Strike Witches 2 “$50 an Episode”


The pricing for the Strike Witches 2 discs has been announced, and even desperate lolicon are aghast at the pound of flesh demanded for each episode of government approved loli pantsu/nopan goodness.

The Blu-ray limited edition (and there is no normal Blu-ray edition) is to retail at ¥9,240, whilst the lowly DVD can be had at ¥7,665 limited and ¥6,090 for the peasant edition.

There are 6 discs in total, suggesting 12 episodes for the series.

DVD prices for Japanese anime releases are normally kept high on the basis that total revenues are higher from selling a small number of hideously expensive discs to a tiny niche of creepy anime watchers than from selling a slightly larger number of cheap discs to the same tiny niche of creepy anime watchers – sound business sense it would seem.

However, even by these standards Strike Witches is commanding a premium – the same season sees BD editions of Amagami and Sekirei at ¥7,140, although Railgun seems to have it beat with a single $70 episode due.

Fortunately, miserly or bankrupt American pauper fans can perhaps expect an eventual overseas release at a fraction of the price.

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    Avatar of gundam4ever2
    Comment by gundam4ever2
    02:54 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    number one way to fight piracy is to make your product affordable so more people can buy it.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    Not necessarily. The Strike Witches market is sufficiently small that even giving it away free would still mean only a tiny following. In these cases the best option may be to coax a portion of this small audience into buying at high prices, rather than offer low prices to a larger portion.

    Avatar of Myballz
    Comment by Myballz
    10:47 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    So Artafact are they trying to market this anime to the rich?

    Avatar of bloo
    Comment by bloo
    09:04 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Very true. Anyone who claims that these companies would suddenly sell millions more discs and increase their profits tenfold by lowering the disc prices are absolute idiots. There is something called price elasticity, which basically tries to determine how much more or less a product will sell corresponding to a price increase or decrease.

    For example, let's say you have a total of 100,000 people interested in buying your product, and only these 100k will buy it. Let's say that if you price the product at 6k yen, 60% of those people will buy it. For every 2k you lower the price of the product, 20% more people will buy it and vice-versa for increasing the price.

    6k yen*60k= 3.6 million yen
    4k yen*80k= 3.2 million yen
    8k yen*40k= 3.2 million yen

    As you can see, by lowering the amount of the product, you already lose some profit. Anime like Strike Witches or any other late-night anime has a very small market. And like Artefact said, even if you gave it away for free, still only those 100k or so people will take it.

    These companies have found something that works for them, and the fans have shown that they're fine with it. In fact, if it wasn't for this business model, there would be no more anime, at least the kind that people around here like to watch. Just try to think about the whole picture before proclaiming crap like lol japan and otaku are idiots for paying these prices. If it wasn't for them paying up, the R1 market would never have their precious $20 thinpacks with 50 episodes sets.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:14 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    and to support this post: the supply and demand law.

    As bloob pointed out, the market for strike witches is pretty low. Because the are too few buyers, the dvd supply for SW must be low, and in consequence, the price must be high in order to receive some profit of it (to compensate the poor quantity of the potential buyers and the cost of production). The other way around, if the supplier starts making too much dvd's, sure they can sell them at a low cost, but because of the small market, the people won't buy all of them and thus, they keep stock, which in reallity, they are just loses.

    By combining this law and the price elasticity, the companies can "predict" how much they have to produce with a certain price tag in order to produce big fatty revenues.

    This also explains why limited editions and luxury stuff are highly priced.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:38 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ah but you forget supply and demand and price equilibrium, at a certain point the price goes way past the price equilibrium and even less people are willing to pay that price thus the demand goes down. Assuming the consumer is rational, and all consumers are rational right? Right?.

    So you are telling me that you would pay 70 USD for thirty minutes of entertainment. Ever heard of the Cost Benefit Analysis skill use it some time it might help.

