Japan: “Piracy Increases Anime Sales”


Japan’s prestigious Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI), a government-affiliated economics think-tank, has published detailed research suggesting anime piracy can boost disc sales.

The official English language abstract of the (lengthy and highly technical) research – the paper itself is only published in Japanese:

Do Illegal Copies of Movies Reduce the Revenue of Legal Products? The case of TV animation in Japan

Whether or not illegal copies circulating on the internet reduce the sales of legal products has been a hot issue in the entertainment industries.

Though much empirical research has been conducted on the music industry, research on the movie industry has been very limited.

This paper examines the effects of the movie sharing site Youtube and file sharing program Winny on DVD sales and rentals of Japanese TV animation programs.

Estimated equations of 105 anime episodes show that (1) Youtube viewing does not negatively affect DVD rentals, and it appears to help raise DVD sales; and (2) although Winny file sharing negatively affects DVD rentals, it does not affect DVD sales.

Youtube’s effect of boosting DVD sales can be seen after the TV’s broadcasting of the series has concluded, which suggests that not just a few people learned about the program via a Youtube viewing. In other words YouTube can be interpreted as a promotion tool for DVD sales.

The research itself provides detailed statistical analysis of each title featured (mostly popular late-night anime), even going so far as to incorporate such factors as the popularity of the seiyuu involved in the titles, what medium the anime was adapted from and which demographic it targets.

Each factor’s estimated impact on the likely effect of online distribution on sales is then extrapolated using regression modelling.

Sankaku Complex provides a translation of the study’s key conclusions:

We compared the DVD sales, DVD rental sales, YouTube viewing numbers  and Winny download numbers of various anime titles.

Our results suggested the following:

1. YouTube viewing did not decrease DVD sales, but actually increased them. For each 1% increase in YouTube viewership a 0.25% increase in DVD sales was observed.

2. The effect of YouTube on sales was particularly pronounced in the case of shows which had finished airing on TV. We can think of this as people who never saw the broadcasts becoming fans by way of YouTube and then going on to buy the DVDs.

3. There is no clear effect on DVD rentals from YouTube. At the very least we can say it seems YouTube has no adverse effect on DVD rentals.

4. Winny file-sharing has no effect on DVD sales, but does appear to decrease DVD rentals. People who download anime via Winny appear to be using it not to replace their purchases, but to replace their rentals.

As YouTube is having no adverse affect on anime sales, but is in fact increasing them, further distribution on YouTube is likely desirable.

Copyright holders who dislike YouTube and persistently request their works to be deleted from YouTube are likely to be harming their own business.

As a result of these findings, we can probably conclude that banning downloads of such material is a mistaken policy.

The usual proviso that correlation does not equate to causation naturally bears mentioning when presented with any study based chiefly on statistical observations. It should also be remembered these results solely concern the Japanese market and have nothing to say about fansubbing or otherwise.

Of course, these results should not be misconstrued as an endorsement of piracy – most anime production is funded primarily through DVD sales, so it is still essential fans at some point buy DVDs themselves, and the fact that TV, YouTube and P2P viewing is usually at much lower quality (whether in terms of image quality or dehumidification) than a disc always provides a strong natural incentive to buy.

Rather, it would seem online distribution has a crucial role to play in promoting anime to as wide an audience as possible and allowing this audience a preview of the full product available to paying customers – a fairly basic realisation to all but the most stubborn and unreasonable of copyright holders.

The research also tends to contradict government policy, which has recently seen unauthorised downloads criminalised, and soon threatens to ban ripping of DVDs and CDs altogether, a move which might have rather serious effects on the DVD rental business as well as on consumer freedom, and which, if this research is to be believed, would only further harm the anime industry.

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  • and then theres guys like me, that download everything, do not buy any series, but buy all sorts of other kinds of merchandise related to the franchise im interested in. i cannot download a figure from the internet,(yet).

