I am wanting to buy season 1 and 2 of code geass on DVD because its a great show and I have never bought anime before so I was definitely not expecting to find like a million dvd's for this 1 show that had 50 episodes total. I am going through ebay and amazon and am finding a combination of volumes and complete series however it seems that even some of them that have the complete series are different. Some of them have the marking (2011) and some have the marking (Anime Legends) and they have different cover art although they all say the complete first season 3-6 discs episodes 1-26. Is there any real difference when it comes to two dvds that say they are the entire first season with both English and Japanese or is the cover art the only difference?
To my knowledge there shouldn't be too much difference. Japanese originating DVDs will have less-episode per disk but this apparently means the video footage wont be as compressed (though have never had a compassion to confirm this)
When looking on eBay you should be careful of bootlegs where the seller just gets downloaded episodes, burns them to disk, whips up a quick DVD Menu and cover and tries and sells it as legit. This post in Madman's Entainment Knowledge Base can help you sort out the bootlegs from the real ones
There has been a recent increase in these DVD sets being spotted and these are most certainly not real products but rather an illegal bootleg copy, usually imported from South East Asian countries and contain extremely bad subtitles and are of low quality. Easy signs to tell if they are real or not include:
- Region 0 or All
- Very low disc count for entire series - eg. 26 episodes on 3 DVDs
- Anything with the company logos 'Anime Cartoon', 'AniDVD', AV, 'Manga Cartoon' and other companies with similar names usually linked to crime syndicates as well.
- A web based email address printed on the DVD cover such as addresses ending with @yahoo.com or mail2000.com.tw etc
Should you come across any of these products do not purchase them and if you feel this isn't right report it to the authorities or to email@example.com, please include the store's name and if possible get details of the distributor, the closer we get to the source of the problem, the eaiser it is for us to stop the flow. The Pirate Anime FAQ site also has a lot more useful information regarding these illegal bootleg DVDs as well as other knock off anime merchandise and how you can avoid them. Alternatively you can also report it to the newly setup Anti-piracy task force. Remember the more reports that are reported the more likely something will be done about this problem. Piracy hurts the industry and you can help by spreading the word and reporting these illegitimate practices.
Some of my own tips would be
- By from official distributors like Madman or RightStuf depending on where you live
- if you need to buy from ebay check out the sellers past feedback and look out for any claiming pirated products
- pay with Paypal because then if you get a bootleg you can go through paypal to get your money back. if you go though ebay this process is made a bit easier
- generally Amazon sells legit products as i havn't gotten bootlegs from there once so if you can buy from them then do so
- the average count for episodes per disk is 6-7 in Australia for regular DVDs, i've seen up to 9 episodes on one BluRay (which was Katanagatari from the US), 3 disks for 24 episodes should only work if they are BluRay
- Covers can be different depending on their release, first release of Black Cat in Australia had 4 episode/disk in 6 volumes, the second release included all 6 disks in one cover and the cover was that of the reversible one from Volume 1. also Limited Editions may have a different cover. when in doubt google it or post the image up on an anime forum or chat room to get clarification
- a cover wont have characters that appear in a different media, my mum one got a complete collection of Fullmetal Alchemist but on the cover of one of them had a couple of characters from the video game
after you buy and receive the anime if you didn't get it from an official distributor you can generally tell right away if the anime was downloaded
- if there are subs they wont be in comic sans MS
- they wont have any tv network watermarks
- they will have the appropriate copyright information and company slash animations before the menu appears (ie. all Hanabee released DVDs/Bluray will have Hanabee's animation, Fate/Zero will have Aniplex and Unfotable. Speed Grapher from Australia will have Madman, Gonzo and i think Funimation's)
- generally all episodes will have the Opening and Ending and you will be able to skip these with one button press on the DVD remote (as they are set as a separate scene).