December 31, 2009
I'm being cited as a counter-example, and I suppose that's valid. But even though the hypothetical is very far-fetched, the original question is an interesting one.
“If you did not have Internet, and all you could do were to buy or rent DVDs (not VHS), what anime you might really want to watch, but could have a difficult time doing so”?
Since I've only been doing torrents since last May -- I held out that long before giving in -- I can judge this based on what things I've downloaded since then and enjoyed which are not legally available in North America.
Top of the list, easily, is Macademi Wasshoi. I think it's a series which is hugely underrated. A lot of people were repelled by the art style, which I gather is known as "Puni Plush". It doesn't bother me, and other aspects of the series are far better than most people really realize. I've watched it several times through, and there are certain parts of it that are regular rewatches.
On the list, but not at the top, was Strike Witches, which is now licensed for NA but hasn't yet come out.
Also, To Aru Kagaku no Railgun. This series has captured my imagination in a way I didn't really expect, and I spend each week eagerly awaiting the next episode. (Unfortunately, they're skipping this week, sigh.)
Samurai Girl Real Bout High School was a surprise and a pleasure. It's available on DVD, and in fact I've purchased it on DVD, but I only did so after watching the whole thing on fansub. Without the fansub I would never have discovered it.
Mai Otome Zwei was a very pleasant surprise. But I can't say I would really have felt any lack if I'd never watched it.
The most recent big surprise was the movie Summer Wars. A Korean bootleg hit the torrents a couple of months ago, but it isn't out on DVD (or BD) even in Japan yet. It's scheduled for 3/10 there. Whether it might eventually come to North America is anyone's guess, but it wouldn't be soon. And it's a hell of a good film. It would have been a real pity to have missed it.
And I suppose I should mention Training with Hinako. (choke cough)
It isn't really a long list, is it? But as the North American release industry shrinks, there will be more and more good titles which we never see here. I've pretty much given up hope that Macademi Wasshoi will ever see release here, or Potemayo, or Magipoka. And I wonder if some of the good stuff going by now (e.g. Railgun) will ever see American release.
Now there's a different aspect to this question: if these series didn't come out on DVD in North America, and I didn't have torrents, how would I find out about them? Well, in fact, I found out about them by watching the blogs of other people who do do torrents.
So if the hypothetical was that there were no fansubbers, I'd never have known about any of these.
Enclose all spoilers in spoiler tags:
[spoiler]your spoiler here[/spoiler]
Spoilers which are not properly tagged will be ruthlessly deleted on sight.
Also, I hate unsolicited suggestions and advice. (Even when you think you're being funny.)
At Chizumatic, we take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately.
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