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Old 2022-08-04, 19:02   Link #1
stray
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Crunchyroll world domination continues with purchase of RightStuf

Not really fond of this merger; RightStuf is the place to buy anime and manga if you're in the US or Canada and has already pulled down all of their adult products. They are (or were) also the main distributor for Sentai, which will probably no longer be the case.

https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/new...t-stuf/.188366
https://www.rightstufanime.com/post/...chyroll-family
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Old 2022-08-04, 20:33   Link #2
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Does someone just hate Interspecies Reviewers? First Funimation abandons it, then Rightstuf's adult branch finally buys it, then Crunchy buys them out and now they're taking down their adult content? Which, I assume, would include IR? Oh well, its fans accepted they'd have to follow the way of the pirate from early on, but still.

On a different note, I wonder how long this can continue. How long can they get away with saying that they're not REALLY a monopoly since Netflix and Prime own a few anime. They're really testing things here.
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Old 2022-08-04, 21:04   Link #3
stray
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As far as Interspecies Reviewers its not entirely clear what's going on with RightStuf (or Nozomi) licenses but apparently they're spinning off an adult store at https://eroanimestore.com/ though information is sparse. Its a pretty terrible name too but then so was RightStuf I guess. They started charging sales tax today too so I'm glad I got my preorders in until the end of the year during the recent sale.
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Old 2022-08-04, 22:31   Link #4
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It's pretty clear that they're trying to position Crunchyroll as the sort of "Amazon Prime" of the anime world, with benefits across multiple channels in a single subscription. Their premium offering is already sort of positioned that way now if you look on the website, and with Right Stuf benefits eventually to be included (as strongly implied by their FAQs), it'll cement it even more.

At first Aniplex tried to make their own Aniplex+ store, but Right Stuf eventually took over all fulfillment for that. So I guess when Sony bought out Crunchyroll, it was weird because CR had their own Store while Aniplex (SMEJ) was partnered with Right Stuf. Rather than terminate the deal with Right Stuf and move to Crunchyroll, I guess they figured better to just buy Right Stuf's existing expertise in this space and eventually have them take over the retail side. (They say that, the two will run separately for the moment, but the emphasis there is clearly on "for the moment." Otherwise the acquisition really wouldn't make much sense.)

The erotica thing is actually kind of weird in a way. My guess is that it portends that, eventually, Right Stuf is going to become the "Crunchyroll Store" (or perhaps "Right Stuf: The Crunchyroll Store" or some such if they want to keep the Right Stuf brand) and they don't want adult content associated with the Crunchyroll name -- quite possibly because of fears of an effect on credit card processing complications (as we saw from the recent Pornhub news). Maybe they don't want it associated at all with Sony (although it'd surprise me if there truly wasn't any connection at some level, but perhaps abstracted away enough that there's plausible deniability). They're kind of cagey about who is running the new ero store, saying only that it's people from Las Vegas who have been "working closely with Right Stuf" for a long while. Maybe a distributor, or maybe some former RS staff? (Some people think it's actually going to be Right Stuf in the background just with a different warehouse for plausible deniability, but I guess we'll see if that connection ends up becoming apparent somehow.) Based on the domain names, it does look like this has probably only been in the works for a few weeks.

Anyway... I guess we'll see what it means for us, but the reaction has been fairly negative. People certainly don't like how it seems like everything is being consolidated under one mega company that controls the market. That said... considering how the production committee system works in Japan, it's pretty much been the case that almost all the anime production side was controlled by a very small "cartel" of Japanese companies too, so it may not be that surprising. I suspect they're also looking at the interest of Netflix and Disney in this space as being what to worry about, rather than the field of tiny anime-only players the market had before.
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Old 2022-08-04, 22:43   Link #5
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I am SO glad I have bought like crazy from Rightstuf over the last year from their sales. I expect prices to get beyond absurd once things are completed. The retro, essential collection and manga sales since Black Friday last year to the mid year have been rather good. But I expect that to end...

