Bonus – On Anime Bootlegging and Mechademia Volume 1

This is not a standard episode of AWO, but since we’re all incredibly busy with school, convention preparation, and relocating to another city, we’re talking about the subject of bootlegging in anime as well as Volume 1 of the journal Mechademia, entitled “Emerging Worlds of Anime and Manga.”

Oh, since we forgot to actually record something in post with regards to the subject, the keychain contest is over. Don’t worry, we have other contests as well, but they’ll be the more standard DVD giveaway ones.

The bootlegging discussion is from 0:00 – 47:20. Since Christian Daly and Greg “DESTROY SURAT” Spahr could tell we were totally going to steal from their material in doing a discussion on how to spot bootlegs, here is their Powerpoint presentation from their panel at AWA 2004 on the very same subject which contains pictures of several of the bootlegger logos as well as pretty much all of the information we conveyed, only it’s in a couple slides that can be read in minutes as opposed to heard by us. Jerry Chu was there too, but I don’t think he listens to this show. Then again, Greg probably doesn’t either. Too busy raising a family or something, the big wuss…NO WAIT, KEEP AWAY

Promo: Destroy All Podcasts DX (47:21 -48:07)
This podcast just came out today! And…their feed is down at the moment! However, they like the podcasts we like, such as…us! Therefore, we shall draw your attention to it, even though it’s their first episode and they’re undoubtedly still working things out. Edit: Okay so they’ve got three episodes, and not only do they use sound clips from the Hong Kong dub of DYRL, Tranzor Z, and Robotech…TO THE RESCUE! (I lie to myself and say they got them from us, and we in turn swiped it all from Mike Toole and Dave Merrill), but episode one is all about GETTER ROBO~! And really, discussion of that is the best possible application of one’s film degree, because we stole the film noir quotes from Jeremy Kaufmann, who runs this operation.

Review: Mechademia: Volume 1 (48:07 – 1:41:47)
Per its official web page, the focus of this journal is manga and anime, but rather than limit themselves to just that subject–perhaps to make it easier to get papers?–it is the editorial board’s position that the production, distribution, and reception of anime and manga continue to generate connective networks manifest in an expanding spiral of art, aesthetics, history, culture, and society that they call Art Mecho. Much like Superflat, Daryl has no clue what that actually means. We went through each of the major articles at the following times:

51:52 – The Japan Fad in Global Youth Culture and Millennial Capitalism by Anne Allison
54:55 – Globalizing Manga: From Japan to Hong Kong and Beyond by Wendy Siuyi Wong
1:00:34 – The World of Anime Fandom in America by Susan Napier
1:09:59 – Costuming the Imagination: Origins of Anime and Manga Cosplay by Theresa Winge
1:15:10 – Assessing Interactivity in Video Game Design by Mark J.P. Wolf
1:18:21 – Mori Minoru’s Day of Resurrection by Tatsumi Takayuki
1:21:57 – Superflat and the Layers of Image and History in 1990s Japan by Thomas Looser
1:26:25 – Kurenai no metalsuits, “Anime to wa nani ka/What is Animation?” by Ueno Toshiya
1:30:23 – The Multiplanar Image by Thomas Lamarre
1:32:51 – The Werewolf in the Crested Kimono: The Wolf-Human Dynamic in Anime and Manga by Antonia Levi
1:36:19 – Metamorphosis of the Japanese Girl: The Girl, the Hyper-Girl, and the Battling Beauty by Mari Kotani
1:38:25 – At this point we briefly go over the reviews and commentaries at the end

Closing (1:41:47 – 1:44:20)
Next time, Gerald’s reviewing the book The Notenki Memoirs which is all about the history of Gainax, Clarissa’s reviewing the yaoi anthology J-Boy, and Daryl’s going to review the original Record of Lodoss War OAVs. Though recorded weeks ago, we haven’t quite gotten around to finishing the editing of it. Or beginning it, for that matter.

63 Replies to “Bonus – On Anime Bootlegging and Mechademia Volume 1”

  1. Is only 30 minus shorter, so I am coll with it. Now when it comes to 25 min. That is when I would be getting some clown pistols and someone will get it. In the mean time I hope you get better Daryl.

