Anime News Miscellany – 3/30/17

Three (anime related) things that happened yesterday and which I wrote up brief commentary on while not working on my season summary.  Fortunately, Maid Dragon is stretching into next week so I can justify giving myself a few more days to work on it.

After the jump, Ghibli, Gundam, and Amazon…


Ghibli Film Festival this summer!

In response to the success of the Spirited Away special event last year six Ghibli films will be shown as part of a Fathom Event this summer and fall –  TotoroKiki, Castle in the SkyNausicaäSpirited Away, and Howl’s.

We’re pretty lucky, a local indy theatre has been working their way through Ghibli’s oeuvre…  so I don’t know how motivated I am to go see these.  If they’re screening at a local theatre (as Spirited Away was last year), fine.  But otherwise I’m not sure I want to drive to Seattle.  (The theatre such things generally show at in Seattle is an hour and a half away!  Not to mention the costs of gas, bridge toll, and meals.)  Except for Nausicaä, I’ll definitely drive to Seattle for Nausicaä.

I’m not sure what it says about me that I’m more comfortable with Ghibli in dub than I am with sub.  Maybe because that’s how I first encountered them?

Speaking of Ghibli, last week we went and saw Ocean Waves at the aforementioned indy theatre, and were disappointed.  The setup was interesting, but the execution was lacking and ultimately the story just petered out.

Crunchyroll adds G Gundam!

Crunchyroll has been adding Gundam series left and right over the last few weeks…  and now they’ve added a piece of cheese that’s close to my heart – G Gundam!  I watched G back when it aired on Toonami in the early oughts, and loved the heck out of it.  With considerably more developed tastes, I wonder what I’d think of it today?  Though it is part of what eventually lead me to becoming the otaku I am today, I’m not sure it would stand up to a rewatch, especially since at 49 episodes it would be a serious investment of time.

OK, maybe a few select episodes.  (Checked ’em out and they’re subbed…  not what I was hoping for.   But they’re still cheesy.)

Amazon and anime…

It appears that the much-anticipated Sword Oratoria will be airing on exclusively on Amazon Strike, and the ‘net is awash with moans and gnashing of teeth.   Between Netflix hoarding episodes until they can release them en bloc and Amazon Strike’s double paywall,  Western anime fandom is pretty unhappy right now…

Though I am loath to say this, the world is changing and you’re looking at the future of streaming anime.  All three Big Boys (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu) have dabbled over the last couple of years, but now I think the tipping point has been reached…  The Big Boys and their deep pockets are here, and they’re here to stay.  Anime is a growing niche, and one thing the Big Boys are very, very, good at is exploiting niche markets.  (It’s one of their main leverage points over network TV.)   Crunchyroll and Funimation already knew this, hence the ‘Crunchymation‘ partnership last year.

It’s hard to say what the fallout will be (bar more wailing and gnashing of teeth), because they can hardly bring more anime over.  In an average season we already get the majority of new anime likely to be interesting to anime fans in the West, and all three already have respectably deep back catalogs…

We’re lucky in that we use all four video services, and (so far) Strike has had something each season to justify the additional five bucks a month…  But if you don’t have Prime, then you’re looking at justifying $15/mo and that’s pretty steep even with all the other benefits Prime brings.  (Which you’d already be paying for if you wanted them.)  If you want to hit all four services (that is, not doubling up on Crunchymation), you’re looking at (depending on the plan you pick) upwards of $45/mo.  That’s a pretty big hit.

Thus endeth an experiment in breaking out anime news from the weekly posts…  Let me know what you think, about the news or the format/experiment.

4 thoughts on “Anime News Miscellany – 3/30/17”

  1. News in their own post is fine with me, since I’m a bit of a compartmentaliser.

    Ghibli: The list seems… uh… biased very strongly towards Miyazaki, and my personal favourite Miyazaki film, Princess Mononoke, isn’t there. I like Nausicäa and Spirited Away. Castle in the Sky and Totoro are good, too, but I’m not fond of Howl. I’ve never seen Kiki.

    Personally, I much prefer Takahata’s films to Miyazaki’s. It’s not unlikely that this comes from my childhood; I was watching Heidi and 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother before I could read, and those shows stayed with me.

    As for the Amazon situation: Europe is a lot more fragmented (many smaller providers), with Crunchyroll being a major player. So often you just pay for a show you want to watch, if it isn’t on Crunchy. I’m located in Austria, and we’re basically part of the German region. Crunchy doesn’t have as many licences here as they do in America (or Great Britain, for that matter), but they’re getting better and better. Amazon entering the fray might actually increase the number of shows I can legally watch. (Netflix is available, but I don’t know what they have over here. Hulu doesn’t exist in our market, as far as I know.)


    1. Ghibli in America means feature films, and as Miyazaki is responsible for the single largest share of them… that he’s become synonymous with Ghibli isn’t that surprising. (Plus Disney’s marketing of Ghibli films in America has positioned him that way.)

      They’re not showing my favorite (Poppy Hill, though Nausicaä and Kiki are only a hair behind) either. The list is more-or-less a ‘Greatest Hits in America’ I think. Takahata is less well known, and among the the general public Mononoke isn’t really popular AFAIK.

      I enjoy Takahata’s work too, though (from the ones I’ve seen) they’re a bit less approachable than Miyazaki’s as a general rule.


      1. Heidi and Leagues are World Masterpiece Theatre shows. They’re Takahata, but they’re pre-Ghibli. It’s just that I think, because I watched and enjoyed him so early (I was four to five years old, maybe younger for Heidi), he’s perhaps the single biggest influence on what would later become my anime taste. The only Takahata film that’s really talked about to any extent is Grave of Fireflies. Kaguya-hime may become a contender, but it’s still relatively new, and I’m already hearing less and less about it (shame, as I think it’s his best).

        Interesting that Poppy Hill’s/i> your favourite. I haven’t seen it yet, but isn’t that one directed by Miyazaki Goro (with the father providing the concept or the story, or something). I’m definitely curious about that one.


        1. I’m with you on Kaguya-hime, you don’t near as much about it as it deserves.

          Yes, Poppy is Miyazaki Goro, but his father co-wrote the screenplay. (And his sensibilities and fingerprints are all over it.)


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