To the Ends of Earth… or At Least Your Wallet

So it was recently announced that the hands-down best anime of 2011 Ano Hana has finally been licensed in the states not by Funimation, not by Viz Media, but by NIS America: King of niche shows with limited edition releases.

The problem with this? Outside of licensing monster Funimation, most other anime released in the states are painfully expensive, with a good number of their titles priced at around $70 retail price, probably due to them being marketed as “Premiuim Editon Sets,” with a bonus mini-art book alongside the standard subtitled (read: no dub track for those afraid of mixing reading with TV watching) episodes. Normally, I wouldn’t see this as a problem, but with a number of their titles averaging at around 13 or so episodes, the price per episode is suddenly looking pretty steep. Such is only made even more apparent when comparing to Funimation releases, which are able to not only contain the expected dub and sub of the episodes, but also the clean opening and ending footage for a cool $30 at most retailers. Even when taking into account that most NISA releases drop to around $50 at most retailers, it’s still quite a ways away when comparing to what’s become the gold standard with Funimation, even having released their own equivalent of “Premium Edition Sets” with things like the Dragon Boxes going for around $50 at worst upon initial release.

It’s situations like these that truly bring people of the “support the industry” party out of the woodwork. Do you support your favorite title and the decision of future licensed anime titles by picking up a release where you’re essentially paying $4.50+ per episode, or do you quietly twiddle your thumbs while holding on to your fansubbed episodes? Ultimately, it’s the choice of the consumer, and deciding to buy or not buy does have an impact on the future of how releases are dealt with. Support the industry by picking up a $50 11-episode set, but risk the industry believing that people think slapping down that much cash for an anime is acceptable… it’s a fine line.

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About daemoncorps
Gabe (daemoncorps) has been writing about anime and the like since 2005, but has been babysat by it for much longer. He primarily spends his days distracting himself on twitter or writing for Fandom Post until he realizes he has a weekly webcomic (tapastic.com/series/scramblebouquet) to work on. He also just finished writing his first full-length graphic novel about unemployment (https://tapastic.com/episode/293804).

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