Featured Girl

Yasuda Misako

I’ve been waiting to post this picture of Misako-chan for a while now – it was on my desktop last month, but that was last month, so it’s been in my queue since then.

MediaWorks, producer of shows such as SCHOOL RUMBLE and Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien, sent letters of warning to AnimeSuki to remove all links to their shows and to fansubbers to stop fansubbing and distributing their shows. It’s been a year since this was posted, but amazingly enough, it passed over my head until just today. I’m surprised that I completely missed this. In all honesty, I never visit AnimeSuki (hence the lack of a link here), as I get my fansubs elsewhere. I have to admit to being one of the guilty parties here, as I watch JDrama and anime quite frequently through fansubs, and I rarely ever buy the stuff. Of course, I can’t justify this with the high cost associated with DVDs, since I spend just as much on Japan’s overpriced CDs (at least two a month on average). In the past year, I only bought two DVDs (the AIR movie and FINAL FANTASY VII ADVENT CHILDREN). So, what does this add up to? Well, not a whole lot, to be quite honest. With the amount of money I make, I could easily afford four anime DVDs per month, and still be able to afford a handful of manga, my monthly quota of J-Pop, zasshi, and shashinshu/mook, and even full living expenses too. That is, if I weren’t so buried in debt, but that’s besides the point.

Getting back on topic – with Japanese companies suddenly finding fansubs to be a threat, I wouldn’t be so surprised to see more of these companies cracking down on fansub groups. There are too many cocky fans out there now, downloading anime worse than I am, and bashing anime like they could do better. I remember a time when pretty much every anime you watched affected you in some way, because it was hard enough to get this stuff. I’m an otaku of 10 years, and I’ve exposed myself to many kinds of media, and now I’m expanding outwards into other areas of pop-culture. It’s really frightening when somebody experienced like me gets talked down to by some newbie who started watching anime on Fox Network and moved on to popular fansubs like Naruto and SHAMAN KING. Not that these shows are particularly bad, but to compare kids shows to mature shows like Koi Kaze and KANON is like comparing carrots with beef – they’re just not the same.

Fansubbing has become mainstream, unfortunately. Yes, it’s great that anime is reaching a wider audience than ever before, but at what cost? Making fansubs so easily accessible allows ignorant people to download these and avoid buying the DVDs. Hell, even Japanese viewers can do this – why bother buying DVDs in a market where they are extremely overpriced? This is the mindset of the average consumer – if it’s free, you shouldn’t have to pay for it. I won’t even go into J-Pop (although I’d have to argue that I’ve made more informed and frequent purchasing decisions by downloading and sampling J-Pop).

It’s so sad, though. There are a lot of fansubbing groups who do such a great job that they should form their own anime licensing companies or join existing ones. The current companies have never been able to translate properly, and they sometimes even butcher the storylines for whatever means. In contrast, because of the fansubbing revolution, more anime has become licensed in such a short time, quickly bringing us great series like Azumanga Daiou and Chobits. I mean, after so many years of dawdling by these lazy licensing companies, even Kodocha was finally licensed! Isn’t that lame?

My final verdict is this – people who don’t speak Japanese and want to watch unlicensed anime should take the initiative to learn Japanese. If you like anime enough, you’ll be otaku enough to learn Japanese anyway. It’s a fun language and I wish it was more accessible in public schools (screw all the other languages anyway, we don’t need English, French, and Spanish ^_^). If Japanese companies suddenly decide to condone the act of fansubbing, the majority of anime fans would be stuck on international shores. I also wouldn’t feel sorry for these people – even though I would also be out of luck, I would be that much more determined in learning Japanese faster.

All is not lost. I’ve actually been attempting to make headway with my Japanese studies. I know that it’s bad to do this stuff slowly, but when you think about it, I’ve been exposing myself to Japanese everyday, whether it be that magazine I have, or even the labels on packed boxes I receive. I listen to J-Pop everyday, watch fansubs (but I find myself recognizing more and more phrases as the days go by), and even think of things in Japanese. This is partly because I’ve got a Japanese PS2 and some games I’d love to start playing. I’m also planning to buy a Japanese PSP and a wack of games that will require Japanese to play. I don’t want to just guess at what to do. I don’t want to be in the dark about the storylines either.

Ai Yori Aoshi ~Enishi~
Episode 3
Please eat up. Tennis ball in the face!
Tennis racket in the face! Breast inspection check!

This was a pretty amusing episode. The gang decides to go out for a day of tennis. Kaoru and Aoi don’t get to spend a lot of time together, but he does learn about her proficiency in the sport. Tina also does a breast inspection check on all the girls in the shower. Check!

Ate at Boston Pizza after work with Esmond. Good food, fast service, even for their first day open. Not bad at all.

Current Music: Amano Tsukiko – IDEA (A Moon Child mix)

Additional Resources

The one with all the Lesson Reviews.

I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with this blog ever since I started using Hummingbird last fall. So, I decided to try an idea of mine called Lesson Reviews. Essentially, it’s more of a “what I learned from X anime” than a review, but the thing is, there will be good and […]

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