With Winter coming to an end, it’s time to share some things I found interesting throughout the last three months. Yes, I will talk about Sony’s new monopoly on anime, at least in the west.
The End of Funimation and Sony shows its True Colors as a Monopoly
If nobody saw this coming, Sony finally finished the marriage of Funimation and Crunchyroll as Crunchyroll’s sale got completed last summer. In short, the Funimation brand is being retired and its catalog will move over to Crunchyroll. Crunchyroll will also now distribute physical releases as well. Subscribers of both services must be happy that they don’t have to subscribe to two services.
However, there is a silver lining here as Sony starts to abuse its monopoly. First is losing a lot of titles, mostly Sentai Filmworks titles and some notable ones at best. It’s not too surprising since AMC Networks bought Sentai and Hidive. Also, the removal of these titles is happening with only a one-week notice. Thankfully, most of these titles are still available on Hidive, so it’s more of an inconvenience.
What is the big change to simulcasting that most fans are upset about? Free users won’t be able to get to watch the episodes one week later with ads and lower quality. Instead, only three episodes of select titles will become viewable for free for a limited amount of time. I can see why most would be upset as the younger crowd, especially teenagers and college students might not be able to afford a subscription.
However, I can see why Sony want to do this. Sure, ad revenue hasn’t been bringing in a lot due to the pandemic and ad blockers, but it’s obvious that they can do it since they control most of the western anime market. After all, other services don’t provide a free option either. Regardless, this doesn’t make the piracy situation any better nor I condone it. Trying to justify piracy doesn’t make it right, but just make the person look self-entitled as it hurts creators who create the works people enjoys.
To make matters worse, Japan is cracking down on Anime piracy, so it might become harder for those who can’t afford a subscription to access content. Let’s face it, anime is a luxury. After all, animators still face low wages. However, I do see a silver lining that hopefully from increased numbers of subscribers can help support studios and in turn pay their animators more. Still, I think there needs to be more competition and options for people who can’t afford a subscription such as ad-supported options.
Note: I am a Crunchyroll and Hidive subscriber.
AMC Networks Buys Sentai Filmworks
I must admit, I didn’t see this coming, but it’s not too surprising. After all, Sony now controls Funimation and Crunchyroll, which is basically 2/3rds of the anime streaming services out there. As a result, it can become difficult for Sentai Filmworks to acquire licenses when Sony has a boatload of money to obtain most of the license. AMC has the cash to perhaps give Sentai Filmworks a fighting chance. Either way, it should be interesting to see the direction of Sentai in the future.
Fighting against Content Thieves
If you can’t see my Twitter threads lately, I have been dealing with a content thief who has stolen about five posts.
This jerk has stolen yet another post. Does anyone has any suggestions on how to shut down this thief. The host still refuses to suspend his hosting account.https://t.co/0QpexgmHPd pic.twitter.com/hSlBkGHuc7
— James (@chikorita157) March 14, 2022
You might be wondering, why this is bad? First off, it’s morally wrong to steal someone else’s content that he or she worked hard on or use it without attribution. This is especially bad when someone copies it and don’t credit you just to run ads off your works.
Second, it can negatively affect your search rankings as the plagiarized copy can outrank you. You can see tell-tale signs of this from trackbacks, which is how I found out. I kept an eye and of course, the thief continued to stole content despite filing DMCA claims against him.
What should you do if a thief steals your content? First off, people can use an excerpt of your content. If this happens, you can’t take it down since it’s fair use. If the user steals the content in its entirety, do the following:
- Lookup the IP of the webhost who has stolen your content. You can do this by doing a nslookup in the Command Line on Windows or the Terminal on macOS or Linux. Also, looking up the IP using a domain WHOIS service is also possible.
- Copy the IP and use a IP WHOIS lookup service to get the web hosting provider’s abuse email.
- Send a DMCA takedown notice to the web host’s abuse email with the infringing URLS to the stolen content and the URLS to the original content. You can find templates for DMCA takedowns on the internet. The hosting provider will disable the thief’s account and have them remove the content. I suggest checking a few weeks to make sure the thief doesn’t continue to steal your content.
Hopefully, you don’t have to deal with this, but hopefully this will be a big help if others experience this.
Other Interesting News
- Tokyo Mew Mew Artist Mia Ikumi Passes Away Due to Hemorrhage – I must admit that this is a big loss, especially since there is a reboot anime coming soon and she didn’t get to see it become a reality. I hope she rests in peace.
