THE CASE FOR BOOTLEGS: HIGURASHI DVD
Malaysia is a hotbed of bootlegged anime products ranging from DVDs to wall scrolls, and although I have a physical case for them, is there any legitimate case for owning them?
This review section will offer an in-depth look at a whole host of Malaysian bootleg Anime DVDs and weighs up the pros and cons of owning the bootleg vs the real thing.
To start things off let’s look at a bootleg of the Higurashi series. It’s worth noting that Funimation chose not to renew the rights to the series as they didn’t see it being very popular; probably due to poor sales. This situation has meant that the series is now out of print, somewhat rare and can be quite expensive second hand.
The same Ebay search that found the result above, also found another result. A Malaysian Ebayer selling the series new with dual audio and subtitles, shrink-wrapped for $16 and free shipping. Taking into account that shipping from Malaysia to seemingly anywhere else in the world is about $8, this means that the set sells for about $8 a lot of which will still be profit. That is an insanely low price.
The set in question consists of 2 discs while the official US release featured 6. Some quality is definitely lost in this transition, but for an Anime that doesn’t contain too much action or fast moving scenes, this compression doesn’t impact it in the same way that a series like Dragonball Z would be impacted.
See Below for screencaps of the set
The packaging is a fairly nice fold out case made with thick printed cardboard, while the inlay art seems like something that has been stolen from Deviant Art.
There are 4 disc slots while only 2 are used. This is surely just a cost cutting measure. Why make a disc tray for 2 discs when most are going to contain 4 discs?
If you can find the source of this inlay art I will send you a copy of this set.
-The series is both dubbed and subbed in Japanese and English Languages, with English, Chinese and Malaysian subtitles.
– Sells for an attractive price point, especially against the out of print set.
– The video quality isn’t horrific
– The packaging is fairly attractive
– Heavily compressed video will occasionally show some artifacting and macro-blocking
– Inlay art looks like it was stolen from a deviant art page.
– It’s unofficial (Duhhhh)
The bottom line
If you are a fan of this series and want to see it dubbed then go for it. Funimation makes no money from any of the second hand bloated sales anyway. Of course, this is a bootlegged set, so the quality won’t be as good as it was originally, But if you really must have it, get it.