Ani-Nouto on my Druaga post

Author says:

This looks like a good time for me to say something about superiority of actually buying the episodes (I spent 1100 BOST points, or about 22 U.S. dollars thus far), and to lampoon Kuro’s cheap-ass lameness. But I won’t. What Crunchyroll is doing is just nasty. The deal was to show the series for free on YouTube. We don’t know why GONZO agreed to that, and the deal made little sense to me, but since they did, they should have followed through with it. Now we know that either Cruncyroll or GONZO is not trustworthy (if GONZO made the decision to truncate the episode, it’s them; if Crunchyroll made it behind GONZO’s back, then the obvious).

In short, Kuro is still lame for not paying for his show, but he made his decision based on the information available at the start of the season, and was deceived. That is inexcusable and outrageous.

While Author has gotten the point of my post right, i.e. they promised us free streaming but instead didn’t fall through, I feel compelled to reply to his accusations that I am “lame” because I do not pay for my anime.

Yes, he has it right, I do not pay for the show, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I am “lame”. Given an unlimited amount of money, I would probably choose to spend at least 50% of it on anime, but sadly, being a student and also living in a country where the exchange rates make all but only the upper middle classes and above to be able to afford splurging on foreign stuff, I’m just plainly too poor to afford anything beyond the usual necessities every month.

But that doesn’t mean I do not support the buying of originals. I purchase a number of english-translated manga imported from the US every month, at the price of RM 34 or so, per book, and I have actually bought original DVD’s before. There’s also a whole bunch of Megami I import in each month to the tune of RM 50 a month. The prices are all of course, converted accordingly to the exchange rates.

However, let me put in to context, the imbalances of our buying power compared to the exchange rate. 1 US Dollar is equivalent to Ringgit Malaysia 3.2 at current rates, so a USD 10 manga is priced at around RM 32-36 here, after the inclusion of shipping fees and such by the bookstores. Yet, the buying power of the ringgit and the dollars are roughly the same in their respective countries, so a dollar converted to ringgit here immediately gets 3x more buying power (rough estimates again), but in reverse, a ringgit converted to a dollar has its worth reduced 3x. Not very fair.

So imagine paying USD 34 for a single volume of manga, USD 50 for a magazine and USD 180 for a DVD, and you’ll get the idea of how horrendously expensive to be a paying otaku over here. It’s hard not be “lame”, but hey, if you can’t afford it, you can’t afford it. I wonder if Author would’ve been willing to spend USD 70 (that’s the amount of ringgit that 22 USD converts to) on Druaga, if it were priced as such.

32 Comments

  1. steelbound Said,

    June 15, 2008 @ 1:46 pm

    Ouch – That would make me all the more caution on how I spent my anime/manga money.

    The free youtube stream was supposed to allow people who weren’t sure if the show was worth buying an option to check it out without any risk. If more people watch it, the more people buy the show. One of my favorite SF authors gives away his novels for free online – go to his site, right click, save. He does this because he believes that the more people read his work; the more physical book sales he’ll get. And with his latest book on the Best Selling List for 5 weeks now, it makes the argument seem at least plausible.

    I myself have been holding off watching Druaga since I am watching enough shows right now. Over what looks like a thin summer season I was going to give this show a youtube watch then if I liked it I was going to buy it. I wouldn’t spend a dime on it or any anime show until I knew how it ended. Wouldn’t want to waste my money.

    If they pull the free option away then I probably won’t bother with the show since I don’t like it when businesses try to trick customers like that. And why should you have to pay without knowing what you’re getting. If Druaga was a book or even a movie I could go to my local library – about a 3 minute walk from my house – and check it out for free. People still buy books and movies even though they can get it free. GONZO is just shooting themselves in the foot if they’re behind pulling the full length episodes from youtube.

  2. lametastic Said,

    June 15, 2008 @ 1:51 pm

    Might I humbly say that Author is just a troll and doesn’t deserve the amount of attention he gets from the bloggers he ‘snipes’?

    Whatever. Maybe I just don’t get the brilliant point he’s trying to make with his blog.

  3. Haesslich Said,

    June 15, 2008 @ 2:09 pm

    Well, this is from the guy who doesn’t allow comments on his posts, which may end up disagreeing with him or pointing out where he screwed up, so…

    But yes, the YouTube stream being free meant you had a chance to preview, then buy it if you liked it. Without the YouTube stream, you either have to register for CrunchyRoll, if you can… or you end up going to Torrent, or not viewing at all.

  4. Owen S Said,

    June 15, 2008 @ 2:33 pm

    lol @ newfags taking Author seriously.

  5. Zanshun Said,

    June 15, 2008 @ 2:45 pm

    Any idea what quality the downloads are? If they are as good quality as the HD raws, 2 bucks an episode doesn’t sound unreasonable.