  2. Why would you buy the japanese voiced version of Giant Robo? The original English version is the best one. The cheesy English voice suits the feel and vibe of Giant Robo. Damn, I really want more Giant Robo.

  3. Clocking in at roughly 100 minutes, this episode is not 30 minutes too short. Rather, the other episodes were 30 minutes too long! If we were SMART, we would keep episodes to about 30-45 minutes in length and release this as two separate episodes entirely. But we’re not.

    Regardless, don’t believe Kanzi’s vicious lies, for his comments on this blog ooze with deceit. As I stated in my Giant Robo review back in Show 21, the original English dub’s script inaccuracies are so great that they fundamentally screw up the narrative. What makes the flashback scenes so effective and well-directed is that the dialogue does not change. And those cheesy English voices were completely recast about four times. I’m still glad Media Blasters included that dub on the DVD though, even though the support for it I hear is due to a combination of nostalgia and the fact that the more recent Bang Zoom dub is…well…a dub made by Bang Zoom.

    With apologies to Joey Snackpants, the original Japanese voiced version of Giant Robo is clearly the way to go. It’s the only one where the casting is constant, the acting is suitably melodramatic, and the recurring lines don’t change from episode to episode.

  4. Actually, I can confirm that it is indeed the triad society who is responsible for the Hong Kong bootlegs.

    Back in 2000, I used to frequent a shop here in Hong Kong. Admittedly, in my infinite naivety, I had no idea that these were in fact bootlegs. I found out rather quickly though.

    I used to speak to the shopkeeper quite a bit. Apparently, the customs department were planning on paying a visit to the plaza and they were going to close shop. It was at this time, that the shopkeeper kind of spilled his guts to me and explained the whole process, he seemed to be rather pissed off at someone.

    Gerald, your description of the bootlegging process is pretty sound, albeit definitely a “best case scenario”. The bootleggers seldom stamp their DVD’s from a DVD master. Generally they usually get their DVD’s from laserdiscs. (obtained second hand if possible)
    This has changed recently however, as they usually just get the raws that turn up on the net.

    The triads usually commission a company in mainland China (where it’s about 10 times as cheaper and the the company will most likely have a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

    Essentially, what really made me look at the bootleg issue and vowed never to buy bootlegs again, was the realization of the kind of people who do profit from this.

    Now essentially the “Triad society” makes it sound more…united, for a lack of a better word. But really, there are an infinite number of different gangs, it’s somewhat like the fuedal system as all of the little gangs offer their “services” for the bigger gangs. Bootlegging is just one department with multiple “brootherhoods” getting in on the act.

    Whilst most triads probably haven’t done the things that they are popularized for in film (most of them are pimply weasels who sit on their arse all day in bootleg shops), they are scum; The “higher ups” are scum. They are a cancer here in Hong Kong.

    On a happier note, bootleg shops are slowly dieing, customs are much more on the ball now (my wife’s cousin works for the customs department) and piracy shops are near nonexistant.

    If this hasn’t convinced some of you reading this, you’re being ripped off, bootlegs are 80% cheaper here, so the profit margins for bootleggers overseas are much higher if you are buying these things overseas.

    Whilst cons selling bootlegs and bootleg shops may not be as prevalent as before, much of the bootleg business is online now.

    http://www.discountanimedvd.com/

    Majoy anime websites actually have banners to this site, but as bootleggers go, they’re the worst of the worst.

  5. The definition of superflat I was given was “it’s not what you said it was.” No further elaboration was given.

    Thanks for the clarification, Dane. We’ll try to read that in a later show, and that reminds me about how I forgot to list Anime Pacific on the sidebar. I could swear I’d added it without a second thought after seeing that your blog background consisted of Mad Bull and Fist of the North Star, but it wasn’t there.

    I actually checked the AAA Anime distributor website, and the DVDs and CDs they have listed there all seem to be legit. At the same time, I’m still pretty sure I wasn’t off the mark with them.

  6. Hey guys,

    Good show as usual. I did not notice the shortness of the podcast because the content was good. I probably wouldn’t care if the show was only 45 minutes as long as the show’s quality stayed the same.

    In my few experiences with cosplayers, the better looking the cosplayer the more of an asshole the cosplayer is.

