Anime piracy has been a part of the fandom for decades now, but one of its biggest resources was shutdown this past weekend. KissAnime and KissManga were taken offline for good days ago, and the act left fans around the world stunned. Anime News Network did a deep dive into the fandom's reaction to the closures, and the results show that Indian and Southeast Asian fans are impacted disproportionately by the event.
ANN held a poll shortly after the sites were pulled along with their content. When it came to Indian user, 64.27% within the country said they were angry or saddened by the loss of the piracy sites. This is compared to 33.89% of users in the United States who answered similarly.
What's more worrisome is the fact that respondents in the United States were more likely to be happy about the sites' removal. That is compared to only 7.63% of users in India who felt happy about the change. Other countries in Southeast Asia such as Malaysia and the Philippines were also harshly impacted by the takedown. 67.49% of votes from Malaysia were upset by the shutdown, and 57.62% of votes from the Philippines answered similarly.
According to the ANN report, these divide responses were notable amongst the data collected from fans. Anime fans in India and various Southeast Asian countries felt strongly about the sites being taken down... and it was not for the best. As for why these results varied from users in the United States, it likely comes down to catalog variety and ease of access.
In both India and Southeast Asia, there are legal options for anime streaming. The problem comes with how many titles are offered. There are about 120 shows offered on Crunchyroll in India with 160 on Netflix and about 30 through Amazon Prime. As for Southeast Asia, Aniplus-Asia airs on cable television and has a companion streaming service offering about 250 titles. All of these numbers pale in comparison to the catalog titles offered in the U.S. as there are more than 1,000 shows available on Crunchyroll stateside. And when you consider KissAnime's massive catalog, you can see why fans flocked to its impressive roster.
At this point, the anime fandom's conversation is shifting to better serve these markets who are lacking access. Giants like Funimation and Crunchyroll have international reach, but their licensing can only go so far. But as Japan cracks down on piracy, it is hard to know who will stand up and provide better care for this anime communities in need.
What do you make of this recent data report? How did (or does) the use of piracy influence your anime fandom? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!