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Anime Is it worth it?


Lord Dante
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as some of you may know, anime is hard to come by in england...

so i've been considering shipping from abroad. but one question stands out in my mind: is it worth it?

i mean i'm not sure that my card will be accepted on an american website, and i can't guarantee that it will actually arrive.

i was hoping to gather some points ov view on this, if you could help me out with this decision.
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[COLOR=DarkRed]Well, it can be worth it, and it could not be worth it. You have to be carefull with these kinds of things. In terms of international shipping, that will cost a bit more, but no matter where you are, your money should be accepted (excange rates are ussually done automatically).

Another thing to consider is the quality of it. At least half of my anime collection is bootleg, and i'm fine with that. If you must have the official release of everything, it will cost quite a bit more, but many bootlegs are very good quality. I own three disc collections of [B]Trigun[/B] and [B]Cowboy Bebop[/B], and didn't pay more than $25 for either series. I also got the full collection of [B]FLCL[/B] on one disc for $8, all of which are very good quality, and i'm quite satisfied. However, you need to be carefull doing this, as i bought an import of the full series of [B]Elfen Lied[/B]. It is good quality visually, except that the English subs are very bad (blatantly fan subbed, with typos, and "Engrish" everywhere). For that reason, i am now buying EL as it is released in the States.

Basically, if you want to, it can prove to be a good move, but if your not ready to put your trust into international expenses you may want to wait. I don't want to get in trouble posting links to sites selling bootlegs, or anything, but if you would like, i can PM you some of the better sites that i use. You could also go the way of the used anime, and try ebay. They are pretty reliable (only buy something with a picture, and be sure you KNOW WHAT YOUR BUYING!).

My oppinion is, go for it! I don't think international shipping is much of a worry, as i have shipped anime from Japan. But it is all your choice.

[B]Note:[/B] All money previously mentioned is American currency. If you really need to know the difference you'll have to figure out the exchange rate difference on your own.[/COLOR]
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[quote name='Leofski']As well as the points above, you have to be careful with regioning. Make sure you will be able to play the discs![/quote]
[COLOR=DarkRed]Oh my god! I totaly forgot to mention region codes! He's right be sure that the region code is playable for your area. This means that the Animenation site you asked me about probably wont be playable where you are. This is because those are American DVD's and thus regioned for America only. I'm sure there is a way to mod a DVD player or Video game system to play a region specific DVD, but i don't know how.

On the bright side, most (prboably all) bootleg DVDs are region free, meaning you can play them anywhere, on anything that plays DVDs. Chances are, the sites i sent you (if you can buy from them) are the best place to go. If you shop e-bay, make sure that what you buy is either coded for your region, or region free.[/COLOR]
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on the subject of region codes, these are usually averted with a multi-region DVD player. However, they are (sometimes) expensive and you would probably be better off looking for your region code.

[U][B]Please note that im not 100% sure about the following info as i only just recieved it from a friend (He seems to know a lot about this sort of thing so i emailed him on the subject) [/B] [/U]
[QUOTE]Another important point is what type of TV you have. whilst im not 100% sure on the areas I know that TVs use 1 of 2 systems (although some use both) these are PAL and NTSC (i think thats what its called). In europe and australia (and other areas) the TVs only display PAL DVDs/videos wheras in other places such as north america they use NTSC .This means that if you use a PAL disk on an NTSC TV it may not work. My advice... Check every possible factor before you buy. However, if all works out, it can be well worth the hastle[/QUOTE].

Im preaty sure hes right but someone please tell me if im wrong (in which case im sorry)

one more thing. according to another friend of mine bootleg disks are coded for both PAL and NTSC. However i strongly recomend avoiding bootlegs. Aside from the fact that they are illegal some can often be of poor quality and have crummy subtitles (e.g. they appear a second after the person(s) speaks.)
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you have a credit card, ne? then go anime corner store.

very nice people and they do overseas shipping for their items. that's the only one i can think of. or you can go look for fansubs.
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Fansubs are not meant to work as a substitute for buying the legitimate release. And bootlegs really shouldn't even factor into the equation.

