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.