Akemi's Anime World

NIS America Anime Company

A bit of info about NIS America.

Company Overview

NIS America is a branch of Nippon Ichi Software. Their main business is video game localization--some of their most recognizable titles are Disgaea and several Sakura Wars video games. In 2010 they branched out into anime, releasing a steady stream of fairly high-quality series in subtitled-only form.

Their Catalog

Their first non-video-game releases were two higher-quality, recent-vintage TV Series: Persona: Trinity Soul (based on the video game series that, somewhat ironically, NIS didn't have anything to do with), and Toradora. They have continued since then with a number of interesting TV series, although most of them aren't big-name titles; at this point the best known titles in their catalog are probably Toradora, Umineko: When they Cry, Occult Academy, Pandora Hearts, House of Five Leaves, and Katanagatari.

What Their Releases Are Like

NIS's anime DVDs are, thus far, extremely good. In an acknowledgement of how easy it is to find fansubs, they've gone all-out on making the physical version worth buying. Their DVDs are of solid quality and, thus far, have all followed the same format: Each season (11-13 episodes) comes on two discs packaged in a large, attractive "Premium Edition" artbox along with a top-notch artbook. No dubs at all so far; their subtitles are quite accurate. More memorable is the fact that their DVDs feature a minimum number of pre-feature copyright and advertising logos, and what's there can be skipped--if only other companies understood how appealing this is for the people paying to watch the DVDs. So far their titles have only been available through specialty retailers--Amazon, for example, doesn't carry them. The pricing is a little high, but not unreasonable for what you get.

More popular series eventually see a "standard" version after the "Premium" edition has sold out, which is essentially just the discs without the book or artbox at a somewhat reduced price. It's worth noting that once the fancy versions are sold out, they're gone--NIS hasn't done any re-releases or reprints yet.

They have since begun releasing Blu-ray in exactly the same style as their DVD releases--fancy Premium Edition box sets with two subtitled-only discs covering a single season, with multiple box sets for series that are two (or more) seasons long, and pricing nearly identical to the DVD sets. Notably, all their Blu-ray releases also include DVDs, so there is no separate DVD release. Popular sets that sell out quickly are, again, followed by lighter-weight, less-expensive regular edition releases. One thing they haven't yet done is go back and re-release any of their original DVD titles (those that were produced in high def--Toradora, for example) on Blu-ray.

They have also filled in the streaming gap on most of their catalog, currently partnering with ANN to offer a few episodes of some titles streamed free, with a paid, ad-free version of the full series available at a reasonable price. They don't, so far, offer high-def versions of their streamed titles.