Okay, I initially wanted to write an article about my perspective with Piracy. Specifically Anime and Manga. I now feel that things may have changed slightly. I’ll still talk about that but some of this article will be about my current position and how it has changed in a short period of time. As much as Piracy in anime/manga has felt like a feud between dark and light, good and evil, it’s not so black and white.
I initially watched all my anime like everyone else in my generation did via Toonami, Adult Swim, 4 kids etc. There really wasn’t any other way to watch these shows back then unless you bought the VHS tapes that were SUPER expensive/overpriced. Once the options became limited, I stopped watching anime and only read manga via my local library. Years later, I discovered my favorite anime, Case Closed(Detective Conan), was still going. It was over 500 episodes! When I discovered AnimeFreak(I think that was the first site I used), I was finally given the ability to catch up with an anime I once loved. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to watch it legally until it came to Crunchyroll. The issue with this is: it was 700 episodes at this point. CR wasn’t going to bring all of it over, probably a licensing issue.
Before the year of 2017, I didn’t watch ANYTHING illegally except Case Closed. Thankfully, Netflix was bringing series to their Catalog and Crunchyroll was slowly becoming the powerhouse today so I never had to resort to it BUT I have a confession. I used to read a bunch of manga online illegally.
I know I know, this isn’t that surprising since I feel everyone used to do this. Mostly because all of the good manga wasn’t brought over to the US(yet) unless it was from Shonen Jump/mainstream. I used to use Onemanga back in the day. As shitty as it was to read manga illegally, it was a great site to track your manga as well. I think the biggest issue for me was the fact that I had no idea that I was pirating. The same could go for my approach to watching Case Closed. It just felt like the only way to get my fix. As soon it hit me, I felt awful. It sucks knowing that the industry I loved so much was being hurt because of my method of getting the content that’d otherwise be unavailable to me.
I feel that this is still an ongoing issue. There are people that pirate not because they can’t afford it but because some countries just don’t have access. I know that this has gotten better over time with more streaming platforms in other countries like AnimeLab, I just can’t help but think that many pirates are doing it blindly for this reason.
Now that I’ve shared my blind privacy experience, let’s take a look at my present piracy dealings. It’s not as bad as you think. I just pirated like three titles. Your Name, A Silent Voice, and Kakegurui. Now I want to explain my reasoning/thought process. With Your Name and A Silent Voice, I’d say it was just me being impatient. I thought we’d never get these films to come to the US. I felt like IF they did, I’d make sure to support them as much as I could when they do. Well, I fucking did. I saw Your Name in theaters twice and ordered the Bluray. With A Silent Voice, I don’t think anyone expected a US release to be announced but it was during Anime Expo. So like Your Name, I’m still going to support it to the fullest when I can. I’m not saying I had a valid reason but this was what I felt made it right for me. Kakegurui, on the other hand, was for different reasons.
To be completely honest, I pirated Kakegurui out of pure spite to Netflix. I absolutely can’t stand how they handled Little Witch Academia and their future plans with this series and Fate/Apocrypha. I understand that binging is your culture for your platform but that means you’re forcing it upon those who have options with other services. I also can’t help but think that they’re doing this because they don’t want to have the series dubbed and subbed on a weekly basis due to cost. In Japan, you can watch it on a weekly basis. Why must we have to wait for Kakegurui to be released to us in 2018!? Sorry but no. I don’t accept this Netflix.
Now, I know piracy is a very touchy/controversial subject for most people in the Anime Community but this is my position on it. I’m not saying it’s right. This is just my opinion and personal experience. I’d love to build a dialog and hear some of the reasons why you do or don’t pirate anime. I’ve heard many different excuses like “I can’t afford an anime subscription.” If you’re a young adult with no income, I understand. BUT dude it’s $6.95 for Crunchyroll! I can understand the argument with Amazon’s Anime Strike. It’s unfair to expect us to pay for TWO subscriptions. So, let’s talk. I want to hear your opinions down in the comments below. As always, leave a like if you enjoyed.