A project called AnimeLog recently made the news. A joint venture between several major anime studios and production companies, AnimeLog is a YouTube channel for full episodes of anime. Companies like Toei Animation, Tezuka Productions, and Kodansha are on-board.
We say we should support the industry, but what does that mean?
The anime industry has a complex business model. Through it, we get anime, and we know there’s a studio involved somewhere, but there’s more that that.
If you ask certain anime thought leaders throughout the last decade and a half or so, moe has been “killing anime.” Indeed, according to some, plague of cute girls descended upon the medium in the mid-2000s, leaving the anime industry a barren wasteland.
Is moe killing anime? What’s the damage? How do we measure that?
It’s my belief that Crunchyroll and Funimation are heading for eventual disaster if they continue on the path they’ve been on.
An odd trend of the past couple months is that of gimmick accounts breaking character.
If you’ve witnessed any of these themed accounts suddenly dive into political declarations, you know what I’m talking about.
Quite frankly, it’s some of the worst marketing I’ve seen on Twitter by a long shot. That might seem like a weird take, but bear with me.
We all know that Crunchyroll pays its translators a pittance to translate anime for their subtitles. The oft-cited rate is $80 per episode.
A video by Canipa recently detailed the history behind this paradigm. It goes back to the late 2000s, when Crunchyroll was making its transition to legitimacy. Ken Hoinsky, and his company MX Media, normalized the $80 price point. They could get away with this because they were previously volunteer fansubbers.
Anime is a marketing tool used by businesses.
The sooner you understand and accept this, the sooner you’ll be able to answer many questions people still ask about things that have been part of the medium for decades.
When localization companies, licensing firms, and streaming services in the West screw up, people often talk about telling “Japan” that companies are out here messing up their anime and their visual novels.
I’m here to tell you why that won’t help anyone and is kind of a punk move.
Back in early 2020, Funimation decided Interspecies Reviewers violated their standards. They halted their translation and removed the show from their streaming service.
Problem is, they have the exclusive license to it, so once streams of it started popping up on sites like PornHub, Funimation was empowered to take them down, effectively barring anyone from seeing it.
Which is to say: If Funimation can’t stream it, nobody can.
Crunchyroll, currently the largest anime streaming service, started as a pirate streaming site. That’s well-understood. They started in 2006 and went legit in 2009, establishing themselves in the anime streaming market before such a market even existed. Since then, it’s seen competition from established services like Hulu and Netflix, as well as from other dedicated services like HIDIVE, Anime Strike, Daisuki, and others, with varying degrees of success.