[b]Lord Dante[/b], you may want to consider visiting the Anime on DVD forums and seeking out the advice of some experienced UK importers (and by importers, I mean those buying R1 releases, but obviously you already knew that). While I could point you to some reliable & legit online stores, that wouldn't be of much use to you... I personally don't know which stores have the best international shipping rates and so forth, as it's not something I normally take into consideration. Although I can only assume that excellent customer service is particularly important for overseas buyers.

~Dagger~
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[Font=Garamond] [Color=Red] As Dagger said, you may want to consider seeking advice from experienced UK importers. And, frankly, you should make sure where you're buying from is reliable.[Well, eh, you probably know that already.] Region codes, as mentioned, are essentially a big problem. You don't want to buy a given number of series just to see that they don't want to work. So, you should make -sure- that you have a multi-region player.

But, it [I] is[/I] worth it, no matter how you slice it. =] [/Font] [/Color]
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*points to daggers post*uh...ok.*whistles innocently*

[COLOR=#503F86][SIZE=1][b]Please put more detail into your posts in future. Posts this short or off-topic are considered spam and will be deleted as such. -Solo[/COLOR][/SIZE][/b]
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I am from Canada and I am used to important DVDs from the US. As strange as it is, it is hard to find some of the US released DVDs in Canada for resonable prices. I also import from Aisa and Europe once in a while. Most legitimate anime DVDs released in the US are region 1 coded. Some of the older ones are Region All but most companies stick with the region code nowaday. Europe is in Region 2. As long as you have a multi-region DVD player, as you mention before, there show be no problem. When a NTSC region 1 DVD is played, the player, the good ones, can automatically convert the output to PAL. There is no need for a multi-region TV in this case. If your DVD player cannot convert the output to PAL, you will need a multi-region TV. It is very rare to find a DVD player which does not covert the video. It is not something I would worry about.

As for importing, I don't know the detail about the UK but here is what I usually has to deal with. Shipping charge maybe high, especially when using couriers instead of postage. It is not to be surprised to find the shipping of a disc is as high as the cost of the disc itself. So shop around but always go with reliable venders. Credit card such as Visa and MasterCard should be accepted internationally without any problem. But, again, look for the reliable sellers and read the information on their website carefully.

You may need to pay duty/tax when your items pass through the custom. You may want to check with the custom service for detail importing regulation. Also, if you ever have to return a disc for refund or exchange, you may have to pay for the postage for the item. Again, check with the vender you are buying from.

International shopping brings a lot of convinence but it has to be done carefully. I am luck so far that none of the items I have brought has given me any problem. I spend around $200 CAD online every month buying books, DVDs and games. Shop around and only deal with the seller you can trust.
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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest juzzam
I also live in England and am in the same problem. The only anime ive bought is the full rurouni kenshin series I got off ebay imported from Japan for £50 (inc. P+P). Theyve not came yet so im not sure if theyll work.

But I also found a British site with a large selection on.
City Cyber Anime
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[color=#503f86]There are better places to buy anime than City Cyber, I find. Otaku UK is usually a few quid cheaper, although you do sometimes have to wait a week or so for stock to come in. I've managed to grab hold of some really nice obscure soundtracks from them, and they even went out of their way to find an out of stock item for me, so they'll always tend to be my number one choice.

And because they're UK-based, there's no customs charge ^_^

The problem with importing anime is that it takes away income from the distributors on the home market. There are times when I'm tempted to buy US releases because I can get t whole series there and then, but at least if I wait for the UK releases, then by supporting the distributors here, there's a greater chance of more releases coming our way in future. If all anime's imported, of course there's going to be no market for UK releases.

Unless something has no hope of a UK release (and with the exception of R.O.D the TV, which I've started importing already), from now on I'm hoping to be able to have the strength of mind to only buy UK DVDs to try and bring in some support. There's not really much point in me buying all the availabe FMA DVDs yet anyway, as I'd only have to wait forever for the next ones...[/color]
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[QUOTE=Solo Tremaine][color=#503f86]There are better places to buy anime than City Cyber, I find. Otaku UK is usually a few quid cheaper, although you do sometimes have to wait a week or so for stock to come in. I've managed to grab hold of some really nice obscure soundtracks from them, and they even went out of their way to find an out of stock item for me, so they'll always tend to be my number one choice.

