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This Is Why People Pirate Anime (Unapologetically)

Why do people pirate anime so:

  • Aggressively.
  • Unapologetically.
  • Frequently.

And as some would say, without shame or concern for the anime industry and the people within it who “lose money” as a result?

This is often the ideology that’s parried by:

  • Anime voice actors (in the west mainly).
  • Industry professionals.
  • News websites.

And those who are in the industry in general.

The truth is more nuanced and the blame is more direct (it’s not anime fans’ fault and they’re not wrong for doing it).

Here’s why people pirate anime so often.


1. Crunchyroll isn’t good enough

kotori thumbs down anime date a live | https://animemotivation.com/why-do-people-pirate-anime/

Crunchyroll is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. They only matter when it comes to Americans who have access to over 1000+ anime shows at any given time.

Everyone else outside of the USA and Japan, including:

  • The UK.
  • The Philippines.
  • Indonesia.
  • Malaysia.
  • India.
  • Parts of Europe.
  • Africa as a whole.
  • Caribbean countries.

And everywhere in between or connected does not have access to all of Crunchyroll’s anime. In fact, they might be lucky if they can access half (500) or even 100 anime shows in some cases.

Should an anime fan who wants to support the anime industry be forced into “Paving the way” by paying for a service that isn’t tailored for them?

Put in a more straightforward way, should anime fans pay for a bullshit service that doesn’t give a shit about their contributions?

crunchyroll premium | https://animemotivation.com/why-do-people-pirate-anime/

That doesn’t mean streaming services like Crunchyroll, which now has a monopoly thanks to Sony, are directly responsible for the issue of piracy. But they play a role since they and the industry by extension have no interest in fixing it.

If they did, they would spend more time coming up with solutions than they would bitching, complaining, and pointing the finger every year at pirates, fans who pirate, or those they’re desperately trying to make examples out of through arresting them.

Japan made changes to their copyright policy way back in 2021 and look how things turned out. Nothing has changed.

Piracy still exists, people still pirate, more people are encouraged to pirate thanks to Disney’s involvement, and many of the biggest markets for anime that are starving for content are being ignored.

That leads to the next point.


2. Ridiculous region blocks

anime meme piracy streaming | https://animemotivation.com/why-do-people-pirate-anime/

Region blocks have been a thing for the longest. Its been decades since this has been a problem now, and nothing has been done about it in a way that’s noticeable or worth paying attention to.

Back in the day, it was Funimation that would give you the “this is not available in your country” message. Even in the UK, I’ve seen plenty of anime that were unavailable from Funimation because of region blocks.

The more you circle around the world map, the worse the problem becomes. Especially in many parts of Asia from top to bottom, as well as Eastern Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, and other places where anime has an audience.

What has the industry done to fix this problem of region blocks? Who have they spoken with to address the issue of region blocks?

Why hasn’t this issue been taken seriously up until this point? Does the anime industry (or their government) care about it at all? And what about anime studios, licensors, and copyright holders?

In reality, actions speak louder than words. And so anime fans speak through their actions as well by refusing to pay for streaming services that aren’t worthy of being praised.


3. Paying for multiple streaming services isn’t practical

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Elitists of sorts and dumb b*stards in the anime community will put this down to money, or people not wanting to pay for streaming for money reasons. But that’s mostly a false notion (except where relevant).

You’re never gonna convince someone to give up convenience in exchange for something inconvenient. And that’s the case with watching anime.

Paying for:

  • Netflix.
  • Crunchyroll.
  • Hulu.
  • Amazon.
  • HBO.

And whatever else makes NO sense just to watch a certain set of anime shows that might not be there a few months from now.

It’s dumb, pointless, stupid, and tries to put the burden on the consumers of anime as opposed to the ones creating and contributing to the problem without a care in the world.

Almost 90% of the anime I’ve ever watched is because of pirate sites like KissAnime, and that applies to 10s of millions of anime fans across the world.

Things may have gotten mildly better in 2023 and beyond, but not to the point where piracy is irrelevant.

The Eminence In Shadow was a series you couldn’t find anywhere except pirates. The same was true for Summertime Rendering. No one in their right mind will wait a year to watch something just because the industry’s BS caused it to be that way,


4. Streaming services aren’t reliable


Remember what I said about anime shows that may not be there a few months from now? Streaming services continue to purge plenty of their shows, including anime, based on popularity, licensing expiration dates, and other reasons.

What’s there today might be gone by the end of the week, the month, or the year. And there’s no sense in putting your faith in services that aren’t gonna hold onto the shows you care most about.

That’s where piracy fills in the gaps. Everything you want will always be there. There’s no risk of it ever disappearing. It has a lifetime value that you can depend on, rely on, and you can do it without concern.

That lifetime value aspect is absolutely unbeatable when compared to regular, legal streaming services. It’s a massive unfair advantage that can’t be beaten.

How can a streaming service compete with that? By finding new and better ways to make shows more accessible, or as I’ve said in the past, by uniting companies into one so you can stream shows indefinitely.

If Japanese studios did this or Japanese companies, the industry wouldn’t be so divided worldwide as far as legalities.


5. Outright censorship

worlds end harem censorship scene | https://animemotivation.com/why-do-people-pirate-anime/

You can say what you want about certain types of shows, especially Ecchi or those with sex scenes or fanservice. But the fact of the matter is there are a sizeable amount of fans who WANT to see this.

When it comes to streaming services, Crunchyroll being a famous example, they censor the living sh*t out of certain anime shows like World’s End Harem with the partially black screen/black paint type of effect.

In my mind what’s the point of licensing an anime if you’re gonna heavily censor it and make it less attractive to watch in the first place?

Hypocritically other Ecchi shows aren’t censored, so it’s a “pick and choose” type of situation. And that’s why people shamelessly pirate anime so they can watch what they want without censorship or being treated like a little baby.

Plus there’s no concern about whether an anime (like Redo Of Healer) will be licensed since pirate sites host it regardless.


6. Older shows are harder to watch

older anime ISEKAI | https://animemotivation.com/why-do-people-pirate-anime/

Because of the lifetime value of anime piracy sites, you can even go as far back as the 1970s to watch anime shows if that’s your thing. Or you just wanna catch up on older shows you missed out on.

Try doing that with something like Crunchyroll, Netflix, or any other similar service and you’ll come up shorter than a midget.

It can’t be done because most of those licenses are either:

  • Hard to get.
  • Or the service isn’t willing to hold onto it.

This makes sense because NEW anime shows are the bulk of many streaming services and it’s also where the money is at (other than legendary shows like DBZ with longevity).

Older” shows also includes anime from the 2000s. So it’s a big problem you’ll always come across with legal streaming services.

In the end, piracy won’t stop until the industry takes this issue seriously by improving the services, instead of trying to track down pirates and take them to court.

That’s a waste of energy since it’s too easy to make pirate sites. People vote with their time and attention, and there’s a good reason why fans choose pirate sites over streaming services.



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