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The state of anime in the U.S. and abroad


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[COLOR="Blue"]Hey out there everyone.
The other day, I found a very chilling message from the president of "BANG ZOOM!" entertainment released a chilling message on the fate of anime in the USA on Anime TV.com.
It's in dire danger of dying out.
If you look at the facts, you can see that's it the truth.
Geneon USA shut it's doors, ADV films went under, Central Park Media went bankrupt, Ban Dai fired 90% of it's staff, and anime magazines NEWTYPE USA and Anime Insider were canceled.
You may have also noticed that less and less titles are coming out, too.

He continued to say that the problem behind anime's dying is fansubbing, and bootlegging of anime. It's hurting the industry. Who is it hurting? Everyone. Voice actors, producers, editors, directors, scripters, and most importantly, US. The fans.
This is scary, but there is hope. We have control over what happens to anime in the US.
If we stop bootlegging, and fansubbing we could save anime from dying.
If we don't, by next year there be no anime at all.
Please try to spread the word. We can save anime from dying. If we ban together, we can make a difference.

Dragonboym2[/COLOR]
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[FONT="Microsoft Sans Serif"][SIZE="1"]While I am an ardent dub defender and do agree that fansubbing has wounded the industry rather severely, I don't quite agree with using the scaremongering tactics that Bang Zoom! seems to want to employ.

I like to think of fansubs as a sort of necessary evil, especially since American licensors and fansubbers have a closer relationship than one might think. How else would companies know what to bring over here to begin with? By looking at the most popular titles being subbed and downloaded. Once a series becomes licensed, though? Yeah, there's really no excuse.

I don't think the industry is really as close to dying out as people seem to be afraid it is. I do think that the big boom of anime is over, though, and it's close to going back to being a niche thing like it was before.

I dunno. I'm not exactly sure what really can be done, if anything. I myself hardly watch anime much anymore [the sole series I'm watching right now is FMA: Brotherhood on its AS run], mainly 'cause, well, not much of what's being produced and brought over interests me. But I'm going to stop there before that turns into another tangent entirely.[/SIZE][/FONT]
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[font=franklin gothic medium][color=darkred]I agree with Sangome here and at the same time I don't really know how to respond to this. My initial reaction is "big deal". There's nothing worth breaking necks over just to see on tv anymore, nor is there anything really coming out that interest me.

Honestly, all that really can be done is take down the sites that does all the streaming and whatnot, and even then that might not even be a good idea.

But like I said, I really don't know how to take to this. (Almost everything I watch is re-runs lol)[/font][/color]
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well I hate to tell you this but if fansubbing is hurting the anime industry (at least in the US) then so is NetFlicks, Redbox and all the other legitament companies that rent or stream it straight to ur TV.

The major differance between those companies and the site that allow u to steam is 2 things. One the site cost nothing to the viewer. No monthly fee, no rental fee zip nada. The 2nd thing is that the sites have older anime that was never released on dvd in the US. So in otherword Netflicks doesn't have them.

I also thnk your mistaking a downswing in the economy (which is across the board not just in US anime) for the entire market going under. They are most likely lacking in sales like everyone else and the companies are evalutating which branches they really need vs the ones they don't. The anime branches just happend to be the one that are getting the ax.
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[quote name='rotlung']The major differance between those companies and the site that allow u to steam is 2 things. One the site cost nothing to the viewer. No monthly fee, no rental fee zip nada. The 2nd thing is that the sites have older anime that was never released on dvd in the US. So in otherword Netflicks doesn't have them.
[/QUOTE]

[FONT="Microsoft Sans Serif"][SIZE="1"]You forgot a third and extremely vital thing -- both Netflix and RedBox require you to [I][B]pay[/B][/I] for their rental services, a portion of which goes back to the licensing companies. Fansubs, obviously, do not, and if they did, that's even more illegal than offering unlicensed material to download for free! To suggest that rental of DVDs is anywhere near identical to fansubbing is downright baffling and absurd.

