Wednesday, April 30, 2003

I'm torn on the digisubs debate. On one hand, I don't speak Japanese, and would like to see the newest most innovative anime Japan has to offer, as well as older, unrecognized gems. On the other hand, I don't want to support the bootlegger mentality that some people just deserve anime for free.

I go with half measures, mostly, only getting unlicensed anime, stuff that is not available here, and then replacing the copies whenever possible with real DVDs. However, I am fully aware of the thousands who are too lazy to pay for a $15 DVD and in fact bleat that it costs too much, yet they are able to afford nice computers and fast connections to download with. Even worse, in my eyes, are people who give money to Hongkong bootleggers. It's one thing to rip others off for free, and yet another to waste money on it.

Hongkong bootleggers also give rise to the 'I'm not paying for this again" idea, which is pretty bad. So maybe they are even worse than just plain digisubbers themselves. Another problem is that many anime fans are young and don't understand how businesses work. They think that anime is beamed in from the sky by American companies. In fact, they have to pay to use the anime, and then pay to manufacture the disks, market them, pay voice talent and translators, and just general overhead. Not to mention they aren't getting as much volume as big box movie studios.

The character of fansubbing seems to have changed since I was a youth. Back then it seemed like groups were subbing to widen the appeal of anime and to work with the industry instead of against it. But nowadays, we have four and five groups that are subbing titles that have been liscensed from before they even were produced. So I don't know what's happened to the scene.

I can see the idea of spreading anime, but the problem is that many people are asshats and can not act responsibly. A problem with that is that things like this can't sustain themselves without money. It's not like comics where one person with a sharpie will always be doing them, it takes big companies and lots of talent to produce one 26 episode anime. I'd ask everyone to try to minimize the damage and buy what they have downloaded the whole series of, but people who would listen already do that, and people who won't listen, don't.

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