  • HOnestly, youtube or fansub, both can only help an anime company. I live in the US where good anime is rare, rarer that I’d ever watch tv, and Fansubs or youtube help me find what’s new in JPN and if I like a series enough to go past 3 episodes or stick with it, I generally buy it when it come out here or import it. Same for manga. Games are about the only thing I straight buy without playing and that’s after watching reviews or demos if available. If a game doesnt come out here, I’ll import it. I have no problem buying great products that are tested an proven, but buying something now based off a promotion or fancy box art makes no sense in 2011 when you can test it and make sure it’s worth your money. I remember the old days where you read a description and looked at the box art and had to decide that way! If you were lucky, you got a good one or something mildly entertaining. Far too many times you got burned. Im not saying there arent leechers out there that still wont support companies, but if you like something and they constantly do top quality shows, show some love.

  • Is bogus translation, as statistical analysis does not result in “apparently”, nor can empirical data. Both data types are used in research to show one point is or is not supported but the numbers/facts.

  • Ok…so, now what?…

    Will be interesting to see how this plays out in the long run, whatever happens that is…

    I personally don’t want to pay to watch low quality anime online cause they can’t offer anything in good quality…but I would pay for anime that I find worth it…

    It’s like say…”I don’t want to pay for a bad movie”…same logic or idea…

  • How exactly was this tabulated?

    “The effect of YouTube on sales was particularly pronounced in the case of shows which had finished airing on TV. We can think of this as people who never saw the broadcasts becoming fans by way of YouTube and then going on to buy the DVDs.”

    So the studios gave him access to older show’s sales data? How does he know what the dvd sales are on older titles? Are all shows the same length? Because I’d assume a 13 episode series would finish running before DVDs were available at all, compared to a longer running series. Were said videos subbed? Secondly, do most Japanese watching streaming anime do so on YT? It seems like there are a lot of variables not accounted for, at least in this summary.

    Otherwise, this basically sounds like “popular shows sell more, and also have more pirates.” This would also need to be correlated to “season’s best” discussions as those would also draw attention to certain shows.

  • It’s rough when it’s like $20 for a 4 episode DVD. Unless I REALLY like the anime, I probably won’t buy it. Pair it up with a figure, keychain, or whatever and I’ll hand over $50 no problem. Even postcards! I bought that special edition FFVII:Advent Children set just for the cards even though I already had 3 copies of the movie(don’t judge me). It’s oldschool marketing but it always works. Except…media extras don’t really work because they’d just get pirated too…

  • yeah i think piracy can increase sale. heck some of the shows i would have not discovered if it weren’t for P2P

    “Winny file-sharing has no effect on DVD sales, but does appear to decrease DVD rentals”

    yes i think people replace the rentals to P2P. at least that’s what i did.

  • thats the freaking thing man, watching stuff online gets me buying stuff it makes sense man, when you think that youtube can reach 100 million people youtube needs to be embraced as a more efficent means to showing movies etc then a theatre.

  • living in America, 99% of the anime i want to watch will never see store shelves here. and without certain groups prviding the series with english subtitles, i couldn’t even watch anime. regardless, i have bought many series on dvd.

  • FINAAALLLLLYYYY, someone makes sense of it all, now just crossed finger and hope that they read that report and not accuse RIETI for heresy and stone whoever wrote those to death… oh, i guess its for another country…

  • Here is an extremely simple example of life. If my friend wouldn’t ever have shown me a pirated anime episode of Naruto, I would have never gotten into watching. If I never had access to anime via torrents, I wouldn’t have gotten a few friends interested too. And they got some people dragged in too. Everyone has purchased a smaller or a larger amount of merchandise and DVDs. Even the most debt ridden bastard has anime figurines on his shelf.

    In short, awareness boosts sales. The advertisement of anime outside Japan relies solely on word to mouth, internet anime communities and piracy. It might not be legal, but it is the truth.

  • This research article should be posted on every single media-sharing/streaming site on the net. It’s what people said for ages but the music/movie industry didn’t listen and just went to blackmail money out of them.

    for example in Russia all anime content was illegal
    but now everything legal anime goods – soldout very fast. if we haven’t enourmous corruption and orthodox censorship -we would be very good client

  • Sometimes there are nice anime that are overshadowed by mainstream anime titles, so having ‘previews’ on the Net is an excellent way to promote them. Viewers decide if they’re worth it.

