Anime & Manga News

GDH Int'l Head Condemns Illegal Anime Distribution

by Crisu
Nov 24, 2007 3:38 PM | 57 Comments
Arthur Smith, the president of G.D.H. International, said in an interview with ActiveAnime.com: "Viewing fan subbed versions before official release is not different from smashing the window of a Mac Store and taking an iPhone the day before it is released."

ANN further reports that Smith understands that anime fans are unhappy with how long a domestic company takes to release a series after announcing its license. G.D.H. will investigate ways to release licensed anime online and through other means in order to shorten the wait time.

G.D.H. International is the parent company of Gonzo and Gonzo Rosso, an animation studio and game company.

Source: ANN

20 of 57 Comments Recent Comments

ya said:
how is that "before official release" if they show it in TV and after that someone subs it...too bad i dont live in japan so i could watch it on tv...

I believe they mean before the official release outside of Japan.

Nov 29, 2007 8:54 PM by Anomalous

GDH work blows anyway. Not worth downloading their fugly cg shit.

Nov 29, 2007 11:57 AM by zeroryoko1974

how is that "before official release" if they show it in TV and after that someone subs it...too bad i dont live in japan so i could watch it on tv...

Nov 29, 2007 10:35 AM by ya

Until they actually hire good actors for anime dubs and actually do a good job with subtitles I will not buy american released anime...

I'm not wasting thousands of my dollars on something that they half-ass.

And anime is overpriced anyway, espically single DVDs. If you buy all the episodes before the boxset it will cost you around $200 for the average anime series, and upwards of a thousands of dollars for a series like bleach. That is RIDICIOUS. its not the fact that I wouldn't pay for my anime, its the fact most americans, including me, cannot afford to pay that much for a 'hobby'.

If they would sell DVDs with only the japanese language, and good subtitles for a cheaper price I would buy them. I'm not paying money for english audio and crappy actors and a mono japanese track with crappy subs..

I have spent about $1,850 on anime dvds in my life. And that was about 15 series, one being DBZ. I'm sorry but thats just to expensive.

Nov 28, 2007 5:48 PM by Tyrindor

I think that as long as subs are going to be available, I'm going to watch them. I will buy DVDs at my own leisure, but some $30 bucks for one volume of a series with THREE episodes is ridiculous, no matter what kind of metaphor you use.

Nov 28, 2007 12:43 PM by ChibiKoneko

kei-clone said:
DeathfireD said:
Theres a simple was to solve this issue.
1) Update your web site to support streaming video
2) offer up the first few eps of the series you own and have them subbed not dubbed.
3) Allow users to pay to watch the rest of the anime either subbed or dubbed off the site for a fraction of the cost of the actual DVD/VHS (ex. $3 per ep).
4) Allow users to purchase "viewing packages" where they can pay a set price (ex. $32 a month) to view as much anime as they want off the site.
5) Allow users to pre-order the series via the site for DVD/VHS in either subbed or Dubbed so they don't need to worry about it later on.

This would give non Japaneses viewers time to watch the show as it's coming out via the actual license holders site. It would also help us determine if the show is good enough to buy or not.


that will solve the issue for getting legal copies to most countries but people still won't pay if they can get it for free


Well they could create a free section that aired the current episode's showing in japan on their site the day they where airing in japan for the whole day and replace the paid Japaneses sponsors with 30 second ads of their own, advertising their new products for sale in the US or other partner company's. Then the next day replace the previous days eps with whatever is showing today and continue.

I mean come on, there's loads of different options here that they could do to make everyone happy and at the same time profit from it. I honestly don't see why they haven't started doing this yet. It's probably got allot to do with lack of organization between the Japanese parent company and the foreign child company's.