    These prices are ridiculous, any sane person would not purchase 30 minutes of entertainment for 70 bucks that is irrational.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:23 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah, but let me tell you that THE COMPANIES ALWAYS PRODUCE IN THE EQUILIBRIUM POINT. The explanation above is just why the price tag on this particular DVD. You are just describing the what if situation. That's why you need the price elasticity in order to see if you are really working near or on the equilibrium point.

    Now let me remind you that we are talking about OTAKUS..not rational people. They are willing to pay the price of those DVD's, that's why they are selling them at that price. And yeah I know the cost of opportunity, but, think about it: What may be discarding in order to buy those dvd's???. ANOTHER ANIME-MANGA-RELATED ITEM! so, in the end, their cost of opportunity only relies on what they want first, not on necesities.

    Of course I could be completely wrong, but otakus are a whole damn mysterious world. I wonder if I can make this the central topic of my economics thesis?

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:25 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    @12:38 Anon

    You seem to be under the assumption that the people buying this are soley buying it for that 46 minutes (40 discluding OP and ED) of animation.

    There's simply the fact of owning the discs - there is also the extras that come with limited edition versions.

    You also seem to be under the assumption that this niche market in Japan is sane. Who said this was the case?

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:58 08/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    The fact they are using this business model does not mean it's working as they think it is. It just means they aren't willing to seek out alternatives.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:13 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't buy anime to watch it, I've already done that. The only reasons I purchase it is to put some money into the pockets of the producers for creating something I enjoy, and for the collectability factor. It's basically a donation anyways, so the, "expense", is rather irrelevant.

    Avatar of bloo
    Comment by bloo
    21:04 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Haha, very true. Sure, I pulled the numbers out of my ass, but I wasn't about to spend hours of my time researching the statistics and doing the actual calculations involved for a post on a place like Sankaku.

    This, however, doesn't change the fact that price elasticity is very real (although much more complicated than my crude explanation made it out to be), and that it applies to the anime market very much in the way I described it. Late-night anime just doesn't have the millions strong market that people seem to think it does, even in Japan. This means the studios and companies involved have to do anything and everything they can in order to turn a profit. And the current business model seems to be working for them, even if it is as backwards as many anime fans in the R1 market seem to think it is.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:40 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Bloo, that's just random predictions, not any better than fortune tellers and astrologists. Your numbers are not any more creditable than a set of numbers derived from a RNG.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:34 08/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    That may work short term, but it greatly inhibits growth. If you want to grow a business, you need to bring in more people. You can't do that well if the price of entrance is so high. All you are left with is the ultra-fanboys who will slowly bleed away as every season a handful of them realize that its just not worth it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:26 08/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    So Strike Witches is expensive because it sucks?

    Because that would seem to be what posts are hinting at.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    You don't do that with a title like Strike Witches.

    You'd use a "gateway drug" like Naruto...

    Avatar of DHYohko
    Comment by DHYohko
    06:37 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    how about making normal dvd's normal priced but making the SE BD disks the price above? probalby the best way to make more money is to make it affordable to as many pockets as possible while keeping the reasons otakus' want it intact

    Avatar of mirumu
    Comment by mirumu
    07:17 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    The first season Strike Witches DVDs were Gonzo's best selling discs ever. They sold for around 6800yen each, but were produced very poorly. There wasn't even a paper insert inside the disc case let alone a book, and the plastic itself was very cheap low grade plastic. Really felt like they were made on the cheap. I know because I personally bought all six volumes. Blu-ray was already popular by then, but I assume Gonzo didn't have the money to release them.

    The recommended price of the second season Blu-rays is expensive, but I see Amazon Japan has them for 6838 yen each. That's quite an improvement to me.

    Avatar of obro
    Comment by obro
    04:34 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I agree.I was exclusive pirate for PC.But when I saw what Steam did...I started paying.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:27 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    During the summer sale on steam, I spent more on games than I did in the last 2 years.

