Post Reply Why do anime DVDs / BR cost so much in Japan?
26719 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
Offline
Posted 2/27/15 , edited 2/27/15
I've noticed that DVDs and BR of shows cost waaayyy more in Japan. Take for example:

http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/product/VWBS-1529

http://www.target.com/p/the-wind-rises-2-disc-blu-ray-dvd-widescreen/-/A-16538386#prodSlot=medium_1_2&term=the+wind+rises

Why would the Japanese release of The Wind Rises, which only contains the BR disc, cost more than the American release which has both BR and DVD and had all the associated localization efforts?


Another example:

http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/product/SVWB-1602

http://www.target.com/p/naruto-uncut-box-set-season-one-vol-1-6-discs/-/A-11572240#prodSlot=medium_1_3&term=naruto+season

The Japanese DVD has 3 episodes and costs $32. The American release has 25 episodes and costs $20.


I was wondering if there is any particular reason for this (like certain taxes or release fees or whatnot) or if that's "just how it is". Anybody know?

Jeebes_san
85275 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
27 / M / Louisville, KY
Offline
Posted 2/27/15
My guess is because people pay it. If you have a good thing in business but know you can lower you prices you typically don't and just stay where you are at because people are paying for it.
Posted 2/27/15
if you buy the boxset, it's cheaper.

but if you buy the individual volumes (mainly for hardcore fans because you want to collect the individual case), then it'll be more expensive... japanese or american.


e.g. this volume 1 of american release with 4 episodes of KLK is about $60...



people buy it because they want the special stuff that comes with it... but if you're sane.. then obviously you'd wait for the boxset...

some of us are insane and we want to throw away our money
20904 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
22 / M
Online
Posted 2/27/15
Its just because they want it to be at that price, offer and demand.
8894 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
22 / M / Baltimore, Maryland
Offline
Posted 2/27/15
From my understanding, people who buy the volumes and such are just for collectors purposes. Otherwise you just go to the japanese blockbuster/video rental store and rent it. lol.
56927 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
28 / M / NY
Offline
Posted 2/27/15


The Anime Economy - Part 2: Shiny Discs


by Justin Sevakis, Mar 7th 2012

The High Prices... Explained!

To a Westerner, the Japanese DVD market seems horribly overpriced. With the average disc running over ¥7,000 (US$92) and only containing 2-4 episodes of a series, the cost of collecting a single show can easily run several hundred dollars -- more than many American fans spend in a single year.

The prices actually stem from a business practice we used to have in America, too: rental pricing. Basically, back in the dawn of the home video business, the industry was constructed in a way where "niche" releases were only meant to sell a few thousand copies, mostly to video rental shops. Prices were high (typically $89.95 in America), but video shops benefited from having a wide and semi-exclusive selection of movies that normal people would never pay for. At those prices, only a few thousand sales could mean over a million dollars of revenue. Initially, video industry people didn't think there was much of a market in selling to collectors.

But the fans proved them wrong. Otaku of all kinds (not just anime fans) started buying the videotapes and laserdiscs, and they bought them at those high prices that were intended just for video stores. There was no reason to lower it. In fact, there were a few experiments to drop the price to a more affordable amount, but that usually resulted in a slight increase in sales -- not enough to make up for the drop in revenue.

When you think about it, that makes sense. Most Japanese people live in much smaller homes, and with many more people than their Western counterparts. In most cases, it simply doesn't make sense for Japanese consumers to build a big home media library. Only the hardcore fans of a particular product will usually want to bother owning a tape or DVD, and everyone else relies on rental shops. Media is a specialty market, not a mass-market one, so prices have stayed astronomically high.

The Japanese Otaku's desire to own anime even at high prices had an unexpected effect: as the rest of the economy tanked and video stores stopped buying every new video release, the otaku kept buying pretty much everything that got released. Before long, the few thousand fans that bought anime DVDs were supporting nearly the entire budget of a show. Even as the rest of the Japanese home video industry lowered their prices to varying degrees, anime stayed at the same high price. It's simply the only way most shows can ever make a profit.
61640 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
Offline
Posted 2/27/15

sonic720 wrote:

The Anime Economy - Part 2: Shiny Discs

by Justin Sevakis, Mar 7th 2012

The High Prices... Explained!

