In the end, it still remains that I am a pirate.

I’ll try my best to be as civil as possible, but please do forgive me if ever I overstep my bounds.

I am frustrated because I believed I was helping the industry. I was, but it was not the anime industry. I was helping the bootleg industry, and I paid a significant amount of money for it. In the end, I was just another person fooled. I really had good intentions, to be honest, but I was simply fooled by the beauty of the boxset of Binchou-tan. In addition, I have never seen an original anime DVD before; thus, despite my efforts in discriminating if the boxset was pirated or not, in the end, I was fooled.

I guess it’s not really the loss of money that hurts the most. It hurts, but it’s not the heaviest burden, at least for me. It’s the fact that here in the Philippines, no one is really truthful or honest when it comes to anime anymore. The retailer told me that the DVDs they sold were original. I didn’t believe them just like that, of course, and I took some time to skeptically assess the anime DVD. The language at the back was Japanese; there was a production company (which I assumed to be legitimate, because it was written in katakana), and the boxset was just a visual feast for the eyes.

Doubts were raised by fellow Filipino bloggers, however, like usagijen and bluemist. With research, I then realized that it was, after all, a bootleg. It’s quite disquieting for me because I sincerely believed that I had already helped boost the anime industry, if only for a bit. I guess I just worsened the situation: I paid the pirates instead. I had to decide yesterday to purchase or not since the convention was very far from the place I’m staying at here in Manila, and since there was no Internet connection there, I purchased the series.

I learned my lesson. I will never buy anything from the anime stores here again. Doom and destruction may come to the anime industry, but if I can’t stop it, I’d rather slow it down by not purchasing from the different pirate stores here.

I ask forgiveness from the anime industry. Anime is in a sad state of affairs in this country, and I’m sorry.

22 Responses to “In the end, it still remains that I am a pirate.”

  1. westbluef Says:

    Hmmmm Hm Hm …
    could it posibly be H3…
    Anyway I guess even in conventions in here you can’t buy anything legit but, There are places that also offer legit ones although it’s too rare(really really rare) to see those.
    a little advice (don’t go to ones with initials of C.A.)

  2. Michael Says:

    Yes, the convention was H3.

    I’m sorry, westbluef. I did. And I regret that. :(

  3. tj han Says:

    Don’t worry, it’s a lesson learnt. When I first bought VCDs (then of course) they were all bootlegs and I didn’t realise it. But either way, you buy it for the show, not to support. It’s a silly reason to be charitable to the anime BUSINESSES.

  4. Michael Says:

    Thanks. You can be a nice person at times. :)

    I bought it for Binchou-tan, but I also aimed to support the industry. It’s just a sad state of affairs our country with regard to anime is in.

  5. Totali Says:

    Find the guy who sold it to you again and punch him in the face.

  6. nsfw Says:

    In the first place, do we have a company that license and distributes anime here in the Philippines? I think the only legitimate anime merchandise here is manga and figurines since you can’t pirate that.

    Just how much was ripped from you? The price is a good way to determine whether it’s legit or not.

    @Totali
    If you bought it from a sidewalk vendor (yes, piracy is so rampant here you can get just about any movies in the sidewalks), you really don’t want to punch the guy because most probably you’ll end up in a hospital bed somewhere…in critical condition if you’re unlucky.

  7. Ryan A Says:

    Wow, that’s a harsh situation. I’m still wondering what would happen if someone started a digital service, without any permission, and asked for money per episode. But… instead of keeping the money they just sent checks/money orders to the doorstep of the studios. “WTF” would probably be the response. Utter chaos would follow, especially in certain countries. Really though, what could happen?

    Maybe they thinks it’s lowly to accept money when they weren’t trying to. Some people might think it beggar-like to accept donations, I’ll just point to Wikipedia.

    Arrrr.. :)

  8. Michael Says:

    @nsfw

    I guess not. :(

    @totali

    I wish the world could be that convenient. Because I really want to do it.

