Not so long after my previous post, we’ve hit Announcement Season again. Frustratingly, the first anime-releated announcement out of the gate is another example of the same collector bias I posted about last time.
Sword Art Online II has been picked up by Anime Limited who will be starting off by releasing a DVD Standard Edition and a Blu-ray (technically a BD+DVD combo) Collector Edition.
And no standard BD any time soon.
Once again, as a fair few releases appear to be doing of late, the deck is being stacked against those who prefer physical Blu-rays but neither need nor even want anything more than a standard barebones edition.
To be fair to Anime limited, it is an Aniplex series. They probably had a hand in making sure that the only BDs available anywhere had a minimum price and/or a maximum quality. Western non-collector fans seem to matter very little to them. Which, as a general rule, is why I tend to avoid getting too invested in Aniplex shows these days. But SAO is a series I’m already in, so I’m kinda stuck.
Predictably, though, there is already a lot of complaint about the high-seeming prices. Even though retail prices tend to knock a chunk from the SRP (Suggested Retail price), it still means that the full 24 episodes is lining up to be around £100 or more, retail. And that really is more than 24 episodes are worth.
As I’ve said before, nothing wrong with collector versions existing. But standard editions for people who get zero value out of the physical extras really ought to be catered for at the same time. Booklets and artboxes just aren’t worth the price overhead for some of us.