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Anime

American Anime Localization Company Tries Torrents 280

zalas writes "AnimeOnDVD reports that David Williams of ADV Films is testing out using BitTorrent as a distribution method. Currently, he has a promotional video of Madlax, one of their titles, up for download via a torrent and has "much larger plans in mind." He is looking for feedback regarding this and can be left on the AnimeOnDVD Forums. ADV Films licenses Japanese animation from Japanese studios for distribution in North America and the UK."
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American Anime Localization Company Tries Torrents

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  • by Lt.Hawkins ( 17467 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @10:12PM (#13100547) Homepage
    Madlax is actually pretty good; very Noir-ish, but slightly more lighthearted (but not much).

    • Noir-ish is no coincidence. The studio is Bee-Train and the director is Mashimo, who did Noir (as well as Avenger, .hack//sign), hell even Kaijura Yuuki does the music.

      Unsuprisingly, I do not like this show. Mashimo simply isn't that great a director and Kaijura is a bland musician. But there are some people who swear by it.
    • I've seen the whole series, it is a quality anime without much silly humor. There is no overbearing hyperactive female lead as in so many other series. The sound is good, probably one of the strong points. The plot generates more questions than it answers, but that's pretty typical these days. There is balance between quiet scenes and action. Not something to watch if you don't want to devote some attention to the little details. Basically an antidote to Dragonball and their ilk.
    • Madlax is actually pretty good; very Noir-ish

      That's because it's from the same people.

      Incidentally, almost universal opinion is that Madlax is one of the worst anime titles to come along in quite a while. Animation is poor, the music is horrible, the plot line is boring and confusing at the same time, etc.

  • Hooray! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Adrilla ( 830520 ) * on Monday July 18, 2005 @10:12PM (#13100555) Homepage
    While I'm not a big Anime fan (tastes are limited to the overly popular Akira and Ghost in the Shell), I wish more media companies would have more open thinking like Mr. Williams and ADV. Instead of vilifying the technology, use it to your advantage. If there is an enemy to the media companies, it isn't the method, but the users, the method can benefit anyone willing to use the technology, including the media companies. So I applaud this move, and I hope it works extremely well for them, so maybe those who want to defend bittorrent have a good arguement in their favor and if they still decide to shut it down; don't worry, something better is waiting in the wings for sure.
    • (foregoing mod pts...)

      Basically that is the key - if you are a retailer/distributor and your fans are doing something you don't like... well it probably means you are NOT giving them what they want, or not how they want it. You CANNOT CHANGE what the fans want. Forcing them to settle for what you're offering just pisses them off. They are TELLING you what they want, and are usually very willing to pay you for it if only you offered it to them. Once you realize this, it becomes obvious what you must do.
      • This would presume that the company in question wants (or can afford) to care what the consumer actually wants.

        The sad reality is that it's usually incredibly cheaper to deliver content the way people prefer it, which lowers your overhead and lowers your workload.

        On the contrary, researching the market for consumer input costs money and time, thereby increasing overhead costs. Unfortunately the average buyer of this product will buy it despite its glaring flaws, because they don't know any better (or

        • This is not the situation here though.
          If a show goes straight to DVD, not passing through TV, the people buying it will be those who have heard about the show before and see the DVDs offered have a good quality/price ratio.

          If a DVD is done badly, translation sucks, no editor notes, no song karaoke and an extra price for a useless feature (english dub), people won't buy it.

          You are true about the case when there are no other, better, ways of getting the content.

          If the companies would have released the DVDs
          • If a show goes straight to DVD, not passing through TV, the people buying it will be those who have heard about the show before and see the DVDs offered have a good quality/price ratio.

            These two things should correlate, but in practice, they do not. Chances are the people who have heard about the show and intend to buy it on DVD will buy it regardless of quality.

            You are true about the case when there are no other, better, ways of getting the content.

            You've come to the point; there is a monopoly a

    • Re:Hooray! (Score:2, Insightful)

      Now if only they would:

      Do decent translations.
      (All titles except Abenobashi)

      Stop recording horrific dubbed audio, and find people who can ACT.
      (Most titles, with the notable exception of Abenobashi)

      Stop releasing faulty DVDs.
      (RahXephon the movie, and others)

      Stop manipulating other people's works in ways that should fall outside of their licensing rights.
      (Evangelion DVDs 1&2, subsequently un-done and released without manipulations. RahXephon DVD 1, never fixed, told we were SOL. And god knows
    • ADV is known as the 'Terminator' of licensing companies by fansubbers, because as soon as they license a project *normally before it's finished airing in Japan) they sick their lawyers on any and all fansub groups. They also hound bittorrent sites used to distribute fansubs of their licenses at the same time. They are absolutely horrible on fansubbers these days, which is funny (at least to me) since ADV grew out of the fansubbing community in it's early days...