    I would love it if you guys expounded more about catty cosplayers.

  7. I think the bootlegging segment was really good. I think it was really great that you said out loud that most people do this especially in the beginning when they don’t know better (yeah, I own FMA as cheapo bootleg boxsets before I knew anything – but I also own the whole FUNimation release of it now too). The stuff about DVDs was mostly old news for me, but the section about CDs was interesting, and especially the segment about the posters and wall-scrolls was new.

    It is really great that you raise the awareness of this, maybe you could write an article to the new mag too.

  8. Since most online stores sell counterfeit wall scrolls, do you know of any online stores where I can buy original, japanese anime wall scrolls?

  9. Since most online stores sell counterfeit wall scrolls, do you know of any online stores where I can buy original, japanese anime wall scrolls?

    It was pointed out to me that a company named Great Eastern distributed legitimate wallscrolls. Here’s a listing of some of the stuff they distribute.

  10. On wallscrolls and posters.

    It is possible to buy legitimate ones at good prices here on the West Coast. Legit wallscrolls are extremely hard to find, posters however are available at several conventions. Easily the best selection is from Nikaku Animart in San Jose California.
    http://www.nikaku.com/
    Alas their web site has few images and none of the posters listed.

    Each year I hit their booth at Fanime where they have a row of very fat binders with photos of the available posters. Heck I even bring a poster tube with a shoulder strap I bought at an art supply store to keep them in so they don’t get banged up while I hang out at the con or head home.

    On Mechademia I’ll let Frenchy know about the review. I’m sure she’ll find it interesting.

  11. We actually had gotten Frenchy’s email address and were considering having her on as a guest at some point, but then we remembered how we’re not exactly the greatest when it comes to interviewing people we don’t already know from beforehand.

    Some updates to what we said, for those devout enough to read comments (we’ll try and actually say this in a future episode along with Dane’s clarification):

    Wallscrolls – a lot of the US anime publishers are actually starting to commission their own wallscrolls, such as ADV, Funimation, and I think Geneon. These tend to cost about $20 instead of the standard bootleg price of $15 and they’ll have the company logo right on the image.

    After going to Anime Boston, Christian’s written in to inform me that he’s going to need to update that Powerpoint presentation with the logos and what have you. We completely glossed over it, but counterfeit plush toys are now the BIG bootleg item to look out for in dealer’s rooms now. They’re a bit bigger than the real ones, but in many cases there’s plush toys for series that have no such corresponding official merchandise, so most people probably won’t care. Every single Death Note plushie you’ve ever seen is a bootleg, as there is no official plush toy Death Note merchandise. Other popular bootleg plush toys are for Naruto, Final Fantasy 7, and Fate/Stay Night.

    As I said in the episode, among the anime con-going attendees it wouldn’t surprise me if it turned out that they were spending far more of their money on bootlegged merchandise than the real deals.

  12. As far as being able to identify counterfeit and pirated stuff at a con, you guys hit on an important point – check out everything on a vendor’s table. If a large percentage of the stuff is easily identifiable as bootleg, there’s a good chance the problem at that table is worse than you think. Some vendors are going to be better than others on this issue, so anecdotal things like general confidence in one place compared to another can be helpful in avoiding getting ripped off.

    I’m hesitant to create a laundry list of who’s ‘best’ or ‘worst’ because it’ll probably end up biting me in the ass when I go to book booths for Anime Boston next year. Presuming, of course, I keep going with that. Everyone that goes to the big shows knows everyone else and they all talk. They all know who’s got bootleg trash and who doesn’t. Even on the convention organization side, I’ve talked to my counterpart at Fanime, ACen, and Otakon. Whenever we compare notes, we always see the same people trying to pass the same bootleg junk. There’s been talk of working together to help contain this kind of stuff, too. Whether it’ll ever get off the ground is another thing, but the people that organize the conventions talk to each other, too.

    When I see the problem of bootleg merch, it’s always worst among ‘new’ vendors. Everyone gets the same catalogs sent to them, even if they don’t order from them, so the vendors that are more on the level than others know what their less scrupulous competition is buying and how much they’re paying.

