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Old 2008-12-23, 14:23   Link #301
Lightly_Toasted
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Quote:
Originally Posted by typhonsentra View Post
http://www.spicy-wolf.com/DVD/dvd.html

Does this... does this really say the Blu-Ray box set is 34k yen!?! That's... that's nearly $400!
You guys need to learn to read the fine print.
At the bottom it reads: Will cut price in half for Americans if willing to assist with Illegal Yakuza gold smuggling from fort Knox.
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Old 2008-12-24, 21:09   Link #302
Masanori Ota
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It's only 25k yen on Amazon.
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Old 2008-12-28, 19:33   Link #303
relentlessflame
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by typhonsentra View Post
Does this... does this really say the Blu-Ray box set is 34k yen!?! That's... that's nearly $400!
Quote:
Originally Posted by RampagingEvangelion View Post
Holy crap!
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Originally Posted by seaghyn16 View Post
How are they getting away with it??
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Originally Posted by Blank-Mage View Post
Methinks they don't really understand their target audience...
I missed this rather humourous sudden spark of outrage last week, but it's too priceless to pass up. Welcome to the Japanese otaku-anime media market!

For the curious, here's how they justify the price: The series was already released on 6 DVDs, priced at 4,935 Yen each (5,775 Yen for the Limited Editions). This is about the average price for a one-cour late-night anime on Japanese DVD. So, assuming people actually paid the full MSRP on every volume, those who bought the DVDs will have spent between 29,610 and 34,650 Yen to buy the show on DVD. Now consider the price of the Limited Edition Blu-Ray offering: 33,600 Yen. It's comparable to the full DVD series in price, and you get the whole thing in 1080p quality.

So, actually, the price is right in line with market expectations for this kind of product, believe it or not. But the part that stings about the whole thing is that, even though we knew the show was produced in HD, they didn't announce the Blu-Ray collection until right after all the DVDs were released. So people, like myself, who collected all the DVDs, but would have bought the Blu-Ray discs had they been available are now faced with the costly option of buying the whole thing again to get the best quality version. The only "consolation" (if you can call it that) is that the Limited Edition DVDs came with some extras that were unique to that release, so at least you have something other than the DVD itself to show for the money spent.

But this, in essence, is the Japanese otaku-anime media market. It's an extremely-niche boutique-style economy. The value of the goods have very little/nothing to do with the anime, and almost everything to do with the rarity of the item and of the included limited edition items. When there are normal editions of products, they're priced in order to establish the value of the Limited Editions; pretty much no one actually buys them (because that means they fail as a collector).

So anyway, the moral of the story is: they do understand their target audience. You guys just aren't a part of it. If that sounds like the epitome of elitism, that's because that's entirely what it's all about. It's like going to five-star restaurants -- if you have to ask about the price, you can't afford it. And because otaku anime is actually chronically unpopular (contrary to what you may think!), it's only these boutique buyers that make the whole thing worthwhile for the publishers. It's a strange, strange reality.

And finally...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masanori Ota View Post
It's only 25k yen on Amazon.
This. Plus, it's actually 5% less because sales tax is included, so the actual price will be in the 24k range for international shoppers (never mind the taxes you might have to pay when importing, though...).
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Old 2008-12-28, 23:04   Link #304
Starburst
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That situation reminds me of Lord of the Rings. I purchased the first movie on DVD, and inside the DVD case it had an ad for the extended edition that would be released later.

I was angry, and never bought another LOTR DVD yet. I'm waiting for the Hobbit (ie: forever), and then when they come out with an extended edition of all 4 in a box set, then I'll buy.
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Old 2008-12-28, 23:51   Link #305
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starburst View Post
That situation reminds me of Lord of the Rings. I purchased the first movie on DVD, and inside the DVD case it had an ad for the extended edition that would be released later.

