Watching Initial D outside of Japan (legal issues)
08-22-2004, 11:22 AM
Post: #1
Watching Initial D outside of Japan (legal issues)
Hey everyone,

Here is a little thread about the legal issues regarding watching Initial D.

Most of the people outside of Japan have watched Initial D through fansub versions. These versions offcourse are copies of the originals and subtitled by fans. Not completely legit. has a whole rant on their site that fansubs are legit to a point as the series are not licensed outside of Japan and thus nobody can claim a copy right on them. They keep a list of each Anime series and mark them licensed once a company outside of Japan licenses it for translation and release.

To my knowladge Tokyo Pop holds a license for Initial D stage 1 and 2 (maybe also 3 but I doubt they hold a license for 4) in the US. I am unsure if this license also covers Europa. The problem with Tokyo Pop though is that:
1) they have only started producing the series many years after Initial D was released
2) they have changed most of the names of the characters to make them more American friendly (something most Anime enthousiast do not agree with)
3) their subtitles aren't as good as some of the fan subs out there
4) the dubbed version has changed to make it more american friendly
5) they have named each DVD Stage 1, 2, 3 ,4 ,5, 6 deviating from the original order (stage 1 is 26 episodes, NOT 4) making things very very confusing
6) because of all the extra, unwanted, work put into it the cost of a single DVD with 4 episodes costs as much as the whole series costs on DVD in Japan. You'll go bankrupt if you want to buy all Stages from Tokyo Pop.

Needless to say, until Tokyo Pop started bringing out Initial D outside of Japan the only way to watch it was to watch it 'illegally' (for asfar as animesuki is right or wrong about licensing) and now that they are bringing it out it is a version most fans don't even want.

Now I am against piracy because I believe the people who made Initial D deserve to earn as much money as is justified on making this great series, if only for the reason that they will make more series. But this situation sortof sounds like putting a starving man in a room full of food and telling him not to eat any of it. The only thing he is allowed to eat in the room is from a small table with rotting second grade food and he has to pay more money for it then he owns.

So what are your thoughts on this? Where lies the limit to where watching fansubbed versions can be called legal. I personally have the Japanese version of Stage 3 legally (without subtitles) and when visiting Asia again I plan to buy Stage 1+2 legally in Japan aswell. Just cause it feels right in a way (and in my twisted mind I find it cool aswell, they usually have some great extras on those DVDs) and I'll keep the fansubbed for the simple reason that it makes me understand the seriesSmile But I dont think I'll ever buy the Tokyo Pop version simple cause I view it as overpriced second rate. I have got the first couple of Manga's from Tokyo pop which are more bareable since they seem to have only changed the names of the characters. I may buy the rest when money allows it.


Bastiaan "mux213" Olij

Moved down under, no more hachi Sad
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