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subCulture - This just in: Anime Fans Aren't Jerks!

by Zac Bertschy,
Color me impressed. About a week ago, I wrote a rather long installment of subCulture that proclaimed the death of Soyokaze Fansubs, one of the largest VHS distribution services on the web. I was in complete error; Soyokaze had moved, and was still going full steam ahead. This wasn't mentioned anywhere on the old site, but apparently it's true; There's a new team that had completely taken over Soyokaze Fansubs and moved the site elsewhere ( Presumably to cut down on traffic - the old Soyokaze Fansubs had their link removed from AniPike just to cut down on the number of orders they'd received ). I didn't know this, and wrote the article - needless to say, I got a lot of email about this, within a half hour of the article being posted.
Now, I know what you're thinking, and it's the same thing I thought when the email started pouring in. “Oh god, here it comes.. a wealth of email from self-important, smarter-than-thou fanboys who have to prove their “superiority” by correcting the problem with the most amount of arrogance possible.” It's happened before - even the most minor of factual errors will be jumped upon by every fanboy in the country with an internet connection. (Example: “The 3rd bolt from the bottom of the foot on Wing Gundam takes 4 torques, not 5, to be properly calibrated, you fool!) This is a stereotype of fans that's well-founded, but not without exception; I was very impressed by the feedback I got. Most everyone was very personable and forgiving; nearly all of them were very helpful and polite. Not the response I expected, and certainly, I thank each and every one of you who took the time to write up a polite correction and send it in to me.

And then there was the one guy who had to foul things up.

There's always one undercooked french fry in the box. One of the emails I got struck me as being over the top as far as arrogance goes; after a day of being pleasantly surprised, I'd finally gotten the letter bomb I was expecting. Not only did this guy tell me I was wrong, he had the nerve to tell me what opinions I should be expressing in my column, and then finished his letter with (What I could only assume was) a carefully chosen, very insulting quote from the mega-obscure fanboy favorite Legend of Galactic Heroes. The dorkiness of his ending quote only compounded my fury and I nearly shot him back an equally nasty letter, but cooler heads prevailed and I sent him a short reply thanking him for his feedback (And a quick mention of how rude I thought he was). You'd expect the guy to shoot me back a flame to end all flames, right? Wrong.

Turns out the guy was just trying to help.

The answer I got back from him was an apology for sounding arrogant. He knew his stuff and was proving it, but he didn't mean to sound like that; it was a simple error and he was really cool about it. It was a complete surprise; I hear horror stories about how rude and obnoxious Star Wars fans are and how uncouth Star Trek fans can be. If those stories are true, I won't have anything to say except that in my line of work, the fans are polite, helpful and a pleasure to work with. Everyone who emailed me about my mistake (And it was a big one..) was overwhelmingly polite about it. Anime fans rock.

In fansub news, not much is happening. Elite Fansubs just released the next episode of Argento Soma, a mildly interesting series available at their website. They're also releasing a short series called ippatu Kikimusume, which from what I can see, is a show about extremely stupid women doing extremely stupid things. There's a wealth of christmas specials available, with the Love Hina and Di Gi Charat specials already available to eager fans. The digital projects are slowly making their way to the VHS scene, with a few tapes of Love Hina and Vandread making their way around the usual distribution circuit. Next month things should be picking up; until then, stay tuned.

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