    Avatar of Ghost Dog
    Comment by Ghost Dog
    03:21 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I agree completely. I wouldn't think less of anyone who gets this and other high priced anime off the internet with prices like that. You can buy full length blu-ray quality movies in the U.S. for a fraction of that cost.

    The anime industry will have to go through dramatic changes eventually, but for now some companies would rather milk their biggest fans dry to keep up revenue.

    Avatar of RopeXPantsu
    Comment by RopeXPantsu
    05:39 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    You can buy full length blu-ray quality movies in the U.S. for a fraction of that cost.

    The market for hollywood movies and the market for anime are completely different. Thinking that anime and hollywood movies should be sold at similar prices JUST BECAUSE THEY BOTH COME ON A DISK is just stupid.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:25 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    You know what else is stupid, otaku-kun?

    Paying $100.00 for 40 minutes of a freaking cartoon! A FREAKING CARTOON!!

    Avatar of darkcard
    Comment by darkcard
    08:21 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah,but not 4x the amount. That being said, I love this anime! So worth the money. I can't wait for a US release.

    Avatar of Firetribe
    Comment by Firetribe
    23:29 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)


    You act as if you're going to pay these prices.

    When it actually comes out internationally, it will come out much cheaper you know?

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:36 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    coz making a cartoon is as easy as swatting a fly.

    i understand that YOU don't like animated drawing but please don't belittle other people (hard) work.

    still, $100 is a lot for this anime, at least for me, pass.

    P.S. and you know how ironic your post is, weaboo-"kun"

    Avatar of Lonesnipa
    Comment by Lonesnipa
    22:18 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I just wish to point out that the hollywood movies have to make more money then anime, due to the budgets for the movies themselves. So by any logic those should be more expensive. Anime is just as expensive as it is because they are trying to gouge every penny they can from the idiots who WILL pay 100 dollars for 2 episodes of an anime. I had a hard enough time paying 100 dollars for the origonal FMA anime.

    Avatar of Lucifer
    Comment by Lucifer
    02:57 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    You sir voted up from me with that comment! :)

    Avatar of BlaqCat
    Comment by BlaqCat
    06:49 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    In order to punish them for overpricing this, people should avoid buying these dvds as much as possible, all the while pirating them as much as possible.

    Avatar of Aliaus
    Comment by Aliaus
    07:15 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    yea download each episode three times just to say "in your faces"

    Avatar of alidan
    Comment by alidan
    08:09 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    i have done this before.
    but it was because bts something sent me a copy rite infringement letter for downloading something i cant get in America at all.

    Avatar of Bigall
    Comment by Bigall
    07:10 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    No, they rather prefer spendind even more money on dubious contermesures against piracy...

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:00 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I approve of this. If stupid otaku are moronic enough to pay this price, then they deserve to get ripped off. And if they're not THAT moronic then stupid company will lose a lot of money because no-one is paying their rip-off prices, so when they try to release a WORTHWHILE anime they'll have to do so at a more reasonable price. Either way we win.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:52 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I lol'd at peasant edition.

    Avatar of PoisonFacecamo
    Comment by PoisonFacecamo
    15:03 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I just bought the first Strike Witches DVD boxset for $55 canadian today.. i sure hope that it doesn't end up being that espensive in NA..

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:03 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    And what everyone FAILS to realize is that These are made for broadcast TV shows... They make their money from the advertisers that sponsor the shows... I know you've all seen the sponsor announcement at the beginning of every anime. The DVD market is just bonus cash for them and they are only out to sell to the hardcore collector. For that matter the International market is just extra money for them too. They do not base their marketing on DVD sales, and they damn sure aren't relying on US sales... Most of that money goes to Funimation, Sentai, NIS, Crunchyroll, etc who pay a one time set lisencing fee for the show (and problably a small royalty for sales). If they couldn't make their profit off the initial broadcast run then they wouldn't bother airing it in the first place.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:32 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Almost everything in your post is wrong.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:59 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Japan's anime industry has been fucking their customers up the ass for years, this is not the first series which has charged 50 dollars an episode. AIC has done it in the past and the titles they're done it to, they STILL charge that price.

