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Daizenshuu EX Removed From YouTube

author Posted by: VegettoEX on date May 13th, 2010 | filed Filed under: DragonBall

I was both anticipating (expecting, really) and dreading this day — today was the day that the “daizex” YouTube account was removed due to “copyright infringement”. What makes it so delicious is the “third strike” which resulted in the take-down:

One of our “Inconsistencies” videos.

For those who are unfamiliar with them, over at Daizenshuu EX we created a series of (so far) three videos in our “Inconsistencies” line (itself a multimedia extension of our “Filler Guide“). In conjunction with a podcast episode (where we discussed the same topic matter among several hosts), we would create a short, narrated video that showcased the differences between the original manga (comic) version of a scene from DragonBall and its later TV adaptation. In our first video, we presented a scene where one character (Vegeta) sees another character’s transformed state (SSJ Goku) in the TV version, which never actually happened that way in the manga, and what the ramifications would be from this. In our second video, we presented a scene where the villain (Freeza and Dodoria) who murders a character (Cargo) is changed when adapted to the TV version. In our third video, we presented a scene in which there is a slight change in the order of events in a scene (Piccolo pushing Goku out of the way of a blast from Freeza).

In all three videos, panning and zooming shots from the original manga version are presented with original narration. A short clip from the corresponding TV episode (with subtitles of our own creation, since we are using the original Japanese version of the show) is played. To conclude, we recap with a couple more panning and zooming screen shots from both the manga and TV versions.

They are basically nerd-erific showcases of dedicated love for the franchise. While we have not quite seen anything exactly along the lines of what we created, other examples do exist out there — our buddy MistareFusion created a great video that has fun analyzing what appears to be a very intentional nod to Star Trek in one scene from the DragonBall Z TV series:

Are we using copyrighted works “without permission”…? Sure. Does that extend to even things like using music from the TV series, in addition to showcasing an actual scene from it? Absolutely. There is no delusion here.

Is it “fair use”…? Let’s hold off for a minute on that.

The way that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) works is that if any kind of provider or host (let’s say YouTube) is notified by a rights holder (let’s say Toei Animation) that one of their works is being improperly used, stored, transmitted, etc., that provider or host must immediately remove or otherwise take down the infringing material. There is no review process until after the material is removed — if and only if the creator of said infringing material (let’s say me) chooses to file a counter-claim (in which they are saying that the material is not infringing, may actually be fair use, etc.). Basically, if you are notified to take something down… you take it down without question, or face further action. The rights holder faces no immediate repercussions for issuing take-down notices to content providers — this means they can issue take-down notices willy-nilly in blanket rollouts and hope for the best under the (safe) assumption that everything will be taken down with no argument. There is the potential for a horribly chilling effect on free speech when organizations hide behind the DMCA to remove legal commentary (for example, issuing a DMCA take-down notice on something they simply don’t like, rather than something genuinely infringing), but that is not the subject of this post, and not something I have enough familiarity with to authoritatively rant about.

YouTube works on their own personal “three strike” rule, whereby an account that receives three take-down notices from rights holders will be immediately deactivated. My main “daizex” account had received two notices of take-downs from YouTube regarding two prior videos:

  • While working on my review of Ayumi Hamasaki’s “Rule” CD single and DVD, I edited a short video clip from the music video to include on the page. Within minutes the video was removed from my account with a take-down notice from the music rights holder in Japan.
  • On April 1st of this year, we received a take-down notice on the opening theme to the video game DragonBall Z 3 (“Budokai 3″) for the PlayStation 2 (which can still be viewed here and here and here on YouTube via other users’ accounts). We subsequently removed other game-related videos from our account. This was legitimately just a case of, “We think this is cool and will post it up for folks.” There were no “education” or “review” pages associated with it.
  • This morning, we received the following e-mail:

We have disabled the following material as a result of a third-party notification from TOEI ANIMATION CO.,LTD. claiming that this material is infringing:

DBZ Filler Inconsistencies: Video #3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_Y3KQRusWY

This is the third notification we have received alleging copyright infringement in one of your postings. Consequently, your account has been terminated.

If one of your postings has been misidentified as infringing, you may submit a counter-notification. Information about this process is in our Help Center.

