This is not a thread for discussing random anime shows. Don't even try.
Background info first.
The western anime market has been steadily falling since being estimated at around $550 million in 2003 (Pokemon/Yugioh/DBZ boom) and ICv2 has it down to around $160-200 million last year. Even while the Japanese anime market was going berserk (~2002-2006 was a crazy bubble), the US market has been steadily falling apart.
Since the complaint from fans was that DVDs took too long to reach the west, there's been a huge push in the US market to move to a 'simulcast' streaming model for licensing. This has resulted in almost all shows in recent seasons being licensed for distribution as they are produced and then officially distributed with subtitles within a day to a week by services like Crunchyroll, Funimation, The Anime Network, etc. If you pay, you can get those subs a week earlier than free users and use their archives.
However, the increase in streaming has not stemmed the western decline at all. It's clear at this point that it is not
the answer to save western distribution. It has found a measure of success simply by dint of stripping away costs like packaging, store distribution, English voice acting, etc, which I believe in the long run is going to end up shrinking the market by making it even more inaccessible to the general public. Furthermore, unlike western services like Hulu, the Japanese production companies are completely divorced from the online western distribution companies. This is compounded by the fact that these distributors are incompetent as fuck. Unaired episodes are leaked all the time, and in perhaps the biggest display of chutzpah in this whole debacle, even as Anime News Network is condemning people for "illegally distributing" an episode
that they uploaded and put zero security on this afternoon, their own writers are posting proof positive
that they're using illegally distributed fansubs.
I just thought ANN's rampant blatant hypocrisy was funny.
There's a further issue with the difference between the economic model between Japan and the west. Broadcast anime is done at a huge loss. Most of it airs at fuckall o'clock and studios have to purchase airtime. There is little to no profit to be made from advertising or the like. Almost everything comes from DVD sales, or in the case of primetime shows (Naruto, Bleach, PreCure, etc), merchandising. This results in the infamous overpriced DVDs that cost two or three times as much for half the number of episodes as western shows. Furthermore, licenses being held by multiple companies means that DVDs are becoming less common in the western market. Crunchyroll in particular owns dozens of licenses, and has only released a single DVD (5cm per Second). In effect, they have created a new revenue source by completely killing the old one.
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So in review.
The western anime market has been collapsing for a long time since it peaked in 2003. Attempts at streaming have failed to stop or even slow this. The streamers are incompetent as hell and blatently violating the very practice that they're trying to encourage in the US market.
Is it fixable at this point? How? How do you reconcile the two disparate economic models on the global scale?
Personally, I think the market is pretty well fucked at this point and it's only a matter of time before Japanese companies get fed up with the constant fuckups and lack of control and try to handle it themselves, thereby essentially eliminating western distributors altogether. I'm amazed that they haven't
simply hired a couple professionals and taken personal control of at least translation and distribution given how frequent fuckups are. The super popular stuff that has plenty of merchandising dollars to be made will still make it over and be vomitted up on Adut Swim at 11pm on Saturdays, but streaming has obviously not been the answer to save the western market and instead, the main thing it seems to be accomplishing is killing the (admittedly already failed) DVD market. It doesn't help that the streamers have been mostly inept too, but western anime distributors being hypocritical jackoffs is nothing new. I figure that it's only a matter of time before one of the streamers fucks up badly enough to remove any and all faith that they're worth dealing with anymore.
As a side note, it's somewhat baffling to me that Japan hasn't embraced the internet age with respect to media at all. They still sell massively expensive singles on CD for example and seem allergic to decent web design. They're weird.