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23rd August 2010

Text with 16 notes

Yana Toboso & The Slow Death of Society

Promotional artwork for Yana Toboso's Kuroshitsuji.

(Sebastian is telling Ciel of Yana Toboso’s plans to get rid of all the manga pirates out there. Ciel noddingly approves.)

What a crazy time in the manga world this past week, huh?

Yana Toboso, mangaka of Kuroshitsuji (aka Black Butler), recently expressed her views on illegal scanlations/fansubs in a blog entry. In her entry, she stated that fans have been sending her crazy responses, telling her that they’ve seen her work illegally. Toboso has responded by saying that creators and voice actors are human beings as well. They need to eat and survive. Other mangakas have supported her view as well. An Anime News Network forum topic on Toboso’s entry has been filled with an overwhelming number of responses, from bashing her to supporting her.

(A translation of the blog entry can be found here.)

First off, why do people want to cause trouble by telling Toboso that they’ve seen her work illegally? Why are they asking for it? Maybe because some fans are just pessimistic at life. Who knows, their lives could be in a downward spiral and they’re just visibly jealous of other people’s successes. Can you blame them for feeling that way? You may also blame their peers or lack thereof. One problem this highlights is that the Internet allows most people to get away with saying things and not suffer any repercussions. It gives off the feeling that they are above the law. No enforcement -> higher temptation to cause trouble.

Regarding fans’ responses to her blog entry itself, I thought to myself it’s quite clear that the shock of reality is clearly confusing the hell out of most of the fanbase. I see that fans’ self-defense mechanisms are working on overdrive, trying to come up with reasons to justify watching/reading her works illegally. You can clearly see the lack of empathy in some of their responses. It’s unbelievable and disgusting for some fans to NOT think of mangaka as real human beings.

There was a response that said that Toboso should be grateful that people are reading/watching her work. FAIL.

This can apply to those who bought it, but not to those who’ve done it for free. Unless that is your intention, would you seriously be grateful to people who illegally make copies of your work for their own purposes? Put yourself in her shoes.

The big problem is that we’re living in a society that wants instant gratification. We’re all guilty of this (hell, I know I am). Our world is now a world where things are easy-to-find & accessible. People won’t let anything get in the way of their need for entertainment, even if it possibly means stealing. They tend to lack competence or self-efficacy. Also, some fans don’t seem to realize (or forgotten) the importance of working hard to achieve dreams.

Look at it this way. Mangakas were once dreamers. They wanted to do something they love and make money doing so, just like all of us. Do you realize how much crap mangakas go through just to get their work published? It’s not easy. Why is it that while we say that we like to support other people’s dreams, we try to crush other people’s dreams? I guess when those dreams become reality, people may have this view that those dreamers start becoming spoiled brats when it’s not always the case.

For those complaining on why Toboso took so long to complain, here’s the thing. In Japan, it’s considered really rude to talk back to someone publicly. Unless it’s something seriously important, then they usually don’t say anything. The culture in Japan is totally different from other countries. I’m sure you understand this if you consider yourself to be a Japanese culture aficionado.

Toboso’s speech has a deeper meaning beyond just complaining about scanlations and fansubs. It’s also a harsh reminder of the society we’re currently living in, where we take things for granted and not many people truly appreciate a hard day’s work. Unless society emphasizes a greater need for impulse control, the crazy conflicts & debates will never end & EVERYONE will lose.


Tagged: animeartistsblack butlerfansubsinstant gratificationjapankuroshitsujimangakapublishersscanlationsyana tobosomanga psychologypsychology of the Internetpsychology of fandom

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