Please note that there may be severe legal consequences for filing a false or bad-faith notice.

Sincerely,

— The YouTube Team

Were the first two claims pretty accurate? Sure. Does that diminish the accuracy or weight of the third claim? That’s up to you to decide. Personally, I think if anything is going to be called “fair use”, it is a video like one in our “Inconsistencies” series.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) breaks down the area of fair use as such:

There are no clear-cut rules for deciding what’s fair use and there are no “automatic” classes of fair uses. Fair use is decided by a judge, on a case by case basis, after balancing the four factors listed in section 107 of the Copyright statute. The factors to be considered include:

  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes – Courts are more likely to find fair use where the use is for noncommercial purposes.
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work — A particular use is more likely to be fair where the copied work is factual rather than creative.
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole — A court will balance this factor toward a finding of fair use where the amount taken is small or insignificant in proportion to the overall work.
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work — If the court finds the newly created work is not a substitute product for the copyrighted work, it will be more likely to weigh this factor in favor of fair use.

(A-1) Was our video commercial in nature?
No. We were not enrolled in any revenue-sharing program via YouTube. We do not make any money off of Daizenshuu EX — while we do accept donations, any money received is put immediately back into the site for things like product reviews, hosting, etc. If you care to know, we’re in the hole. Always have been.

(A-2) Was our video educational in nature?
Maybe. While not a scholarly work in any way, an authoritative presentation of information could be considered “educational”. At the very least, it was “insightful”… or so we like to think ^_~.

(B) What was the nature of the copyrighted work?
Well, the copied work was creative (a fictional, animated TV series).

(C) What was the amount of copyrighted work used in relation to its larger whole?
Within our three-minute-and-sixteen-seconds video, the vast majority was original narration and still-shots from the manga and TV versions. Footage taken “verbatim” (for lack of a better phrase) plays between 0:30 and 1:26 (including fades in and out), meaning it is less than one minute in length, and less than one-third of the short video. As for an amount in “comparison” with the original product, are we comparing in relation to the one particular episode? An episode is roughly 22 minutes long. Are we comparing in relation to the entirety of the TV series? DragonBall Z is 291 episodes long, while its preceding and proceeding series have 153 and 64 episodes, respectively…

(D) What is the effect upon the potential market?
Our video is clearly not a substitute for the original product, in that we are constantly interrupting scenes with original narration and swiping them away to move onto the next point. We discuss roughly one minute or so of content from one TV episode of a long-running series. Furthermore, in this particular video we do not even discuss (never mind showcase) what is typically regarded as the most substantial and important “part” of the episode (Goku’s first SSJ transformation) — I personally think that is relevant to this fourth defense point, but you may disagree.

So where do we go from here?

I am not entirely sure. I think it is worth it to file a counter-claim with regard to this particular “Inconsistencies” video, but it is a lot of work for little value in return — which is exactly what the rights-holders are hoping for from an attitude out of those they issue take-down notices against. There is also the fact that some of the material on the channel as a whole was more legitimately “infringing”.

In the long run, though, I do not need YouTube to host these videos. I could just stream them myself on Daizenshuu EX all on my own! One of the reasons I put them up on YouTube, however, was — of course — the massive audience potential. We serve such a niche audience with our website that it can be difficult to find the right ways to reach out to and extend that audience. Our goal is simply to spread our love and enjoyment of the series (and specifically the original Japanese version of it), and a lot of fans out there just have no idea where to look for something like that. We have had plenty of new, regular visitors tell us they found us video YouTube, via our podcast listing in iTunes, via seeing us at conventions, etc. They are all great ways to reach out to that audience, so it made sense to explore that avenue.

The other side of me just wants to abandon it (YouTube being the “it”), though. We all know how ridiculous the comments are, and if we are not greatly expanding our audience there, then is it really worth it to keep producing for it? I am well aware (and have been constantly reminded), though, that the majority of people simply watch the video, smile, enjoy it, and move on with their lives. I consume media online in very much that same way. Positive feedback can be difficult to come by! While I joke that the negative feedback on the videos (from folks who generally are not our target audience to begin with) acts as a pretty huge hurdle to overcome in wanting to produce more, I recognize that plenty of folks out there actually do enjoy them and would not mind seeing more. With that in mind, I actually made a video showcasing the Bandai Playdia video game system exclusive to our Facebook page.

