Anime & Manga News

Illegally Shared Anime Are Watched 69 Million Times A Month

by dtshyk
Oct 26, 2009 10:13 PM | 51 Comments
According to NHK news, the Association of Japanese Animation (AJA) surveyed the present situation of the illegally shared anime. From February to March 2009, 38 thousand illegal files were uploaded to Japanese and non-Japanese websites and they were watched 69 million times during the period. AJA staff said they will keep on making efforts to spread high-quality pay streaming services in opposition to the prevailed illegal websites.

Source: NHK

Ref.
Crunchyroll's pay streaming service ($7 per month) has 4.5 million members and they provide 200 titles, 5,000 episodes. The president of Crunchyroll Japan Branch Vincent Shortino said the number of illegal downloads of NARUTO episodes decreased by 74% after their official streaming started.

Source: Ascii

20 of 51 Comments Recent Comments

dPsychc said:
They should devise other ways to reach the target audience other than streaming. DVDs aren't even available in so many countries and they just don't wanna do anything about it

Exactly, I hope they don't try to get rid of fansubs because frankly most of us rely on Fansubs for our anime. Anime that would either A) Never make it out of Japan or B)Require membership on streaming sites. Because what if Site X only subs and streams Anime Y but doesn't sub and stream Anime X? Does that mean we're going to have to pay for Site Y which subs Anime X but not Anime Y?
Please lets keep our fansubs and online streaming, the true anime fans will buy when it eventually gets released anyway.

Nov 7, 2009 5:14 PM by Jrittmayer

Jigero said:
Well personally I think the rationale that if we crack down on fansubs and illegal downloads DVD sales will go up is kinda nonsensical, Most people illegally download or use fansubs cause they either don't have the money to afford all these series, don't think the series is worth paying for, or they don't even know if it's any good. I think it's kinda unfair that the only legal way for Americans is by forking over money for new DVDs every month or streams from crunchy roll, which lack quality, some series don't get released, and some times you have to wait a long time. I think if by some way they stop fansubbing all together Anime will just simply die in America. What makes you think if fansubbing just suddenly went away that people will just start buying DVDs? Chances are they still won't by DVDs, they will just move on to some thing else. These companies have to understand that just like every other form of entertainment it's a 100% voluntary, We can live with out anime and there are always substitutes. Now I'm sure there are the hardcores that will still buy DVDs no matter what, but that will be a small group and I hardly think that group is gonna allow these companies to break even and I think all together it will cost to much to release in the US and they will just stop altogether and then there will be no way to get anime in America.

Lets face it, bootleggers and fansubbers brought anime to America and they can also take it away.


I'll buy a DVD set of a series if it's something I like, but I'm not gonna pay money for every damn thing because most of animu is crap.

What fansubbers are doing is if anything a huge boon for animu outside of Japan because otherwise we would either a) not know about a new series or b) not have any way to watch it for the months it takes to get licensed, translated, etc.

As far as the pay-to-stream idea is concerned, well, it should have been addressed a long time ago. There are so many passionate people willing to sub an episode within 24 hours after it airs in Japan for free (and doing a good job at it), and the industry is only just now catching up? Capitalism is about entrepreneurship, and if the industry had thought about subbing new stuff quick and charging people for it online then the whole fansub network would probably not even exist.

Nov 7, 2009 3:32 PM by JuicyBuddha

Not gonna pay a penny for streaming. Fansubs do it way better and it's free.

Nov 3, 2009 3:59 AM by Sylpheed

Wow. Seven years ago when I started watching anime that was illegally streamed, and it took them probably over seven years to find this amazing "discovery". Just, wow. o___o;

Well, to sum what I want to say, it'd be something like this.

Do the people managing the money not know that many of us can't just go and buy it? Location is one problem, the actual price is another. Many of us don't have Japanese TV to be able to watch the anime commercials. Also, many of us don't exactly have a store that sells anime DVDs anywhere. I think that it's a bit unfair to try and restrict the illegal streaming even by using those pay streaming websites.

Another reason why would have to be the cost and the websites that are actually available. The cost of anime DVDs or merchandise in general is expensive in foreign countries that aren't Japan. Prices skyrocket by 30 - 40 dollars, and most people can't even afford a DVD over here in Hong Kong because anime DVDs over here are expensive if you get them legally. 300 here. In Japan? Maybe just 100. As for pay streaming websites, there are problems with those too. Crunchyroll has recently decreased it's quality and is uploading (nowadays) mostly episodes in terrible quality. Illegal streaming websites do better than them quality-wise. Also, their selection of anime is only based on what's popular, and doesn't really focus on those animes that are good but not so well known. Saiyuki, Ayatsuri Sakon and many other animes would be examples of those.

