I love when the mainstream media tackles anime. Tomorrow’s New York Times’ features a story about the business opportunities in streaming anime. In its discussion of what shows work, the articles drops this great quote: “The small but avid audience is made up of mostly male viewers aged 18 to 34. Distributors said comedies, sports shows and anything aimed at women tend to not work.”
Licensing agreements are usually kept top secret for business reasons. That is, until one company (allegedly) breaches the agreement and then goes bankrupt. At that point the court system takes over and the dirty laundry become public. That is exactly what happened when 4Kids got Yu-Gi-Oh! from TV Tokyo.
The upshot of the fighting is that anime fans get a backstage pass to see what an important license contract says. The language of this contract helps explain why, how, and in what form anime is released outside of Japan. Here I’ll discuss form, namely why 4Kids had the right to butcher Yu-Gi-Oh!. The short answer: TV Tokyo said they could.
Series like Blood-C catch my eye. At some point during its airing, I got the impression it was bad: the weekly reviews at Sea Slugs and Moe Sucks say as much and more, but since finishing, I’ve also read takes at chaostangent and S01E01 that say the opposite. Having now seen it for myself over the last week, I agree more with the latter blogs. Like all series that seem to require a little patience, Blood-C has ended up being quite underrated.
.hack//SIGN was one of the first anime shown by Cartoon Network and it left a lasting, negative impression on me: an otherwise brilliant show with a plot that went nowhere. .Hack//Quantum is the latest iteration of the series. It is .hack//SIGN as it should have been. It’s not a remake, just a three episode version with a similar story. It’s not perfect, but if it had come out eight years ago it could have provided a foundation for subsequent stories. But this late in the game it is underwhelming.
Whitebeard was always a big, strong guy, then he ate the Earthquake fruit and became feared the world over. He could’ve turned the planet upside-down, but didn’t. He was a cool guy, and watching him lead his men in such an era-shifting arc of One Piece was brilliant.
Digital is the future of video media. Funimation’s announcement of a new premium streaming service this weekend shows that it recognizes what it needs to do to maximize its profits. Up until now, Funimation mostly used streaming to advertise its physical disc releases. I think this announcement reveals the company’s true online strategy, to use streaming as the primary source of Funimation’s profits.