So. Uh. Thoughts?

(Oh yeah… curious to see that “Inconsistencies” video that resulted in the channel take-down? I tossed it up over on our Facebook page. Enjoy! We’ll see how long that lasts!)

Japanese DBZ Video Game Hilarity

author Posted by: VegettoEX on date May 1st, 2010 | filed Filed under: DragonBall

Every so often I like to just kick back and read through all of the various boxes and instruction books for my old, Japanese DragonBall video games. I happened to be scanning through the Super Famicom stuff this morning when I re-discovered the fantastic, not-entirely-”Engrish” splash text on one of the most acclaimed games for the generation, Sûpâ Saiya Densetsu (“Legend of the Super Saiyan“).

One of the things that I love about the box is its use of “Super Saiya-jin” rather than the standard (even for Japan) “Super Saiyan“. Pronunciation issues and differences aside, “Saiyan” has almost always been the de facto standard for Japan’s own romanization of the term, so it is a little shocking to see an outlier like this.

More than anything, though, the splash text as a whole just reeks with dramatic awesomeness, and at least one fantastic mis-spelling. Can you spot it?

The strongest man in the space. SON GOKOU fights the series of the terrible baitles for our space. That’s where the legend of the Super Saiya-jin starts from. Burning blood!!

What more is there to say? I have a bunch more examples like this to share… just gotta remind me every so often, folks!

Cropping Complaints (Sorta) Justified Three Years Later

author Posted by: VegettoEX on date Feb 10th, 2010 | filed Filed under: DragonBall

I almost feel like it is not even worth bringing this up. I mean, honestly… the FUNimation cropping fiasco of 2007 is three years old. Not only is it old, but it is irrelevant with the release of domestic Dragon Box sets.

This just makes me smirk a little too much, though. When Mike smirks, it usually manifests itself as a blog post. And you all have to suffer.

In case you have been living under a DBZ fandom rock for the last half-decade, there was a lovely bit of controversy in 2007 when FUNimation released a so-called “remastered” version of the DragonBall Z TV series on DVD in North America. Among things like lies about the remastering process, the whole thing was brought into a new 16:9 aspect ratio presentation by cropping 20% of the footage (the top and bottom of the screen) to fit it into that viewing window.

Hilarity ensued online.

Daizenshuu EX is (obviously) at the forefront of the English-speaking fandom in a variety of ways. We have been following the series as a website since 1998, which includes all of the North American releases. We have a wealth of knowledge and experience with the franchise as both an original Japanese entity and a domestic “reversioning”. We took a stand against the cropping. Many of the casual fans could not understand why it was an issue for us… and understandably so. If you simply wanted to watch the show, the cheap orange bricks were a wonderful way to legally to do so (something we agreed with from the get-go). These types of fans (of which there are plenty) met the opposition with well-written, researched, and thorough arguments on how we were all just a bunch of fags, should shut up, and just be thankful we ever got the show in the first place. Why do we care so much? These fans do not even notice the cropping, and would prefer that the picture fill up their awesome, widescreen HDTV.

(Wondering why Daizenshuu EX would care about the aspect ratio of DBZ would be like wondering why the health care industry has an interest in American health care reform. We bitch because we love.)

Two years later, DragonBall Kai began airing on Japanese TV, also cropped into a 16:9 aspect ratio (though it was actually being produced in a full 4:3 which was later presented as-is on the Blu-ray release). Some of the scenes were adjusted for more carefully-presented cropping (sliding them up or down a little bit to adjust for a center of focus), but overall, it was a similar process to the FUNimation release from two years prior.

Episode 43 of DragonBall Kai aired on 06 February 2010 in Japan. Almost immediately, there was a bout of fan outcry… on several different forums… on how ridiculous it was that Toei could be so sloppy as to not finish drawing Goku’s arm:

There were actually two camps, to be fair. While there were definitely (1) those that placed the blame on Toei’s art department (assuming it was a completely re-drawn scene that was never completed), there were also (2) others who were quick to place the blame on Toei’s cropping department — these folks knew the whole story (keep reading), and knew that it was an awkward and inadvertent cropping.

