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Interview With The Fansubber


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teh*darkness



Joined: 16 Feb 2007
Posts: 901
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:50 am Reply with quote
nikolai_131 wrote:
And Geneon failed cauze they didn't pick many projects...


Geneon collapsed because they were licensing too many series that had niche audiences even inside anime fandom, and their wholesale price was higher than anyone else's, which meant that it was harder to find their stuff cheaper (the reason why I have so many unfinished series from them... I'd buy $20 DVDs from Bandai and ADV at Best Buy before buying the Geneon DVDs for $25-$30)... it had nothing to do with them not having enough series.
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shadowblack



Joined: 24 Feb 2008
Posts: 37
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:58 am Reply with quote
Great interview. It clarified a few things for me. And he's right about many things, especially speed of release and availability of anime.


nikolai_131, Japan and the US are the biggest markets for anime, so of course most people concentrate on them.

Countries like ours, where there is practically no anime market and the best we can hope for is AXN Sci-Fi licensing a couple of animes (it was quite a nice surprise when they started airing Death Note and Blood+) don't count. You can say that the industry is willingly giving up on the potential profit they could make from the anime fans here in Bulgaria, but I don't think anyone would care.
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Iron Chef



Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Posts: 487
Location: Seattle, WA
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:06 am Reply with quote
I've rewritten this damn post about five times now, and I keep getting sidetracked. I've got too many thoughts and internal conflicts on this issue, so...

I'll just say thanks for the great article, Zac; thanks for putting yourself out there, Tofusensei; and I agree with the subscription model, HeeroTX.

I'm goin' ta bed.
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Labbes



Joined: 09 Feb 2008
Posts: 890
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:36 am Reply with quote
I think Anime DVDs are accessible from nearly anywhere in the world, though this has a lot of other problems.
Just to give an example: Here in Germany, Fumoffu has 4 Volumes, each with a cost of 33 Euros, which is about 45 Dollars. In the USA, the Box set of Fumoffu is about the same price. I mean, that is no real business model.
Anyhow, that should not be an excuse to download fansubs - I mean, you can still import R1 DVDs and an R1 DVD Player. Amazon.com shipping costs are not that high either.
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Ai no Kareshi



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 561
Location: South Africa
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:53 am Reply with quote
Labbes wrote:
I think Anime DVDs are accessible from nearly anywhere in the world

That's easy enough for you to say. If I import a DVD to South Africa, more often than not the shipping ends up doubling the cost for me.
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Labbes



Joined: 09 Feb 2008
Posts: 890
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:02 am Reply with quote
Ai no Kareshi wrote:
Labbes wrote:
I think Anime DVDs are accessible from nearly anywhere in the world

That's easy enough for you to say. If I import a DVD to South Africa, more often than not the shipping ends up doubling the cost for me.


I found it to be helpful to buy a bunch of boxsets at one time, because it reduces shipping costs a lot. I just bought Cowboy Bebop, Gunslinger Girls and Escaflowne from Amazon, and the shipping cost really is not that high.
Of course, it is a lot more expensive to ship to South Africa, but I still don't think of that as an excuse for fansubs.
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bayoab



Joined: 06 Oct 2004
Posts: 831
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:13 am Reply with quote
teh*darkness wrote:
so that they could be streamed online with an English translation same-day as the initial broadcast from their website with a per-episode/monthly fee, there's no reason they wouldn't be able to make money.

