Anime how to spot a bootleg

Discussion in 'Manga and Anime' started by Tanuki, Jan 17, 2004.

  1. Tanuki

    Tanuki the wizzard of oz

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Messages:
    816
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Australia
    i've noticed there isn't really anything at m2a that explains bootlegs and how to spot them. so i figured i'd put this up for n00bs, and those who don't know how to spot 'em. so here goes...


    DVD'S:
    These are becomming increasingly more difficult to spot, with better quality packaging (eg reflective text) and dvd extra's and all the rest, but there are still some sure signs of a bootleg.

    most bootleg dvd's come from hong kong. they usually sport the following:
    * low quality video
    * many more episodes per dvd than normal
    * they are dvd region free and will play on any player. (central park media and odex make legit region-free anime though)
    * they are cheap. (usually) about $10-$30 per disc
    * they usually don't have english dubs, only subs.
    * they have grammatical errors and spelling mistakes
    * subtitle options will usually be a choice of english/chinese, or english/cantonese.
    * they will often have different cover art to the legit copies, as they are often copied from laser discs and japanese discs.
    * a lack of dvd extra's (or untranslated extras)
    * if an anime hasn't been licensed outside of japan, then obviously any of those titles that you can get are bootlegs.
    * many bootlegs will try to hide their identity by not disclosing info such as distributer name, licenser and such info.
    in the attachments i've compiled a list of common bootleggers and their logo's.

    LAMINATED POSTERS:
    bootlegged posters vary in quality, but usually have printing defects of some kind. - horizontal lines, speckles, discolourations etc. these usually measure approx 38cm x 53cm and cost about $10
    again in the attachments i've put the logo of the most common bootlegger logo.
    alot of legit laminated posters will be a special high quality 'foil' poster, that the bootlegger don't copy.

    WALL-SCROLLS:
    often lack copyright info and measure approx 82cm x 110cm.
    the only legit licensed wallscroll made for the wester market are made by Great Eastern Entertainment. although there are a few jap imports available. look for the relavent copyright details for the series the wallscroll is from.

    AUDIO CD'S:
    Some known bootleg brands of audio cd's are as follows:
    EverAnime, Alione, Son May (SM) Smiley Face Records Ltd :rolleyes: , HiFashion, ALCA and Ho Son. Some of their logos are in the attachment...


    And although i shouldn't have to say this, here is why you shouldn't buy bootlegs....
    they are inferior quality.
    they are illegal
    they pay no licensing or royalties and rob your favorite artists
    they are worth no more than the raw material they are printed on.

    if you need examples of this you need look no further than E-bay. 90% of the crap sold there is bootleg, and you can see everything i've just mentioned in all it's glory.
    of course some places sell both legit stuff and bootlegs side-by-side. like discountanimedvd.com.
    be warned. bootlegs are by no means confined to the internet. they're in local anime stores everywhere. just keep your eyes peeled, look for the signs and you wont get ripped off big time. i've seen bootlegs for up to $300 US. you don't always get what you pay for... :sweat:
     

    Attached Files:

    4 people like this.
  2. ZakoSoldier

    ZakoSoldier Zeon Commander

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Messages:
    794
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Stundent/ Fan Boy/Geek
    Location:
    New Jersey
    A few others for dvds are if the cover is photo copied
    ______________________if they have a hotmail or yahoo email adress
    ______________________if they have english and chinese adio
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Shadowbard

    Shadowbard Black-Winged Angel

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    student and internet junkie
    Location:
    in front of my computer
    Home Page:
    A few notes/additions to the list, if I may be so bold....

    When it comes to laminated posters most of the ones I've seen have been in the $3 range, not the $10 range. I have seen very few non-bootleg posters in this style/size. I'm not sure if this is because it is cheaper for most places to import the bootlegs or if it's because there just aren't as many posters like this made in Japan.

    With the exception of the few American-made wallscrolls I've come across, I have yet to see an actual wallscroll from Japan (I know they exist, but in very small quantities). All the wallscrolls I've seen for sale at conventions, online, and in shops have been from either Taiwan or China.

    Audio CDs
    - Are priced in the $8 to $15 range
    - Have different item numbers than the Japanese imports
    - May come in strangely colored jewel cases (orange, for example)

    That said, there are more domestically released anime CDs coming out all the time, and they will be cheaper than imports and have different item numbers.


    Playing cards are another item that is usually bootlegged and not legit. In fact, I don't know of very many actual Japanese decks of playing cards with anime artwork.

