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I was just reading Kurogane’s post here and I couldn’t help but think about how “lame” I really am.

No, I dont buy anime dvds anymore -I used to-. All I have is my one measly tower. Dvds used to be $30 each. Remember those days? I bought 6 episodes of FLCL for $90. I’ve seen them all so many times, I’ve at least broke even in value, but I could not justify buying anything else. I could’ve gotten a video game for $40 and used it much more. -The only dvd now I can really feel like I’ll get my money’s worth is Honey and Clover and that’s not even out despite it being licensed-.

But then Best Buy decided to change it up and make it $20 per. That’s when I went crazy. I bought a dvd every other week, pretty much. Yet after a while, I just realized that it really wasn’t worth it anymore. I was buying Eva and .hack and Azumanga Daioh. Though they were all great shows, after buying them, I’ve only seen them all once. Each dvd had about 5 episodes so I’m paying $4 per episode pretty much. $4 goes a long way now that reality smacked me around a couple times.

Today, I appreciate money even more. Instead of a pb&j sandwich for dinner, I could go to my campus marketplace and get a burger instead. What a difference. When I do feel like I can spend money, I’d get manga instead -as seen here-. Now it’s not that much better but I love reading them more than watching them. When you get a new manga, you can just curl up in a sofa or in bed, play some j-music in the background, and just read away. I’d take that experience over sitting in the dark and watching a dvd. Hold that thought.

Now the other reason why I’m lame: I dont vote. I could care less about politics. They’re so boring and I guess I’m just too immature. To me, they’re just making a bunch of empty promises anyways, it doesn’t matter who’s up at the helm.

My argument? One vote doesn’t matter. There are so many people in this one section of this one state out of 50 states in this one country to over millions of people, what will one vote change? One of my friend likes to make the argument that if we take a bunch of people who think the same way as me, and if we all voted, it could radically change everything… or you know, it could not. What if we all just voted like the majority of people who voted already? No difference. Say I dont vote, but IF I did, I’d vote for Obama. Say Obama then wins anyways despite me not voting, if I voted, would that then make Obama even more of a president? (Note: I’m still note voting and my example of Obama means nothing).

So my question: What if one more person doesn’t buy an anime dvd? Does it affect the market that much? How much money does a company get per dvd anyways? It goes through the store and all these middlemen before it gets to the company… does it not? If anyone actually knows, I’m curious. If that one more person bought dvds say, once every month, will a boost in sales by one person make a company want to bring more series over? Say I decide to start buying dvds but only through those websites that have major clearances. I’m buying a bunch of dvds for the price of one. Whoopie, ADV made $.50 today because I decided to buy something of theirs that didn’t sell so great initially. Hell, who knows if they even get the money with those kinds of sites.

Say we took my friend’s argument and a bunch of people in my sector decide to spend more of our money on ani-dvds. The question at hand is how much is “this bunch”? Despite the rise in popularity of anime over the past few years, there still really aren’t that many fans compared to the entire population. That bunch of people wont make that much of a difference. I think that only if the entire community was forced to buy dvds then it’d make a difference.

Of course there’s the issue of actually affording to buy the dvds. I have to work with kids all day and then wait tables. Money’s no longer easy to come by. Mom and Pops aren’t gonna shower me with gifts anymore. My lame-ass cant just afford it.

14 comments to “Buying Anime DVDs is Like Voting: Does It Make a Difference?”

  1. Comment by Vote (please)!No Gravatar:

    Of course it makes a difference! It’s like your friend says, a vote/ a DVD doesn’t change much, but we’re talking millions of votes/DVDs here.

    In a some unrelated comment I think your political views are just sad. I agree with you when you say the majority of politicians are not to be trusted, but if the people don’t vote, democracy doesn’t work. This is especially serious when you consider the impact of USA’s politics in the rest of the world. (I’m from South America) I really hope there are not many people your age who think like you do, and that you change your mind until elections.

    I’m sorry, I don’t mean to offend but is just frustrating to see that we are so dependant of USA’s politics and can do nothing about it while some other people are not ready to take (civic) responsibility.

    BTW I like your blog, been reading from some days now. =o)

  2. Comment by azndlangelNo Gravatar:

    You make a very good point.

