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Customer Review

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great series. BUT don't get ripped off., 17 Nov 2013
This review is from: Sword Art Online Part 1 (Episodes 1-7) Blu-ray/DVD Double Play (Blu-ray)
I really really enjoyed the series.
As someone who has played more than his fair share of MMORPG's in the past, and the idea of what it would be like if I actually lived in the game has crossed my mind more than once, this anime really appealed to me from the get go.

The mix of characters, both good and bad, are enjoyable and I really liked the way Kirito and Asuna are very believable as people, stuck in a crazy situation, manage to cope and retain their sense of identity and who's feelings eventually grow towards each other.
The supporting characters really help to build the world, for both the very sad depressing moments as well as the happy joyful moments.
The dub for this is excellent, so watching dub or sub is a matter of personal choice rather than which one best shows the excellence of the anime.

BUT

Not all of the episodes have been dubbed yet, and paying the crazy prices that retailers are asking for just a few episodes each time is extortion. You can buy the whole subbed series on DVD for just over 20 so why nearly 90 for all the separate dubbed episodes? I will wait for the complete box set of the dub to come out rather than buying the series piecemeal.

To conclude, I have given this series 5 stars based solely on the actual series itself, as it is really enjoyable. I would give 1 star for the cost they are asking for.

EDIT: All the episodes have now been dubbed. I watched the series a while back before they had finished dubbing. Apologies.
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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 22 Nov 2013 16:11:48 GMT
RyuShoji says:
"Not all of the episodes have been dubbed yet, and paying the crazy prices that retailers are asking for just a few episodes each time is extortion. You can buy the whole subbed series on DVD for just over 20 so why nearly 90 for all the separate dubbed episodes?"
You mean a 20 fake boxset from Malaysia or Singapore on eBay? Best to support an official release. Also, all of the episodes have been dubbed - North America has finished their release of the series.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2013 18:56:55 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Nov 2013 21:39:58 GMT
Xodus says:
I always advocate supporting the official release, and I admit I was wrong to mention the fake versions, and I will wait patiently for them all to be officially available to buy, as well waiting until the specials have been dubbed.

For those who just want the DvD episodes the cost is quite a lot, I know you get an awful lot compared to most DvD releases such as audio soundtrack, posters etc. I just feel aniplex missed out on a trick here and could have sold just the episodes for a more reasonable price, and sold a deluxe version for those who want the extra goodies.

I know Aniplex routinely set their prices more than twice as high as other domestic anime distributors, in part because they're pursuing a sales model that is patterned largely after the way things work for the fan market in Japan. But that's been consistently shown to be a bad approach to fans outside Japan. Consider Broccoli and Honneamise, both of whom also tried the "boutique" approach and ended up closing up shop because, well, most Western fans don't want to pay $75 for a single movie or $250 and up for a series.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2013 21:23:42 GMT
Matthew says:
I'm not an Aniplex fan either, they actually complained that Durarara sold poorly but don't understand that it's not an issue of there being no demand, its more an issue of fans either not willing to pay the prices they're asking, or don't want to buy from the limited places that stuck their stuff. They cut out mainstream shops from their business model because they want to maximise profits from each title.

The not wanting to appeal to the mainstream will eventually be the end of them, the same happened with Bandai Visual USA and with the monster that is Funimation with huge buying power, the amount of Triple A anime titles available to Aniplex will slow in time.

Anyways I've been supporting NIS America a fair bit for anime, they're reasonable with their prices but don't have dubs. I got Toradora, Wagnaria, and Bunny Drop from them.

Posted on 22 Nov 2013 21:35:22 GMT
Matthew says:
Oh and by the way, on your 'not all the episodes have been dubbed point' the series has been completely dubbed and released in America now. I'm not sure what to make of Kiritos dub voice personally, it sounds better in Japanese, though Asuna is okay in English, Yui is okay in English, Klein I'm not so sure, Kirk thornton is okay as a VA though.

I thought Cassandra Morris aka Leafa in the series was the best done voice in the Alfheim Online arc.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2013 21:41:21 GMT
Dave Xenu says:
Even with this we aren't exactly paying Aniplex premium prices. We're not even quite paying Aniplex basic prices. However it does feel like we are paying Aniplex inflated prices.

