I’ve liked The Simpsons ever since I first saw them when they were first on Australian TV and was very pleased to see that Fox started releasing them on DVD in cool box sets with heaps of extras, makings of, interviews, deleted scenes, story boards and audio commentaries from cast and staff. In a word: Cool.
The box sets have even been released here in Japan and I have been keeping up with the releases, season 9 at time of writing. And as far as I could tell the releases here in Japan are the same as the US releases with (removable) Japanese subtitles. This was true up to season 5 of the Japanese releases, from season 6 onwards Fox Japan has decided not to included the audio commentaries (the best feature IMO). I called Fox Japan to inquire about this. Was it a pressing mistake? Accident? What? It turns out it was a deliberate decision not to include them as customers in Japan “didn’t want them”.
Sorry guys, search Japanese message boards and you’ll see lots of messages from Japanese customers commenting about the lack of commentaries. And with no plans to “re-do” the box sets with no audio commentary and not apparent plans to include them in future releases Fox Japan will not be getting another penny/yen from me from The Simpsons. Thank goodness you can get the US releases through Amazon Japan.
Cheers – Amazon Japan for the US releases
Jeers – Fox Japan for not including audio commentaries