    So here’s a question for you. Why does manga/anime even exist? If everyone in the world was like you, with their refusal to buy the books and dvds that are released, will there still be companies that are willing to release them?

    My answer would be no, because we can also use the analogy of an average person. I mean would you really want to go to work and your salary per hour is $0? I don’t think so. Heck nothing in the world is really free.

    So let’s narrow things down a little. If everyone in a country, let’s say the U.S., had the same opinion as you, and didn’t buy any of the DVDs or books which are released, would companies such as Tokyopop, ADV, etc etc still want to release those animes or mangas in the US? No, they wouldn’t, because they want some revenue.
    No revenue = No incentive for the companies to keep on releasing these things the the American public.

    Now let’s see how much these companies made at the end of the previous fiscal year, According to Hoover’s: 
ADV: $29.1 MIL
    Tokyopop: $10.9 MIL
    VIZ: $18.0 MIL

    So far, I believe these companies are doing pretty well considering that anime and manga aren’t as mainstream as other products that are popular in America.

    However, it is good that there aren’t as many people who share this type of view with you. I mean yes there are people, like me, who aren’t very willing to buy these things because we’re pretty broke. However you cannot just lash out against this entire community. The reasons why DVDs/Mangas are going up in price is because of everything you mentioned. The companies still want a rather large chunk of profit, but hey, they look at the BIGGER picture, while you are looking at small part of the picture.

    Now voting, can also be seem as a similar topic. I mean, why is America a democratic country? Because we have the right to vote, and many other rights if you look into the history of America. With your dark view of politicians, wouldn’t it be better if America became a communist/socialist country? I mean you, the average person do not need to make any decisions for your country, doesn’t that seem perfect? The majority disagrees.

    Why do we even have the right to vote? So our voices can be heard. If nobody in the United States voted for their candidate, doesn’t that mean that we have no choice in who we want to run our country? It’s like you have two evils in each hand, to die of cancer or to get killed, which would you choose? For me I’d rather die of cancer so I can still have time left to be with my family and friends. I see that as the lesser evil. You on the other hand might want to get killed so you won’t have to go through as much pain that a person with cancer might suffer. It’s the same with the politicians, you pick the politician that you believe to be less corrupt to run the country. Unless of course you really do want that situation of COMMUNIST USA to really happen.
    You can also wonder why voting age starts at 18. However if our predecessors didn’t demand this right, the draft, which was very active in the 1960’s, might still be effective. However those young people back then didn’t want to go fight in some war without consent. No because they wanted to voice their opinion, they demanded government to lower the voting age from 21 to 18.

    Somehow this reply might not make sense, but I tried.

  3. Comment by OsNo Gravatar:

    No no, it makes sense. I asked myself multiple times writing this post if it made sense too.

    I am indeed looking at the smaller picture, aka, just myself. If we look at the situation we are in now, even if I dont, there are still people voting and still people buying dvds. I am making up an excuse for myself and curious to see if it’d work for “a bunch of people” rather than “just me”. From the way you put it, it would not. But if we just single me out, then it wont make a difference… you know what I’m saying?

    As for voting, I chuckled to myself as I probably would have chose the “get killed” option. Before I really understood what everything was about, when I was small, I thought that the best solution is for everyone to have the same stuff… but you know, I was hoping that everyone would have a big screen tv and a dreamcast or something. In my vision of the future, we also had flying cars. SO that can only hold so much water. That’s the communism that would never happen. So I’m fine with democratic America. I’m fine with others voting. I’m fine if they choose for me. I’m just more worried about my own personal bubble than the bubble of America. Yes, selfish, I know. I just dont like people saying that I HAVE to vote because it’s my responsibility.

    Now the first comment above, it made me think a little. I’m not going to reject every idea as having someone else plea for me to vote really makes you think. But right now, the least I can do is consider it a bit more than I did before -none at all-.

  4. Comment by A Day Without MeNo Gravatar:

    Ok, so I’m just gonna pick on one point here, but…

    I think you should vote, if you have the time to. So many people in this country have died for the right to vote that to not vote seems to be in betrayal of their sacrifices and efforts. I don’t care if you’re writing someone in, at least exercise that right – maybe it seems pointless when you consider how many votes there are, but at least do it for those who suffered in the void before voting rights were expanded beyond first landowners, and later women and non-Caucasians.