As for expecting them to go out of business, Aniplex USA is backed by a fairly well funded division of a huge company so they aren't as vulnerable as most distributors. I think their business model may be pretty sound, they answer piracy with official streaming and then gouge 10% of their customer base for the biggest profits. If it's any comfort we are just too small a market for that to work. I do think some of their titles are an awful fit for their model though. Particularly the upcoming Magi release, that's a series with broad appeal and a lot of potential to be a huge hit if edited for broadcast. Going for a tiny niche release seems a waste. Have to laugh at their DVD only "complete" collection in two parts in practice for 80.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2013 21:44:12 GMT
Xodus says:
Yes you are right about them all the episodes now being dubbed. I watched this series a while back and at the time I was still waiting for the dubs to finish so I just switched back to watching the subs.

I enjoyed both sub and dubbed and was fun to switch between the two.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Nov 2013 19:15:14 GMT
Matthew says:
I was mostly drawn to the dub because it was done by Bang Zoom, I think they're probably the best dubbing studio in America. Also it's nice to hear some different voices for once, as many Funimation dubs use the same VAs lol

It was weird hearing a Bang Zoom dub without Johnny Bosch too lol

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Nov 2013 19:21:24 GMT
Matthew says:
Even though Aniplex don't operate in Europe, I agree we're feeling the effects of their pricing, they can pretty much dictate to Manga how they want the show released, and if they don't agree they'll just offer to another company that will agree. I don't think Manga intended to release this series in this manner but like with K-On! they have no other choice.

The main problem I have with Aniplex besides their pricing is that they don't care about the mainstream, they're aiming solely at collectors, and this practise just doesn't work in the anime market as it is today, maybe it would of worked years ago but not today. It is possible for their American division to close down if they start to lose money, or don't produce enough profit to justify their existence. I just hate how they can license shows people are interested in and make them very difficult to obtain if you don't have a large bank balance lol

Have you seen their Fate/Zero Blu Ray sets? Crazy pricing, I was hoping it would get licensed here as I don't have a few hundred quid spare for anime at the moment. Their pricing is just so absurd. They should meet people half way and do what NIS America are doing, they're not charging huge amounts, they're a bit cheaper and offer a bit extra quality.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Nov 2013 14:41:22 GMT
Mohammed says:
I just watched the first two episodes and was thinking about getting it on blu-ray so I went on Amazon to check if the pricing may have improved for the pre-order. Then I started to read the comments.

It is sad that Aniplex and even Japanese distributors sell less copies and go with high profit margins per unit sold. What is the point of selling a product not many can enjoy :( They don't seem to care about the fans, also it makes less sense when they put this stuff on Crunchyroll, etc and still charge stupid prices for the box sets. Collectors have been extorted too, if they boycotted then Aniplex and the likes would be forced to change their business model to attract more fans.

I've been studying Microeconomics recently and apparently businesses that are the only provider to a product like to produce less and sell at higher rather than get a product out there to everyone.

In contrast to Manga UK or Funimation who are more community driven firms rather than cold suited people that are stuck in their old ways. It is no wonder those two companies are behemoths now in the anime distributing industry. Although Aniplex make more than we think because there are some cheap Aniplex titles licensed by Manga over here like Fullmetal Alchemist, Darker than Black, Bucanno, etc. They are getting by more easily thanks to UK sales.

I think a main reason SAO is expensive as opposed to the other Aniplex titles Manga UK have licensed may be due to us becoming earlier adopters rather than getting it a lot later. Before Manga UK were releasing many classics we've never had and they were cheaper but now Manga are focusing on newer releases because there isn't as much left in terms of classics.

Its a good thing we now have blu-rays, I'm honestly a lot more willing to pay more for a Blu-ray than to buy a DVD. Now I just wouldn't fork much cash for an inferior format.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Dec 2013 11:43:58 GMT
Mr Chris says:
the reason anime is expensive in japan is for whatever reason a new show usually has to pay to be shown, so all the production costs must be met by video and merchendise sales. only if/once a series turns out to be popular will tv stations pay to show it.

whereas a uk or american made tv show would often to be profitable without any dvd sales so that is extra profit for them, and fixed costs (production) have already been met.
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