The Yuriscape is very anime-heavy this week.
Sean and Eric leapt to tell us that a Simoun box set will be shipping in June. I was asked recently why Media Blasters didn’t ship the first volume along with the box option, like companies used to. I thought I’d share my answer with you all.
For one thing, the business model of a higher priced first volume with a cardboard box was almost universally despised by the market. It added very little value, saved no room and was basically annoying, as it rarely came with incentive to buy the rest of the set, except to fill the box. Companies toyed with expanding the offering – providing t-shirts and other physical extras and, towards the end, offered coupons for purchase of the next DVD in the set. But let’s face it, the single DVD model is pretty much dead here in America. More and more anime is coming out as season or half-season sets, packaged smaller, with less physical stuff. Media Blasters typically does very nice “box” sets, with large jewel cases that contain all of the disks, with no physical extras at all.
The reasoning behind single disk sales followed by repackaged multi-disk sets is simple: cost. The most expensive disk to press is the first. (This is true for books, as well.) Let’s say it cost $4000 to press the first disk. (I’m making up numbers here, don’t quote me.) The second disk will not make the cost go up significantly, since the press is already set, as it were. So two disks still cost $4000, but now cost $2000/disk. If the company prints 1000 disks, the total cost has gone up, but the cost-per-disk has dropped to (again, making this up *completely*) $5/disk. Got that? Okay, so.
Company A sells individual DVDs in nice boxes, with pretty pictures, etc, and the total thing costs (fictitiously speaking) $8/disk, not including cost of promotion, distribution, etc. So they sell it for, say $20, and make enough to cover the costs, plus a bit towards the next disk in the set. Still with me?
Now, after Company A has sold as many of the single-DVDs as possible, there are *plenty* of people who would still like the anime, but didn’t want to spend $120 for it. So they take the disks (which are now at a low cost-per-disk, because it’s the end of the run, not the beginning) and repackage them into a season set and charge, say $40. At this point, the cost-per-disk, even with packaging and distribution, etc, has fallen, so the company scrapes up more sales from something that costs them less. Same thing, one more time, with thinpaks. After an anime is past its shelf life it’ll go on discount – that’s a few more sales for the last, and thus cheapest, disks.
That having been said, American otaku are not like Japanese otaku. Japanese otaku express their devotion to a series through buying obsessively. The more DVDs, figurines, etc., one has, the more uber you are. Simon Jones of Icarus Publishing has a great summation of this that I strongly recommend for light reading. (Blog reasonably NSFW, but totally worth reading!) American otaku are not willing to part with $ as an expression of love, so most anime companies are moving to that season or half-season box set format. I approve, if only for the fact that I am now completely out of room on my lovely shelves.
Anyway – I hope that explains the “why” behind the repackaging and discounting thing. And why Volume 1 in a cardboard box is passe’.
Back to news:
Right Stuff has announced the release of a season set for Gakuen Alice. I know many people did not see it as a Yuri series. Many people did. I’ve just reviewed Volume 5 of the manga and see nothing as of yet to dissuade me of the notion. (Yes, I *know* later volumes, blah, blah, blah. My delusion is mine. So there, nyeh.)
Katherine is pleased to tell us that, after she ragged a bit at them, the Afterellen editors caved and announced the coming of Sasamikikoto and Aoi Hana animes. She promises to now rag at them about YM6. lol
In other anime news, Sean unenthusiastically reports that there will be a Venus Versus Virus season set coming out soon from Funimation, as well.
Anime News Network reports that both Strike Witches and Koihime Musou will be getting manga in the near future. So moe Yuri fans will have something else to read in scanlation, not buy, and then complain about. Phew.
Not in the least least, Yuri Monogatari 6 has been shipped to the distributor and will hit the stores and Amazon as soon as it’s processed. Yay! I still haven’t seen it myself, however and am waiting for the shipment to arrive here, where non-bookstore or Amazon pre-orders and direct orders will be processed as *soon* as I get the darn things! I cannot wait to see it.
Let me unashamedly plug YM6 for all of you Yuri fans who want to see more actual women in love with other actual women and less schoolgirls, first crushes and not-gay couples. It is the *only* Yuri publication that honestly and openly represents the GLBT world.
And please put our YM6 Launch Party on your calendar – April 18th, in Secaucus, NJ. Spend a night with the artists behind YM6 – get your copy autographed and have some good, clean, Yuri fun!
One last thing before I finish up today. Both the 4th season of Maria-sama ga Miteru and the Mariaholic anime finished up this week. I just watched the Marimite finale – it was exactly what I hoped for and handled beautifully. I am convinced that there will be no 5th season, but of course I still wish for 4 OVAs to cover 4 of the novels that got left out that I *really* would pay money for. However…one never knows. I will watch the end of Mariaholic as well and if time permits, write a compare and contrast, because…why not? :-)
Anyway, there’s your news for the week! See you next week with more great Yuri news!