The otaku continuum is based four types of otaku. These four types are based on how they watch their anime or read their manga online. How these people on the internet get their content depend on their circumstances, like how fast their internet connection is, their disposable income, and where they live in the world. On these conditions, some are forced to get their media in one particular way, and have multiple ways to get their content and they choose which one is convenient and affordable to get their media.
The first type of otaku is the Raw-fag. Raws are anime that have been broadcasted in Japan, but are not fan subbed yet. Raw-fags use the same methods as people who use P2P or direct downloads to get their content. For many otaku who do not care on how they get their anime/manga, it’s the fastest way to enjoy them. The major con is if you don’t speak the native language of the media, you will not understand what they’re saying. But for most people and for some people who understand the native language of the content they don’t care.
The second type of otaku is the P2Pfag. P2P stands for Peer-to-Peer and P2Pfags download their anime or manga from bittorrent, IRC via xDCC (eXtended DCC),or Usenet. P2P fags expect the original fansub or dvdrip files instead of encodes or scanslated manga directly via PDF format. Since there are plenty of fansub and translation groups in the fansub community and how they sub their anime or translate their manga, there is plenty of competition that ensures the steady and constant flow of fresh and updated anime and manga.
The major drawback of downloading their content via P2P is the wait because as it depends, on how they sub anime. Some take their time translating the material, some speed translate it. You have to wait for your material to be translated. But it’s not as long as the wait for an official translation of anime.
A sub-class of otaku is the Megaupload/Rapidshit-fag, but in the purposes of this paper and to streamline this type of otaku as there are many Direct Download sites, we’ll call them DD(Direct Download)-fags. DDfags get their anime by direct download sites such as Megaupload and Rapidshare (aka Rapidshit). Direct downloads are the good alternative to get their anime if the situation is such that bittorrenting is not available where they live (or prohibitive such as college). A drawback that DD-fags share with P2P is depending on which site a person directly downloads their material, as there is always a wait time if you don’t have a paid account.
But that’s a minor drawback to the larger drawback of Direct Downloads: The possibility that the file is no longer active. Some files are inactive because they’re deleted by the site after a long time without downloads, or the site founds out of the file and removes it. In addition, unlike IRC or usenet, some files are hard to find, and some may be protected with a password and you may have to find the original webpage for that passcode. But if you find the file, you can download it with ease.
The next class of otaku is the streamfags. Streamfags watch anime in their web-browser in embedded flash video websites. There are hundreds of sites out there on the internet that host these types of videos, most notability the google owned YouTube. However, there are many others specifically for anime and these sites contain many series completely and well organized.
While it’s easy to just find a site for streaming anime and watch it, is that they’re typically low quality re-encodes of fansubs or dvdrips obtained via P2P. Why they’re low quality? Because often times, streaming media are transmitted in low-definition (240p or 320p) instead of the standard-definition (480p) as normal broadcasters use. Streamfags are often under the impression that they are watching anime in their browser, they are not downloading it. But the reality is that they are downloading it. They’re downloading it into a temporary internet file. So it’s really no different than downloading a file, but the major difference is that if you want to watch the streaming video you have to download it again everytime you play it. The same thing applies when you stream your manga or go to a manga viewing site, unless you download it locally to your hard drive. But since many computers have large hard drives, streamfagging is a waste of time.
The same thing applies to streaming manga via your web browser. You’re still downloading it even though you’re technically aren’t.
Finally we have the DVDfags and Bookfags, aka the buyfags. While they’re supporting the Western anime and manga industry, they’re subject to the restrictions and whims of the licensing company in their region. Buyfags will archive large collections of DVD and manga which will drop in resale value by the day. Many of those who buy DVDs and manga enjoy dubs or dialogue replace of the Japanese that are spoken in English and re-written to lip-synch correcting or the official translations. These people watches or read anime and manga on a delay of anything from one to up to five years after the original series ends, and are limited to by their own ability to afford them, or in some cases buying the content depending where the live, even if you buy them on the internet.
But there is a major advantage of buying anime/manga once released officially; you can buy them cheaply if they’re used. So if you’re have limited income you can benefit from cheap and used DVDs and manga volumes.
I must emphasize that those are the primary ways otaku get their anime/manga online. It doesn’t mean that they can’t stream occasionally, or view streaming manga to get a taste before actually committing to a series. These are just the four primary ways otaku enjoy their content. Each have their advantages and drawbacks, how’s they enjoy the content is what matters.
— Ndee “Jkid” Okeh