Just over one year after FUNimation’s infamous “One Piece” debacle, and uh.. the Phantom debacle, ANN made the exact same mistake. In one way, it’s kind of interesting to see how they repeated history in this regard. After all – ANN is relatively new to this end of the anime business, and they’re bound to make a few mistakes along the way. They dealt with the situation quickly, commented on the matter immediately, and played the damage control card well.

As a software engineer, I can’t help but want to smack the person who uploaded the file (one week early) upside the head with my copy of Writing Secure Code. They literally did everything wrong in this case. They made the file available by uploading it this early (big hint: If it’s not on the server, it can’t be leaked!), they use an easy-to-guess filename, and they had some degree of trust in the users to not try and find shit like this. The biggest sin would have to be be #3, since we’re in a world where a good amount of fans view the American distributors as the enemy. They’re selfish, and some have this warped “Robin Hood” mentality where, if they bring down “the man”, they’ll become heroes therefore receiving many internets of win. Even a deny ACL or a password-protected directory would be better than leaving the file up for download.

As a fan, this troubles me. It reflects poorly our entire fanbase, and really gives off the impression that we’re a bunch of freeloading pirates. But, more important, huge inroads have been made since last year, and the Japanese have become more comfortable with the idea of streaming, Simulcasts have become more common, Crunchyroll has become a major legal hub for new shows, and anime has never been more accessible. It’s hard to say how big the effects will be on the broader scale, but the incident will definitely have an impact on our fandom. If history has proven anything to us, Oreimo’s streaming days are through… at least for the foreseeable future. ANN’s already removed all traces from their site, including the first episode. Aniplex is pissed, no doubt. They’ll probably be quite skittish about doing such an arrangement in the future, since the action is a display of both a incompetence and carelessness on ANN’s part.

This definitely isn’t a great way to start a distribution career, and there is no clear silver lining here. ANN screwed up big time. I just hope that it isn’t the company’s kiss of death.