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Opinions on the American Anime industry, Is Fansubbing starting to hurt the industry?


Registered Member
Over the past year there have been several reports concerning the anime industry in American.

Geneon went under after ADV backed out of a merge with the company. This left several title's unfinished for the region one area. ADV also reported that it laid off some employees (downsizing). Considering it was the anime giant of America a few years back this was a bit troubling.

Adult Swim after making anime largely popular with its late night showings has begun to show less anime at usually later times than a year ago.

Companies are now starting to show episodes for free for dvd premieres. Usually entire episodes of recently released anime are streamed from company websites.

Something I have personally noted was there has been less anime selection in stores. Best Buy a year or so ago carried nearly any anime I really wished to purchase. Now their selection is a bit slimmer. There are about 3 Best Buys in my area all of which I frequently visit and I have noted this at all three stores.

One of the few companies who has gotten larger (and is now the anime liscense king of America) is VIZ. VIZ has liscensed more mainstream titles and has taken advantage of it's weakening competitors. They have put together a line of Naruto, Bleach, Death Note, and InuYasha.

Now with all this going on is it because the effects of fansubbing? Digital anime that is now easily accessible to nearly any user with a fast connection and decent computer? Right now anime in America is struggling however is this due to the economic recession ?

What are your thoughts on this? Frankly, I am starting to get worried that we will see fewer American Liscenses unless the companies begin to take different angles in marketing.


Registered Member
I've thought about this myself lately. I do think the anime industry is hurting. How can it not with all the fansubbers and the people who refuse to buy anime and just watch it online.

Geneon going under was not a good sign. It isn't like they were a little industry, they were actually pretty big and had some big name anime. I think ADV gave a reason to why they were laying people off, I’m not sure though. Either way, them laying off people was not a good sign either. Especially since they were an anime juggernaut at the time. Right now VIZ seems to have taken that title, so will see how they do with it.

Overall I don’t see how you can’t think fan subbing isn’t hurting the anime industry. Anytime you can get something for free instead of paying for it it’s going to hurt that industry. Thinking about where anime might be in 5 years is scary.
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