Stolen One Piece, what’s the point?

So I know this happened  a few weeks ago and I meant to write about it but RL got in the way.

I am still scratching the head about the news that someone hacked into Funimation and stole an ep of One Piece and posted it one day before it was set to be released. Apparently Funimation had come to agreement with Toei to allow Funi to post one hour after the Japanese release.

Now I don’t necessarily feel that you should never watch fansubbed anime. There are some real gems out there that for whatever reason will never see the light of the day in the U.S. but seriously people this is “One Piece”, you know that it will be subbed and/or dubbed.

Also, the argument that many anime fans have given for years is that anime was taking too long to reach the U.S. from it’s Japanese release. Funi was releasing the ep one hour after it’s Japanese release.

So then again what was the point of stealing and posting, besides screwing it up for the rest of us?

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Ookiku Furikabutte/ Big Windup

I immediately had to run over and post this. I don’t know how long it’s been there but Hulu.com has 4 dubbed episodes of this amazing anime. This will have to tide me over until Funimation starts selling the DVDs.

You can find it here http://www.hulu.com/big-windup

The Power of T.M. Revolution, haha

Wow I looked at my blog stats this morning out of curiosity and found readership had increased by 1000% overnight. The power of T.M. Revolution! I looked at the links and search terms and it was mostly people reading about TMR and mostly from Japan. I tried babelfish to see if I could translate what was being said but if anyone has used babelfish before…it is mostly not understandable. I did get enough out of one site to realize they were wanting a set list of what was performed at the concert.

I apologize to fans in Japan who were looking for this but I actually did not expect to even write a post about TMR so didn’t note it and I can’t remember the particular order he sang the songs in but I will list below what I remember of the songs performed.

  • Ignited
  • Vestige
  • Zips
  • Web of Night
  • Resonance (from Souleater)
  • Albireo
  • Invoke
  • Meteor
  • Thunderbird
  • Heart of Sword

Anyone go to the concert? I’m thinking he did Hot Limit but I’m not sure and Love Saver during the encore portion?

New York Anime Festival

So, this weekend I had the opportunity to go to the New York Anime Festival. Since I go to way too many anime cons (more than my budget can support anyway) I couldn’t help but draw comparisons to other cons I had been to. I’ve been trying to come up with terminology to describe the atmosphere of this con but the only word I can come up with is “corporate”. It felt very different from fan run cons. That was especially the case in the dealer room, or “exhibit hall”, as they called it here.

TokyoPop had a whole area set up with a little mini manga store and touch screen tv’s where you could register for TokyoPop.com. I can safely say I have not seen this kind of set up at any other con I’ve been to. I’ve never been to Expo or Otakon so maybe this is something that happens at big cons and I’m just not aware of it?

I sat in on a few industry panels and those are always interesting to me. What was new this year for me was having the chance to sit in on a couple of panels run by the guys (& gal) over at Anime News Network. First there was the ANN panel and then the next hour they switched rooms (why?) and ran the Protoculture Addicts panel. I had never actually read the magazine before even though I’m a regular visitor to ANN. It’s an interesting magazine and I may try to check out another issue or two. This panel started off amusing to me because they were giving away prizes to people who asked interesting questions. C. McDonald who seemed to be directing the panel said that they would not give prizes as attendees asked the question. Instead they would give out the seven prizes at the end of the panel to the people who had asked the best questions.

I was mentally going, “huh?”, when he said that. I know personally there is no way I would remember who the people were by the end of the panel. But I gave a mental shrug thinking that perhaps he had a really good memory. Of course at the end of the panel he really couldn’t remember. There were 9 of us left who had asked questions and 7 prizes available. Then he decided we could all come up and claim a prize. The numbers did not add up and besides which you don’t offer free stuff at a con and expect people to be civilized about it. By the time I got up there, most things were claimed. I swear there appeared to be more than 9 people up there and quite frankly I was not about to get into the middle of the mess. It was actually quite amusing and weird and a con would not be a con without those things, would it?

After that whole scene the weirdness continued over in the Funimation screening room. To start with, no one could have foreseen this but too bad they could not set up the screening over at the TokyoPop stage. The room for the Tsubasa Chronicles & xxxHolic movies was quite large (seated several hundred) but it was absolutely packed to the point where people were standing along the back and more people were trying to come in. The room did begin to empty out a bit later….only because the Tsubasa movie suddenly stopped playing! It happened three times before they decided to get another disc and then….you guessed it. That disc stopped as well. I was by the door with all my things in hand in case any rioting began but the crowd seemed pretty mellow about it. Unfortunately, we never did get a working copy going so they decided to go right ahead to the xxxHolic movie. It was really good and those who hung around enjoyed themselves if the laughter in the room was anything to go by.

It was actually funny to see the technical difficulties because I began to feel more “at home” despite the corporate feel. I have not been to a con yet that did not have something go wrong in a screening room no matter how sophisticated the set up is. I’m looking forward to next years con, though if ANN is there I don’t know if I will wrack my brain thinking of a good question unless I know there are enough prizes available ;D

Of course I am just joking, ANN is awesome and I’m constantly checking out the “news” and “views” there.

GeneonUSA o_0

I don’t know how many of you frequent forums but if you do and if you happen to frequent anime forums sometimes they can make you feel really old. I’ve been looking around a couple different forums for views regarding the deal between Geneon and ADV that fell through. You can almost draw a line and divide people up by age based on their reaction to the mess.