Sure enough, if you look at a different encode and frame of the episode as captured from Japanese television, you get a little more insight:

The slightest bit of Goku’s arm is visible at the bottom of the frame. Checking back on the original animation from the actual DragonBall Z TV series, we get the whole story:

What this says to me is that even without some prominent website that has a ridiculous interest in the presentation of the series pointing it out to them… certain fans still noticed a problem with the cropping. Not only that, but they brought their complaints and ridicule online to share with their peers.

The hypocrisy is a bit silly. Why was it unjustified to bring FUNimation to Elitist Weeaboo Fanboy Court over their cropping of the series, but it was totally fine to go after Toei for the exact same thing? Was it just an extension of the complacent American fan culture that has no problem with their domestic releases, but Japanese stuff is OK and funny to laugh at? Lolz Goku sounds like a girlie and his arm is missing?

Sure, it was totally just this one minor scene during one episode of Kai that gave us some laughs online. It was nothing compared to the FUNimation fiasco in terms of prevalence and significance. On some tiny level, though, it made me feel something resembling justification for my complaints against the domestic cropping.

People do notice this kind of stuff, even when it is not specifically pointed out to them. That’s all there is to it.

Oh, and just for the Hell of it, here’s how it looked on FUNimation’s faux-”remastered” orange brick numero tres. It looks nearly identical to the recent shot from Kai. Did anyone complain about it back in 2007…?

Thanks to Hujio and Kaboom for a bit of screen shot assistance!

Individual Contributions to DBZ Fandom

author Posted by: VegettoEX on date Jan 14th, 2010 | filed Filed under: DragonBall

It is always fascinating when we are able to track down the actual first-time uses of certain words or phrases in DBZ fandom. Some of the things we take for granted and simply accept as commonplace were actually created by fans either for simplicity’s sake, out of ignorance, or even sometimes out of honest mis-translation.

Some of our favorite examples are things like:

  • Ultra Super Saiya-jin“, a term coined by Curtis Hoffmann back in 1993 in his summaries of the tankôbon to describe the in-between stages of SSJ that Vegeta, Trunks, and even Goku showcase after Cell has been introduced
  • Kushami“, the Japanese word for “sneeze”, also coined by Hoffmann in 1993 as a nickname for Lunch in her transformed state
  • AD” as used for years in the chronology of the series, a mis-translation of eiji or simply “Age” by Greg Werner in the late 1990s from his translation of the timeline in the seventh daizenshuu

There are other ones that we have not been able to track down the first-ever uses for. There is “Mystic Gohan” to refer to the character after his “upgrade” from the Old Kaiôshin (which goes back to at least the year 2000 in quick searches); there is the word “zenkaiincorrectly used as a proper noun to explain the power-up that a Saiya-jin receives after recovering from near-death, which appears to be an English-language-only development, possibly originating sometime in the early-to-mid-2000s; there is “base” that gets used to refer to the “normal” (tsûjô in Japanese), non-SSJ forms of characters, which appears to have become common-place in the English-speaking fandom during the PS2 video game revival for the franchise.

It really gets funny when people cross the line into delusional territory, though. A commenter on our third “Inconsistencies” video posted and asked why the video was receiving bad comments. When another commenter was challenged on their response of it being from “some guy [who] is being critical and nitpicking when he himself has made no creative contribution to this world”, they followed up and justified their existence and contributions to fandom with:

Well if you really need to know, I’m the first person to use the word “canon” in reference to continuity. That was on the Pojo forums way back in maybe 2002. You won’t find any record of that word being used in that context previous to that time either. So, yeah it’s more of a contribution to a subculture in general and not specifically to DBZ, even tho it was on a DBZ forum.
I’ll add that it was a more or less original contribution and not simply a commentary on a finished work.

Yes. You read that right. This individual honestly believes that they invented the term “canon” as it relates to continuity in a work, fictional or otherwise (or, giving them the biggest benefit of the doubt that I can, perhaps just DragonBall). Either that, or they at least have a hilarious (if not obnoxious) sense of humor about themselves.

