My thoughts on the Bandai Entertainment situation, Piracy, and Anime Fandom.
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- ewhile I imagine piracy may have contributed in some small way to Bandai's failure, it was far and away not the primary cause. Much like TokyoPop's collapse at the start of 2011, it was much more a case of company's relying too few licensee's, making bad business decisions, and just the general economic collapse.
Still, you're right, there's far too much casual piracy in Anime and Manga. (and in general as well) Back in the bad old days of third-generation VHS tapes and the same guy doing all six male voices on an anime, Piracy was a "legitimate" act that filled a need. but now, in an era when you are one dsl account away from just about any content you like, it's less about filling a void of content, and more about getting something for nothing.
Of course, now, we face the opposite problem, with so many of these US distributors collapsing, consolidating, or cutting back; I've already seen a reduction in the amount of new material coming over to the states legitimately. I've been waiting for two years now for the "official" version of Heroman, among others, to show up in the US; and often all I hear is "company x is negotiating a deal to license the property" and nothing comes of it.
So I guess the question might be... where does this leave us as consumers? Where it takes very little effort to scan a Manga, and only slightly more to rip a DVD, and where the official channels are drying up, are the fans largely to blame for the collapse of the american anime revolution? and if not out-right responsible, how much did/do we contribute to it? even Cartoon Network, once a bastion of introducing Anime series to America, has largely switched away from anime properties to first-run series and live action. Is that a reaction to fan taste, or a reaction to the economics of the once-thriving industry dying off on its own?Jan 5, 2012
- I think, where we are right now, we just have to be patient. If we consume, we do so legally - and at least for a while, we abstain from the old practice of self-importing in the hopes the industry will recover. If it doesn't recover, then we re-evaluate - but until then, I think we have a duty to make sure we aren't contributing to it's demise, y'know?
Of course, I say all of this, but I haven't really watched any anime at all in the last few years -- but I love this fandom so much, and it's been such a major part of my life, that I felt like I needed to say somethingJan 5, 2012