So while I know that obviously DS was trying to razz me (hence the =P), I feel like part of my mindset is because I can look at doing things the “legit” way and still not having it matter because the legit way still doesn’t actually work. That’s what I wanted to get at with my whole “bad consumer” part. My dirty little secret isn’t that I didn’t spend any money on all those beloved, precious animus that I watched last year that are so important that you just HAVE to support the industry, but that I got a lot of value for my money. I averaged about one DVD per month in 2008. I bought even more than what I hear people (like you-know-who) telling me to buy when they say “Just scrimp and save and buy that DVD once you can”.
The problem is that even those who were being told to scrimp and save wouldn’t have had to sacrifice much in order to buy what I bought. The large portion of the anime that I bought I’ve bought during big sales, like when DeepDiscountDVD (which is already incredibly cheap) would have a buy one get one free sale, or when ADV used to have seasonal clearance where you could buy singles for like $5. I bet if you looked hard enough that you could find that $3 that I spent on individual singles that I spent during The Right Stuf’s fall closeout sale just laying around. Or you could find that twenty-five cents that I earned Funimation in advertising when I watched a half-dozen episodes of Mushishi online by looking inside of the change slot in a random soda machine. When it comes to Cartoon Network shows, even excluding the fact that mom and dad are the ones paying the cable bill, because of the sheer quantity of television watched the cost of watching anime gets amortized pretty damn low. Watch an hour of TV per day and spend $60 per month on cable, and you’re spending only a dollar per episode. That’s just you, of course. Toss in mom and dad and onii-san and imouto-chan’s TV watching and it might be more like a quarter per episode. And on that note, we managed to pick up Imaginasian over the air somehow and can watch Kurokami literally for free, since they only seem to air commercials for their own shows.
Essentially, if we assume that everyone in that panel room thought that “BUT IT’S TOO EXPENSIVE! I CAN’T!” and therefore didn’t spend anything instead went “Well, I can spend $3. That’s even less than the gallon of gas it cost me to come here”, we’d end up with what, enough money maybe to buy a full 26 episode series in singles with the limited edition artbox volume? Congratulations, an entire room bought one show. We’re now back in the same nice boat as if everyone in the room kept downloading and he who cannot be named bought singles as normal. Again, Justin Sevakis continues to be correct that anime has been constantly devalued and the price deflated to the point where it’s just about zero. I want to feel bad that people’s labor is now essentially valueless, but you just can’t fight the free market.
Finally, this basically encapsulates my feelings of lololololololol at your average AoDVD poster being “forced” to buy the same show like, three times because a company released it three times lolololololol.
(Also, I lol’ed when I realized just now that we have two separate categories for posts like this: “Commentary” and “Rants & Raves”, depending of course on who was writing it.)