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?

Bakacast Episode 2 – Beating Like a Disco

Click here for the direct download or subscribe to the RSS feed.

On this episode of Bakacast, we go from super-serious to super-goofy in the span of one LOST episode. First, we use this article on the Akihabara killer as a springboard to talk about…well…a lot of stuff. Then, we discuss Blu-Ray sales going up and what that might mean for our anime collections. Plus, the ASOS Brigade is back with a new voice actress for Haruhi. Finally, we wrap the show up with our finalized impressions on the Silent Mobius movies and a review of the Dirty Pair TV series. Be sure to watch the clean OP that Jon/Ryoko uploaded. It’s disco-riffic and perfectly encapsulates the style of the show.

Gundam Unicorn Will Get Simultaneous Dual-Audio Global Release

Bandai is really pulling out all the stops for Gundam Unicorn. They revealed today that the Blu-Ray version will receive a simultaneous international release, and will include both English and Japanese dub tracks, as well as subtitles in Japanese, English, French, Spanish and Chinese. Those of you without Blu-Ray players, however, will have to suffer through the English subtitles, as the regular DVD release contains only Japanese audio. Bummer, I know how much you otaku hate subtitles.

As a Gundam fan, I would love to provide you with a detailed analysis of Bandai’s international release strategy… but I’m too busy squealing like a fangirl. SQUEEEEE!!!

–Via ANN

K-On Dethroned!?

Previously posted by Ryoko, we saw K-On! enter the record books with 33,000 Blu-Ray and 8,000 DVD sales for volume one alone. Today we hear of this record being broken by another anime, Bakemonogatari, with over 29,000 Blu-Ray and 15,000 in DVD sales. This lands it at 44,000 total sales to K-On’s 41,000.

Bakemonogatari is an anime by Shaft, now rather well-known for it’s artsy style and 24 minute slideshow for episode 10. Apparently the latter wasn’t enough to label it a lost cause.

As Bakemonogatari is not the moe-blobbery of K-On! and many other recent anime, we can only hope that it’s popularity will serve as a shoe to the hindquarters of the anime industry. So far this information has only been found on Sankaku Complex, so it should be taken with a pinch of salt; but if true then more reliable sources will be available soon.

-via Sankaku Complex [NSFW]

CGI Sci-Fi To Trailer Revealed

The second trailer for Fumihiko Sori’s To has been released, giving us a taste of what the director of the Appleseed film has in store for us now.

Kinda puts Gonzo’s CG to shame, doesn’t it? The original 90-second trailer can be viewed below.

Continue reading

Ponyo Blu-Ray Will Include English Subs

Yes, this is actually a character from Ponyo.

Yes, this is actually a character from Ponyo.

Disney has confirmed that the Japanese Blu-Ray release of Ponyo, which is the first Studio Ghibli Blu-ray release ever, will include multiple subtitle tracks in eight languages. These languages are: Japanese, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Korean, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese. Additionally, the release will include audio tracks in seven languages: Japanese, French, Italian, Spanish, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, and Cantonese Chinese. Oddly enough, English is the only language to receive subtitles, but no audio track. This likely has to do with Ghibli’s licensing agreement with Disney.

Since both Japan and the United States adhere to Region A Blu-ray coding, American fans who wish to watch Ponyo subtitled can now import the Blu-ray disc when it is released on December 8th. Unfortunately, our Australian and British friends will have to wait for a Region B release.

–Via ANN

K-On! Enters the Record Books

The fans have spoken, and they love K-On!

Riding the impressive wave of Blu-ray sales, K-On! has claimed the record for the most opening-day sales from its previous holder, Code Geass. With 33,000 Blu-rays and 8,000 DVDs under its belt, K-On! has topped Haruhi’s best opening-day record by 1000 sales. When taken in the context of equally impressive television ratings and CD sales, it would seem that Kyoani has created another goldmine.

Despite some opinions as to K-On!’s perceived lack of quality, it seems the franchise is here to stay.

–From Sankaku Complex (NSFW)

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.