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Anime industry


Anime industry

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The anime industry has grown significantly in the last few years, especially outside of Japan. Various series, movies, and OAVs have been licensed at an increased rate and anime can be regularly found in more and more non-specialty stores.



Because anime is produced mainly by Japanese companies, it has to be licensed in other areas of the world by companies in order to be legally released. Licenses are extremely expensive and it is not uncommon to find that companies are paying at rates of up to $20,000 an episode to license a series for release. Here are some major licensing companies for their respective regions.

Region 1 (North America)

ADV Films
AN Entertainment
Bandai Entertainment
FUNimation Entertainment
Media Blasters
Central Park Media
Manga Entertainment
The Right Stuf
Viz Media
Walt Disney Pictures
4Kids Entertainment
Urban Vision

Region 2 (Europe)

ADV Films
MVM Entertainment
Manga Entertainment
Optimum Releasing

Region 3 (Asia)

Hero TV (Subsidiary of ABS-CBN)

Region 4 (Australia)

  • Madman Entertainment

Bootlegs, fansubs, and legal issues

Bootlegs and fansubs are illegal because they bypass the act of licensing. There is a huge controversy in the fandom over fansubs (versions with fan-produced on-screen-translation (hence "fan-subtitled")) and bootlegs (illegal copies). Fansubs are episodes of anime subtitled by fans which are either released for download through BitTorrent or are distributed in video format for no profit. Anime bootlegs are commonly DVDs that are exact rips of fansubs or the Region 1 DVDs and are sold for profit. Bootlegs commonly originate in China and Southeast Asia and feature horrendous "English" subtitles. The fandom is torn over fansubs. Some believe that fansubs are necessary to promote series in other countries and that fansubbing is a "labor of love" by fans. Others see fansubs as a major problem that is seeping profits away from legitimate companies. Bootlegs are frowned down upon much more, as it is impossible to argue for bootlegging as a "labor of love". Only one company in Japan asked that its fansubs products cease to be transmitted on BitTorrent networks.

Current state of the industry

The anime industry is currently going through what the companies call a "market correction", or, less charitably, a "recession". From 2001 to 2003 the anime industry exploded in terms of what it licensed compared to before. Because companies licensed so much, the industry found itself stretched thinly. Many series failed to earn back their licensing and production costs, because there were too few consumers to support the amount of shows being licensed. While the anime industry did grow markedly, its consumer base had not grown fast enough to be able to cover its expenditures. The anime industry is slowing down as a result. Far less is being licensed, and what is being licensed tends to be series that are sure to be a success. The only anime company that is still licensing more than they did in past years is Geneon. Time remains to see how this "market correction" will fare.

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Movies, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.