The mangaka responsible for Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler) has excoriated fans who persist in expressing their love for her works to her whilst blithely admitting to her face never actually paying for them, calling them “thieves” and “morally degraded” whilst exhorting fans to support the works they supposedly love.

Kuroshitsuji creator Yana Toboso is evidently irate at the stream of fan mail she receives which rubs her nose in the fact that paying for the works in question never even enters into the thoughts of the fans in question.

So irate is she that she goes on to deliver a fiery sermon to the wicked infidel who steal her works, explaining matters very simply for the hard of thinking:

I don’t want to preach about illegal copies, but lately things have been getting a bit much. Perhaps it’s because of the summer vacation.

First up, viewing Kuroshitsuji or its sequel on online movie sites other than the official ones is illegal (they are legally viewable on NicoNico Douga though).

And the manga is only legally readable in Japan as the print edition published by Square Enix – downloading it and reading it is illegal as of 2010.

I used to get them before, but lately the frequency has really increased – let me give you a sample of the kind of mail I’m talking about:

“I got it off a friend on a ROM and read it :)”

“I found them all on an overseas video sharing site and read them there :)”

“I became a fan of the second season so I watched all them on an overseas site – they were really funny!”

People often write this sort of stuff – these are undoubtedly crimes. It’s the same as shoplifting or walking out of a restaurant without paying.

If you illegally download or view them, you’re stealing the rice from the bowls of creators and seiyuu – it’s no joke, we’ll starve and die.

“:)” it isn’t.

When I think of the moral degradation of these people I shudder.

People who send me these kind of mails are basically saying: “I really love Kuroshitsuji! But I want the people responsible to work for free, starve, and die! :)”

I really do shudder. I’m really glad they like it, but people are actually working hard to create the things they find so much fun. Can they not understand that?

It’s not only Kuroshitsuji of course. All the manga and anime people are making is a “product.” Anime characters don’t just move around according to their own will.

Together, lots of people have to make a story, the animators have to make thousands of frames, the seiyuu have to add their voices, and together they are making it all exist.

Manga is the same – the writer has to create a story and together with his assistants they make the manga panel by panel.

Everyone has a right to enjoy anime and manga, but we the creators still have to eat to live. Money is necessary to eat. To create the works you so enjoy, in exchange we have to derive our income from viewing fees, DVD sales, manga sales and merchandising – the money we get from this is our wages and how we live.

[… a tale of how little children who can’t possibly afford anime DVDs should use video rental services rather than steal follows…]

So, if you have no money, is it OK to watch for free?

The answer is “No.”

In the words of a certain steely fellow, this violates the Law of Equivalent Exchange!

If you keep ignoring this, eventually the anime and manga in question really will stop being made.


Illegal movies and downloads are absolutely no good at all!

She can perhaps be forgiven for treating her readers as being intellectually stunted, given that an increasing proportion of anime fans the world over seemingly have great difficulty comprehending that anime and manga are not in fact charity works they are entitled to view for free, but instead can only exist as multi-million dollar commercial enterprises dependent upon direct financial support from fans.

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    Avatar of PrinceHeir
    Comment by PrinceHeir
    09:40 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    publish more manga, make it digital if you have to, at least it will definitely improve the industry rather than give these on random western publishers who will take years just to publish one volume.

    Avatar of Manji88
    Comment by Manji88
    09:25 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I'm always amazed that these threads go on for hundreds of comments. Only one is needed, really:
    "I don't want to pay for anime/manga because I find it inconvenient to do so for any one of a number of reasons."
    The rest is details.

    Avatar of MidnightTide
    Comment by MidnightTide
    09:59 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    What about those of us who do buy, "after" watching / reading the pirate version?

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:28 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    U got proof of that? If U don't then people can easily assume your not paring for the manga/anime, immoralfag.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:50 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    "I ended up buying the DvD of Omamori Himari because I was a fan of the ecchi scenes. After seeing how badly the censorship board mutilated my copy, I'm very reluctant to buy any more anime." -Remix

    Avatar of MidnightTide
    Comment by MidnightTide
    10:53 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Do I have to upload a picture of all my anime DVDs?

