Netflix: Anime Behind Bars

June 11, 202010906 min

When it comes to watching anime outside of Japan, streaming services are essential. Of course, there is the god-like duo when it comes to streaming; Crunchyroll and FUNimation, but then we have the others like HULU, Amazon Prime Video, HIDIVE, and the ever-popular Netflix. While anyone who watches anime on any service is given plenty of series to binge and overdose on all their anime needs, the actual problem lies within one of the most popular streaming services, and that’s Netflix. We all enjoy our favorite series and deserve to have it available to the masses as much as possible so new people could watch, and experience shows that they’ve never seen or perhaps even heard before.

               With shows continuing to be added monthly to a majority of anime streaming services is an automatic win for any anime fan, right? Depending on which way one views the glass, it depends on one’s relief when it comes to streaming services like Netflix. Considering that Netflix has changed the way Americans watch their favorite shows and having an enormous catalog of titles that reach over one hundred and forty million hours of streaming. Sounds great, right? Well, for anime series that have the little Netflix Original Series icon on it most likely not. 

               Anime fans on Netflix will be disappointed when they patiently wait for their brand new show to possibly be released on a physical disc, keyword being possible. The exciting element about the streaming giant is that if it has a Netflix Original icon on it, the possibility of it being released in a physical form is slim to none. However, that doesn’t mean that the series or film won’t ever be released, take A Silent Voice for an example it was released in US theaters in October 2017 but didn’t receive physical home media until almost two years later in 2019. This is unfortunate and disappointing, but that’s the life of an anime fan.

               Perhaps the problem isn’t with Netflix entirely, but they are a part of it – especially when they outbid for seasons that are already on other services. However, there are plenty of anime properties that take forever to get a physical release in North America. The most recent series that comes to mind is the widely praised Devilman: Crybaby series that came out in 2018. Some critics even going as far as calling the series a “masterpiece,” and keeping to the original source material were also praised. For whatever reason, Netflix has yet to release such a highly praised series from its behemoth empire.

               Though, having a series on Netflix or any streaming service isn’t entirely wrong. In fact, having anything on Netflix is potentially significant for any piece of entertainment, especially considering they have roughly 183 million subscribers. Any animated series, no matter where its created, deserves to live outside its original nation. However, I don’t believe everything deserves the same treatment. Of course, huge shows like Attack on Titan, My Hero Academia, and the Fruits Basket are obviously going to have physical releases. The real dilemma is with smaller shows that don’t have a huge following but are still wonderfully entertaining.

               If companies keep refusing to release series on physical format for whatever reason, then that’s the cruelest thing to any form of entertainment. I believe movies and television series deserve to be seen by the masses, long after their popularity runs dry. Imagine a world where nobody knew who Mickey Mouse or Sailor Moon was? If entertainment never gets a physical release, what’s the point of creating it for people to enjoy with their families after it’s gone from popular streaming services?

Cody Senpai

Cody Senpai is the creator of BakaNow, an anime review website that specializes in spoiler-free reviews for everyone. He is an avid anime watcher who has traveled to Japan numerous times to not only experience the culture and history but also to build friendships with people through a common interest. He is an avid animation fanatic from birth and even went on to major in communication to help share the importance of the stories we love to watch and listen to. Cody lives in Denver, Colorado and loves to do anything adventurous.

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