      This is simply an attempt by them to give the
      • It's even better if you go to cons and stop by the industry panels and bring up Fansubbing. Even if you missed the introductions you can tell right away who the ADV guy is because he'll start foaming at the mouth and launch right into his "Fansubbers are a bunch of no good low down dirty pirates that are pulling the food right out of our babies mouthes!" speech. I especially love when he does this in a room full of Naruto and One Piece cosplayers.

        At least Naruto and One Piece have finally been licensed
  • by glowworm ( 880177 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @10:14PM (#13100562) Journal
    for distribution in North America and the UK.,

    I am left wondering how they are going to police people from other countries downloading these shows illegally?
    • by Adrilla ( 830520 ) * on Monday July 18, 2005 @10:21PM (#13100589) Homepage
      It's no more limiting than any other online seller that will ship to other countries. You only eliminate shipping costs, which isn't intended to make a company any extra money anyway. Pretty much anything that can be bought online can be shipped anywhere. Besides, why turn down that extra cash from overseas sales.
      • Why turn down that extra cash from overseas sales.

        Probably because the are not licensed to distribute in a competing territory. Imagine if they could sell in Japan cheaper than the licensing organization... I don't think the Japanese firm would be too happy.
    • The actual product is being distributed in a limited area, but the company could care less about where the promo (advertisement) that they are distributing over BitTorrent gets downloaded.

      Now if they were officially distributing the product itself, without any DRM and over BitTorrent, that would be newsworthy.
  • by Sv-Manowar ( 772313 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @10:16PM (#13100569) Homepage Journal
    I'm not quite sure what this change plans to achieve. One of the main reasons those who already bittorrent anime buy dvd's is to obtain the physical product, the box art, and to actually own the finished article. Changing the distribution model of for-sale US R1 anime towards bittorrent is surely just going to bring the product into direct comparison with its percieved 'competition', the fansubs that precede the release dates by months and can often have far higher quality/authentic translation. The portion of the anime audience with the technical know-how to operate bittorrent are probably already taking advantage of the great efforts of fansubbers, and those who may be introduced to bittorrent through ADV in some way will surely go on to find these resources.
    • "The portion of the anime audience with the technical know-how to operate bittorrent are probably already taking advantage of the great efforts of fansubbers, and those who may be introduced to bittorrent through ADV in some way will surely go on to find these resources."

      One of the reasons that I don't have a broader anime library right now is that I basically have to order on-line to get it. (I live in a small town that doesn't have a lot of selection...) Speaking for my household specifically, the ins
      • "I don't want to put together a bunch of .RAR files. (Note: Yeah, yeah, I know, bittorrent downloads don't typically use that."

        Instead you want to have to have a login/pass at every single US Distributor's website so you can pay to download their content? Each distributor is going to have a limited selection and in fact to get anything you want it will likely be more difficult than doing it illegally. What the industry needs is a consolidated place to get it, like iTunes is for music.
    • I use bt a lot to sample stuff fresh from Japan. Even admiting this there are a lot of shows I don't watch partially or completely simply due to a lack of hours in the day to download let alone watch. Offering sample epsiodes by bittorrent is a great idea because hey I may have not seen it the first time around.

      One issue the US side has is a lack of advertising. The facts are there are a limited number of ways to advertise your licensed material. Given the way Anime pricing works, its very cut throat a
    • the fansubs that precede the release dates by months and can often have far higher quality/authentic translation.

      HAH.

      Don't make me laugh. Ever watch an Artic Animation fansub? Or a Hecto/Shinsengumi Sub?

      Ever watch a sub where they leave stuff like -chan, -kun or -sama on? Or just not bother to translate simple words like Tomodachi, onii/aniki, or the like? The quality of fansubs is SHIT. Pure SHIT. It's like playing Russian Roulette.

      Does this mean that all R1 subs are perfect? No, but it does m
    • Isn't that why it's precisely the correct model?

      Those who want the DVD will still buy the DVD. Meanwhile, those fans who wish to download the anime and respect licencing laws can now do so.

      I don't think providing a bittorrent will cost them much extra. Plenty of people seem to be able to do this for free.

      It's win-win.
  • by Osmosis_Garett ( 712648 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @10:18PM (#13100579)
    But Capitalizing Every Word In That Headline Really Seemed To Stand Out More Than Usual.
    • Re:I'm Not Sure Why (Score:3, Informative)

      by FleaPlus ( 6935 )
      But Capitalizing Every Word In That Headline Really Seemed To Stand Out More Than Usual.

