TOKYO, Japan – Massive lines have already formed outside internet cafes and other public broadband providers in anticipation of the fall anime season, which debuts in October. Fans are already camped out in hopes of being the first to illegally download the new anime shows the second they become available.
Shinzo Subaru, a 23-year-old from Shibuya, has already been in line for days and will be one of the first to have access to the pirated content. “I’ve never done this sort of thing before,” he says, sitting outside the tent he pitched on the sidewalk, “but I am very excited about some of the sequels in this new season, so I decided to make an effort and watch them as early as possible.”
A young woman sitting wrapped in a sleeping bag who did not wish to give her name is not even a big anime fan. She is involved in the shadier world of black market reselling and bootleg DVDs. “I get paid to obtain the new shows as early as possible so they can be ripped and resold around the world,” she says quietly.
Another man in line explains why he doesn’t just stay at home and watch the shows air on TV: “I want to be able to post screencaps and animated GIFs, and simply watching on TV doesn’t allow me to do that without a capture card. Besides, watching it on TV doesn’t help the industry anyway, since I change the channel during the commercials,” he said. Other people in line around him heartily agreed that this was a great excuse to justify their piracy.