You forgot the very rarely mentioned #4.
4) Most animes are not broadcast across all of Japan on the same day at the same time. It may air in the greater Tokyo/Osaka area on Saturday at 1am, but at 3am on Sunday in Nagano and Hokkaido. If the shows go up on the internet with the first airing, it will kill off the local commercials.

ikillchicken wrote:
I have to say, I have significantly less respect for fansubbers after that. So much for any sort of noble motives or anything. Especially with the "new generation" of fansubbers he described it seems to come down to "We don't care if it's hurting the industry. We do it because it's fun and makes us popular on teh internet." It's really selfish and kinda pathetic.
Of course, it needs to be said this is someone looking into a murky glass of water and describing what he sees. They may claim to have their own motivations that are not clear to the naked eye. Popularity does not seem to be the largest motivating factor yet. The current largest motivating factor is clearly speed (which happens to get popularity in most cases). Even "the" Naruto and Bleach subbers have said many times that they don't want the popularity.
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Deltakiral



Joined: 07 Oct 2004
Posts: 3338
Location: Glendora, CA (Avatar Hei from Darker than BLACK)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:15 am Reply with quote
First off just wanted to say that this was an Excellent piece and kudos to all parties involved that made this feature possible.

nikolai_131 wrote:
1. I know it's good to buy the DVD's when they come out, but here in BULGARIA there is no such a thing as that. There's not such a place as an Anime shop or something like that... But if it's available here I would buy it instead of watching fansubbers.


I understand that lots of countries aren't as fortunate in that they don't have DVD releases of lots of shows. But would you be willing to support to the industry as a whole if the shows were made available online subbed for $2 an episode? I mean that what Death Note had and I thought that it was a good deal, although as mentioned in the article the speed of the releases would have to be increased to combat with Fansubs.

nikolai_131 wrote:
And what's the point to watch a series YEARS after they released in Japan and even with a crappy DUB~


There are quite a lot of good shows that are a few years old that never got released on DVD outside of Japan. And also I understand that you feel that (or at least it would seem that) most DUB are awful and ruin the show, but for the majority of people buying DVDs they want a dub. And a lot of Geneon products had great Dubs, look at the Hellsing dub and yes certain dubs were inferiors to the original Japanese.
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Steroid



Joined: 08 Oct 2005
Posts: 329
Location: At home, where all good hikikomori should be
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:29 am Reply with quote
Nice graphic for the article link. I want that many seeds on my torrents. Wink

I thought the most salient point was that if the top groups drop it, others will pick it up. Fansubbing has, essentially, gone "viral." Which means that even if you take the limit of what the companies can do, you're still going to have all-pirate groups that don't care about the industry doing the fansubbing.

What is achievable is what SF author Jerry Pournelle has called for: that when you type a title into a search engine, the for-pay site comes up first, and the piracy site on page 3 or 4.
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AmIAwake



Joined: 01 Dec 2005
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:41 am Reply with quote
Would i pay 15$ more a month for an anime channel? YES
Would i pay 150$ for a serie that i really like? NO

Like alot of my friends, i dont have 200$ per month to go buy animes.
So fansubs are the best way for me to watch one of the thing i like best.

And YTV and IFC are the only channel (that i know of on Starchoice) that plays anime.

(sorry if the grammar aint that good....im french)
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Ai no Kareshi



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 561
Location: South Africa
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:47 am Reply with quote
Labbes wrote:
Of course, it is a lot more expensive to ship to South Africa, but I still don't think of that as an excuse for fansubs.

I wasn't trying to justifying it as an excuse. I just wanted to point out that it really isn't as cheap and easy to get your hands on anime in some countries as it might be in the US. Wink
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shadowblack



Joined: 24 Feb 2008
Posts: 37
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:51 am Reply with quote
Labbes wrote:
I think Anime DVDs are accessible from nearly anywhere in the world

If only it was that simple...

1) I don't want a DVD in the first place. I just want to watch the anime
2) Even if we ignore the relative cost what I would get is NOT the same as what the US anime fan would get by ordering the same DVD. The American fan gets a DVD with subtitles (and dub, if it is dual audio) in his first language - he's an English-speaking person and the subs are in English. I, on the other hand, would get something that is NOT in my first language. So the American fan gets a DVD in his country's language while I would get a DVD with subs in some other country's language (having a dub in another language is fine since our country's dubs are horrible). Yet I'm paying more (due to import costs).

