Haruhi’s Blu-ray Appearance Doesn’t Come Cheap

As reported by Sankaku Complex [NSFW], pre-orders for the October 22 release of the complete Haruhi TV series on Blu-ray have recently gone up on Amazon Japan. With all twenty-eight episodes of Haruhi in high-definition, extra content and English subtitles, it may seem like this is the release fans are waiting for.

But then there’s the price: 30,000 yen (or $338 USD). For eight Blu-ray discs.

The Project Haruhi staff has talked about Japan’s absurd pricing structure multiple times, but it bears repeating. What the heck are they thinking? Here’s a short list of other stuff you could buy from Amazon Japan for that amount of money:

Okay, you probably get my point.

What makes this frustrating is the actual release is great. It’s something I might like to own, and I’m not even that big of a Haruhi fan. The price, however, kills it for me. The even crazier thing is that, compared to the price of the DVD release of Endless Eight, this Blu-ray release is actually a bargain. Collecting the single-volume release of Endless Eight on DVD would cost the equivalent of $288 USD.

So, now the question is: how many people will actually buy the Blu-ray series? And if it sells poorly, will Kadokawa interpret this as disinterest in the Haruhi franchise instead of a rebellion against outlandish pricing?

K-On! and Haruhi DVD Sales

According to the latest Amazon Japan DVD sales rankings, both the Haruhi and K-On! DVD releases are performing quite well. Of particular interest are the K-On Blu-ray releases, with the Volume 2 Blu-ray (August 19 release) occupying the #2 ranking, Volume 1 at #16, and the Volume 3 (September 16 release) at #21.

The first Endless Eight Haruhi DVD (September 25 release) is currently ranked at #11, but has accrued quite a few negative one-star reviews, for a cumulative score of 1.5 stars. This would seem to indicate that Japanese fans are just as frustrated with Endless Eight as we are, but are still willing to purchase the DVDs.