Spanner in the Works (8th Day of Anime)

I achieved 10 followers just before yesterday’s 12 Days post went live and 50 likes just afterwards.

Unfortunately, today’s 12 Days post isn’t as happy as a celebration post should be…

We’re getting more anime than ever before delivered to our screens, but there are 3 major roadblocks that stand in people’s way in doing so – Netflix, HiDive and Amazon Strike.

Certainly, two of the services I just listed are connected to each other and provide much of the same shows to different regions, but there are some differentiating factors between the two.

Disclaimer: This is my opinion based on what I’ve read around the internet and what I’ve experienced – I use HiDive for whatever I can get from it in my region for free, but otherwise I have no experience with the services I’m talking about.

Netflix

Also known as “those guys who spawned an entire Toblerone meme”, because they sure don’t deserve a giant Toblerone.

Neo Yokio jokes aside, it’s great that they have a bunch of anime with dubs and can serve the entire thing up as soon as it’s ready to about 200 regions at once. The only problem with that is the wait – even Anime News Network has the gall to joke about when shows land on the service. This is half the reason I don’t bother with the service in the first place.

The other half is that while Netflix stuff is stuff I normally wouldn’t want to place my bets on in the simulcast terms in most cases. Even some titan of a show that I’d be somewhat interested in supporting, like Little Witch Academia, isn’t something I’d like to see on a weekly basis. Once Netflix does decide to dole it out anyway, I would’ve lost interest in it because that shiny simulcast veneer would have fallen away by then.

HiDive

HiDive decided to make a step in the right direction by licensing OVAs, and I remember Crunchyroll soon did the same thing afterwards. Also, sub changing will stop me from griping about unreadable subs, although since I’ve only complained about that for Hina Logic, nobody knows I complained about it in the first place.

The problem with their free-but-ad-enabled service on desktop (their apps are so new, I haven’t used them) is that the large resolution compared to the other free services is both a blessing and a problem.

It’s a blessing because for something like Houseki no Kuni, you can see everything in its proper glory which deepens your appreciation of the show’s minutiae.

It’s a problem because you can’t tell what episode you’re on, since HiDive’s entire website is made to be on a “night mode” of sorts. Crunchyroll and all the other services have the episode name above the episode, but HiDive is the only service that has the name below the episode (aside from the episode navigation, of course, which is a different matter entirely).

Amazon

If a show is licensed by Amazon, that causes quite the stir. After all, there’s that double paywall (apparently $160) just to get a few shows and even if they’re very attractive shows like Inuyashiki, the shows are either going to flourish on the illegal side of things or just be left to the wayside if HiDive doesn’t get there first. I don’t live in a region where Strike is available (not to my knowledge, anyway) but I try to obtain my shows as legally as I can through one week delays, which makes me the one who loses the most.

The Animeism/Noitamina tradeoff is another strike (pun unintended) against them, because that meant some shows of extremely great quality get the same treatment. Of course, you never know a show’s a hit or a miss without putting it out there, but Amazon prevents exposure to high quality shows more than Netflix or HiDive do.

So, that’s my opinion on the three anime services that have caused waves in the industry as of late. What’s your take?

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