With the recent crackdown on Kissanime, and possibly other sites, I wanted to put my thoughts on piracy out there as somebody from a country with almost no legal channels to watch anime easily.
Full disclosure, Kissanime sucks and I hate it, because better piracy sites exist that aren’t as greedy.
If and when I can support something, I always do. However, the truth of the matter is that so many manga are legally unreadable both physically and digitally in my country.
That’s the only time I will read or watch something on a piracy site. I can at least contribute to the discussion to bring a series to the attention of the select people who are actually capable of supporting it.
But Lumi, if something isn’t available legally in your country, physically or digitally, what do you think gives you the right to read them? If a product isn’t being sold in your country, but you want it, you usually either have to wait until it is sold, or go through a few hoops to have it imported.– anonymous redditor
Well, let me answer that question with another question.
What does it matter if I pirate it or not if I don’t have a legitimate avenue to get it anyway?
If people don’t read it, they can’t join the discussion nor share it with other people. The manga is dead in this place. However, if people pirate it, it generates discussion AND even tempts a lot of people to buy merchandise of the manga,which can lead to the manga being sold locally due to interest! So while sales aren’t currently happening, it DOES build a fanbase in the country for future sales. Just look at stuff like My Hero Academia that wasn’t airing alongside Japan for us here in the Philippines.
Piracy, like it or not, creates a market where there wasn’t before. I buy official merch from manga I love online and have it shipped because it’s worth much more than supporting an overpriced digital release. I buy volumes when I can.
So many friends of mine in my country, who used to pirate as little kids who had no means of watching stuff like Naruto or reading it due to circumstance, became avid supporters in the future. Of course, this is just MY experience, but it honestly comes down to the brass tacks of “does not reading impact the manga positively or negatively?”
All I’m saying is this. It’s better for me to enjoy something I wouldn’t otherwise be able to and support it some other way until it BECOMES legal. Otherwise, the alternative is I have no idea it existed and it gets zero support from me or anybody else for a possible official translation or import.
Also, if I don’t enjoy it, no sales lost because it was impossible buy it anyway. Piracy will die only when the industry provides a service that can rival it. See Netflix, I used to pirate movies and even anime until CR and Netflix rolled around. Now I support my shows there because it’s a respectable business model that’s not wringing the money out of me.
Until Comixology can fully replace the much more convenient (and oftentimes better quality translations) scanlator market, it’ll stick around them for my online manga needs.