Anime DVD from HongKong, Buyer Beware!

Anime DVD from HongKong, Buyer Beware!
Photo by Cameron Bunney / Unsplash

Anime series on DVD are expensive. In fact, they are often very expensive. Getting the 10 DVDs for Gundam Wing costed me over 300 CAD. The box set has a suggested etail price of 200 USD. That’s a lot of money for 49 episodes of Gundam, especially when you consider the serie was played on the Cartoon Network.

A quick search on E-Bay shows me that I can get the whole series for about 30 USD (about 40 CAD), if I buy a Hong Kong box set. Honestly, I’ve had mixed experiences with these box sets. I have several of these, some of them excellent, and other ones are pure trash.

Yesterday, I received my latest order, Gundam Seed and Ragnarok, both complete series. Both items were ordered from a HongKong seller on EBay. The seller had an excellent reputation and good prices. Imagine my surprise when I opened the Gundam Seed package and found the box set falling appart in my hands. The plastic disk holders in the box were not glued properly. Nothing that can’t be fixed with a glue gun and an hour of free time. However, the real horror came when I played the disk.

The english subtitles are horrible. It shows that no effort was made to properly translate the dialogue. Both series have major spelling mistakes in all character names ( Gira instead of Kira, Bariant instead of Variant, Kertz instead of Kruzt, etc). In addition, the dialogue is sometimes completely incoherant. I’ve tried emailing the seller, but no response so far. It’s not like I’m going to send the DVDs back, the shipping would be as expensive as what I paid.

This is not my first bad experience with a HK box set. I purchase the first season of YuGiOh several years ago and the translation were aweful. If I played the english dub and sub at the same time, they would often tell two diferent stories. The series was often incoherence. This often left me wondering if it was the characters or the translator that was mad. On the other hand, I love my HK Cowboy Bebop box set. The translation are perfect. My HK Miyazaki is also very impressive. I’ve seen several of the movies in English and I have no complains.

So the real question is “How do you spot the lemons being sold on Ebay?”