Also, while I can't speak for Netflix's streaming service, I know that sites that host legal streams of anime [Youtube, Hulu, etc] still pass on their revenue to the licensing companies, through advertising and the like.[/SIZE][/FONT]
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I wouldn't say Anime is dying. Just the Region 1 Anime DVD and the North American T.V. broascasting of Anime. I think that maybe if more and North American viewers are willing to count on the licensors (like Funimation and Bandai Ent.) more, the illegal fansub purchasing can stop, and maybe more Anime of the past decades can be presented legally.
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[color=#4B0082]This subject always amuses me, considering that without fansubs and even R1 DVD rips, I wouldn't have bought the official DVDs that I have.

Incidentally, there are also people in the fansub community who say fansubbing is dying. Funny how that works.[/color]
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[FONT="Arial"][COLOR="Indigo"]I have just the video for this:

[YOUTUBE="End of the World"]_M1TOwTMdLo[/YOUTUBE]
[QUOTE=Dragonboym2][COLOR="Blue"]If we stop bootlegging, and fansubbing we could save anime from dying.
If we don't, by next year there be no anime at all.
Please try to spread the word. We can save anime from dying. If we ban together, we can make a difference.[/COLOR][/QUOTE]Only one problem with this, it goes on the faulty assumption that bootlegging and fansubbing are the [I]only[/I] factors in the decline of anime. The problem is far more complex than that.

It's a combination of those issues and people moving on to other stuff and no longer watching shows and therefore no longer purchasing them. Plus the economy and job stability has been up in the air and prices for everyday common goods like food have skyrocketed in the past couple of years (probably more than just a few), while pay rates have been slashed and raises outright dropped.

It's impossible to spend money to support an industry when your own needs come first. Food, medicine, a place to live, those needs will always come [I]before [/I]purchasing luxury goods like anime that aren't necessary for living.

The only thing in danger of dying out is the old system of distribution and the harsh reality that things change. Anime had a huge boon and now that boon is facing a complete change in how entertainment is obtained and spread. And it's not at all unusual for one type of entertainment to have it's ups and downs or to outright die when something else takes it's place.

Anyway, some groups, like Funimation, were smart enough to start moving to accommodate those needs by providing episodes online and making it easier for the fans to access things that way in a legal manner. Others however, would rather whine and moan and blame[I] all [/I]of the fansubbers instead of looking to meet the change.

So is it dying? It's possible. Does it matter? To be honest, I don't think so. Anytime a paticular form of entertainment declines or drops off, something else always shows up to take it's place. [/COLOR][/FONT]
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Well the other reason I'm pro fansubbing (other than it's free) is they are posting the last episodes to series like Bleach, Naruto, One Piece, and showing the people in North America the lastest series coming out in Japan. I mean do seriously think Bandai or Funinmation is going to pick up something like K-On or Seikon No Qwaser (especially this one cause of all the nudity and boob references)???

The simple answer is no. The big name animes take long enough to be "edited" for the American viewers. Between voice acting and the touch up most of those series have to endure little series that are only a season or 2 long get the short end of the stick.

Fansubbing sites allow us to see these series we would otherwise never get to see and right after they come out no less. I've seen plenty of Anime taken down from sub sites due to copyright infringement. (I"m actually looking for somewhere to watch Star Wars Clone Wars.... All sites I've been to have it down for copyright infringement)
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That's horrible!!! I used to watch anime free online, but after seeing a vid where Vic Mignogna addressed it, I stopped and started just watching what was on the Funimation site. There are tons of anime to watch and they are LEGAL! I wish people would stop stealing from the creators cuz it will just end up hurting everyone!

ALTHOUGH I do have a defense of fansubbing (LOL WOW HYPOCRITICAL I KNOW XD)
Some times an anime is done extrememly poorly (done by 4kids for example), and the only way to enjoy it is to watch the japanese subtitled version which is not always available. Plus, anime is really expensive and how do you know you will like it, if you cant even see the first episode? if you end up hating it, and you spent like $40 on it, well it really sucks.
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This topic is turning into a fansub debate, isn't it?

Well, I have to agree with Indi on this. Fansubs certainly do have an effect on the industry, I'm sure, but at the same time they've helped it before. The other problem right now is that our economy sucks.

From my own personal experience, I can say that I'm only willing to spend so much of my money on certain series. Fansubs or scanlations don't negatively affect this fact; if anything, they help a lot of the time. Case in point, [b]Hot Gimmick[/b]; I read the manga online first, then went out and bought the whole series shortly thereafter. Another example is [b]Kamisama Hajimemashita[/b], another manga I've been reading that I hear has been licensed by Viz. Now that I've read it and know I like it, I'll be buying it once it comes out. Plus, in these cases there's always the draw of the official release having a (hopefully) better translation.

