Everyone knows by know that I’m an otaku and complete nut for anime. I always want to buy them when I can because, after all, that’s how the genre has grown so big here in the US—it’s a great money maker.
But over the past six months or so, I’ve also begun downloading fansubbed titles through BitTorrents. For those of you who don’t understand, “fansubs” are anime that have been translated and subtitled into English by fans as a hobby. They are shows that aren’t yet available here in the US, and indeed may never be.
Baking bread? How can that be funny? Trust me, it is. And it is for all 69 episodes. Go download it from Anime-Empire. You can also buy the manga which is being published here by Viz (who I hope and pray will license and market the anime in the not-too-distant future).
I’ve also started downloading and watching Hayate no Gotoku (or Hayate the Combat Butler) after a tip from a friend—it’s great too. I’ve only managed the first 15 of the available 29 episodes (of a total of 52) and it’s loads of fun. The characters and artwork are all great and the comedy is awesome. The downloads on this one are really fast from Eclipse Productions in Germany, and they’re all in widescreen h.264 video—really lovely.
But I’ve saved my current favorite for last, Ookiku Furikabutte (loosely translatted as “Big Thrower”). It’s of all things a baseball anime—I couldn’t care less about baseball normally. But after the first three eps of this series I’m totally hooked and I think it’s one of the greatest I’ve seen in a while. A series from this year in Japan, it’s only 25 episodes and so far only 10 are out—and I’ve already watched each one at least twice. I can’t believe how great the story is, how real the characters are and how much you can sympathize with and relate to them. I’ve even learned something about baseball (go figure). I’m checking the fansub website every day to see when the next ep is out, and I’d encourage you to zoom over and download it right now from Saizen Fansubs. It’s about as impactful on me as Whistle! was (another sports anime about soccer—another sport I couldn’t care less about).
I guess I just have a thing for shows that are funny yet touching and with a huge dose of ganbare! Maybe it’s ’cause I was such a wimp when I was in school and not athletic at all and I’m getting it vicariously now. Maybe it’s because I sympathize with the underdog or those with pure heart and motives, no matter the setting—from bread pans to giant robots, sports fields to space ships. Who cares—they’re great stories.
Sometimes I feel bad for downloading these shows because I feel like a pirate. But I will GLADLY buy these series on DVD when they come to America, because they all deserve to.