Some more retail

I went to go see the movie Fury yesterday. Overall it was good but the grand finale was excessively long, etc…. The other combat scenes were pretty stunning for the most part, especially the battle with the Tiger. They did a good job of making it an intense, terrifying moment. While I’m not much of a Brad Pitt fan, I think his performance was good here.

After leaving the theatre, I wandered around in Future Shop for a bit and then left. Normally, I’d go next into HMV but I forgot all about it. I guess that part of this comes from the near absence of new anime in the store (and the complete absence of any sensibly priced anime). It was only while looking both ways while crossing the street that it came to my attention.

So after checking out another store across the street, I wandered back to HMV and had a look through it.

Back in February, it was announced that MM! would be getting released on BRD. As I’d noticed that a couple of other shows were available at retail the same month that they showed up in release notifications, I headed down to see if it was one of them. It wasn’t. Yesterday, it finally showed up, only nine months later. Added bonus… it was $85 so I won’t be buying it.

I did pick up a couple of shows on a whim however.

The first show I ever watched at all was High School Girls. I remember vaguely reading about the best way to translate the title and whoever was writing about it said it didn’t really have an obvious translation. The DVDs are called Girls’ High. They were cheap enough, at $20 so I figured it was about time. I could have bought this a while ago as it has been sitting in the racks there for some time, but I’m not especially enthused about watching it again. But for nostalgic reasons (and maybe this was amplified by a recent viewing of Steel Angel Kurumi, I dunno) I figured I couldn’t go wrong for the price.

Second show… B Gata H Kei showed up as well, on BRD, for $14.99. It was a fun enough show with Yukarin voicing Yamada and given the price, I didn’t see any point in leaving it lying there.

First shows that I’ve bought since May’s Haganai Next (given that I haven’t been able to close the RightStuf purchase).

Update: The RightStuf purchases have all gone through (just awaiting the pre-order of Railgun which should arrive later this month). As an aside, I visited HMV again a couple of weeks ago and the MM! was priced at $68. I would have bought it when I first saw it at that price but don’t need it now as I purchased it from RightStuf.

Update: Forgot to mention that I was in HMV earlier this week and noticed another show that I purchased from RightStuf last month… Hell Girl 2. Previously, they’d priced it at $60 which I felt was too much for DVDs*, especially since I felt that the first season really didn’t seem to resolve anything. Additionally, there is a third season, so just buying the one wouldn’t resolve anything anyway. So I’d always passed.

But both season 2 and 3 were on sale at RightStuf so I took a flyer on them. We’ll see how it goes. But I bring this up this show also had a crazy pricing change, going from $60 up to $85. Not sure what’s driving their pricing at HMV but it’s not inducing me to spend more money there. I haven’t been there too often of late so I don’t know if the closing of the nearby Sunrise Records is a factor.

*It’s not inherently too much since it’s a two cour season. However, it’s more than I wanted to pay especially given that if I bought season two, I may as well buy season three, which means another $60 (which also means a combined $16 in taxes). While it may well be worth it, I don’t know that even with three seasons, I’ll be satisfied. So at that price, I wasn’t willing to take a chance on DVDs, which I detest as a matter of course when subtitles are involved.

Back into neutral

Well, the build-up that I’d made is gone now. Over the past three months, I’ve only been able to find one anime to buy, Haganai Next. There hasn’t been very much released that I’m interested in and what there is, is too expensive in my opinion.

Or, it’s only released on DVD and not Blu-Ray. The latest example of this is Funimation’s release of Red Data Girl, which I’d buy if it was on BD. After seeing the DVDs on HMV’s shelf, I went to their website to see if the BDs weren’t just at another store. They weren’t on their site either. So on a whim, I checked Funimation.com. Alas, they’ve only released the DVD version.

Thinking about this, I decided to look up a couple of other shows that I see only in DVD format, to see if the problem is at the retail level or distribution level.

Railgun is only available on DVD, as is Seiken no Blacksmith. I just noticed that there is a combination BD/DVD of Kore wa Zombie that was released this spring, but I didn’t see it last time I was in the store.

This is a mess.

Not just yet…

Well after my recent experience in anime retail, I waited a few weeks before returning to see if anything had changed. It hadn’t, literally. I didn’t see any new shows, nor any new pricing. It’s irksome since there are even a handful of OVAs that I’d pick up if I were buying something major.

On a whim today, I visited a different location and saw something that surprised me. They had a box of Jellyfish Princess, or Kuragehime… on Blu-Ray, for all of $30. Pretty stunning I thought. Since I arrived at the store at about five minutes before closing, I couldn’t see what else they might have but at a glance there wasn’t anything else new. But, I don’t really care. This is a fun show and the price was better than right.

Experiment nearing its end

For the past year and a bit, I’ve been buying a fair amount of anime — at least a season a month. To maintain that pace, I’m bought up until May now with my recent purchase of HOTD.

But I’m not sure I’m going to be able to maintain this. The prices seem to be going up significantly.

The second season of Clannad was something like $25, which is priced to sell (although I still haven’t watched it). I didn’t buy the first season since I didn’t see myself watching it much. It was still a good deal at $50 but I’d already bought three shows that week so I passed on it.

That same package now sells for $100. I guess you could argue that it’s reasonable for a two-cour show but if I didn’t jump on it at $50, why would I at $100?

There are a couple of other shows that I wouldn’t mind owning that have recently come available. Nyan Koi had been on the shelf as a DVD for a few months and suddenly it was there in BD — but for $85. I think I’ve already mentioned that Infinite Stratos was about $65 when I first saw it and now, it’s also $85. The first season of Fate Stay Night is also there for $85 per cour (but not Fate Zero).

While there are a handful of shows for which I’d pay this, e.g. I paid that for Girls und Panzer last month, and I’d pay that for Haruhi or Bakemonogatari if they ever landed on the shelves, but I don’t think it’s a reasonable default price for more mundane shows.

I raised the pricing issue with one of the clerks there. He advised that things were what they were and only if there were a big discrepancy between their pricing and say, Amazon’s, would they react. They were about to close so I left with my one purchase. But later on, I checked the pricing at Amazon. It is significantly lower at $62 and $48 for the two shows I mentioned. These are reasonable prices. I could have bought a season of something else for the same overall price. I’d even pay what Jinrui cost ($67). I ventured back a few days later but they wouldn’t discuss pricing at all.

If most of the newly released shows are going to cost this much, then I don’t know why I’d even visit the store. There are already too few releases and if all of these rare shows are considered premium, then it’s only going to be depressing to visit the store.