Oh, and what Jigero said? I agree a hundred percent. Fansubbers and bootleggers brought anime to America and to other places (like China), and if they stopped existing, the entire anime industry would suffer immensely. Good going. ;D

Nov 3, 2009 3:57 AM by Ikiibaii

Well personally I think the rationale that if we crack down on fansubs and illegal downloads DVD sales will go up is kinda nonsensical, Most people illegally download or use fansubs cause they either don't have the money to afford all these series, don't think the series is worth paying for, or they don't even know if it's any good. I think it's kinda unfair that the only legal way for Americans is by forking over money for new DVDs every month or streams from crunchy roll, which lack quality, some series don't get released, and some times you have to wait a long time. I think if by some way they stop fansubbing all together Anime will just simply die in America. What makes you think if fansubbing just suddenly went away that people will just start buying DVDs? Chances are they still won't by DVDs, they will just move on to some thing else. These companies have to understand that just like every other form of entertainment it's a 100% voluntary, We can live with out anime and there are always substitutes. Now I'm sure there are the hardcores that will still buy DVDs no matter what, but that will be a small group and I hardly think that group is gonna allow these companies to break even and I think all together it will cost to much to release in the US and they will just stop altogether and then there will be no way to get anime in America.

Lets face it, bootleggers and fansubbers brought anime to America and they can also take it away.

Nov 3, 2009 1:57 AM by Jigero

Another thing to remember about streaming is that not everyone has super fast connections where streaming is even possible, let alone the HD ones. I like being able to watch my shows without blockyness because of low bitrate or low bandwidth.

Nov 3, 2009 1:48 AM by Kuumidori

kraz8 said:
Actually, I think it is more tied to the fact that you can go to viz or Hulu and watched subbed Naruto the same time it is first airing in Japan. None of the fansubbing groups can compete with that. Why bother illegally downloading something that is legally availble for free on the net at your convenience, and why fansub a show that already is subtitled?


Firstly, very few episodes are actually "the same time as airing" but usually a day or two later, at least. (A week on CR, afaik).

As for downloading vs. streaming, well... countless arguments have been had over that already. Just head on over to AD and do some searches. Also "on the net" is not convenient for many people. Many countries have bandwidth limits (and the US is introducing more of them, even) and having to spend the bandwidth again just to rewatch things is stupid. Not to mention subpar video quality, lack of typesetting and countless other arguments that can be put up.

Streaming is not a replacement for fansubs. It can coexist, but will never be on the same level. Also there are almost always a few groups that sub the same show, so "it's already subtitled" has never been a valid argument. Different groups like to do things in different ways, and fans prefer those differences (eg various degrees of localisation or lack thereof, karaoke and other factors).

Nov 3, 2009 12:14 AM by Asako

Jigero said:
I understand why this might be a problem for japan, but as a world wide problem I don't. The anime that broad casts in Japan doesn't broad cast in other places in the world, so they never intended to make money off of us in the first place until international DVD sales, But by then the international DVD sales are really nothing but pure profit for the company, But people will buy the DVDs no matter what and I think because of Fansubs or illegal downloads they are getting more DVD buyers then the would be getting if there was no illegally downloaded anime. I think illegal downloading is the best advertising these companies could ever get in the international market. I don't think their number of international DVD sales will get any better if illegal downloads where to just go away.

I actually agree with you on the whole international sales v.s domestic sales bit. As far as I can tell, it's pretty much the same with dvd sales of movies/animations/tv shows in the U.S and how they ultimately matter more than i other regions. As for fansubs and illegal downloading aiding dvd sales, personally I believe fansubs help, but illegally downloading not so much.

When someone downloads an anime file from bittorrent or whatever, they can own the dvd without moving a inch and more-so without spending a cent. I would prefer if more people downloaded anime from an official site for a couple of bucks, but one of the hardest arguments for any industry is how do you make a profit out of a product when that same product is already available for free to own?
kraz8 said:
Asako said:
Probably has direct relation to around the time DB dropped it. Though the way they calculate figures for this kind of thing are always completely wrong and meant to make it look like a far bigger "problem" than it really is.


