September 26, 2017

Episode 62 – Why Justin Sevakis Will Kill The Industry

Hold on tight because the sparks will fly as Benu lays the smack down on Justin Sevakis’s letter to the industry.



  1. I found this podcast while roaming iTunes, and my first reaction was “FINALLY. SOMEONE who that agrees with me!”
    My only disagreement is (unless it’s low quality etc.) your conflict with ADV charging $5 per episode for online streaming. Its still cheaper than buying a DVD. But at this point I’ll hear whatever you have to say about it.
    My hat’s off to you.
    Maybe if I show this podcast to my friends they’ll stop stealing their anime. No matter what I say they won’t listen.

  2. You’re missing Sevakis’ point.

    His point is that the world is changed; it may be wrong, it may be illegal, but it’s the harsh truth – and because there’s no way in hell the anonymous masses are changing their ways, the industry should.

  3. I don’t buy DVDs(anime, or otherwise) very much… I have a few anime dvds in boxsets.
    I would however, buy anime episodes online. IF like you said, they were high quality(as high as the HD fansubs) DRM-free, came out the week they showed in Japan, were subtitled(with the fancy text subs that fansubbers use, inculding karaoke), and cost under 2 US Dollars per episode.

    Now that may seem like alot to ask, but if the fansubbers can do it, why can’t the big companies?

    Sure people would still steal(there’s no stopping it), but at least it’d give a few people(like myself) a means to pay for anime they like(Without having to wait forever, for DVDs with only 3-4 episodes on them to come out every few months.)

  4. My interpretation of the “anime has no value” comment was that it is being shared and pirated to such an extent, that the value of actually going out there and purchasing a DVD has been nullified, not that the hard work of those involved in the creation (and licensing) of said anime was of no value.

    There was a great photo someone talk a few weeks back that illustrated this problem (something like a parking lot without a fence and tire track marks in the snow illustrating how everyone was just driving around the toll gate to park)

  5. Wow. I think you really missed alot of points from the Sevakis article. When he says “…anime has no value…”, he is referring to how the fansubbing has gotten so out of hand that there is this “infinite supply” which makes anime effectively have no market value. I think the fear of him saying such a loaded statement is exactly what happened in this podcast. People will read this statement quickly and not understand what Sevakis is actually talking about.

    Let’s analyze the mind of the typical anime fansub watcher. Why do anime fans watch fansubs? I don’t think it is because fansubs are free. Fansubs are the ONLY means of a first exposure for American anime fans. They are the ONLY means that we can see the latest anime as it comes out in Japan. They are also the ONLY way we can talk about a series enough to convince American companies to bring it to the states.

    So were does the problem lie? Compare this with regular American television. Dr. House is seen by millions through the free medium of American broadcast television. Yet many still buy the DVDs even though they already have seen it. This is because the hype has been maintained by the wide initial viewing with a fairly quick DVD release (all of season one released a year later after the premiere). Anime doesn’t have that kind of wide first exposure. By the time it gets licensed and the DVD gets on the shelf (some of the earliest, the first volume is released a year later after the premiere), whatever hype was there is gone. Those who haven’t seen the fansub won’t think twice when they pass by it on the shelf.

    Sevakis’ position is laid out very simply: “THERE HAS TO BE A LEGAL, INEXPENSIVE WAY TO WATCH NEW ANIME IN ENGLISH. Not necessarily own, but at least watch.” He’s calling out that if you give a means of inexpensive wide distribution and appeal to the anime fans’ conscience, then anime fans will respond. Sevakis doesn’t really give a means how, but we have already thought of our own ideas (good quality, DRM-free, fast digital downloads).

  6. “I watch fan subs because I want to see the perticular anime…and usually that want is fueled by hype or mass fan attention its getting. Now I would never go and buy a movie I’ve never seen or a CD I’ve never heard. SO I would like to actually find a way to watch/preview that anime before I buy a $80+ boxset.
    The idea that fan subs support the industry is debateable and both sides give convincing arguments. On one hand by bringing attention to the animes early by getting them to the states as soon as possible, “the hype is maintained” and the companys get DVDs (or Blueray now) out sooner and profits would go up. On the other hand, in my early anime experience I was resonably against pirating anything…but then came limewire and fansubs and I was okay with watching a whole 26+ episode series, not paying for it, and moving on with my life. After all I didn’t think it was too likely that I would bother watching a series more than once. But now I feel moraly oblagated now that I’m not smuthering my concience. Plus humans are more likely then not to prefer having the physical manefestation of the anime…also I’m getting tired of crappy video quality (though downloads are usually better quality) and sitting in front of my computer…I’d much rather get the DVD, get in my bed, and get to watching me some anime!
    So either you get interested in the anime (thanks to fan dubs)and buy it when it comes out (early-thanks to fan dubs). Or watch the anime and not pay, robbing the industry and virtualy making the anime market “worth nothing”.

