Studio Pierrot’s president will apparently be at Kinokuniya this Saturday. That’s about a five minute walk from where I work, except, of course, I don’t work on Saturday. I can’t decide if it’d be worth it to go; after all, I don’t pretend to be a real journalist, and am not sure exactly how interesting I would find Mr. Nunokawa’s speech. Undoubtedly, more professional bloggers than myself will provide all the in-depth coverage I could want. Besides, most of the time, going to Kinokuniya ends in me having bought something I didn’t need. They’re giving away passes to New York Anime Fest, which would be a fantastic incentive, except that I won’t be in the state when the con occurs. Oh, woe.
In other news though, there’s been some discussion about Xam’d on the PS3 and Gurren Lagann’s dub release on iTunes. Aside from the fact that Xam’d is exclusive to the most expensive console out there, many people have clamored that its price is outrageous. Now the same’s being said about Gurren Lagann. $51 for a 27 episode series amounts to about $1.88 an episode. That’s really only marginally better than the $1.99/ep you’d be paying without the “season pass,” which would add up to, gasp, $54 total instead. That’s pretty comparable to the Cowboy Bebop regular edition DVD boxset, which retails for about $50 (not counting your awesome Amazon discount). Except that an iTunes download is not a DVD. An iTunes download does not provide both the dub and sub tracks; it provides no extras and no pretty packaging. So, yeah, I think I’ll be in the camp with the people saying this is pretty ridiculous.
Oh, yeah, and Xam’d? That bitch is just a single-vocal track rental. And it costs more than Gurren Lagann to buy. Awesome! Now, just about everyone is a proponent of digital distribution, especially recently with the global economic slowdown. (Oh, crude oil hit a three-month low today; that’s good to hear, right?) That combined with the ever prevailant force of fansubs have more or less forced anime companies to take this route, but come on… should that make things cheaper, not more expensive? You’re ditching the fancy box and extra features and just putting the thing up for download — why does that cost the consumer more than buying something physical? Just doesn’t make sense.
It kind of reminds me of all the stuff airlines are trying to do now to break even, except backwards. Instead of charging you now for things they’ve given away free in the past, they’re not giving you the extras at all and making you pay more anyway! I don’t get it, do you? Sometimes I feel bad about not taking advantage of the legal digital downloads that are currently available — after all, companies need to be reassured that this is indeed what their consumers want — but aside from the fact that I own neither use iTunes nor own a PS3, there’s no way I’d ever pay that much for so little. I’m a cheapskate and rarely even buy DVDs, why would I take less and pay more?
Maybe I really should go see Mr. Nunokawa after all. Maybe he could answer some of these questions. Except his company isn’t among the ones pulling these weird stunts. D’oh.