Illegal because… Is it expensive? And then?

Anime has become a part of the entertainment industry, where it features arts, colors, and… moving drawings on your TV screen. There are options on how to watch it — through subscriptions and through other means of free streaming coverage (i.e. YouTube, for a limited time or duration). But what if those particular Anime shows or more that you like is sometimes not available for watching for free?

In this blog post of mine, it shall talk about on why “illegal streaming and watching” of Anime shows is always the best option for most Anime fans worldwide. While enumerating the reasons why, every reasons are well detailed, sentence by sentences.

Unfair Region-Locking

Basically, the NUMBER ONE reason why most Anime fans are resorting to illegal streaming and downloading of Anime shows is that the particular Anime shows that they wanted to watch is currently not available for them in their own country or region of residence.

It is quite understandable that licensing an Anime show can be difficult to handle and shoulder, especially with some English and North American Anime licensor giants like Crunchyroll and Funimation. But then, just licensing some Anime titles, and making them available in some regions can sometimes be unfair and unjust. It makes you ask some questions like “Why is it that North American fans, and some fans in English-speaking countries (Count in some German and French-speaking fans) are getting good, more, and better Anime shows, that our own licensors in Asia can’t?”, or “Why is that ABC-something title is available on that country, while in our country it isn’t available?” Think of it as having an Ultra-Rare card being drawn by you from a Gacha by luck, while your friend can’t draw anything. Do you understand the reference?

And then, region-locking, to repeat the first paragraph, can be a border for Anime fans who really wanted to watch more Anime shows that they like and love. When there is no other option for them on how they could watch that show online, even when they had subscribed to their monthly subscriptions, then that’s the time that they are all going to resort to illegally stream and download that Anime show Episode.

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Higher Subscription Fees

Another reason why some people resort to illegal streaming and downloading of Anime shows is that they were hurt because of the higher monthly subscription fees. Generally, some legal streaming websites can offer you to try a free premium membership trial for at least few days. And there are some that would really need you to pay first in order to use their service.

It is understandable that higher and expensive subscription fees can be painful to everyone’s wallets. But did you know that the higher subscription fees can be a proportional value from the “actual value” to how much that licensor or company is paying for royalties and licensing of some Anime shows that they are handling? It is also understandable that they are so expensive because of the number of Anime shows that a certain licensor company is handling. So then, in order for them to maintain their subscription fees just right and fair for Anime fans, some licensor companies have to “give up” one or more Anime titles out from their library. They give up and they pull them out from their Anime titles licensing library because their contract or license with those Anime shows has been expired or they have no plans on renewing them.

So then, people need to realize that it is the only way for them to support the Anime shows that they are watching and following. Otherwise, there would be no more Anime shows for Anime fans to enjoy.

While being empty-pocketed and they don’t have enough money to watch an Anime show, their best option is really to watch it somewhere for free — through illegal downloads and streaming again.

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Limited Selection
Crunchyroll Website, as of November 2019. As you can notice, the slider carousel is just blank and empty. It is because some Anime titles are not available in your country, given if you lived outside of territories of coverage by Crunchyroll.

The third reason why there are illegally streaming and downloading unavailable Anime shows is that the selection of Anime shows per Anime licensors are just limited or “common”. Common, in the sense that most licensors do have that Anime (Or mostly some Anime shows which were under the “Shonen Jump” label like Boruto and One Piece), or it is just generally the reason number one above.

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To Get Screencaps or Screenshots

Generally, if you can pay for a monthly subscription fee, and looks too affordable for you, then there is something missing.

Though you could watch some few Anime shows on Netflix, for example, how about taking screencaps, or otherwise screenshots of some scenes or frames? Basically, this is where the confusing part begins.

You pay for subscription, but at the same time, you still illegally stream or download. What I could interpret is that you had paid for an Anime Episode, and then you share it to your friends for “free”. So who is going to be the loser now? Is it you right? You pay, while your friends didn’t pay anything. It is basically a ratio of about an approximation of 6:1.