Nov 28, 2007 4:04 AM by DeathfireD

There are several people who have expressed ideas along these lines, and I agree, that Gonzo and other concerned studios are focusing their energy in the wrong places. They certainly shouldn't target their comments toward the fans. That doesn't make sense. If I tape a movie on TV and then invite 10 friends over the next day to watch it, are my friends all criminals? Don't think so. I also don't know how successful they will be trying to clamp down on the sharing of these shows over the net. The internet - like nothing before it - accelerates and expands the ability to share. Rather than fighting this distribution channel, they should embrace it. Many have said "if we were in Japan we'd watch these shows for free." That is true. And what makes all of that possible? Sponsors. So let's say that as soon as an episode of a show stops airing on its Japanese network, a quality subbed torrent file is available for download using a tracker that is operated by the studio. Now would you care if your downloaded show had commercials for McDonalds, Apple, Doritos, Coke, Cheverolet and Budweiser on it? I don't think so. I wouldn't care. By distributing their stuff first, they'd ensure their copy would be watched. Which fansub do you go for on a show you're really into? The first one out, right? Everyone swarms to it. If you live in the US you get the US version with US sponsors, UK, the UK version, etc. When you download the torrent you get prompted to enter the country where you live and there you go. So maybe instead of whining and saying their fans are criminals, they should be soliciting some corporate sponsors and subbing and distributing their own stuff directly on the net. It is what it is. Something like this makes more sense to me than freaking out because it doesn't fit into their current business model. The fansubbers would begin to fade to hobbydom because they'd be out downloading their favorite shows with the rest of us. (the really talented ones could just work for the studios. Don't take legal action against them, hire them). As far as DVDs go - people that collect DVDs are still going to buy the DVDs. And I have a hard time believing impulse sales would ever exceed informed sales where thousands had a chance to preview the show first. Could a download be pirated and sold? Sure, but that stuff is going to happen regardless and is a different problem.

Nov 27, 2007 5:14 PM by shoganai

the way i see it theres 3 groups
1.dl the anime then buys dvds if they like it
2.wachs anime on line but dose not dl it and may buy the dvd
3.dl anime and will not pay for dvds
you can't deal with all 3 types the same way 1 and 2 would be easy 2 make happy the 3rd u will never stop

Nov 27, 2007 3:14 PM by death1001

Like many here I can safely say that if it weren't for fansubs I would not have seen anime and would not have bought my anime collection, which is larger than my 'other DVDs' collection. Therefore ADV, Gonzo, Manga, MVM, Ghibli, Funimation and so on, would never have got money from me. Fansubbing indirectly makes them money, in mine and many others cases anyway.

I originally downloaded the anime that I own on DVD free and then bought it. As has been mentioned many times, dubs can often make your ears bleed, translation is poor for subtitling (or god forbid dubtitling), instead of translators notes used to broaden understanding they make it crap and Americanised. Hence why I refuse to buy the second series of Naruto. Some downsides to DVDs and inevitably plus sides to fansubbing.

Why waste money on something that is crap when you can check it out, see if you like it and then buy it. I am convinced the companies that hold the licenses have earned more money because of fansubbing. I know they have out of my friends, my family (of whom some also enjoy anime) and of course me. Currently I have my eye on GITS SAC 1st and 2nd gig in HMV atm, and of course Berserk.

Probably nothing new in that post, but I thought I would put my 2 pennies worth in...

Nov 27, 2007 2:17 PM by Mutato

Shiki said:
Why should I buy something that if I were in Japan I could just turn on the TV and watch it?oo it's not like I want to hear it dubbed and fansubbes in most cases are superrior to paid subs (For exemple a joke in an anime. Fansubs->Notes so you will understand it. Paid subs->Americanize the joke)


because you don't live in Japan, and therefore are not subject to advertisements, and therefore are not factored into the japanese part of the income equation. It was never supposed to be free because commercials are there to pay for your free programming. But when you bring anime abroad, those ads can't target the viewer because they are no longer relevant, so advertisers won't pay more for having their content shown to people in other countries not interested in their products.