    In general, bootlegged merchandise is sold at lower prices than stuff imported from Japan. This can make it tempting for fans with very little income, but like poom-poom said, buying bootlegged merchandise doesn't help the industry.

    ~Shadrach Anki
     
    2 people like this.
  4. psyeudkev

    psyeudkev New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I shall help in this thread. The place I come from, there's way too much (anime) bootlegs. They not only boot your leg, they suck you blood (whatever).

    1. I've seen the original Macross (entire series, 52 eps) being sold, for RM 159.90 (that's around $40). Boxed, and design is nice enough to deceive.

    2. One easy giveaway, is the back where they list the disc details (any format). Usually I notice, the obvious bootlegs are ones with at least Chinese subtitles (doesn't that scream "Hong Kong bootleg" at you?) . No offense in any way here. (I'm chinese too, but can't read in chinese :blush: )

    3. The super-obvious: If it hasn't been released in your country officially (especially Usa, or Europe), then it's kind of ... obvious! On to another matter, I've seen "Gundam Seed" being sold, and a complete ripoff. They package it into Dvds/Vcds, and sell as if originals would - a few episodes on a disc. Worse, they make it look as if IT is original.

    4. I haven't (so far) seen a fansub on these discs, as I don't buy them (ok, I admit I bought a few loong time ago before I knew bootlegs existed) .

    5. And YES. Some presumably legit shops (they sell locally licensed movies, etc) do sell some of these bootlegs (anime/music), and worse, some actually are given the government's anti-piracy sticker (which says it's original. Here, anything that isn't peddled by pirates is usually considered 'original'. Sad...)

    6. Domestically released anime in my country? Very few (and rare) ... Most anime are, I'd say, bootlegs. They have information on them, with the company name and distributor status - so many of them, even different ones making the same series. And that's not the laughable part - when you watch it, you can see 'ads' like "dvdnnnn@email.com" between subtitles.

    I think those from my country would understand if they are well aware enough.
     
    2 people like this.
  5. BakaMattSu

    BakaMattSu ^__^ Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2001
    Messages:
    4,871
    Likes Received:
    122
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Application Developer
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Good topic, giving it a sticky.
     
  6. Son_Goku666

    Son_Goku666 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    wish i knew
    Location:
    in a room
    i luv bootlegs manifesto!! lol

    well i just gotta say if it was'nt for bootlegs then i would never have been able to see all of the berserk seies unedited, or x-the tv series, now i did'nt buy my bootlegs in a dark alleyway or anything, it's just that the first ever store to actually sell anime in ireland had these dvd's and they did'nt realise that they were bootlegs, but i paid 70euro for the complete berserk boxset, which was a bootleg, while recently i paid 35eurofor a legit dvd of full metal panic which only contained 4 episodes, so for me as a poor anime loving student, all of us are getting ripped of majorly, and i mean these legit dvd's with all there extra's are not worth the money, give me bootlegs anyday, the number of anime which are actually certified by the irsh film board is barely a handfull, it's rediculous,

    well unfortunately that shop realised that sum of there dvd's were bootlegs and they don't get anymore of them in, pity, i really loved them, so before any of ye go slagging off bootlegs, i'm just curious as to how many or if any of ye use or even have used a peer to peer programme like napster or kazza, well if ye have (not saying that ye have) then what's the difference from buying an anime bootleg and downloading an mp3,
    i'm not argueing the morals of the bootleg situation it's just that i love anime, and well i'll take whatever i can get whether it's legal or illegal
     
  7. Tanuki

    Tanuki the wizzard of oz

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Messages:
    816
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Australia
    probably all of us have seen bootlegs before. but the bad just outweighs the good. i've seen bootleg subtitles that simply degenerate into random meaningless characters after a while. as for legit dvd's being not worth the money... well, do you buy movies?, they go for about 2 hours in length, so does 4 episodes of a series. everyone would like to see more episodes on each dvd... but it's probably not going to happen. Alot of us here are poor students, but we still don't support bootlegs. Saying "i want a porsche, so because i can't afford one, i'll steal one" doesn't really hold water...
    nothing. both are illegal and in copyright violation, unless they're trailers or samples released officially. just beacuse it's easy to do, doesn't make it right...
    by doing this though, you're supporting bootlegger's and crime syndicates, not anime creators. if they don't get paid, then animators wont animate, then there will be nothing to watch, legal or otherwise.
    very little has been licensed over here either, but you can always import dvd's from R1 and R2&3. If you're looking for bargains, go for cheap boxsets at rightstuf.
     