As for the ero aspect - would have thought people would use J-List over Rightstuf.
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Old 2022-08-04, 23:29   Link #6
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Definitely isn't good news. I knew something bad was coming when Rightstuf cancelled free shipping to Canada. Sure the reasoning didn't sound like a lie at the time, but it felt like a bad sign. But wow, I didn't think it was this bad. CR is definitely turning itself into the source of anime outside of Japan. And I'm not sure that's a great sign. There's absolutely zero benefit for us and all we can hope is that it isn't a total disaster.

I am glad that I bought as much anime as I did over the past few years before this went down. Because I have a feeling the big sales are dead or at least will be pretty pitiful going forward.

Of course I'm still basically stuck. Amazon Canada is pretty poor when it comes to actually getting shows available so it's still going to be importing. Either through Amazon (high prices, lower shipping) or CR (maybe lower prices [might change after this] and higher shipping). At least with Rightstuf before I could just condense all my anime purchases to one time a year, get some free shipping and all was well. Now...I don't know.

The only guaranteed purchases for me for now are seasons 3-5 of Symphogear. I'll pay the painful cost to get those and that might be it. Hope and pray I guess. Guess I'll mostly just buy from Sentai themselves. The shipping is slow as molasses but it's not expensive.
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Old 2022-08-05, 08:47   Link #7
stray
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I'd heard about changes to Canada shipping but they also changed their policy as far as shipping partial orders within the US -- I've had an order I placed in February completely stalled entirely over one or two out of stock books even while they shipped me a single book from a previous order. Under their old system they'd ship at 50% and combine orders into one shipment when possible.

And J-List is probably better for 18+ but RightStuf was better overall as a one stop shop, and having everything on one store made it easier to reach their free shipping thresholds. I only really bought a handful of 18+ products from them but I dislike the move on principle.

Anyway from what I've seen on Reddit and elsewhere no one seems happy with this buyout, and I'm not sure who its supposed to benefit aside from Sony's bottom line. Crunchyroll has a terrible history of physical releases of their own original anime as well (like A Place Further Than the Universe) which seems like a higher priority than buying a storefront but I guess not.
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Old 2022-08-05, 12:52   Link #8
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RIP RightStuf. It'll be left alone in the beginning, but once they need to recoup expenses, it will only take one analyst with an exec's ear mentioning the costs that can be saved by cutting back on the amount of packaging, staff, etc. to start bringing everything down and becoming as terrible as Amazon. If I start getting books with bent corners, scratched covers, and mysterious gunk on them, without a replacement retailer, I'll probably stop buying manga altogether.

What a time to be behind the scenes in the industry though. A while back, I had considered a move to a Sony/Funimation analytics division, but decided a healthy separation between work and hobby was best. As a fan, I abhor what's happening, but as a corporate minion, how interesting it would be now to be able to crunch through all the data from these moves -- granted, if not siloed and jealously guarded by each brand.

Quote:
Will The RightStufAnime Website Address Change?
Branding changes have not been determined at this time. No need to update any bookmarks!
Quote:
Will Crunchyroll Subscribers Get Any Discount On Right Stuf?
Not yet but we are designing lots of new Crunchyroll subscriber benefits that will include Right Stuf! Be sure to sign up for our newsletter for the latest updates.
Source

We're probably looking at another subscription tier or price increase to current tiers with the added benefit of store discounts, etc.
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Old 2022-08-16, 09:22   Link #9
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There's a very unusual sale going on with Rightstuf atm...

A lot of titles that don't normally get any significant discounts - Ghibli, Shinkai, Kon, lesser known movies (from ages ago and about to be released) along with a few series - are 33% off.

I think they're about to clear out their stock and unleash price hell once the existing stock is gone as well as relinquish a lot of titles.

I did a tally of acquired anime (A very major chunk of it purchased in the last 12 months) and ones I still want to get from a list of anime I rate 8/10 or higher. It's about 140 titles and I own ~100 of them. 10 of them are probably never getting licensed in English so it's realistically about 30 left. I've ordered 15 of them tonight. I think I can aim for another 10 during Black Friday, Christmas or spot sales like the current one. A few may never go down due to the Aniplex factor and I might have to search very hard to find a fair price on them.