Actually, I think it is more tied to the fact that you can go to viz or Hulu and watched subbed Naruto the same time it is first airing in Japan. None of the fansubbing groups can compete with that. Why bother illegally downloading something that is legally availble for free on the net at your convenience, and why fansub a show that already is subtitled?

That and the same companies that provide Naruto or other legally streamed anime for free are also super secure to make sure no recent videos of the sort other than the official sites are provided on say youtube.

Nov 1, 2009 2:58 PM by Hypeathon

Asako said:
Anomalous said:
dtshyk said:
The president of Crunchyroll Japan Branch Vincent Shortino said the number of illegal downloads of NARUTO episodes decreased by 74% after their official streaming started.

...Really? I don't buy it.


Probably has direct relation to around the time DB dropped it. Though the way they calculate figures for this kind of thing are always completely wrong and meant to make it look like a far bigger "problem" than it really is.


Actually, I think it is more tied to the fact that you can go to viz or Hulu and watched subbed Naruto the same time it is first airing in Japan. None of the fansubbing groups can compete with that. Why bother illegally downloading something that is legally availble for free on the net at your convenience, and why fansub a show that already is subtitled?

Nov 1, 2009 2:56 PM by kraz8

I understand why this might be a problem for japan, but as a world wide problem I don't. The anime that broad casts in Japan doesn't broad cast in other places in the world, so they never intended to make money off of us in the first place until international DVD sales, But by then the international DVD sales are really nothing but pure profit for the company, But people will buy the DVDs no matter what and I think because of Fansubs or illegal downloads they are getting more DVD buyers then the would be getting if there was no illegally downloaded anime. I think illegal downloading is the best advertising these companies could ever get in the international market. I don't think their number of international DVD sales will get any better if illegal downloads where to just go away.

Nov 1, 2009 1:56 PM by Jigero

They should improve Cruchyroll first

Nov 1, 2009 8:51 AM by kimmyt

Illegally shared anime FTW!!!

Nov 1, 2009 1:05 AM by koreye

Bitches don't know bout my torrents.

Oct 28, 2009 1:07 PM by Edgey

Funny how this problem's been up since the beginning of time and they finally noticed this...

Oct 28, 2009 12:42 AM by BlackAssassin

Anomalous said:
dtshyk said:
The president of Crunchyroll Japan Branch Vincent Shortino said the number of illegal downloads of NARUTO episodes decreased by 74% after their official streaming started.

...Really? I don't buy it.


Probably has direct relation to around the time DB dropped it. Though the way they calculate figures for this kind of thing are always completely wrong and meant to make it look like a far bigger "problem" than it really is.

Oct 27, 2009 10:29 PM by Asako

dtshyk said:
The president of Crunchyroll Japan Branch Vincent Shortino said the number of illegal downloads of NARUTO episodes decreased by 74% after their official streaming started.

...Really? I don't buy it.

Oct 27, 2009 10:15 PM by Anomalous

imo if they don't wnat that to happen they need to distrubute to us asap! i have some series i like that never got onto dvd...da capo....gift eternal rainbow.....mermaid melody pichi pichi pitch =(
canvas 2
mamotte shugogetten
ef a fairy tale of two and the other sreies
and where's the rest of the full moon series like omg =(
kamikaze kaitou jeanne
powerpuff girls z
we so need the original tokyo mew mew >>
i'm sure i have more but yah :P
i'll stop downloading once i get these series in my hand streaming sucks =(
i even stopped downloading tears to tiara once it got announce :P so need to get my hands on that baby!

Oct 27, 2009 7:54 PM by Risami

well, I don't use CR anymore.

Oct 27, 2009 5:14 PM by Kurini

BigSimo said:
yeah but seriously who's going to pay money when there are perfectly good fansubs available for download, with great video/audio quality. Then again, if the streamed subs are actually good unlike crunchyfail's half-assed efforts, it may help as you say.


There are a lot of fans that don't like to download anime and as we all know the streaming sites that allow you to watch the fansubbed episodes are all terrible quality, unlike what crunchyroll offers. Plus on crunchyroll if you have membership you can watch an episode, subbed, one hour after it has been aired in Japan. That's faster than any fansubs and crunchyroll's subtitles aren't that bad either. I'd be happy to pay for membership if they actually had more than one series I was interested in.

Oct 27, 2009 3:37 PM by Touka

Other strategies much?

Really, they should have understood already that trying to sell us the anime does not work anymore. Make it good and we'll buy it in the end.

Oct 27, 2009 12:07 PM by ladyxzeus