Tag Archives: Amazon

Is Watching Anime Too Expensive?

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations


Welcome back to this series of re-uploaded columns from my work with my college newspaper. One of the topics I covered on my column was the cost of anime as a hobby. While there are certainly a lot of modern conveniences that make watching anime easier, for those who would rather not resort to illegal streaming, it can still be expensive. I hope you enjoy the read.

One of the most deceptively difficult questions to answer about anime over the last few years has actually been “where do I watch it?” Most people would reason that since media of all kinds has become significantly more accessible that anime would follow suit. While this is true generally speaking, much like any hobby that isn’t rock collecting, the dollars start to add up after a while. 

First, it is worth acknowledging again that, relative to just 15 years ago, it is definitely easier to watch anime. Before, if a show came out that someone was interested in, they would have to either buy an expensive box set or pirate the anime online in terrible quality while also risking the safety of their computer. Now, most people do not have to think twice about this.

However, the advent of movie and tv streaming has brought both solutions and also new problems. While getting a large number of shows for a set monthly price is a totally reasonable bargain, the model begins to unravel once a large number of similar services start to emerge, each carrying their own unique libraries. In fact, one might say that the problem streaming services set out to fix has been revived in a new way. 

As time has gone by and the popularity of anime has gone way up, many of these same streaming services, Netflix, Hulu, as well as anime exclusive services such as Crunchyroll, Funimation, and HiDive! are also looking for a piece of the pie. Even Amazon a few years ago wanted a share of the market and attempted to cash in with their service “Anime Strike,” which cost five dollars a month extra on top of the existing Amazon Prime fee.


Exclusives have also become a significantly bigger part of the streaming service appeal, and the same is holding true for anime as well. Netflix made a huge effort early on to cash in on anime’s upward trend, and it does appear to be paying off, as the company owns the exclusive rights to an increasing amount of hot-topic shows within the community. 

Companies like Crunchyroll are also beginning to dip their toes into exclusives as well, with a number of Webtoon crossovers including “Tower of God” and “God of High School.” These shows have also turned out to be relatively popular among fans. Funimation, while not as focused in that area, does corner a large part of the market for English dubs for many of the most popular long-running and seasonal shows, including “Black Clover,” “One Piece” and “The Promised Neverland.”

This further division of popular shows among various streaming services means that anyone looking to keep up with what is new is going to have to pay a fairly hefty price. This has led to many figures in the community talking about a potential rise in piracy if companies begin to raise their prices too much. 

The streaming wars will probably continue to rage on for some time. Companies will continue competing for the various series which draw the most eyes in the short term. Long term, however, it may just be the case that being an anime fan, or a fan of tv and movies for that matter, continues to get even more expensive. It might be that streaming just becomes the new cable. 

How do you all feel about the cost of anime? Let me know in the comments below. Feel free to also check out the column I uploaded last week about “Tokyo Godfathers” and Satoshi Kon.

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Anime Strike is Dead. It’s About Time.

Being able to stream anime legally and not having to deal with bad subs or low quality on illegal sites at a relatively low cost has been one of the better things to happen for the anime community in the last decade. Companies like Crunchyroll and Funimation have meant a lot more anime for a lot less. Netflix continues to have the problem of not knowing what a simulcast is outside of Japan, but I’ve already talked about that in a previous post. Anime Strike, however, has been even more of a thorn in the side of the community for the past year. But, after Amazon realized that they created a garbage product, Capitalism finally won out and they officially ended Anime Strike.

Allow me for one second to just dance on its grave, and bask in how terrible a service, and an idea, Anime Strike really was. They were taking what were arguably some of the best shows of each season, and hiding them behind a 15 dollar a month paywall. Even people who already had Prime video had to pay an extra 60 dollars a year just to use the service at all.

Now, with Anime Strike gone, all of the anime that were Anime Strike exclusives have been transferred over to their general prime video library. As IGN pointed out in an article, this includes things like Land of the Lustrous, Made in Abyss, and one that I’ve been interested in for a while, The Great Passage.

Some have tried to argue that the idea of having exclusives at all is not fair, but one, exclusives are what makes a service worth getting in the first place, and two, that was not even the problem. The problem comes when corporations who do not understand the medium they are getting into in the slightest come in an create an unnecessarily high paywall for completely unjustified reasons.

Anime Strikes end is a good thing for the community. It means that good shows will not have to be hidden behind greedy business practices and a lack of understanding on the part of Amazon.

What are your thoughts? Did anyone actually have Anime Strike? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and bye for now friendos!