And because they're UK-based, there's no customs charge ^_^

The problem with importing anime is that it takes away income from the distributors on the home market. There are times when I'm tempted to buy US releases because I can get t whole series there and then, but at least if I wait for the UK releases, then by supporting the distributors here, there's a greater chance of more releases coming our way in future. If all anime's imported, of course there's going to be no market for UK releases.

Unless something has no hope of a UK release (and with the exception of R.O.D the TV, which I've started importing already), from now on I'm hoping to be able to have the strength of mind to only buy UK DVDs to try and bring in some support. There's not really much point in me buying all the availabe FMA DVDs yet anyway, as I'd only have to wait forever for the next ones...[/color][/QUOTE]
ah so otakuboards has an english staff member? i never knew that.

i can see what you're saying there, but how can we be sure that series will even be released out here?
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[QUOTE=Lord Dante]ah so otakuboards has an english staff member? i never knew that.

i can see what you're saying there, but how can we be sure that series will even be released out here?[/QUOTE][COLOR=#503F86]Yep, I'm about as English you can get, without the tea, crumpets and posh cockney accent ^_~

You can't often be sure that a series will be released. You can either ask them directly (but you'll either get a vague 'Don't know yet' or a blunt 'Not in the forseeable future'. The best thing to do is regularly check the distributors' websites (e.g., MVM, ADV Films, Beez) or keep checking [URL=http://www.animeuknews.net]UK Anime News[/URL] for a really comprehensive schedule for the upcoming months. It's the best-informed UK anime site I've seen. Very very good.[/COLOR]
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[QUOTE=Solo Tremaine][COLOR=#503F86]Yep, I'm about as English you can get, without the tea, crumpets and posh cockney accent ^_~

You can't often be sure that a series will be released. You can either ask them directly (but you'll either get a vague 'Don't know yet' or a blunt 'Not in the forseeable future'. The best thing to do is regularly check the distributors' websites (e.g., MVM, ADV Films, Beez) or keep checking [URL=http://www.animeuknews.net]UK Anime News[/URL] for a really comprehensive schedule for the upcoming months. It's the best-informed UK anime site I've seen. Very very good.[/COLOR][/QUOTE]
thanks, i'll check them out soon.

Another pro to importing, even with custom charges, it often works out cheaper.
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Guest juzzam
[QUOTE]There are better places to buy anime than City Cyber, I find. Otaku UK is usually a few quid cheaper, although you do sometimes have to wait a week or so for stock to come in. I've managed to grab hold of some really nice obscure soundtracks from them, and they even went out of their way to find an out of stock item for me, so they'll always tend to be my number one choice.[/QUOTE]Thanks Solo this is realy useful info as the only anime ive been able to get cheap was my kenshin off ebay. I realy hate not being able to get much anime here. Sometimes HMV has some and also Play.com , not the biggest selection, but whats theres cheap.
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[quote name='juzzam']Thanks Solo this is realy useful info as the only anime ive been able to get cheap was my kenshin off ebay. I realy hate not being able to get much anime here. Sometimes HMV has some and also Play.com , not the biggest selection, but whats theres cheap.[/quote]Play.com has quite a decent selection, unfortunately only in small quantities
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If you were to be in Istanbul, i would suggest a few places where you could get the complete tv series of escaflowne, x (both 24-25 episodes i guess) for 17 dollars each or so. But from istanbul to england, the shipping costs etc i don't know if it's worth it.
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[color=#9933ff]Solo, cockney is not posh. Don't try and confuse non-British people! ~_~ (lol)

I don't have a credit card, but in my mind, I have never seriously thought about ordering anything bootleg - it's not worth it. (Knowing me, the authorities would break in to their company, find my name on the ordering list and arrest me or something. LOL.) Neither are fan subs - someone I know has Yu Yu Hakusho fansubs that are incredibly horrible with the Japanese sentence structure still intact (think watching hours on end of Yoda speaking and then some).

