Bootleg Guide – DVD’s & other media

DVD’s, BluRay’s, and other media

What should I look out for?
It is very common these days to search for your favourite anime on auction websites like eBay and find cheap 3 disc versions of a 26 episode series. This alone should ring alarm bells as so many episodes cannot fit on 3 discs without a massive reduction in quality.

Many pirated DVDs are sold as All Regions or Region 0 and they often include Chinese and English subtitles as well as the Japanese audio track, especially those produced in Hong Kong. If you see any of these above signs then more than likely the product is pirated. Another thing to look out for is if it comes in a wooden DVD box instead of plastic. It’s a sad fact that many pirated anime DVDs come from the Far East, particularly China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and extra care should be taken when dealing with eBay sellers or companies based in these countries

Fold Out Cardboard Boxes
Majority of bootlegs of anime series come in fold out cardboard box style cases, but a few do come in the normal plastic style boxes (these are a bit more rare). Be careful as Movies and Short OVA’s do come in the same DVD type boxes as the official ones do. There are some official releases that do come in the fold out cardboard style and have a better quality of the materials used in the packaging.

USA Region 1 Tenchi Muyo OVA (has a plastic sheet cover as a protective cover), Fushigi Yugi box sets Suzaku & Seiryu, El Hazard: The Magnificient World, and Viz release of Inu-Yasha: First Season Box Set.

UK Region 2 Manga releases of Tokyo Underground & The Evangelion Movie Collection

Majority of the Official releases that are fold out cardboard do come with a plastic like slip cover that just slides off the box to all you to open it. It’s a protective type cover. Plus the bootleg versions are more slicker to the feel and the artwork quality is a bit fuzzier and not as clean & crisp as it would be from the official release.

Possible Bootleg Companies

Animation International
Animation Japan International
Anime Cartoon
Anime Cartoon International
Anime Studio
Another DVD Company
Digital International
Indian International
MAC (Manga Anime Cartoon)
Manga International (not to be confused with Manga Entertainment)
Video Animation

Please note, generally region free or region 0 coding is a major sign that the item could be bootleg, but not in all cases. It’s still a red flag so be leary.

So if in doubt, check to see if it is out yet. Or,, etc.

Examples of the bootleg logos:


Known OFFICIAL Companies/Licensors/Distributors:

TV Tokyo

Dentsu Inc.

Studio Pierrot

FUNimation Entertainment

Bandai Entertainment

Bandai Visual USA (U.S., previously a subsidiary of Bandai Visual Japan and not affiliated with Bandai Entertainment, now folded into Bandai Entertainment)

Sentai Filmworks

Harmony Gold

Viz Media aka: ViZ


Toei Animation



Kadokawa Pictures


ADV Films



The Right Stuf International

4kids Entertainment



AN Entertainment


Central Park Media (US Manga Corps) (defunct)

Media Factory Incorportated

Columbia Tristar

Sony Pictures Entertainment


NIS America

Media Blasters (Anime Works)

Urban Vision


Walt Disney Pictures (distributes Studio Ghibli) aka: Disney or Miramax Films

Manga Entertainment (UK) – Region 2

Beez Entertainment (UK) – Region 2

ILC Prime (UK) – Region 2

Kiseki (UK) – Region 2

MVM Entertainment (UK) – Region 2

Optimum Releasing (UK) – Region 2

Revelation Films (UK) – Region 2

Hero TV (asia) – Region 3 (Subsidiary of ABS-CBN)

Odex (asia) – Region 3

Madman Entertainment Pty. Ltd (Australia/New Zealand) – region 4 coding

Siren Visual (Australia/New Zealand) – region 4 coding

AkaHana (Australia/New Zealand) – region 4 coding

Animax – region 2 Europe, region 3 Asia, and also for other regions like south america, africa, etc

Defunct [: no longer living, existing, or functioning <that firm is now defunct>]

Central Park Media (de facto defunct since mid-2007 when new DVD releases ceased, even though they continued to license their titles for TV and VOD, they entered a state of limbo.[3] Officially declared bankruptcy and assets liquidated in mid-2009 [4]).

US Manga Corps (U.S., part of Central Park Media)

Family Home Entertainment (U.S., renamed Artisan Entertainment) in the 1990s, then acquired by Lions Gate Entertainment in 2003).

Geneon Entertainment (U.S. branch “Geneon USA” (formerly “Pioneer Entertainment”) defunct September 2007. Parent Japanese company ceased in-house distribution of its own titles, many of which have been re-licensed by Funimation.[5][6] Parent company “Geneon Entertainment” then sold off its own ownership to NBC Universal subsidiary UPI, which then merged Geneon with its own “Universal Pictures Japan” division on February 1, 2009, renaming the new company “Geneon Universal Entertainment Japan”).[7][8]

Streamline Pictures (U.S., Canada: stopped producing new anime releases in 1996, folding into Orion Pictures, which in turn folded into Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer one year later, in 1997. The Streamline brand name officially went defunct in 2002).

U.S. Renditions (U.S., A subsidiary of Books Nippan, defunct mid-1990′s)


DVD region coding:

Region code Area

0 Informal term meaning “worldwide”. Region 0 is not an official setting; discs that bear the region 0 symbol either have no flag set or have region 1–6 flags set.

1 United States, U.S. territories, Canada, Bermuda

2 Europe (except Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus), Middle East, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, French overseas territories, Greenland

3 Southeast Asia, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau

4 Mexico, Central and South America, Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, Oceania

5 Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Africa (except Egypt, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, and French overseas territories), Central and South Asia, Mongolia, North Korea

6 People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong

7 Reserved for future use (found in use on protected screener copies of MPAA-related DVDs and “media copies” of pre-releases in Asia)

8 International venues such as aircraft, cruise ships, etc.

ALL Region ALL discs have all 8 flags set, allowing the disc to be played in any locale on any player.


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