And for now at least, anime fans are paying the price.
It might have been weird to say that Amazon would ruin anime for the foreseeable future when they just got started. And if you want to get technical, anime probably still was successful in the past year.
The only thing Amazon has done is be a disservice to those who want to actually support the anime industry.
Since that article I wrote in March, Amazon has since:
- Came up with an Amazon Prime Video Service
- Didn’t really mention Kabaneri or Battery in any of their social media accounts
- Completely didn’t stream The Great Passage last season
This last one is half right, half wrong — The Great Passage streamed in other regions except the US. So it was available in other places but not here. Either way, you’d never know unless you had Prime because Amazon wouldn’t say.
Now? We have Anime Strike, a separate service devoted exclusively to anime. Which, in order to actually watch, you have to get Amazon Prime ($99 a year, with a 30 day trial). Then you have to pay an additional $4.99 for Anime Strike. This doesn’t make any sense.
A few months ago, I got in touch with the Head of Content of Prime Video (Asia Pacific), James Farrell. He mentioned that they pursued the noitaminA service because they believed it would be of interest to Prime Video users in Japan and elsewhere. He let me know that delaying their streaming shows (so any other stuff on Amazon) in other regions is a thing for them.
But of course, I asked him about their current lineup of shows (Kabaneri and Battery), and what the fan feedback has been so far.
For the first: “They are all performing well.”
For the second: “The customer response so far has been great.”
Maybe this service is doing well for them. And as Amazon has been trying to integrate itself with everything, them taking anime into their fold is not a complete surprise.
I’m hard pressed to believe they know what they’re doing right now, except forcing people to not use their streaming service since there’s zero numbers to back up what they’re saying, and what they have done so far in the year since they joined the anime streaming game shows they don’t seem to understand the market.
And that is definitely a loss for anime fans.