  8. Mordeth

    Mordeth Mordeth Vult!

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2002
    Messages:
    1,529
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    carlow, Ireland
    Home Page:
    i don't buy many movies on dvd *because* of the stupid prices, there are a few series that I plan to buy on official dvd (rah-xephon, hack sign, bebop, lain, full metal panic.. alright.. more than a few... i need a job) but 30 euro for a box set dvd of an entire series is ****ing sweet, saves me having to dl fansubs to check out a series.

    being honest, if I had to buy legit. dvds for the anime I wanted to watch.. I'd have none and I wouldn't be interested.. it's far too expensive . I'll buy what I like and what I think is worth it, but for regular run-of-the mill ****, bootleg and fansub is cheap enough to make it worthwhile
     
  9. Son_Goku666

    Son_Goku666 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    wish i knew
    Location:
    in a room
    the lesser of two evils

    i agree with ya on sum points, but i paid 35euro for blood the last vampire, it said on the back running time of about 1 and a half hours, but in realaity it was about a half an hour long, the extra time was only the so called extra's, and manga decided to make it seem longer, the same was done for sho do maru, which was also released by manga, i admit that i bought sum bootlegs( not realising them to be bootlegs, neither did the shop know them to be boolegs) that had grammar mistakes in the subs, but they were'nt to bad, i also got the complete blue seed series which had an english dub, but sum of the dvd's would'nt play, so that was my only problem i encountered with these dvd's, i simply returned it and got my money back, now you can justify or not justify bootlegs but with the limited about of anime that is available here in ireland i was dam happy to get em, but i do have to make this point once more i was UNAWARE that i was buying bootlegs and so was the shop in which i purchased them were also unware that they were bootlegs, and when in comes to importing dvd's are you not them taking money from the company's who actually own the rights to the dvd and obtaining it by going outside the "box" as to say
     
  10. Tanuki

    Tanuki the wizzard of oz

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Messages:
    816
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Australia
    i'm surprised at you mord :anime: .
    i've got basically no oav or tv series in my collection because of the cost, but, well i still would buy an bootlegs. i got some a while back not realising what they were. some were ok, no real probs with them. but one of them was simply appaling.
    nothing wrong with fansubs. at least they're free and don't pretend to be the real thing. but the problem is that lots of companies 'sit' on their linceses and don't release them. 'memories' has been licensed since it was released in japan in 1995. it's been nearly a decade, and still there's no release in sight for it.
    30 euro's may be cheap, but if the subtitles are totally unreadable then you've wasted your money, and you've missed the opportunity to see the anime in all it's glory the first time round. if you can't afford stuff that's been released in your country, it makes more sense to rent it to see it. it's cheaper than bootlegs, you get top quality, and you don't pay scum. :catgirl:

    idealy anime should be shown on free to air tv, like in japan, so ppl could watch a series or movie to see if it's worth all the money to buy. eg. gits sac, is 2 episodes per dvd. that's $500 for the series in australia. i could literally buy a car for that. compared with $80 for the bootleg, i'll be first to admit that the bootlegs more than just damn tempting. :blush2: especially when you've got no clue if the series is any good or not.
    but, well fansubs are really neutral ground. at least with them you can keep your morals and wallet intact.
     
  11. Mordeth

    Mordeth Mordeth Vult!

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2002
    Messages:
    1,529
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    carlow, Ireland
    Home Page:
    yeah, the subs aren't the greatest.. but usually they're readable. and if not.. **** it, it's 30 quid not that big a deal.. you can still gleam an idea of whether or not you'll like the series and there's a rare chance of finding decent subs online
    .
     
  12. Tanuki

    Tanuki the wizzard of oz

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Messages:
    816
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Australia
    i know what you mean about that. even the official releases over here are plagued with bad subs, dubs, audio and video quality etc. most of the stuff over here is released by a fansubbing group that decided to 'go legitimate'.
    nearly half the legit stuff over here is defective in some form or other. what's worse is that they often release statements to the effect that they have no intentions of fixing the problems. when they do, of course it's at your expense :bleed: . my boogiepop phantom vol has complete audio dropouts all the way through it. i'm stuck with it though. :anger2:

    makes you wonder if there's any decent dubs or subs out there save for the original R3's.
     
  13. Mordeth

    Mordeth Mordeth Vult!

