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Creator / Discotek Media

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Discotek Media (also known as Eastern Star) is an entertainment corporation in the business of licensing, translating, and releasing Japanese anime and live-action movies, adult anime, independent movies, and television series to home-video in the North American market. Despite being formed in 2005, they didn't become active in the anime business until around 2008 (their early output consisted mostly of samurai films with a couple of old Toei anime movies thrown into the mix). The crash of the North American anime industry in the late 2000'snote  probably aided the rise of Discotek – with other major distributors going out of business, drastically cutting back, or at least not renewing obscure vintage titles, this left the small startup Discotek free to carve out its own niche.


Since then, they have become quite well known for licensing a lot of vintage anime from the 1970s to the 1990s, along with re-releasing titles whose original licenses have lapsed, and also occasionally licensing more recent series. They are also known for being the current champions of the Lupin III franchise in North America.

Since they're a small company without a lot of resources, their policy originally was to never commission English dubs themselves, though they'll gladly use a preexisting dub if one exists and they can get it. Fans don't seem to care too much since their other policy is to release their titles completely uncutnote  and to use the highest-quality materials they can get their hands on. Basically, any announcement they make will cause underserved parts of the anime fandom to rejoice. In 2015, Discotek commissioned their first English dub; the Lupin III film, Gravestone of Daisuke Jigen.


They also announced a partnership with streaming site Crunchyroll to release a few select titles from Crunchyroll's catalogue for home video. In return, some titles from Discotek's catalogue became available on Crunchyroll for streaming.

They have a YouTube channel where they upload trailers for their upcoming releases.

Compare The Criterion Collection, which fills a similar niche in film distribution, complete with noticeably high but still reasonable price tags, Shout! Factory, who is also known for rescuing obscure television shows (though Discotek focuses more on anime), and Rhino, which fills a similar niche in music.

Titles licensed by this company include:

Tropes relating to Discotek Media:

  • Bowdlerization:
    • Invoked with their release of The Castle of Cagliostro, which includes a "Family Friendly" version of the Manga dub that removes all of the Obligatory Swearing present in the original Manga dub. This dub was created specifically for this release, and according to Reed Nelson, it's intended to bring the movie closer in tone to the original Japanese script and the Miyazaki movies released by Disney. However, the "fifteened" version is still there too.
    • An example that was apparently unavoidable is their DVD release of Violence Jack. As pointed out on their website, the release is uncut for the most part, but contains mosaic censoring over certain scenes in the second episode.
      • Subverted with the upcoming (As of the time of writing) 2022 Blu-Ray release where it's been confirmed the series will be fully uncensored, sans the mosaic censoring, for the first time ever.
    • An unintentional example. When they released Blue Submarine No. 6, unbeknownst to them, the English dub they included was the censored version used when the series aired on Toonami. Fortunately, they've re-released it with the uncensored dub in 2016.
    • Subverted by their release of Angel Cop, which will be the first release to include uncensored English subtitles (along with the original censored subtitles by Manga Entertainment).
    • Played straight with their home release of Fighting Foodons, in which only the dubbed version was released. The company that originally dubbed it, 4Kids Entertainment, is rather infamous for applying this trope to the many anime they dubbed. There is no word on when or if an uncut subtitled version of the original version, Kakutō Ryōri Densetsu Bistro Recipe note , will ever be released. (Keep in mind that the anime still has no available unofficial fansubs or even raws ripped from the Japanese VHSes either).
  • Pastiche: The box art for their DVD releases of the Fatal Fury TV specials and movie recreates the style of the package design for the Neo-Geo home cartridges. Similarly, the box art for their release of the Mega Man cartoon imitates the style of the box art for the NES games (though without Bad Box Art Mega Man, for better or worse).
  • Take That!: When asked if PDF files for Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo's subtitles would still need downloading, like in a previous release of the series, Discotek responded "We would never freaking do that."
  • Up to Eleven: When licensing older shows, Discotek usually goes for series from the 70's and 80's. The anime adaptation of Dororo is their first foray into anything from the 60's.
    • Their release of The Mystery of Mamo, with four English dubs (two of which were thought to be lost).
  • Vanilla Edition: Usually averted, as their releases tend to include at least one extra. The only time this was played straight was with their second release of Lupin III (Green Jacket), which was cheaper than the previous release, but included none of the rather extensive special features.