  5. Comment by azndlangelNo Gravatar:

    I believe, that when most of us were younger, we thought everyone should have the same things. I believed that too. However I grew up to be more neutral than some others. I mean I don’t care too much about caring as well, though I do think I might vote when I need to. But with the country in recession and the war and everything, I think most Americans want a way out. It’s fine if you just want others to make your decision for you. Just make sure you don’t regret it. Like when people voted for Bush, yeaaa a lot of people must’ve regretted not voting for the other guy.

    And business is always more global than just focused on just one person. Especially in the anime/manga world. Each book/dvd sold represents how many people who are actually interested in the series. With how badly the US Dollar is doing, I don’t think anyone will blame you for not adding too many to your collection. However my collection includes 2 official dvds, one being a gift, and a bunch of bootlegs of sailormoon which my aunt gave me when she came to visit the U.S. 8D Yay for China.

  6. Comment by blissmoNo Gravatar:

    I’m too cheap to afford anime dvds

  7. Comment by TenNo Gravatar:

    Dude, you have to vote!

    As for DVDs/manga, I have this very consumer approach to purchasing. I buy because I want it. I work hard for my dollar, and supporting the industry only comes so far. If the industry wants to make profit, it has to step up its game and not rely on traditional means of advertising. That’s how I see the world of business should work.

  8. Comment by hayaseNo Gravatar:

    Os, maybe you should consider voting. I mean, it’s just one day right? Me, I vote even though I know my candidate has a bigger chance of losing than winning. I also second Vote (please)!’s sentiments.

    About DVDs, well, I can actually afford one but there’s nothing to buy where I’m from! If I could someday I’d get the Macross, Honey and Clover, Marimite, and ARIA DVDs. These are the shows I re-watch the most.

  9. Comment by mayaNo Gravatar:

    Well, I vote only because I feel guilty if I don’t, and my family would get on my case if I didn’t anyway. I do, however, live with someone who doesn’t vote either, but he’s a die-hard Republican so it’s better if he doesn’t (only kidding)…

    As for DVDs, I do feel bad that I haven’t purchased as much as I should. The only anime I’ve really purchased are Neon Genesis Evangelion and Akira. That’s sooo sad, and it makes me feel like I should be supporting these companies more than I have been considering that I want to watch good quality anime. So…when I finally get that good paying job, I’ll buy to my heart’s content. And that’s another thing. A lot of people who watch anime are struggling students who can’t afford to buy those expensive DVDs. Is it wrong for them to watch fansubs because it’s free? Also, this will sound *horrible*, but I know that if I had to pay $4 a pop for most of the episodes I watched, I would find another hobby. A cheaper hobby, like digital photography.

  10. Comment by MrMayatNo Gravatar:

    Wait. You work with kids? Now there’s a thought…

    I buy DVDs in a blue moon, and only if the price is right. Same goes for manga.

  11. Comment by danie~No Gravatar:

    Complaining about $4/ep will piss people who spend their hard-earned money to buy R2 for $30/ep.
    Here in Australia, it’s about $7/ep, and to be honest I never rewatch almost all the crap I own (except the extras), since I’ve watched the fansubs before I decided to buy them for the sake of owning things I like. And I want them to continue releasing the good stuffs.
    ..Though I’m converting to R1 now since I knew they’re releasing Marimite and Aria, and the fact that Rightstuf has an unbelievably low price. You guys should feel lucky to live in US. 😛

    Anyway, I hope people will start to realize they’re not supposed to take the industry for granted. One anime fan buying one DVD every month can change the world. I was really happy when I saw Aria was #1 pre-order in Righstuf… so yeah, just my 2c here.

  12. Comment by animemizNo Gravatar:

    I would buy dvds for sure if they’re something I want to keep and manga.. somehow I feel rail road by the bl I get… so you’re right on how the one vote doesn’t really mean much, altho ppl are trying to make sure they get their voices heard.

  13. Comment by scottfryeNo Gravatar:

    Only in the past year I have started to buy DVDs. And I agree with danie. I don’t buy anime DVDs because I want to support the industry. I buy it because I want to own it and I like it. No other reason.

    But you should not take the anime industry for granted. I mean they create the stuff you love. Don’t take it for granted. Some people don’t even have the chance to buy it.

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