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  • How to tell if that DVD/BD is a legit product?

    In the era of digital content and online distribution, buying a piece of the physical media, DVD, BD or even a photo book is akin to buying a memorabilia for collection. It’s a precious piece of keepsake that you buy to reward financially, the creators for their hard work and for owning a physically copy till the end of time(or until it decomposes).

    So, wouldn’t it be pointless to buy something pirated for this purpose?

    Thus recently, when visiting a store of a major local bookstore chain around my town, I found this curious item on sale.
    Pictured below,

    Yes, it’s the DVD version of the hit animated movie, Your Name, a multi-million dollar hit blockbuster by Makoto Shinkai.

    Wow, it’s finally out!! I can finally only a copy! 

    At a rather economical price of S$19.90, and being sold by a rather reputable retailer. You thought that you can finally own a copy of the masterpiece, rewarding the studios and the distributors who have taken a financial risk to produce it.

    BUT HOLD TO YOUR WALLET! Because it’s a FAKE. 

    It has been confirmed by Purple Plan in a reply to a concerned citizen,

    The retailer has already been informed via their facebook page’s PM function. They are currently looking into the matter. As of publishing, no action has been made known to the author yet.

    How can you tell?

    It can be really complicated to tell the difference between a licensed product and a bootleg. So here is a simple guide on how to identify a licensed product.

    Licensors and Makers (The Brand Name)

    One way of telling if a product is official or legit is to look at its makers. If you haven’t heard of them before, it won’t hurt to google it. If you are unable to find a credible website, that would be a pretty big sign yelling BOOTLEG!

    In Singapore, there have had been many major distributors of Anime contents, like the ones listed below

    Encore Films(Simple Fun), ODEX, Purple Plan, Innoform, Poh Kim and Bluemax. Sadly, some have now bowed out of the market, no longer produce DVD/BD or are no longer around, demonstrating the harsh reality of the current market.

    From Malaysia? There are no notable distributors currently. But they do have the most number of Anime DVDs on retailer’s shelf with the majority being a bootleg, so be warned.

    Regional players would include companies from Hong Kong or Taiwan like MUSE, TOP INSIGHT, KADOKAWA Taiwan, Mighty Media and etc.

    American Imports are also pretty common too! And they are a healthy mix of Quality and Affordability.

    Japanese Imports are rare, first due to the language barrier and second for its price. A Blu-ray with 3 episodes can cost anything between 4,500 to 6,000 yen.

    Copyright and it’s Notices

    For reasons unknown to many… The bootleggers just hate putting the copyright notice on their products. However, for every legit product, a copyright notice is a must, and there are no two ways about it.

    Some are just more serious about it than the others.

    The minimum required is to state something like the following,

    © ANIME FESTIVAL ASIA (AFA)

    Let’s see if you can spot them in the examples below,

    Censorship Stamp

    This is the label or sticker issued by the Country’s censorship board. Some countries might require the distributor to produce a licensing agreement but apparently, for Singapore and Malaysia, it’s not a requirement.

    TLDR: Having one of these stickers don’t mean a thing.

    With the above three areas to look out for, I hope you would be more aware when shopping for DVD and BDs.

    If your reason to buy DVD or BD is not to support the creators, and you just want to finally watch it for cheap or for whatever other reasons… I would like to tell you the following,

    DON’T GIVE YOUR MONEY TO THE BOOTLEGS, IT HELPS NO ONE OTHER THEN THE BOOTLEGGERS.

    Seriously don’t, not even as a gift.

    FYI, the Japanese DVD and BD will be out July 26, 2017, with English and Chinese subtitles.


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