    Personally, I’m not out to protect IP rights for some massive overseas publishing house, but I do hate seeing people getting ripped off and buying knockoff and lower quality stuff. Hell, when I was a kid, I used to watch ‘Fight Back! with David Horowitz’ (the good David Horowitz, not the evil one) before cartoons started on weekend mornings.

  13. I second Nikaku’s quality. I have been buying books and manga and shirts and everything from them ever since I went from just watching Robotech to being a big fucking nerd around 1995.

  14. I saw Nikaku at Sakuracon, and it brought back fond memories. Memories of buying SECRET PLOT DEEP there when I should have been in class at law school. Their poster selection is excellent, particularly promotional posters (i.e., the ones with text, release dates, etc.), which I often like more than posters that are just an image alone.

  15. I realize now that I haven’t been keeping up with the developments in piracy at the average anime con’s dealer table. I knew something was fishy when all those cheap CDs and plushes started showing up, but I never quite bothered digging. Suddenly I feel really bad for the guy at I-con trying to sell me the legitimate Fate Stay/Night plush for $40 and holding back on saying “it’s because all these others are bootlegs“. I’m pretty sure I also ran into the same old-school vendor of posters, cels, artbooks, kits and whatnot as you guys have: I bought my now-prized MD Geist wallscroll off him.

  16. You mentioned that you guys have never seen an official release with the plastic slip cover multi-fold package deals and I want to point out that I in fact do have an official release like that. The Fushigi Yuugi boxsets are set up like that, when I tried to buy it used at FYE they must have marked the price down thinking it was only one dvd, instead of four, to $20 and when I brought up it up to the register the guy there originally tried to charge me $90 for it, which I imagine must have been the price of it new. I’m not sure bootlegs are being sold at FYE to the extent that they are selling them for $90.

    Here’s the amazon link that even says it has a plastic slip cover multi fold package dealio.

    And when you mentioned how they can’t add more than four episodes a disc or else the quality degrades, this obviously isn’t true seeing how the way the Fushigi Yuugi box sets are set up with 8 episodes a disc. The AnimeOnDVD review of it doesn’t mention anything about the quality being excruciatingly terrible or anything, outside from the fact that it wasn’t the most well animated show to begin with.

  17. Oh… SHIT.

    So, tell me if I screwed up. All four volumes of Elfen Lied were in the RightStuf bargain bin, and I snagged the first two of them today. I have no freakin’ clue what this show is about except for the cover, the short description, and the reviews.

    Is this show any good? I’ll ask the uber-otakings.

  18. Elfen Lied, not good. Maybe if you really like bloodshed, but then you might as well find Higurashi.

    Or M.D. Geist. Yeah, that.

    We found the Wounded Man bootleg at a table at Dragon*Con, and it’s definitely not worth finding. I remember ripping/torrenting it all, but we haven’t bothered seeding it so you can’t find it these days.

    Did you guys really have to say “weeaboo”? I always feel kind of bad whenever I hear anyone saying it.

  19. One point on cheap DVDs I’d like to make is that there are some, such as the ones for a dollar in many stores, that are cheap because the copyright has lapsed and someone has taken the material and reproduced it. Many of these contain the 50 year old cartoons that appear as children’s DVDs. It is possible to run across a few anime if one searches, though many of these are just Korean animation.

  20. Yeah, Rightstuf is extremely not down with stocking bootleg merch.

    There are plenty of exceptions to the rules that were mentioned about being able to identify stuff that’s on the wrong side of legit. That’s part of what makes it tricky. The Fushigi Yuugi packaging is a great example. That’s the style of packaging you’d commonly see on bootleg disc sets, but it’s legit. The high number of episodes per disc thing, too, is another sticky one. Manga’s Fist of the North Star releases all have way more episodes than typical releases, but they’re completely legit, too.

