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View Full Version : Feedback: An open letter to VIz Media.


Toma RNK
04-01-2009, 11:45 PM
[EDIT: Since this thread has come back, it was my first post ever on these forums and was posted on april 2nd, 2009. Just wanted to be clear as people think I posted this today.]

To Mods: I hope this article does not violate rule # 5.

5. Fansubs, fan translations, fan art
Due to legal reasons, please keep any discussions or postings of fan translations, fan art and fan-subbed anime off this site.

If it does please take it down immediately with my deepest apologies but please distribute the contents of this message to others at viz i you think the perspective offered in it would be benificial. In complementing you and helping you move forward I felt fansubs as a whole must be mentioned but I have tried to keep any specifics I could avoid out of the content.


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To Viz,

First and foremost I want to offer you all my heartfelt thanks for taking the steps you have recently taken to accept the internet and the way content distribution is heading. I wish to tell you all my story in hopes that it will provide you all with consumer perspective and help you in your buisiness decisions. While the beginning of this message deviates from Naruto a bit in the end it ends up here so I hope you will find this to be acceptable.

In preface I would like to give you all some history about myself and my relationship with anime, and viz media to put my later comments in perspective. My first encounter with anime (speed racer not included) was in 1996 when I was 12 years old. My stepbrother who loved Ranma received a copy of "One flew over the Kuno's nest" from his mother and we watched it. All I can say was it was love at first site.

I became a bit obsessed and in the years that followed I bought every Ranma 1/2 VHS (both subbed and dubbed) I could find. At $24-$28 for two episodes and two full copies of the 7 seasons, OAV's, and movies you can see I am no stranger to paying for the entertainment I like. I also bought other Anime from other companies during this time.

As time went on, I found that many companies reused voice actors and actresses quite a bit. Viz did this less than others, but constantly associating voices with other characters began to detract from my experience and I switched to watching subs almost exclusively.

As a result of this change I started to resent the amount of money I was paying for subs. In my eyes, English dubs took less effort as voice actresses were not needed. I felt the subs should cost less as you needed to put less into them. I also noticed that subtitles and english dialogue sometimes changed. All of this eventually led to my reduction of purchases. I started waiting for box sets as a 12 tape series at around $25 a tape would set me back all my allowance for the year.

Then came the DVD. With the DVD came new energy for me as now I coulld get both subtitled japanese and english together in one package. I repurchased all of "my ranma" on an easier format at an OK price point. For a year or so (around 2001-2002) I bought my share of anime. Then along came high speed internet and EVERYTHING changed.

With the boom of the internet everything became easier to find, talk about, and learn about. Granted I could do this on my old, prodigy 28.8k dial up, but not nearly as easily. I quickly learned that I was not the only person to prefer subs, and in fact fansubbing was gaining popularity. I learned how to navigate some of the less well known areas of the net and quicky found quite a it of anime available quickly. I began to watch episodes weeks after they aired in japan and my passion and love for anime rekindled. I always made a point of buying the anime I liked to support the industry because I knew that it was needed. The only difference now was that I only bought anime I knew I liked instead of purchasing something for $25 just to discover it was horrible (Gude Crest comes to mind.)

For a long time I never watched the DVD's I bought, I had the episodes on hard drive, so I had no real need. Spring break two years ago I took a trip to a log cabin in the middle of nowhere and brought most of my DVD's and a DVD player with me. Two of my closest friends and I sat down and spent the week drinking, eating, and watching good anime. I thought this trip would be a dream come true, anime, friends, food, and drink. What could possibly go wrong?

This trip ended up shattering my world. We watched the anime subbed as I had grown to dislike dubs. We watched a total of 9 series and 13 movies over those 9 days. I found myself getting ready for wonderful lines and good jokes only to find they were lost in translation. The subs were sloppily timed, and the flow of dialogue seemed odd, and broken. This wasn't specifically a viz issue, it happened everywhere. Around the third day I found myself drinking and not being happy, but moody. In desperation I recommended we switch to the english dubs. Ill simply say that this did NOT help and move on from this sad memory.

When I returned I was angry, upset, and wondering why I was PAYING people to screw up anime. I now understand much better the difficulties facing US distribution companies but at the time I was livid. I felt I was paying for a horrible product because I couldn't legally get a decent one. I threw out about $8000 worth of DVD's that day because I had fansubs and had no need for what I at the time viewed as an inferior product. I kept my Ranma VHS tapes and gave the DVD's to others to help spread the good series.