      I'm not sure why they do that, but capitalizing almost all the words in the title is more of a slashdot editor thing than a submitter thing. I guess I can sort of understand why they'd want to capitalize titles like that, but it seems like overkill on a page like slashdot. In the past I've tried submitting stories without the overcapitalization, only to find the capitalization altered by the editors when the story is
  • ...what. ADV + torrent? Sorry, you just broke my brain.
  • by tzuriel ( 855916 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @10:20PM (#13100588)
  • Here's the Magnet URI [wikipedia.org] for BT clients that support it:

    magnet:?xt=urn:btih:5IUY2W3Y5J26MG4WCT7J6VLCXPKSFD ER

    (NOTE: /. inserts a space at 50 characters, so remember to remove it)

    This should still work if the tracker starts to get bogged down.

  • by GraZZ ( 9716 ) <jack@@@jackmaninov...ca> on Monday July 18, 2005 @11:03PM (#13100795) Homepage Journal
    For everyone that wants companies to understand BitTorrent, now's your chance to vote with your Net connection (and indirectly, your wallet). I'm probably the furthest thing from an anime fan (don't hate it; just don't like it), but I'm downloading and seeding this file just to show my support of the technology.

    If this trial of BitTorrent goes well for this particular company, then that's one more "good" use of torrents we can use to fight the people who want to shut it down because of its possible "bad" uses.

    I encourage all BitTorrent supporters to encourage AnimeOnDVD's test of new technology and new delivery models with me.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The company has laid off over 75% of their staff in the last year. A friend of mine was part of the last round of layoffs.

    The company is desperate to try anything to stay in business.
    • OK, so I guess that means that about wraps it up for the live-action Neon Genesis Evangelion they announced with such fanfare a couple of years ago. That is, unless WETA Workshop and Gainax can get funding elsewhere. (Wry chuckle as I was quite skeptical of ADV's ability to bankroll such a project...)

      An inadvertant plus: maybe the English-language rights for the Nuku Nuku series will be back up for grabs with the demise of ADV. And Excel Saga too. And Neon Genesis Evangelion. Nuku Nuku in particular needs
      • I'm not sure why this would really surprise anyone. ADV had a brief lucky streak where the niche market they serve suddenly became a booming industry fad here in the U.S. As a result, they grew way too fast for their primary market to sustain them. Now with the industry receding back toward being a niche market again, they're struggling to stay afloat.

        Aside from that, ADV's production quality has been getting progressively worse over the last couple years. Translations are much further off from what they w
        • I was actually pleasantly surprised when ADV released the City Hunter series on DVD (although I can't find it on their site anywhere at the moment). It's one of my favorite series of all-time, and the opportunity to get the entire show (~120 episodes) at a fairly reasonable price was great.

          I was more than a little surprised when I noticed how good the translations were, as well as what I consider to be an excellent subbing job - good quality with minimal "over-production" (seeing as I how I fansubbed many
          • Considering I own this set, I'd have to agree with your sentiments. Sadly, it's one of the last decent releases by ADV before things changed for the worst.

            If you check out the City Hunter movies that came out later on, you'll notice just how much ADV has changed in the last couple years.

            For example, they now change characters' names to more english-friendly substitutes. Ryo's name is dumbed down to simply "Joe", as are many other characters' names.

            There just isn't any good excuse for such blatant stupidi
        • Now I find this a strange statement... Probably because I'm staff for an Anime Convention. Year over year Anime conventions have kept growing in attendance. Heck some of the most popular have had to set caps on attendance or they couldn't fit them all in a reasonable way... That would seem counter to any kind of 'recession back to a niche market'. At the same time Anime Conventions are sprouting up everywhere, five years ago I'd have had to drive 500 miles to visit a convention, now I have 3 within 100 mile
  • Torrent FTW (Score:5, Informative)

    by springMute ( 873579 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @11:07PM (#13100826)
    I'll tell you this.

    This past weekend was AnimeFriends (www.animefriends.com.br) in Brazil, the country's largest yearly anime 'congress'. As usual, you have a huge amount of people doing cosplay. This year, a MAJOR part of the cosplaying people was inspired on Naruto.. I'd say, I don't know, around 1/3rd of the cosplayers were based on the series. Not counting the huge number of people with Naruto headbands that can be bought online on a local brazilian ecommerce site, I saw a lot of Narutos, all flavors of Sasukes, several different Rock Lees (even the "young" one), all Kakashis had their own "Gentleman series" booklet (I've forgot the name, sorry), there was a pic someone took that had three Kibas, women impersonating Oroshimaru... and so on and so forth.

