Hmm... just wondering if you're still on the Shigatsu fantrain or if you hopped off it. Seems like a lot of the "critics" and "bloggers" have dismissed it as mediocre or hit and miss at this point in the way they seem to portray bullying and peer-pressure as a way to deal with trauma. Then again, this is a shonen anime and the fact that the kids are 14, I for some reason are willing to give it slack and eat up the juicy drama (and I'm enjoying the hell out of it).
Maybe I should have had this kind of attitude for something like Nagi no Asu Kara
I usually go on Amazon jp these days. Talking about Amazon JP I pre-ordered the Tari Tari bluray box about 2 months ago. Totally not a PA Works fag ...
As for your melodrama point, most of the time it doesn't work but there are some that just click with me and are exceptions. Ef is definitely one, as was White Album 2 from last year. This year it's Shigatsu.
I saw your tier list on RRR's wall. Mine is on my about me page if you are interested.
The main point of that list was more or less to make fun of Funimation - and I'm one of the people who actually has a soft spot for RDG.
Did you try ordering through Rightstuf? I know they won't ship NISA stuff to Japan, but I don't recall seeing other export restrictions (unlike on Aniplex of America's stuff).
As for Shirobako, two points:
1) The gap between tier 1 and tier 2 shows for me this season is not that significant (I still wonder if I should have dropped Daitoshokan to list 2), and there more or less there because just because I felt the tier 1 list was too long. It's not like I put it in tier 3 or 4.
2) Shirobako is very polished but as with Tari Tari before it, I feel it's missing a bit of something. Remember, I am a moe and melodrama fag. I dig cute, sap, and feels. While I appreciate some sophistication (which is why I dig stuff like EF, Bakemonogatari and Hyouka), typically flavour goes further than polish for me. Oddly enough I feel the characters end up reflecting this too: Ohana Mark 2 is just too professional and composed for my taste. The original was better.