Don’t @ Me: Seven of my Anime Opinions: Anime Tube Edition

It’s Monday, I got a throat infection and it’s time for this! Welcome to Don’t @ Me! The place where like the Nintendo Switch OLED, I do the bare minimum to give you my thoughts and views on everything anime and manga. This week we talk about anime-tube and some other shit. Let’s get into it after the cut.

Fansub Failure: When Things Don'T Go According to Keikaku
Sure…where is the car?
  1. If you aren’t aware, this week had the entire anime community join together to mock and lambast a kickstarter called Anime-tube, an attempt to create a brand new streaming service away from the ‘corruption’ of Crunchyroll and Funimation. Many thought it was a scam, and the moment anyone did research, the entire thing fell apart. The kickstarter was dropped, the twitter was deleted and everyone had a good laugh.

2. Personally, I think that the entire thing was a scam, but if it wasn’t, then it was completely fucking naïve. If I believe that these people were genuine, then they were probably the stupidest people on the planet, with absolutely no knowledge of how the anime industry works, especially now that streaming anime is the new hot thing.

3. And I get it. While I don’t have the hatred for Crunchyroll and Funimation that some people have, I do understand that there is a feeling that anime might becoming too corporate. With Netflix now making anime a focus, and the ever present fear of Disney getting involved, we are now far removed from the fan-sub era, where fan ownership of series kept the entire western anime fandom alive.

4. Which we owe so much to. Whatever your feelings of anime piracy, the fan-sub era is a monumentally important time for the fandom. It held the western anime world together while the companies tried to catch up. It propelled so many famous series to beloved status. There would be no anime the way we see it today, without the fan-sub era. It deserves our respect and praise.

5. But again, those days are over. We can view anime legally and 98% of the time, with minimal censorship or translation issues. It is not perfect, it never has been, and I share some people’s views of some translators taking work into their own hands (See the recent stuff about Jobless and other light novels), but we are in an objectively better place than we were even five years ago.

6. So while I think this whole incident was a scam, and a laughable one at that. I do think it shows a bit of a window into the increasing conflict between anime fans. I’ve banged this drum a hundred times, but when anime fully enters the mainstream (I.E, Hollywood or Disney decides they want a piece of the market), then it will become a battlefield. Who wins is up to history to decide.

7. The Rising of the Shield Hero (which, my god, do some people just fucking hate for no reason) has been delayed until 2022. A bummer, but if this extra time prevents it from going down the same bad-CGI route like So I am a Spider? Then I’ll wait.

8 thoughts on “Don’t @ Me: Seven of my Anime Opinions: Anime Tube Edition

  1. I only caught the tail of the Anime-tube debacle but it had to be a scam. I don’t want to believe that people are really that stupid, but then the pandemic has proved that true over and over again.

    Going to put my grumpy old man hat on here and complain about these ungrateful youngsters. I will never understand the hatred CR and Funi get. If, like me, you were around for the VHS era of anime then you probably see streaming for what it is – bloody convenient and cheap. I would spend more buying two VHS copies a month than I do on 3 streaming services.

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  2. A somewhat legitimate problem with the increased corporatization of the anime industry is the increasing demands for more and more anime content without any increase in wages of animators. Anime studios pretend to themselves that they are just the same scrappy indie heroes of the 1960s and 1970s instead of modern corporations with obligations to their stock holders and/owners, customers, and yes employees. But this is a long term problem of late stage capitalism all over the world and is not unique to the anime industry.

    The other problem that I see is about six complaints a day on the Crunchyroll Reddit about their various apps and their apparent failures. Getting an app to work with every possible configuration of app and Internet is a challenge that I am glad that I do not have to support.

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    • “But this is a long term problem of late stage capitalism all over the world and is not unique to the anime industry.”

      I’ve been thinking a lot about the failures of capitalism (I know — that’s dangerous!). the more I think about it, though, the more I see only one solution: Appropriate configuration and management of the incentives. Which, in the US at least, _should_ be done at the level of the People (i.e., government).

      So, yeah, we’re screwed.

      But there’s no other mechanism to get the creative teams more influence and support (including salary). There is no such thing as a free market. Humans created markets; we gave them rules, and the “free” flow of capital is simply following the rules we setup to govern it.

      “The other problem that I see is about six complaints a day on the Crunchyroll Reddit about their various apps and their apparent failures.”

      On behalf of programmers everywhere, I’m glad to see you understand that supporting these different configurations is hard! That said, I’ve noticed a significant up-tick in problems. That’s at the same time the major OS providers Microsoft and Apple are producing the most complete and powerful frameworks ever. It’s my impression that business managers have hijacked the whole “fail forward” philosophy of Agile software development. Instead of being a way for developers to be more creative and pour out functionality, it gave business folks (the MBA is the bane of our existence, I think) excuses to gut QA budgets.

      I actually see a lot of parallels between how developers and animators get treated. For now, developers have an advantage, because business managers have no recourse but to rely on developers. But if AIs start programming…

      Liked by 1 person

    • I wrote about this before, about how this break-neck pace to meet demand may very well cause an ‘anime crash’ and no one wants that.

      In terms of CR/Funi, I do see some of the complaints of translators playing loose with dub scripts, and those are valid complaints, especially for anyone who lived through the 4kids/Toonami era. But I think it is also just a bunch of people looking for someone or something to direct misguided anger at.

      That Jobless Light novel stunt was pure bullshit though.

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  3. It has been a few months, but the Trash Taste podcast had one of the Jojo Animators (Ken Arto) on their 36th episode. According to him, many studios use the “free” version of Blender for animation and have started using services like Fiver to hire animators because there just is not enough Japanese ones. Apparently the best way to NOT get into art school in Japan is to use a manga or anime style. Something is going to break sooner than later.

    I know about programing because I am a scientific instrument guy and I wrote a LOT of programs that took the text-to-file output of the instrument and stripped the info out of it and sent it to our Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). Nothing special but nothing like getting in at 6:30 AM to find the reports to marketing are not going out because someone updated the software of an instrument and thus the text output and being blamed for them not telling me to see if my program needed updating the day before. So I imagine that app programmers have it far worse.

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  4. I also don’t have that hatred for the big streaming anime services that some do. I have subscriptions to them myself, so I’d be a hypocrite to say I hate them anyway, but I agree that a lot of that hate is misplaced.

    But I’m also not looking forward to anime’s totally mainstream future if that’s where it’s headed. We’ve seen plenty of calls for Japan to “clean up their act” with regard to manga and anime, and they’ll only get louder if this trend continues. It makes sense that a proposal like Anime Tube would get support, despite being clearly a scam or at best extremely misguided and poorly planned, since they seemed to play on that fear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A lot of the support to Anime tube comes from that fear I think. The fear that when anime hits mainstream, it will be forced to comply with western standards, meaning things like ecchi and fanservice will be the first thing in the crosshairs.

      Also, I think there is a big fear that the strides made in manga over the decades in terms of diversity and variety of stories (and I mean real diversity, not corporate pandering) will be ignored.

      Who knows, Japan still holds the reins and holds them damn tight.

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