So... yeah. There ya go. :V Hopefully my point came across well enough.
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[FONT="Comic Sans MS"]I think there's one key issue with this argument that some people are overlooking (not necessarily any of you, but it needs to be said):

[CENTER][B]An episode stolen does not necessarily equate to an episode's worth of revenue lost.[/B][/CENTER]

This is a point brought up time and time again in debates about digital game piracy, and the point fits perfectly well here. It is folly to assume that anyone who downloads an episode without paying for it had any intention to purchase in the first place. Undoubtedly, many did, but it's likely that a good number of them weren't interested in spending money on anime at all and would have just ignored the show in question if they had no way to access it for free. Therefore, we all need to keep in mind when looking at statistics that the number of copies stolen have very little correlation to the number of copies that would have been bought otherwise.

Other than that, I think most of my opinions on the subject at hand have already been spelled out by others.

Ace out.[/FONT]
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[FONT="Tahoma"]I'd like to add a little something to this since I'm a business major and I feel the need to point out how the comment that "fansubbers are destroying anime" is in fact more of a guilt trip, instead of the the company accepting that their primary goal is to meet the customers needs.

You don't tell the customer what they need and threaten to sue them when they make it clear they don't want it the way you're willing to give it to them. You find a way to bring it to them at a cost they can afford and is enough to bring in reasonable profit for your company.

To put it bluntly, the anime companies are so afraid of change that many failed to recognize the potential for digital sales quite a while ago. Many are still dragging their feet in regards to getting behind online sales of episodes and soundtracks.

The music industry did the same thing, dragged their feet and whined about piracy and all those people out there sharing it and yet once some of them got past that and started offering what people wanted, sales went back up. Just as CD's replaced tapes, downloads are slowly replacing CD's.

The same is happening to Anime. The market has changed and you either find a way to become a part of that or you[I] will[/I] fold. The more you blame your customers, the more they simply will not listen to you. Yes there are people who will get it for nothing, but there [I]are[/I] people who[I] can[/I] and [I]do [/I]pay for what they get.

Anyway, I would have to do some research, but I'm fairly certain [COLOR="Indigo"]Indi[/COLOR] is quite correct in pointing out that a lot of the decline in sales, for more than just anime I might add, have nothing to do with fansubbing, but with economy woes, among other things.

Also, I think people are forgetting that we grew up with the option to watch things on Television. We are used to seeing a show or hearing a song before we [I]ever[/I] buy it. So why would someone just buy an anime series without watching it beforehand?

If it's not on TV then you have to find another way to watch it. A huge percentage of anime never gets aired so naturally people aren't going to just pay for it up front to 'support' the industry. They're gonna want to see it first to determine if it's something they even want spend their money on. [/FONT]
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[quote name='Sabrina']
[FONT=Tahoma]If it's not on TV then you have to find another way to watch it. A huge percentage of anime never gets aired so naturally people aren't going to just pay for it up front to 'support' the industry. They're gonna want to see it first to determine if it's something they even want spend their money on. [/FONT][/quote]

I totally agree with u. Before people go and see a movie they see previews of it. Also in the anime community there are several series that release OVAs (or whatever they are called now....) to finish telling the story when they stop the series on TV.

The animators, writers and voice actors like to finish telling the story. I could see them using OVAs posted on a fansub site to get viewers there and get a site dedicated viewers.
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[quote name='Sabrina']
[FONT=Tahoma]it's not on TV then you have to find another way to watch it. A huge percentage of anime never gets aired so naturally people aren't going to just pay for it up front to 'support' the industry. They're gonna want to see it first to determine if it's something they even want spend their money on. [/FONT][/quote]

Fortunately, we have DVD/bu-ray rental places that contain Anime sections like Blockbuster Video.

I just thought of another possible factor as to why Anime DVD sales in North America are dropping. There's the possibilty that there's still a large number of North America-based Otaku who live with the misconception that all dubbing of Anime for North American distribution involves the removal/altering of non-kid-friendly elements and Japanese culture references since such editing practice have been going on long, but yet, there are still North America-based companies that dub Anime for North American distribution without not only changing character/mecha names and cultural references, but also altering/deleting any non-kid-friendly elements. Maybe, if those Otaku aren't so paranoid about the companies, this dvd sales drop wouldn't have happened.
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[quote name='stararnold']Fortunately, we have DVD/bu-ray rental places that contain Anime sections like Blockbuster Video.