    I found Byousoku 5cm that way… and Shinkai Makoto. ^_^ Just an example.

  • lol at least my country gives the others countries the middle finger when talking about copyrights “it’s against freedom to track and watch our citizens on the net unless it is truly serious crime” must be their thought on this matter ashuaushauhsu but that’s the only good point I see in my country anyway

  • The best argument:

    2. The effect of YouTube on sales was particularly pronounced in the case of shows which had finished airing on TV. We can think of this as people who never saw the broadcasts becoming fans by way of YouTube and then going on to buy the DVDs.

    Thats why i bought the Gurren Lagann dvds^^

    • Similar for me with Black Lagoon. I saw an AMV on youtube. Thought it was awesome. Pirated the episodes, and become a crazy fan and then bought American DVd’s, Japanese Blu-Ray, the manga, some posters and now am actually looking for a good Black Lagoon figure of Revy or Roberta.

  • well a lot of people still want a physical copy of the product then a tv recorded version. also if the dvd versions have bonus content, uncensored materials added scenes, in creased quality over all. definitely will buy dvd.

  • I’m going to HAVE to disagree with the last statement ; “As a result of these findings, we can probably conclude that banning downloads of such material is a mistaken policy” when their own study showed that it DID indeed effect rentals . I thought it was a too closed off statement. There should be a peer review of this study . Anmouku no ryokai is a tenuous balance and even if the study proves that piracy increases sales you can’t really hold it against copyright holders for being strict . They’re protecting their product as well as their creation .

    • I think the best policy would be to make sure that there are official versions on YouTube that are decent quality and discourage people from downloading by basically saying there’s no need to if you can stream it.

    • It does seem an overly broad statement.

      Their findings do not suggest allowing, for example, DVD ISOs to be trafficked freely would promote sales, and it seems counter-intuitive for this to be the case. It seems only specifically discouraging “inferior” unauthorised promotional distribution is likely to have a really negative effect, especially if carried to extremes.

      On the other hand, TV anime is only disc advertising, and with the limited distribution to the regions it seems tolerating or promoting free and legal alternative viewing methods could drastically increase their promotional area beyond the existing Kanto/Kinki regions.

      Overseas distribution seems a more complex issue however, as the discs are often simply not available.

  • Thing about anime fans, perhaps Otaku in general. We are consumer whores. If we like something we gobble shit up. Just look at Figures. People will blow LARGE amounts cash on figmas/nendos/etc on characters they like. If people are willing to spend that on a fucking glass shelf decoration/paper weight, I would be lead to believe they would spend money on the actual series as well.

    I think part of the problem at hand with Anime right now though isn’t as much on piracy, but more the fact that it seems like there is a quantity over quality factor taking place. It’s a zerg rush of crap. There’s but a few titles worthy of purchase imo. Or maybe that is the problem. When a shitty anime is seen for free, nobody is going to be suckered into buying the DVD.

  • Anything that exposes your product to more potential cutomers can’t be bad. I personaly don’t like watching anime on the net but I use it “sample” a series. I buy the ones I like and it saves me from buying the crap. This should have been a no brainer for Japanese marketers. Overly paranoid.

  • Oh, it’s mostly about youtube streams.

    4. Winny file-sharing has no effect on DVD sales, but does appear to decrease DVD rentals. People who download anime via Winny appear to be using it not to replace their purchases, but to replace their rentals.

    ^This makes very good sense.

  • If the piracy dindt exist,i never have discobered huge amount of animes in spain,and i never have bought some figures and merchandising from japan. In spain there are a few animes translated to spanish and new animes take a lot of time to get translated in spanish,but about 80% never be translated.The only way if you like anime and you live in spain..Download subbed anime.

  • I seriously doubt the facts.

    I’m one of those who actually do import a lot of bluerays of series that I’ve seen free already, but I’m willing to bet that I’m one of the rare ones.

