On August 26th, Toei Animation, Shueisha, my theater D.D., and TV Tokyo launched a new anime streaming service called Animeka. All four companies confirmed that although this streaming platform is only available in Japan at this moment, they do expect to release an international roll-out. The Animeka LLP company was created in April to oversee operations of the service.
At the moment, Animeka in Japan can be found in such places as in the Apple TV app on Apple devices, as well as most LG and Sony smart TVs, Chromecast, Playstation, Amazon Fire TV, and XBox. They offer a 14-day free trial period, with subscriptions costing 450 yen (about $4.10 USD) per month. As well as offering online and offline video-on-demand.
Animeka LLP includes content of a wide range of genres created in the past up to animes currently airing. There are also plans to release spinoffs and documentaries based on popular anime, exclusively to the streaming service.
A screenshot from the translated Animeka homepage and corp webpage:
In recent years there has been much talk and speculation that Japan could be working on a way to walk around certain companies, such as Funimation, and go straight to the consumers with their own platforms. Times have changed since the days of ADV and DiC, and technology has advanced to the point where this latest news appears to be confirming that strategy. There are some official channels on Youtube that have already started to upload their own content with complete episodes in sub and various languages.
Shin-Ei Animation began uploading segments from a subtitled series called Atashinchi (which means Family) in May 15th, 2020. Shin-Ei Animation studio is also behind such works as Doraemon and Crayon Shin-chan.
Atashinchi is described as: The Tachibanas are the quintessential Japanese family, unassuming and infinitely relatable. There’s Mother, who isn’t the best cook and is quite lazy, and Father, who always leaves the bathroom door ajar. The high school daughter Mikan seems a bit of a buffoon, and the middle schooler son Yuzuhiko appears to be quite the cold fish at first glance. They’re a bit peculiar… but they were a family everyone could relate to. And they’re back, this time on YouTube!
Here is the first video from their YouTube Channel:
AnimeLog began uploading content on their official Youtube channel on November 12th, 2020. It is supported by Kodansha Ltd, Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions Co. Ltd, Shin-Ei Animation Co. Ltd, Tezuka Productions Company, Limited Toei Animation Co. LTD, and Nippon Animation Co. LTD. They provide a disclaimer in their channel description warning that some of the contents may have things some people may not like today. But they also respect “the historical value and background of the time when they were published, and we have no intention to discriminate against any of them, so we have distributed them as they were.” Some shows they upload include Daddy Long Legs, Anne Before Green Gables (English subtitle), Hungry Heart (Japanese, Latino, and Portuguese audio versions, with English sub), Fantastic Children (English dub), and Jungle Emperor.
Here is the first episode of Fantastic Children, a 26 episode 2004 series from Nippon Animation. AnimeLog describes it as this:
This is an authentic fantasy adventure for boys and girls to enjoy, with a nostalgic mystery and the titans of the adventure series. The story is a love story of children who travel through 200 million light-years of uncanny space and 500 years of space-time and centuries on earth.
Every child has these questions. ‘Where do people come from and where do they go?’ “What happens to people when they die? ‘What about your previous life? And will people be reborn again? But without finding the answers to these questions, we grow up and forget why we asked them. This film provides children, the viewers, with one answer.
What do you think about Japan continually making moves to become more independent to get their content out there into the world? Do you think they will eventually dub different languages on their own terms in the future as well?