I was angry, and never bought another LOTR DVD yet. I'm waiting for the Hobbit (ie: forever), and then when they come out with an extended edition of all 4 in a box set, then I'll buy.
Well, I would pretty much guarantee that they will solicit the Blu-Rays right away when the next season comes around. I can accept this sort of thing while companies are in the midst of their Blu-Ray transition, but people will "wisen up" if this becomes a regular habit. Within the last 6-9 months, both Geneon and Bandai have switched to dual DVD/Blu-Ray solicitations, so I think Pony Canyon should follow suit soon. King Records remains a big hold-out, and Aniplex is sort of weird about it (ironically, since they're affiliated with Sony...).

Anyway, I agree that it is sort of like your LotR example, but I think the whole format transition amplifies it a bit right now.
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Old 2008-12-29, 00:42   Link #306
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Thanks for the info, Flame, it puts things into perspective. I wouldn't know, but is the collector otaku market really strong enough to warrant Blu Ray discs? Seems like a pretty steep investment for minimal returns. And I bought all the LOTRs, then all three extended editions. But that had more to do with supporting awesome movies than it did common sense...

(Reading Flame's explanation made me think of Konata. Which, in and of itself, is kinda ironic.)
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Old 2008-12-29, 12:30   Link #307
Vexx
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The big mystery is where all the otaku get their money .... yes, many of them are actually salarymen who have a large discretionary budget. But the ones who "live in the basement" and leech off their parents, makes you wonder a bit.
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Old 2008-12-29, 15:51   Link #308
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Originally Posted by Blank-Mage View Post
I wouldn't know, but is the collector otaku market really strong enough to warrant Blu Ray discs? Seems like a pretty steep investment for minimal returns.
Well, hence the price. Let's say that the initial print run is 5,000 copies (that may be on the high side), and that the publishers actually end up with half of the MSRP by the time you count markup and distribution costs. It's still under a million dollars in revenue. But I suppose the bulk of the expenses were already absorbed in the initial production costs, so this is another opportunity to get a little bit extra RoI. Plus, assuming they don't completely sell out the initial pressing in the short term, the shelf life of these sorts of collections can be quite long. As people invest in Blu-Ray players, they may go back and collect some of the anime series they liked so they have to something to play on it (similar to what happened when DVDs rolled out). So, I don't know either, but I suspect they can sustain it to a degree, but it depends on if the Blu-Ray format ends up going anywhere or not. It seems to be doing a bit better in Japan than here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
The big mystery is where all the otaku get their money .... yes, many of them are actually salarymen who have a large discretionary budget. But the ones who "live in the basement" and leech off their parents, makes you wonder a bit.
Well, yeah... I would have to imagine that a lot of the real spenders are the young salarymen types. If you have no family to support, no car, a modest living space, and don't waste money on other vices, it's not so hard to support "the habit". Basically, I guess it's about priorities; what would people have to cut out of their lives to be able to afford to spend, say, $500/month or $1000/month on anime and related merchandise, assuming they were making a decent (average to average+) salary to begin with. (Personally, I think not having a car is one of the biggest enablers, but not many, in North America at least, would choose collecting anime stuff over the freedom to drive wherever they want whenever they want, for example.)
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Old 2008-12-29, 17:48   Link #309
Blank-Mage
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Personally, I think not having a car is one of the biggest enablers, but not many, in North America at least, would choose collecting anime stuff over the freedom to drive wherever they want whenever they want, for example.
Yeah, not many... ... (But I put fuzzy dice over the handlebars, so it's LIKE a car...)
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Old 2008-12-29, 22:52   Link #310
Kaguya
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I totaled the price of the novel/magazine, CD/DVD, and the game which were ordered in 2008.
OMG, a total is $2815. It is $235 per month.
It was more expensive than expectation.
The items are as follows.

