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Renting videos. Most important stores? 2004/7/4 13:41
Looking for information about:renting videos in Japan(VHS and/or DVD's). What's the cost? What are the usual plans (US$/month? or Rent per video?), Are the DVD's translated into Japanese or have subtitles? Which are the main stores renting videos/DVD's? What is the counterpart of blockbusters and/or HOllywood videos in Japan? Do Japanese rent videos often to watch with friends or family? Thanks
by Harvard Student  

Renting videos 2004/7/4 17:35
Japanese videos of western films come as dubbed or subtitled versions. Most video stores have both on the shelves for major films, but subtitled versions are clearly the most popular, by a factor of about 10:1. Disney cartoons are mostly dubbed.
With DVDs, you get the choice of soundtracks and subtitles on the same disc, so there is no need for video stores to stock two versions.
Is renting videos popular in Japan? Yes, I would say it is no different from most western countries.
by Dave in Saitama rate this post as useful

Cost 2004/7/4 19:19
New videos are usually available for one night rental only (if extended, the price doubles and so on). The price is around 300 yen. After a few weeks, it will usually be available for 1 week rental at a similar price. Other than this, a membership fee of about 300 yen per year is required. Some shops have cheaper deals, for example 190 yen on Tuesday nights in my neighborhood.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Best to look around... 2004/7/4 20:37
When it comes to major rental shops... TSUTAYA and GEO seem to be big chains. But it's best to look around in your own neighborhood, and try to find one that carry videos/DVDs of your favorite categories. Shops differ a lot in what they carry (except for the real mega hit titles).
by AK rate this post as useful

Subtitles 2008/10/27 01:09
I'm not sure what kind of movies you like, but I for one am a big fan of international cinema. This has become a big problem here in Japan because often times there is, say, a French movie I really want to see, and the video store has it, but there are no English subtitles--only Japanese.

The same goes for Japanese titles. The first and most prominent language in Japan is Japanese, so the ubiquitous amount of Japanese titles will 9 times out of 10 not have English subtitles. This will serve as a major problem for the Japan-ophiles from English-speaking countries that don't understand Japanese. They'll come over to Japan expecting a heaven-on-earth gold mine of Anime and Manga. Then, they'll quickly discover that they are indeed in a heaven-on-earth goldmine of Anime and Maga; it's just that they don't understand any of it because it's all in Japanese with no English subtitles. (Sorry to say, but it's true. On a lighter note, there's always Bit Torrent).

The above may have sounded a bit oppressive, but there is somewhat of a glow at the end of the tunnel:

First, all of you Studio Ghibli fans out there are in luck in case you missed out on a few releases back in your country. Japan has them all, and all Ghibli titles have English subtitles.

Second, there's always watching American/British/etc. movies where the native language is English. They're very popular in Japan (maybe even more popular than domestic releases), and if you're not careful, you might trip over the overstock piled up in the isles. There's just no end to the English titles, I tell you! So, if that's what floats your boat, you probably won't have any trouble renting DVDs in Japan.

The last thing, and the one that might put you most at ease, is I live in Tohoku, which is way up north where not a lot of foreigners go. Therefore, there's not much of a market for catering to the non-Japanese-speaking public. This might be a major reason I haven't had such luck in finding what I want. Most foreigners coming to work in or visit Japan end up in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and all of the big cities where they are prepared for foreigners. So, who knows, if you end up in one of the major cities like these, the shop around the corner might just have everything you're looking for.
by Tohoku Ben rate this post as useful

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