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Anime The Death of Subtitled VHS


Milliardo
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[font=comic sans ms]Well, to get a serious topic on this forum, as well as discuss an issue, here is something that I found in another board. I think it has deeply concerned the anime community online and off, in some way:[/font]

The death of Subtitled VHS:

In recent months, a new trend has begun among the U.S. anime companies, the complete cancellation of subtitled VHS releases. This sudden move is so shocking that it caught many fans off guard. Debates are being waged on the Internet about wether it is an attempt to retire all subtitled releases permanently. Before things get out of hand, people should look at the facts and the reasons behind this sudden universal industry trend. Why are subtitled VHS releases being canceled? The reasons are twofold, lack of retail support and the advent of anime on DVD.

Let's look at how the situation began. Around three to four months ago, Central Park Media announced all subtitled releases were being placed on moratorium. Some new releases and ongoing series such as Slayers would still have subtitled versions, but for the most part, they were no longer producing subtitled tapes. Soon after, Bandai announced there would be no subtitled release of Gundam Wing. ADV was next in line when they made a similar announcement. AnimEigo shocked the entire anime community by announcing that they were switching to DVD exclusively. For years, anime companies have been trying to target the non-anime consumer. This is why dubbed tapes have always been priced lower to lure them in. As a result, only hardcore fans purchase subtitled tapes. Since subtitled tapes don't produce enough profit, retailers such as Suncoast no longer wish to buy them from manufacturers.

Declining retail sales are also caused by the factor, the explosion of anime on DVD. In the last year, anime DVD releases have become a major part of the DVD market. With DVD, anime companies can present their product in near perfect visual quality and sound, as well as offer lower price box sets. Compare the pricing on a VHS and DVD release. For thirty dollars, one could buy two subtitled episodes of Cowboy Bebop on VHS. For the same amount of money, one could buy the DVD, which contains five episodes in both languages, as well as many extras. Who would buy the tape in this situation? Not even considering dual languages or bonuses, the episode count on the DVD gives it the clear advantage. In response to this, VHS fans state that anime companies are forcing them to buy DVD players against their will. The answer can be let go of VHS.

Fans are unfairly lashing out at companies. Robert Woodhead, CEO of AnimEigo, stated "The subtitled VHS market has gone to hell in the last six months." He made a bold move by switching to DVD. Look at it from his perspective; AnimEigo is a small company, and its lifeblood is rooted in subtitled releases. If retailers don't want to buy subtitled tapes, what is Mr. Woodhead would do? Should he sell subtitled tapes on the street or college campuses? Of course not. He's seen how the market is going, and his company has to adept if it wishes to survive. If AnimEigo dies off, who will release the classics like Macross and Urusei Yatsura? Although other companies have more resources, they share the same concerns. Fans who can't see this are trying to stir up trouble. Recently, someone started an online petition for ADV to release a subtitled VHS version of Sakura Diaries. So far, he only has a handful votes. The reason is that it's a pointless battle. Some say we must let go of VHS and embrace DVD; it allows anime to look and sound better than it ever has before. Chris Beveridge, who runs the popular site animeondvd, best summarized the sentiments. On the title bar of the website is a quote that reads: "Anime on DVD: no longer the future, it's reality."

[font=comic sans ms]Well, that's the topic. And hopefully it will make for a good discussion.[/font]
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Guest Imsirion
I think that sucks because I have a vcr in my room and I always get animes for it. I have a dvd player in my computer but I dont like to sit in the living room at the computer to watch movies.:(
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I think there are only a few reasons they stopped making Subbed VHS. They are something like:

a) VHS can be easily copied, thus taking away ALOT of profits from Anime Companies.

b) Alot of companies who make subbed tapes, aren't really popular with the "kids"... Kids just buy that crappy FUNimation stuff and don't look twice at the subbed tapes.

c) Why buy a tape when you can get a DVD for $3 more and it has 3 times the stuff?
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I resently have updated all of my classic VHS Subbed to DVD(which didn't make my wallet too happy). But as you have said, you can get twice as more. Like all of Cowboy Bebop on only 3 discs, for a price of only $37.ºº! So I am not complaining, about the switch. I think it will help the Anime community. You say the would buy only the dubbed tapes, but if they buy the DVD instead they will be exposed to subtitled Anime, most likely slowly turning them into Die Hard Anime fans. I am really happy that more and more companies are switching to DVD. Hey we might even get some more OtakuBoards.com members!


:smoke:
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[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by Transtic Nerve [/i]
[B]I think there are only a few reasons they stopped making Subbed VHS. They are something like:

a) VHS can be easily copied, thus taking away ALOT of profits from Anime Companies.

b) Alot of companies who make subbed tapes, aren't really popular with the "kids"... Kids just buy that crappy FUNimation stuff and don't look twice at the subbed tapes.

c) Why buy a tape when you can get a DVD for $3 more and it has 3 times the stuff? [/B][/QUOTE]

yeah, I'd have to agree with you there, TN, I myself usually buy dvd's rather than tape's nowadays....
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[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by Transtic Nerve [/i]
[B]b) Alot of companies who make subbed tapes, aren't really popular with the "kids"... Kids just buy that crappy FUNimation stuff and don't look twice at the subbed tapes.[/B][/QUOTE]

Well TN, I too am a kid, but let me just tell you that I'm not a fan of FUNi at all, it's just I don't get enough money to buy all of the eps in Subbed DVD/Video! ;)

Right now I'm saving up for some Anime DVDs, and hopefully when I'm 12 and I get an allowance, I'll be able to buy Subbed Anime DVDs such as EVA much more often.

So I believe your theory of "how kids don't think twice about subbed tapes" is wrong. :whoops: :lecture:
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  • 2 weeks later...

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