    It seems more likely that most would never buy a series that they’ve already seen.

  • it was illegal downloads that got me into anime (love hina and ayashi no ceres to be more precise).

    if not for that, I would have thought that all anime was as bad as the crap I saw on VHS back in the 80s..
    and while it would be erroneous to say that I buy everything, or even the majority of what I watch.. I do buy a lot. figures, dvds, music.

  • Its to bad that this only gives more evidence in favor of streaming and none in favor of downloading. I buy everything i watch if it gets licensed, but i still like to have files of things that arent available.

    That being said, everything is available in japan, so the research has to be considered differently from a foreign perspective.

    Would be interesting to compare the figures of say,crunchy roll viewership, and how that would translate into DVD sales figures. To bad stuff that gets aired on CR rarely gets a license.

  • Anyone in the industry/government who should at the VERY LEAST be reading this study won’t know that this study had ever existed, so the status quo will likely continue/worsen.

    Damn it all.

  • Only a retard could not foresee the future development, commercial-bunched net-streaming, you can choose what you want to see and when.
    And if you don’t want commercial, add a subscription or buy the video.

    Easy, and everybody wins.

    Internet-streaming will probably more and more replace tv anyway.

    Development will happen, you have to be stupid not to follow.

  • Well duh…the Japs will continue to buy their DVD irrespective of piracy from fansubbing.

    However this piracy does affect DVD sales in the west, which is something the research doesn’t cover.

    • A joke argument considering 99% of foreigners learn what anime is from the internet and fansubbing. Let’s not forget than many supposed locel Japanese sales ain’t local at all but made by foreigners willing to pay the transportation cost of something they loved by pirating it first. Also many of those sales come from people that don’t even have anime on sale in their countries. West isn’t only the US where it’s possible to find some anime for sale.

    • Wrong it often is the only advertising it gets in the west.
      I would have never found out about Azumanga and Luckystar if they were not spamed on youtube.
      BTW in the US BD and DVD box sets are similar priced to what they are in Canada.

  • “The usual proviso that correlation does not equate to causation naturally bears mentioning when presented with any study based chiefly on statistical observations. ”

    Yes, but if they’ve done regression modelling and from there on found out that it was statistically significant, as they state they did, then there IS a link of causality. Your statement would have been true if all they had done was state that two things happened at the same time.

    • You cannot really assert a causal relationship exists without experimental data, which they do not have.

      All they have is data which suggests a likely potential causal relationship, and it is not enormously high quality data at that.

  • Most studios don’t get their Anime sponsored and might even have to pay for TV broadcast. Additionally they are subject to TV stations censoring content and bad airing times.

    Wouldn’t it be better to stream them on the Internet in the first place, skipping the whole ordeal?
    People only need to know where to find the streams, as opposed to stay up until 2am.

  • Chances of my buying anime BEFORE having watched a free fansub, zero.

    I also won’t buy a movie till I have watched it once somehow.

    Chances of my buying a dvd as opposed to downloading it. Well if it isn’t on sale locally, the chances are also almost zero.

    Chances of my buying an anime straight from Japan via Amazon.jp is fucking less than zero when you consider the rip off price, even worse shipping costs and the outrageous surprise duty costs.

    Sorry but in Canada a dvd box set is considered a 50 dollar item commonly.

    When I went to get the Hatsune Miku concert on blueray and discovered my end price was about 125 bucks including price shipping and duty, I sent it back and settled for the most acceptable blueray rip.

    In Canada a blueray item is routinely 25 bucks.

    End result comment, if you want me to buy it, don’t expect a fucking idiotic price tag.

    • it isn’t that much cheaper in Japan, a typical anime bluray costs around 7000 yen. In fact, the Haruhi BD box set is considered cheap as f***, and its around 38000 yen.

      Yet I still bought several copies of Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu for the different promo items from each retailer. Also, including the BD box set and Nyoron Churuya-san + Haruhi-chan bd, total damage was around 1000 usd.