In terms of out of country shipping, if you have any friends or family that live in the USA, or where ever you're ordering from, you can always ask if you can send it to their address and have them ship it to you, which will bring the cost down somewhat. =) [/color]
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[QUOTE=MistressRoxie][color=#9933ff]Solo, cockney is not posh. Don't try and confuse non-British people! ~_~ (lol)

I don't have a credit card, but in my mind, I have never seriously thought about ordering anything bootleg - it's not worth it. (Knowing me, the authorities would break in to their company, find my name on the ordering list and arrest me or something. LOL.) Neither are fan subs - someone I know has Yu Yu Hakusho fansubs that are incredibly horrible with the Japanese sentence structure still intact (think watching hours on end of Yoda speaking and then some).

In terms of out of country shipping, if you have any friends or family that live in the USA, or where ever you're ordering from, you can always ask if you can send it to their address and have them ship it to you, which will bring the cost down somewhat. =) [/color][/QUOTE]
i wouldn't order bootleg either. the original releases are both better quality, and have more potential as antiques
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[quote name='MistressRoxie][color=#9933ff']Solo, cockney is not posh. Don't try and confuse non-British people! ~_~ (lol) [/color][/quote][color=#503f86]Hee, I mean that quasi-British accent that you so often get used in animes (Read or Die, the Cowboy Bebop movie) that's a sort of mix of cockney and stupidly upperclass people. When I hear people putting on those accents it just makes me cringe. And unfortunately, with R.O.D the TV using a lot of English characters... Makes me wonder how in need of good RP English voices they're in need of, heh.[/color]

[quote name='juzzam]Thanks Solo this is realy useful info as the only anime ive been able to get cheap was my kenshin off ebay. I realy hate not being able to get much anime here. Sometimes HMV has some and also [url="http://www.play.com/"]Play.com[/url'] , not the biggest selection, but whats theres cheap.[/quote][color=#503f86]Otaku.co.uk isn't the cheapest place, but I think it's the best. You can get all sorts of anime stuff there.

Surprisingly, Amazon UK is the cheapest place to buy some anime DVDs. Marketplace sellers can have US discs for as little as £11 a pop and with very little shipping charge. But there's still a risk of a customs charge if you order too much- generally it's over 18 quid's worth. Mind you, Amazon's good even for Region 2 DVDs from the main shop; my Chrono Crusade Vol 1 was only £14.99.[/color]
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[QUOTE=boxybrown305][COLOR=DarkRed]Well, it can be worth it, and it could not be worth it. You have to be carefull with these kinds of things. In terms of international shipping, that will cost a bit more, but no matter where you are, your money should be accepted (excange rates are ussually done automatically).

Another thing to consider is the quality of it. At least half of my anime collection is bootleg, and i'm fine with that. If you must have the official release of everything, it will cost quite a bit more, but many bootlegs are very good quality. I own three disc collections of [B]Trigun[/B] and [B]Cowboy Bebop[/B], and didn't pay more than $25 for either series. I also got the full collection of [B]FLCL[/B] on one disc for $8, all of which are very good quality, and i'm quite satisfied. However, you need to be carefull doing this, as i bought an import of the full series of [B]Elfen Lied[/B]. It is good quality visually, except that the English subs are very bad (blatantly fan subbed, with typos, and "Engrish" everywhere). For that reason, i am now buying EL as it is released in the States.

Basically, if you want to, it can prove to be a good move, but if your not ready to put your trust into international expenses you may want to wait. I don't want to get in trouble posting links to sites selling bootlegs, or anything, but if you would like, i can PM you some of the better sites that i use. You could also go the way of the used anime, and try ebay. They are pretty reliable (only buy something with a picture, and be sure you KNOW WHAT YOUR BUYING!).

My oppinion is, go for it! I don't think international shipping is much of a worry, as i have shipped anime from Japan. But it is all your choice.

