Cons are cancelled, films and dubs are on hiatus
by Bob Johnson
Keep your oba-sans and oji-sans in mind. These are troubling times. There’s no Cells At Work! episode specifically for this, but there ought to be. What we do know is that as long as you plan to Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken, you can keep them off your face, too!
The anime industry is always the first to say there’s more important things out there. After the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake, a lot of works were disrupted or postponed while people picked up their lives, broadcasters had critical news to deliver, and everyone in Japan banded together to save electricity.
The global pandemic, which had been quiet for a time in Japan, has recently surged even there, and the list of COVID cancellations in the Anime industry will come from both ends, as production and distribution slows down in Japan, and here in North America, where conventions are cancelled and simuldubs have already ground to a halt.
Japan’s recent declaration of a state of emergency is likely to turn the lives upside down, as dedicated animators and otaku alike find themselves locked out of their usual environs. Another downer was how KyoAni was all set for its triumphant return with its Violet Evergarden movie this month, but was forced to postpone, another setback for the brilliant, beautiful studio still devastated by arson.
At least Hideaki Anno has found a silver lining to this cloud – EVA 3.0+1.0 doesn’t have to be rushed out the door by June 27 anymore! And well, there’s the option for fans everywhere to watch anime all day!
Simulsubs continue for shows still being released each week, and there’s a bit of good news on the free legal streaming front. HIDIVE is making an effort to embed more shows at anime aggregation sites like anime-planet and MyAnimeList. So far the rollout on MAL seems to be for newer HIDIVE exclusives, like the infamous Domestic Girlfriend. Instead of subscribing, you have to put up with ads, so YMMV. This is in addition to what’s already out there from hulu and Crunchyroll.
If anything, this slowdown has given fans an opportunity to focus on their watchlists, maybe write a ‘Zine, I dunno. Even with the slowdown, the anime community is still making more amazing fanart than ever. We’ll pull though. Soon enough, we’ll all be back to abnormal!