Toei and FUNimation actually worked out an American simultaneous release on episode 403 of One Piece, the latest episode. This past Saturday, one hour after it would air in Japan, it would his FUNi’s site, subbed and all, for us to enjoy…or so we thought.
Instead, some jackass had to go into FUNi’s servers and post the episode online a day earlier than its release. Keep in mind, a day earlier than our release means 23 hours earlier before even Japan should have gotten it. Obviously, Toei and FUNi weren’t too pleased, so they halted One Piece simulcasts for the indefinite future.
This simultaneous release is what original fansubbers wanted. The whole point of fansubbing was that fans wanted to show a work to other fans that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to see soon, if not ever. Now though, it seems like people are just wanting to get internet cred by having the latest thing as soon as possible, before anyone else. It’s the same thing with movie spoilers running rampant across the internet. Patience and fandom are supplanted by the quest to seem cool on the internet, which is a fairly empty goal in and of itself.
I’ve seen some complaints around the blogosphere that FUNI should be taking more of the blame by uploading the episode onto their servers Friday to prepare it to go live on Saturday and by not taking enough precautions against what they should have known were impatient fans. Did FUNi screw up? Probably somewhere. Is that important? Yes, because FUNi probably needs to fix that little security hole. Will FUNi pay for its mistake? Looks like it already is with taking down the episode and Toei most likely rethinking its simulcast strategy. Should that detract blame from whoever sneaked into FUNi’s servers, found where the episode was, and posted it for all to see before FUNi’s intended release? Heck no.
People like this take the fan out of fansubs (figuratively and in this case literally since FUNi did all the work). I hope FUNi finds them and throws the book at them. Preferably a really heavy book with sharp spikes on the cover.
Thanks, internet. This is why we can’t have nice things.