I just thought of another possible factor as to why Anime DVD sales in North America are dropping. There's the possibilty that there's still a large number of North America-based Otaku who live with the misconception that all dubbing of Anime for North American distribution involves the removal/altering of non-kid-friendly elements and Japanese culture references since such editing practice have been going on long, but yet, there are still North America-based companies that dub Anime for North American distribution without not only changing character/mecha names and cultural references, but also altering/deleting any non-kid-friendly elements. Maybe, if those Otaku aren't so paranoid about the companies, this dvd sales drop wouldn't have happened.[/quote]

You bring up a good point. Most North American companies see anime as a cartoon and therefore relate it directly with kids. DBZ was one of the first anime I was introduced to. I find out after watching the entire Namik saga that they stuff on TV was cutting out all the "good fighting" (note I was 13 or 14 when I found this out) A friend showed me the uncut version he bought with blood, guts and cursing. I loved it.

Now fast foward a few years and I start finding dub sites on the internet. They aren't cutting out the blood and gore. They aren't censoring what they say. It is great. Plus i get to watch show like One Piece that I never got to see every episode to on TV due to them changing the time on me every couple weeks.
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[quote name='Sabrina'][FONT=Tahoma]I'd like to add a little something to this since I'm a business major and I feel the need to point out how the comment that "fansubbers are destroying anime" is in fact more of a guilt trip, instead of the the company accepting that their primary goal is to meet the customers needs.

You don't tell the customer what they need and threaten to sue them when they make it clear they don't want it the way you're willing to give it to them. You find a way to bring it to them at a cost they can afford and is enough to bring in reasonable profit for your company.

To put it bluntly, the anime companies are so afraid of change that many failed to recognize the potential for digital sales quite a while ago. Many are still dragging their feet in regards to getting behind online sales of episodes and soundtracks.

The music industry did the same thing, dragged their feet and whined about piracy and all those people out there sharing it and yet once some of them got past that and started offering what people wanted, sales went back up. Just as CD's replaced tapes, downloads are slowly replacing CD's.

The same is happening to Anime. The market has changed and you either find a way to become a part of that or you[I] will[/I] fold. The more you blame your customers, the more they simply will not listen to you. Yes there are people who will get it for nothing, but there [I]are[/I] people who[I] can[/I] and [I]do [/I]pay for what they get.

Anyway, I would have to do some research, but I'm fairly certain [COLOR=Indigo]Indi[/COLOR] is quite correct in pointing out that a lot of the decline in sales, for more than just anime I might add, have nothing to do with fansubbing, but with economy woes, among other things.

Also, I think people are forgetting that we grew up with the option to watch things on Television. We are used to seeing a show or hearing a song before we [I]ever[/I] buy it. So why would someone just buy an anime series without watching it beforehand?

If it's not on TV then you have to find another way to watch it. A huge percentage of anime never gets aired so naturally people aren't going to just pay for it up front to 'support' the industry. They're gonna want to see it first to determine if it's something they even want spend their money on. [/FONT][/quote]

[SIZE=1]As a fellow business student I'd have to agree with Sabrina's assessment of the situation.

Given the prevalence of streaming as a method of dissemination among the fansubbing community, I find it absolutely baffling that American distributors haven't attempted something similar. I mean those companies have the added bonus of higher quality material, a huge backlog of animes which mightn't be available elsewhere and a strong financial background to set up legal, paying sites.

Heck they could even produce their own 100% legal subbed versions of animes for fans who don't want to wait months for the dubs. If I'm willing to pay $15 dollars a month to play an MMO I'm willing to do something similar for my anime viewing desires.

If companies go under because they're not willing to change their business strategy to exploit obvious marketing opportunities then I have absolutely no pity for them. Added to that it's animes with strong fansubbing communities which are the ones that American distributors often choose to translate, because of said successful and strong communities. So saying they're directly responsible for the demise is disingenuous.

