Don’t @ Me: Seven of my Anime Opinions: Crunchyroll and Funimation Edition

I feel like we’ve been here before, have we been here before?

Eh, welcome to Don’t @ Me, the place where, like the deja-vu Subaru feels when he time-loops, I am here to beat a dead horse about shit I’ve already talked about. This week, it’s more in the ongoing saga of Anime streaming sites being bought out, and what that may or may not mean. Pull up a chair and let’s get into it after the cut.

Ah shit here we go again : Animemes
Beat this dead horse!

1. So, if you weren’t aware. Sony Entertainment is in final talks to purchase Crunchyroll from AT&T. As Sony owns Funimation, this would give the company an almost complete monopoly on the anime streaming services in the west. With only Netflix (and I mean REALLY, NETFLIX is going to be the alternative?) and a few minor ones left behind.

2. I am of two minds of this. In the short term, it is good for customers, because it means only one streaming subscription and a one-stop shop for all your anime. In the long term I am, like the last time we talked about this, holding my breath.

3. I said it before, but Anime doesn’t need its own version of Steam, a de-facto monopoly that is judge, jury and executioner on everything in the western anime industry. Even more, we don’t need Sony, whose video game department (that yes, is NOT part of this or has any stake in this deat at all), has been leaning more into censorship of ecchi-titles in recent years, being in charge.

4. Because monopolies lead to laziness, arrogance, and stagnation. As much as it sucked for customers to have to have multiple streaming services, it did mean that they had to fight to get anime on their platform. They didn’t turn their nose up at certain series or refuse to lisence this or that show because of “company standards” it was a competition, so they had to get what they could. Competition that keeps the industry on its toes, instead of languishing on the throne for years (see Blizzard Entertainment) isn’t good for the overall health of anime in the west.

5. Then of course, there is the fear (possible unfounded, but still there) that as Anime inches ever closer to the mainstream, it will become increasingly scrutinized by people without the years of reconciliation and acceptance from the other parts of the fandom. Fanservice and Ecchi will be the first thing in the crosshairs, and no one, NO ONE wants to see the shitstorm that will come from poking that hornet’s nest.

6. And look, this isn’t the first time, or (the last) that I’ve talked about or will talk about it. I hate sounding like a doomsayer, but I only say it because I am certain that something will probably happen. Granted Anime is a better place to weather the storm for multiple reasons (Japan still holds tight control, sex sells, and anime has a colorful and diverse fanbase), but that still doesn’t mean it won’t be painful for all sides involved. 

7. And while I don’t subscribe to this anti-funimation stance that many fans seem to have. (Yes, they’ve played loose with a few dub scripts, but they’ve honestly done an admirable job) I do think giving one company that much power is not a good thing. Even if it is benefits viewers in the short term. Because ask yourself this, is saving a couple bucks a month on streaming sites, REALLY worth what might happen?

8. But that is just my view, and I’ve seen and spoken to people who seem happy about this, and yes, it’s going to be good having one shop again (and honestly, this really means we are just going back to the Crunch-Funimation partnership of a few years back), but I just want to paint a bigger picture. It may not happen, I could very well be talking out of my ass, but it’s still worth discussion.

9. But the biggest hope here is that maybe they’ll FINALLY make a streaming app that isn’t complete fucking ass. But that might be too much to ask.

10. Here is some anime butt

9 thoughts on “Don’t @ Me: Seven of my Anime Opinions: Crunchyroll and Funimation Edition

  1. Feels bad about Blizzard. Just another case of a gaming company that lived so long that it became the villain. But I guess that’s basically all companies once they go public and behold themselves to only making money and nothing else.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I think even then, the real problem is just when a company beholds itself to shareholders which then change its focus from making good games to just making money at all costs. But yeah, arrogance definitely plays a role where companies think they can get away with cutting corners to make that money.

        It’s a good thing that Steam is so accessible to new game creators and smaller companies so we aren’t forced to stick with the big publishers.

        Like

      • But Steam, being the only store in town hasn’t been rosy either. They get to have too much power in picking and choosing what goes on the store. Look at the struggle VNs have had getting onto the site.

        Like

      • Sure but for the majority of indie devs its the best option. Rather than try to push your product onto one of many splintered platforms, you can get basically your entire audience on one platform, without any barrier to entry in terms of cost.

        Considering Steam has been expanding rapidly in the porn game direction, I can’t imagine issues like some VNs are having will stick around for long. With so many games being brought onto the platform they’re guaranteed to make mistakes on both ends, allowing and denying.

        Like

  2. Fanservice and Ecchi and loli and stuff that is too violent or too cerebral or too candid about alternative sexuality or doesn’t take the politically correct view of particular minorities… Essentially the mediocrity of the market will take over and the heckler’s veto will rule.

    OTOH is is possible for a replacement site for alternative titles to rise up if there is enough interest. We can only hope. Money will flow if the viewers will go.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think personally its a case of culture conflict. The western anime industry is much more monopolized than the Japan side in my opinion. Not to mention the social media side of things paints a more negative depiction of western anime business, from controversies, actors, scripts etc. I don’t think the Crunchyroll acquisition will or should cause any real rifts in the industry, but if it does…well its free drinks on me. Great post, really fun to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Funimation is owned by a different branch of Sony than the one that is negotiating for Crunchyroll. Assuming that they’ll be consolidated into one service is… a pretty huge leap.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I wonder what role Amazon (which still has some exclusives) or Hidive will play. I probably should just research it instead of bringing it up here…

    As someone who actually does like a lot of what capitalism offers, I have to say that when you talk about the downsides of monopolies, you’re spot on. Nothing kills the capitalist spirit faster than a monopoly. The dynamic of competition forces businesses to innovate to attract customers. If they’re the only game in town…

    Well, the implication is obvious.

    Liked by 1 person

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