Haruka Manga from VizBandai Visual USA has announced that it will release the anime version of Haruka ~Beyond the Stream of Time. This is both good and bad. The good is that a shojo anime series has been licensed. There aren’t a lot of shojo anime out there, and with the manga version of this story being released in Viz’s Shojo Beat, a tie-in should help sales. Readers who like Haruka should check it out when it comes out. I do encourage people to check out the anime versions of manga they like. Especially a short series like this. Haruka is only 26 episodes long. Seeing the characters move and hearing them speak really adds another dimension to the story. I’ll admit that, while I usually end up preferring the manga to the anime, I have never regretted watching the anime.

The bad thing about this is that Bandai Visual USA got it. If you aren’t familiar with anime, then you should know that Bandai Visual has a reputation for high priced volumes for less Haruka Animecontent. And it looks like this release isn’t going to be much different. According to Anime on DVD, this release of Haruka will be subbed only, and will be spread out over 9 volumes. Each volume will be $29.99. That’s an average of 3 episodes per disk, at $10 an episode. At a time when most anime is coming out at 4-5 episodes per disk, this doesn’t seem like a smart move, especially for a sub-only disk. Why Bandai Visual likes to set themselves up to fail is beyond me.

Now, I don’t want to imply that Haruka is a bad series. From what I’ve read of the manga, it’s seems really good. But, historically, shojo anime hasn’t done very well in the US. And by doing this series as sub-only, they are cutting out a large percentage of their audience. Reading manga and reading subtitles are two different things. Only hard core anime fans (like me) are usually interested in a sub-only release. Casual watchers, and most likely readers of the manga that may be attracted to this release will be turned off by the sub-only. I really would like this release to do well, but it’s already off to a bad start it seems. Hopefully, I’m wrong about all this.

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2 Comments for this entry

  • jun says:

    I actually /have/ regretted watching an anime, when they’re full of random filler. The chief culprit I’ve encountered was “Full Moon o Sagashite.” I was also rather annoyed by the anime to “Ultra Maniac,” since it introduced some totally random “let’s collect some magic stones” plot that was absent from the manga.

  • Yeah, they can be hit and miss. The most infamous for filler has got to be Naruto, with over 100 episodes, and two years worth. But there are a lot that don’t. Usually short series’ like this one. With 13 volumes of the manga, and 26 episodes for the series, I don’t think there’s gonna be a lot.

    And then, you get series’ like FullMetal Alchemist, where the second half of the series is all made up (essentially filler) but it works out just fine, and is even as good as the manga. So, if you can try before you buy, or check out reviews online, you can keep from being burned too bad.

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