The first instance of sharing anime online

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Fireminer
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The first instance of sharing anime online

Post by Fireminer »

When was the first time you saw an anime episode shared online for download? Had it been subbed? Was it split into several parts? Do you remember what kind of media player you used to watch it on your computer?

Another related question: Did people at the time make .gif from captured anime footages, or did they draw everything on their computers?

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Drew_Sutton
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Re: The first instance of sharing anime online

Post by Drew_Sutton »

I had been downloading clips of anime, specifically Dragonball Z and a few Sailormoon files, as early as probably 1997. These were usually a few minutes long, usually no longer than 5 minutes. None of it was subbed. I think the first full anime episode I'd heard about someone downloading was probably 1999 when a friend of mine downloaded; he eventually got Sailormoon episode 200 after like a week on a 56k. It was not subbed. The file formats were usually Quicktime movies (MOV), Real Media (RM) or MPEG-2 (which I think I used Windows' native media/video player on). When I first saw digital fansubbing in 2000 or 2001, that was mostly done with DIVX AVI. I don't recall seeing episodes split into parts, so it was actually really unattractive to me living at home on a 56k dial up and 20-some minutes media files often would not finish overnight. Some people might have split an episode over a couple of compressed files that you could unpack all together. It wasn't until I had a faster connection at university and after BitTorrent came out did digital subbing for me begin to make sense. The only time I remember seeing anime split up into parts was the very early YouTube days in like 2005 and they had a 10 minute limit on videos to be uploaded.

There were some small graphics that were probably animated gifs that folks had for their fan web pages/character shrines/web rings. But honestly, most people equated animated gifs with jokey-looking Tripod/Angelfire/Geocities pages (much like MIDI music) for quite some time (late 90s to early 2010s) and not the art form they are now.
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DKop
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Re: The first instance of sharing anime online

Post by DKop »

My first memory of "downloading" was 2001 or 2002 when I found some real media files of Zeta Gundam off someone's website. No subs, and even in 2002 standards, it was blocky as hell. My memory of anime on a Data CD was these old Victory Gundam Chinese subs I got from someone from High School that same year, which came from an asian friend of ours. They were real media files with like 5 episodes compressed into a 100mb file, so you could get 20 or so episodes on one data cd that at max had 700mb. I got my files eventually through file sharing programs including bittorrent about 2003 or so which were larger files and the quality was much better for them being roughly 200-400mb an episode.

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Re: The first instance of sharing anime online

Post by davemerrill »

I can't remember the first anime title I downloaded. I didn't have decent DSL until the very late 1990s. I knew file sharing and torrenting was a thing, there were people at my job who were using the work network to download music via Napster (until they got caught, anyway) and there were people at the anime club meetings who were downloading anime using university accounts or their own expensive home high-speed internet. I didn't have a lot of interest in it at the time because I wasn't interested in most of the new titles people were downloading, and most of the classic titles I *was* looking for didn't yet exist in digital, downloadable formats.


I was still trading & acquiring non-commercial copies of anime titles on VHS up until about 2002 or so; it was still the easiest way for the average nerd to take a piece of video, duplicate it as needed, and take it anywhere and show it to others. Certainly when I had to show clips at panels, putting it all onto a VHS tape was the simplest solution. It wasn't until the mid to late 2000s that things standardized enough with digital formats that someone could reliably show up to a convention panel with a laptop and be able to present material without it taking twenty minutes for the tech crew to figure out what they were doing wrong *this* time.

runesaint
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Re: The first instance of sharing anime online

Post by runesaint »

I recall two video files (Mpegs) that were about 30 seconds long, one from Nausicaa and one from Green Legend Ran... both were around 1992. No audio, if I recall correctly, but they were among the first animated files I saw ever, so I recall them.

Fireminer
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Re: The first instance of sharing anime online

Post by Fireminer »

So even in the early 2000, good quality Internet in America was kind of expensive? I wonder how would most people play online games on their PC or XBox in that case? The American fansubbing scene exploded around the mid-to-late 2000s, right? Anime sharing must have had become a common thing before that period.

Also, do you guys remember in the early days of sharing anime online, did people only share raw Japanese episodes, or did they rip the American DVD releases too?

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Re: The first instance of sharing anime online

Post by davemerrill »

I'm not any kind of video game person, but I remember the serious PC gamers having "LAN parties" - everybody would bring their own PCs to somebody's house, they'd network them together, and they'd play games that way. Of course, internet service still is different depending on who your provider is, the condition of the network where you happen to live, any number of factors, and in the 90s and 00s this was even more so, things weren't standardized at all.

The history of online video games is an extremely complex story, involving lots of elements, about which I know nothing. I'm old and boring and the idea of playing video games with a bunch of abuse-hurling strangers is somehow not appealing to me.

I've seen raw Japanese releases, fan translations, and rips of American releases on the file sharing sites. The fans uploading the files didn't seem to make that much of a distinction. There's also a big community of people who rip and share every kind of film and TV show, American or otherwise, and there's some crossover between the general movie/TV rippers and the anime rippers. There are people out there who want to download every single movie or TV show ever made ever; anime would be a part of that, I suppose.

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DKop
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Re: The first instance of sharing anime online

Post by DKop »

I've been ripping from TV for a long time, and im in the process of taking what i've had off my VHS tapes from Toonami/Adult Swim anime recordings ove the past nearly 20 years and digitizing them for an online community that is about doing the same thing with their TV recordings of other things. There are people on ebay right now that are selling DBZ recordings from 1999 off the Moltar Era of Toonami for hundreds of dollars, all because it has DBZ on the title.

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Prog-Knife
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Re: The first instance of sharing anime online

Post by Prog-Knife »

I don't have much to add but in the mid-2000s I was using GOM Player to play video files like anime. Not sure how I stumbled on it. Apparently it was popular with Starcraft streaming and in South Korea it was the most popular media player. Seems to be malware/adware laden now. I eventually switched to MPC-HC and VLC, but I'm curious if I'm the only one who was using it.

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Re: The first instance of sharing anime online

Post by davemerrill »

I've never heard of GOM Player, and if it's malware-infested now I'll avoid it. MPC and VLC pretty much have ruled the roost for a while in terms of video players. I'm trying to remember what I used when I first was able to watch full motion video on the PC, and it must have been Windows Media Player or Quicktime. AVI files were kind of everywhere for awhile. Nowadays we're spoiled with MKVs with multiple subtitle and audio tracks.

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