Pirates aren’t cool guys
The Anime industry is dying. If you’ve been a fan of the industry for any time at all I am sure you’ve heard that proclamation thrown around a time or two. If you ask me todays anime is great. The quality is better than ever on so many different levels. In my opinion it’s not the Anime or Manga quality that’s the problem. For me it boils down to one thing: The fans of the Anime industry. From the Elitist bullies who push would be fans away right down to the internet pirates seemingly in search of the One Piece on the Anime Line.
Now while I will never understand the mind of someone spouting such nonsense as; “Your waifu is trash”, “Your likes and opinions are garbage you filthy casual”, or (my favorite of all) “No real fans like dubs”; however, I can understand (though absolutely do not condone) why a fan would turn to any of the millions of pirate anime sites out there to put another notch in their anime belt.
The Legal Availability
The legal availability of an anime you might want to watch or a manga you may want to read is usually the first problem that will lead you down the dark path that is piracy. For instance, if you want to watch the anime Uchuu Senkan 2199 (Yamato 2199) you are simply left with no option other than piracy.
Now most of the shows you are looking for can be found on any of the streaming sites, but when hit shows like Hunter x Hunter 2011 take four years to even get a license deal announced you’re practically begging otakus everywhere, “Please illegally download this so you can watch it on all of your mobile devices without eating your data!”
Manga availability.. Well manga availability is much worse than anime. It’s no secret that all of our favorite manga chapters are released on a weekly or monthly basis… So why are we only given one publication to legally obtain these chapters!? Shonen Jump is great don’t get me wrong, but It only offers a mere fraction of what’s out there.
Light Novels are a monster of their own. No, monster isn’t the word to describe them. Light Novels are better looked at like mythical creatures–only seen in the legends your grandad told you when you were a kid. Seriously though, up until Yen Press started their light novel movement you could only find them through fan translation sites. I love that Yen Press is really starting to crank out a lot of the big light novel titles, but again it’s only a mere fraction of what is out there!
The delay is something that really leads the fanbase to piracy. Shonen Jump offers us way to legally obtain and support some of our favorite mangaka, but the fact that it takes a week to get the chapters translated and put out there is ridiculous. A week to an Otaku trying to find out what happen in the next chapter of One Piece, Food Wars, or Assassination Classroom can literally be defined as an eternity. Thus, leading them to any of the millions of illegal scanlation manga sites.
Now the delay on things such as DVD/Blurays and Manga (the actual book release) are not felt as heavily as the weekly/monthly manga chapter releases. However, the wait times can still be considered horrendous at best. We’re all used to movies taking awhile to get from the big screen to our home, but it doesn’t take Hollywood anywhere near 2 years to package up their newest hit movie for sale.
Most manga books don’t even make their way to our bookshelf until the anime has long been over. On top of that usually we won’t even get manga localized unless the anime is a hit–definitely a chicken before the egg approach.
Certain companies (you know who you are!) feel that charging hundreds of dollars for a DVD/Bluray release is justifiable. While I understand that the quality of such releases is top-notch it is completely unreasonable.
You do have companies like FUNimation and Sentai Filmworks putting out releases at more than affordable rates when they want to, but when it comes to a really big title they got their hands on the prices sky rocket! Look no further than the Tokyo Ghoul, Parasyte, Akame Ga Kill, and Future Diary releases. Not to mention on long running series it seems the number of episode per box set shrinks while the price acts like nothing even happened!
If prices of new releases don’t scare you away from buying you anime dvds legally the price on older series will without a doubt. Try and get a copy of Neon Genesis Evangelion (the series or the movies) or the Gurren Lagann movies… $100-150 for a movie is absolutely ludicrous.
There are some bright spots on the price side such as a manga only running you anywhere from $6-10, but the bright spots for dvd prices are few and far between.
The fact that anime mainly targets teenagers is just asking for trouble. When I was in middle school programs like limewire were just starting to hit the ground. I was not exactly earning enough money through my allowance (or wanting to spend it on CDs) so me and all my friends took to the internet to download any songs we were looking to put on our fresh blank CD. I never once gave it any thought.
Can’t imagine it’s any different now. Only now there are better and cleaner programs to illegally download anything you may want. You got Torrents, and most of your illegal pirate anime sites have download links right under the video! It literally can’t get much easier or more tempting than that.
The Streaming Options
I am all for competition, but C’mon man… Crunchyroll exclusives, FUNimation exclusives, Daisuki Exclusives, Hulu Exclusives, and now Netflix Exclusives!? Even Though streaming services are relatively cheap if you want to legally watch all the new shows during any given season you’re gonna have to spend upwards of $50 a month a lot to pay for all the available streaming services!
While these reason are not an excuse to steal from the artists and companies that have invested a lot of time, money, and effort into providing us with the anime fix we all need–they are issues that lead directly to piracy.
I don’t know how to mend many of these issues, but there are a lot of people a lot smarter than me working hard to find the answers. For instance, FUNimation has introduced broadcast dubs, and new anime movies have been actually making it to western movie theatres.
The end of piracy could help remedy a lot of the problems we face though. From cheaper prices for everyone to more money in the pockets of a Yen Press or Sentai Filmworks which would ultimately lead to more and more releases brought west!