  7. Because of my love of anime I am currently going to school for animation. I watch cartoon network, and whatever comes on the anime network. Since I am a broke college student if I ever buy anime dvd’s I only buy USED discs in Suncoast, FYE, etc. As an American, I don’t expect to catch the best stuff Japan has to offer, and guess what? Without fansubing I won’t. One of my favorite shows is Magical Lyrical Nanoha. I seriously doubt this would come anywhere near the U.S. without fansub support making a fanbase. If it’s on television I would definitely watch it, and if it’s on sale at Bestbuy I may buy it on dvd. Otherwise, whats a gaijin like me doing watching it? Remember, these are Japanese shows. Played on Japanese television with Japanese comercials. Now, the secrets out! Everybody knows they can make money on the western market, (i.e. USA) so now its a problem!!!! Whatever. I don’t really buy American movies either. I’ll wait for a movie to come on television, because I’m not anyones cash cow. In 2k8 you can catch my animation on you tube, and on my website for free. Enjoy!!!

  8. I was bored and was searching for some stuff on iTunes and came across this.

    Anyways, I have to say I like fansubs. I like to see a series and then decide if I want the DVDs. Because of the FanSubs as well as the DVDs that come with NewType magazine, I’ve already gained a bigger collection of Anime DVDs, and am waiting for a few more to come out or get licenced.

    Without Fansubs or anything, no one would know about the series. That’s the problem. Because Anime doesn’t get the exposure it needs to get even bigger within the States, no one knows about it. I mean, really, how many times has someone labeled Manga as “Those backwards books”? They don’t get exposure to it. But hey, you say “American Idol” and they know just what you’re talking about, even if they hate the show.

    What anime needs is day-time airing scedules. Not just Anime Network. Anime Network either needs to get itself a full time cable channel, not this on-demand stuff (My parents refuse to let me use the on-demand stuff), or someone else needs to take it up. I know there’s an anime channel on iO HD, but how many people have HD? And how much new and popular anime is on that channel? Not much for both of those questions.

    Because of FanSubs and other media that shows anime either on TV, an insert DVD, or the computer, I’ve been able to say “Hey, I want that DVD when it gets dubbed”, even if I only watch the subbed portion (I’m a fan of the original Seyuu normally. Though I have to say, sometimes the Japanese get it wrong too xD;;; ).

  9. Master Sushi says:

    I myself buy very few Anime DVD’s, but I honestly disagree with most of what you said. I does not hurt the Anime industry to download Anime, it hurts the American Anime industry. I really don’t care at all if the American companies get their money until they get the fact that I don’t want my Anime edited for TV, dubbed so that the story and names change (hello One Piece), and relase the DVD’s for $50 a DVD (hi there Bandi). When I get DVD’s that are well translated and relased for $20 or $30 a DVD, and not edited for “inappropriate content” then I will pay out the nose for Anime DVD’s. That is not to say that I never buy DVD’s, seeing as the FLCL DVD’s are very well done, and therefore I believe that they deserve my money. I have and will buy imports of Japanese DVD’s because I believe that the original creators are entitled to my money. So no I don’t believe that I need to buy DVD’s to keep the industry alive. Also, Anime is for Japan, not America. If America was to stop paying for Anime all together, It would still be going strong due to the fact that the target market for Anime is Otaku in Japan.

  10. Ok, scenario;

    The anime industry outside Japan is losing the game, it is failing to keep up with want and demand due to lack of foresight, not knowing its audience, etc. The Japanese intrests lie in spreading anime/manga as far as they can generating huge amounts of profit in the process, but problems lie with the revenue lost through marketing and distribution, not to mention the delays involved. So what happens?

    The anime company’s set up a fast distribution system to give accsess to the latest anime, translated by fansubbers now hired by the company’s. They advertise over anime forums and sites and set up a system where you both watch and buy, on a massive scale. everyone’s happy

    ok scenario 2;

    A defect in an icbm in a submarine of the coast the uk causes 3 of the missiles to launch, speeding up to the atmosphere, no target programmed. this is interpreted by the Russian automatic-response system as a threat and missiles are launched to continentel Europe, UK and the US. This coincides with a release Full Metal Panic series. everyone’s happy

  11. Anime fans are so spoiled nowadays. Yes, in general anime is more expensive compared to other DVDs. Not always though.

    And, it’s as if a lot of these people either don’t remember or aren’t aware of how things used to be. When anime was on VHS that is when it was truly expensive.

    The sad thing is with more anime available at a better value (more episodes per disc than in the past on VHS) the more people pirate. In the past with VHS which was a horrible way to have to watch anime. There was still pirating with video. But, not at this extent.

    The sad thing is that a lot of people will pirate awhole series. To me that is really just so disrespectful to the creators. If you enjoy the series then buy it. If you watch a few episodes and don’t like it. Fine, don’t buy it.

    I do have sympathy for those that pirate classic anime that is never released in the US and is currently unavailable even in Japan. But, since the demand for such anime is low. The anime studios still have no desire to re-release those anime or release them overseas.

    However, when people just leech and a whole new show without paying. Well, that is just sad. But, hey that is how the way things are now. With the amount of people using the internet growing and growing. This problem will never go away.

  12. nice to know he left that anime site, i was offended by his review of one of my favourite anime… no one of my favourtie films ever tekkonkinkreet. Ok i have not heard of or read the manga prior to experiencing the movie but i loved the film, but i understand that the music or film style may not be every one’s taste but as a reviewer he fails to appreciate the product before he applies personal preference.

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