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:10 18/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    ^ No.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:09 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    ^ yes

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:47 28/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    @ Manji88

    I love you.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:30 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hopefully Oda says his views on the piracy. If he does I bet 50% of pirates will be butthurt over it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:33 18/08/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    and the other 50% will just laugh that the irony if he hates it

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:30 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Stop teaching English to japanese children, and this problem will stop ^^

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:43 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Better idea, stop teaching Japanese. 57% of the world speaks English either as a primary or secondary language. Japan needs to catch up and the best way to do that is ditch their language composed of stolen Chinese symbols.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:49 18/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    i read chinese first and found japanese easier. hiragana and katakana only vaguely resemble chinese both in appearance and usage. kanji is used a bit differently as well.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:35 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    You know who has to come out and say it for me to actually feel something ...? MASASHI KISHIMOTO when he says something I will continue to read My already earned 35 volumes of his manga but this kan a can of whatever you NO YOU! see you You can go fuck yourself. You want your shit to sell write a better story and manga You like yaoi fine then go make some hentai doujinshi till then shut the fuck up and try a better way to guilt trip me next time

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:20 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Dedicated to all those who support anime and manga illegal translations and distribution:


    Comment by Anonymous
    09:39 18/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I luled at the fact the shitty art.

    Avatar of Lurkerman
    Comment by Lurkerman
    00:05 18/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I Luled, then agreed.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:05 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    A lot of pirate will kill mangaka.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:44 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Black Butthole?! Does this series involve 'manholes' and 'nergos'? Oh Japan, you wacky little bastards.

    Avatar of Barbarian of Gor
    Comment by Barbarian of Gor
    13:58 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is a time of change.

    We, as the "Consumer" have by far the most power to "Vote with our Dollars" for what we want to see in the "Mass Media". No more choosing from the sludge that some CEO upchucked from deliberately cherry picked mediocre artists while keeping the good ones out of the stores, TV, radio, etc.

    They don't have as much money as they used to and government bailouts are stretched thin. Keep bleeding them, by not buying their products and getting others to go to "Independants" we'll kill them off.

    I am totally for "Supporting what you like". If you do like this particular Manga, you should support it. Now, if you've already downloaded the whole series, I'm not saying buy them all (and pay a second-hand market scalper that'll not give them a penny) but rather "Donate" to them. Don't, necessarily, admit "Stealing" the companies do have lawyers and huge beuracracies. But if you indeed like truly what they make, send $ to them, say a money order in the mail from a "Guilty Fan" not directly saying anything. (1) $5, $10, etc. as a "Tip".

    The fans can now make and break the publishers.
    I don't even advocate "Stealing" their work, it argues it's value, if you don't like it. Look up "Independants" and support them directly.

    And all publishers have to realize that no matter how they dress up their productions, they are "Busking". The age old practice of playing a flute on a street corner hoping passerby in appreciation of your music (2) will toss you coin.

    Publishers won't like it. That's the idea. They think this is rough? Try "Singing for your supper" through the Dark Ages and loving every minute of it! I'm from a "Bardic" line and my family did that. Then when the "Modern" age came, we were "Kept out" of the "Mass Media". They hated the bards, the storytellers, etc. They just wanted bland, vapid music and pointless wastes of time to keep the public nullified and make $.

    See, the real "Problem" with the "Mass Media" is that too many "Pigs that feed off the labor of others" have controlling interest in it. Remove the "Big Money" and the ones who only produce shows to get rich and want to be stars to get money will run. They will run like a bunny at a fursuit lifestyler convention!

    The ones that remain will be those with "The Muse" and they will prosper. Modern technology has expanded the game, and matured enough that most anyone can afford it, so musicians, thespians, artists have options undreamed of in the past. What is needed is to take down the "Big Players" who've held the Muse hostage for so long.

    1 - Does the Japanese post-office shit their pants and whine over "Cash in the Mail"?
    2 - Or pities you, wants you to shut up if only for a minute...:-)

    Avatar of Wanyuudo
    Comment by Wanyuudo
    14:00 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    well if the manga is only in japanese and not in any other language, and We read it online for free, translated, we couldn't buy it anyway, so they don't really lose any money

    Avatar of Prussia Sama
    Comment by Prussia Sama
    17:55 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    (( I'mma liek your pic . ))

    "equivalent exchange" stroke me like they were trying to hit Hagaren FA fans.

    Avatar of Kortaku
    Comment by Kortaku
    13:47 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    makes me feel bad for watching the second season :(

    guess i'll buy the manga now.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:59 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    When publishers stop telling me that they're using anime/manga created by artists to make money by selling useless merchandise I'll start feeling bad about stealing the one product of their franchise off of which they didn't expect to make any money.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:32 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    What the fuck is black butler?