    Avatar of PrinceHeir
    Comment by PrinceHeir
    08:57 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    wtf that's almost a cost of a video game. still even if the quality is superb that's too much lower the price a little bit and people will buy 2 copies of it ^^

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:29 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    70$ for anime?just crazy
    free your mind
    and save your money

    Avatar of oldtofu
    Comment by oldtofu
    15:26 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    they should at least include a freebie or collectible for each episode so as not to make the consumer feel cheated.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:48 08/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Seeing as their target market is all too willing to pay an arm and a leg, I see this ploy coming through. Should they even try to ship this as such outside Japan, they'd be boarded before they even leave shore. Actually, they'd be boarded anyway, export or no.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:21 08/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I've seen Artefact's explanation about price elasticity before. It sounds well thought but I somehow need solid proof of whether this is true or not.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:30 08/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0) know what... this pisses me off... it pissed me off so much that I'm about to go download it via bit torrent just for them being such dumbasses on the price, it's obviously not going to sell very much anyway so might as well : )

    Avatar of khajiit
    Comment by khajiit
    23:20 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    As I think a few other people have said, the big difference between the west and Japan is that the shows are aired on TV first. That makes a huge difference to the leap of faith us western anime fans have to make every time we buy a DVD. Then there's the issue of release dates, my shitty country (you have one guess) didn't get the first season of Haruhi until November 2008!

    But anyways, even being a dirty gaijin who watches subbed anime and translated H-games I am, I still spent over $1k on anime merchanise/H-games/blu-rays when I was there.

    Avatar of Ghostchase
    Comment by Ghostchase
    17:10 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'd rather pay more for the Japanese version than less for the North America version. "Creepy" as a generalization of all anime watches, or just the ones that watch Strike Witches?

    Avatar of alex251
    Comment by alex251
    16:04 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    So anime discs are a luxury item in Japan ...

    Avatar of Firetribe
    Comment by Firetribe
    00:32 08/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Anime has always been a luxury item everywhere!

    Avatar of DFC
    Comment by DFC
    23:02 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    The bonus materials better be good with this.

    Avatar of sosoueme8th
    Comment by sosoueme8th
    04:20 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    comments from 2ch

    "foreigners are just pirates. they can buy the whole anime series with less than 100$, but they but have real less sales compare to japan sale alone. and now they're blaming manga-scanlation for the manga price"

    "you know foreigners. they ignore copyrights, translate h-games, changing the credit into their names and selling it online. they got no respect for the creators"

    "aren't we pirating american FTP games, too?"

    "we are, but american game market is still stable here. unlike anime market there. it's nearly collapsing"

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:55 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    "we are, but american game market is still stable here. unlike anime market there. it's nearly collapsing"

    Since when has Japan ever given a shit if video games, anime or manga succeeds outside of Japan? What a joke. It Japan gave a shit, their shit wouldn't come region locked.

    Avatar of Fronzel
    Comment by Fronzel
    07:39 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Foreigners are pirates because they refuse to put up with obscene overpricing (as seen in the demise of Bandai Visual USA)?

    And when has anyone ever translated an h-game and sold it (aside from the small licensing business which naturally is approved by the creators)? There's been amateur translations, but they give their patches away for free. They translate so that the game can be played by English speakers. Commonly, they vainly request that people not pirate the game.

    Avatar of sosoueme8th
    Comment by sosoueme8th
    08:50 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    yeah, commonly.
    but it's sad to see some foreign translators charges money illegally for stolen game or manga.

    Avatar of RopeXPantsu
    Comment by RopeXPantsu
    06:16 07/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    inb4 "Come to America and play our games"-invitation.

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