  6. tj han Said,

    June 15, 2008 @ 3:02 pm

    Yes Malaysians are rioting now as they have just suffered a what, 40 percent increase in fuel and food prices overnight, thanks to erm Americans! And yet the same Americans want us to spend money on anime!

    I can proudly say I have stopped supporting the industry with the exception of manga.

  7. dKiWi Said,

    June 15, 2008 @ 3:06 pm

    I salute you for attempting to import stuff with those kind of exchange rates. I’m having trouble with the much stronger Singapore dollar myself.

  8. zaeris Said,

    June 15, 2008 @ 3:10 pm

    While 2 dollars isn’t an issue with most it’s more along the line of “I don’t want to pay for my anime” which many fans tend to speak this philosophy.

    Anyway, back on topic, I’ve always view Gonzo approach to Airing free streams to the world as a form of advertisement for their series. With AnimeBOST, youtube and CR providing the service it has accomplished what it has set out. The issue at hand isn’t whether people feel betrayed with Episode 11 being uploaded with 5min but they feel that YouTube was more superior quality wise out of the free service streams. It’s a debate about quality not about false advertisement. If CR provided the exactly same service with the same quality I don’t think it makes much difference watching it on YouTube or CR if they had the same streams, Free service is still free service just people like the one with better quality if given a choice.

    It’s all human nature choosing the better deal.

  9. tako Said,

    June 15, 2008 @ 3:47 pm

    I tried to give CR some money, but the Paypal transaction never completed. I wonder if it’s because I’m not from the US?

  10. lametastic Said,

    June 15, 2008 @ 4:52 pm

    lol @ oldfags bragging

    Anyway, being an anime/manga fan in a “emerging” economy (like Mexico, where I’m from) pretty much means you always end up spending a lot and only getting a few things. While I have enough money to buy more manga and DVDs than most of my compatriots, I get most of the stuff I watch and read on the internet. And it’s not like I don’t want to buy it. I spend most of my money in stuff like this. But the import fees/charges are just too much. And I don’t think a lot of companies care about countries like us. Not like I think they should / can, but… in the end, the internet is always a big temptation.

  11. ryuuu Said,

    June 15, 2008 @ 5:18 pm

    Let’s just call it what it is. People on general just don’t like it when their options are being limited. This is the way I see it, I might be wrong. Just my view. There’s my disclaimer, there.

    I’m comparing this issue with mp3, because they’re quite similar. The way there’s multiple licenses and how mp3 bought from apple can’t be played on other companies’ mp3 player and vice-versa. The way I see it crunchyroll probably tries to get more user by doing this. Some people won’t like it, some won’t care. I think from a marketing point of view they make some wrong decisions. When you offer people option/choices and then take it away, protest is bound to happen. It would be better if you either don’t offer the option at all or offer it later on, not at the beginning. That’s just asking for trouble.

    Crunchyroll need to learn more from Apple (and other online mp3 stores and music companies). First you lock up the music you sell so it can only be played in the hardware you sell, then later you offer the unlocked version for higher price. You don’t sell the unlocked version, and then lock it up. That’s just stupid, not to mention some bad publicity. What they should’ve done is to get the newest episode up on their website first and then a few hours later put it on youtube. This way you could promote people to use your website without depriving people of their options.

    Personally I don’t see why this is a huge problem, since I used crunchyroll a lot nowadays. It’s not like they charge you or anything. If they do, then they probably haven’t realized yet that I’ve never payed. Yeah I do wrote this because I feel kinda bad for crunchyroll. Would I wrote this if I don’t use crunchyroll and only use youtube? probably not. so yeah this is biased.

  12. alex Said,

    June 15, 2008 @ 7:02 pm

    No point taking any offense by that lamer’s comment – he is stinking rich and would like to spam his money before he suffocates under it, good for him.

    I tend to buy the DVDs and accessories of the titles which I appreciate. And I can only decide whether I appreciate something or not by actually watching through it.

  13. Ez Said,

    June 15, 2008 @ 7:34 pm

    Like Kuro said, the exchange rate is the main problem with us ‘supporting’ the industry. It’s way too costly for normal fans.

  14. Ipsod Said,

    June 15, 2008 @ 8:01 pm

    What’s with this weird pissing grounds deal with anime bloggers? That’s my question. That was very dickish and rude of Author to call out Kuro’s reponse/action against the 5-minute “go to crunchyroll now” clip on youtube and call him lame.

    Sometimes I really wonder if peoples’ maturity pants get lower than their ankles on the internet.

  15. DrmChsr0 Said,

    June 15, 2008 @ 8:22 pm

    Well, now that we all know author is naught but a tick, let’s move on.

    I don’t know who’s the one with the dickier move: The buffoons at Crunchyroll, or Author being a dick and Owen supporting him.

