Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The pressure of unauthorized anime broadcasts

There is an absolutely huge world of anime out there for us to take in. I can't even keep up with the shows I'm watching now, but every week I learn about more shows that I want to check out in the future. It's a never-ending list of content that I feel interested in, and that I cannot complain about.

The problems come up when you actually want to sit down and watch that anime. Here in the states, viewing anime isn't nearly as easy as it is in Japan. I completely understand why that's the case, but it doesn't make it any easier being a fan here. You have to take what becomes available.

There are sites that stream anime legally, and there are also a bunch of officially localized DVDs and Blu-ray options out there. While that's all well and good, that doesn't mean you're always going to find that show that you want to see. Sometimes what you want just doesn't get localized.

There are other issues as well. Online options are never a sure thing. You could be watching a series on Netflix one week, and then the next it disappears from the lineup. The same can be said with Hulu or other streaming services. That leaves you hanging in the middle of a series with hardly any options. Even DVD and Blu-ray releases can be limited, making them quite hard to find. That pushes up prices, and paying $200 for a single DVD just doesn't make sense.

How do you combat the constant push to try alternative methods to support your anime habit? Are you against the illegal side of things or do you fully support it? How do you feel about fan translations in general? Is torrenting your main method of anime intake?


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  3. I watch my anime almost exclusively on DVD and BluRay. I am 100% against any illegal means of watching anime. The R1 anime market is barely hanging on via life support as it is. It's truly one of the few industries that has been utterly devastated by piracy. The industry was very niche to begin with, and pirates essentially killed it. Which is why R1 anime releases are becoming more and more scarce, and dubs are rapidly disappearing from the picture. Publishers just can't afford to dub a series that won't sell because most fans will just pirate it anyway.

    Even once industry giants like Funimation are just hemorrhaging money and are in danger of bowing out of the market completely.

    We've already seen the demise of Geneon/Pioneer, Bandai Entertainment, ADV, and Central Park Media, among others. Sentai and Funimation are really the only two major R1 publishers left, with NIS America picking up the scraps in sub-only format, and Media Blasters almost completely fading from a place of relevance in the R1 market.

    Anime has become a product that no one in the R1 market can make money on—not at production, or distribution, or retail.

  4. Localized stuff is good and all, but really you're only getting half the pie if that's how you watch anime.

    You always talk about only watching stuff that gets localized, but you are really missing out. If you want the whole sphere of anime, you'll have to watch some things in English, and some things in Japanese. Cooooome on. It's not that hard once you get used to it >:O

    And the best way to do so the Japanese route, is with Fansubs. Many times anime don't get simulcast so that is the only way to watch in America. And if things do get simulcast, they usually aren't translated very well and have horrid typesetting.

  5. I couldn't decide on what to say earlier and ended up deleting my comments. But I just wanted to point out that Funimation is running a survey on potential series to localize and I thought it fit this article pretty well:


    A lot of good choices in there.
    "AnoHana" is among them and that was one of the top series that I was surprised no one had licensed for release yet.
    (Not to mention "Mirai Nikki", "The Tatami Galaxy", and "Chihayafuru".)

  6. I admit to watching most of my anime from fansubbers. Mostly this is because since I'm in Sweden and all anime that gets "localized" only gets subtitles in the nordic languages and gets translated from Japanese then to English and THEN to Swedish, making tons of jokes and punchlines get lost in translation.

    I respect the work that people put into making series and if I find an anime I really like then I'll import it in a heartbeat. Hell, I even went so far as to import the "Im-Perfect Collection" boxset of Excel Saga from Australia to enjoy the yummy hardcover box, English subtitles and other extras.

    So yes, I watch my anime from fansubbers. But I make sure to go out of my way to purchase any anime-series I consider worth my money.
    I think we all agree that my method isn't the best out there when it comes to supporting the creators of an anime and I'm not trying to defend this method either.
    In the end there are just too many anime-series out there and unfortunately not all of them can be sold worldwide to please all fans so many of us outside Japan make the best of what assets are available to us.

  7. I'm not going to say that I'm entirely innocent in this matter, in fact I got into anime partially through bootlegs of popular shows and for a little while I admit I kinda went crazy with it. It may sound ridiculous but one day it hit me that there are hardworking people making this and they deserve something for providing me with shows I genuinely enjoyed. Unfortunately I have it even harder than you do RMC,my Internet connection unfortunately is not very fast so streams with ads in the middle of them are not viable for me even if I let the video load itself all the way. One solution I've come up with is to download it off a torrent the later maybe at a friends house or Starbucks go the the website streaming the show and give them the hits they would have gotten had I been able to. In the event I really like one of those shows, for a recent example Tiger and Bunny, I have every intention of purchasing it when it comes out. However me personally if I am not given the opportunity to support the original creator then I personally have no problem playing pirate.

    My apologies if I went off topic with my massive wall of text.