the future is Blu

Congratulations in advance to Ubu for joining the Haibane Renmei renmei. Almost as noteworthy are his comments about the state of the R1 anime industry, partly in response to Steven’s earlier comments about the size of the market and even earlier commentary about the impact of fansubs. Ubu writes,

At nearly 40 times the going rate for an American series, fansubs be damned: they aren’t giving value for their money, and they will go out of business if that’s their plan.

In fact, I worry that it is their plan — to self-justify retreating from the R1 market. […] there’s obviously a fundamental disconnect between Japanese management views and R1 market conditions.

I have to agree that the problem isn’t fansubs. The disconnect is at least partly because of region-coding. However, it should be noted that Blu-Ray (the likely victor of the nextgen DVD format wars, at least as far as anime is concerned) compresses Japan and the United States into a single region. I’ll leave informed speculation as to the ramifications of that to the experts, but it’s definitely time to start taking Blu-Ray into account.

2 thoughts on “the future is Blu”

  1. Blu-ray putting North America and Japan in the same region may be a curse rather than a blessing as far as anime releases are concerned. It won’t make Japanese releases significantly more accessible to the average North American anime fan, since they’ll still lack English subtitles and be ridiculously expensive, but it may very well have a negative effect on North American Blu-ray anime releases. Japanese studio execs tend to be very concerned about reverse importation (Japanese fans buying cheaper foreign releases), and without the region code difference to discourage it they may resort to less palatable measures. Think price parity between the North America and Japan, dub-only releases, or hard subtitles. I don’t like region coding any more than you do, but with studios being the way they are it may be the lesser of two evils.

  2. that’s rather depressing. In my opinion, the best solution for the industry would be to accept price parity, with subtitles only, an charge extra for US-specific dubs.

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