Our Mall’s Next Big Sale: Bootleg Anime Merch!


What if malls start selling pirated DVDs like some ordinary stuff? Oh, the horror!

What if malls start selling pirated DVDs like some ordinary stuff? Oh, the horror!

There was a time back in the day (which is approximately 8 years ago) when I would visit a video store over a nearby mall and find a number of anime titles available in VHS and VCD format. Then, I would walk to an anime shop (which were rare that time) and find original anime DVD titles brought straight from its country of origin.

Now I go to the same nearby mall and be lucky if I find a VCD format of any anime title. Then I visit the anime shop and find – surprisingly – more anime titles than I could ever imagine. Shockingly however, the videos are its most disgusting, diabolical sort.

I scream in my head. “Oh god! Pirated DVDs have also conquered our biggest malls!”

The world, it seems, has turned upside down! The very problem that have been sucking the life out of the anime industry is sitting on a glass shelf happily awaiting eager customers. How is this possible? It seems that mall operators are tolerating this recent development in piracy in this country because it’s been years since I’ve noticed this.

Or is it possible that mall operators are not aware of this happening inside their premises? Either way, this problem must be stopped. It only hurts the economy. It’s completely illegal.

What mall am I talking about? It doesn’t really matter. What matters here is the anime shop in question. Apparently, this anime shop is also selling bootleg anime merchandise. Figures, cards, cellphone decors and stuff to name a few. But what really bothers me is the video piracy problem. This anime shop is giving the mall its in a bad rep. Well, not just the mall but I guess the entire country as well.

Because of HongKong's free trade, these things proliferate...

Because of HongKong's free trade, these things proliferate...

Back in the day, I used to ask myself why anime hereis not flourishing enough compared to other countries in South East and East Asia. What’s the big difference when we’re all close to the place where anime hails from?

Now, it’s very clear to me. Now, I also understand why anime in its original version will never EVER be sold locally. Piracy is becoming the only way for local Pinoy otakus to watch anime. So sad.

And yet, I seem to forget to blame the very people in this country as well, the local otakus who are clearly not true anime advocates since they buy pirated stuff. Ika nga: “Kung walang bibili, walang magbebenta.” (No one would sell [pirated stuff] if no one would buy ([them])

Looking at the situation, it’s obvious that we are in a vicious cycle. People consume pirated stuff because there’s no original stuff. People sell pirated stuff because no one would purchase copyrights and sell original anime locally. Curiously, would people buy original anime stuff that would probably be expensive?

Aaaggghhh! I’m driving myself crazy thinking of a way to pull us out of this big problem. Not all local TV channels seem to want to help by showing new anime titles. Nope. They’re stuck in the olden days with their decade-old anime line-up (which they’ve been showing again and again for the past decade [I want to laugh, but it’s not funny anymore] )


Who started this f***ing piracy anyway???

How bad is piracy now? Well, I found a site over the internet selling bootleg DVDs. Shockingly, they even ship their pirated products overseas. Bad enough? It gets worse. When I decided to try a bootleg DVD, I found a video advertisement of the bootleg company selling their fake anime products somewhere in the disc!

The future of anime in this country is as bad as the fake DVDs being sold here.

Read more about bootlegs here:




Whew! That was heavy on the gut. Now, onto some lighter things…


As I type this, I saw a short ad over Studio 23 showing Blood+ soon. Well, it’s about time they stop showing Rurouni Kenshin before people start to hate it.

Also, starting this month, I’ve decided to add a section called “Anime Brawl!” It’s pretty much like the “Last Man Standing,” “Fight!,” and “Battledome” section of Anime Insider, Questor Magazine, and Otakuzine respectively.