One of the biggest reasons for the anime boom is because anime studios have invested heavily in the market because they noticed a growing interest abroad. Money is expected to be made from that interest, but not from commercials like they do in japan. Obviously, the business model being used now doesn't work either, but that's the point of this thread. Either way, there has to be a way for the anime creators and producers to make a living, and if you're watching anime that you downloaded and you're not subjected to the commercials that japanese people are subjected to, then you haven't made your contribution.

Nov 27, 2007 9:13 AM by kei-clone

Why should I buy something that if I were in Japan I could just turn on the TV and watch it?oo it's not like I want to hear it dubbed and fansubbes in most cases are superrior to paid subs (For exemple a joke in an anime. Fansubs->Notes so you will understand it. Paid subs->Americanize the joke)

Nov 27, 2007 8:43 AM by Hamel

DeathfireD said:
Theres a simple was to solve this issue.
1) Update your web site to support streaming video
2) offer up the first few eps of the series you own and have them subbed not dubbed.
3) Allow users to pay to watch the rest of the anime either subbed or dubbed off the site for a fraction of the cost of the actual DVD/VHS (ex. $3 per ep).
4) Allow users to purchase "viewing packages" where they can pay a set price (ex. $32 a month) to view as much anime as they want off the site.
5) Allow users to pre-order the series via the site for DVD/VHS in either subbed or Dubbed so they don't need to worry about it later on.

This would give non Japaneses viewers time to watch the show as it's coming out via the actual license holders site. It would also help us determine if the show is good enough to buy or not.


that will solve the issue for getting legal copies to most countries but people still won't pay if they can get it for free

Nov 27, 2007 8:03 AM by kei-clone

Theres a simple was to solve this issue.
1) Update your web site to support streaming video
2) offer up the first few eps of the series you own and have them subbed not dubbed.
3) Allow users to pay to watch the rest of the anime either subbed or dubbed off the site for a fraction of the cost of the actual DVD/VHS (ex. $3 per ep).
4) Allow users to purchase "viewing packages" where they can pay a set price (ex. $32 a month) to view as much anime as they want off the site.
5) Allow users to pre-order the series via the site for DVD/VHS in either subbed or Dubbed so they don't need to worry about it later on.

This would give non Japaneses viewers time to watch the show as it's coming out via the actual license holders site. It would also help us determine if the show is good enough to buy or not.

Nov 27, 2007 12:33 AM by DeathfireD

That iphone example was pretty stupid. But anyway. You can say that certain anime series MIGHT get released in US but I dont get any anime at all in my country so the only way for me to have access to it is by downloading fansubs. So i dont care im gonna keep downloading them.

Nov 26, 2007 2:51 PM by magentaanbu

Iri said:
Since most DVD sales in Japan are from "otaku-ish" types rather than the casual viewer (that's why Gundam, Haruhi, and Geass outsell Naruto by a factor of 10 in Japan), there's a bit of a time constraint issue that pushes them to buy R2 releases. Normally, a DVD of a series is put on sale about two months after it airs. That's a pretty short turnaround. If the show is terribly popular, add, at minimum a year onto that if you want to re-import it from R1 sources (e.g., Death Note), although in more cases it's more like two years. But by that time, other shows and DVDs have come and gone. It's sort of like a consumption loop that the Japanese otaku is caught in. If they stop, they fall behind.
I mainly meant that the Japanese get massively ripped off, more than seriously suggesting that they are buying US releases. I wouldn't have expected such a gap, but then due to the lack of anything resembling logic, I long ago gave up trying to fathom any relationship between when a thing is released, the license is announced, it being released in the states and it being released here in the UK. As an anime fan who buys select UK releases, I have to be patient by nature; nothing stops Japanese fans theoretically being as patient. They, like us, have access to internet-sourced copies while they wait.

We outside Japan have the same problem of somewhat limited availability, though; just try to collect something like the UK release of Gasaraki...took me months of eBay and store searching, because while the license still to my knowledge holds sway, the series is out of print.

