If you are an anime collector, you know the trials and tribulations that come with your choices in life. Anime is amazing and owning all of Dragon Ball Super, Naruto, One Piece and or Fairy Tail—just to name some lengthy series—is a true collector’s dream, but equally, a wallet’s nightmare. Anime, as it continues to grow in popularity in the world—especially the United States—rises in price and some publishers truly make you put in a fine amount of cash before you own your beloved franchise. However, are anime publishers pushing their wares too high in price or is this a necessary step in assuring anime’s future in the west? Let’s examine the question, should anime be cheaper in the US?
The price isn’t as bad as you think
Many people assume that anime is overpriced and should be lowered in the US. We here at Honey’s Anime though have to tell you that in reality, anime tends to be pretty low priced as is. In Japan—for example—anime isn’t sold in the same way as it is here. Often, a popular series will be broken down into a multitude of Blu-ray or DVD releases. Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu was sold in bursts with several episodes per each disc being sold separately. Thus, in the long run, anime in Japan is considerably more expensive than it is here in the west when we get 12 or 13 episodes for only $59.99 or $49.99.
Amount of work for each release
Here at Honey’s Anime, we tend to watch behind the scenes found in anime releases or watch publishers talk about how they released a series like Assassination Classroom or Attack on Titan. You’d be amazed to hear how much money, time and work goes into releasing each volume of a series people pick up in the store. There are art designers that must recreate original images from the anime to put on the package or make completely original ones still using the source material. Special editions or even collectors’ editions—which can be quite expensive depending on the publisher—must also contain enough goodies to justify the price tag and equally pay respect to the fans/creators of a series. What we listed is only the work that goes into the box or box set itself and people forget that buying anime also helps pay for the costs of a publisher getting dubs for their series and various other inner workings. Anime might seem like a lot of cash, but the amount of work that goes into it justifies the cost.
There’s a false reality in believing that every series, when it first releases, will be instantly sold out if you don’t pick it up day one. Anime can at times sit on a store shelf—just go to Best Buy or Walmart to see—for quite sometime and collect dust as the series doesn’t sell beyond a few copies. When this occurs, anime is then sold at a lower price tag to make for an easier way of finally giving that series a home. However, these sales prices come at a cost and not just for you the buyer. A sale on a series doesn’t hurt the publisher as they already sold it to the store, but it makes the store wonder if that series is worth investing in for the future. It’s important to buy anime when you can—and if you can obviously—to support its release and hope the publisher and store will keep allowing that particular show to be sold in the US.
Speaking of Support
Anime is like a clock. There are a multitude of gears and pieces that allow said series to even come to fruition. Buying anime—at the price it releases at—allows the creators and development teams to see their work is loved and allows them to keep making future works. If anime wasn’t a bit pricey in the west or even in its home country of Japan, then anime would be an industry that remains stagnant. You wouldn’t see more shows get stronger quality or bigger episode counts and often would have to pray the light novel or manga—the original source material in this case—does well enough to allow creators to pitch for their works to keep airing as anime. Support the industry, folks, and buy anime at its price if you can and when you can. Or just watch anime legally on sites that charge monthly fees.
Many of us aren’t rich and have to work 9-5 shifts to afford various living expenses like food and shelter. That makes anime a low priority—for some—but for those who wish to show their series love, it ultimately is important to buy anime when you can. Anime could probably be cheaper worldwide—not just in the US—but that would cost publishers and creators in the long run and thus, it’s why we feel anime needs to remain the cost its at right not to keep everyone happy. Do you agree with us or feel anime should be reduced in price? Comment below your thoughts as we love to hear from our readers. Be sure to keep stuck to our hive to support us too here at Honey’s Anime!