How We Get Anime - Past vs Present


Guest post by The Geeky Panda

Nowadays, getting anime, whether watching it on your favorite streaming site or simply buying it at an anime convention, local retailer, or online, is easier and cheaper than ever, especially when accounting for deals that happen during the year and older anime titles out there getting cheaper re-releases too. But things weren’t like that back when I was growing up. Things were harder to get and more expensive.


Back in the late 90s to early 2000s, anime was gaining a foothold in the US. With that, watching your favorite series often came down to watching it on TV (whenever possible) with channels like Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Fox Kids, etc. But to own it was a totally different story. There where anime that came to the US localized with English voice cast on both VHS and DVD, though it was either limited or expensive.

Back then anime seasons were spread out to separate VHS/DVDs. So when you bought volume 1 of Trigun, you were basically only getting around 3-4 episodes at around $20-$30 each volume. If you wanted to buy the whole set it would end up being over $100 at times. So not only was it expensive to buy it, but at times you had to go to different stores just to hunt down the volume you were looking for. Luckily, back then we had Suncoast Video and 3rd party stores specializing in all things geek/anime fandom.


Still, things were limited and hard to find. There were a good amount of anime that did come to the US, but not all. This was the time too that a lot of fansubs where rising higher and higher. Though fansubbed anime is illegal, it was an option for those to watch/enjoy anime, and many did.

Nowadays we have it better than ever as anime fans, wanting to consume and buy anime content. This includes buying anime by seasons and not individual volume discs. Also we have the ability to watch anime on streaming websites officially, for a low price per month. Plus, more and more anime have been getting licensed and localized outside of Japan. We have also seen re-releases for a cheaper price as well. I am very happy that I don’t have to go store to store just to hunt down the missing volume DVD to complete my collection without killing my wallet even more.