Orguss on DVD

October 2, 2007

Way, way back in the before times of the early 1980’s, Studio Nue was enamored with the success of the original Macross series. They decided to franchise it a bit, making two more unrelated series with similar style (think Final Fantasy or Super Sentai). Keeping the “Super Dimensional” bit of Macross’s title, they were called Super Dimensional Century Orguss and Super Dimensional Cavalry Southern Cross. Originally, Harmony Gold had wanted to pick up this full trilogy to create Robotech, but for one reason or another Orguss wasn’t available. Instead, they substituted Tatsunoko’s Genesis Climber Mospeada.

While Macross and Southern Cross (as well as Mospeada) have seen uncut R1 release at the hands of AnimEigo and ADV’s sublicenses from Harmony Gold, the last “Super Dimensional” series Orguss has been in limbo. Other than 17 episodes dubbed by US Renditions in the early 90’s, it seemed the series would never see light in the US. That is, until recently when cable network ImaginAsian decided to air the full series. Also, ImaginAsian is putting out the full series on DVD under the Anime Classics label, sold exclusively through The Right Stuf International (TRSI).

Other than the fact that they’re releasing one of the classics of 80’s anime, the way it’s being released is interesting. The discs (aside from disc 1, which I’ll expleain in a second) go for a scant $9.99 US for 4 episodes. This is absolutely unheard of, especially for a new release.  ImaginAsian has done a few things to make this possible. First, these aren’t produced like most commercial DVDs by going to glass master and then being stamped out in a big replication facility. These are released on DVD-R, the same DVD-R media you burn in your computer. This saves a substantial cost of replication for a small run like this, since they can probably make the DVDs themselves. The other thing they’re doing is charging $3 extra on disc 1 because disc 1 comes in a multi-disc case meant for the entire series. Subsequent discs are sent in just a paper sleeve. I was a bit perplexed, even annoyed at this at first. As I thought about it though, this makes sense. If you’re selling online/mail order only as they are, there’s no real need for a case whose main purpose is to catch your eye in a store. Why not cut costs, material waste, and my precious shelf space by doing it this way? The release schedule is rapid too, with two volumes coming out per month.

I really like this model, and hope ImaginAsian continues to release classic anime in this manner. Also being released this way are Cat’s Eye and Nobody’s Boy Remi. If you’re interested in any of these three series, please follow this link and pick these discs up. I really want to support what ImaginAsian is doing here.

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