[B]Note:[/B] All money previously mentioned is American currency. If you really need to know the difference you'll have to figure out the exchange rate difference on your own.[/COLOR][/QUOTE]

[COLOR=Navy]I'm totally against bootlegs. I can't believe this site which is dedicated to the discussion of all things anime allow this type of "bootleg" discussion. Do you know for every bootleg you buy, you actually "help" destroy anime?

These bootleg companies such as FX, Anime International, MAC, earn money for each and everyone that has worked so hard to share their visions in the form of anime. If you were one of the artists, how would you feel if someone made money off your hard work?

These bootlegs are of okay quality but since they stuff 26 episodes in only 3 discs, they actually ruin the compression of the video. Ebay is actually the worst place to buy anime. One reason, 98% of them are bootlegs. The FX company alone has made over 100 million dollars off of bootlegs. Don't you think the animation studios, voice talents, script writers, etc, deserve all that money.

I don't mean to pry in but when someone such as yourself actually encourages bootlegs to someone else I find that disturbing. Mods, like Dagger shouldn't even allow bootleg encouraging. I know anime is expensive "only" because piracy is so high. [/COLOR] :animeknow
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[QUOTE=Otaku America][color=navy]I'm totally against bootlegs. I can't believe this site which is dedicated to the discussion of all things anime allow this type of "bootleg" discussion. Do you know for every bootleg you buy, you actually "help" destroy anime?[/color]
[color=navy][/color]
[color=navy]I don't mean to pry in but when someone such as yourself actually encourages bootlegs to someone else I find that disturbing. Mods, like Dagger shouldn't even allow bootleg encouraging. I know anime is expensive "only" because piracy is so high. [/color]:animeknow[/QUOTE][COLOR=#503F86]This isn't a discussion just about bootlegs- it's primarily about whether it's wrth importing anime into the UK. And unfortunately, since bootlegs cover such a huge portion of the market, it's silly just to deny that they exist.

I only buy genuine releases now. In fact, I intend to buy all eight Trigun DVDs to replace the FX set I bought on eBay some time ago. But a lot of people simply don't have the money to spend. And when you're faced with a choice between a whole series for $120 and the whole series for $25, which is the one you're going to go for, realistically?

I'm sure a lot of people don't know the difference, and won't until they get the DVD. Even buying genuine soundtracks is getting increasingly hard. I ordered an Outlaw Star CD which I was told on the listing was released by Victor Records, but when I got it back, it turned out to be an Ever Anime bootleg. I'm going to re-order that, too.

I'm not an advocate of bootlegs. Or downloads, for that matter. I hate them. But until there's proper control over what is sold in internet shops (and really, I don't think most eBay sellers actually care- they just want to make money in the same way the bootleg companies do), they are going to be the foremost provider of anime around the world. It's sick and irritating, but that's just how it is.[/COLOR]
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[QUOTE=Solo Tremaine][COLOR=#503F86]This isn't a discussion just about bootlegs- it's primarily about whether it's wrth importing anime into the UK. And unfortunately, since bootlegs cover such a huge portion of the market, it's silly just to deny that they exist.

I only buy genuine releases now. In fact, I intend to buy all eight Trigun DVDs to replace the FX set I bought on eBay some time ago. But a lot of people simply don't have the money to spend. And when you're faced with a choice between a whole series for $120 and the whole series for $25, which is the one you're going to go for, realistically?

[/COLOR][/QUOTE]
Well as a person who has to live on 650$ per month only i could not agree more. You should not expect me to wait for the time i get a high-salary job or to save to be able to buy original stuff. The thing is if i were to buy everything originally, this would be such an expensive hobby that i would not be able to watch anything from then onwards. Yet, whenever i see fit, i try to gather movies, at least original, such as samurai x (trust and betrayal) or miyazaki works. However, i repeat if i were to buy 167episode inuyashas i would be starving by now... There is a tradeoff in everthing, i agree that people should be granted their hardwork's expenses and more, but only when i am in a position to satisfy that.
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