      But its ok, because I love it.

      How did I come to love it? I watched it first from afk, all the way back in 2006.

  • I think this article makes sense, if it wasn’t for me being able to download anime, I would NOT have bought a solid state copy of it. Amongst other things, soundtracks have been a keen interest for me.

    Because I got to watch K-ON!(!) I now want to buy all the CD’s, brilliant music, same goes for Angel Beats, I’m getting the 2 Disc OST for my birthday this month. on top of the Thousand Enemies and Crow Song album I currently own.

    Yes, Piracy does have flaws for the producers, but how much of a fanbase do you think there would be if there was no piracy? I think it’s safe to assume that it certainly wouldn’t be as big as it is today.

  • how much do you guys wish to bet that the government and publishers will ignore this report and pass an anti-streaming/anti-p2p bill?

    by the way, how did the measure Winny network? unlike torrents, there is no tracker to get the numbers from.

    and what about torrents!!!!!

  • It’s simple:

    We like it, we buy it.

    We’re not that selfish as to think everything is free (well, kinda), but when we see a good piece of work, we , as fans, would like to procure, own and support that show/series/project/masterpiece for our self satisfaction. I don’t speak for all of us, but thats how I contribute to the industry.

    • In piracy there are those that who would never buy DVDs and stuffs (I know some people like that) and those who buy the anime to help the titles they like (like most users of SamCon I think ).
      Place everyone in the same boat and say that we destroy the sales and just want everything for free is extremely unpleasant.

      • Do the people trying to get everything for free and never buy anything really hurt the business though?
        Do you thing that this people who download everything just because it’s free would have started buying all the staff they download if they couldn’t find it for free?

        Isn’t it obvious that this people wouldn’t buy shit anyway? So the sales aren’t really hurt. The people who think of buying are the people who make the market and this kind of people would by a series that they liked.

        The only difference is that now this people won’t become victims of corporate marketing delusions and get fooled by a nice cover or trailer.
        They have the chance to see the product and then decide if it’s worth of their support and that is what companies don’t like. They hate the idea they can’t fool people anymore. Piracy is freedom i say.

        • i already made a post, but gotta reply, i would never ever buy a dvd or bluray of a series i like, but then again, there’s lots of other kind of merchandise available, so if i download the bluray, (which by the way i was never gonna buy in the first place so economyfags go fuck yourselves) and i like it, chances are i will buy merchandise related to it.

          real life case: i downloaded the whole full metal alchemist brotherhood bluray, and i ended buying 5 figures costing WAY more than the bluray could have ever costed.JUST BECAUSE I LIKED THE CONTENT .
          now, will you tell me i am hurting the franchise ? the answer is No . maybe the bluray market, but not the franchise as a whole.

        • You can’t prove they wouldn’t buy anything, but you can’t prove that they would buy something too.
          I think some of them are just too lazy to buy things. Some of them. And to an industry where 5,000 sales per volume is a success, getting 100 or so more people to buy it would surely mean something.

    • Obviously there aren’t many people like you.

      There are leechers, and then there are some idiots who’d think “Ahh, there will always be someone else out there who’d pay”. What if everyone think the same as those idiots?

  • Basically I think it suggests that posting on YouTube is as beneficial as having your anime rebroadcasted. Only it’s like broadcasting with an on demand network where fans can be made from the randomly browsing public.

    I thing the effect would be more pronounced with English fans (because they never get to see the original broadcast), but it’s difficult to see when translations are done poorly and late by third party companies.

    To take the example of iTunes: make it convenient, affordable, and expedient, you’ll make lots of money.

  • So… promotion is good for selling (quite high priced) discs.

    They finally got it. Are we going to witness the start of a new business model for anime?

    On a side note:

    “P2P viewing is usually at much lower quality than a disc”

    I wish it was always true… many (>90%) anime discs here are real crap, publishers don’t know even the basics of frame rate conversion (Italy uses PAL @25fps). I find it ridiculous that a fansubbed TV rip is much better than its official dubbed counterpart…

  • I have a huge anime collection and I do basically what this article says. I watch a few episodes online, if I enjoy them, I purchase the series. I’ve always assumed there are others like that.

