So apparently Bandai Visual acquired the licenses for Shigofumi and true tears.
They are going to start releasing them in May. They are going to coincide with the Japan DVD releases.
And they are charging a normal price point for them.
That’s right. $29.99 MSRP DVDs from Bandai Visual/Honneamise. Except Shigofumi is still $39.99, and true tears has one episode, but whatever. PROGRESS!
This is amazing news. That is some incredible turnaround time for releasing DVDs in America. At this point, I no longer care whether the series will end up being any good or not (as they stand right now, they’re very good, and I don’t see that changing). This is a brilliant move by a company that was the butt of every joke a few months ago. The anime industry is making progress towards eliminating the somewhat artifical need for fansubs altogether. They’ll always be around, as long as there’s unlicensed series that merit attention, and I can’t totally see myself supporting buying series unseen on a regular basis, but this is a step in the right direction. Next we just need official subtitled subscriptions offered by the licensor that have a short turnaround time (+/- one week, although simultaneous broadcast and release on the subscription service would be amazing) and companies can finally provide a legal alternative to fansubs at low cost to fans. Fansubs are nice and convenient, but not when they cut into domestic DVD sales.
I’ve already preordered these DVDs. It’s a far sight better than Bandai Visual’s last offerings. $20/$27 (which is what they’ll cost at TRSI if you preorder and have the membership discount) is a lot better looking for 1/2 episodes than $60. I’d still rather see it down at Simoun-level price points, but hey–they’re trying.