    Avatar of yaoibanana
    Comment by yaoibanana
    10:53 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I hope people out there get the message. This is one of the reasons why I'm trying to get a job. "Black Bird" isn't going to read itself to me.

    Avatar of alidan
    Comment by alidan
    10:48 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    i read this in 2 ways.

    BAWWW my homoerotic art style with a shota lead that inspires legions of shotacon works is so popular in places they aren't sold, how dare they not buy it from glorious nipon and import to there lesser country.

    but than i read it as a 5 year old who doesn't know how there little industry works throwing a tantrum. WHY AREN'T YOU GIVING ME YOUR MONEY [feet stomping] IF YOU WANT TO READ MY WORK THAN PAY ME [tears] MY WORK COSTS (cant find the pack page of the japanese version, add its price here) GIME GIME GIME.

    until these mangaka know how much money they are fucked out of by publishers (im assumeing they tell them they would have metric fucktons more if foriners payed for it, instead of saying we only give you 10% most likely less of domestics sales value and next to if not nothing of international)

    until than these mangaka can go fuck themselves. am i stealing, probably, should i have to? no, i believe people everywhere would benifit from an online viewer that advertised set up by publishers.

    stuck in old business models and the like, i have no sympathy for them even as i pirate everything they draw.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:55 21/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Stop reading manga then you asshole, stick to reading your own crap. Am Japanese and am not racist i don't care if other people read manga but pay for it, if you want to read the manga or watch the anime, am sure in america they sell lots of anime things, stop stealing my countries stuff.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:21 17/11/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Stop trying to justify your crimes. If you can't pay for a legit copy, don't read and watch. Simple as that. All the bullshit you spew is besides the point. You're the one whining like a brat.

    Avatar of chad001
    Comment by chad001
    11:16 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I would buy my anime but...

    4kids... just, 4kids...

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:44 18/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Because 4kids handles EVERY SINGLE ANIME RELEASE EVER right?

    Avatar of Gogetters
    Comment by Gogetters
    09:29 19/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    No but they might as well be...

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:06 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    BAAAAAAAAAAAAAW! Sounds like someone doesn't have a good view on fair exchange between japan and the outside world.. Her words make no difference to me whatsoever.. besides.. if you live in Canada you can download as much as you want and there's not a damn thing the MPPA or RAA or any other company can do about it! Because they already get allowances in forms of taxes from the government more it!! HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA! EAT SHIT.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:46 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    No it does not violate the law of equivalent exchange and the fact that we CAN watch it proves it. We spend our time to find a site that can let us view the anime. We spend our time to turn on the computer and wait for that slow thing to load. We watch lower quality anime than on TV (Unless you download it, which is gonna have to take more time). And according to Benjamin Franklin, "Time is money" so WE DID PAID AFTER ALL!!

    Everything comes at a price, but it doesn't mean that someone will have to benefit from it or someone will have to suffer. Please refrain from using that law if you have no idea what it means. In other words. "Don'tz go all philozophy onz meh!!"

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:27 17/11/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    So don't whine when someone steals your wi-fi/comic books/food/car/money because IT TOOK MAJOR TIME AND EFFORT TO STEAL YOUR SHIT K I DON'T CARE HOW LONG AND HARD YOU WORKED FOR IT IM ENTITLED BLARGGHHHH because everything has a price honey nobody has to benefit including you.

    Avatar of Belthasar
    Comment by Belthasar
    07:41 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    The thing about most of the anime/manga I get for free online: It is not sold here/in english. As many people have already pointed out, that means that the people who produce it would not get money from me anyway. It's another story if you live in Japan though, they don't really have an excuse.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:41 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    You stupid fuckers are so retarded, I can't believe you actually manage to breathe.

    "If she wants us to buy it, she should sell it overseas!"

    Do you think she has ANY control over that? It's the publisher who decides where to sell it, not the author. I'm sure they'd consider it if she asked, but if they didn't think it would be profitable, she wouldn't be able to change their minds if she begged on her knees.

    "It's too expensive!"

    So you finally got that title you wanted overseas licensed...and now you bitch about the price? Of course it's going to cost more. Anime and manga is a niche market in North America, so they need to charge more in order to break even. Hell, anime is actually EXTREMELY CHEAP here. You get more episodes per disc, at a lower price per disc than in Japan.