Also, can we get the title of this thread changed to something a little more accurate ?
[/SIZE]
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[quote name='rotlung']You bring up a good point. Most North American companies see anime as a cartoon and therefore relate it directly with kids.[/QUOTE]

[FONT="Microsoft Sans Serif"][SIZE="1"]Uh, what? Are we talking about the same companies? 'cause I've been seeing anime more and more accepted by the licensing companies/distributors as possible adult entertainment [not in [I]that[/I] way, at least, not all the time] in their advertising campaigns.[/SIZE][/FONT]

[QUOTE]Now fast foward a few years and I start finding dub sites on the internet. They aren't cutting out the blood and gore. They aren't censoring what they say. It is great. [/QUOTE]

[FONT="Microsoft Sans Serif"][SIZE="1"]Except those dubs come from the [I]exact same companies[/I] you claim treat them as kids shows.

I think you completely missed [B]stararnold[/B]'s point, or at least misunderstood it. They're not saying that's an acceptable mindset to have, and it isn't. The more die-hard fans need to realize that this is not the 90s anymore. It's 2010. Anime is rarely cut in DVD distribution anymore. You'll have some exceptions, like the Naruto dub-only DVDs, or the Dance in the Vampire Bund editing debacle, but for the former, uncut DVDs are eventually released, and for the latter, it might get an uncut release after all. A fairly large portion of series released on DVD have a dual-language option, and even then, that's starting to become less and less common due to money loss, which is why we're in this thread right now!

And anime on TV isn't cut very often these days, either, at least nothing that alters the story or characters. Sometimes they'll cut minor scenes [that have no bearing on the episode] for time constraints, though nowadays, that's usually saved for the OPs and EDs. Every once in awhile you'll get stuff like blood and language cut, but more often than not, it's to make it acceptable with the time slot, the extent of the cutting being determined what the FFC has said is acceptable with whatever time slot that may be. [/SIZE][/FONT]

[quote name='Gavin'][SIZE=1]Also, can we get the title of this thread changed to something a little more accurate ?
[/SIZE][/QUOTE]

[FONT="Microsoft Sans Serif"][SIZE="1"]Done. [Sorry, Ace. I have to keep [i]some[/i] degree of professionalism around here. :p][/SIZE][/FONT]
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Believe me I understand it's not the 90's anymore. My point for the story was that I thought the TV verision of DBZ was what happened in the series. I thought Nameks had green blood literal. Then I see the uncut and I'm suddenly like wow that is so much more realistic.

I guess I never thought about the distributor but yeah it makes sense that it would be the same company.

Also at the name change of the Thread..... wow that threw me for a loop :butthead:
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[FONT="Arial"][COLOR="Indigo"][quote name='Ace][FONT="Comic Sans MS"']Sellout. :flaming:[/FONT][/quote]Says the one who sold his soul to Gavin. :p

stararnold, your point about having the means to rent anime is a good one. But Sabrina was pointing out how customers are used to being able to watch something for [I]free[/I]. Sure they pay for the TV or for perhaps a cable service. But there are no rental fees involved after the initial investment. So that's good for someone who is really into anime, but for the casual viewer who just catches whatever is on and follows what they like, they're unlikely to [I]ever[/I] bother with a service like that.

Though I suppose that is why Funimation has a certain amount on their website you can watch for free. And with it being streamed it means you pick a time that's best for you. And that's probably why they're still one of the companies around. They may have not liked it, but they have tried to meet the change in how people get their anime fix as it were. [/COLOR][/FONT]
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[quote name='Indi'][FONT="Arial"][COLOR="Indigo"]Says the one who sold his soul to Gavin. :p[/COLOR][/FONT][/QUOTE]

[FONT="Comic Sans MS"]Actually, I presented him with the heart of a pig, which allowed me to both keep my soul for the time being and reference a movie I haven't seen in over ten years. This amused him, so I got off with a stern lecture and a month running the produce section (he made me eat the non-saleable merchandise).

Back on topic.

FUNimation's site and Hulu are my go-to places for previewing licensed anime. They both have good variety and it's completely free, other than about 15 seconds every 7 minutes for Hulu ads. Granted, they don't have every anime ever, so it's not a perfect system, but it's a step in the right direction. Not that FUNi has never stooped to the level of blaming the fanbase for their own blunders (see: One Piece Simulcast debacle), but for the most part they tend to at least try to get us interested in what they're peddling.[/FONT]
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