Here's my other concern - do you think that with a monopoly like this that Crunchyroll will abandon physical and even digital sales, condemning everything to streaming services only? And that when licenses run out, those titles are lost forever? I honestly fear that is what is about to come to pass. If so, welcome to hell, newer gen of anime fans.
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Old 2022-08-16, 21:20   Link #10
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I guess we'll see what it means for us
Ain't gonna get anything other than a f*** from me. I've used my sources since many years ago and it sure isn't changing any time soon if it is like this.

But maybe they will waste more Japanese original sources like Netflix. The worst that they can do. I sure got a chuckle when I learned Kakegurui had a Netflix-only season recently (only because I don't care enough about that anime)
Gosh I wish these Western companies just do original stuff and manhwa adaptions instead. I think Crunchyroll did God of War and God of Tower and God of Highschool or something like that. Just stick to that.

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If so, welcome to hell, newer gen of anime fans.
Meh them
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Old 2022-08-21, 17:50   Link #11
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Here's my other concern - do you think that with a monopoly like this that Crunchyroll will abandon physical and even digital sales, condemning everything to streaming services only? And that when licenses run out, those titles are lost forever? I honestly fear that is what is about to come to pass. If so, welcome to hell, newer gen of anime fans.
I read some analysis recently that suggested the opposite, actually -- that the industry on the whole got spooked by Netflix's revenue/growth situation, investment into streaming is slowing down, and this purchase of a retailer suggests they want to diversify their revenue and increase the emphasis on physical sales and merchandise.

I also don't think they'd have any reason to buy RightStuf (and Funimation previously) if this was "the plan" -- they could just stop putting out their shows on disc and retailers would suffer accordingly. If anything, it makes more sense to do the opposite and use this synergy to push "conversions." By owning the store themselves, they retain more of the margin, and can be a real "one-shop stop" for licensors who want to maximize their revenue potential.

Besides that... not to put too fine a point on it given this site's origins, but piracy does still exist. If they start playing too many games with catalog availability, it'll just cause an uproar with the fans and drive people to other places that won't care about licensing. Even today there are a lot of anime fans who watch "Crunchyroll shows" every week without ever visiting the site, so it's not like they can pretend they can really "disappear" a show by removing it from the site. I'm sure they are quite aware of this. Plus, any revenue licensors make from catalog shows is just gravy because production costs are already sunk, so I don't really see why they wouldn't want their shows to be available, barring very unusual licensing complications (e.g., Macross until recently). Likewise, I can't really see why they wouldn't want to get whatever revenue they can get from disc sales if possible, unless it's so unpopular they don't think the discs will breakeven.

I do think the work of archivists is important and we should be concerned about media preservation in the streaming age... but yeah, anime is the one area where I think the fans are passionate enough and there's enough a history of access issues that it'll end up being one of the better-preserved. (Now, anime-based mobile games on the other hand...)
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Old 2022-08-22, 09:46   Link #12
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I read some analysis recently that suggested the opposite, actually -- that the industry on the whole got spooked by Netflix's revenue/growth situation, investment into streaming is slowing down, and this purchase of a retailer suggests they want to diversify their revenue and increase the emphasis on physical sales and merchandise.

I also don't think they'd have any reason to buy RightStuf (and Funimation previously) if this was "the plan" -- they could just stop putting out their shows on disc and retailers would suffer accordingly. If anything, it makes more sense to do the opposite and use this synergy to push "conversions." By owning the store themselves, they retain more of the margin, and can be a real "one-shop stop" for licensors who want to maximize their revenue potential.
I guess my concerns are more of a price hike. The inability to own anime was the worst case scenario. But being priced out of doing so isn't far off and one I can see happening. Aniplex titles always seem to be absurd in price. Sincerely hope that doesn't become commonplace.

