Priceless Video? “Because the episodes are worth how much?”

My post tonight is going to talk about the pricing of DVD’s of anime.  How much do you as a consumer really think an episode of anime is worth?  Do you think that what the companies such as Funimation and Bandai are charging are fair prices overall?

I know that many people will ask you that it depends on which series it is because everyone likes different series.  My two favorite series are Elfen Lied and Maria Sama Ga Miteru two series which are completely different from each other and I would actually pay quite a bit more than a reasonable amount of money if they ever released a second season of Elfen Lied or a fourth season of Maria-sama ga Miteru.

Sei taking a nap on Shimako's lap. Can't wait for the fourth season

Sei and Shimako from Maria-sama Ga Miteru

However I must say that there would be stipulations on what I would pay for and how much I would pay.  I would probably consider paying at most $60 for a limited edition DVD of either set (Elfen Lied or Maria-sama) if it came with a decent amount of extras.  I mean non-disc extras.  I would want a plushie, (I would take a Lucy/Nyu plushie in a heartbeat), figurine wouldn’t be bad, stickers, manga volume, etc. If it was just the DVD I would pay around $40.

Let me get this out of the way first, I am a subs watcher I have heard enough bad dubs that I prefer subs over dubs.  Now do I completely disregard dubs, no I still see a few every now and then, but if I had a preference it would be subs.  (By bad dubs I mean Elfen Lied and Ikkitousen to name two)  However, even though I prefer subs I would not pay $30 for a DVD of four or five episodes of subs.  Which is what some companies now are doing to cut costs.

It does not make sense to me, I know that the American anime industry isn’t doing very good right now, but why in the heck would I pay $30 for something that many people make for free?  I mean I know they have the license so legally you would have to buy it if you wanted to see it, but this is just ridiculous when professional companies want to do this in my opinion.  Put a subtitle track on it maybe an extra like a character biography or something, some artwork on the case and there you have a $30 DVD.

It may seem like I’m contradicting myself some since I just said I really only watch subs, but I will not pay $30 for a subtitle track.  If you put a dub on there I could see that because you put way more time and resources into it so I could see myself paying more and rightfully so because you have done a complete job in localizing it for your selected region so they should own rights to that.  I understand paying more for limited editions with all the extras, (although some of Bandai’s $80 DVD’s are pushing it) I see myself paying more money for full seasons, but not just for subtitles.

I know that the price has gone way down as compared to earlier years, and your ability to find anime is just a click a way or a drive away.  The cost of licensing fees has gone way up and I can see that as being a main reason for them trying to cut other costs as much as possible and still make some profit.  However, maybe some companies (Funimation) could slow down a little bit and not license everything under the sun that lately has been coming out.

It’s just my opinion though of seeing people pay $30 for subtitles, I may be a minoirity in the industry but that’s just me.  What do you guys think?  On average what would you pay for sub only DVD’s.  Let’s say one DVD of a series with four episodes.  The series is a middle ground for you, you don’t hate but you don’t turn into a fanboy/fangirl over hearing the name of the series.  What would you pay let me know.  I would pay around  $10-15 just to let you know.