    "I don't pay to watch it on TV, so it's OK to download it!"

    Do you black out every six minutes when watching TV? You must, otherwise you'd know about something called COMMERCIAL ADVERTISING. That's what pays for a show. You're basically paying with time spent watching advertising, instead of with money. Unlicensed downloads and streams don't have ads (that pay for the licensing, at least). Licensed streams ALWAYS have either an ad before the video starts, or ads on the webpage.

    "It doesn't show up in stores for years, if at all!"

    If you actually go to brick and mortar stores for anime/manga then YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG. There are PLENTY of websites when you can order stuff that's not in stores, or out of print. And almost always for LESS (unless shipping adds up, which is a bitch, but DEAL WITH IT).

    "It's not available here, they never sell any anime/manga!"

    BECAUSE YOU NEVER BOUGHT ANY OF IT BEFORE, DUMBASS. If nobody buys the stuff that IS available, the local publisher doesn't make any money, and can't afford to license any new franchises...or FINISH translating ones they already have.

    "The translations are terrible!"

    Do you speak Japanese? I'm willing to bet you don't. With that in mind, how the hell do you know if the translations are good OR bad? Because someone told you? What reason do you have to believe they know what they're talking about? Because you read the scanlation first? How do you know the scanlators or any more or less accurate than the official translation? Honestly, whose translation are you going to rely on; a group of random people online with no credentials, or people who have actually gone to school to learn Japanese, have a diploma, and work in the field professionally?

    "They censor the artwork!"

    Yeah, because the Viz release of Ranma TOTALLY censored the near-constant toplessness right? And Dark Horse refused to publish Berserk because of the violence. And there isn't a single manga publisher in North America that has a yaoi-centric label! WRONG. The only notable censorship I've seen in English manga recently (no, lengthening Misty's shorts in Pokemon is NOT notable) was when Viz redrew the cross shaped slab that Greed was tied to in FMA. And that was YEARS ago.

    "They refuse to adapt to a modern business model!"

    Yes, they're stubborn. Remember what else was stubborn? The music industry. And now we have several licensed digital distrubtion services like iTunes. It took longer than it should have, but it happened. Don't expect it to happen right away with a niche product like anime/manga, but don't fucking say NOBODY is trying it. Funimation, Manga Entertainment, and even the tattered remains of ADV Films are doing their best to bring subtitled streams to North American (or in Manga's case, European) audiences. Have some fucking patience, and manga publishers will follow (Yen Press and Square Enix are already working on it).

    "It;s not licensed here, so downloading it isn't stealing!"

    And do you purchase it legally when/if it does become available? No, you don't. Maybe you pick up a few volumes you happen to see at a convention, but don't try to tell me you meticulously hunt down every volume and every episode you've ever pirated and purchased them. For the one person out of a thousand who truly DO (or try to the best of their ability), hats off to you. If only the rest of the fanbase could be as decent as you.

    "Copying isn't stealing because it makes a copy, it doesn't remove the original!"

    Bullshit. You are acquiring a commercial product without paying for it, and without the consent of the copyright holder. That's theft.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:21 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    "And do you purchase it legally when/if it does become available? No, you don't."

    Yes, I do. Sometimes by import as well, if it looks like it'll never get licensed. Your point? In any of this?

    And don't go calling me a niche case because unfortunately for ANYONE on ANY side of this debate, there are no statistics.

    Avatar of loli in a box
    Comment by loli in a box
    10:42 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    You have way too much time on you hands. o.o

    Do you seriously think those are the reasons why people pirate and don't buy?
    You know it yourself, don't you? Most people just use it as an excuse when they are confronted with it.

    There is no point in trying to disprove those arguments.(Mind, I'm not saying you actually managed to really do that.)

    It's pretty clear why we pirate and it won't change. I secretly hope the English publishers will go bankrupt so we don't have this dilemma anymore...it probably will happen someday.
    Nothing will change for the Japanese industry as the fans over there are still paying, so we can keep on leeching of their funding~

    Avatar of Manji88
    Comment by Manji88
    09:28 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    "The truth, it burns!"

    Avatar of lordchair
    Comment by lordchair
    10:04 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is the best thing I've ever seen on this site to refute the piracy apologists.

    Unfortunately, you're posting to audience of adolescents.

    I applaud your effort, though, and your great post!