Going back to the reason. You are still streaming and downloading illegally because you just wanted to screencap things. You then post them to your SNS accounts, while putting them with a funny caption. Somehow, I can see some common Facebook Pages, that has the page titles, “INSERT ANIME TITLE HERE Frame in Order”, or other equivalents that posts random screencap frames, from time to time, from some Anime series that I had been watching or following all the time.

So then, it can be a reason why they are illegally download or stream some Anime shows, but it is really not the main reason why they needed to do this.

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For Your “Archival Memories”

Finally, the fifth reason is just a continuation from the previous one above.

When you can illegally stream and download any Anime shows that you want, you are also trying to save their own memories. Once you have that material, you can never resort to share it by reuploading it ever again. So then, that copy of the Episode is now a part of your memory, and you can go back on it at anytime you want. Is it just like saving raw photos in a picture album, right?

So then, the reason why people resort to illegal downloads and streams of their favorite Anime shows that they are watching or following is that they wanted it to save as their “archival memories” — in the sense that they wanted to save it for future references. They were usually stored in an external hard disk drives (HDD), and they were kept there forever. So, what is going to happen next once they were stored there? Generally, they should be staying there. And if a certain Anime show (whether seasonal or latest) shows a certain scene that references a particular scene from a previous Anime show that you had watched, you could go back to those “archival memories”, and look for that scene. At least, you can use that scene from that old Anime show, in which you can slap against someone who has made criticism on your opinions of that certain scene in an Anime Episode that you had recently watched.

Archival memories. It is really the intention why people choose to illegally download and stream, rather than paying for a monthly premium subscription. What if a particular Anime series that is currently available on that certain Anime licensor has finally pulled it out due to its license expiry? So then, before it completely disappears from that licensor, you are going to find ways on how to get that Anime title or series in your hands without paying anything.

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Summary and Ending

To end this post topic, I am going to summarize why people are always choosing to illegally stream and download ther favorite Anime shows online as their best option.

Firstly, that particular Anime show is not available in some certain regions. What happens is that the people who don’t receive any availability shall just resort to illegal downloads or streams.

Second is that the monthly or yearly premiums are too expensive or not fair. Quite understandable that an Anime licensor can handle many Anime titles, and sometimes they have to let go that one or more shows just in order to maintain their subscription pricing.

Third reason is that the selection of Anime shows are just few or limited per country. Basically, one or more countries do have more Anime shows available than in other parts of the world. That’s a fact, you know? And that Anime show that you have been looking for is only available on that country, but not on your own country. Is it unfair? It is basically, they are just teasing us with their coined term, “Worldwide”. But then, “worldwide” does not really mean it is available for everybody else around the world.

Finally, the fourth and fifth reasons why they do illegal streaming and downloading of Anime shows are that they wanted that screenshot, and they are going to either save them for memories, or even use them as “memes” and they put funny captions and descriptions in it. Finally, they could have an option to keep them into their external hard drives, just in order for them to save those Anime Episodes as future references for some scenes of some latest Anime shows that they are currently watching or following.

And to tell you from the start, I was able to watch some Anime shows illegally through streaming and downloading, and my only reason is that Anime show is currently NOT available in my country (Count in Digimon Ghost Game as one of the Anime shows that is not currently available in my watch). And also, from my last sentence, I am already honest with my statement.

Basically, I am quite demotivated because region-locking does really prevented me to watch more Anime shows online. It is quite noticeable that I am only watching fewer Anime shows than before, right?

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Inori Donz

Inori Donz is a blogger, video gamer, Anime enthusiast, bicycle rider, and Anime figure photographer. His favorite area of concentration is 'LoveLive! Series', where he plays its featured smartphone video games, as well as watching its Anime series counterparts. "I like Anime, toys and figures, and mostly, I like playing free-to-play video games. Definitely not your usual commoner you see everyday in the streets." He started his blogging journey since December 2013, with a free WordPress blog, named 'IemDonz Blog'. That free blog contains most of his Anime figure photography works, as well as some of his opinions and experiences in the Anime world.