I imagine some of you have just read the above headline and thought "Huh, the news is that there is no news?", so allow us to explain.
Yesterday saw an announcement made by Sentai Filmworks, the North American distributor of the highly anticipated Persona 4: The Animation, stating that at the request of the Japanese licensor they've had to remove the original Japanese language track from their Blu-Ray release of the series, although it will still remain intact on the DVD release.
Cue a storm with the power of a thousand suns from anime fandom, and rightfully so - nobody wants to buy a crippled product, although of course conversely no Japanese rights holder wants to see their lucrative domestic market gobbled up by reverse importation of a cheaper western release.
Needless to say, the first question on our lips was "What does this mean for the UK release of Persona 4?" - a question that we (and plenty of others), put to the show's UK licensee Kaze UK, who will be distributing the series via Manga Entertainment.
The answer, reassuringly, is that at the time of writing Kaze have received no similar demands to remove Japanese audio from their release of the series on either DVD or Blu-Ray, and that unless this changes the show will be made available in the UK with both English and Japanese language options along with English subtitles. If this changes, Kaze (and ourselves of course) will let you know.
Hopefully, this means that for once we've actually benefited from the use of Blu-Ray region coding - as North America and Japan share the same Blu-Ray region (Region A), the "dangers" of reverse importation are much higher than within our own Region B territory that serves as an additional obstacle for Japanese fans looking for a cheap High Definition anime fix.
So there you have it - for now, we can go back to looking forward to a fully-fledged release of Persona 4 on both DVD and Blu-Ray in the UK!