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2002
    Messages:
    1,529
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    carlow, Ireland
    Home Page:
    o.0.. really? wow.. that's pretty bad

    most anime I've bought on 'official' dvds has been pretty good.. bar golgo 13.. a manga dvd which promised a jap track and english subs on the box.. but only had an english dub on the dvd.. bah
     
  14. Son_Goku666

    Son_Goku666 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    wish i knew
    Location:
    in a room
    funny coincidence

    the funny thing is that the place where i bought my bootlegs are actually the same crownd that advertise on the top of the pages in this forum you know other realms, but in all honesty they did'nt know that they were bootlegs, i went into there shop yesterday to buy some anime, but the majority of stuff is all american region , i don't have a multi region dvd, but my lecturer told me that there's a little swithch inside all dvd players that sets the region, i'm going to have a look this weekend and if i find it i'll let ye all know,
    anyways other realms is a good shop and the family that own it are all really nice people so go on give a bit of business :anime:
     
  15. Tanuki

    Tanuki the wizzard of oz

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Messages:
    816
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Australia
    check out these.... these are direct quotes from 'madman entertainment' (handles 99% of R4 releases)

    Disc : Neon Genesis Evangelion 0:7
    Problem : About half a second of a video footage from a documentary entitled Sex - The Annabel Chong Story is included with one of the character profile extras.

    Disc : Martian Successor Nadesico Vol. 1
    Problem : Around March 2002 a batch of Nadesico Vol. 1 were produced that erroneously contained the contents of Vol. 2.

    Disc : Gundam Wing Endless Waltz
    Problem : Madman DVD contains the OVA version not the movie version.

    Disc : Robotech Box Set 4
    Problem : On DVD #8 segments of the first and last episodes on the disc play out of sequence (some of episode 43 is played in episode 48, and vice-versa).

    Disc : Steel Angel Kurumi Vol. 2
    Reported : 16-Oct-2003
    Problem : Due to a replication problem a small number of this title actually contain the content of the Thunderpants movie DVD.

    :anime: . i wouldn't have thought these screw-up's would be possible without effort.
    theres a grand total of 76 titles with 'glitches' as they put it. personally i think those ones above push the limits of 'glitch'
     
  16. Mordeth

    Mordeth Mordeth Vult!

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2002
    Messages:
    1,529
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    carlow, Ireland
    Home Page:
    ROFL

    sounds to me like they've got a fight club fan working there :)
     
  17. Dilandau

    Dilandau Highly Disturbed

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    605
    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Argumentative Pervert
    Location:
    Nowhere interesting, believe me.
    Home Page:
    Hmm... I think I'll add my two cents here. ^_^

    I've actually only ever owned one bootleg DVD - which I purchased because I'd never seen a Hong Kong sub before, and wanted to know if they were as bad as everyone claimed. It's a Yu-Gi-Oh! DVD, I picked it up for $5 (I wouldn't spend more than that, I don't like supporting illegal trades). It IS awful. Some of the characters' names were translated literally in the subs (Yugi as 'game' or 'to play,' Mokuba as 'wooden horse,' etc.), the rest got some horrible dub name (I guess the Chinese like to rename characters in dubs the same way Americans do, blech). The grammar, punctuation, and flow of the subbing was horrible.

    I've also seen the HK bootlegs for the as-yet-unreleased (in the US) later episodes of Saiyuki (no, I did not buy them, a friend did and I watched them for the hell of it). Again, the translation was far worse than your average fansub. It was difficult but not impossible to understand. Still, the effort of reading the subs was distracting, making the plot hard to follow. And it had ads thrown in during breaks in subbing. -_-;

    So, basically... buying bootleg anime might seem like a cheap solution, but it isn't. You're either ripped off outright by spending a moderate amount on something like that, or you pay cheap and get cheap. Fansubs, though no less illegal, are at least not making profit for anyone.

    Posters are a little different. There, at least, you can see exactly what you're getting if you purchase at a con or store. I've found a lot of rather nice unofficial posters for $2-3 at conventions, and shame on me, I bought a few. ^^;

    I actually have a couple of CD bootlegs; one by Ever Anime and two by Son May. Although the play quality is just fine, I've noticed something. They won't play on my nice five-CD player. It's in need of cleaning, so it's gotten temperamental; it won't play either burned CDs or, apparently, bootlegs. That's gotta tell you something about the quality of these illegal disks, since it plays official CDs just fine. (Many of the $5.99-7.99 CDs you'll find on eBay are by Son May, I've noticed.)

    Three things that haven't been brought up on this thread so far: stickers, clothes, and toys.

