Only 67 Anime Titles remain on Netflix

I want to open with the last two paragraphs of my previous blog post:

This year proved to be a diffucult one for Anime Fans who use Netflix: More than half of the Anime available in January is gone. While it is obvious Netflix signing an exclusive deal with Disney is their way of getting back at Starz (who they failed to renew their contract with earlier this year), the loss of quality Anime isn’t something that can be ignored.

In my case it’s forced me to buy some of the Anime I first saw on Netflix either via Xbox Live or on DVD. The four DVD purchases were planned in advance but for those either unable to or unwilling to buy their favorite Anime losing it on Netflix is a major blow. The fact that they didn’t try to reach out to Funimation, VIZ Media, Animplex and others directly will be remembered. This is the second year in a row Netflix dropped the ball, leaving its member base to pay the price. If they have any unplayed trump cards, now would be the time to use them.

Indeed, if Netflix knows something the rest of us don’t they should think about doing something soon. Granted Instant Streaming only costs $8 a month and Anime isn’t exactly the focus but given a large chunk of their subscribers are collage age, families or Gamers having a well-rounded catalog keeps everyone happy. Last year Netflix failed to renew its contract with Starz, who handles distrbution for a the majority of the Anime now gone from the online catalog, among them many titles I now own either on DVD or via Xbox Live: Clannad (Season 1), Ah! My Goddess!, Kenichi The Mighiest Disciple, Spice & Wolf, School Rumble and Shuffle!.

When I first started using Netflix there had to be well over 250 titles. At present only 67 Anime series and movies remain. Of the remaining 67 titles there are a few rare gems, most notably Samurai Champloo, Elfen Lied, Ouran High School Host Club, Tears to Tiara and Gungrave. Samurai 7 (currently airing on Toonami) can also be found on Netflix in its entirety, allowing you to watch the Anime series in full instead of weekly. One can argue three of the biggest losses last year  from Netflix are Slayers (5 series), Bleach and Naruto (both subbed). Losing Noein (Localized by Starz) isn’t as big a loss given it’s available on Xbox Live (XBL), iTunes and the Playstation Network (PSN).

Even so…I don’t know. The political cycle was the main reason I kept my Netflix Sub through all of 2012. Unlike the vocal minority on the internet, I prefer to get my Anime using legal methods and don’t mind paying for it no matter the cost. If I can get it at a discount I’ll do that of course. For example you can buy most Anime Episodes on the PSN for just $2 and $1.60 on XBL. TAKE THAT, iTunes! be warned that if you do buy Anime on your PC from Zune (XBL’s PC Client) or Media Go (Sony’s PC Client) you will need to use the client itself to watch the media. There’s also the DRM restrictions to be mindful of to boot so…yeah. The upside to Zune/XBL though is as long as you have an internet connection you don’t necessarily have to download it after you bought it to watch it.

I’m not gonna lie: I have my favorite Anime. Even so, almost all of them I saw for the first time via Netflix. I want to say I’m hopeful the lost Anime will return but given Starz is being sought after by iTunes, Amazon and Microsoft for exclusive deals I don’t see it happening anytime soon. All in all the whole thing’s forced me to look at the competition. I can stream Hulu Plus on my Xbox and Wii so it’s there if I want it. XBL also supports Amazon Instant Video. AIV costing me $79 a year prevents me from doing it since I did the Amazon Prime Trial 2 years ago an that was before AIV was introduced.

Looks like I’m just going to have to just buy DVD sets from here on out. Zune/XBL hasn’t updated their Anime Library in ages but thankfully they haven’t removed that many Anime either which is just as good. The only noteworthy Anime removed is one I planned to buy but bought at Anime Boston 2012 in DVD: School Rumnble. For all intents and purposes I own most of my Favorite Anime in one form or another.

The problem is finding new Anime. The Manga Tree App on my Windows 8 laptop promises to keep me occupied. I’ll keep looking until I find a legal means of getting good quality Anime. Since I prefer Dubbed to Subbed I already know that limits where I can look. Even so will go with what works for me.

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10 thoughts on “Only 67 Anime Titles remain on Netflix

    • I agree. It’s a travesty. The only places you can legally get it online are The Playstation Network and iTunes. I bought both seasons on DVD for less than both services are asking via Amazon.com.

  1. Its sad, that only a few months later and that number has dropped yet again. I think they are trying to get rid of a certain clientele base, which is a poor decision in my opinion.

