Amazon sure has gotten into some strange ventures as of late. Apart from getting its voice assistant Alexa incorporated into a wide range of products and recently acquiring a patent that allows Amazon to make what are essentially flying warehouse drones, the company also plans to launch an anime streaming service for lovers of Japanese animation.
Called Anime Strike, the channel is Amazon’s first branded on-demand subscription service for Amazon Prime members that caters to a specific audience, and if going against Netflix wasn’t enough, Amazon now has Crunchyroll, an online streaming service that specializes in anime, to contend with.
The Anime Entrance Fee
After an initial seven-day free trial period for Amazon Prime members, viewers who wish to subscribe to the service can pay a $4.99 subscription fee per month. This allows users to watch shows without any ads and to browse through the channel’s list of seinen classics and Japan exclusives.
Anime Strikes It Big
Anime Strike will feature over 1,000 anime titles. Most of these shows are recent, with some titles being streamed the same time that they air in Japan. Shows such as Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga and Urara Meirocho are some of the most popular titles on the streaming service.
Though a lot of shows on Anime Strike are recent, Amazon has not forgotten to include classics such as Tokyo Godfathers and Paprika, which were both directed by highly acclaimed director Satoshi Kon and released in the early 2000s.
This, coupled with shows such as Scum’s Wish and Onihei that are exclusive to the channel, and an anime lineup that will be updated weekly look to be Amazon’s selling point as they go against their competition.
Going Up Against The Big Boys
As mentioned earlier, Amazon not only has Netflix to contend with but now Cruncyroll as well. Both competitors feature an extensive lineup of Japanese animation shows. This could make it difficult for Amazon to appeal to its Prime members since they are tapping into a market that already has some big contenders.
Maybe There’s Room For More?
With such a large demand for original anime, viewers are always on the lookout for new and interesting content.
“With anime in particular, there’s a strong, passionate audience that is underserved by traditional pay TV,” Michael Paull, Amazon’s VP of digital video, said. Apart from anime, Amazon also plans to launch more video on-demand channels that are directed toward a wide variety of audiences.