The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya: Aussie Release

Madman has [semi-officially announced][1] the impending release of the Australian release of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. For those who don't know, Melancholy has a number of things that are different from your typical anime. Two of these were the rather strange introduction to the series (an amateur video made by the show's characters) and the fact that the series was broadcast "out of order", which meant that just trying to keep up with the show was a mind trip in itself. I actually really liked this aspect of the show but, unfortunately, it seems most people do not agree with me. All DVD releases (Japan and USA) have re-ordered the series to be in chronological order, rather than the wacky broadcast order.

This brings us to the Australian release. According to the current information, volume 1 will be available by itself and as part of an "ULTRA SUPER LIMITED EDITON" which will have the volume 1 DVD, an armband, and a special redemption voucher. Like the American and Japanese releases, the Australian release will be in chronological order. However, volumes 2, 3 and 4 will also have vouchers and once you have all 4 you can redeem them for Volume 5, which will have the series in TV broadcast order on a two DVDs (that's 7 episodes on each disc).

I'm not quite sure what to make of this. I do like that there's a possibility of having both forms of the series in the one boxset but it makes me question why they'd stretch out the series across twice as many discs as necessary. OK, this isn't limited to this series: the anime average of 3 episodes per disc has always baffled me. I also don't like the idea of being forced into the more expensive route of buying individual discs of a limited edition if I want to have the series in it's "proper" order. Madman is a company which seems to really care about making its customers happy (angry otaku are not something you ever want to deal with) so I'm wondering what other sorts of things they've got cooking for this release. I almost started drooling after seeing some of the extravaganzas that were the special edition Region 1 DVD boxes. Times will tell if the local release is just as exciting. Considering the huge fanbase for the show, and a large number of guaranteed sales, I think Madman will be willing to splash out a bit more than usual.