Hi! I'm revamping the site! Most photos might not appear because of Photobucket *rolls eyes*. Might try to host them in another place but eh.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Why ODEX Fail

[Posted @ 3:10 PM]
First and foremost, I'm not a intensive anime watcher but I've been at least watching certain genres of animes online for about four years which was relatively short as compared to other veteran anime bloggers/watchers out there who seemed to watch all genres of anime titles. Neither do I possessed wonderful command of English nor racked up numerous achievements academically with worldly knowledge to comment or critic. However, I just to share some of my personal opinions which hopefully may help ODEX's infamous reputation instead of merely bashing ODEX up and down like 'YOU FUCKING SUCKED!' end. Well, not like ODEX's gonna read this post or what but I just wanna let this 'crap' out which was swirling in my mind for the past week.

Oh ODEX, take this as a National Day gift from me to you =).

1. High Pricing for VCDs
ODEX sells their VCDs, a box of 12-13 episodes at S$29.90, frankly speaking, I've never even heard of ODEX until they started the 'I'm so gonna sue your pants off' scare like a year ago [yes A YEAR AGO!] and I've since stopped downloading anything online via BT so I'm not sure if ODEX can still sue me for illegal downloading or what haha. Anyways, a VCD at S$29.90? You gotta be kidding me and the price doesn't seem to drop till early this year when they finally started to realize that there's something called the 'DVD'. The one and only anime title set I bought was 'Kiddy Grade' at S$10.00 and I even asked the shopkeeper if it's really S$10.00 cos if not I'm not buying it as it's not worth any more than that price, yes it's that bad.

So what if ODEX's pricing is cheaper compared to the US and Japanese counterparts? THEY are MOVING ON, and I'm assuming ODEX's still in the 'Let's try to clear as much stock of VCDs we have before we upgrade to DVDs and make them buy it again muahahaha' mindset which totally pisses me off. It's the same gimmick with some music record companies, they release a normal album by an artist and then a few months later they release another normal album + special DVDs and finally a deluxe album + exclusive DVDs + photo shots. Let's face it, the main objective of any commerical company is not to satisfy me, you whiny brats, but to maximize profits.

2. Dubious Subtitles
It's only a few days ago that I watched the poor 'Kiddy Grade' VCD which was sitting in my shelves for probably half a year lol, unwrapped. MediaCorp Arts Central broadcasted 'Kiddy Grade' on National TV before and I assume they used the DVD version since the quality was okay, I mean my TV's not the best but it's okay to a non-picky quality person like me. So I'm really not covering 'Holy shit, the quality's like SHIT!' But the subtitles ... the most important probably next to quality to a Non-Japanese speaker like me, is indeed questionable, I won't say it's lousy or sucks, because it's really tough to translate some lines really. Some may argue how about we compare it with fansubs, reality check, fansubs are NOT always correct, so you Non-Japanese speaker so-call anime watchers out there, don't think you're so good just because you compare fansubs with ODEX's subtitles. But that doesn't mean ODEX can crap their way out as they have ample experience in this industry and even had ORIGINAL translations in their hands, I mean it's like failing a paper with the answer sheets beside you!

I used to watch 'Inuyasha' on Arts Central and sometimes with my very limited knowledge in Japanese I'll go, 'What the hell, the subtitle's weird! It doesn't flow that way!' The beauty in fansubs is that they will try to stick to the original meaning as close as they could without jeopardizing the whole meaning. Like having the Japanese word in Romaji in the subtitle while giving the extra 'Note' somewhere on the top on the screen explaining the meaning and stuff like what they did in Manga. Not to mention the pleasant font fansubs use for easy reading pleasure and some fansubs go the extra mile with different coloured fonts for each characters so that anime watchers know who's talking. Seriously, if ODEX can do all these stuff, it will solve the point mentioned above about the pricing, I don't mind paying if I can see the effort and the worth, I'm sure other anime fans don't either.