To a Westerner, the Japanese DVD market seems horribly overpriced. With the average disc running over ¥7,000 (US$92) and only containing 2-4 episodes of a series, the cost of collecting a single show can easily run several hundred dollars -- more than many American fans spend in a single year.

The prices actually stem from a business practice we used to have in America, too: rental pricing. Basically, back in the dawn of the home video business, the industry was constructed in a way where "niche" releases were only meant to sell a few thousand copies, mostly to video rental shops. Prices were high (typically $89.95 in America), but video shops benefited from having a wide and semi-exclusive selection of movies that normal people would never pay for. At those prices, only a few thousand sales could mean over a million dollars of revenue. Initially, video industry people didn't think there was much of a market in selling to collectors.

But the fans proved them wrong. Otaku of all kinds (not just anime fans) started buying the videotapes and laserdiscs, and they bought them at those high prices that were intended just for video stores. There was no reason to lower it. In fact, there were a few experiments to drop the price to a more affordable amount, but that usually resulted in a slight increase in sales -- not enough to make up for the drop in revenue.

When you think about it, that makes sense. Most Japanese people live in much smaller homes, and with many more people than their Western counterparts. In most cases, it simply doesn't make sense for Japanese consumers to build a big home media library. Only the hardcore fans of a particular product will usually want to bother owning a tape or DVD, and everyone else relies on rental shops. Media is a specialty market, not a mass-market one, so prices have stayed astronomically high.

The Japanese Otaku's desire to own anime even at high prices had an unexpected effect: as the rest of the economy tanked and video stores stopped buying every new video release, the otaku kept buying pretty much everything that got released. Before long, the few thousand fans that bought anime DVDs were supporting nearly the entire budget of a show. Even as the rest of the Japanese home video industry lowered their prices to varying degrees, anime stayed at the same high price. It's simply the only way most shows can ever make a profit.

still doesn't explain Aniplex's pricing....
9547 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
20 / Chicago, IL
Offline
Posted 2/27/15 , edited 2/27/15
If you think that's bad, you should see what Aniplex USA charges for some licensed titles.
56927 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
28 / M / NY
Offline
Posted 2/27/15 , edited 2/27/15

aidenraine wrote:
still doesn't explain Aniplex's pricing....




He's talking about the Japanese market. Aniplex of America is simply copying Japanese style premium releases and prices in the US; which must work for them to some degree or they would probably have been defunct by now I'd think.
138 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
23 / M / Hawaii
Offline
Posted 2/27/15
Because obviously, the Japanese are much richer than us.
4728 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
37 / M / NJ
Offline
Posted 2/27/15 , edited 2/27/15
The average Japanese lives in a place not much bigger then a tin can, and discs(of any kind), as well as their cases(I still don't understand why cases in Japan aren't made out of Bamboo, instead of plastic) is the last thinf the Japanese want to see piled up in the trash, every time a new anime comes out.

This way if it costs a small fortune to buy these anime series, you're only gonna buy the ones you truly love, and will never throw away to make room for something else.

This is also the reason anime publishers don't make their money off of DvD/BR sales(unless It's a movie, not part of a series), they make their money on merchandising(in otherwords, everything other then DvD/BR sales).
2450 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
27 / M / The heart of Linc...
Offline
Posted 3/3/15
It's a higher price in Japan since they're getting it a lot sooner on physical release, it's also a way the companies can make most of their money on the show.

I kind of feel bad for the Japanese since we in the UK & usa tend to get the merchandise & dvds/blurays cheaper then them, especially since we get dub, sub and a few of the extras. But then they do get all the extras and nice sets with unique artwork, so it goes hand in hand.

I do believe it's getting better with releases, more are coming this way & with the extras too.
3116 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
21 / M
Offline
Posted 3/3/15

colorfulhoudini wrote:

If you think that's bad, you should see what Aniplex USA charges for some licensed titles.

In aniplexs defense they actually charge a bit cheaper prices then Japan. For example kill la kill was released in 9 volumes in Japan while in the US it is being released in 5 volumes. From the prices I found, both cost about the same per volume if not costing more for the japanese release. Basically Japan is paying more if they want the entire series. Doesn't mean you have to like the prices, but I feel people give aniplex too much crap about their prices. I don't like the prices but it's a bit better than what Japan pays (only slightly)
You must be logged in to post.