    Oh look two dicks in the same bag. Better get the brain bleach out, it’s NIGHTMARE FUEL.

  16. Avisch Said,

    June 16, 2008 @ 12:17 am

    OH MAN! Suddenly that makes me LAME. I’m LAME for not paying for something that’s being OFFERED for FREE!

    Honestly….

    Ipsod: I wonder the exact same thing.

  17. Sasa Said,

    June 16, 2008 @ 3:31 am

    Agreed. Besides all the lameness, Author mainly suffers from talking about things he has no idea of.

    I’m sorry for your horrid exchange rates, Kuro, and I guess the only solution for that is to stay on your own market and thus buy reasonably priced things.

  18. Yo Said,

    June 16, 2008 @ 3:43 am

    Even having a better exchange rate doesn’t really help, in some other countries, when there are higher taxes, arbitrary price increases , extremely and unreliably limited distribution, in addition to other wonderful things that come with being a third world anime fan in the wrong place at the wrong time. US fans complain too much when they have a much easier, in sooooo many ways.

  19. Natsukashii Anime Blog » Buying Anime DVDs is Like Voting: Does It Make a Difference? Said,

    June 16, 2008 @ 5:18 am

    [...] was just reading Kurogane’s post here and I couldn’t help but think about how “lame” I really [...]

  20. Heero Yuy Said,

    June 16, 2008 @ 10:45 am

    I’m in the US right now, born and raised, so I guess I’ll step in to give an outsider’s opinion. (and if you see anything in $, I’m talking USD)

    Over the course of 4 years starting around the summer after my sophomore year of high school I’ve spent tons of my income on DVDs, manga, posters, figures, models, and stuff for/at conventions (I’ve spent a lower bound estimate of $3016 on DVDs alone, and $1309 on manga). I was by far the biggest advocator of supporting the industry by buying stuff at my school, and sadly I had a bigger collection than the entire 30+ member anime club there combined (with the exception of one of my friends, but neither of us were members so it didn’t matter). What used to bug me was the people, mostly the younger ones, that would ask why they should even bother spending money on it when they could just download it for free? There were probably about 20 legitimate DVDs (not bootlegs) between all of them.

    I’m not going to go into that or why many of them I think would’ve been better off choking each other with their headbands, but I guess the main point of it is this: You’ve got a heck of a lot better mentality than the rest. When I want to buy a single volume of a show like Air or Fate/Stay Night, it costs about $20 USD plus a 9.25% state sales tax, sometimes $7-8 shipping and handling if I get it online. For you guys overseas however, I definitely understand it’s considerably more expensive (I imported a Japanese XBox 360 so I could play Idolm@ster, holy crap S&H was expensive). So to put it in perspective, every time you buy one DVD, you’ve effectively put in as much effort as someone here buying 3 or 4. Add on top of that how broke college guys like you and I are, and well hey, living expenses come first. Anyone who gets at you then is just plain irresponsible and probably just mooches off their parents.

    So let people like Arthur go back to pissing others like himself off on 4chan or wherever. You’re far above the American standards near me…

  21. The Sojourner Said,

    June 16, 2008 @ 11:20 am

    Hey. Watching Druaga on Crunchyroll is like watching it on TV in Japan.

  22. Heero Yuy Said,

    June 16, 2008 @ 11:27 am

    Wait, wouldn’t 180 / 3 = 60? that’s more like a whole box set rather than a single DVD here…or are you importing them from Japan? (R2 DVDs do cost that much though, I agree)

    In any case, if you haven’t sold that copy of Shakugan no Shana vol.1 yet I’d be willing to pay $10 USD to your paypal….. I used a converter and I think that’s around 30MYR, but would the extra 15 be enough to cover S&H to the states?

  23. Son Gohan Said,

    June 16, 2008 @ 3:55 pm

    While I agreee that Gonzo made a poor move by uploading only the first 5 minutes on Youtube, I don’t understand why you are so fixated on YT.
    Crunchyroll does offer a free streaming of Druaga. You don’t need to pay. You can also choose to pay the minimum amount of 0.01$ to download the HQ AVI. So, what’s the problem here?
    I gladly pay 2$ a week because I like the show and I want to support this business model.

  24. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    June 16, 2008 @ 4:20 pm

    Heero Yuy: As you can see, I bought the R2 DVD’s of Byousoku and Evangelion 1.0, both the limited editions, so they’re actually kinda expensive. In comparison, the R1 DVD’s would be more cheaper, but I’m more towards buying to support and for collectors value, so the figure I quoted for DVD’s is on the high side. Sorry though, I don’t think I can sell it to you, because I’m pretty sure S&H will be way higher, and there’s quite a bit of hassle. Better to buy it over there locally :).

