Gonzo partners with multiple English video streamers for free, simultaneous English anime broadcasts!


Big news today from Gonzo's parent company GDH: the company is gearing up to provide popular video streaming sites Youtube, Crunchyroll, and BOST with simultaneous, English-subtitled anime broadcasts of upcoming TV series. These episodes will be available at the same time as they air on Japanese TV, thus making licensing/subbing/production turnaround time a thing of the past. The two series to spearhead this pilot effort will be The Tower of Druaga – the AEGIS of URUK and Blassreiter.

From GDH's press release:

Previously fans outside of Japan did not have access to Japanese animation titles until each property was licensed and localized for TV or videogram release in each respective territory. Partially as a result of this gap in availability, a substantial amount of fansubbed pirated footage has traditionally proliferated the Internet via file sharing communities immediately following the first broadcast on terrestrial TV in Japan. G.D.H.'s decision to provide its content globally in parallel with Japanese broadcast is an effort to offer equal accessibility and new viewing opportunities to fans around the world, while at the same time showcasing a legal online alternative to illegal file-sharing and downloading. The web VoD services in this venture will also explore new business models that both maximize revenues from content exploitation and savings on distribution costs.

This is a development that should have anime lovers worldwide cheering in excitement. Fans have repeatedly voiced that if there was an option for legal English downloads at or near the time of Japanese TV airings of these programs, that they would gladly take advantage of it. For a very long time, Japanese media companies have been unwilling to move away from the idea of their programs being sold in the west as anything but packaged media. It's encouraging to see that there's at least one anime production company out there willing to make an active effort to change their distrubution and business methods rather than just blaming outside factors for their woes.

There are still a few concerns, though, such as:

  • Will there be time durations on these shows' availability? Will they be removed after a set amount of time, or will they stick around?
  • What will the subtitle quality be like? Will these be professional-quality translations, or will we be seeing "mass naked child events"-esque amateur mistakes?
  • Are these shows even any good? Considering Gonzo's track record is highly hit-or-miss, the potential of these programs not even being worth the bandwidth they consume is there.
We'll make sure to keep you informed on any more developments with Gonzo's web broadcast initiatives. Druaga airs worldwide on April 4, so add Gonzo's special Youtube channel to your subscriptions to make sure you don't forget.

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