2022 was a pretty huge year for anime communities, starting with Sony-owned Crunchyroll and Funimation merge in March and the follow-up purchase of Right Stuf in August. While reactions to the Funimation rebranding seemed mixed, there was an almost universal outcry at the loss of Right Stuf.
An ongoing crisis is Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter. Concerns abound across many communities, including my immediate AniTwitter circle, and I’ve seen plenty of friends migrate to other platforms or quit social media entirely.
While I was never a huge supporter of either Crunchyroll or Funimation, I still appreciated their competition and specializations. I had a free Crunchyroll account for a very long time before upgrading. Admittedly, I inwardly cheered at the idea of Crunchyroll adding the Funimation library to its own–more shows is good, right? I also loathed Funimation’s video player, especially in comparison to Crunchyroll’s which had finally improved after years and years of its own nightmarish interface. But then Crunchyroll removed its free-with-ad membership tier, an option that provided access to so many anime fans who would have otherwise been unable to afford a paid membership. The decision arguably makes sense financially, but still leaves a bad aftertaste. I used that membership through my college years, after all!
The next nail in the coffin came with Right Stuf’s acquisition, which folded the company into Crunchyroll’s stores and set aside adult products into its own explicit brand. I actually used to buy the occasional good from Right Stuf, like manga or figures, so it was sad to see a smaller company disappear. While I don’t buy adult products, I can understand the dismay of those who do and bundled items together for deals and enjoyed a common branding providing anonymity.
Unfortunately, there really aren’t that many options outside of Crunchyroll if you want to stay current and relevant in anime–other options include HIDIVE, HULU, Netlflix, and even Disney+. Crunchyroll takes the vast bulk of each season’s offerings, so unless you’re okay with pirating, you’re trapped with supporting them.
On the Twitter front, I’m still undecided on how to proceed other than to wait on the ship as it sinks to see if all is truly lost. I ended up setting up both cohost, Mastodon, and Tumblr accounts to secure tags, but actually keeping up with all of them is not only impractical for a single person, it’s also undesirable. I’d rather not have to leave Twitter at all, but I definitely don’t like the direction its going at the moment with what does and doesn’t pass moderation. Also, Elon is an ass, and not even a cute one.
For those of you interested in following me on those other platforms, see below. I don’t plan on posting there regularly until we see how things pan out, but I did enjoy rebranding a bit to names not so locked in to just this blog. Kudos if you can figure out the inspiration behind “Aquamarina”!
- cohost: https://cohost.org/aquamarina
- Mastodon: https://ohai.social/@aquamarina
- Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/sailtomarina
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