Quote:
Besides that... not to put too fine a point on it given this site's origins, but piracy does still exist. If they start playing too many games with catalog availability, it'll just cause an uproar with the fans and drive people to other places that won't care about licensing. Even today there are a lot of anime fans who watch "Crunchyroll shows" every week without ever visiting the site, so it's not like they can pretend they can really "disappear" a show by removing it from the site. I'm sure they are quite aware of this. Plus, any revenue licensors make from catalog shows is just gravy because production costs are already sunk, so I don't really see why they wouldn't want their shows to be available, barring very unusual licensing complications (e.g., Macross until recently). Likewise, I can't really see why they wouldn't want to get whatever revenue they can get from disc sales if possible, unless it's so unpopular they don't think the discs will breakeven.
Also that whole episodes appear on Youtube and get watched there along with the other obvious methods. And when licenses expire, the chance to support a place/studio is lost. I've only recently reached a place where I can properly afford to do so, but that is being exacerbated by the likelihood that a bunch of titles will vanish from being sold in the near future. Thankfully, the majority of my list is done. In the coming months, I can have that list near complete and keep an eye out for the remaining few.

Quote:
I do think the work of archivists is important and we should be concerned about media preservation in the streaming age... but yeah, anime is the one area where I think the fans are passionate enough and there's enough a history of access issues that it'll end up being one of the better-preserved. (Now, anime-based mobile games on the other hand...)
Absolutely. Thankfully enough people care. When I started watching anime proper in 2003, it was still very limited as to what you could get hold of. In hindsight, the depth of the mid 2000s is rather eye-opening once you could see all those titles. And in the early 2010s, all the early decades of anime became accessible. My concern is that amidst this opportunity, there is a trend condemning the past, even to the point of ignoring almost everything that was made before a person started watching anime. I know when people start out, they're reluctant to explore beyond the easily accessible, which is fair enough. But what drove me to stop participating in community/group gatherings/events was that there was a heavily increasing amount of people only watching shounen or isekai or the currently airing titles, giving utter contempt at the mention of anything else - not so different from the 'you're with me or against me' mentality of the modern world in general. It was what led to me finding peace with maintaining contact with only specific people with open minds that still want to discuss things patiently and provide valid differing views at various points.

I consider myself lucky as hell that Monster was licensed in full for a few years in Australia - the only place in the world that it ever was - and was able to get it. You see a lot of places still holding it in reverence, thankfully, but lamenting it not being purchasable in anime form (thankfully was in manga for them, though). But with that narrowing accessibility and range of content, it's harder to find titles beyond those genres and thus harder to find people who care enough to find them and discuss them. It it is even harder in manga. I know there are ways to, but there's an utter monolith to search through. Eventually comes down to sheer luck or a miracle license or word of mouth. Manga publishing runs are very short outside of shounen/isekai. Good luck ever getting hold of a physical copy once the run is over. Or with digital services getting very interfering with overt censoring.

And per your final point, it's even worse with games. When places like Nintendo don't make their older titles available but hunt down anyone making it available, or 'live services' being shut down for good making the game never available again, it is the true death of a product and the most tragic. Even though I don't play them, I guess a time will come that things like Genshin Impact, Fate/Grand Order and the like in the mobile realm, along with MMOs and server-based FPSs. They will hit a point where they won't be available in time.


In short, I'd like to think Crunchyroll will do the right thing. But I have my reasons to be doubtful.
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Old 2022-08-22, 21:37   Link #13
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Originally Posted by Last Sinner View Post
But what drove me to stop participating in community/group gatherings/events was that there was a heavily increasing amount of people only watching shounen or isekai or the currently airing titles, giving utter contempt at the mention of anything else - not so different from the 'you're with me or against me' mentality of the modern world in general
As far as currently airing goes, I'd say that is more to blame the fact there are so many tra... I mean, anime each season now. Watching the current season already takes up enough time.
And it's hard finding old anime, since it has been so long links and such are all dead

As for the rest, yeah, the normies. Not much you can say. Let them stick to their most popular 2 animes each season, and I'll stick to peacefully enjoying the stuff they don't make a fuss about
There is like a 50% chance a season has something that good, but well, we can only hope for a good anime each season


