Hey everywhere. I’ve been sick for a few days so I didn’t write anything new until last night. I am feeling a lot better right now though I watched a few shows on Netflix when I was sick and I want to talk about it and those two shows at some point. Not sure when…but BEWARE. Muahahaha.
At this moment, streaming is the most important part of the anime industry outside of Japan. Since the internet has gotten better and better, streaming from computers and different devices like gaming platforms and smart phones allows us to watch anime anywhere at any time. There is also this thing called Simulcasting. That thing that allows us foreigners to get anime immediately from Japan as early as an hour after it airs in Japan. This comes from legal services like Crunchyroll, Daisuki, Amazon Strike as the newest thing, hulu sometimes, and some other services that I don’t use. Compared to the past, right now is the best time to be an anime fan because of how legally available it is right now. If you know about these services, then you would know that Netflix doesn’t adhere to many of those things those others do and how much Netflix lives by its own rules. Netflix’s main purpose is not centered around anime, but they do play a role in it while also hindering it at the same time. Like so many other things, this situation is complicated.
Let’s start this off by stating some of the good that Netflix does for the anime industry. Since not many people use Netflix for the purpose of anime watching, it’s a great way for people to get started. Netflix’s selection of anime is limited, but it is diverse enough to give people a feeling of what the art form can do. I wish there was more, but who knows how those complicated Netflix wheel and deal things work. But I digress, whenever somebody who is bored and looking through Netflix for something new to watch, anime is an option for them to try out. Especially if these theoretical people want something unusual, different, and interesting that can’t be seen anywhere but anime. They might find one series to watch, then go onto another one, then they might be hooked for life. The chances of that might be low, but that’s anime. It’s a niche art form. While it is growing fandom, the audience is a lot smaller compared to a lot of things from western media. Unfortunately, it’s not for everyone.
The next positive thing that Netflix does for the industry are some of its exclusives. I’m not talking about tv shows that aired like Knights of Sidonia, Ajin, The Little Witch Academia TV series that is airing now in Japan, but the movies and specials that aren’t seen anywhere else. Gantz: 0 is something that came out last year and now it’s available worldwide legally. The same can be said for the Little Witch Academia ovas/movies and Cyborg 009: Call of Justice. These are exclusive things that aren’t available anywhere else but Netflix. There is also a Blame movie that is coming out exclusively to Netflix later this year, which is something that I am looking forward to a lot. When they obtain unique series, movies, and OVAS that came out recently, but aren’t airing, they are fantastic. Since Netflix is worldwide and has a lot of money, they can do this and dub each series in a wide variety of languages for worldwide release. If there is anything Netflix knows how to do, it’s getting a wide variety of people to watch their stuff. Even if they aren’t an anime focused platform, they know a lot of tricks on how to get an audience to come back to them. Netflix’s main problem comes in to play when it goes against the grains of how the anime industry works right now.
Netflix’s business model is so different compared every other anime streaming service right now. Every streaming site besides Netflix releases new episodes of airing anime within a day of when they air in Japan. If you have stuck around Netflix for even a short amount of time, they like releasing their media all at once or one entire cour at a time for currently airing anime series. Netflix released Kuromukuro 13 episodes at the end of each season instead of one episode per week, and that made the wait for the second season terrible. I’m pretty sure that Netflix is going to handle Little Witch Academia (TV Series) the same way. Waiting for one week per show is hard enough, but waiting an entire season for a cour to finish is ever worse then that. I know that there are many of you out there that like binge watching shows, but I can’t do that. For one thing, I don’t have enough time to do that anymore and for another, a show has to suck me in completely for me to binge watch it. That doesn’t happen that often anymore. But enough about me, Netflix is still moving against the anime industry’s model. Having anime right now on demand is way it has all demanded and it’s incredibly frustrating, because Netflix does have the resources to simulcast series. I hear they are doing that in Japan right now. Why can’t they launch titles with subtitles everywhere right now and do whatever they wanted with dubs later on?
So in conclusion, I think that the positive way that Netflix affects the anime industry more than outweighs the negatives. Especially for people who just got into watching anime, casual fans, and anime fans who use Netflix for other reasons then watching anime. It’s just not a good platform for exclusive anime watching. Netflix is more interested in having a broad library of selections to watch then focusing on something niche like Anime. Besides, Crunchyroll is cheaper and while Hulu’s anime library has diminished recently, Hulu still has a wider variety of good anime series to watch. Still, the things Netflix has can’t usually be found anywhere else. Netflix’s exclusives are worth picking it up sometimes. Depends on your own tastes though.