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So, here just a couple of weeks ago, I placed an order for Code Geass season 1 and season 2 from Madman Entertainment. This is my first time buying anime. I was told that Madman is a great site to buy anime from because there are a lot of pirated copies floating around on other sites and I wanted to make sure to get an official copy.

My concern is that I just noticed that they are region 2 and 4 (PAL), and I live in the US (Region 1).

This all being said, will my computer and PS4 not be able to play them? If not, is there anywhere else to legally obtain these full seasons in my region?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

With PC's, if my memory serves me correctly when it comes to DVD Playback they are pre-set with the local DVD region. this can be changed but only 5 times which isn't ideal.

I don't play movies on my PS4 but the PS3 when it came to DVD/Bluray Playback they were pre-set to play local DVDs/Bluray of the country it was made in (ie. NTSC PS3 will play Region 1 DVDs and Region A Bluray. a PAL PS3 in Australia will play Region 4 DVDs and Region B Bluray while a PS3 in the UK (to my knowledge) will play Region 2 DVDs and Region B Bluray).

When it comes to importing anime from another country you have 2 options.

  1. Use a local distributor - in your case since you live in the US RightStuf would be one of your best bets. you could try NISA's store but they only sell anime they have brought the licences for and Rightstuf sells this aswell.

  2. Get a Region Free DVD/Bluray Player - these are DVD/Bluray players which can have their DVD/Bluray Regions chnaged at any time, generally these also allow you to set the DVD Region to 0 (Region Free/Worldwide) but with Bluray there is no equivalent.

I brought a Laser BLU-BD10803D 3D DVD Blu-Ray Player from eBay and with it i just input a code while in the menu and i can change the DVD and Bluray Regions and it serves me well. problem is the listing is no longer on eBay but a search on ebay will bring up others. you just need to make you you read into the item carefully as some will say multi-region but it'll only be for one format (a couple i see in that search only do DVDs and are pre-set to Bluray Region A)

Getting a new DVD/Bluray Player which is multi-region isn't cheap. this one while it would cost me US $169.00 it also costs US $127.20 for international shipping to the total cost may vary.

if you're invested in having a DVD/Bluray collection of anime then the price you pay for a multi-region DVD Player is a worthy investment since then you can buy DVDs/Bluray no matter the country. this then means the Anime you have on order will still be of use to you and you can just order Anime not based off where it's coming from but availability, customer service, bonus content, etc.

  1. Stream - I add this option in just to complete the answer. you can stream Anime through the internet using This list of Legal sites and in most cases you don't have to worry about regions. my problem with this option is

    • some sites can still block you using Geo-Blocking (the act of restricting site access based on where your IP is) such as with Funimation, some Youtube Chanels. Crunchyroll doesn't do this to my knowledge

    • you don't actually own any of the anime and are at the mercy of the site's uptime so if the site goes down for maintenace or what ever reason your out of luck. worst case scenario is that the site shuts down for good, then where is your anime collection?

    • You are also at the mercy of your internet connection. weather it's working or not, if you have a data limit when you may have breached it, connection speeds etc.

the upsides to streaming is that Anime tends to be streamed before it's available on Bluray/DVD and the anime isn't taking up physical room but my personal opinion is that this don't outweigh the risks.....also there is a kind of glee when you go to show off how you've replaced your Bedroom's normal walls with those made up entire of anime DVD/Bluray, like this

enter image description here

the above image is NOT my collection but that of a random image i found on google which came from this photobucket account

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is that your wall? – Michael McQuade Mar 16 at 2:28
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@MichaelMcQuade nope, just a random image from google. might replace with with my own if i ever get a bigger room – Memor-X Mar 16 at 2:31
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I think that collection is actually half manga. – Ross Ridge Mar 16 at 3:31
    
In general, it might be legal to make a non-DRM copy of the movie from the DVD you bought, depending on where you live. This doesn't apply to the US though as far as I know (IANAL). – Kos Mar 16 at 12:16

In brief:

(a) There was a US release from Bandai several years ago but that's long since out of print and hard to come by (I'm seeing $300 for complete sets).

(b) Funimation rescued the license, but they haven't announced any release plans yet; given that there's been a relatively recent OVA release (Akito the Exiled) in Japan, it's possible that Funi is trying to get everything together for a major launch. We're in anime convention season, so keep your ears peeled...

(c) While your PS4 and your home computer won't be able to play them 'out of the box', there are region-free DVD players available and there are various pieces of software out there that can allow a PC's DVD drive to play discs of any region. Technically there are licensing issues around region-free systems, but those almost uniformly fall on the retailer and not on the owner, and you can find many major independent video retailers (e.g., Scarecrow Video in Seattle) that sell region-free hardware.

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A lot of the avenues in regards to regionless players (good investment) have been covered, but I'll attack the home computer angle.

There is a chance that you may be able to play the DVD out of the box, but you would have to use VLC Media Player to do so. Reports suggest that it ignores the region encoding on your machine and will allow you to play it; however, newer models of DVD drives may enforce this coding more strictly.

That said, it is possible to change the region of your DVD drive, but you may only do it up to five times before it is permanently fixed to that region. Look up instructions specific to your operating system before continuing1, and I would personally avoid any instructions dealing with loading or updating the firmware of your drive unless you feel confident that you know what you're doing.

As with the other advice, investing in a regionless drive may be the best option, since it allows you to buy with more confidence, and reduces the likelihood that you'll worry about these sorts of purchases.

Because sometimes, just sometimes, your local distributor doesn't have the anime you want in the region you need it in. (I'm looking at you, RightStuf, and your lack of complete RahXephon...)

1: I wish I could help here, but I only run Linux and have only ever run DVDs on Linux. I also have a regionless BD DVD-RW.

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