Fansubs allow me to watch what I want when I want. If I get the chance to watch a title on TV - good, I'll do so (I've watched Death Note fansubbed, but that doesn't stop me from watching it on TV now that I can). If they decide to air an anime I have not yet watched (like they did with Sakura Wars TV, and like they are doing with Blood+ now) - all the better. But even if I would watch something on TV that doesn't mean I'd want to buy it on DVD (or pay for it in any other way, since I don't consider watching TV to be paying for what I watch).

So it's really not as simple as saying "DVDs are available to everyone, so there's no reason to download fansubs".
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Zin5ki



Joined: 06 Jan 2008
Posts: 6680
Location: London, UK
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:51 am Reply with quote
[quote="teh*darkness"]
Ultenth wrote:
In Japan, the production company/distributor pays the network to broadcast the show, in order to increase awareness and hopefully increase the number of people who will buy the DVDs. Revenue from commercials aired during programming goes straight to the network. This is why R2 DVD prices are so high, because they have to recoup not only production costs, but broadcast costs as well.


That's certainly news to me. Does this mean every japanese show, animated or otherwise, needs to release DVDs to get any money at all?
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AnimeFreak250



Joined: 11 Mar 2008
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:52 am Reply with quote
Great, great interview, the best I've read on ann in a long time. Lots of great questions and great answers.
However there are a few more things i think shouldve been mentioned. Another two major reasons for why (i strongly believe) alot of fans dl fansubs.

Nr 1 is the "quality" and the extra effort fansubbers put in their releases. By which i mean all the effort put in into the quality of the translation, the high quality releases encoded nowadays in h.264, the freedom in releasing softsubs where u can yourself edit the font, color and size of the sub, the awesome karaokes, the special notes that explains things e.g. names that have a background in norse mythology, listing the ingridients in sukiyaki or explaining that when someone sneezes it means that someone else is talking about that person behind his/her back.
Now im talking about the so called "quality subbers" and not "speed subbers", although there are quality AND speed subbers out there too (i suppose it depends on each persons definition of speedsubbing).
Also, i haven't bought that many DVDs myself so i cant say that all US licensors put no such effort. However i would like to say that i get extremly annoyed when the anime is not kept original. Take Initial D for example, i dont really mind the changed music if its good (like Faulconers music in DBZ) but changing the names (eg Ryosuke to Ry or Takumi to Tak) was just awful, also putting in cool swipes when scenes change is not that bad, but since its not part of the original japanese work it bothers the hell outa me.
If however a separate DVD set were to be released that is kept very much original, i would really consider buyin it.

Nr 2, the money. If anyone were to ask me i would say that the future of entertainment lies in the magnificent world of gaming.
People that can get their anime better, faster and free can spend their money elsewhere. I myslef, and im sure this goes for alot of people, spend more money on games and consoles and controllers and online gaming (xbox live, MMORPGs) and upgrading the computer with newer/latest graphic cards, CPU, RAM, HDD so one can play the latest games in at least decent quality (going with my definition of decent) and nowadays u gotta have an HD-TV too.

Anyways, i am also hoping that the anime industries will adapt and use the fansubbers and the fansubbing world as a clear sign that its time to change things.

thanks for reading threw my 2 cents.
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Randall Miyashiro



Joined: 12 Jun 2003
Posts: 2451
Location: A block away from Golden Gate Park
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:56 am Reply with quote
mrploddy wrote:

Tofu is OLD OLD school =P


That is funny since I never knew about the IRC fansub connection even though I used to float around #anime! on IRC back in the .vi and 1200 baud modem era. The last fansubs I actually got were from Studio Scorch (Giant Gorg I believe) and Arctic Animation (Maison Ikkoku) back during the early Animeigo and Streamline Pictures days. I have since followed the domestic licensors.

I had no idea how fansubs work these days and found the interview informative.
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