The word “canon” shows up at least two years prior on alt.fan.dragonball (and probably much earlier if you are willing to dig). This person’s claim is essentially dead-on-arrival from the very beginning.

The word itself goes back thousands of years with this very same definition, so they certainly can’t take the claim in that respect. As far as I know (and I hardly claim to be an expert), the term originated with the Bible and what the church deemed to be the “true” and “correct” stories to include in their official version. The word and its associated phrases (“Such and such is canonical…”) have been floating around with not just anime, but all types of fiction for decades. I know little-to-nothing about Star Wars, but I know there are just as many heightened-emotion arguments about what is canonical with its expanded universe as there are with our own ridiculous arguments relating to DragonBall GT and the movies and the guide books and the international translations and so on and so forth.

That someone honestly believes that they were the first person to use the word “canon” as it relates to DragonBall… and did so only in 2002… and relays this information with the tone they did, propping their “original contribution” above something that is “simply a commentary on a finished work”…

I mean, it goes beyond delusional at that point, right…?

Why the “Frieza” Spelling Drives Me Nuts

author Posted by: VegettoEX on date Dec 16th, 2009 | filed Filed under: DragonBall

Know this, dear Internet readers: it was painful to type the name as such into the blog post title.

Anyone who has followed my wacky adventures online for any amount of time knows how much I squirm at FUNimation’s spelling of the name of this character:

フリーザ
freeza_top

I once wrote up a somewhat-detailed explanation on how to romanize the character’s name that I inserted into Wikipedia articles, which were then deleted and re-added to some pretty terrible DB Wikia articles, getting re-written and distorted along the way. If you read any of those sites, perhaps this explanation may sound familiar.

Like his brother and father, Freeza’s name is a pun on all things relating to the cold. As both Freeza’s and Coola’s names end in a short “a” vowel (rather than the long â/aa which usually signifies “er” in kana spellings of English words), Freeza’s name is typically spelled with an “a” at the end (as opposed to “Freezer”). Logic would of course follow that his brother’s name should in turn be spelled in a similar fashion as “Coola” (rather than “Cooler”). FUNimation chooses to spell the names as “Cooler” and “Frieza”, removing the consistency between the names and their final vowels.

The actual English word “freezer” would be written out in katakana as フリーザー / furîzâ, so it would stand to reason that we should spell the DragonBall character’s name as “Freeza” instead of “Freezer” (note that in Japanese, the Pokemon we know as Articuno is actually フリーザー…!). There are other, similar examples in the series. イレーザ / irêza is typically adapted as “Eresa” instead of “Eraser”, while the ミスター in ミスター ・サタン / misutâ satan should pretty clearly be adapted as “Mister” rather than “Mista”.

This all ignores the elongated î/ii sound in the middle of the name, which is dandy and all, except that it ignores the point of this post. That’s fine. With knowledge in hand (and knowledge is, of course, power), here is a breakdown of why “Frieza” irritates me so:

(1) Lack of consistency
As noted, if you are going to end one character’s name with “a”, it should follow that the other character’s name should end in the same way. Instead, FUNimation provides a name spelling of “Cooler”.

(2) Lack of common sense
Leading up to the written-form appearance of the character’s name in the TV version of the series’ title cards (original, edited, dubbed episode 34: “The Ruthless Frieza”), every single instance of the name written in our alphabet used the commonly-accepted “Freeza” spelling. If you turn on the closed captioning for TV broadcast recordings of episodes before (and even sometimes after!) #34 from 1997, during any case in which a character speaks “Freeza” by name aloud, it is written with the double-”ee” spelling… clearly indicating that there was no style guide provided to the closed captioning transcribers, and that they obviously thought it was the “correct” spelling.

freeza_dub_cc
In the closed captioning for season two, it was almost always written as “Freeza”

frieza_dub_titlecard
Original FUNimation DBZ dub episode 34 title card

Furthermore, Bandai actually released versions of the “Super Battle Collection” figures in 1997 in North America, which was the very first run of licensed (through FUNimation!), domestic figures. Which name spelling appeared on the box?

freeza_1997_figures

(3) Lack of fans’ ability to even spell the misspelling properly
Freiza. Frezia. Frizea. (Insert Maximum the Hormone joke here.) Even the dub fans have no clue how to spell it.