Iri said:
Those figures have never been forthcoming in the anime market, unlike Japanese releases, where they will tell you the precise sales numbers on each volume. However, I find it somewhat interesting that it is Gonzo making the complaints in this article, and most of us know the rather close relationship Gonzo currently has with Funimation in the USA, so here's a little something to consider from a little earlier this year.
I know nothing about Gonzo's relationship with FUNimation but that's nonetheless food for thought; I doubt any distributor has a massively different selection of releases, so it's not unreasonable to extend the idea of these sort of sales figures to the other distributors too. And yet we have Geneon closing (was it Geneon? I forget); the long and short of it is that none f these figures are really going to explain what's really going on and whether all this "noes not piratez teh animes plox! Am only poor cottage industry scraping living!" talk from Gonzo and in fact the rest of the entertainment industry is actually justified.

Nov 26, 2007 2:39 PM by YourMessageHere

Firstly, that is a very poor analogy. I had to take an exam on a subject called Critical Thinking here in the UK where you had to summarise the value of arguements and such, so I can spot an analogy that poor a mile off! Still, I'm probably boring you, so I'll just say this: I'm more than happy to buy anime if the original Japanese is included on the DVD. I hope I'm not being difficult, but I always prefer to watch movies or television shows in the original language as I feel that was what the Director/Creator/Writer/Other Random Guy intended. To use an example, Heroes (Ratings killer from NBC, I'm sure most of you have heard of it!) has a few different languages in it. When they want a character to speak in a certain language, they have them speak in that language (Hiro, for example). However, I know that some people don't mind the dubs, so I don't see a problem in putting them both on the DVD. For example, the Naruto DVDs have both the English Dubs (they make my eyeballs bleed) and the original Japanese with subtitles. I don't think that is too much to ask. But hell, what do I know, I'm just the guy shelling out my hard earned cash for it!

Nov 26, 2007 12:28 PM by OranSolus

Kamaitachi said:
Thats all so true i mean its almost impossible to get good region 2 anime dvd's in local stores



HMV or Virgin do anime, well usually the ones you dont want, it's only the massive stores that do others...

Amazon is really the only good place other than specialist...

They should really start considering releasing the UK and US at the same time...

Nov 26, 2007 11:52 AM by OmegaRFox

Thats all so true i mean its almost impossible to get good region 2 anime dvd's in local stores

Nov 26, 2007 10:15 AM by daiev

KrylonBlue said:
Sorry but gonzo is a shitty studio.


No idea what they actually do...

Dont think they do any anime i'm interested in or the UK

DarkMessiah said:
I've been poking around, and it seems Anime DVD's in the US cost twice as much as a common DVD.

I ask you: given the fact that most ppl prefer subs, which are WAAAAAYYY cheaper than dubs (no voice-actors, sound technicians, etc.), why the hell don't they make two releases of each anime? One with subs only (to be released first, since subs get done way faster (Fan-subs are living proof of that)), and another with dub track included? This way, sub fans wouldn't have to pay for voice-acting they won't be listening to!

But hey, I don't have any o' that fancy "DVD-release" stuff in my country, so I could very well be talking nonsense...

I'd rather have both at the same time...

I watch Fansubs while the anime is making its way to the UK which is a long time... and i do eventually buy them when they reach the UK (if they are worth it of course)

I have imported a few anime from America but on general it isnt worth it if there is a chance it is coming over here anyway (I got .hack//sign- boxset, Bottle Fairy (Geneon... FAT CHANCE) and rozen maiden (Not sure anyway)

I'd only do it if its worth it and 90% of the time it's not

Anyway UK DVD's are about £20 which is like £5 up on normal, well Amazon is so good, a lot of anime DVD's are £11-12 off Amazon..

Nov 26, 2007 7:24 AM by OmegaRFox

Sorry but gonzo is a shitty studio.

Nov 25, 2007 11:21 PM by KrylonBlue