherwise who doesn't care for AoA, to say "I'm happy paying more for the A/V quality, because it's the best!" Especially when essentially no one would ever want to volunteer so much more for something like that.

                        And anyway, it's really just one facet of what you just posted, which is also totally legitimate. I mean, nobody is going to buy AoA releases because the company has a functional business model, and therefore everything is fine. As is so often the case, it comes down to "what am I getting for my dollar." But, for better or worse (and I guess many people would want to say "worse"), the desire for "more" has little effect on what AoA is actually doing. If it were going to, they wouldn't be operating the way they are in the first place.
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                        • #13
                          Re: Questioned By Fandom: Aniplex Releases Are Too Expensive

                          Originally posted by Hayate Kurogane View Post
                          I'm kind of surprised that, being the community we are, we don't actually have a master list somewhere in the US forum of which Blu-ray releases are upscales, and more or less how they rate against one another. Guess we should get on that.
                          Wouldn't it be easier just to create a list of Non-upscales? Though I suppose it comes down to semantics if resolution is concerned because the way I look at it, it's difficult to label what's truly HD and what can be considered HD, despite maybe being produced at 720p. Technically 720p is HD, but it's also 'upscaled'. So how do we distinguish between upscales and non-upscales (which would literally be a fraction compared to what's been produced below 1080p)? Maybe that's the reason why a list doesn't exist. It's hard to identify exactly what qualifies as an upscale versus true HD by production/source.

                          And anyway, it's really just one facet of what you just posted, which is also totally legitimate. I mean, nobody is going to buy AoA releases because the company has a functional business model, and therefore everything is fine. As is so often the case, it comes down to "what am I getting for my dollar." But, for better or worse (and I guess many people would want to say "worse"), the desire for "more" has little effect on what AoA is actually doing. If it were going to, they wouldn't be operating the way they are in the first place.
                          Not to reiterate some points that have been said already, but the issue of AoA releasing products as barebones as could be while maintaining their pricing structure just looks so unattractive and demeaning to fans who are interested in their properties. Some fans want to purchase particular shows they hold, but can't because the release is being compared to products from other companies that have a better cost-value associated to them.

                          Yes, AoA's model is working for them, but at the same time, they're being criticized that they could do better. They've alienated more potential customers from all sides with their questionable release formats on particular titles. Hitsugi mentioned Silver Spoon, which is a good example of this side of the argument. Not only did they spit on the niche, collector's segment by releasing it as DVD only, they also priced it outside the core segment they were likely aiming at- the ones without BD players or those not interested in premium releases found with the KlKs, SAOs, etc. To insult the buyer even more, the release is bare, like something you'd expect to see from Sentai or FUNi, which is pretty damning considering they're not following a bulk-sales structure you've outlined earlier.

                          This is why many people, including those who do purchase AoA titles, question some of their moves. Sure it's netting them what they need, but are these wonky decisions (Silver Spoon) actually benefitting them by 'overvaluing' titles that might actually perform better had the cost-value associated been different? Honestly, when I look at something like NISA's releases and see AoA doing something like Silver Spoon, it's hard not to criticize them for virtually 'devaluing' their own product by making it less attractive to the consumer by way of format and/or pricing.

                          I certainly buy AoA releases, but some of their properties seem like they'd be more attractive purchases had they followed a similar format/pricing that benefits companies like NISA, Sentai, or even Nozomi for that matter. They all have respective price-points that ultimately helps their ROIs, but they also know what works for both ends of the spectrum, which more recently is evident with Sentai's latest premium boxset offerings. FWIW, AoA releases haven't been impressive in light of what they've done in their earlier days. I hate to make the comparison to the Palabor Movie boxsets, but I was more than happy paying what I did for those way back when. With AoA, I'm not feeling it anymore.
                          Last edited by Sensuifu; 12-06-2014, 03:38 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Questioned By Fandom: Aniplex Releases Are Too Expensive

                            Yes, I buy AoA releases, and still continue to buy them, but lately they haven't been impressing me nearly as much as they used to. It's true that the video quality is still amazing, but the fact that they are now switching to singles and merely slapping the cases in a slipcover is very disappointing to me. Granted, I realize that they want to get these products out as fast as they can, but the end result for me, as a collector, is the loss of excitement I used to have when an AoA product arrived at my doorstep. Ah, the joy I once had pulling out my SAO, Blue Exorcist, and Fate/Zero boxes for the first time. Now if they go back to chipboard, or consider releasing a chipboard box at the end to house an entire series released via singles, I'd be willing to forgive them. Yes, I am a rigid box freak.

                            And, yes, their inconsistency is very annoying. I also was extremely disappointed when they dumped Silver Spoon out as a crappy barebones DVD release. I also can't help but think what we would've gotten if NISA (also my favorite NA distributor) had acquired the license. If Mushishi suffers a similar fate, I'm going to be really annoyed.

                            So, I didn't think their older releases were too expensive for what I was receiving, but their recent releases have been much harder for me to justify making the purchase.
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                            • #15
                              Re: Questioned By Fandom: Aniplex Releases Are Too Expensive

                              Originally posted by Hayate Kurogane View Post
                              Originally posted by Hitsugi Amachi View Post
                              As a short-term strategy this will work out fine. Long-term, I don't see this model holding when technology advances and the younger crowd coming in learns to disdain buying altogether. Good luck Aniplex.
                              The thing about that thought, though, is if you really go down that road, then it means everyone is going to suffer or die off, regardless of how relatively "affordable" their releases may or may not be, because streaming will be the preference. The only true survivors will be the ones that conceive of a way to properly monetize the streaming model, which not even major TV corporations have truly figured out yet. That's a much larger problem that everyone involved should really be spending more time thinking about.
                              And that could yet happen. It's not guaranteed to be soon or to happen at all. It's hard to predict where things will be 5 years from now (think 5 years back…I'm not sure anyone would predict current conditions as they are now).

                              And, really, when you get to the point where physical releases of a niche hobby like anime become a niche themselves, the companies in the best positions to survive are the ones that have a sustainable business model that relies less upon volume and more upon profit margin per unit sold in order to cover operating expenses, because more and more fans won't care about buying a disc, but the ones that do will still be willing to pay what it takes. And the company best positioned for that scenario is... AoA.
                              That works if you are making a luxury product. Luxury producers can afford to use this model because there is prestige attached to their products and they can sustain just catering to a small group who are willing to pay. But…I highly doubt that AoA or anyone is going to sell consumers on the idea that anime is a true luxury product. Perhaps they have sold some of the current generation of consumers on that idea…but I'm not sure the younger generations coming up are going to buy into that. It may be that no producer of packaged media is going to be able to sell consumers on that idea any longer. Pricing a great many people, especially the younger buyers who generally have less money to spend on the hobby, out of the market is not going to do much to win them as customers down the road.
                              Avatar: Craft Lawrence from Spice and Wolf.
                              Scratchy for Tama is angry.
                              Casually Reviewing: ???

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