Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Arceus Gap-A Space in the Pokémon DVD Release Schedule


Hi everyone, Steven here. I wanted to take a moment to go over a series of events that occurred in the US distribution of the Pokémon anime a few years back. The story starts in April of 2009, when Warner Bros. released a two-disc set of the first three Pokémon movies on DVD. Now, there’s nothing really special about these discs-they’re just represses of the original DVDs that came out in 2000 and 2001, but keep the compilation's release date in mind for the rest of this video.

The remainder of the 2009 Pokémon DVD release list is fairly standard-six volumes of “Battle Dimension”, some “Pokémon All Stars” DVDs, and the start of the “Pokémon Elements” series. Then in early November, something interesting happens-remember that three-movie set from earlier in the year? Well, this is going off my memory, but what I recall happening is that there was a sudden shift in availability on stopped selling it directly, and it was only available from third-party resellers from that point forward.

In any case, a few weeks later on November 20th, “Arceus and the Jewel of Life” debuts on Cartoon Network. Usually a DVD release follows a few months later, but that’s not what happens here in the US. In fact, the final volumes of “Battle Dimension” from October end up being the last new Pokémon DVDs in America for quite some time-leading to what I’ve termed the “Arceus Gap”.

Now, 2010 is where things start to get really interesting. While the only DVDs being released are more entries in the “Pokémon Elements” series, in May, “Pokémon the Movie 2000” shows up in the iTunes store. This wasn’t a complete surprise-the third movie was placed on iTunes in January of 2009, so it seemed like a logical progression. Just over two months later, however, “2000” mysteriously vanishes from the service. This reveals a pattern: The three-movie DVD set changed availability just before the tenth anniversary of “The First Movie”’s US theatrical debut, and 2000 was similarly pulled right before its ten-year anniversary. The theory I have here is that Warner Bros.'s rights to distribute these movies were expiring during this period, and the gap in new releases was caused by a prolonged series of negotiations, but we’ll probably never know for sure.

Finally, in November 2010, a light emerged-“Arceus and the Jewel of Life” was given a US DVD release date of February 1st, 2011. TV DVDs would resume in March 2011 with the release of the first volumes of Galactic Battles, nearly two years after that season debuted on Cartoon Network-but at least things were moving again.

While the Arceus gap may be over, there are still some lasting effects. Much like the first and second movies, the third Pokémon movie vanished from the US iTunes store right around its ten-year mark in early 2011, and all three of those movies are now out of print in the US. Also, while the movie gap has improved with the Zoroark and Victini films, the TV gap remains about the same-volume one of Black and White is scheduled to be released on DVD in November of this year, still nearly two years from when that season started.

So, that's the “Arceus Gap”. Be sure to let me know what you thought of this retrospective, and suggest any topics you might want me to talk about in the future. Thanks.


Pokemon: Battle Frontier Vol. 1 Box Set (2009):
Pokemon: Battle Frontier Vol. 2 Box Set (2009):
Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl - Set One, Vols. 1-2 (2009):
Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl - Set Two, Vols. 3-4 (2009):
Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl - Set Three, Vols. 5-6 (2009):
Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl Battle Dimension, Vols. 1 & 2 (2009):
Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl Battle Dimension, Vols. 3 & 4 (2009):
Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl Battle Dimension, Box 3 (2009):
Pokemon: Diamond & Pearl Galactic Battles 1 (2011):
Pokemon: Diamond & Pearl Galactic Battles Gift 2 (2011)
Pokémon DP: Sinnoh League Victors - Set One (2012):émon-DP-Sinnoh-League-Victors/dp/B00634MKMI/
Pokemon Movie: Black - Victini / White - Victini (2012):
Pokemon DP: Sinnoh League Victors - Set Two (2012):
Pokemon DP: Sinnoh League Victors Set 3 (2012):



Pokémon: The First Movie - Mewtwo Strikes Back:
Pokémon: The Movie 2000:
Pokémon 3: The Movie:

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