S’More Entertainment, who recently got into the anime game (and hopefully will soon get out of it) has divulged some details about their upcoming release of the classic Galaxy Express 999, and it isn’t pretty.
Expectations were low after S’More’s first attempted anime DVD proved disastrous, but this one actually sounds worse. According to a post from the company on facebook, the GE 999 DVDs will have, ’38 episodes on 4 DVDs (same format as ‘Bobobo…”), last disc has PDF files of all scripts, sub-titles are burned in.’
There are too many episodes per disc to allow for a good encode; but the worst part is the burned in subtitles (they are printed on the video and can not be turned off). Burned in subs weren’t acceptable 15 years ago; but to use them now is just plain pathetic. Based on these stats, this release will be of a lower quality than most bootlegs.
Yes, I know I sound like I’m obsessing over a small detail, and I kind of am; but it’s the fact that it’s so small and so easy to do correctly that S’More’s choice bothers me so much. Seriously, this is not difficult. Tiny companies doing shows far less popular than Galaxy Express can get this right using cheap, if not free, consumer-level DVD authoring software. There’s just no excuse at all for a company to do such a shoddy job with these days. Hell, Discotek has released both Fist of the North Star and Lupin the Third Series One with remastered video and removable subtitles (and both of those titles came from the same licensor in Japan).
S’More later posted: ‘the difficulty in offering product with a serious and committed fan base is there is no viable way to make everyone happy. there are business realities that we have to deal with that consumers either don’t know or don’t care about. we do the best we can but even if we provided all the features the fans want, spent all that money, we wouldn’t sell sufficient volume to justify the cost so we do the best we can.’
But again, there are other small companies that have released other unpopular series with far better treatment than this. The dereliction of duty that S’More Entertainment is displaying here is unprecedented. And this excuse that fans are just too demanding is ridiculous. No one expects anything from S’More that they haven’t gotten from every other anime company over the last decade.
I don’t know if its gross stupidity on the part of S’More, or if they just don’t care; either way, they’ve now proven themselves to be completely useless (if not destructive) as an anime distributor. Galaxy Express deserves better and its fans deserve better.