    If you’re in a convention’s dealers’ room and you see stuff like this, I’d recommend complaining to the person organizing the room. A lot of times, provided they actually care about it, they might just have missed it when walking around or just straight up didn’t know about something being bootleg or not. I’ve even done that, too. At AWA a few years back, my girlfriend bought a Super Robot Wars game for the GBA (the one with The Big O as a playable character) and we didn’t notice it was bootleg until looking really closely at the packaging and even at the visible part of the inside of the cartridge. The box art looked a little bit blurry and was too glossy, like it was a color copy, and you could read ‘Made in China’ on the cartridge board inside. Every GBA cart I’ve ever seen, import or domestic, has always had the Nintendo logo on the visible portion of the board. The part number for the cartridge casing on the back was different, too. Still, it wasn’t until I took a second close look at all of these things (after I thought the price she was charged was curiously low) that I noticed the thing wasn’t on the level. I complained, we got the money back, and the vendor had to pull all the GBA carts he had (as well as a bunch of bootleg CDs that were stashed away in a corner).

  21. Oh, well. Crap is good viewing pleasure when taken periodically.

    Funny how you all are saying it is dreadful when two of my acquantinces say that it is good. Guess I’ll just wait and see.

  22. I once saw a triple feature in Houston of OVERFIEND, WOUNDED MAN, and DOG SOLDIER. Now *that* will give you an impression of anime.

  23. Good “episode”. I recall being really ticked off when I found out the CDs I was buying back in ’99 were boots – I knew something was wrong when that G GUNDAM CD turned out to be all in Chinese… ๐Ÿ™‚ Educating the consumer is always good.

    Bootleg DVDs…well, as a fan of really old and obscure stuff, I appreciated HK boxes back in the day. Yeah, the translations and quality were crappy, but there was no other option for a lot of this stuff – the digisub community didn’t exist back in 2002-2003, when the HK bootleggers were cranking out classic stuff. (They may have just been under my radar – I’m 20 years behind the times in most respects…)

    I’m amazed at all the stuff that’s come out legitimately here that I bought boots of, figuring it’d never be released. Now if they’d just put out SPT LAYZNER (gee, my HK box of 1-24 isn’t blue-tinted at all) and NINJA WARRIOR TOBIKAGE/NINJA ROBOTS (fansubbers only did 1-2 of this)…

    My personal “most hated” bootleg would be the DUNBINE one where comprehensible lines are inserted at random throughout the thing.

    One thing I DID like about the HK boxes is the high episode count per disc. While the bootleggers just shovelware the things onto discs and some take it to extremes (such as the 10-ep GODMARS discs – digitization city), I like the saved space on the shelf.

    The amount of space a lot of R1 anime boxes/discs take up is ludicrous (one reason I held off on the Bandai Z GUNDAM box – I’ll nab it in a second if it comes in the little ANIME LEGENDS boxes).Almost every R1 TV release puts about 8 eps on one disc (or 4 hour-long episodes), and I don’t really notice the difference. Possibly
    because I have a crappy old 19-inch TV.

    I also liked the way the HK discs were packaged in separate sleeves with the box – I had to return quite a few R1 TV boxes because a disc came loose and was rattling around in the case, the old BUFFY and B5 TV boxes being major offenders. The advent of thinpaks in Region 1 has pretty much solved that problem, though.

  24. You know, I’m utter disappointed that you didn’t mention, in your talk about American DVD-to-Chinese-to-English bootleg subs, you didn’t mention that famous bit from the English-Chinese-English translation of a the bootleg Revenge of the Sith, “Do Not Want”.

    I think I had one wall scroll that was an official product: it was a GITS scroll of Motoko that was about the same size as the bootlegs, but had lots of stuff that I hadn’t seen in bootleg wallscrolls, like an ad in Japanese for other Shirow wallscrolls in the series, a much sturdier cable and hanging, and a tag that had copyright information. I remember seeing all this and thought it was pretty unusual for a wallscroll to have this. Also, the artwork for the scroll was, at the time, an never-before-seen work, as well as the other one listed in the ad. However, these were later reproduced in the Cybergals portfolio and the later Intron Depots.

  25. There are a couple stores here in NYC’s Chinatown that still have a massive selection of bootleg anime sets on their shelves — all as described in this show, with the clear plastic sleeve. Back when they first started appearing, I bought a couple, not knowing any better and thinking they were just cheap HK releases, since even legitimate HK DVDs tend to be cheap. It didn’t take me long to figure out the score. Even without the sleeve, once you see one, the bootleg cover styles become easy to recognize.

