By now, this topic got hammered to death in the blogosphere by now, but looking back at my DVD collection back in 2009, it has significantly grown into a sizable stack. Therefore, I feel the need to share my brief thoughts about the current situation with the anime industry in the United States and of course, taking a look at my collection after these years. (Image Source)
Brief Thoughts about the Anime Industry Today
Ever since the boon in the first half of the 2000s where the industry was at it’s strongest. Since then, the economy took a toll along with the emergence of legal streaming sites like Crunchyroll, things starts to look grim. To make things disturbing, some licensing companies went belly up in the past few years such as Genon. Therefore, I couldn’t obtain a legal copy of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha (second season) since it was out of print and possibly never get licensed ever again. This infuriates me because physical media have begun to fade away for more restrictive forms such as DRM laden episodes from iTunes and only being able to stream some series that might never see an official release. It’s a sad reality for someone that wants to own shows that I really enjoyed or have a very strong interest of watching in my collection.
To make things interesting, the situation is opposite for Japan not for obvious reasons, but the difference of how Anime releases gets treated. Over there, these releases are collectable items, thus higher quality and higher priced. People still bought these releases regardless, more so with the Otakus. Also, some companies are even bypassing the middleman by adding English subs to their Bluray releases. Although this is a very profitable solution, I currently cannot afford it since I’m still a student and my Japanese skills aren’t up there yet. If these two factors weren’t a problem, I wouldn’t mind. For that, this only leaves me with the choice of buying related merchandise such as DVDs, video games and such to support them, which is very profitable in Japan. I did this just recently when I imported three Idolmaster CDs from CDJapan since I enjoyed the music and loved the anime (and I plan on completing the CD collection, if I still have enough money). Still, people have to realize that there are other ways to support a series, even if it never gets an American release.
In short, continue supporting what you love within your means.
Further Reading: Yumeka goes further in depth about the current state and future of the Anime Industry in the United States (also has other readings as well)
During my first year of anime blogging, the only DVDs I had in my collection was Kanon and Air. With my birthday and Christmas on that year and summer additions, it eventually grew to the stack I have today.
In my collection, I have the following (with some comments):
- Air Complete Collection, Kanon Complete Collection – I got this before Funimation released a cheaper version. Needless to say, the packing looked good, although not the best compared to others.
- Kannagi Vol 1 and 2
- Sola – Many thought that this would never get released because of the constant delays. Thankfully, it released so I got a chance to watch some of it.
- Hayate no Gotoku Vol 1,2,3 – This was my first entry into Kugimiya Rie Tsundere anime and I enjoyed it despite the lack of animation quality in the first season. I don’t plan on completing the first season as it has a lot of fillers and that the second season is a big improvement. Still, I need to finish the remaining episodes before I can do that.
- Clannad/Clannad After Story – When I got my copy, I have to admit that Sentai Filmworks has the most pain in the butt packing ever. They apparently put all their disks in a spindle, which makes it really difficult to take out without trying to break the disc. I managed to get them out without breaking it and ripped them to my hard drive so I never had to take them out again. Aside from that, the English dub was decent, although Kyou’s voice was a bit too rough for my liking in the first season.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha (First Season)
- Tears to Tiara – Same horrible Sentai Filmworks packing and the English Dub was pretty bad compared to others. Everyone in the dub sounds like they were Scottish or something.
- Fate/stay night – I became interested in this shortly after hearing the news about the Fate/zero adaptation back in 2010. Although I enjoyed the first four episodes of this show, I still think the prequel had better story telling and animation.
- Aria the Animation – So far, I enjoy this show and I really need to finish more of it. It also came with a booklet about the show with some sketches/artwork.
- True tears – I intended on getting this for a while, but it apparently got into backorder hell. Eventually I got it and I’m half way done with it.
- The iDOLM@STER Animation Master 5 & 6 (7 still haven’t released yet, but in preorder)
This wraps up on what I have in my collection now and hopefully it will grow more if I can afford it. Until then, feel free to share your thoughts about what I said about the state of the industry and such.