  • Considering ever since i have gotten into anime, ive bought alot of murch, and some dvds,

    I have 5 figures atm. And looking at getting some more once my bank balance allows me to, but yeah theres some sort of feeling when owning the actual copy.

    Bout to save for Clannad Bluray.

    Will be aweshome~.

    So it does make sales, but then again theres alot of stuff ive seen that i wont buy :3

    • An advantage of not buying something you don’t like is that you don’t go around bitchin and whining about it afterward.
      This actually saves the company a bit of reputations since consumer didn’t lose any money. If they did, they would start telling everyone how shit it is and stuff and how they wasted money on it.

      • First “quite a bit of reputations.” Within this fail there is win.

        Despite that, I wonder if the companies are going to start realizing how much free advertising they’re getting with the advent of fansubbing and so on.

        Likewise, I wonder if the American anime market will realise that piracy is not a major issue, it is that their subbing and dubbing is 90% of the time, utter crap. I would buy more anime dvds if the subbing wasn’t done by a moron that just took a class in college, or if the subbing wasn’t done by people who took a 10 hour acting class.

        Most of the time, I hear the dubbing, and honestly want to start choking someone.

      • Most things are simply too expensive to buy if you’re not sure it’s worth it. More so if you know it’s not worth it.

        I wouldn’t buy COD – Black Ops or any of the Evangelion Rebuild Blu-rays even for one dollar.
        Why? Because they aren’t worth it IMO.

        One more evidence telling us PIRACY isn’t actually killing the business – one more evidence copyright-fags and publishers won’t give a shit about.

        • Simplest solution is to give people a taste then take it away


          Out of a 13? episode anime
          Show the first 4-5 episodes on YouTube, then dont show the rest. Especially try to stop before something incredible happens. Like if one of the main characters dies at the end of the episode, or if a massive fight scene will start next episode, etc etc

    • In all honesty, this study shows that yes, if they post their episodes online it will boost sales, and that YouTube is an effective tool for increasing exposure of a product. Although the question is whether an official stream is more effective at increasing awareness and DVD sales than an unofficial one. Also, what’s the sweet spot for picture quality? if they put it out in BD quality then that might have an effect for example.

    • @Wingsoffusion – Crunchyroll already does something like that. However, I think it’s still somewhat ineffective since there are still pirated versions of the subs not long after Crunchyroll releases their videos to exclusive members. They show the episodes for free after a week of the release but at that point most people would have already watched the pirated versions of it on youtube the week before.

    • “post there eps online cos it will boost sales….lol”
      You are mostly correct, but… I will correct it: “post there eps online with censoreship” WILL DEFINATELY increase the sale rate…
      You know how mad i am when watching censored anime?

    • Shippoyasha says:

      At least post sub-DVD quality rips so that you at least have a moral standing to stand on with this issue. lol

      I think it starts getting problematic if online streams has just the same quality or better than DVDs..

      • Bingo! And this is really the takehome point. I have no doubt Youtube increases dvd sales. I will also bet every last dime I have that it increases piracy at a greater rate than it increases dvd sales. Youtube might spark your interest in a series but no one wants to watch it in shitty quality all shrunk down with badly formatted subs. At that point, you will either move on to pirate the anime from a good subbing group or buy the DVDs. Seeing as the former provides as much quality as the later with the bonus of not costing anything…I think it’s pretty obvious what happens the majority of the time.

        The real funny thing is that Anime doesn’t seem to follow the US DVD/BluRay selling paradigm. Add in bonus features. Director commentary, actor/seiyu commentary, other special features. Sure, some pirates will take the time to also rip those out but many won’t and that creates an incentive to actually buy the dvd’s.