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In short, I'd like to think Crunchyroll will do the right thing.
Haha, nah
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Old 2022-08-23, 15:30   Link #14
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But what drove me to stop participating in community/group gatherings/events was that there was a heavily increasing amount of people only watching shounen or isekai or the currently airing titles, giving utter contempt at the mention of anything else - not so different from the 'you're with me or against me' mentality of the modern world in general. It was what led to me finding peace with maintaining contact with only specific people with open minds that still want to discuss things patiently and provide valid differing views at various points.
I was also thinking about some of this when I wrote the last post. Anime is a lot more "transient" now that we get the full firehose of content each season. It's easy for people to treat it like a more passive form of entertainment; you just watch "whatever's on" (whatever's trending) and then move onto the next thing. There are definitely more fans, but mostly aligned to whatever's new/trending. This fits with communication trends too, where a lot of the newer fandom isn't in forums, but more "real-time" communication platforms like social media and Discord (so focusing on trends is encouraged to keep momentum).

Or yeah, as serenade_beta alluded to, anime's gotten more "mainstream." As a result, people who aren't part of the trend/wave can feel left out and it can get harder to find them. I don't know if I've seen contempt exactly for things outside the mainstream, but certainly a decided lack of interest. That even occurs if you're "late to the party" -- the conversation window is very narrow and people move on very fast. And yeah, I do think this has driven a lot of people out of the anime community, along with the extreme aggressiveness in an increasingly-combative society (as you point out).

I do think there's a lot of good anime being produced (though having access to the full firehose means we also see all the less-good too), but yeah... community is harder.
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Old 2022-08-24, 00:24   Link #15
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And yeah, I do think this has driven a lot of people out of the anime community, along with the extreme aggressiveness in an increasingly-combative society (as you point out).
Definitely. There's definitely some things helping like famous people saying they like anime. However, the pushback of the people that demand that all anime fans be labelled as degenerates is also telling. The 'made by degenerates, viewed by degenerates' mantra. There's definitely a relationship between people selling anime and influencer channels like Gigguk (think he calls himself Garnt now but I can't watch him anymore either way)/The Trash Taste Podcast, Mother's Basement, etc. Insisting that shounen/isekai is the way, that 5-10 titles in any season are top level and instilling a very for us/against us mentality. It is to sell specific titles and merch and it does work. And those channels will gladly take the money every time. Just like a whole bunch of big name Twitch streamers caved into taking gambling money.

Thankfully I finally got suggested a Youtube channel by the name of Kenny Lauderdale who specifically covers anime pre-2000, so there's discussion of a lot of older/more obscure stuff. That's definitely been a relief to find.

And as serenade said, I consider it a victory to find even one title from a season that I watched all the way.
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Old 2022-08-29, 06:48   Link #16
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It's pretty clear that they're trying to position Crunchyroll as the sort of "Amazon Prime" of the anime world, with benefits across multiple channels in a single subscription. Their premium offering is already sort of positioned that way now if you look on the website, and with Right Stuf benefits eventually to be included (as strongly implied by their FAQs), it'll cement it even more.

....

Anyway... I guess we'll see what it means for us, but the reaction has been fairly negative. People certainly don't like how it seems like everything is being consolidated under one mega company that controls the market. That said... considering how the production committee system works in Japan, it's pretty much been the case that almost all the anime production side was controlled by a very small "cartel" of Japanese companies too, so it may not be that surprising. I suspect they're also looking at the interest of Netflix and Disney in this space as being what to worry about, rather than the field of tiny anime-only players the market had before.
As per the previous post I had submitted, I am new to Mange and Anime. In relation to Anime, apart from a few films in the past, I have only started watching Anime this weekend through Netflix.

I was just wondering with the potential financial leverage that for instance Chrunchyroll and Netflix could have if they can increase Western consumption of Anime, do you think they would be be involved in exercising more creative control over Anime content to make it make it, in their eyes, more commercially palatable for Western audiences?
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Old 2022-08-29, 09:00   Link #17
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As per the previous post I had submitted, I am new to Mange and Anime. In relation to Anime, apart from a few films in the past, I have only started watching Anime this weekend through Netflix.