3. Defensive Attitude
Famous statement from ODEX in regards to their video quality;

'Perception Problem.'

LOL, is that it? Is that what you just got to offer? No other words? All ODEX do was just to be defensive, no wonder noone likes you! Instead of being defensive like a typical Singaporean company, why not embrace that mistake you made and turn it YOUR way? Gain RESPECT, admit mistakes, we are humans, we make mistakes that's why there's such thing call the 'Human Error'. Explain why, be transparent, listen to your customers, instead of hiding in that nut shell of yours, it's no wonder I never heard of ODEX till a year ago. Good example is the Seven Seas Entertainment thingy, lolicons over the world were overjoyed when 'Kodomo no Jikan' was licensed, but halfway, Seven Seas dropped it because of the excessive content in Volume 3. Lolicons over the world were extremely pissed and pressed for reasons, what can be worse than being boycotted by almost half the world? Seven Seas acted fast, set up a blog, described and list out their explanations for the drop. Not sure if you guys were satisfied with the answers and reasons, for me, I don't personally care cos ... I'm not into Lolicon.

Anyways, let's say if one day Seven Seas announced that they dropped 'Strawberry Panic!' ... Seriously, you have a fucking pissed Singaporean up your asses and you better have a WONDERFUL reason why, lol. But then I reckon Seven Seas will still give me a smile and recommend other great titles to my genre ... instead of just retorting, 'Stuff it in or leave', attitude. Back to ODEX, what the hell have ODEX been doing for the past few years? Nothing, besides counting their cash I reckon. The only interactive action ODEX did was the focus group thingy some Singaporean anime bloggers went and gave their comments. But then holding a focus group is not good enough and there seemed to be no results in the outcome except for more cases of people been sued. The website is still dead but I'm sure it got even more hits than it was alive LOL. Hope the website will be up soon and probably do some explanations and it better be good than just 'Oh downloading is illegal, we're going to sue you!'. Fine, *SLAMS MONEY DOWN* Then, what about the improvement of your products?

4. Licensed Anime Titles? Where The Hell Are They?
Look at the list of anime titles ODEX claimed to have licensed. So, how could I don't see most of them proudly stacked in VCD/DVD stores around? I only see some of them, most of the stores just display a few selected titles like Bleach, Naruto, Gundam Seed and a handful of others. What happened to the others? I'm especially interested in the progress of 'Bakuretsu Tenshi Infinity OVA', 'Fate/Stay Night', 'Girls' High School', 'Hitohira', 'Negima!?', 'Ouran High Host Club', 'Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru', 'Romeo x Juliet' [<- NOT EVEN FINISHED AIRING YET!?], 'School Days' [<- LOL], 'Strawberry Panic!' [<- Really, Screw This Up And We're Through]. Instead of having an always updating website, please at least tell us when these titles are out, you think by just listing it up as your 'Licensed Titles' means it's done? What, gotta wait 2-3 years for the release of VCDs? Then another 1-2 years for the release of DVDs? You gotta be kidding if you think we will wait for you, imports, here I come.

5. 'Third' Business - Suing Anime Fansub Downloaders
Oh yeah, there's been a uprise of cases in the crackdown by ODEX in destroying lives of many student anime fansub downloaders. With the most recent one, 9-year-old was caught illegally downloading Japanese anime online.

Extract From The Article;

'The student added that though he had seen some warning posts on online forums about illegal downloading, he thought it 'wasn't that easy' to be caught.

He said: 'I heard from friends that if I downloaded anime using a particular peer-to-peer file sharing protocol, it would be difficult to track.'

Peer-to-peer file sharing allows users to download files in small information packets from multiple users, instead of a single source.'