    Most legitimate Hong Kong DVDs of Hong Kong movies are region-free. If the movie was a co-production with another country (most likely the US or Japan), then it’s more likely the DVD will be Region 3 due to shared rights issues. Legitimate HK releases of live-action Japanese or Korean films are about 50/50 region 3 vs region free.

    I have never seen a HK release of a US film or a Japanese anime title that wasn’t region 3 encoded.

    That said, even legitimate region 3 releases of US films are technically illegal to sell or rent in the US. And in many cases, the legitimate HK release of a HK film is also technically illegal in the US, since a US distributor has acquired the distribution rights for this country. The same goes for region 2 Japanese discs, so on and so forth.

    There’s a place where I go to buy the most awesome beef jerky on the planet. The front of the store is just the jerky dealer. The back of the store is nothing but dozens and dozens of VCRs, laser disc players, and DVD burners. I’m sure they are all for private home use only.

  26. Oh yeah — on the subject of bootleg toys. That’s a fun one. I spent several years working as a writer for Toyfare magazine. we’d frequently swap photos and stories about the most hilariously awful bootleg toys we found in Chinatown. some, of course, can be realyl hard to spot, as they mimic almost exactly the original Japanese product (even going so far as to recreate the box complete with Japanese writing). But others, well, they included…

    –A five-figure action figure set featuring the heads of Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, The Flash and Wonder Woman on Power Ranger bodies

    –The Transformobots, featuring small plastic versions of Megatron, Optimus Prime, and, umm, Mazinger Z

    –Star Hero Wars, featuring cheap copies of R2D2 and some Gundam robot

    –my personal favorite, Space Family 0, which was an eight-figure set including five different Ultraman characters, a cop, and Batman and Robin painted entirely in flesh color.

  27. OMG! My Cowboy Bebop is a straight-up piracy by those one dudes that you said use piracy on everything (I can’t remember the name, and the dvd’s at my mom’s). I always wondered why I had never seen that company and why Bandai was releasing newer versions of the dvd. It’s a very pretty looking plastic thingy! It had the dub on it too, and I don’t remember the subs being that bad. And I was watching them on a crappy tv that was as old as me, so I don’t know how bad it looked. But now whenever I think about it, I think of some evil Chinese dude twirling his curly mustache and tying some poor lady to some train tracks (yes, whenever I think evil doer, I think of a guy twirling his mustache. THE ONLY UN-EVIL GUY WITH A CURLY MUSTACHE WAS SALVADOR DALI, AND HE WAS PSYCHO, BUT HE HAD LITTLE WHITE FLOWERS IN HIS MUSTACHE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

  28. Heh, bootleg vids are my specialty (though I hardly ever get ’em)!

    Almost wanted to get some just to revel in the crappiness of ’em all, but just listening to these gives me good reasons to NOT! Beset I did was downloaded a few DVD ISO’s off BitTorrent of certain titles like “Orguss” (I’ll get to that later). Does get a little uneasy getting through those cruddy subtitles that do get the names wrong or comes up with something rediculous given whomever they hired to translate their Chinese subs.

    The Triads sound like tough muthaf’ckers!

    Of course prior to DVD’s, VCD bootlegs were also commonplace in the region as well, a friend of mine had to do that to get entire sets of Gundam, Zeta Gundam and so-on. Back then, the bootlegs only had Chinese subs, since an interest to doing English ones wasn’t a necessary thing until DVD’s made it possible to do ‘removable’ ones, and the pirates realized how far they could tap into the foreign market via putting those Engrish subs on.

    I think the only legit HK anime DVD I can think of that has English subtitles on is this (though some probably wouldn’t think of this as ‘anime’ otherwise)…
    http://us.yesasia.com/en/PrdDept.aspx/code-j/section-videos/pid-1004520136/

    Being reminded Odex also has dubbed a number of anime titles to English as well, such as those Bandai released in the US like “Fantastic Children”.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odex

    One peeve I have is seeing Manga International’s bug that pops up on the screen during the first five seconds or so of an episode on their DVD’s (not to mention those Yahoo e-mail addresses that might show up too).

    Interesting when you mention DVDAni, as I have the Galaxy Express DVD’s they released up in Korea that are said to be licensed from Toei, but the subtitles were lifted from VIZ’s sub script.