I was just wondering with the potential financial leverage that for instance Chrunchyroll and Netflix could have if they can increase Western consumption of Anime, do you think they would be be involved in exercising more creative control over Anime content to make it make it, in their eyes, more commercially palatable for Western audiences?
You sure are new to this. The answer is no. Why? It's simple. Anime's popular overseas because western consumers like the same stuff as the Japanese for the most part, and they wouldn't have it any other way. Besides, Crunchyroll has been streaming anime for all ages since the early days, so is not like they don't know already what their audience wants. And should they step out of line, consumers will just turn to piracy and their stock will plummet.

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Old 2022-08-29, 13:28   Link #18
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You sure are new to this. The answer is no. Why? It's simple. Anime's popular overseas because western consumers like the same stuff as the Japanese for the most part, and they wouldn't have it any other way. Besides, Crunchyroll has been streaming anime for all ages since the early days, so is not like they don't know already what their audience wants. And should they step out of line, consumers will just turn to piracy and their stock will plummet.
It's reassuring there is piracy to fall back on if things go south and Chrunchyroll turns all corporate by turning against their customers for a quick buck to suit the quarterly shareholder report.

I'm going to keep positive though and hope that it doesn't get to that :-)
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Old 2022-08-30, 13:32   Link #19
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I was just wondering with the potential financial leverage that for instance Chrunchyroll and Netflix could have if they can increase Western consumption of Anime, do you think they would be be involved in exercising more creative control over Anime content to make it make it, in their eyes, more commercially palatable for Western audiences?
This has been going on for some time now. Here's a list of so-called "Netflix original" shows."

https://www.whats-on-netflix.com/originals/anime/

For some of them, Netflix largely slapped a label on an existing production. Others wouldn't have seen the light of day without Netflix funding. I'm especially impressed that they backed Iso Mitsuo's first new show since 2007's Dennou Coil, https://myanimelist.net/anime/37914/...Shounen_Shoujo, and picked up the license for Coil as well.

As for Crunchyroll, read this: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/fea...saster/.173347

Still, the vast majority of anime is made by Japanese creators for Japanese audiences.
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Old 2022-09-01, 05:40   Link #20
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This has been going on for some time now. Here's a list of so-called "Netflix original" shows."

https://www.whats-on-netflix.com/originals/anime/

For some of them, Netflix largely slapped a label on an existing production. Others wouldn't have seen the light of day without Netflix funding. I'm especially impressed that they backed Iso Mitsuo's first new show since 2007's Dennou Coil, https://myanimelist.net/anime/37914/...Shounen_Shoujo, and picked up the license for Coil as well.

As for Crunchyroll, read this: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/fea...saster/.173347

Still, the vast majority of anime is made by Japanese creators for Japanese audiences.
From reading the articles and comments from ANN, it is fair to say that a lot of these original series from these streaming channels are American cartoons created by Japanese animators.

For me to that is new to Anime, I'm seeing it from a different perspective. I've never been into comics or animated content until now but I'm into science-fiction and there isn't anything good in that genre being produced now and animated shows can give stuff to watch.

I've watched a few episodes of Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2045. I haven't seen anything else of that franchise apart from the 2017 movie but first impression of the show is that SAC 2045 has a lot of good ideas in it but is average in execution. However, having an new average sci-fi is better than not having one.

In terms of Anime that is being produced solely for the Japanese market in mind, from what I've seen, I get an impression of artistic and creative freedom which while I can't comment on Western animation, I can say that I don't see the same level of freedom in Western live action stuff.

An example of this is Neon Genesis Evangelion. When watching it, it reminded me a lot of the work done by David Cronenberg and David Lynch when they had the freedom to create the vision they wanted for their films. You don't see that kind of creativity now, at least not in mainstream movies.

To cap off, at least I'm starting to get a bit of an idea of what to watch and what to avoid.
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