Apparently, poor kid got the OPPOSITE information lol, it's EASIER to track using a peer-to-peer file sharing protocol, remember Napster and KaZaa? And yes tracking downloading is very easy, with the help of your service providers of course =), as if they're going to pluck a household from air. Is ODEX trying to reap the losses or rather money back because we wouldn't buy VCDs from them or from the goodness of my heart, threatening educating the public by punishing some scapegoats to hang in front of their door steps? Instead of suing the pants off poor students, why not use that time/money to gain RESPECT from the anime watchers community? People do not respond good to threats these days, so what if Singapore's still a 'FINE' city? Use your brains, what good do it have in long term if you lose the RESPECT from us now? It might be good use with the Singapore Government but doesn't mean you do good in that aspect, you're a commerical company not a Government for goodness' sake. One good thing, congrats, you made your point, downloading Japanese anime online is illegally. Bad thing, you're supressing good paying customers with your fucking attitude and quality, goodbye.

Overall, ODEX, you lost me as your happy paying customer, think about your actions and don't even try to gain respect with your old ODEX name. Btw, what's the meaning of 'ODEX?'. I sincerely hope you consider changing your company name, gain more experience in dealing with consumer behaviour and come back in a few years time with a humble attitude. If ODEX can do that, I will surely revert to purchasing from ODEX, because it's always better to buy in Singapore than import, practically, the pricing should be lower. BUT, if you continue to do the five points I mentioned, seriously, the happy paying customers will convert to deal with imports, like me. You think you monopolize the anime industry?

Think again.

Armed with my new credit card, I can do whatever I want online.

Take that, ODEX. We don't need you, YOU need US =).

[Signing off @ 5:25 PM]

PS: I'm not much of an anime watcher now ... no thanks to ODEX and well lost of interest + no shoujo-ai titles, moving more to safe zones like Manga and playing Maple Story.


  1. Not to defend Odex or what

    1) Odex has practically no sales in singapore. The business is practically negligible for them
    2) They earn money by liscensing their subs and dubs to other countries.
    3) It's the japanese studios which are pressurizing them to clamp down. It's not like there's any advantage for them, since they are selling nothing anyway. (see pt 1)

    Just to point out some stuff, and not defending them. There's a million and one things that Odex could do better, especially the quality of their videos. It's very sad when fansubs are 20 times better than the professional stuff.

  2. Yeah. Companies always complain about how poor they are because people don't wanna buy their products. Why don't they improve a quality instead? I am happy when I can buy my fav anime, manga or whatever but I expect some quality (more specials, subtitles better or on the same level like fansub, ...), no inferior goods. I know I want too much >__>.

    Yeah, thanks for manga industry. They are trying to comfort customers.

    Ups, I maybe digressed a little ^^;.

    Anyway, I am looking forward to your posts ;).


    PS. Sorry for blunders ^^;.

  3. I don't get what the post means. But yeah, anime lately is dissappointing me now. I wish more lively like year 2006

  4. to tedfox, yeah they can really do better than now they're currently in.

    No sales? Not surprising, by fining people, they're supressing several Singaporean anime bloggers down. [Btw, I'm surprised you still blog about licensed titles, 'Idol Master: Xenoglossia' in their freaking list =) lol ain't you afraid? Or you already got the VCD/DVDs?] That list was last updated in May 2007, you'll never know what they licensed between June-August and bite in you in the arse in a few months.

    Anyways, I'm giving anime a miss for this year probably, not like there's any titles which interest me much, if not I can just watch on stream, well what do you know, streaming anime is illegal too! Seriously, I dunno wat to do anymore.

    to Rinu, yeah I will buy if the quality's good and the standard's there .. I mean fansubs don't earn any $ yet they do more professionally than the PAYING companies, wth? This shows you're not serious at all, which pisses people off, noone wants to buy half-baked products.

    to anonymous, well, I'm just voicing my concerns about the anime community, guess Singaporeans have to do with screenshots and GIFs.

  5. What's worrying is that Odex is actually making first-time offenders pay - no warning letters, nothing. What's more, they're back-dating their downloading activity to two years before, so it doesn't matter if you've quit BTing for over a year.

    Imagine the RIAA sending letters to every household in the US they believe have downloaded illegal MP3 (even a few), say in the past two years, and telling them they have to pay $3k-$5k or face legal consequences. No cease or desist warnings. Imagine the kind of money that'd be?

