VIZ weakly attempts to embrace otaku trends…

http://firefox.org/news/articles/2375/1/VIZ-launches-a-line-of-J-Pop-customizable-merchandise-on-Zazzle/Page1.html

A major issue with otaku culture has always been stepping over copyright borders. AMVs (anime music videos, for anyone who has been dead for the last 5 years) are one of the biggest otaku hobbies, and it’s really throwing copyrighted images together over copyrighted music. No harm, no foul- unless you ask certain companies! Ditto issues with fan art, or the all to popular posting of actual intro videos to YouTube (I’ve been working on an anime presentation for non-otaku for a coworker and I thrive on YouTube clips as examples). I went to law school for a year before deciding that I would rather jump off a cliff repeatedly than be an attorney, and business law was one of my favorite classes. I do understand that there are some cases where you don’t want your media associated with certain kinds of content. However, there are lots of cases where it is awesome free advertising for your product, and more times than not the imagery is used in homage to a good product.

In any case- this press release got my hopes up only to send them crashing down. At first glace I was like, “Sweet! My anime kids will love this, they can finally get legit customized Naruto stuff!” A glance at the store leaves me less than satisfied, though. The products have charm, in their own way. But none of the products actually contain VIZ licensed products. Granted, VIZ primarily owns the license and distribution rights to the actual anime/manga for North America as opposed to character design so the permission is likely not being granted by the parent company (TV Tokyo in particular is rather strict with regard to the use of their properties- like Naruto).

There is such a market for this kind of product out there! I wish parent anime companies would embrace otaku culture more- it would really reduce the bootleg market.

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    LG said,

    The title of that article is definitely a bit misleading – it did sound exciting, at first.

    As a librarian, it sometimes feels odd that I’m supposed to be upholding copyright law at my library, and yet, in my private life, I adore AMVs, fan art, and fan fics. I watch a lot of fan subs and think subtitling companies could learn a great deal from them. Quite a few AMVs and fan subs have introduced me to shows (and, in the case of AMVs, music) that I would have never sought out if I had actually had to pay to try it out – if I like what I see (or hear) it gets put on my “to buy when I can” list. There are some AMVs out there that I think make much more effective advertisements for the anime they use than most of the ads (which are, in some cases, just credit-less openings) included as extras on licensed DVDs.


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