Wed 22 Aug 2012
On a whim this week, I decided to sign up for Crunchyroll. Crunchyroll is a subscription-based streaming service that specializes in anime. I’ve used it in the past — all the way back in 2009 — and I remember the grainy image quality and awful-looking yellow subtitles. Additionally, I just can’t imagine a subscription-based, non-copyright violating streaming service having a decent selection. The anime selection of Netflix (another service I pay for) comes to mind. Lo and behold, the first thing I’m greeted with when I go to the website is Bleach and Naruto info. Damn you mainstream fags, I’m here to watch YuruYuri. But alas, the temptation of a 15-day free trial was too much for me.
I was ready to be disappointed by whatever gimmick I could latch on to. I consider myself a rather picky anime fan; only the clearest 720p of airing anime could grace my eyes. Oh what’s this? They have 1080. The subtitles are typeset well, and the sound quality is good. The only downer is the video has to buffer a little if you seek around and it’s not as convenient to take screenshots. But that’s nitpicking, and these asks are mostly limited to blogging. I like the feeling of “ownership” from downloading a file, and I usually keep all my shows on my external hard drive collection. Still, streaming is definitely convenient, and the quality was pretty surprising.
I’ve always been super-critical of the anime industry stateside, and I consider this post to be somewhat of an appendix to that piece of writing I did two years ago. The structure of selling expensive, dubbed DVD’s at Best Buy simply doesn’t make any sense — that market is fickle and fragile. I hate to say this, but us purists want our girl-cartoons to be obscure and in Japanese. The answer to that is digital distribution. Crunchyroll is in no way perfect, but it’s a big step in the right direction. Near simultaneous releases, actual profit-sharing, instant gratification, and affordable. I’m not exactly going to uninstall uTorrent right now, but I’m definitely going to look into streaming as a good option if I don’t want to wait 45 seconds for a download.