- What Happened to Sol Press? – Anime News Network put out an interesting analysis on what happened to Sol Press. Sol Press came up when I was using the BookWalker service with removal of titles from sales, especially some notable ones. As expected, nobody expected mismanagement. Hopefully another company will rescue some of these notable titles, although it might be a while for those to see a re-release again.
- Astro Boy Gets NFT Cards for Trading Card Game, Tokyo Otaku Mode Plan Anime of CryptoNinja NFT Project – When I saw this article, this made my blood boil. We know that NFTs and Web3 is a big grift and a bad idea. It’s basically multi-level marketing like Avon and Mary Kay, but for young men. Folding Ideas made a good video exposing NFTs and Web3, which is worth a watch, although it’s two hours long. Not to mention, Otaku Coin, a project from 2018 was exposed as a scam. It’s not too surprising to see why I am very suspicious of NFTs and Cryptocurrencies in general.
- Kadokawa: New KanColle Anime to Air in 2022 – It’s been a while since they announced a second season, but it’s finally happening. However, it’s revealed that it’s only going to be an 8-episode series with a different cast. This makes me wonder what the story will be about in this sequel. We’ll find out this fall.
What is On My Mind
Winter season has been a bit rough as the number of unique commenters has dropped off compared to the fall season. Perhaps it’s because the shows I am covering. Either way, I do hope that this trend will improve in the Spring season. Of course, having to deal with the content thief in the end of February/early March didn’t make matters any better.
On the Japanese study front, I finished the first ten levels little over three months. Not too surprising since I already know a good amount of vocabulary. Of course, the next ten levels will get a bit tougher. Regardless, I will share my experiences in the next three months regarding my progress.
Lastly, there is the elephant in the room. Last week, my employer finally announced a reentry plan now that the pandemic is finally starting to come to an end. While I have until the end of June to be back in the office. This time, I plan to be in the office for three days and work from home two days. It’s going to become fun to wake up at 4:50 AM just to catch the train and be at work around 6 AM. Hopefully by then, the number of new cases will become insignificant.
Also, I probably don’t plan on going to any Anime conventions this year. It’s mostly because I don’t think there aren’t going to be any guests from Japan due to travel restrictions. I will use the time to prepare for JLPT N3.
Of course, there are the final upgrades before the return to work. I have almost finished developing a new Japanese SRS app on macOS, KaniManabu. It’s a simpler and more effective flashcard app compared to Anki made for people studying for Japanese. From this, I felt that the M1 Mac mini isn’t cutting it anymore since I am using a little more than 50% of 16 GBs of memory. Also, it’s not as quick as the M1 Pro MacBook Pro 16-inch laptop I upgraded to from my 2018 one last fall.
Also, I do plan to replace my 6 years old 27-inch LG Thunderbolt ColorPrime display with an Apple Studio Display as a main monitor. I plan to put it on a VESA stand since the height adjustable stand is overpriced and I don’t care how it looks. The motivating factor is that my main LG monitor is starting to behave funny by not showing a picture in a few instances from sleep. I must unplug and plug the power to get picture.
Either way, I don’t plan to go all 5K since the monitors are expensive. Also, the only other real alternative is the LG UltraFine 5k, which after reading reviews has a lot of technical and quality issues, which is a dealbreaker, although a little bit cheaper. 27-inch 4K from what I read looks like trash on macOS with 1440p scaling, worse than a native one. I don’t mind spending that much money if it’s going to last longer than 6-7 years before it start having issues. The 24-inch Apple Cinema LED Display I also have that is still working and it’s a little over 10 years old.
Since the Mac Studio came out with the ability to have more than 16 GB of RAM, I upgraded to the base Max model and it’s an improvement. I repurposed the M1 Mac mini into a server, replacing my nearly 7-year-old 2014 Mac mini. I don’t plan to make any further upgrades to the home office since it will only get used twice a week starting in late June. My main bedroom setup is another story.
Also, I managed to get my new storage server up and running, although I had to ditch Unraid for TrueNAS Scale as it wouldn’t work nice with iSCSI. This resulted in me having to restore from backup, but thankfully there isn’t any significant data loss.
With that, this wraps up what I have in mind for the last few months. I do these posts on an irregular basis, so probably the next one is probably a few months from now, hopefully.
If you see this text, this site has stolen my content. If you are affected by content thieves, look this domain up on a Whois Service, look up the IP and send a DMCA takedown with the host provider. STOP STEALING CONTENT AND MAKE YOUR OWN. Also, MATRIXAT, go fuck yourself you fucking thief!