Just to bring you up to speed, Geneon had been in talks with ADV so that ADV would handle distribution and marketing for Geneon USAs properties. However the deal has fallen through. In the meantime Geneon laid off a bunch of staff presumably in preparation for this deal with ADV. IcV2 has a few articles on this –> timeline

Now here is the thing. There are people who’s first reaction is glee that Geneon USA will no longer exist because now they can download fansubs “with no fear”. Whereas you have others who immediately are sympathetic to the plight of these laid off workers at Geneon USA. I think that is totally an age thing. I didn’t even think about the fansub issue until I saw a post at ANN with someone joyfully celebrating the future availability of Geneon USAs properties in fansubs. Sorry to burst your bubble downloaders but thats not the way it works. They may stop distribution but it doesn’t mean they suddenly don’t hold the license to the anime. You still can not go around downloading their titles because who knows how long their license last for.

Someone actually made a very interesting point on one of the ANN threads (I don’t remember if it was a response to the Geneon issue or something else). I am paraphrasing but he seemed to be saying that anime companies should go after bootleggers more than people downloading licensed titles. His point seemed to be that people downloading the fansubs probably never intended to buy your product in the first place. However if you look at it, someone buying a DVD on eBay or whatever is someone that is actually willing to spend money to buy your title. This is someone who would have used that money in the store buying the legitimate copy if it wasn’t easier for them to just pick up a copy on eBay or whatever where there are many pirated vids floating around. Also some people may not be aware that they are buying a pirated copy. This is a point that hadn’t really occurred to me before but I realize has a lot of merit.

I’ve kind of meandered a bit from my original topic here but maybe my point is that the anime industry right now in the US is a little bit of a mess and I’m wondering who (what company that is) will be left standing once this all shakes out.

Oh and this is probably a good time to stock up on Geneon’s titles since who knows what will happen in the future in terms of availability.

Moving quicker than the eye can see (or Ookiku Furikabutte Eps. 9 & 10)

Episode 9 was quite interesting. We really only see Mihashi a few times in this ep and of course he barely talks. This episode is totally Abe centered. This is all about Abe in junior high and his relationship to his pitcher then. As we see its a completely different person than Mihashi in terms of characteristics and feelings about baseball as a sport vs. means to an end. Abe describes his former pitcher as a “terrible pitcher” (according to the fansub) and we get to understand what Abe considers to be a terrible pitcher.

Episode 10 comes back to the present with the Manager deciding to name another pitcher and catcher for the team. If you’ve seen previous eps then you can imagine how Mihashi takes the news of another pitcher. “Abe-kun” has to employ some psychology to figure this one out. The anime is possibly moving away from being so Mihashi centered as other players are given defining characteristics and given more face time. Mihashi also appears to have one other person besides Abe that he is relating to, although to me it appears rather jarring and I don’t know that this relationship was addressed in previous eps. This could just be though that there was a long gap between my viewing of eps. 1-8 vs. eps. 9 & 10 so that I’ve forgotten many of the minor events in eps. 1-8.

Now the reason for the title of this post? Unfortunately I don’t have the ep so I don’t have screen captures to show you but there is a cute mistake in episode 10. The manager announces that they need to choose a captain for the team. As one, team members turn to look at one person. Mihashi and Abe are standing in front of him but on opposite sides. In the very next scene Abe and Mihashi have shifted. Abe is next to the Captain, Mihashi behind him and the other player who had been in the previous scene has completely disappeared! As I said…”moving quicker than the eye can see”.

Blushing and baseball

So, what do you think about “Ookiku Furikabutte” a.k.a.
おおきく振りかぶって ?

*silence*

Yeah, that’s what I thought. I actually tried to search online for some reviews of this anime but the pickings were slim. Is it because it is a sports anime? I admit that because of this I was somewhat resistant to starting up on it. As it is I don’t have access to eps (and don’t understand Japanese anyway) and so I’m pretty behind on eps. I have had the opportunity to see Eps 1-8 however and I must admit this is one sports anime I enjoy –> Not that I have extensive knowledge of other examples of the genre. I only know of “Eyeshield21” which I believe is about soccer. There is also “Major” which is another baseball anime but after seeing that there were 50 eps(or more) I ran screaming for the hills.

Needless to say I did not have high expectations and the only reason I watched was because in the anime magazine along with a blurb about the show was a picture of the pitcher (main character) and catcher apparently holding hands and a blush on the pitcher’s face. I was intrigued. Could it be that the Japanese anime industry had tapped into my secret wish to see a baseball shonen-ai anime (secret to me anyway since the thought had never crossed my mind, haha)?

The anime follows the story of pitcher Ren Mihashi. Mihashi had a tumultuous baseball career in Junior High, costing his team several wins. He begins to suffer self esteem issue culminating in the now High School age Ren Mihashi angsting after practically being forced onto the team. Due to his troubles in junior high with his pitching and with his teammates, Mihashi’s self esteem is trashed and he has zero confidence in his abilities as a pitcher and teammate. It will be up to his teammates, manager and particularly his catcher, Abe, to make Mihashi believe in himself and in the idea that his teammate’s believe in him too.

I’m not into playing sports but for some reason I feel empathy with Mihashi. You can see that he desperately wants to do well and is also desperately flabbergasted when he accomplishes his goals. I think many people can comprehend him, in how he strives and strives for something and when he achieves it it’s almost like “Huh? How did I get to this point?”

For those into sports this may be worth checking out. For those not into sports, it is simply a story about a boy trying to achieve his dream, build his self esteem and not let down his teammates and new friends.

Oh, and he blushes a lot too. As in constantly.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Check out Mihashi’s body language in the lower left pic as he huddles in the corner. This pic is pretty indicative of the state of his self esteem.

Oh and this is neither here nor there but I really like the OP and can’t help singing along to the karaoke subs.

Ookiku Furikabutte OP (karaoke)

Someone has uploaded a clean opening to Youtube (below). The song is “Dramatic” by Base Ball Bear.

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