I guess that didn't really need an explanation. Oh well.
I've been chided for not giving an extensive review of Tower of Druaga. I did give a mini-review here, but I guess understanding that one depends on one's knowledge of Shinesman. Come to think of it, it actually probably depends more on one's having seen Shinesman and determined an opinion of it, because you can't tell what something's really like from a Wikipedia article. Anyway, I explained yesterday why I feel giving a review would be inadequate, but I can at least explain a little more about why it means so much to us.
We stopped downloading anime just because we found out the Japanese government was asking people not to, but because it cut off such a huge source of our entertainment as well as Japanese listening comprehension practice, we've been making sure to read articles about fansubs' effect on the industry whenever they pop up at our regular news sources. As for us personally, we think, or used to think, that fansubs do at least as much good to the industry as harm. But we've read a bunch of stories now about how the Japanese anime industry is suffering because nobody's buying DVDs here or in Japan. We've heard a lot of anime, especially the UHF stuff, depends on DVD sales in order to make money. Some animation studios, from what we hear, actually pay the TV networks to air their show, which is kind of a half hour commercial for the DVD. If nobody buys the DVD, the production companies don't get enough money to pay their employees. And from what we hear, people aren't buying the DVDs, and the companies are actually losing money.
We always thought that fansubs were the best way to spread interest in a series in the States, because nobody's going to spend money on a series if they have no idea what it's like. But we're also finding out that more and more people are refusing to buy anime DVDs at all. Why spend money when I can get it for free, right? The answer is simple--a lot of people put a lot of work into these titles so that you could enjoy them, and they don't have time to make this stuff as volunteers. Anybody who has aspired to make money by doing something creative (writing, painting, translating, etc.) should respect that. And if these people don't earn enough money to live off of, they have to find more gainful employment, and then where will our entertainment come from?
I don't know how making a series available for free legal download is going to help the anime industry. All we know is that it's a step in some direction that will hopefully end up making everybody happy. And at the very least, if they're giving the episodes to us, we don't feel like we're stealing them. (Plus, with BOST TV, we do get to give a little money back to support the production companies! And without supporting dubs! Whee!)
So the main reason we keep asking people to check out Druaga is that we want this new plan to succeed. It won't stop people downloading other things, too, but... I don't know. I just feel like it's a step in the right direction. Plus, it really is a fun series.
And there is another example of my complete lack of eloquence.
Today I'm thankful for being completely done with all our pre-Japan work, the ability to support the people who make the things I love, gainful employment, Shinesman, and having extra time left to get ready for our trip.