I don’t believe in bootlegging.

Yesterday, while hanging around at school, I got into a pretty lengthy conversation about bootlegging/downloading anime. To be short, I’m against it. To be long, here’s a rough idea of what we talked about:

Guy: Why does bootlegging bug you so much?

Me: Because it takes money out of people’s pockets. If you notice at the end of each episode you stream, there’s a long list of people who work on shows. By not buying the anime (in a legal fashion) you are taking money out of their pocket.

Guy: But then how can I watch new anime shows?

Me: Wait for it to be released here? There are thousands of titles that have been released in the U.S over the past 20 years. Or, learn Japanese and buy the DVD’s from Japan. That’s how I saw all of Sailor Moon… (albeit it was on Laser Disk.)

Guy: But I don’t want to watch older anime. It’s outdated and no one cares about it.

Me: Then you’re missing out on some killer, classic titles. I get that anime that is over 5 years old is somehow “ancient”, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad and should be forgotten. Anime fans need to celebrate the older stuff just as much as the newer stuff.

Guy: Anime is too expensive.

Me: Back in 1994 I could buy a Ranma 1/2 VHS for $30, and it only contained 2 episodes. I can now buy a Ranma DVD for $5* with 5 episodes on it.

Guy: That’s not fair to me then. China/Korea/Guy on the corner has it for sale, so I can buy it.

Me: China/Korea/Guy on the corner doesn’t have a gun to your head telling you to buy it. Let’s say you work at a Target. Everything is fine and dandy, you’re getting paid, but suddenly people decide they don’t want to pay for their stuff. They steal it instead. Is that right?

Guy: No, that’s illegal.

Me: Let’s say the stealing gets so bad, that Target has to close up, which puts you out a job. Is that right?

Guy: No, it’s not.

Me: THEN STOP PIRATING THIS CRAP. One day, animation studios are going to close up because of pirating. Then you won’t have any anime. And you know what? When that happens, I will track you down (yes I will) and personally blame you for the demise of anime. (This won’t actually happen, but it was really funny to me so I had to say it.)

We actually went back and forth on this for a while. I understand where he’s coming from (can’t find it in America so it’s ok to download/buy fansubs), but at the same time, it’s wrong. In this day and age there’s no reason to have to steal anymore. We are over saturated with anime and manga now. Go watch Tenchi Muyo or something, I promise you, it’s a great series.

*There’s a store called 5 Below that does sell Ranma (and other anime) for $5. On DVD. I shit you not.




3 Responses to “I don’t believe in bootlegging.”

  1. Jeff Petersen Says:

    Oh, god. Thank you for posting this. This conversation always gives me a headache.

  2. Girls with Comics Says:

    No problem, Jeff. It got really absurd when he said “Older anime sucks though.” I think I about exploded at that point.

  3. Steph Says:

    Yeah, I remember many years ago, I was told that a lot of the old Anime companies would follow trends in the fansub communities as far as determining what shows to license. They’d license, sub and/or dub, and provide the fans with excellent quality tapes. This, to many of dedicated fans, made it worthy to dump their old fansubs… As it was generally considered that the fansub was just temporary fix until the real deal came out.

    It’s different now, the information age has grown immensely and technology has become cheaper. I’ll admit, I would/still download fansubs, but I always make sure to buy the official release… I run on the old school philosophy. I do not see it as a means of being better or worse, but I still made sure to support the series that I loved. To boot, the quality on DVD official releases are infinitely better. For example, I used to own a bootleg of the Utena movie, you can bet your biddy I bought the official release when it came.

    Sadly, I think a lot of Anime fans now-a-days have lost sight of this philosophy for the sake of convience. It’s a shame, but there are a few who still support official releases in any way they can. And really, now, there is no excuse to not buy the official American lisenced releases… They’re really freaking cheap! I bought a boxset of Maria-Sama Ga Miteru (yes, I am THAT gay), officially licensed, subbed, for 40 bucks, directly from the vendor! A box set! Cheap!! Gyargh!!!!!!!

    @_@ sorry, it’s a little long-winded, but I’d like to think there are some decent points.

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