For the next period in my life I went t what the industry would call the "dark side." This also happened to coincide with the explosion of bittorrent and the massive increase in fansub distribution. I spent my money supporting online fan communities and everything involved in the process of getting me my fansubs.

This was about when Naruto started up. Much like ranma I felt a similar love and affection for the series. When Viz announced it had bought the rights to the series I was exstatic because I saw viz as the best of the american distrobution industry and a friend who provided me Ranma. I swore to myself that I would start buying again and support you guys further.

Also around this time some of the american industry started what I will call the "war on fansubs." I consider this to have really exploded with a certain companies attack on the Gundam Seed fansubbers. Like many in the fansubbing community I felt genuinely offended by how this was done. If you don't know the details I am sure it can be looked up. The relavant point is that I and many others got very very angry and felt personally hurt. To be clear, I have never been a member of any fansubbing group, merely a consumer.

This new found anger stopped me from doing the right thing and buying the Naruto DVD's. I mean Viz didn't do anything but I took out my feelings on the whole industry. My lack of purchases extended, things looked very bad for me and the american anime industry.

Earlier this year I saw a video clip from the "Fansubber and Industry Discussion" at Otakon 2008. This video really changed how I saw things and was likely the most important video I have seen in recent years. It is hosted at http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/convention/2008/fansubs-and-industry-panel and provided me with much insight into the struggles of the US distributors and helped me see the whole picture.

In late fall of last year you all at Viz announced that you would start providing a similar service to what I was used to via streaming sites, and a certain group stopped fansubbing Naruto out of respect for your actions. When I found this out I felt as if I had made up with an old friend and rekindled our relationship.

Unfortunately I have been unemployed since this announcement and s I haven't been able to get together the cash needed to buy all of the Naruto you all have released but I am working on it.

Your steps in streaming the episodes are the first step towards a good future and you will likely be paving the way for the change this industry needs.

I do have some suggestions and requests moving forward and I hope you will consider them.

1st. I want to own digital copies of the episodes. I want to pay to own these episodes but the streaming quality is just not sufficient for my desires to watch things on my Plasma TV. Granted, once I own the DVD's I could rip, and encode, ad store it on my home server, but that is probably not completely legal. I have no need for the DVD's but am buying them to support you guys in what you are doing, and I watch each episode twice on hulu in hopes you get ad revenue. If there were any way for you to charge me for a digital download at a decent encode quality I would love to pay you to do so.

I am aware that making a digital encode of the episode available is dangerous as people will pirate it. I accept this, but you all should accept that someone is going to slap your subs on a RAW from japan and distribute it anyway so why not bank on peoples laziness and the few people like me to make some cash.

2nd. Consider accepting donations for the streaming. While I am not entirely sure the legal needs if this were to happen I know you must continue streaming for free for the foreseeable future. The thing is, while I can't afford the DVD's right now, I would gladly send you a few bucks when I have it. There may be others who agree. At will donation works well for many online anime based entities, why not for the industry as well.

Lastly, there needs to be a way to explain to the younger fans that this is a team effort. While I am only 25 I feel there is a huge gap between me and some of the younger generation of anime fans. You guys are able to experience anime in a way I never dreamed of. You feel entitled at times to entertainment and don't understand that each and every one of us needs to support this industry as we can. For under 18'ers that means buying products, tuning into anime on TV, and watching the streaming clips offered to get viz some revenue. For the over 18'ers in the future this will likely be through buying through the viz website to get viz the highest profit of the purchase, buying online downloads as they will be almost pure profit for viz, and by donating if not ale to buy if that option comes along.

I hope that my perspective will help someone somewhere guide viz into the "cyber era" of anime and I would gladly discuss this with you at any time.

In closing, thank you Viz for restoring my faith in the industry. It is good to be on speaking terms with an old friend again.

Respectfully,

Taler Schilling

Sage Mode
04-02-2009, 02:23 PM
Hi Taler,

Thanks so much for the thoughtful letter. Not to mention all your support over the years, despite your roller coaster relationship with anime and the industry.

While I can't exactly speak directly to your suggestions at the moment, at the very least I want to assure you that your comments are making the rounds with the decision-makers here at Viz.

Thanks again.

Toma RNK
04-02-2009, 03:51 PM
Thank you for reading and taking the time to pass my perspective along. It is that kind of open mindedness that will keep my support and I believe will make viz successful in the next decade.

Konan
11-11-2009, 05:07 PM
Wow that was long, wouldn't expect all of this, so this is how it all got started.

