Why Are Anime DVDs So Expensive? (Top 6 Reasons)

Anime DVDs have become popular in the market globally. But buying an anime DVD can be so costly when you compare it to other regular ones. So why are anime DVDs so expensive, and what are the reasons that make them so expensive?
Anime DVDs are expensive for a variety of reasons. Why? There are six specific things that have been identified as being the main contributors to the price of an anime DVD.

Why are anime DVDs so expensive?

Why are anime DVDs so expensive
Anime DVDs contain hand-drawn and computer animations that originated in Japan. Apart from the original work, they have adaptations of comics, novels and video games; due to time invested when producing a single episode, getting a single anime DVD might cost you a fortune.
Below are well-explained reasons why anime DVDs are so expensive.

Supply and demand

The demand for anime DVDs is small, so the cost of production per unit will be high. However, anime fans are always willing to pay extra money to get the next series because they are serious.
Anime film diehards are not sensitive about buying DVDs. If they want a particular anime series, they will pay a considerable chuck to have one.
Identical to you, if you are a fan of a specific movie, spending any amount of money ain’t a big deal.


Anime DVDs producers need to pay a tremendous amount of money to the original producing companies to gain the licence to use their content and music.
It is one of the main reasons anime DVDs are expensive. When an anime runs on TV, the licensors rarely get any profit unless some smaller companies pay a bit for it. For the TV stations to air, anime shows, the companies have to pay.
So, DVDs are their mainstream of money unless they decide to do merchandising.


Anime DVDs cost a lot of money because they require more work hours to make a single film compared to action movies.
For animated films, you need to write your script, design your characters, design your background, find Vo actors, record scratch audio that is approximately timed to the expected performance. This can be done by an animator v.o, actors, or anyone who can do a pretty half job reading the lines and editing the scratch video altogether.
There is back and forth between the departments since one fresh idea is in the head, and they have to bring them together to make a concrete and final film.
If you skip any step, it can give you a double headache since you will have to spend twice as long as you would have used to before.
There is a lot of workloads involved in producing anime films.

They are Hand Drawn

Animated films are hand-drawn frame by frame. If the movie is one hour, it means you will take 24*60*60= 8600. Classic movies take 120 minutes, so it means it takes twice the amount of time for anime.
Animated movies are shot on twos, so it means you will use one frame, where the average homes use two, which means they use 12 frames per second.
A Lot of work is required since the entire team of animators needs to create every film.
The characters don’t move by themselves, so you need to hire someone to draw them moving. So there is so much energy used and will make the price of the DVDs go high after the results.


To create anime films, you need an expert animator who understands all the basics and elements required in filming.
Hiring a skilled animator is so expensive, and it will affect the price of DVDs. Anime films need quite a few skills. For example, when drawing animation, you need someone who can figure out when the movement occurs, how fast the movement is, how the movement occurs within the frame concerning other several things and how everything can move smoothly and naturally.
Also, it would be best to observe the trees in the background. Whether there is and how each leaf flies away is drawn individually. The characters in anime films are not real actors. Skilled personnel need to think out every detail in the background, foreground, and movement and give animators clear directions. So, it takes a lot of time, and you also need someone else to keep double-checking the entire process.

Materials used

When drawing anime films, there are essential tools that you need to have, which are not cheap at all. Some of them include:
  • Stylus pens – It helps you get used to the screen as your canvas to make the digital switch easily.
  • Drawing gloves – they prevent you from an impending drawing by preventing your hands from sweating. Also, they reduce friction between your hands and make your drawing to be accurate.
  • Large graphic tablets are used for drawing your sketches.
  • A flash animation program- that you use for watching your creations.
So, if you want to venture into the anime world, these are a must-have. These tools are expensive, and so they influence the prices of anime DVDs.

What makes anime DVDs unique?

What makes anime DVDs unique
Several factors distinguish anime DVDs from regular ones.
Animation techniques
Anime uses classical animation production forms of storyboarding, character design, and voice acting. They reuse common parts between the frames instead of drawing each frame, so no need to illustrate an entirely new scene each time. This technique makes the viewers think that there are more movements than the one happening. It makes it cheaper and saves a lot of time.
Anime arts range from straightforward to bizarre and flamboyant. The series has basic artwork that visually strikes many viewers.
Unique storyline
It’s hard to see a general storyline in anime shows. Their storyline ranges from tales, humorous adventures, and pirate attacks.
Most of the anime films, despite morals and amount of complexity.
They have lengthy storylines that keep the viewers glued to their screens.
It’s not for kids only
Both adults and kids can watch anime DVDs. The content in them varies. You will find kid-friendly content, teenagers, and also adults. Generally, it is created in a way that can attract people of all ages. The use of humor in anime is to mitigate a more violent theme that engages adult viewers more.

Are Anime DVDs worth the price?

Are Anime DVDs worth the price
Many people think that buying an anime DVD is not a good idea or a waste of money. They may prefer to stream anime series from Netflix or other sources. However, buying an anime DVD is worth it since you buy it once, and you can re-watch it as many times as you wish.
Anime DVDs also contain informative information for every age group to learn a lot from them.
The die-hards price is not an issue, even if it means paying an extra amount to watch them do it because they are serious fans.
Considering the skills and time producers put in place to create it, it is worth the premium price.

What is the most expensive anime DVD?

There are cheap anime DVDs in the market. However, there is the most expensive anime DVD. Research has shown Cardcaptor Sakura: DVD Mega set (Vol. 1-18) is currently the most expensive anime DVD, and its price is $320.
It has a collection of 18 volumes for the Cardcaptor sakura series. Volumes for the Cardcaptor Sakura is the main character who opens a mysterious book and releases powerful magic cards into the world. She must learn to use her magic abilities to capture each mighty being within each card, or disaster will destroy the world.

How much does it cost to make anime DVDs?

People think making anime DVDs is cheap compared to the 3d anime DVDs. But the truth is that making them is very expensive.
So how much does it cost to make an anime series? The average cost for a simple 60-second animation is Around 6000$. To produce a complete episode, you need to part with 100,000$ to $300,000$. So for a 12 long episode, you need to pay 3.6 million USD not considering the marketing costs.
Frequently Asked Questions:

Are anime DVDs safe for children to watch?

It depends on the type of movie. Ensure that you review the content to get info before letting your kids watch. The box always mentions the content, as well as age, recommended to watch. Always keep checking on what your kids watch when it comes to anime. But some are kids friendly.

When was the first anime released?

The anime industry, both in the US and Japan, quickly translated it to DVD. They launched the first DVD players in November 1996 in Japan, and the US launched theirs in 1997. Also, not to forget the Europe who launched there in 1998 and Australia in 1999. The fir
However, the first DVDs were very slow, and buggy and they aimed their sales at the videophiles that were still collecting movies on laserdisc. Later, the format was seen to be a replacement for VHS.
The first anime DVD release was Toshiba EMI’s re-released by Japanese part two of Ninja cadets in 1997.
Final Thoughts
Anime DVDs are one of the most common in the market globally. Producing a single film requires a lot of workforce and money, attributing to it being so expensive to buy.
Some people think that anime DVDs are expensive, but royal fans are okay with any price as long as they won’t miss any episode.
Anime DVDs have continued to gain popularity over the years and are increasing their sales.
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