Today I feel like ranting about anime DVD’s and the things I hate about them.
Dubs – OK, obviously dubs and edits are my number one rant, but I’ve already covered that, so I’ma expand this point to Default English track. In my not even remotely humble opinion, a DVD with multiple language tracks should default to the language in which the work was originally created. I have the Japanese DVD of Disney’s Mulan, and it defaults to the Japanese dub, and that pisses me off just as much as anime that defaults to English. This has little to do with my hatred of dubs, really. It’s about respect for the original creator(s) and educating the viewers. I’ve met people who’ve watched some of the better-known anime movies on DVD (Mononoke-Hime, for example) without even realizing there was a Japanese track available. But I’ll get off this one before it segues.
Boxed sets that are nothing more than the already-existing DVD’s in the same packaging…. In A Box – Is there a point to this? And they want to charge you ten bucks more for it than they would for just the individual DVD’s, too, as if it’s actually the box you’re happily spending extra money to get. And if a real boxed set (e.g. the series condensed onto fewer discs and conveniently packaged) ever does come out, it’s usually years later when anyone who’s been following the series already has it all, and thus no need for a boxed set.
On a related note, DVD’s with three or fewer episodes – Yeth, I understand how capitalism works, and I pay out the nose just like everyone else. Well, actually, I buy cheap (and often bootleg) boxed sets on ebay and usually avoid this problem these days; but back before I knew how to do that, I would sometimes encounter entire series made up of three-episode DVD’s, dragging a standard-length season that could fit on two or three discs out to eight — and at $27.99 apiece, that’s… hefty. Anyone remember the original DVD release of Tsuioku Hen? Then once I bought a DVD that turned out to have seven episodes on it, and almost cried. But I guess they’re making room for…
Retarded “special features” – Things like “art galleries” that are nothing more than still shots from the various episodes on the DVD; twenty-five minutes of previews for other series that came out five years earlier; interviews with dub voice actors (OK, obviously this one is debatable; I think it’s retarded); or pages of “stats” about parts of the series that could be gleaned by fast-forwarding through the episodes with one eye closed while talking on the phone.
Stupid titles for individual DVD’s – So for some reason this aforementioned group of two or three episodes needs its own title? As if that isn’t idiotic and pointless enough, they always have to come up with the corniest and often most irrelevant things they can think of. Rurouni Kenshin did it (Faces of Evil…?). Trigun did it. The best example, by far, though, is the last disc of the Tenkuu no Escaflowne collection, which some brightass decided needed to be called Forever and Ever. What’s even better is when they come up with these retarded titles and then neglect to put numbers along with them. Ten Shoujo Kakumei Utena DVD’s, and only the first two are numbered. If I get them mixed up (as has happened on occasion, usually after I’ve lent them to someone), how am I supposed to remember whether Temptation or Impatience and Longing or Darkness Beckoning comes first without either digging up the cases to look at the episode numbers on the backs or putting each DVD into the player and letting it load?
And speaking of letting DVD’s load…. Animated menus – I abhore these things for a couple of reasons. They’re a pain in the ass to get through most of the time, and why would I want an animated menu anyway when I’m just about to watch the anime? Or are they under the impression that people sit around staring at the menus for fun? I think animated menus are a way for people who couldn’t actually break into the TV/movie-making business to get their finger into the pie. “No, I’m not in the movie… no, I didn’t work on the anime… but I designed a really cool two-minute menu for the DVD!!” In which case you’d think they’d at least be well-done, but usually they’re not. They usually loop badly, both sound and animation, so that if under some tragic circumstance you do end up watching the menu over and over, you’re jarred by the restart every thirty seconds or so. Next, the ones that use footage from the series almost always use dub dialogue in them. Which is like making a Journey website with a flash introduction featuring Britney Spears’ remake of Open Arms. Last but not least, who the hell decided it was a good idea to put important scenes from a show in the menu you have to get through to watch the show??? Which brings me to my next point —
Spoilers in packaging (Spoilers in this paragraph!!) – You’d think this one would be a no-brainer… until you look at the cover of the first Tenkuu no Escaflowne DVD and learn that Van is the angel in Hitomi’s vision before you’ve seen the vision, or read the back of Rurouni Kenshin volume seven and learn that Saitou is not really a villain before you’ve met Saitou.
That’s all I can remember right now, but I’m pretty sure there’s more. I’m about ready to move on to a different rant anyway.