    Avatar of Firetribe
    Comment by Firetribe
    10:03 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    The most epic comment I've read today!

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:00 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    You arrogant asshole, if you hate us so much stop posting here. Stfu and gtfo.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:22 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Poor pirate....

    Avatar of MidnightTide
    Comment by MidnightTide
    10:13 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Chirst, I keep on coming back to this article to read the butthurt from this fella.

    Keep on calling us thieves, keep on ignoring how times are changing and your business model sucks. All you are doing is pissing off the ones who do support the industry (and like it or not, you are not doing to kill piracy)

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:31 17/11/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    How are you supporting it when you don't buy their products? Think mangakas subsist on air and likes and pageviews alone?

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:08 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    The pirate of Sancom seems to hate your insistence.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:03 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    you're saying all these but where's your proof?

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:43 18/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Lets go down the list here:

    -If she has no control over overseas sales, she should shut the fuck up about losing money to pirates. If the market doesn't exist, "lost sales" are akin to unicorns.

    -Manga actually IS expensive in the U.S., while anime is the exact opposite. Books that sold for $3-6 in Japan sell for between $8-12 here. That is double the original cost. I know this because I buy both when a series I like is licensed and released. Importing is absurdly expensive, anywhere from 2-10x the cost of the book depending on how much you order at one time (it's only 2x for an order of $200 or more).

    -You're right about the TV line, that's complete horseshit, but none of the companies over here has ever attempted to put subtitled anime programming on either their cable channels or video on demand, so the only comparative services are streaming video sites like Crunchyroll. Their advertising based streams are ass for quality and the translations are often full of errors that have to be reported by fans in order to be fixed. I've watched new series threads on an Anime discussion forum one of their translators frequent and almost every single episode had a problems of some kind. That stuff often gets QC'd by the groups that rip their subs and release in 720p.

    -If the series don't show up in stores, it's often not because of stock, it's because distributors license series months or years after they finish airing. Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo was just licensed this month, and it'll probably be another year before we see DVDs of it, despite it being long since finished. I can buy out of stock items from Amazon or Rightstuf, I can't pull unlicensed translated DVDs out of my ass.

    -The licensing issue is one they brought on themselves by buying C and D level licenses in bulk during the anime/manga boom several years ago, and then having problems with funds when they all didn't sell as well as Dragonball Z. The argument still stands, if the product isn't available for purchase, a download isn't a lost sale.

    -The translations are bad. I speak and read enough Japanese to know when things are being changed, especially cultural references. Most publishers strip out any and all honorifics from the majority of their releases, even if they may be pertinent to the story, such as a love interest changing the way they refer to someone at a key point in the relationship. It's ridiculous, and after Rorouni Kenshin sold so well with everything intact, you'd think they'd have gotten over their cultural phobias, but sadly, it's still there.

    -Perhaps you've heard of a little series from Oh Great! called Tenjou Tenge. It has some of the most egregious and blatant censorship I have ever seen in a publication to date. Someone went through and did a side by side comparison of the early volumes and the changes numbers in the dozens of pages. Admittedly, I haven't kept up with more recent examples, but I'm sure just about every book that isn't wrapped in plastic will have been thoroughly purged of anything remotely titillating or with religious significance. Wouldn't want to piss off those soccer moms who stupidly bought their kid whatever he wanted without looking at the content first.

    -There is one company putting out eBook versions of manga thus far in English, and 95% of what they release are yaoi titles. I went looking on Amazon the other day after seeing the new Kindle to check since it had been a while. They need to get their asses in gear and make something better available before attacking their potential customers.

    -If I liked it enough to want to watch it again, yes, I buy it. If they want to make money off the initial viewing, they need to shape up their TV and online streaming efforts, because I'm not going to buy something as expensive as anime sight-unseen these days. My disposable income is too valuable to accidentally buy an Aki-can or any number of other garbage titles that somehow get licensed.

    -And again, nothing is physically being stolen in these scenerios. You don't see Adobe stomping down people's doors with cease and desist letters because some poor college student pirated Photoshop. That's not their market, they know it's too expensive, and they also know they'll never keep it off the internet. While it may be an "illegal" copyright violation, it wasn't a lost sale, because that person was never going to be able to buy it in the first place.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:52 17/08/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Funny, I watched one pirated episode of Kuroshitsuji and it was enough to persuade me to not bother watching the rest. I guess I'm the asshole for wanting to pay only for what's worth watching.

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