Reference
Chudah's Corner


 

The official definition of "bootleg," taken from the Mirriam-Webster College Dictionary, is "to produce, reproduce, or distribute illicitly or without authorization." Bootleg CD's are those that are reproduced and sold without authorization by the original publishers of the music. This has become a very serious issue throughout the entire recording industry, but it's an especially serious problem among the game and anime music community here in the U.S. Countries such as Taiwan and China have taken advantage of the lack of widespread distribution of game and anime soundtracks, and have thus flooded the market with cheap, unauthorized knockoffs. These copies of the CDs are often inferior in both packaging and sound quality. Aside from not being an "official" product, the original publishers receive nothing from these sales, which ultimately hurts the very artists who create the music. In fact, U.S. vendors are sometimes fooled by these bootlegs, since they often don't know what legitimate albums look like. However, it should be noted that if the vendor is known to import Japanese merchandise, they should know what Japanese albums look like overall.

It's always best to check with a database such as Chudah's Corner or Game Music Revolution before purchasing or bidding on uncertain soundtracks. You should be cautious if you see albums under $20 USD, as they are often bootlegs. While some authentic Japanese albums do go on sale at low prices, such sales are not common. On average, authentic Japanese albums are at least $25 USD.

Below are examples of known bootleg publishers, although, new companies are popping up all the time. The following details should also help in identifying the most common bootleg CD's.

Son May

Son May Logo

Catalog numbers may begin with SM-, SMA-, GA-, GGG-, A&G-, GAME-, PRO-, GSM-, SMG-, SS-, SB-, SMD-, SMB-. The catalog numbers and logo are often very prominent.

Ever Anime

Ever Anime Logo 1   Ever Anime Logo 2

Catalog numbers begin with GM-, A8, TV, CV, and NP. It may be hard to identify from the front cover (unless you see the distinct 2-4 disc "bubble"), but the rainbow colored logo and purple/yellow/teal bars on the catalog numbers on the spine card are clear indicators. The logo also appears on the back of albums.

Yuanding

Yuanding Logo

Catalog prefix sets begin with FF-. The logo featured on the back and side of an album is the typical bootleg indicator, although it is unknown if there are any features on the front cover.

Smile Face

Smile Face Logo

Catalog prefix sets begin with KA- and HO-. Like Son May, the catalog number and logo are fairly prominent, but be careful not to confuse this with the First Smile Entertainment logo (which is yellow).

Alion

Alion Logo   Alion Logo

Catalog numbers begin with ALCA-. There are no prominent indicators other than the catalog number, company name on the back cover, and the "Made in Taiwan" near the barcode. Note: Be careful not to confuse these with official Alfa Record releases, which also used the ALCA- prefix and were published in the early 90's.

Archer Records

Archer Logo

Catalog prefix sets begin with A-.

K-O Records

K-O Logo

Catalog prefix sets begin with KO-. Reports from our forum visitors indicate that this bootlegger is copying Square Enix and other recent albums.

Miya Records

Miya Logo

Catalog prefix sets begin with MICA-. Reports from our forum visitors indicate that this bootlegger is copying many game and anime albums. The logo appears on the back of albums.

If you are still having difficulty identifying a bootleg CD after using the above guidelines, you may e-mail us at bootlegs@chudahs-corner.com, and one of Chudah's Corner's staff members will try to assist you in determining the authenticity of the subject CD.

The following are names of sellers who have flooded the Ebay marketplace with bootleg anime and game music soundtracks, making legitimate CD's very difficult to uncover through standard searches. If you would like to add a seller's name to the list, please email us at bootlegs@chudahs-corner.com with a link to a current or recently-ended auction by the seller in question.

4b_net
abb786 (CD-Rs)
ahmaddh
akihabaratoys
al-freer
allaboutanime
amarkanimetoys
animationsource
animax71
anime-dream
anime-toys
animeauctions
animecast
animefanshop
animefurusato
animexpo
black-moon
blowtoys
bluefantasi
bobbieh25661 (CD-Rs)
cartoon-passion
cartoonp
cartoonpmmcm2
citia
comixr4me@aol.com
cooldai2000
cross-inc
ddmark
docfunk2
docgemme
dreamcast9
droog5
droopymccool
ecorion
egigo
endless_collectibles
enochubah
fantastic234
fanzanime
fast_foo_714 (CD-Rs)
finalanime
fulleffex
gamecd
games-n-anime
gamesfocus
gbt-inc
giftsandhobbies
giftshopusa
GKWorld.com
golden-jcl
hahanv
hahatif
hardcored2
haung_tai_chi
houston-anime-sales
hwchu
iconxdrums
iloveasiandvds_com
inflammen
jasonferrelldbz@aol.com
jharlan826
jpopspecial
keni02186
keynequa (CD-Rs)
kikiwai
kuno-senpai
kurt_a
lchead
leonheart88@aol.com
lots-o-stuff4sale
lovedolphin23
marcojes
max-boons
memrwe
miaka21
milesofstuff
minakokenshou
momogifts*dot*com
multidiscs
music_fanatic_nj
naussica
northern-eclipse
one1cast
pineapple69
pipilee
pr_stealth (CD-Rs)
princesscari
ps6325
psyence.x2
raincloudheart
ranma
saturday-saviour
shishi_killer
shop88
shop-anime
siona75
sli1888
snoopy_rulez
sonta42
soul5ghost
sphiatt
sundevildvd
taka_mudo
tedh2003
thefutureking
threemountain26 (CD-Rs)
toycup
treasure-planet
tv*toys
verygoodseller2003
videogamecds (CD-Rs)
vivilionheart
winmixstock
wizzo4life (CD-Rs)
wongjing
wsideplayah
wsp-store
wu-bai
yeeseller
yesanime.com
zerosky200
 

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