Novel/Magazine: $1036
DVD/Blu-ray: $933
CD: $425
Game: $157
Imported R1-DVD: $265

To be sure, I do not have a car.
However, when I had a car before, I bought them with the same pace.
After all, I will continue buying them, unless it is stopped by someone.
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Old 2008-12-29, 23:18   Link #311
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaguya View Post
I totaled the price of the novel/magazine, CD/DVD, and the game which were ordered in 2008.
OMG, a total is $2815. It is $235 per month.
It was more expensive than expectation.

[...]

To be sure, I do not have a car.
However, when I had a car before, I bought them with the same pace.
After all, I will continue buying them, unless it is stopped by someone.
Yeah, well, I don't want to take it (further?) off-topic, but let's say that the challenge comes when you measure it in terms of the percentage of your net income (after taxes) that you spend on merchandise. No matter how much money you have available, it's not hard at all to spend it all on anime stuff. (At least, it isn't hard if you're addicted... ) If you keep it in moderation (say 5-10%?) it's easy to sustain. But when it starts approaching 40-50%+, other things in life have to give. I think the point Vexx was driving at wasn't about the people who buy the odd thing here and there (and for whom, perhaps, the Boxset may be one of their major anime related purchases of the year). It's more about the people who buy a lot of this stuff at these prices all the time.

Anyway, if we want to discuss this further, I think we should start a new thread, though I'm not sure about the topic.
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Old 2008-12-30, 02:08   Link #312
Masanori Ota
It's Horo, not Han Solo.
 
 
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I buy the official merch and doujin. It's not easy to keep up on the unofficial stuff, believe me. C75 just ended, I have a lot of buying to do.
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Last edited by Masanori Ota; 2008-12-30 at 02:25.
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Old 2008-12-30, 04:57   Link #313
Krystos
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Well the problem is for me that here the average salaries are...
If you have $1000 monthly income from your job, that's a very good one, but as a starter, you will problably have around $500-700 (this depends on the USD/HUF rate too[which is currently high, ~190HUF=1USD], so do not take them honest)
And of course you still have to pay bills, eat etc.

I'm still a student, so there's no way i can get any anime-related merchandise, which makes me sad

I "only" have to wait 5-6 years(1 moar year in grammar school +university) and then i will be probably working as an engineer with a good net income.
Or win the lottery :P
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Old 2009-01-02, 11:05   Link #314
RampagingEvangelion
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I would buy the DVDs if they had subtitles and my DVD player could read them!
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Old 2009-01-02, 13:36   Link #315
xizro345
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No matter how you look at the prices, even put into context they're still a ripoff. Otherwise, the licensors wouldn't be so careful in being sure no international edition can surpass the original version in terms of content, packaging and such... I'm interested in buying the second season in blu-ray but if the prices are like some other titles (8000+ yen, 46 min) they'll never get my money.
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Old 2009-01-02, 16:47   Link #316
relentlessflame
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xizro345 View Post
No matter how you look at the prices, even put into context they're still a ripoff. Otherwise, the licensors wouldn't be so careful in being sure no international edition can surpass the original version in terms of content, packaging and such... I'm interested in buying the second season in blu-ray but if the prices are like some other titles (8000+ yen, 46 min) they'll never get my money.
Well, calling something a ripoff is all about perspective, because it's not as if the disc and all its packaging actually costs anything near what we pay to begin with. The objective here is to try to recover the costs of the anime production itself through the merchandise, so it's obviously going to be overpriced in the best of times -- they have millions of dollars of production investments to recover, not just the cost of pressing and producing some discs. There aren't many other markets that I'm aware of that have a business model like this, because most other markets have already made their money before it appears on disc (even the business model of most bands nowadays is about radio, placement, and concerts, not disc sales).

