The CEO of the anime dubbing company Bang Zoom Entertainment, Eric Sherman, has riled up anime fans with his recent post stating that "Anime is going to die." in a blog post on his GoAnimeTV.com website: Anime – R.I.P.
In short, the blog post states that illegally downloaded anime and fansubs is killing anime and if anime fans continue to download anime and produce fansubs then anime will die.
Downloading anime illegally and fansubbing is hurting anime badly, but it will not kill anime. Anime fans will not let anime die; the fan base is too strong. Eric Sherman may be stating that anime is going to die in the U.S. but it will never happen world-wide, especially in its birthplace, Japan. The fans are even stronger in Japan and I can't imagine the anime industry is hurting as bad as in the U.S., if at all.
Anime in the U.S. is like soccer in the U.S. The support is stronger in other countries where as in the U.S. there is only a small group of Americans willing to support it. It's those small groups that are keeping both soccer and anime alive. If people want to watch soccer or anime they will find a way, even if American companies are not providing the fans their fix.
The only thing that I can imagine dying is the American anime dubbing industry. That is what Eric Sherman is concerned about, because he will be out of a job and lose his company. It will be very unfortunate if anime dubbing stops in the U.S. because I personally prefer anime dubbed rather than subbed, seeing as how I have very poor eyesight and I sometimes struggle to see the subtitles. Also, I would hate to see my favorite anime voice actors out of work, Steve Blum, Kari Wahlgren, Johnny Young Bosch, Wendee Lee, Greg Ayres, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, and even Vic Mignogna, to name a few.
The biggest complaint I hear with the lack of support for anime is the cost of buying anime DVDs. Most people say that is just too expensive to buy their favorite series. Lowering the cost of anime goods may very well be the answer to increasing anime sales but that’s very unlikely to happen.
What I see happening is Japan pulling anime out of America, anime fans finding it through any means, and Japan bringing anime back once they’ve built up their cash to introduce anime to a whole new generation of kids, teens, and longtime fans.