The hit anime film Your Name blew up around the world, quickly becoming the largest anime film ever for Japan. For those who haven’t heard, it’s a body-swapping story of friendship and love. It follows two people separated by space and difficult times, but who find comfort in their unusual bond. It got a limited theater release in major cities all over the world, and now it’s coming to home video on July 26th.
It’s set to be released in 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray, and DVD – BUT (major “but”) only in Japan for now. That means a long wait for many of us outside of Japan, slim good news is that the film is going to be sold with various subtitle options (including English). Another nice touch for the English speaking parts of the world is that the original songs in Your Name, played by the Radwimps, have also been re-recorded in English and will be available as an option on the discs. Not to mention its array o’ special features: commentaries, storyboards, behind-the-scenes, and a 100-page art booklet.
The discs will also be region-free which means they can be played in any Blu-Ray or DVD player worldwide. So, it won’t be impossible to get a hold of this film, just… requires slightly more effort. The real question brought up by this release is why aren’t international releases easier? In today’s age of connected marketplaces and internet shopping, why are we waiting for things like this? I mean Your Name was a massive success and the home video roll out should have been planned to capitalize on that.
By the time this comes out in other places a lot of people will have just forgotten about this movie. That’s a loss in profits. The anime industry in Japan is often reported as ‘struggling’ and the artists who create these masterpieces are barely paid a living wage. In today’s world of short attention spans and the glut of content out there, you can’t waste the opportunity to capitalize on a film’s success. I know it’s not a simple problem to solve, but that is a lot of money to be leaving on the table.