Toma RNK
11-11-2009, 05:08 PM
Wow that was long, wouldn't expect all of this, so this is how it all got started.

Holy crap, my first pose rises from the grave!

ShariKage
11-11-2009, 05:10 PM
Isn't posting your full name dangerous, Toma?

<Aurega?>
11-11-2009, 05:11 PM
Isn't posting your full name dangerous, Toma?

Not if you're a 25 year old man over 6 feet, have access to firearms and have black belts in various martial arts :D

Yes, Toma is the new RAMBO!

Toma RNK
11-11-2009, 05:12 PM
Isn't posting your full name dangerous, Toma?

There are many factors in this.

1: I am 25.
2: I am a seasoned fighter and also hold 3 black belts.
3: My legal first name is not provided here. I go by my middle name.
4: My father shares my legal name even though it is not provided.
5: Neither he nor I have an online presence, except me on this forum.

I am an exception to the rule, cause I know what I am doing.

flamey234
11-11-2009, 05:14 PM
Nice. and anyway, it didn't rise from the grave. A thread doesn't die until it has been deleted. This one has just resurfaced

Konoha'sGreenThunder
11-11-2009, 05:15 PM
It was totally necro'd.

Konan
11-11-2009, 05:16 PM
Holy crap, my first pose rises from the grave!

Your Welcome :D

Kizomaru Yukimoto
11-11-2009, 05:17 PM
There are many factors in this.

1: I am 25.
2: I am a seasoned fighter and also hold 3 black belts.
3: My legal first name is not provided here. I go by my middle name.
4: My father shares my legal name even though it is not provided.
5: Neither he nor I have an online presence, except me on this forum.

I am an exception to the rule, cause I know what I am doing.


Ooooo!! Im on my 1st striped belt .. The one after the Black belt! Oooo! * Learning new facts about Toma-Chan * Oooo and um.. I read the 1st part but umm the 2nd part was to long so I skipped it..

ShariKage
11-11-2009, 05:19 PM
There are many factors in this.

1: I am 25.
2: I am a seasoned fighter and also hold 3 black belts.
3: My legal first name is not provided here. I go by my middle name.
4: My father shares my legal name even though it is not provided.
5: Neither he nor I have an online presence, except me on this forum.

I am an exception to the rule, cause I know what I am doing.

Yea, well I have a white belt, with a stripe! That's right. Watch out Gai, XD.

evil buzzard
11-11-2009, 05:41 PM
Nice toma RNK, I read the whole thing.

Vatanui AKA Pride
11-11-2009, 05:46 PM
It was a long letter, with thoughtful considerations for the future of the Anime World.

sasu_girl
11-11-2009, 06:03 PM
i enjoyed your letter, even though it was insanely long. and i agree with you on many points. although it will take me about an hour to comprehend all the information.

Toma RNK
11-11-2009, 06:04 PM
You guys realize I posted this in april right?

This was my first post. Though my views haven't changed, its most certainly not new.

yondaime
11-11-2009, 06:17 PM
Wow, that was long. Even then, you seemed like you knew what you were doing, xD.

evil buzzard
11-11-2009, 06:18 PM
You guys realize I posted this in april right?

This was my first post. Though my views haven't changed, its most certainly not new.
I knew, I looked at the date, but this was the first time I saw it.

flamey234
11-11-2009, 06:18 PM
I wonder how this one was found then.

evil buzzard
11-11-2009, 06:21 PM
-points at konan- she brought it back.

flamey234
11-11-2009, 06:22 PM
I know but how and where did she find it?

evil buzzard
11-11-2009, 06:29 PM
I know but how and where did she find it?
Because I am not her, I cant really answer that.

But a guess would be, searching all of tomas threads.

Toma RNK
11-11-2009, 06:30 PM
But a guess would be, searching all of tomas threads.




So many stalkers, so little time.

flamey234
11-11-2009, 06:31 PM
So many stalkers, so little time.
you read my mind :shock::lol:

evil buzzard
11-11-2009, 06:34 PM
So many stalkers, so little time.

Watch out there going to get you......xD

Konan
11-11-2009, 08:06 PM
No, Toma stalks me so I stalked him back xD

kzilla2000
11-11-2009, 08:10 PM
toma im most interested by you're threads but the irony is i dont read 2% of the opening post CUZ THERE SO DAMN LONG! :lol:

Sage Mode
11-12-2009, 10:43 AM
I'm going to close this thread, and let it be, because now people are just chatting ;)