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How the pig saved Live-evil

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How the pig saved live-evil, part 1 of a series

"The Rise and Fall of Fergie the Rat"

A few years ago, ADV was one of the largest anime licensors in the US.  Matt Greenfield was one of the two people at the helm of this licensing giant. 

Fergie the rat was a late-born runt of his litter and abandoned by his mom, left to fend for himself.  Fergie would have surely perished except that he had the good fortune to be born in Greenfield's attic and Greenfield didn't really clean up his place a lot, he would often leave food just lying around and Fergie would survive by nibbling on this food.

Matt also often left his computer on when he went to work, and Fergie quickly discovered how to get online and surf the net.  The pig met Fergie on the "Lil' Pals" BBS and they became good friends.  Fergie also became good friends with several other de-facto group leaders, including Shinsen's Yue-bing and Mr. Sparkles, who led multiple groups through proxy.  The Pig and these other leaders developed an 'understanding' with Fergie, Fergie would listen in on Matt's calls to and from his work, snoop on him as he used the computer and even read his files, etc.  In exchange, they would send Fergie 'gifts' like food and things like that. 

The pig used his connections with Fergie to know which titles ADV would license and manage the group accordingly.  License negotations weren't always smooth or straightforward and some titles did manage to slip through the cracks, but this strategy did work out pretty well.  Fergie's largest accomplishment was when Live-evil was subbing "Death Note" and early on in the effort (around episode #3) it was discovered that ADV was in the final stage of negotiating a license for it.  After a substantial bribe from the Pig, Fergie sprung into action by whispering into Matt's ear as he slept, giving him nightmares about the iconic horror title.  Fergie did this for three nights, back-to-back, after which Matt ordered his executives to halt licensing negotations on the title.  Time passed; "Death Note" was later licensed by Viz, a move outside Fergie's control, but in the meantime Live-evil had time to sub 9 more episodes of it.

With this, the Pig realised what Fergie was capable of and he and Mr. Sparkles developed a 'grand plan'.  Every new release season, he and Mr. Sparkles would watch the new releases, choose several of the worst ones, and then pass the names onto Fergie, telling him to convince Matt in his sleep that those titles were "must have" licenses for ADV.  Yue-bing wanted nothing to do with this plan, calling it unfeasible.  But their persistance paid off, quarter after quarter, ADV would announce more of thse dumb licenses, leaving fans and everyone else in the industry to wonder "what had gotten into their head".  And only the Pig and Mr. Sparkles knew the answer to that.

Fergie was a strange case though, rather than being content to be "part of the team" he kept demanding more bribes and "goodiez" from the Pig and Mr. Sparkles.  He quickly rose to the positions of "Top Rat" of the Greenfield household, and became the leader of the 70-or-so rats that lived there.  Feeling at the top of his world, he supported his lavish lifestyle with the bribes the Pig and Mr. Sparkles sent him. 

Meanwhile ADV's fortunes were the exact opposite.  John Ledford, Matt's counterpart at ADV, tried to put the brakes on Matt's strange behavior and wild over-licensing of poor shows but by then it was too late.  Early in 2008 ADV had gone heavily into debt and had to scale back several of its divisions and halt operations in other areas.  By Mid-2008 ADV had all but collapsed.

In this way, three small animals were able to take down what was at one time the largest independent licensor of Anime.  Where is he today?  Once ADV collapsed, so to did Fergie's own powerbase being dependent on bribes from the Pig and Mr. Sparkles.  When times were good, Fergie acted not out of friendship but out of greed so when things turned and the Pig and Mr. Sparkles no longer needed him, he was all but forgotten.  Unable to support his lavish lifestyle, he disappeared into obscurity and was never heard from again. 

How the pig saved live-evil, part 2 of a series

"Tuan Tuan Rises to Power, and Ends Up Owing a Debt of Gratitude to the Pig"

In years past, Shinsen's old Mascot, Yue-bing, built a political empire by coercing her friends and bribing, co-opting anyone who would stand against her.  Her following collapsed in 2008 though, when she was outmanuevered politically by the populist bunny Jojo, who has no relation to any subbing groups.  After her fall from grace, Yue-bing disappeared into obscurity and was replaced as a mascot by a charismatic, lovable panda known as Tuan Tuan.

