In which I speculate wildly and rant without a fully justified reason. Yet.
Steven talks about one of the cuter and more enjoyable lightweight series that aired recently, Dog Days. Although his main subject is the official, and often inconsistent, romanization of names in the series, he lets drop this tidbit:
It turns out that the Japanese BD release of Dog Days includes subtitles in English, French, and Chinese. The ANK-Raws rip preserved all three.
I’m not sure, but I think this isn’t the first time this has happened, and what I’m wondering is… will this become a trend? Is this Japanese-release-with-subtitles what we’re going to see more of in the future? Without later R1 licensing? I notice that no R1 license seems to have been announced, in fact. In other words, “Buy at the same inflated prices our domestic market pays, or you don’t get it at all.” Will we have to start ordering our anime from Amazon.jp?
Incoming controversy, batten down the hatches.
If this becomes the norm, I will stop supporting the industry by purchasing (and often never watching) DVD’s of anime that I downloaded months ago when it was fresh: Akane-iro, Daimou, etc., because not only are the studios being greedy, but they’re putting our VA’s, distributors, and retailers like Robert out of business. These are people that I voluntarily support because it’s the right thing to do. I could just sit on my fansubs, but I don’t.
I also want to support the original artists, the seiyuu, and yes, even the companies that bring us this fine entertainment, because that’s also the right thing to do, and my purchases do that. I’ll download broadcast versions, but then I buy (with a few notable exceptions) at least one of the DVD’s, and often the entire series. I don’t think I’ve ever downloaded DVD rips; if it’s a DVD file, it’s on a DVD I bought. Period.
But I’m a cheap-a$$ deal-seeking Yankee. (Well, southerner, not a damnyankee, but you get the idea.) I will not let myself be gouged for the sake of principle, or put more virtuously, I won’t let myself be taken advantage of because of my principles. I can get an entire season of Firefly for what I can get one or two episodes of anime — guess which is not going to happen? You stick it to me and mine, I stick it to you and yours. If it’s a choice between not supporting the industry or letting myself pay outrageous prices, color me hypocritical. I’ll patronize Crunchyroll where I can, or simply download fansubs where I can’t.
Now, it would be a shame if anime died due to stupidity and greed. Just for the record, I’m no OWS
fool baby-in-an-adult’s body; Profit is good. Profit does not equal greed. But here is the cold, fundamental truth of value: the value of a thing is what people will pay for it. And I just don’t value anime so much that I’ll let myself be gouged. I suppose you could even say, if you wanted to be harsh, that I don’t value my honor that much, since I’ve just said I’ll steal it, or at least I will as long as it’s a fairly repercussion-free act. In the long run, my personal morals will not make or break Japanese animation studios, but the similar decisions of hundreds of thousands of people like me will. Value, in the aggregate, is even colder and harsher than anything someone could say about my morals. The Japanese model of animation production and sale isn’t the first economic model that’s been undercut by new technology; it won’t be the last. Adapt or die. And if it dies, I’d miss it, but not as much as I’d miss having a roof over my head after I retire in a few years.
Those OWS hobos stink too much to join on the street.