For the entirety of the current decade, Crunchyroll has filled the online video streaming needs of anime fans essentially without any meaningful competition, delivering popular titles like Naruto Shippuden, Attack on Titan, Sword Art Online, and others. Now, though, it appears the company finally has a worthy adversary, since today marks the launch of Anime Strike, a new anime streaming service from Amazon (via Polygon).
Amazon has had a selection of subscription channels available since 2015, but Anime Strike is its first branded on-demand subscription service, and it currently features over a thousand episodes and films of anime franchises (for $4.99 per month). It includes a few series that will be made available the same day they broadcast in Japan, like Scum’s Wish and Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga, and has exclusive U.S. streaming deals for series like Onihei, The Great Passage, Vivid Strike!, Crayon-Shin Chan Gaiden: Alien vs. Shinnosuke, Chi’s Sweet Adventure, and Scum's Wish. Anime Strike also plans to offer its own original programming, and Amazon has actually already gotten started on that with its Studio Ghibli series, Ronja, The Robber's Daughter.
“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 and head of Amazon Channels worldwide, told Variety.
In comparison, Crunchyroll currently offers over 15,000 episodes of Japanese programming to its 750,000 subscribers, but there are some series that Amazon could attempt to offer that Crunchyroll doesn't have at the moment; A few that come to mind include Dragon Ball Z (currently streaming on Funimation), One-Punch Man (Hulu), and Pokémon (which is actually already available on Amazon Prime Video).
What other shows should Anime Strike try to scoop up? Let us know what you think!
Featured image: A-1 Pictures