DB Drops Naruto Shippuuden

Posted by Neko Kyou in Naruto on November 23rd, 2008

Naruto Shippuuden

Dattebayo have just announced that they will be officially dropping Naruto Shippuuden effective 15th January, 2009. And for the first time ever, it’s not a troll. DB had decided to do this in respect of the joint effort between Viz and Crunchyroll to start airing the latest subtitled Naruto Shippuuden episodes on the same day as Japan’s airing.

This is the first time this has been done as far as I know, taking a currently running and popular series and start streaming (and presumably download) for a small fee, or free after a week. This is what many fans had been asking for when it comes to arguing the reason for fansubs to exist. While I am kinda sad that we won’t be getting DB’s sub anymore, I applaud them for their decision and Viz as well for their willingness to do what they did.

Whether or not Viz will succeed is still unknown, but judging by the responses from the free subbed anime on Crunchyroll so far, it will most likely be a success. Hopefully, this will then encourage more companies and studios to take up the online streaming/download model in the near future.

While fansubs will still be the biggest source of online anime, I strongly believe if done right, more people will switch to official channels, resulting in a win-win situation for everyone. Fans gets to watch their favourite anime for free or a small fee and not have to worry about getting in trouble with the law and the anime industry continues to thrive. Hopefully.

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Gonzo to set a revolution?

Posted by Neko Kyou in Thoughts on April 7th, 2008

Tower of DRUAGA - the Aegis of URUK -

OMFG! It’s a Crusader from RO!

By now you should already know that Gonzo has decided to stream 2 of their latest series, The Tower of DRUAGA – the Aegis of URUK – and BLASSREITER online through Crunchyroll, YouTube and BOST TV right after the Japanese debut of each episode. The streaming will allow anyone to enjoy Gonzo’s latest shows for free, while at the same time providing the option to download the high quality version of the episode by donating any amount you like to the studio.

This is truly a step forward in the anime industry, and one I hope many will show their support by donating to download the HQ version. And looking at Crunchyroll, it seems that Gonzo has set very realistic goals to their effort. Apparently, they do not expect fans to donate large sums of money per episode, and even offered an incentive to those who donated USD$2 or more, although its not something which would appeal to everyone.

Personally, I wouldn’t mind paying $2 for each episode I download, and more if the episode was a great one. And I think its a great way to motivate Gonzo to produce better episodes in order to get fire up the fans to donate more and as a signal that the series is taking a downturn when the donation starts to slow down. It’s a direct feedback between fans and the studio, one that will get their attention since it would directly impact their profits.

However, I do have one complain about the downloaded episode. For a file that’s over 300mb, I was expecting a better quality video compared to fansubs, but they are generally the same. And because the link itself is a redirect, that means you can’t use any download managers to resume your download. It took me 2 days to actually download the episode because the file keep showing up as complete halfway. It wasn’t my connection problem either, as Dyna had the same problem I did. This becomes even more of a problem since each link can only be accessed from 5 different IPs, so if you’re ISP is like mine, which gives out dynamic IP and often gives problem, it can be a real headache.

DRUAGA: Jil Final Form

Tengen Top… Oh wait, wrong anime…

The first episode of The Tower of DRUAGA left me very confused. Initially the whole episode seems to be a parody of most generic RPG games, and even the OP animation suggested that they were all playing an MMORPG like in .hack, but the ending as well as the alternate version showed otherwise. Oh, if you didn’t know, there was an alternate version to the first episode of DRUAGA, which shows what actually happened after Jil was knocked unconscious and began his dream. Unfortunately, it’s only available on NicoNico, for now at least. Regardless, DRUAGA has officially caught my interest and gave hope that Gonzo’s effort will not go to waste.

BLASSREITER, on the other hand, was much less appealing. Perhaps what CCY said about adults in anime is true after all. Then again, it could have also been the poorly done CG scenes, or it just looks really bad on Crunchyroll – either way I’ll find out soon enough 😈

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ADV Providing Free, Legal Anime Streaming Service

Posted by Neko Kyou in Rants on December 20th, 2007

Gurren Lagann

I’m extremely happy to see that anime companies (whether within or outside Japan) are finally showing signs they are heading towards the light. A.D.V. has begun streaming Gurren Lagann for free. Listen up people, you can now stream and watch Gurren Lagann legally, and for free.

There are only 2 catches:

  • Each episode will only be archived for 2 weeks. There might be more than 2, since ADV said there would be at least 2 archived episodes. Not too shabby, really. If you really liked it after watching the whole series and would like to keep them, just shell out the cash for the DVD boxset. I really can’t think of any excuse not to buy and continue to rely on fansubs instead.
  • There are ads – seriously this is not a problem, in fact I think it’s brilliant! Pythonite posted a comment in my fansub rant regarding placing ads into the anime being streamed as a source of generating revenue for the company. We’re already used to seeing ads everywhere and especially on TV and on the Internet. So this really doesn’t count as a catch if you ask me.

