Before I give my response to this, I would like to explain a few things. In this age where fansubbed anime is now distributed by multiple methods other than BitTorrent, BitTorrent downloads are lower than they were several years ago. However, as a metric for the success of a release, the number of BitTorrent downloads remains one of the very few valid indicators available to a fansubbing group, as most DDL sites will not release download numbers for a file. It is generally accepted by the modern fansubbing community that the more downloads of a file, the more successful the release is.
So, to illustrate this point, I will present several exhibits. Here is exhibit 1:
Here, I have a screenshot of how the torrent listing page on NyaaTorrent looks like a few days after we released Pollyanna episode 36 and Little Women II episode 9 a couple of weeks ago. Let me point out a few things:
- Notice that we're racking up about 400-500 downloads for all three versions that we release for each episode. Now compare that to the files that HorribleSubs releases, which number in the several thousands.
- Also, notice the two releases of Fairy Tail. You can notice that the slower group gets less downloads. Even then, typically a series that is a Shonen Jump series will usually have more viewers due to the larger fanbase.
- The ARR release there is actually an anomaly from what they normally get. ARR's download counts are usually higher than our download counts.
In this one, we have the listings around when Pollyanna episode 35 is released. Let me point out a few things:
- EveTaku's release of Kami-sama no Memochou episode 8 obviously had a lot of downloaders.
- Compared to the Fairy Tail episode 94 download counts from exhibit 1, you can see HorribleSubs' release blow that one out of the water.
- If we typically have download counts higher than those of a modern series, it's usually due to the fact that the group was slower in releasing the series.
In this case, we are comparing the one modern series we're doing, Happy Kappi, versus everything else that was released at this time. Again, note the lower download counts compared to everything else.
So, according to these exhibits and the "number of BitTorrent downloads" metric, this group would have been considered a failure by most modern fansubbers. Furthermore, this is one of the bigger reasons why most modern fansubbing groups won't touch the series we work on, as the metrics bear out the potential failure of each release.
However, this entire analysis suffers from a very significant flaw.
The flaw is that this comparison is not an apples to apples comparison. Fundamentally, Licca Fansubs is a completely different type of fansubbing group than your typical modern fansubbing group. The way we conduct our operations is completely different, and the rules which we abide by are also different. In essence, we measure our success through other means and metrics. People can argue that we are just deluding ourselves and living in our own little world, and in a sense they are correct. We do live in our little world, and that is perfectly fine with us.
In essence, this is one of the best examples of how the Pollyanna principle should be applied. In our world, we feel that we've been really successful. We've gotten three large series done, two of which are World Masterpiece Theater series. We got a couple of lovely OVAs done as well. We've got plenty of momentum to do a few more series after we finish our current projects. With luck, we'll be around for quite a while, with everyone's support.