    But the thing is, Naruto isn't even broadcasted on TV here. It isn't even broadcasted outside of japan for that matter. It's all because of the torrent distribution and the people that buys it on dvd/vcd from other local shops (few, I think). Because the official, bureaucratic series version takes years to reach those countries (apparently we'll get Naruto on the end of this year, when we'll also get the local version of cartoon network's Adult Swim - yay!), people take matters in their own hands and end up getting used to it. Torrent is part of the anime culture now.

    I also saw a lot of people from real obscure animes I barely know the name.

    Torrent... I don't know *how* anime companies can profit from it.. I personally doubt they can. But that the format has some huge potential for distribution is undeniable.. even here, where broadband isn't so widespread, people are used to going online every thursday to get their weekly Naruto fix via torrent.
  • I'd pay to download (Score:5, Interesting)

    by batkiwi ( 137781 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @11:21PM (#13100890)
    If they were in high quality xvid mkv with soft subs and dual audio, I would pay say $4 per episode, or a pack of 6 for $20.

    Maybe even allow you to earn credit by seeding a ton, to encourage the BT usage...
  • I'd pay for it. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mcc ( 14761 ) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Monday July 18, 2005 @11:21PM (#13100891) Homepage
    A little disappointed this is just a promo. I would honestly pay for an anime download service if the prices were reasonable (read: comparable to my local rental place). The attraction of online anime to my mind isn't the illegal free-ness, it's convenience and a greater selection.
  • Whose gonna care? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 18, 2005 @11:45PM (#13100987)
    Not to knock ADV, but who exactly is going to care about this? The majority of the piracy that goes on in the anime community is fueled by the distaste for the piss poor translations and bastardization of the fans' favorite series. Great example is Detective Conan... was renamed to Case Files and a LOT of people went into a flying rage. The addition of Karaoke couldn't hurt either.

    The way I see it the only market they MIGHT reclaim is from those that solely illegally DL DVD "rips".

    It's the same old song and dance... the companies refuse to realize that if you treat your customers with respect and give them what they want you will make money, not offer them torrents. Fans don't DL torrents, because it's convienent... it's hell keeping up with the pacing... they just hate the crap the companies are trying to shovel their way.

    A lot of anime/manga pirates do it for reasons other than getting it for free.
  • by Midnight Thunder ( 17205 ) * on Monday July 18, 2005 @11:58PM (#13101038) Homepage Journal
    This is interesting, though there are some companies who are even further out of touch, such as "Pioneer Entertainment" who distribute the great series "Last Exile". Most DVDs generally top out at the $30 CAD price mark here, yet the "Last Exile" DVDs are tagged at $45 CAD, which just sounds like price gouging.
  • by krelian ( 525362 ) on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @12:16AM (#13101109)
    Torrents are already used massively to distribute anime.
  • I wonder how this wold work out legally, since by using BT as a distribution method they are now no longer the only distributor of the product. Anyone on the torrent is also a distributor.

  • by lbbros ( 900904 ) on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @05:06AM (#13101893) Homepage
    ...at least from a non-US perspective, ADV's releases are really poor in terms of localisation and sometimes, even content. I can't believe they don't include chapter selection in their DVD menus, which is something really basic (note: I'm *not* talking about episode selection, but individual chapter selection) and it's even more sad since the chapters are there on the DVD, just not used.
    Aside that, the presentation is somewhat lacking, and all. Other companies have been doing better efforts (cf. Bandai).
    I don't think Bittorrent will help them improve their quality, I think it will just make matters worse (remember ADV Fansubs?).
  • Let's not forget... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kinglink ( 195330 ) on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @08:02AM (#13102474)
    Let's not forget why they are desperate to try anything... They went on a rampage attacking websites through their ISP with out first talking to webmasters, it created more bad blood then anything else, and people have boycotted their dvds (I know I have) I bite my toungue when I buy their manga even..

    They didn't want people to learn about their anime like that, so people couldn't learn about the anime they owned, watching dubs on tv wasn't helpful for that, and so people just decided most of it wasn't worth their time to buy blind.

    I don't think they are embrassing BT, they are just trying to get the online community to believe they arn't so bad, too bad some of us remember how their gestopo tactics were and still can't support them.
  • Hmmm. I'm going out of business because people are downloading stuff off the Internet without paying.

    What can I do? Let's see... Teach more people how to download copyrighted stuff off the Internet! That's it!

    It could work.
  • Which Anime Fan (that lives to the title) would choose to download crappy dubs with scenes cut? ADV has earned its reputation, after all.

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