    • Agreed and it’s too bad.

      It would also explain why Funimation, VIZ, Animplex and Sentai Filmworks all stream their anime on their own sites now.

      And they wonder why people prefer to Torrent Anime. I was taken aback at Anime Boston last year when 8 out of the 10 people I polled candidly admitted they get their Anime through illegal means.

      I don’t pirate the Anime I watch. Netflix let down Anime fans so I’ve been forced to buy it from Xbox Live, iTunes or on DVD.

  2. I was on Netflix yesterday and I saw that they had taken off Ouran High School Host Club. I looked for my other favorite anime, Soul Eater, and they’d taken that off too. They even took off Fruits Basket, which I wasn’t as into, but still watched on occasion. I’m just happy that they didn’t get rid of Black Butler. I’m a little worried that Netflix may be trying to get rid of the anime fans that use Netflix because of anime’s not-so-great connotation in pop culture (most people think it’s all just violence and nudity). I will be sending Netflix an angry email very soon.

    • Direct the angry email to Funimation, not Netflix.

      Netflix negotiates with License holders yes but if the licensee doesn’t want to renew, Netflix has no choice but to take it down.

    • Direct the angry email to Funimation, not Netflix.

      Netflix negotiates with License holders yes but if the licensee doesn’t want to renew, Netflix has no choice but to take it down.

  3. THEY TOOK DOWN FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST. THAT IS TOO FAR. This is my FAVORITE anime, and they take it down. No fifth season for Brotherhood, taking down Fruits Basket and Ouran High School Host Club as well, Netflix what is wrong with you??? I’m just a teenager with Netflix and Hulu Plus. And I almost always watch dubs, so most of hulu is out for me. I don’t like using illegal methods, but what else am I supposed to do? And I really don’t think it’s funimation.

    • It really is up to Funimation.

      I asked a Funimation Rep who attendeed Anime Boston 2012 who also happened to attend my Clannad panel last year.

      He said “Streaming services like Netflix are granted a one year license to air TV shows and movies on its streaming services. The exception is if they enter a multi-year contract with a license holder. When the contract is close to its experation date they–Netflix and Hulu, for example–can negotiate with the license holder to renew the license to continue to air shows. If the license holder decides not to renew the license they (Netflix, etc.) must remove the effected shows by the expiration date for legal reasons.”

      In short: Funimation decided they don’t want Netflix to host all of their most known Anime anymore for who knows what reason. Netflix had no choice but to comply or risk the wrath of Funimation’s money-hungry legal team.

      Said legal team spends much of their time shutting down websites and filesharing services used to illegally share Anime so…yeah.

      It’s a pain in the ass I will admit but it is what it is. For folks like you and me who have a fixed income we’re forced to take one of three routes:

      1. Digital Purchase from Xbox Live/Playstation Network/iTunes
      2. Buy the DVDs
      3. Illegal Methods

      My respect for the Dub Industry (in case you didn’t know: Funimation dubs Anime from Japanese to English) eliminates 3 so for me it’s been a combination of 1 and 2 since 2010.

      Fortunately I own most of my all-time favorite Anime either digitally (Persona 4, Deadman Wonderland, Spice & Wolf and a few others) or physically (Clannad, Ah! My Goddess!, Vandread and a few others).

      I won’t tell you what to do but I would implore you to go with options 1 or 2. Option 3 will only make life suck for those who dub Anime for a living.

  4. Netflix is really hurting of late for new episodes and movies. Its not just anime. As it is now you have a few choices to stream legally, funimations site/apps, hulu plus, neon alley website in april, anime network (subs only) I think, amazon prime.
    crunchyroll is also a good one for sub watchers.

    Funimation is great but their app and website have serious issues going down or not acting right and not having all their licensed titles… Hulu plus has a lot of sub and will be getting all of viz media’s titles in sub and dub coming in april, but hulu is a nightmare to get around in. Media blasters has their own roku app but they dont have too much in the way of dubs but its only like 2-3 bucks a month. Sentai is my only issue these days, they’ve stated they dont have any plans on putting a streaming app out there anytime soon.. which sucks due to them having some of the better anime out there. They seem to dub more often and pop em out faster than funimation of late. All in all there are other options to stream legally out there beyond netflix.

    Problem is the price to own a dvd/blu-ray combo can set you back a heavty price.

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