(4) Lack of pronunciation guide
How exactly do you speak aloud “Frieza”…? You may think it’s simple, but take a listen when you view GameTrailers’ video review of Raging Blast. “Saiyan” is pronounced as it should be (which is to say, not as FUNimation pronounces it), and “Frieza” comes out as something like “Fray-za”.

(5) Lack of other English-language production support
In the subtitle track corresponding to the Japanese audio on all FUNimation releases, the character’s name is spelled as “Freeza”. Thankfully, Viz was releasing the manga at a time when FUNimation consistency or alignment was laughable, and so the standard “Freeza” spelling also made its appearance.

freeza_funi_subs
FUNimation Japanese-Language-Track Subtitle Example

freeza_viz
Viz Manga Translation Example

(6) Lack of any Japanese precedent
It goes without saying that no Japanese product had ever spelled the name with an “i” leading up to FUNimation’s release. When written with our alphabet, the spelling of “Freeza” was always and consistently used.

freeza_jp_sbc
Japanese “Super Battle Collection” figure; image courtesy of dragonballtoys.com

freeza_daizenshuu2
SOURCE: Daizenshuu 4, “WORLD GUIDE”

freeza_landmark
SOURCE: “LANDMARK”

(7) Infestation of later Japanese products
It was painful to see websites for then-upcoming Japanese games, and even the final releases of games such as Battle Stadium D.O.N. and Jump Ultimate Stars, using the “i”-spelling. Since it was not consistently used before and even after, it appeared to be cases of the Japanese developers referencing official English products and not realizing the lack of accuracy.

freeza_bsdon
Battle Stadium D.O.N. (PS2/Gamecube), unreleased in North America

You may try to make the argument that since a direct romanization of the name would be furîza, which does use an “i” due to using our alphabet, that there should not be any problem with using an “i” in an English adaptation/spelling of the name. Unfortunately for those making that argument, your logic is horribly flawed. A romanization is not necessarily the same as a name adaptation. We may spell “Kuririn” as such, but that is because the romanization aspects of it work perfectly fine in conjunction with the intended name pun (kuri meaning “chestnut”, a play on his head and shape). We spell the name as “Cell” because seru simply does not make any sense when trying to adapt the name into our alphabet, especially considering that the pun is based around the fact that he uses cells from other characters.

“Kuriza” is an interesting example. At Daizenshuu EX, we have decided upon a spelling with an “i” it in (rather than “Kreeza”), but this has nothing to do with FUNimation’s name spelling, and everything to do with preserving the same type of kuri pun as used in “Kuririn”. Toriyama abandoned the “cold” pun scheme for the character, and therefore we did the same with our spelling adaptation.

freeza_kuriza

“Frieza” seems like a completely arbitrary spelling change, contrary to all common sense, for completely inexplicable reasons. Did someone think it made the name look cooler (pun completely intended)? I simply cannot think of a single reason why it could or would be changed.

At the end of the day, this is nothing more than endless whining by another purist, and if you read this far you will fall into one of two camps: (1) you loathe me more than you already did, or (2) you’re shaking your head in recognition that I am just preaching to the choir. I realize this. I truly do. I will change nothing. “Frieza” will always haunt me, just as horribly as misappropriated apostrophes in non-possessive words do on a daily basis. At least now I can endlessly annoy someone with a link to a single resource when they ask me why the spelling bothers me so.

Remember, kids: “i” before “e”… except in “Freeza”.

Pojo Blatantly Steals Daizenshuu EX Article

author Posted by: VegettoEX on date Nov 10th, 2009 | filed Filed under: DragonBall

I live in the real world. Let’s all be honest, here — the web exists as it does today because people lift content from each other. News aggregators, forums, social networking… today’s Internet is a fuster cluck of occasionally-attributed content reposted and repurposed. For the most part, I subscribe to the Techdirt view on content “borrowing” — if my content is good and you take it, more people are experiencing/reading/hearing my content, and that can only mean good things for me. It can mean one of two things for you (“you” being the “borrower”), though: (1) you become viewed as a valuable source of content filtering and presentation, or (2) you look incredibly stupid.

