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Editorial: The Art of Reselling
By Chris Beveridge
April 30, 1998
Well, the world of anime on DVD is slowly but surely gaining steam. With the wonderful release of Ghost In The Shell by Manga Entertainment, and the two upcoming releases from US Manga via Image Entertainment, there are only a few domestic companies still holding out. Animeigo and AD Vision are still "evaluating" the situation which means they won't be doing anything soon. Which is unfortunate, because at the moment, they have the opportunity to capture a portion of market they haven't been able to before.
With DVD being so new still, a lot of people (i.e. consumers), are purchasing discs they normally wouldn't have based on recommendations of others. After waiting many many months for Manga to finally release GitS, the buzz surrounding the release got non-anime people to buy it. Pioneer must be doing well with their releases, as the raves of people who say "I've never bought anime before, but Tenchi Muyo In Love is one of my top reference discs!".
And here's the thing to think about: The video business, be it anime or Hollywood, the end goal is to get the consumer to repurchase the same item again. Musicland and Best Buy understand this, which is why they have had their DVD sections growing constantly. The ability to sell the same movie again is what makes the world revolve for stores like that. Look at Beatles CD's. Every other year, a new release of many of the same songs comes out. And they sell. Personally, I would repurchase just about each anime laserdisc I have if they contained at least the same number of episodes. I would certainly repurchase all the Evangelion discs from the VHS I already have.
Isn't that what companies want? My money twice for the same show, albeit on a different media?
What I think will be interesting will be the upcoming release of Darkstalkers and the Ranma 1/2 movie from VIZ via Pioneer. If these go well, then the potential to get Ranma TV or Maison Ikkoku episodes grows. Having not bought either of these in some time, they'd get my money in a flash.
Another thing that I've been reading in the newsgroups a lot lately is in regards to the sound, most notably because of the Ghost In The Shell release. Manga, the co-producer of the movie, went and remastered the soundtrack in a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. But, they only did this in the English soundtrack.
The clamoring from people was loud to say the least. "How can they do that, and not use the 5.1 from the Japanese?" was the most common. The reason being, of course, was that there was NO 5.1 mix. The 2.0 Japanese mix is all that exists. Personally, I wish Manga went to the extra-extra expense of having that remastered as well (if it was possible), but I'm glad and very appreciative that they DID go to the extra lengths to remaster the English track, which is where they bread and butter of releasing movies comes in. Mainstream.
The sad fact is, a lot of people are going on about why there isn't a 5.1 track included when there simply wasn't one.
On the plus side, Wings of Honeamise, an upcoming (July we hope) release from Manga may contain a 5.1 Japanese track. Re-released last year in Japan, this was remastered, and word is from Manga that they are attempting to procure this track for their domestic release. If this occurs, then I will be one of the happiest anime owners out there. :)
Anyways, that's enough of a rant this month. Anime companies - Get on the stick.