Post Reply Problems with the anime boom of the late 90s to early 2000s
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29 / M
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Posted 8/15/17 , edited 8/15/17
Remember the anime boom of the 90s, which was kickstarted by otherwise unfaithful, badly dubbed adaptations of Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z, and Pokemon? Right now, I should be grateful that we have streaming services like Crunchyroll, Funimation, Netflix, and Hulu (Daisuki is not going to count, anymore, because it will be shut down this upcoming October). And the reason is because, even with its impact, there were problems with the anime boom of the late 90s and early 2000s, including:

1. Very few channels were willing to air that many anime in English, and the ones that did either aired heavily censored dubs during the day, or uncensored versions of the exact same dubs during midnight, e.g. Toonami.

2. We had infamous dubbing companies like 4Kids, Nelvana, DiC, and Saban, not caring how much they screw up their own dubs, as long as they use them to advertise and sell toys. Even Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers was like that; originally it was #16 in the long running Super Sentai series, Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, before Haim Saban sloppily cut and paste footage from the original series with footage of American actors to create this hideous, slapped together mess designed to sell action figures and toys.

3. Anime on VHSs and DVDs were incredibly rare, expensive, and only containing a couple of episodes rather than the entire anime series. Only the most hardcore otaku would shell out some spare change needed to purchase and watch these series on VHS and DVD. The more mainstream audiences, on the other hand, were left out due to their lack of money or even interest needed to purchase these VHSs and DVDs.

4. Pirating was almost everywhere on the internet. At the time, before streaming services, the only way to watch an anime series the way it was meant to be watched was by pirating entire anime series and airing it on the internet for others to watch. This was most especially apparent with 4Kids' dub of One Piece, when Eiichiro Oda and Toei literally encouraged internet users to pirate the living crap out of One Piece and use their own English subtitles, just to stick it back at 4Kids for their outright inability to keep their One Piece dub faithful to the source material.

And while I'm sad that the anime boom managed to become a passing fad even to this day, I'm almost grateful that we have the aforementioned streaming services to resolve the above four issues with the anime boom.

What do you think? Did streaming services like Crunchyroll manage to resolve and fix the above issues?
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Posted 8/15/17 , edited 8/16/17
Yes and no to everything.

Censoring is something that happens not only to anime, but to almost every media, and it isn't a problem of TV by itself (it's more of a society problem that varies per country). Streaming doesn't change much there, but increase in internet access helped a bit I think (people can only dislike censoring when they know the original -or at least that it was censored- after all).

The dub companies are kinda at fault, kinda not. Even in Japan, merch sales make the bulk of the profit, so there's that. Of course, a butchered anime is sad to see (except ghost stories, ghost stories gets a pass because it's hilarious and the source material was unpopular in JP anyway). To be quite honest, there's more to bad dubs than just a company. My country has excellent dubs, and talented voice actors, but even successful companies can screw up. That not an issue streaming would solve either, since streaming just gives you either the original or the already dubbed product unless it does a Netflix and produces the show. The only way of bad dubs dying out is when it stops getting profit. Until then, they'll be around in one or another.

VHS/DVDs/BDs and pirating are related, so I'll lump them together. These are issues that streaming does partially solve. A physical copy is still expensive to me (i.e. 100 bucks for the Shokugeki no Soma first season BD), but now there is a cheaper and viable legal way to watch anime (i.e. 5 bucks a premium membership here on CR that lets me watch the first and second Shokugeki seasons and more anime with the same BD quality of video and audio). Being cheaper causes a decrease in pirating, though it does not increase DVD/BDs sales by itself (does make them cheaper bc of competition). Pirating won't ever disappear, esp bc even streaming sites have a limited catalog that works on a per country basis (which is understandable, but still makes titles unavailable for people who will end up pirating since no legal means to watch it)

All in all, streaming helps but can't, by itself, solve all those issues, especially since most of them end up being caused by society/capitalism itself. Did get better though, and I for one love streaming services
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Posted 8/17/17 , edited 8/17/17
I think a lot of the problems with anime in the past were due to a variety of issues with no real solutions available at the time.

Back in the days of VHS/Beta/LD it was impossible to get more than a few episodes on a piece of media without drastically losing quality. Back then, cable TV didn't have 1000 channel capabilities, boxes only went to 00 and only had one or two PPV channels and no such thing as on-demand. The FCC was much muuuuuucccchhh stricter with what content they'd allow on TV at ANY times. Back then the perception was that no one would want to watch subtitled anime on TV. It took a whole new world of consumer electronics to change the whole face of the industry.

These days we have the ability to affordably stream gigabytes of data without an after thought, choose from over 1000 cable tv and 100 PPV channels whenever we like, fit full seasons of a show on one or two DVDs/Blu-rays without losing much quality at all. With the creation of soooo many more specialized cable TV channels specialty markets grew calling for not only anime channels but 24 hr horror, scifi, mystery, romance, family, western, do-it-yourself, cooking and shopping channels among others.

It was this new technology that not only made it possible for sites like CR and Funi to become real presences online but also the implementation of devices such as tablets, streaming tv boxes and videogame systems that can stream content and play DVDs/Blu-rays that made all the difference in the world.
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