Let’s share an example of #2, shall we?

I received an e-mail this morning from someone named Brad, apparently one of our visitors over at Daizenshuu EX, with the subject header “Pojo ripped your Dragon Box article.” Assuming that Pojo was still an incomplete and haphazardly-run shell of a website made in 1999, I was pretty intrigued by what I was about to see.

pojo_article_steal_1

Look familiar to you? It should… minus the broken images and removed-introduction, of course.

pojo_article_steal_2

That’s pretty astonishing to me. I can totally understand the viewpoint of some punk kid taking an article from another website and posting it up on his own, especially one so uneducated as to not hot-link the images. What takes it to a new level is the deliberate action(s) taken with it. The introductory paragraph about it being both a history lesson and emotional-roller-coaster is entirely removed, presumably because it mentions us by name as Daizenshuu EX right in the text. If the broken images weren’t a hint to the carelessness, though, this should take the cake:

pojo_article_steal_3

Seriously?

I have no idea who “ptrunks19” is, but I think he’s a pretty hilarious guy (or girl; let’s be an equal-opportunity laugher, here). The entire thing is so asininely careless that you can’t help but roll over in a fit of hysterics. What clinches it is the main page update, which (in addition to the “article” page itself), directly attributes the writing with a by-line to “ptrunks19″:

pojo_article_steal_4

Who the Hell is running this site? Do they have any idea what they’re doing? Does anyone actually visit this site for this type of content…?

At the end of the day, I think we all know that there are really only two English-language DragonBall websites you need to bother with, and that’s a pretty good feeling.

YouTube Comment Hilarity: Vegeta’s Eyes Are Burns

author Posted by: VegettoEX on date Oct 16th, 2009 | filed Filed under: DragonBall

Don’t you hate it when you think you’re so darn clever and hilarious that you just have to share it? And it’s not actually that funny to anyone but yourself? This is one of those moments. Forgive me.

So a while back, I captured a commercial for DragonBall GT eyedrops off of a raw VHS tape from many years back (“many years back” being… ya’ know… 1997). I threw it up on YouTube, of course.

I lost it when I read this comment:

youtube_vegeta_comment

I couldn’t help myself. A couple seconds in Photoshop resulted in:

vegeta_eyes_burn

Lesson of the Day: “Brick” is NOT an Insult

author Posted by: VegettoEX on date Sep 30th, 2009 | filed Filed under: DragonBall

Daizenshuu EX has been around in some capacity (whether it was named that or not!) since January 1998. Yeah, in internet years, we’ve been around for eons. Once it began to receive any kind of traffic and notoriety, you can reasonably assume that we started to receive the kind of both loyalist- and oppositional-styled comments that anything with any type of popularity receives. And we did. I actually very vividly remember someone back in 1998 claiming that we “stole” all of their DragonBall GT: Final Bout sound samples for our site. There was no basis for that accusation, of course, but it was a telling sign of things to come.

Fast forward to 2009. The site is eleven years old, and even the podcast is coming up on its fourth anniversary. The types of and volume of comments we have received over the years remains astonishing to me. No matter how much I see, though, I am continuously flabbergasted by some of the complaints people seemingly pull out of thin air.

One particular commenter on an outside forum took issue with our reference to FUNimation’s DragonBall Z season box sets released from February 2007 to May 2009 (you know, the faux-”remastered” box sets) as “orange bricks”.

Thankfully, our buddy Jacob put in his two-cents on the matter, but… seriously?

It was another clear example of someone wrongfully assuming something about us based on their own, personal, complete misunderstanding. Who knows? Maybe they purchased all of the season sets and somehow feel wronged by the upcoming Dragon Box sets. Maybe our reiterations, with each subsequent release, of the boxsets’ problems somehow made them feel “stupid” for falling into the trap. Perhaps they take issue with our dislike and overall-non-discussion of FUNimation’s English dub, and decided to aim their frustration at another topic. For whatever reason, this individual decided that we were using “orange brick” pejoratively, it was “asinine”, and it was an “insult”.