        • through youtube and youtube like services like blip, you can take at most 10$ per 1000 views of ads. you can put a pre, post and mis add into a video on blip witch equals 1 view pre, 1-2 views mid, and 2 views post, and also the mid show lower add that pops up and barely distracts, all in all its the equivilant of 5 views minimum per watch, 200 views nets 10$ and lets go with a 100,000 people watch minimum.

          that would be an extra 5 grand per 100k.

          cartoon network can push some at up to 3 million views, i believe ant bleach and narutos peak, so an extra 150000$ off people who werent even going to buy it… not bad.

          now for REAL profit, allow sub groups to post their subs to the stream, and let those subs display any why the group wants, and let them edit the opening and ending video to add whatever they want to it, and there you go, for one piece, let them edit the episodes, due to how those shows and handled.

          also dont go after people who like to download, because some of us despise online viewers, some due to how shittly browsers handle the majority of imbeded video

        • 00:27 anon here, an addendum:

          Lots of people also speak about DVD sales.

          A problem I see mostly pertains to series that get a TV Broadcast in HD. While BDs, due to some reworking, usually look better, DVDs tend to be horrid fail by comparison, image quality wise.

          However, I have, if at all, only seen -movies- on BD over here.

          Seeing series I know full well got a HD-release in Japan (Ergo Proxy is one that springs to mind), only on DVD over here is a major “DO NOT WANT” for me.

          It’s less of a problem when fansubs look ‘as good’ as what you can buy (given they sometimes are DVD/BD/whatever rips, anyway), but when the fansubs look -several times- better than anything you can easily get on the market over here, then the situation quickly turns absurd. I bought a few out of good conscience, then went “What the fuck am I doing with my money”, when I just shelved the packaged DVDs to never look at them again. Because if I wanted to watch the series again, I’d want to see the HD-rip, not the darn things on my shelf. Which’d make me either keep or re-pirate something I already bought.

          I mean, what the fuck. In the end I did import some BDs from Japan, but the pricing, with shipping included, is so ridiculous that it’s not really an alternative, either. Japanese disk releases are exorbitantly pricy to begin with, adding 30-40% shipping on top is not good.

          I think it’d be better if there were simple venues to give the studios our money, then not have to worry about whatever we’re doing with the material.

          Crunchyroll is a good start, but I hate internet-stream-quality video, so I’m hesitant to give them my money.

          I know I’d pay SHAFT silly money for a “Here, go download our newest episodes in HD, then feel free to slap sub-files onto it” monthly subscription or something.

          I’d at least know the money’d go straight where I want it to be.

        • Stuff being released on the internet for free for people to watch is a good thing. Especially for ones that don’t air on TV. Why the hell would anyone buy an anime they MIGHT like but have never seen?

        • I only buy stuff that I have watched entirely (read: Pirated) first. Also, all the merchandise filling my shelves (mostly figure imports) are from series I technically ‘pirated’.

          Altogether, I spent a mid-four-digits amount of money (Euros, mind) on my stuff. Not a large collection, but most definately not a small one, either.

          Now, much of these are imports, so I’m admittedly hurting my local anime industry to some degree (boo on your dubs, Germany). Though I did get a friend into anime/manga this way, and he now has a 400+ volume collection of german and english manga (another four-digit number right there).

          As result, I don’t buy that fansubs are entirely hurtful. Sure, some people watch em for the free ride, but a significant fraction of the people I meet at anime conventions, -primarily the big spenders- that carry home 500 bucks of doujinshi from hendane, or whatever, got into the hobby through fansubs, not the German dubs.

          Sure, not all of that may be good for the local anime industry (boo on your dubs once more, Germany), but in general, there is a fair amount of money going into Japan due to this, due to imports or whatever else, and that’s where the money, in my opinion, matters most.

        • Shippoyasha says:

          I suppose the big next step in all this is to make sure people buy the anime they love. I love how some fansubbers openly plead in fansubbed anime themselves at times, to buy them if you like them.

          I think they should ALWAYS put that message in the inbetween freeze-frame-artwork most anime have in the midway point of a show.

          It’s one thing to love anime and fansub, but it’s another to know that buying legit anime = supporting the industry. It’s been even implored by actual seiyuu and industry insiders that even foreign sales do ultimately matter and it’s important we support them.