    I can imagine the furore too if that happened, but this being Singapore, any monopoly can do whatever they want and there's nothing you can do.

    Odex might be pressured by the Japanese to clamp down on anime downloaders, but I doubt they specifically told them to take such drastic, high-handed measures.

    All I can say is, thank you Odex, for you've just condemned Singapore's anime culture to the pits.

  6. I'm new to the anime scene.

    Well, my first anime experience were some ODEX anime vcds I picked up years ago. I only recently found out they were the silver boxes by ODEX. Needless to say, I was turned off by the quality of the videos/subs and horrible packaging back then. It was basically 5 vcds thrown into a paper box. I did not watch any animes again (aside from those shown on TV/cinemas) until recently.

    Fast forward to the present. Some friends recently intro-ed the whole idea of downloading fansubs to me. I tried downloading some good animes my friends recommended (Cowboy Bebop, Rurouni Kenshin, Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu) just couple months ago. It re-ignited my passion for animes and I have watched many more since. Before that, my anime experience were limited to some Satoshi Kon's movies during film festivals. I had no idea what the hell is this entity known as ODEX. (It goes to show how much ODEX did in promoting anime culture here.)

    I had since parallel imported the DVDs of all of the above-mentioned animes. (I love Bebop, Kenshin and Haruhi!) Animes have become a part of my life and will continue to be so. (no thanks to ODEX)

    Right now, like many others, I'm waiting on death-roll. I could easily have been one of those who already got the letters, except for the fact that I'm on Starhub, so execution date is delayed... perhaps.

    Anyway, I see most who were 'convicted' were young kids-- Is there a law that constitutes a big company is 'bullying' the individual, that we can use against ODEX? Especially with regards to the out-of-court settlement of $3500-$5000. I know it had been stated that this amount is to cover legal fees/cost etc. Is there a clear written statement/account with regards to the stated amount or are they just pulling average numbers off the air? I would think that the company's losses that is DIRECTLY caused by these downloaders would be very hard to gauge. If we can establish that ODEX is profiting from this affair then it can perhaps support the bill that ODEX may be 'bullying' the individual?

  7. They should improve themselves more. They cant possibily just offer such subs. Even internet fansubber are better than odex with better definations and meaning, one example is one piece, compare odex with any animesubber, they are better. Its not that people dun like odex, people still buy. The recent odex vs anime lovers, is really a stupid thing to begin with. Its all benefitting each other in the economy, comics connection, odex, hardwares, all are links in this big market, they shouldnt sueing everyone one see?

  8. I like to point out that Odex might not even have the original Japanese text for certain anime. I did a Chinese-English subtitling for Hellsing (1 episode only, because apparently they said I translate too slow) several years ago when they first started out. It's actually in Chinese, and if I'm not wrong, either from Taiwan or Hong Kong. The problem with this, by understanding the original language and translating it to your own country's language is already difficult in the sense that it's toeing on a line of good translation. And give it Japanese > Chinese > English. You probably can see how their translation sums up. I'm not sure how their source come about now, but ever since that experience you can say it feels a bad taste ever up till now.


  9. to bellis, that sounds pretty pathetic in some sense and bad experience for you, I mean ODEX don't even have the original text and they DARED to sell their products? If they had translated Mandarin-English, they should had stated so at the first place, like what I did to all the Mandarin-English doujinshi in the Manga Page. This shows the level of 'transparency' ODEX has. I believe this kind of practice is NOT encouraged.

    I don't even want to know where their sources come from now. Not too long ago, some anime bloggers had been comparing a fansub version of the popular anime 'The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya' to the sub version of ODEX's aired on TV. Guess what? The similarities were startling, do they get the same translator or ... is it just a coincidence? Noone knows, except ODEX and hell will they tell you.

    Boo to the bad ODEX experience and I hope you are still continuing with subtitling to bring joy to anime fans =).