Tuan Tuan lived in Wolong and was seriously injured by a massive earthquake shortly after taking his position as Shinsen's mascot.  Several of his buddies also suffered injuries.  Despite a dislocated shoulder and broken leg, Tuan Tuan was able to pull one of his friends free of a pile of rubble.  When the doctors found Tuan Tuan injured, his first question wasn't about his own condition, it was whether his friends were all alive and okay.

In this way, Tuan Tuan was a model mascot who cared more about his team than himself, and many people in Shinsen looked up to him and drew inspiration from him.  At Otakon 2008, the Pig and a few of his friends, Mikey, Jojo, and Mr. Sparkles hosted a photo shoot / autograph signing with the proceeds going to benefit Tuan Tuan and his buddies.  Tuan Tuan was thankful to all of them; in this way, the pig was able to gain the favor of Tuan Tuan and others.

How the pig saved live-evil, part 3 of a series

"Yue-bing tries to seize power, but is driven back by Mikey with the help of the Pig"

After she lost the bunny Caucus in 2008 Yue-bing became furious and threatened to throw a coup and seize power that way.  Mikey, who was in charge of security, quickly alerted his own forces and asked the pig for guidance.

Mikey was concerned b'cos Simon commanded the local "bunny brigade", a force of more than 250 bunnies who didn't fall under Mikey's own command.   Rumor had it that Simon was secretly loyal to Yue-bing, though details were rather sketchy.  The pig had heard the same rumor from one of his callers over Skype so he asked Mikey how many small animals he could get together.  Mikey said he had 18 regulars and roughly two dozen more reserves which he could call up given a few days notice.  He was going to immediately call up his reserves but the pig convinved him not to, he had his own plan.  The pig did not want to call up reserves b'cos he feared word would get back to Yue-bing if he did this about the actual composition and number of Mikey's own forces.  Either way Mikey was going to end up horribly outnumbered, another two dozen small animals wouldn't help this.  So best to keep his potential enemies in the dark and let them wonder how many small animals he really had under his command.

Sure enough the next day Simon called up the whole bunny brigade and marched them out into the field.  He called Mikey into the open field to do battle with him or accept Yue-bing as the rightful winner of the bunny Caucus.  Mikey didn't know what to do, but the pig calmed him down and told him to gather all his regular forces and head over to "the daily pet" after it had closed. 

Now the pig met Mikey's forces that night at "the daily pet".  Mikey said that he hoped the pig had a good plan and the pig said it was important for both him and Mikey to show confidence and appear as friendly to Simon.  Then the pig ordered Mikey's small animals to break into "the daily pet" and knock as much top-grade bunny food down from the shelves as possible.  Then they would chew the packaging off the bunny food and scatter it all over the floor.

With this, Mikey thought he understood the Pig's plan, lure the bunnies into "the daily pet", let them eat until they will full, and then wait for them to go to sleep on a full stomach and ambush them in their sleep.  But the pig wasn't even thinking along these lines.  He had already thought of an even better plan beyond that.  The truth is, Simon was a very cautious commander and would never let his troops break rank or discipline like that.

The pig had Mikey send word to Simon that he was at "the daily pet" waiting to do battle.  Hours later, Mikey's scouts reported the bunny brigade was approaching the pet store and the pig told Mikey to open the front door and he and his friend turned their backs to the door and seemed to pay more attention to eating some piggy treats than anything else.  Mikey was to stand in the back of the store with all his forces, in the darkness and out of plain sight.

Simon showed up at the front door and the pig and his friend barely even paid him notice, content to eat their piggy treats and keep their back turned to him.  When he saw the pig with his back turned, did not see Mikey or any of his forces, he became alarmed.  The pig had a reputation for trickery and similar ambushes and he was not about to get caught up in one of those.  He reasoned that the pig, keeping his back turned to him and paying him no heed, had set up a trap and he was not about to fall into it.  Instead he ordered his forces to retreat and regroup elsewhere.

With the bunny brigade on the retreat, the pig told Mikey to withdraw all his forces out of the store and into the field.  Simon, on the other hand, was having problems gathering up his forces after their retreat, many of them had ditched and headed to the daily pet when they learned that Mikey and his forces had withdrawn from there.  They were feasting on the knocked over bunny food when Mikey and his small force met Simon in the field. 

