You shouldn’t be watching

How anime is getting mighty hard to see
Bob Johnson

Your Shows Suck, Japan

What is out there right now for the slightly-less-socially-awkward American that wants to zone out for maybe 24 minutes a week watching something exciting, or at least entertaining?

Um… maybe Space Brothers? Aaaaaand… I guess there’s some shojo stuff. I thought Moyashimon already ran its course, but I guess it needed to be resurrected with moar moé.

But seriously, who watches some of these things? A harem anime set in warring-states Japan? Another little sister show?

Anime is one of Japan’s key exports, but at this rate, there’s going to be a black hole in my purchasing schedule in about 18 months.

And your contracts suck, too.

Under normal conditions, imported titles are the best of the best of the best (sir!). But this is an odd time, between the recession, and the slow death of the DVD, and a major case of big Japanese companies cutting out the American middleman, and then giving up on America entirely. I’m looking at you, Bandai!

We’re already down TokyoPop and ADV. Odds seem good that before this slump is through, us fans will be down one more import house.

That’ll be bad news for down the road. As business relationships dry up, the opportunities for fans to get the anime they want will too.

Already, we can see the heavy hand of certain studios in the American market, doing ridiculous things like trying Japan-style single disc releases, at ridiculously inflated Japanese prices.

Unskippable Hell

And then there’s the final insult, when Funimation throws on unskippable ads on their DVDs. I like watching the odd preview on my own time, but when there’s unwelcome interruptions to my Panty and Stocking dub marathon, heads are going to roll.

Shape up, Funimation. I understand your contracts pin you uncomfortably high on the price curve. You do a pretty good job with your dubs. But the in-your-face ads are too much.

It’s a fairly simple principle: You shouldn’t have to pay to be treated like shit.

Unfortunately, with the way things are going, the time may come when we’re all paying $25 a month for Netflix, Crunchyroll, and Funimation membership, which still fail to get the rights to that one awesome show we’ve waited for… and we’ll still have to sit through adbot spam during the commercial breaks.

Prove me wrong, anime industry. Please.

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