Thursday, June 9, 2011
On Purchasing Anime Online: Caveat Emptor, Buyer Beware
I've come to realize, in these tough economic times, if I'm to expand my movie/cartoon collection, I'll have to do it on the cheap as much as possible. Cheep with a capitol cheep (Yes, I spelled it "correctly". That's how cheap ..... er ..... cheep it's got to be.).
There are the usual sources: Dollar stores, thrift shops, Goodwill, Salvation Army & Big Lots. As these are pretty much "catch as catch can", I gave online retailers a try.
One anime merchant looked pretty good. They didn't have the particular title I was looking for at that moment, but they did have two others I was interested in. Starship Operators & Death Note. At 60% off, it was less than a buck an episode with some series so I placed an order.
They arrived in two days. VERY prompt service.
When I opened the package, my heart sank. Why was the packaging mostly in Kanji? Why no company marketing logo? Uh Oh! I popped the discs in the machine to check performance.
Though the two shows were originally marketed here by two different companies, the menu "template" was the same (PLAY, CHAPTER, SETUP, EXTRA). PLAY of course, played (Wouldn't go to MENU just started playing first ep.). CHAPTER consisted of two rows of thumbnails. SETUP: audio English/Japanese, subtitles English/ Chinese. EXTRA consited of only the opening credits sequence & would automatically play it. While you could go from one ep to the next on the chapter menu, you couldn't advance in steps (You could fast forward/rev.) Closing English credits on the shows revealed they were of the original marketers here in the states.
I will say picture & sound quality were excellent. No way can I complain about that.
I had originally thought they were selling "closeouts" a la Big Lots. This is what happens when you don't "look before you leap". As in any business, you get what you pay for. Considering the price, I did.
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