This time Mikey's force of a dozen and a half regulars met Simon, who still had roughly 30 bunnies under his command in the open field.  But his bunnies were disorganized and most of their commanders were gone.  The battle never happened, Mikey and the pig together convinced Simon to turn on Yue-bing in exchange for letting him go and that they would forget about the whole thing if he did.  The next day the police had chased the Bunny Brigade out of "the daily pet" and cleaned the place up, Simon's forces were back up to their full complement.  He showed up on Yue-bing's doorstep with the full bunny brigade and escorted he out of town, telling her that she was exiled forever and if she returned she would be killed on sight.

"When confronted, the pig's friend reveals his own role in Yue-bing's downfall"

A few weeks after Yue-bing's downfall, the pig's computer had a power supply failure and while waiting for it to be replaced, he used his friend's computer.  Fortunately his friend had many of the same apps installed so he was still able to use Skype and such.

When the pig started up Skype he noticed that the default user ID was BunnyBarney.  Now anyone knows of Barney's role in taking down Yue-bing's once-thought-to-be-unstoppable campaign machine but Barney himself had disappeared slightly before the bunny caucus and had never been heard from since.  The pig questioned his friend about this, if he knew Barney or had ever let a bunny use his computer and his friend just kinda smiled and said that only Jojo had on several occasions and that was it.

Now the pig went on to chat over skype for a while but the BunnyBarney user ID kept coming up in his mind.  He turned to his buddy and inquired again, and his buddy told him "you know, bunnies, especially netherland dwarfs, have especially poor vision close up".  He thought for a while, and also thought of how his buddy had gained a lot of weight lately, yet apparently had no more access to food than he did.

With that, the pig began to put the scheme together and asked his friend what his relationship with Barney (the bunny) was.  His friend said there was no Barney, that Barney only existed right here (pointing to his own head) and in Yue-bing's imagination.  Between wheeks of laughter, he told the pig the whole story of how Yue-bing's political machine had been taken apart by him and Jojo with Jojo only assisting in a minor way.

His friend explained how he had met Yue-bing over Skype Chat and lauded her with compliments while pretending to be a bunny loyal to her campaign.  When Yue-bing wanted to hear his voice, he bugged his friend Jojo to speak for him over Skype and convince her she was really talking with a genuine bunny.  When Yue-bing explained her carrot-bribing scheme he quickly volunteered to help and would regularly show up at Vincent's place to pick up the carrots she believed he would use to bribe pigs into voting for her.

While meeting Yue-bing in person to pick up the carrots, he would use her naturally poor vision up close to his advantage.  By staying close and occasionally bouncing up onto his hind legs, he was able to fool the normally-gullible Yue-bing that he was indeed a bunny.  When Yue-bing would question his smell, he explained that he had handed out so many bribes to pigs and hung out with pigs so much of the time in order to convince them to vote for her that he had picked up their scent.  Yue-bing continued to fall for this scheme, believing that her carrots were being used to bribe other pigs when in reality they were all being eaten by the pig's friend.

In this way, the once-thought-to-be unstoppable political machine behind Yue-bing was taken down by an otherwise non-notable pig in search of free carrots and the fact that Yue-bing was too full of herself to notice his deception.

"Tuan Tuan relies on the pig for advice."

At Shinsen, Tuan Tuan's career as a mascot was threatened when Vincent adopted a cute kitten he called Melon.  In his time as a stray, Melon had made three close friends known in that cat world as the "gang of three".  While Melon himself did not seem to care, this "gang of three" intended to have Melon made the new Mascot, displacing the loyal and benevolent Tuan Tuan.

Tuan Tuan became panicked and called up the Pig on Skype for advice.  The pig told Tuan Tuan not to worrey, instead to find two of the best Wolong Peaches and wrap them in a gift box.  The pig had Tuan Tuan write a letter and place it in the box.  Tuan Tuan understood, he wrote the letter and then mailed the box to the last known address of the "gang of three".

When the "gang of three" received the box, they excitedly opened it and read the letter it contained.  "These peaches will grant thee longevity and good fortune.  Let he who is worthy among you each take a peach."  The "gang of three", however, found only two peaches in the box.  As the pig had planned, a fight was soon to follow, and the "gang of three" was broken as one of its members triumphed over the other two and took the two peaches for himself.

In this way, Tuan Tuan did not even have to defend his own title of Mascot, Melon had no will to be Mascot in the first place and the "gang of three" had become disloyal over a few peaches.


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