It's a rip-off in the sense that you'll definitely be able to get it for cheaper elsewhere eventually, but I don't think it's particularly unfair that they try to ensure the "expensive version" is the best quality. People who invest in the anime production by purchasing the collector merchandise deserve to get something for their money...
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Old 2009-01-03, 00:05   Link #317
RampagingEvangelion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Well, calling something a ripoff is all about perspective, because it's not as if the disc and all its packaging actually costs anything near what we pay to begin with. The objective here is to try to recover the costs of the anime production itself through the merchandise, so it's obviously going to be overpriced in the best of times -- they have millions of dollars of production investments to recover, not just the cost of pressing and producing some discs. There aren't many other markets that I'm aware of that have a business model like this, because most other markets have already made their money before it appears on disc (even the business model of most bands nowadays is about radio, placement, and concerts, not disc sales).

It's a rip-off in the sense that you'll definitely be able to get it for cheaper elsewhere eventually, but I don't think it's particularly unfair that they try to ensure the "expensive version" is the best quality. People who invest in the anime production by purchasing the collector merchandise deserve to get something for their money...
Well, IF Spice and Wolf is ever actually subbed and sold in the US, then I would be sure to buy any collector edition box set, almost regardless of price. *looks at all games+DVDs I own* Man, I'm a sucker for collector edition stuff.
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Old 2009-01-03, 08:41   Link #318
xizro345
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Well, calling something a ripoff is all about perspective, because it's not as if the disc and all its packaging actually costs anything near what we pay to begin with. The objective here is to try to recover the costs of the anime production itself through the merchandise, so it's obviously going to be overpriced in the best of times
YOu can sum it up as "artificially high prices". And the extreme protectionism blocks any possible improvement in that field.

Quote:
It's a rip-off in the sense that you'll definitely be able to get it for cheaper elsewhere eventually, but I don't think it's particularly unfair that they try to ensure the "expensive version" is the best quality. People who invest in the anime production by purchasing the collector merchandise deserve to get something for their money...
Still, paying that much with no extras whatsoever is not something I'd call "good". Considering that the Blu-Ray version doesn't offer anything extra (for the first series anyway), it's hardly worth its price, no matter what you say. And I do like collector editions. But this is not. It's just a cheap way to rob people (same as the 2008 calendar, which offers no new material, just rehashes).
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Old 2009-01-06, 01:11   Link #319
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Originally Posted by xizro345 View Post
YOu can sum it up as "artificially high prices". And the extreme protectionism blocks any possible improvement in that field.
Artificially high because you're subsidizing the cost of the anime production itself. It's not as if it's paid for by advertising...

Quote:
Originally Posted by xizro345 View Post
Still, paying that much with no extras whatsoever is not something I'd call "good". Considering that the Blu-Ray version doesn't offer anything extra (for the first series anyway), it's hardly worth its price, no matter what you say. And I do like collector editions. But this is not. It's just a cheap way to rob people (same as the 2008 calendar, which offers no new material, just rehashes).
*shrug* No matter what you say, it's still worth it for me to own a collection of the series on Blu-Ray disc. Having downloads of the HD TV broadcast just doesn't qualify as "owning something", and this show is something I want to own in HD (because, to me, that's the way it was meant to be seen).

Besides, what do you want them to offer? It's the entire show, on Blu-Ray, at a cost similar to the DVDs. The only thing that stings is that they could have told people first that a Blu-Ray was coming soon (and it could be that they did indicate this, I just didn't get the memo -- which isn't surprising).

So, who knows. Some will buy it, others won't. Whether it's worth it or not is up to them.

(And what do you mean about no extras anyway? It's got extras... just not what you want?)
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Old 2009-01-06, 09:38   Link #320
xizro345
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Let me say I have bought the DVDs for the first season. The so-called limited editions too (too bad what they offered hardly qualifies them as "limited" in my book). The Blu-Ray boxset isn't different than all the DVDs put together with some minimal addition save the the HD. I didn't like the minimalistic approach on DVDs done in the past by the Japanese companies (they're not VHS), and I'm not going to change opinion if they keep on producing stuff like this. I'm most interested in what kind of prices they'll offer for the second season.
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