Gurren Lagann isn’t exactly “fresh from Japan” anymore, but it’s still very new compared to other licensed releases. It’s a big step forward, though there are still much work to be done. I actually haven’t watched the series but was hoping to, so this was great news to me. Unfortunately (but understandably), I was met with this notice:

ADV Non-US/Canada

Click to enlarge in new window

For those who can’t read due to the small text (or too lazy to click the image to enlarge it) here’s what it said:

Sorry guys and gals! This feature is only available to US and Canadian residents at the present time. Please check back soon as we continue to strive to provide you with the best anime available online for free. If you have additional questions, please check out our FAQ.

Well that sucks, doesn’t it. Let’s hope they would be able to and will provide this free streaming services worldwide soon, along with fresh anime instead what has already ended in Japan. Right now, they are just losing to speed.

On a side note, it seems that Bandai Visual Japan and Bandai Visual USA are “seriously considering on releasing some of the new shows simultaneously with” Japan by spring. Check out ANN for the full article on that.

Update from ANN (26th Dec ’07):

On 2007-12-24, ADV Films clarified that not all programs would be broadcast in their entirety in subtitled form. For example, at this time only three episodes of Gurren Lagann are scheduled for subtitled broadcast. Other series in the pipeline will receive longer runs through First Look. ADV regrets the misunderstanding.

Now that sucks. I take back about me being happy with what they’re doing at the beginning of this post. It might have just been a marketing ploy to get fans to spread the word out and we fell for it hook, line and sinker. Bleh!

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Odex NOT Declaring War After All

Posted by Neko Kyou in Rants, Thoughts on November 20th, 2007

DarkMirage now has first hand confirmation that Odex made a mistake that had lead to all those Odex letters flying off across the globe. Odex is not declaring war after all, at least for now.

Hatake Kakashi shocked!

“The hell? That was a false alarm!?”

What does this mean?

Here are some of my thoughts:

  • Odex really did a mistake. But it goes to show just how infamous they are right now in so little time throughout the world’s anime community.
  • Odex isn’t ready to launch a full scale assault, yet. They might really continue where they are leaving off now due to whatever reasons they may have right now.
  • Odex screwed up somewhere and have to call the whole thing off. Unlikely, but that was my first thought.
  • An elaborate evil ploy to tell anime fans that Odex is watching you and you should not do anything to anger them. Unlikely, but at the same time, very possible.

At any rate, the fact is that letters were sent and they all traced back to Odex. Mistake or not, they have caused an uproar in the community and their name has further degraded. Call it karma, but this incident proves beyond a doubt that every single wrong move that Odex makes will be remembered while their good efforts will be brushed aside like dust on the table. That’s what you get for threatening to sue 9 year old kids.

The Odex bashing will probably stop for the time being. But now the community would most likely keep an eye on their movements and waiting for them to slip and fall hard on their face.Lelouch Lamperouge

“We’ll turn back… for now.”

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Odex Declares War Against The World

Posted by Neko Kyou in Rants, Thoughts on November 20th, 2007

WARNING: Angry rant ahead. I’ve tried to tone it down, but I think it’s still pretty heated. I’m also writing this at 2am, so I’m not going to bother with any spell checks or read through it. You hath been warned.

Odex is back and this time, they are trying to screw not only Singaporean anime fans, but the entire world. What? Yes, you heard that right. Odex probably spent all their Singaporean dollars and decided that its much more profitable to attack where there are more fishes with bigger currencies. This includes USA, France and Japan.

Acolyte (Odex) bashing Poring (Fans)

Odex – Now Happily Bashing Fans Worldwide…

This is absurdity of the highest level. A bakayaro of 1000% idiocy reading on Chiaki-sama’s vision. Not only have they lost trust and favor of most anime fans (within Singapore or not), Odex is probably now to anime fans what the Nazi were to the world. And they call themselves anime fans.

I thought I was pissed at them when they started hunting down anime fans like dogs in Singaproe. I was wrong. NOW, I’m pissed.

Downloading fansubs are wrong. Sure. Right. Whatever. We all know that. So instead of making the smart moves, they decide that its far more profitable to kill the fans while they have the chance, profit as much as possible and forget all about anime until their pockets are empty once more. Then they can just repeat the process. After all, illegal downloads will continue regardless of what happens. The music industry has proven it. The movie industry has proven it. What makes anime any different?

There are rumors that Odex wants to start its own online anime service. Based on past experience (I’ve bought Odex releases before when I visited Singapore a few years back) and based on latest feedbacks, they would probably get some low quality video on slow servers and steal some poor fansubs translation and sell them to you at top dollar.

And to ensure that they will have money in their pockets when they launch the new service, they try and take on the world.

Absolutely ridiculous. Spreading their greed and arrogance even into the homeland of anime itself, Japan. Are the Japanese companies making use of Odex’s already destroyed and evil image to do their bidding? If so, Odex must probably be very well compensated.

No matter what they say, it’s still obvious that Odex only looks out for the money. Odex is pulling off the heist of the century, and trying to make it as legal as possible. I don’t know just how legally correct their actions are, but I’m still waiting for them to flop and fail oh so miserably.

All Hail Suzumiya Haruhi

Odex VS the world? Hah! Death threats will probably be the least of their worries soon. An utterly despised small time company trying to go against waves of fans throughout the globe. Insanity beyond belief.

Odex will lose.

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