    I remember the days when Sonmay and EverAnime were the two names I became associated with in seeing their CD’s being sold at a comic shop alongside crappy pirated copies of Dragon Ball Z episodes being sold for $20 a pop. I’m glad I didn’t get more than a CD of the My Neighbor Totoro soundtrack.

    Of course I used to be VERY cheap and poor as a junior high snot, and often bought pirated cassette copies of current albums that were hocked at a local flea market near me.

    Technically, what made it possible for companies like Sonmay to release anime CDs the way they do is because Taiwan isn’t part of the “Berne Convention”, not the WTO I believe.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berne_Convention_for_the_Protection_of_Literary_and_Artistic_Works

    During the Vietnam War my dad was once stationed in Taiwan and came home with a bunch of cheap LPs he found there that looked definately pirated to me, they didn’t have sturdy covers, the covers were mostly black & white and were essentially sheets of paper lined in plastic. The records themselves were either black or different colors depending on whatever materials they had lying around. I wish I could show pics of what these look like, but they’re just so amusing and I wonder how much they could fetch up to on eBay these days.

    I even have a Korean booleg LP of Richard Pryor’s album, “That Ni__er’s Crazy!” that had a cover printed in green!

    Hearing of the toys made me think of the “Dragon Pearl” action figures!

    Also, FUNimation picked up One Piece for after 2009 as I’ve last heard, also, Orguss has been licensed to “ImaginAsia” or whatever (along with Cat’s Eye and Remi). More details should be online.

    The Mechademia review is very interesting, and I wouldn’t mind picking this book up if I can ever find it locally. Today I had a hell of a time trying to find a couple things mentioned here but to no avail, I guess I’ve gave up on even leaving the house now if I have to do it online! ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Bubblegum Crisis / Cyborg
    I’m not a BGC expert (having better things to do with my time), but it is quite clear in the Tokyo 2040 version that they actually ARE cyborgs. The hardsuit technology was a cyborg technology, but Sylvia keeps this a secret from the team, and this is why Priss is so pissed off.

  30. Carl Horn said…
    I remember seeing in San Francisco in the mid-’90s “Sailor Mary,” a bootleg doll from the Philippines.

    Ahhh! Sounds so cute (my late grandma’s first name was Mary, it would be rather cute if the doll’s full name as the ditzy earth girl is Mary Claire Kurtzman, in honor of my grandma)!

    Sorry however to have learned about the ruined LOGH wall scroll though, I know I would be poining a gun to my head by that point! Make that a lesson never to leave things in the car, especially near the windshield!

  31. Just release the next ep unedited or something. I need the next ep of AWO! I need it or I will explode… That happens to me sometimes…. ^^

  32. This was wonderfully informative, but Clarissa and Daryl, you both neglected to mention some of the other hilarity contained in the HK One Piece, such as Luffy being “Boss Roof” and Usopp becoming “Swindler Bu”. This still does not beat the awful Yu Yu Hakusho movie collection that is floating around in which Yusuke is renamed (for reasons I’ve yet to figure out) “Yochur Pufan”. Seriously.

  33. There are legal Hong Kong releases of a number of Akira Kurosawa films from Mei Ah — until about two years ago, infamous for incredibly crappy quality DVDs — that suffer the same nonsensical translation in the English subs as seen in some of the worst bootleg anime, including (but not the worst, by far) changing “samurai” to “knight” and then giving everyone Chinese names in Throne of Blood.

    But if I stray into the realm of bad subtitle typos, I always default to the VHS release of the HK action film First Shot starring Maggie Cheung and Ti Lung, in which a gangster issues a hit on our hero by yelling out, “$100,000 to whoever can kill him!” although the subtitle says “$100,000 to whoever can kiss him!”

    That and I got a menu left outside my door yesterday from a Chinese restaurant offering a lunch special of “Crispy Shredded Bees”

  34. joLet us not forget the infamous Bootleg Hokuto No Ken bootlegs, where one of the brigands kills someone for some chicken meat.

    Kenshiro emerges from the wastelands, muscles rippling with rage, and bellows “That cock is tasteful?”

    “You shall die for you ate a cock”.

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