        • When you look at the Japanese market where most the sales are from DVDs and BDs, the people that pirate can be likened to the people that’d watch it through TV anyway, where you gain significantly less revenue. Subsequently, the more viewers you get overall (including pirates) the more likely you’ll get a increase in sales with DVD/BD because the more fans you’ll have that’ll buy them.

          In European countries, it seems the main point of revenue are box office sales, which is why piracy seems so harmful – you pirate, and they literally miss out on a chance to earn money on the film. Well, provided you don’t like it so much you go see it again. Unfortunately, this is too often used as an excuse for Hollywood to make a crap movie, and being a catch-22 situation noone’s gonna give a fuck about it.

          tl;dr support the pirates, and you’ll support the industry. Funny how that works.

      • Let never forget that, because of fansubs, japan anime has been introduced faster to others country than it would without. Without fansubs, today, I would know not much anime like bleach, naruto, one piece and somes others. Considering the time it takes for corporate to bring back anime, without fansubs, the japan anime wouldn’t be that popular world wide.

      • Sounds cool, but to be honest if I were to watch anime online I wouldn’t pay for it. Its all about having the box-set and physical copies! Usually if I like a show enough I’ll pay for it though, same goes for albums.

        • What will they do now?

          They will continue criminalizing.

          They can put up study after study, but it will be to no avail.

          This is not about free advertising or lower DVD-sales.

          This is about censorship & control over the internet.

        • I always thought that it all comes down to this:

          Don’t ask. Don’t tell.

          You’d browse for animes you like and give it 2 or 3 episodes. If you like it so much that you need to move on from blurry, highly compressed FLVs, you get the DVDs. If you watched everything and still can’t be bothered, consider it ditched. Don’t go around and tell everyone about your illegal way of testing the product.

          Obviously, corporations don’t like the fact that we can actually see the contents of their products thoroughly before we buy them. That shit they say about lost sales due to piracy? It’d be bullshit to think that’s the main reason. I think it had more to do with them no longer being capable of selling media by pure advertisement anymore, because everyone who knows his way around enough can already judge if a product fits his taste or quality level.

          Of course, leechers exist. However, it’s difficult to believe that those fuckers would pay for anything if they can get away with not paying. Meanwhile, Platinum Games, a very new game studio can still take off and make cash until now, even though Bayonetta’s perfect version is on a console most heavily hounded by pirates this generation. Why? Because they did their jobs and made a high quality game anyone would gladly pay for it, that’s why.

          Back in the day, I’d feel like killing myself for buying an album from some band, thinking I’d like all their songs when it turned out that all but one track is a stinky pile of excrement.

        • That’s always been my policy, support the good shows (fullmetal alchemist, cowboy bebop, etc) when they come out on dvd, forget about the bad show (too many to name, plus I’ve forgotten them). Quality begets purchases.

  • Isnt it pretty obviouse that it would go up. I mean outside japan there is like not many places at all where u can buy anime or rent or check them up.

    Those who DO buy manga and DVD anime most likely have seen it on internet for free first before they buy it.

    Now how many go buy DVDs and manga without checking it out first at all? Not many.

    Now I dont know how it is in japan as they can get anime and manga all over the place.

  • Some say that pirates steal and should be feared and hated
    I say we’re victims of bad press it’s all exaggerated
    We’d never stab you in the back, we’d never lie or cheat
    We’re just about the nicest guys you’d ever want to meet

  • Actually it is a good idea. Have anime which are streamed online e.g. Youtube and downloaded from P2P to be of lower quality than the ones you get from DVD. Those would provide a incentive for us consumer to actually want to buy the DVD to get the better quality version.
    No one wants to buy something which we have never watched before.
    Some might say, why do we want to buy DVD when we already have it, and not care about quality. Well there is a lot of us that do care, especially collectors.
    Although I don’t like downloading anime(eats bandwith which costs a lot from my country), major problem is access to it. So many anime takes a year to be released in America, and many never get translated, especially non-mainstram anime.