    @RyanA

    I really don’t think about business models right now. I just think ours with regard to anime retailing is flawed. It is a harsh situation, but I am certain they were not doing that. Haha.

  9. Endz Says:

    Ahh… I have also been victimized like you~. That day I swore I will never buy any anime DVD here in the Philippines, again. I only buy manga now xD.

  10. Michael Says:

    Guys, thanks for the sympathy. I really felt really bad.

    I won’t buy anything from any store anymore.

  11. meganeshounen Says:

    With that being said… where *does* one buy original stuff in our country nowadays? Greenhills? (Even though it’s reputed to be DVD black market central…)

    I’d be saying “Comic Quest”, but I don’t really know if the DVDs there are for real. Seriously. I don’t know.

    It seems as if the only way to obtain the real deal is to import it from overseas… and we all know how hard that is.

    In the end… in this country, it’s really hard to find original merchandise without dishing out a lot of cash, I’m afraid.

    @Michael:
    Don’t feel bad about buying the bootlegs, for now. You’re not the only person who got fooled by the local merchants. (-__-)

  12. meganeshounen Says:

    Ah yeah, I almost forgot.

    Even manga isn’t safe from bootleggers. Waaay back in my highschool days, a friend I know used to have those cheap manga printed out scanlations(!) that were bound like those cheap paperback novels. I mean, for example.. Love Hina I”s, but only in 3 chapters per book. Ripoff’d.

  13. Michael Says:

    @meganeshounen

    Dude, it had a box. It looked reputable as I could read the Japanese. Still, it was a bootleg. Damn it.

  14. meganeshounen Says:

    People go to great lengths to gain money, or to fool people.

    Or even both, dear God.

  15. end3r. Says:

    i can understand the dilemma of getting ripped off or having something genuine due to simply having something of potential value. if i were to buy a gucci purse, i’d want an actual gucci purse and not some fake knock-off. you seem more upset that you thought you were buying original dvds in order to help the cause of the anime industy.

    however, purchasing dvd’s in order to promote the anime business and feeling downright bad for it when you thought they were legitimate seems to be over the top. i apologize if this seem harsh, but seriously, don’t kick yourself because you made a mistake and trusted what they said.

    on the flip side, i’m from the united states and here every year or so. life in the philippines can be harsh and people have to get by somehow someway. in my eyes, the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer while the “middle class” is few and far between. the anime business will continue to thrive if originality and quality shows continue to be produced. rather than focusing on a thriving business, try taking a closer look around home.

    flame me if you want. don’t really care. just my 2 cents.

  16. Michael Says:

    [1] […] you seem more upset that you thought you were buying original dvds in order to help the cause of the anime industy.

    Yes, I would say I am more upset because I thought I was buying original DVDs in the hope of helping the anime industry rather than upset because I lost the money. I love saving, and at times I can be as tight as Madarame when it comes to money for living expenses only to expend it later on anime merchandise.

    [2] however, purchasing dvd’s in order to promote the anime business and feeling downright bad for it when you thought they were legitimate seems to be over the top […]

    What you speak of is not harsh; in reality, I was just pissed off. The fact that I attempted to aid the industry only compounded it, but I agree with your statements.

    Those words you have said are comforting. Thank you :D

  17. Cameron Probert Says:

    Michael,

    I wouldn’t feel too bad. There’s some places like that even here in America. And if you didn’t know better, you couldn’t really tell the difference. I actually went into a store and saw shelves worth of bootlegs. It was… disturbing. And then they had the actual copies on the shelf behind lock and key.

    Although I do have to say good for you for wanting to support the anime industry.

  18. Michael Says:

    Cameron,

    Thanks. Yeah, despite the sad occurrence, I am glad that I have tried. :)

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  20. usagijen Says:

    /me pats Mike
    sometimes, we just have to learn things the “hard” and/or expensive way =3

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