The Japan Times
For the past quarter century, fans of Japanese pop culture in Australia and New Zealand have been served almost exclusively by a single distributor. Based in Melbourne, Australia, Madman Entertainment boasts over 90 percent of the region’s market share in anime home entertainment, and an even greater share of its anime theatrical business.
Not surprisingly, those statistics drew the attention of the Sony Corporation, whose Aniplex Inc. subsidiary invested in Madman two years ago and bought its anime division outright last year. Sony Pictures Television and Aniplex have now consolidated Madman Anime Group into their other recent anime distribution acquisitions: Funimation in the United States, Wakanim in France, and Manga Entertainment in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
On March 7 and 8, Madman hosted 12,000-plus fans at its second Madman Anime Festival in Sydney, Australia’s largest city, after presenting similar events over the…
When Jacob Grady began pirating anime and manga online eight years ago, he was still in college. He took out student loans to pay the server bills, and figured that if he ever made enough money from the site to purchase a round-trip flight to Japan, the effort and expense would be worth it.
Like many Americans, he got hooked on Japanese pop culture as a kid through the Cartoon Network’s action-oriented programming block called “Toonami” (“cartoon tsunami”). He would race home from school to catch the latest episodes of “Dragonball Z” and “Gundam Wing.”
But Grady was not pirating anime adventure series or kids’ shows like “Pokemon.” The content on his site was what most non-Japanese call “hentai” (abnormal, perverted), and in Japan is still largely known as ero-manga, ero-anime, or just porno.
“At some point, going through puberty and exploring the Internet for the first time, I came across hentai,” he says. “I just…