Note: The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of Toon Barn or its affiliates
For a few years, I have been talking about Crunchyroll and its effects on the US Dubbing of anime and the way anime has been marketed in the states for some time. It has also been an issue with how licensing has been done, with certain artists (western artists like LeShawn Thomas who has worked in the industry before) bringing their work over to Crunchyroll instead of Toonami. Given the fact that Toonami has limited space but has done well in the ratings, the opinion of this essayist remains firm. Toonami makes anime a part of the wider animation community, while Crunchyroll creates a ghetto for the genre in this country. To say otherwise is the promotion of political, social and physical piracy.
Now, why do i mention the deal with AT&T and Time Warner.
For this, you must look at a company named CA Media. CA Media is a collaboration between AT&T and Chernin Group. This same group, Bought the Pirating firm, Crunchyroll back in December of 2013 for about 100 Million dollars. AT&T and CA Media partnered later in 2014. This was one of the reasons why Crunchroll got a influx of money. They were bankrolled by the now regrowing MaBell, and the former Leader of both Fox Network (and yes, Fox Kids – with Haim Saban back in the 90’s).
Now with the deal about a year away – There are small, but significant rumblings inside the house of Piracy. They know that they will have SOME say in Toonami’s handling, because AT&T now has the distribution arm (Direct TV), the networks (part of The CW, which they sponsor half of the shows, and the turner networks) and with CA Media – the online platform.
The question is, where does this all lead?
The immediate answer would be a wait and see approach. But we have seen with Comcast, they didnt wait too long after the merger to lock NBC down after the 2012 Olympics. AT&T will do the same (if they can raise the money with the banks, and who has 40 Billion to spend to see Bugs Bunny sell cell phones?)
But the biggest concern, has to be how the handle Toonami. I felt that the block has found its place in the world. But Crunchyroll, the pirates that they are will spoil the fun. You see, their culture and Toonami’s culture may be politically similar(last i checked, Chernin is a DNC supporter), but socially not similar. Toonami started as an Idea, Crunchyroll started as a rebellion of sorts (but really, Piracy) dealing with the editing practices of 4kids during their run of One Piece. Toonami’s culture is one of understanding ones individuality, while Crunchyrolls is the continuation of a type of authoritarian collective (which also explains all the strange messages against Toonami concerning music videos, many of these contrarians are fans of at the very least subscribers or paid by Crunchyroll to antagonize Mr Demarco and others working for him, and we also see that in recent articles going after Adult Swim by Polygon and others).
Will AT&T force Toonami to work with this monstrosity, Crunchyroll that has hurt their chances of bringing even better work to the fore? Or better yet – what if this gets Crunchyroll Into the North American animation business using Toonami as a vector?
What does it also mean for the two pirate sites, Kiss Anime and Toonami Aftermath? Do they make a deal with say – Verizon and or Cox for streaming? Does AT&T blocks them?
The bigger question for you is – who do you trust if Toonami gets taken over by someone not fitting of what the block represents?
All this does is prove to others that wish to Pirate – you will be rewarded in the end. That our government sadly is selective in who they punish with law. Thats both scary and sobering.
In a better world, This Merger signals the end of Crunchroll and all its stands for. Toonami takes the whole joint over, all of the executives of Crunchyroll leave with nothing, and Toonami Jetstream will return as a secondary part of the much larger Toonami entity, which will bring artists, shows and videos together, and they finally have the networks (the CW along with AS. and the other turner networks) to do so.
That would be a much better fate for North American animation and Anime in this country as a whole in this new age.
But i know these sly pirate scumbags and degenerates from Crunchyroll will not go without a fight.
Im with Toonami.
I come for a fight Mr Gao. I hope your ready. You will not win, not this time.