    Son Gohan: It’s a matter of principle. Yes I could’ve chosen to watch on Crunchyroll (but honestly, I can’t seem to get their site working for me), but they announced that all three streaming sites will be offering it. I take offense on the fact they’re reneging on this promise and blatantly “taking sides” by promoting CR so prominently on the Youtube upload for the past two episodes. I don’t have any qualms on CR’s business model, I just don’t like the action of “forcing” the viewers to a certain site when it’s been promised that all three will be airing it.

  25. Heero Yuy Said,

    June 16, 2008 @ 10:49 pm

    If only you guys knew that Shinji bastard that runs Crunchyroll and hows he’s run his site the past several years…

    Let me just say this, his site is the first ever that’s been under threat of C.O.D.s from one company for posting copyrighted material AND supported by another company putting their stuff their intentionally at the same time. What really grinds me is how he profits off of fansubs that specifically say they’re meant to be free (of course, he chops off that little part most of the time, so you can only see it in the original fansub groups download)….

    ^This is all the other reason why I agree with Kurogane’s decision, aside from the fact it’s an underhanded marketing tactic…

    @Kurogane: Oh well… I know I could buy it locally but I figured I’d try to help out someone if I could. In any case, so you only buy R2 dvds?….that makes sense, especially if you’re primarily doing it to support the industry. I’ve done that a few times….and even when the USD was still fairly strong it was expensive…. (almost twice as much for one DVD that had half the episodes on it?…I dunno how the Japanese afford it, let alone us. Especially considering their cost of living). But hey, more power to you!

  26. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    June 17, 2008 @ 12:05 am

    >>What really grinds me is how he profits off of fansubs that specifically say they’re meant to be free (of course, he chops off that little part most of the time, so you can only see it in the original fansub groups download)….

    Which is why I never use streaming sites like CR. Why the heck do I wanna suffer jerky and reduced video quality when it’s all being distributed for free elsewhere. What he’s doing really isn’t any different than Tazmo (if anyone still remembers him) in my eyes.

    As for the books, I really appreciate the offer, but doesn’t really make sense economically if I were to send you just one book. Maybe if you bought in bulk or smth…

    And yeah, so far I’ve only bought R2 DVD’s, mostly the ones that I really, really liked and they had a good deal on. I consider paying RM 160 for Byousoku 5cm LE and RM 180 for Evangelion 1.01 LE (both with S&H included) quite the good deal in terms of the cost and the collectors value for me.

    Dunno so much about R1 though, but I know a few local friends who buy R1′s. They’re all working though, so they can afford buying R1 boxsets and all.

  27. Heero Yuy Said,

    June 17, 2008 @ 3:54 am

    Glad to see someone else realizes what CR’s doing other than me…. places like CR and narutofan only detriment both sides of the business equation… too bad alot of people don’t realize it.

    Unfortunately out of all the manga you’re selling that I don’t have already, that’s the only one I was considering buying.
    Oh well…. in any case, just an fyi, assuming I’m getting the currency conversion right, you’d be able to buy about 3 R1 economy box sets for the price of the Eva 1.01 LE you bought, though personally if I was in your situation I would’ve gotten that first. Most R1 box sets over here are okay; yeah they come with usually the whole show (though 50+ episode shows tend to be broken into 25-26 episode boxes), there’s not a whole lot of extras, and I’m a sucker for those two words, “Limited Edition”. If you’ve seen stuff like the original Haruhi limited edition starter box you’d know what I mean…

  28. Author Said,

    June 17, 2008 @ 6:18 am

    Crunchyroll is distinctly shady, very much like the original Napster (which nearly ruined the very idea of DRM-free media by being fully dedicated to blatant piracy). The endless attempts to “reinvent itself” seem telling, even if we didn’t know who were behind the site. The profiteering there is just desperate. I think even Wikimedia didn’t do as badly.

  29. The Hordesman Said,

    June 17, 2008 @ 4:40 pm

    Does anyone actually pay for anything these days, me hearties?

    Well, except the people who look like this:

    [: . C

    Obviously.

    ARRR!

  30. hitoshura Said,

    June 17, 2008 @ 6:41 pm

    meh, at least they didnt air the first 10 mins of the anime in CR as well saying: “want to see full eps? buy it on cr!”

    This was just a case of a faggot who shot his mouth off about how significant buying free stuff is. Ignore him.

  31. The Hordesman Said,

    June 17, 2008 @ 9:06 pm

    Also, “lame” was a call word about 20 years ago, today I can only associate it with handicapped people.

    Cheap-ass? It’s called piracy! Buccaneering! ARRRing! Plunderin’! Looting! We got proper terms thar!
    Avast, ye landlubbers!

  32. Heero Yuy Said,

    June 17, 2008 @ 11:11 pm

    Times like this I think you guys would really enjoy this video:

    http://www.animemusicvideos.org/members/members_videoinfo.php?v=150419

    (same video, just on youtube)

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