    I see a LOT of unofficial stickers, mostly at conventions. These are most often simple shapes (squares or circles rather than cut-out figures) with images from both the series and manga printed on them. The colors don't always look quite right, sometimes they blur together. You can spot them just by their low quality. I've also seen laser stickers with gold foil borders. These are usually more complex shapes, but poorly cut or out of proportion. If I can find some that I was given a few years back, I'll scan and post them as examples.

    Clothes are pretty easy to spot. I see a lot of what I suspect are T-shirts made in Mexico or China at a local videogame store; they're mostly Pokemon and DBZ. They come in basic colors - bright red, yellow, and blue, or white, with just a single central screen-print and no logo on the back or on a sleeve. Again, quality is your best pointer. They also have no official swingtags, and no series logo on the tag. (Why shouldn't you buy these? Most are ugly, and the designs hold up poorly to repeated washing.)

    Last, toys. You WILL find unofficial toys at conventions and in stores, from plastic figures to plush. A few years ago I went to a fair, and among the prizes at the different game booths were illegally-made Pokemon plushes (Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur). Above all, the key with toys is to look at quality and, with plush, check for tags. All official plushes have either a small sewn-on tag or a swingtag; fakes usually don't. Unofficial plastic figures are usually given away by being solid-color, painted in only one or two colors or in the wrong colors, and by looking deformed, cheaply made, etc. They're almost never boxed, but sold loose. (Many are keychains.) The thing with these toys is that they make very poor playmates or collectibles; paint rubs off, they look bad in general, seams tear, and hell... it's not really a collectible if it's a rip-off anyway.

    By the way, I believe you can report bootlegs if you find them at conventions or in stores. They are, after all, illegal.
     
  18. Tanuki

    Tanuki the wizzard of oz

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Messages:
    816
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Australia
    you can report them to your local authorities, but they're usually quite slow and don't really seem to care much. Often official distrubutors of anime will have an e-mail that you can report bootlegger to. They investigate it and can then put more pressure to have them shut-down, so they're usually a better option.
     
  19. Kylixen

    Kylixen New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well, I guess I will post my take on this. Yes, some bootlegs are not worth the fraction of the normal cost for anime that they run. However, my entire collection is by a couple of specific companies. FX is awesome. They go to great lengths to imitate the real thing. FX doesn't do any translating, only reproduces anime that has already been translated. MI is pretty horrible, if you want to watch it in English. They do their own translating, which is done by a below average interpreter(Apparently, becuase it carries all the symptoms you guys described).
    I buy the bootleg anime because I can't afford official anime. I am married with two baby girls, and I just don't have the resources to pour into the official stuff. If you are out to watch it in English, FX is definately quite impressive. Especially for a bootleg. I know you guys have some moral qualms about it, but I start to wonder when I go to buy 3 episodes of a 140 episode series of anime and they want to charge me 35 dollars. So, heh, all I can say is, "Oh well, my anime is great and was cheaper than hell.".
     
  20. Izzy

    Izzy moo. moo. moo! Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2002
    Messages:
    3,711
    Likes Received:
    126
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Azusa, CA
    About Wallscrolls and Toys.

    Wallscrolls are often from fanart/doujinshi works. Hell, a good 1/2 of my collection is all fan-art wallscrolls. (My Asuka one's actually from a Hentai Doujin. But *I* didn't tell you that.)

    And Toys. It really depends. Would a custom statuette (which more than likely would still be considered a "toy") count as a bootleg? Especially ones you see in trade shows? But, in all fairness, some toys are pretty crappy even as ORIGINALS as well. *looks at Bandai's American release DBZ figures*.

    Anyway, the thing you really have to remember about bootlegs is that it feeds only those people who do bootleg them. The major companies, ESPECIALLY the ones kind enough to bring it here, don't get it. So, no production costs, no licensing (if any) fees, etc etc.

    I think it's rather odd though, when a lot of us download anime (which SHOULDN'T be denied...because it's true) that we insist on buying the original R1 stuff.

    Oh, and when you buy a bootleg and it somehow says "Fansubbed by: ___________" and "Please stop distribution once this show is licensed"...you've "screwed the pooch". And were in turn screwed by the great dane right behind it.

    Which probably is my most major gripe about ANYTHING. Some bootlegs actually use a fansubber's hard work, and paste it on a DVD, and sell the things. Not only is that wrong as far as if the anime itself is licensed or not, but it's also taking away the work of the fans that took the time to translate and put it in distro for us fans.

    But, you can't really stop the world from doing things like this. Everyone has their reasons, as Kylixen stated in his opinion.

    It doesn't mean that it's completely RIGHT.
     

Share This Page