Opinion Prone

My opinions, let me tell them to you.

Well, that didn’t take long.

When Viz broke the news about streaming Naruto Shippuden, I began counting the days until someone would announce a near-simultaneous release for a new series as opposed to an established series. Now, less than a month later and after a good bit of hype, Bandai announces that its new license is Kurokami, an anime based on a Korean manhwa (licensed by Yen Press) set to start airing next season! Apparently, it will also begin airing on IATV next season, with each episode airing in Japan, South Korea, and the United States within 24 hours…dubbed! That’s definitely a huge surprise. To think that they actually dubbed off of pencil tests and unfinished animation just to be able to get this release together on time. That’s all kinds of wow. The domestic DVD release is supposed to follow the airing, so it’s likely we’ll get the DVDs around the same time as well.

Of course, this doesn’t exactly follow the groundbreaking Naruto announcement in that this title won’t be streaming online. A near-simultaneous dub is certainly a more impressive feat, but on a channel that not a lot of people get? I don’t know if my family gets IATV here, but I know for sure that the cable my college supplies isn’t going to have it, so there will be no way for me to catch this on TV. Kurokami was one of the few series I was actually planning on watching next season, so this is really disappointing. But there’s this to consider too: if the whole point of near-simultaneous releases is to deter pirating, why would Bandai skip an online streaming release?

I don’t have a poll to confirm this, but I suspect that a vast majority of the otaku population that cares enough to watch series as they air in Japan prefers subs over dubs, or these days, even streaming over broadcasting. I’ve always felt that dubs/broadcasts were more suitable for the more casual fan who will turn something on because it’s there and convenient. They aren’t the ones that will sit around in the wee hours of morning Sundays waiting for the next Code Geass. The ones that have been clamouring for near-simultaneous releases are not the causal viewers. Okay, so maybe not many casual viewers would even bother with a channel that isn’t Sci-Fi or [adult swim], but I’m predicting now that Kurokami will still be pirated significantly because 1) there won’t be an official online stream, whether subbed or dubbed, 2) not enough people who want to watch the series have IATV.

Come on, Bandai. Give us an online stream too…?

Regardless of whether they decide to or not though, this is amazing news. We just keep taking more and more steps towards what everyone wants, and that’s exciting. At least the DVD releases will be pretty on top of each other, right? I’m thinking it won’t be long until someone else does a near-simultaneous online stream for a new series though. In the meantime, if subbers decide to sub this, I’ll probably still be getting Kurokami that way. :>

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  1. Jarmel on December 14, 2008 9:30 pm

    Well we don’t know if there will be an online stream or not. However the US anime companies are finally getting it gear with the distribution method. I hope this is a new trend and I think the new FMA will probably be next as any US company KNOWS that is a goldmine right there. It might take longer though due to fighting over the license.

  2. Kiriska on December 14, 2008 9:45 pm

    True that nothing official has been announced about streams yet, but I would think that if they were planning to do it, putting everything together in one big press release will be the way to go. I'm not going overly surprised if the announcement never comes, anyway.

    Considering how much of a powerhouse FUNi has become recently, I don't really anticipate a big fight over FMA's license. As far as a near-simultaneous release goes though… it's interesting to consider. I wonder if FMA's place as an established franchise matters at all? I mean, on one hand, not many people know about Kurokami yet, so releasing it quickly will theoretically clamp down on pirates. On the other hand, because FMA already has such a big fanbase, it may not really matter how quickly the sequel rolls out because people will watch it regardless. Not sure if I make sense. :>

  3. Jarmel on December 14, 2008 10:04 pm

    Well it depends what Funimation’s goal is. If it is to increase popularity by doing a simultaneous airing then no FMA would not benefit. If it was to decrease pirating then this would be the way to go. I thought Druaga was pretty much a success in that part(although lack of HD makes me a sad puppy). Also even though Funi is pretty much the largest player, Bandai might try and scrape together enough money to bid for it since they know they will make oogles of money.

  4. Kiriska on December 14, 2008 10:20 pm

    Well, I think there will need to be a few more steps yet before there’s a significant drop in piracy. FMA’s popularity is a double-edged sword — assuming Bandai decides not to do an online stream, if they go that route and shoot for a near-sim dub broadcast instead of a stream, there will undoubtedly still be a bunch of fansubs floating around just because some people prefer online to broadcasts and subs to dubs. If they DO decide to stream it though, that’ll be something…

    Still, gia makes a good point here in pointing out that Japanese companies are hesitant to release things near-sim with the rest of the world because so much reverse importations happen. With online streams, restricting them to certain regions only works as long as people forget that proxies exist, etc.

  5. Jarmel on December 14, 2008 10:29 pm

    Well I think the Japanese have learned recently that even waiting so they can release DVDs doesn’t really help as the people who were going to buy the DVDs still are if they like the show and the leechers will still leech. For the Japanese buying US dvds, well it doesn’t really matter that much I think in the long run as the people who were gonna import would just wait. This might increase it by a small amount but if the Japanese start to get some of the US sales then it might start to benefit them too. This might also cut down on fansubs world wide thus giving a better bottom line. A proxy won’t solve anything but it would be a start I guess.

    It seems that it would be pretty easy to get it on Adult Swim too. Then they could do a HD streaming broadcast online for a certain amount of time like three days. Also releasing the DVDs asap probably will cut down on the high quality pirates.

  6. Anonymous on December 14, 2008 11:32 pm

    I’d bet $20 that there’ll be an online stream as well.

  7. Kiriska on December 15, 2008 2:46 am

    I really like [as]’s online stream system, but in general, I’ve lost faith in their treatment of anime, especially after the whole fiasco with Code Geass and Moribito. It seems obvious that their original content gets them far more revenue, so it isn’t worth it to them to mess with anime anymore. If there’s an online stream, I’d bet on more Crunchyroll deals.


  1. Opinion Prone :: News :: FMA: Brotherhood to be Simulcast
  2. Opinion Prone :: Dropped :: Dropped: Kurokami
  3. Opinion Prone :: Dropped :: Dropped: Kurokami