News flash, internet: that style of DVD packaging is referred to as a “brick”. Also, the sets happen to be orange. “Orange Bricks”. Genius, isn’t it?

orange_brick_open

See how the inside packaging stacks the discs on top of each other? See how the packaging folds over top itself for easy storage? When you stack things over top of each other and place them all next to each other, you can pretty easily see where the “brick” description came from. We don’t call “steelbooks” as such because they are super strong and read great literature to us; we call them that because they open up (like a book) and are metal-styled containers (like steel). Welcome to the world of various styles of DVD packaging.

orange_bricks_shelved
(image courtesy of Metalwario64)

It’s cases like this where I wonder what the actual issue is. The person decided to harp on us for something, and rather than a legitimate reason, they made one up. Sure, it may have been legitimate in their own head for a short period of time, but I can’t imagine hearing the phrase “orange brick” is what first made them run furiously to their keyboard to type up a mean post about the poopie-head website they disliked.

Funny how no-one has a problem with the phrase “blue brick” in reference to the new DragonBall TV series “season” sets. If anything, it proves that FUNimation once again made a fanbase-fracturing decision to go with that format (cropped, DVNRed to death, etc.) for Z, and even legitimate descriptions of their products cause undue shenanigans across the internet.

bricks

We can’t please everyone. We know that. That’s the real issue that I’m writing about, I guess… if you have a problem, say what it is. Don’t hide behind some newly-made-up argument. Come out and say what’s on your mind, back it up, and be a man (or woman!) about it.

Preferably, above all else, actually know what you’re talking about before you criticize someone.

I almost make it out to be that there are thousands of people running around the internet shit-talking Daizenshuu EX, which I hardly doubt is the case. All the nice little e-mails and comments we get are fantastic, but they just don’t give me anything to write about! :D

And yes, I just wrote a blog entry legitimately using the phrase “poopie-head”.

More DBZ Fan Entitlement Issues

author Posted by: VegettoEX on date Sep 29th, 2009 | filed Filed under: DragonBall

I just threw out a quick tweet about this, but I wanted to share a little more detail about the situation.

Since about July 12th, we have known that the upcoming PS3/360 game DragonBall: Raging Blast will have a new vocal theme song performed by Hironobu Kageyama called “Progression“. Listings for a CD single of the song only began appearing online on September 27th. The game is not due out until November 10th (North America) / November 12th (Japan). The CD single is not due out until November 25th.

Here is just a taste of some of the most recent search engine referrals over on Daizenshuu EX:

  • raging blast theme mp3
  • dragon ball raging blast progression
  • dragon ball raging blast op song download
  • hironobu kageyama progression download
  • progression raging blast
  • progression kageyama hironobu mp3

To be fair, not all of the above-listed searches were specifically for an illegal download of the song. Also to be fair, the song has been featured in a limited capacity in trailers for the game; in fact, I was able to sample out a very short version of it to use as the closing for a recent podcast episode.

But seriously? We are months out from the game’s release and the song’s physical release. These people really think they are going to find a download of it? And with those kinds of terrible search queries…?!

Shocking Realization About DBZ Questions We Get Asked

author Posted by: VegettoEX on date Sep 24th, 2009 | filed Filed under: DragonBall

I feel incredibly stupid. It just dawned on me.

We get tons of questions from people asking something along the lines of, “What was said in the Japanese version where/when [insert event here]…?” Sometimes they will phrase it just like that, but other times it will be preceded by, “I was watching my orange bricks…” or “I was watching my DVDs…“. I joked about it on the podcast recently, but the person could have saved themselves a week’s worth of time by simply switching over to the Japanese audio track on their DVD and finding out for themselves. I mean, it’s right there. It’s subtitled. It’s accurate.

That’s when I realized something.

These people are lying to us. They don’t own the DVDs. They’re watching the episodes online. They say they’re watching the “orange bricks” or “DVDs”, but what they really mean is that they’re watching someone’s encodes of those episodes online (usually on YouTube), and they’re dub-only, of course.

I like to think that we’re past the point of fans not even realizing that the Japanese track is on the discs, so this is my only logical conclusion.