Some of anime’s most popular titles and series will vanish from Netflix come September. As almost any anime fan should know, these three shows are some of the more classic shonen out there. Each had a run lasting well over a decade and make up 2/3 of the “Big Three” series. This is extremely important for both Netflix’s newer marketing strategies and anime watchers in general. For addicts of anime like myself, especially when a lot of favorites happen to be older series like Inuyasha, licensing is tricky. Different content providers like Hulu, Netflix, and Crunchyroll all need to dedicate their subscriber base in order to generate revenue. That means locking down the best shows more often than the competition.

Naruto's imagined reaction at being dropped from Netflix.
Naruto is shook. | Image: Hulu

But, that can cause trouble from the viewer’s point of view. Say I see four previews for amazing anime set to air in the next few weeks. Ideally, I would proceed to a single website, pay for one subscription, and watch them all at my leisure. In reality, dedication to multiple shows might mean multiple subscriptions. Instead of paying $5 a month for everything, I would pay $20 a month to include sources I only watch one show via. So, a lot of anime fans grow frustrated with the lack of universal availability and just pirate everything instead.

Today’s announcement is unfortunate for Netflix because the licenses to stream these three shows are already pretty widespread. All three are available on Hulu and Crunchyroll for example. So, losing them might also mean some Netflix subscribers have less classic content to spend hours binging.

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The Unfortunate Announcement

The announcement came via a Twitter post from @NetflixAnime with immediate chagrin from fans. A lot of followers even expressed their sadness using emotional stills or GIFs from the anime in question.

But in addition to the general annoyance and sadness, there were constant recommendations of other places to watch. Some who shared the news in various anime fan groups on Facebook and Discord were met with long comment lists of popular illegal streaming sites, almost all of which are free. And to be fair, Netflix only had a few seasons of these shows available anyway.

The move likely signals Netflix’s recent push to spend money on its original series rather than retain older ones. Shows like AGGRETSUKO, or even game-inspired shows like CASTLEVANIA are all great ways to bring in new subscribers who want exclusive content. If you can become the only site to stream the season’s best, everyone logically will want you to be the one service they opt for.

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A New Age for Netflix Anime

INUYASHA, NARUTO, AND BLEACH are some of the greatest long-running anime out there. When I think of shonen series that truly become timeless, all three are quite high up on the list. In my opinion, however, dropping them might not be the worst move out there. Fans of old anime likely won’t cancel their Netflix subscriptions over this and likely didn’t subscribe just to watch old episodes of BLEACH. What’s more likely is they happened to already have Netflix for its massive list of TV shows and non-animated movies.

It’s somewhat likely that Netflix will continue to provide the movies for these anime series, as the licenses are handled differently. But the televised series will be gone. So, longtime fans, you’ve got a month. If Netflix is your main streaming service, take some sick days and enjoy your last month of watching Ichigo hack away at Hollows. But, a simple internet search will also provide you with other legitimate (read: legal) sources of any anime. You can check out this Google Doc to see a live list of what anime are available on Netflix.

What do you think of these anime? Should Netflix endeavor to keep any of them? Let us know in the comments!

Featured image adapted from Hulu.

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One Comment

  1. Elan James

    August 9, 2018 at 6:15 am

    Thats nice.. I was never a fan of it. Pathetic show!

    I was on UK content mostly coz I live here.. Anime arent any good.

    Switched to US and now I see a whole new netflix content.

    Really glad got purevpn from vpnranks website for netflix.

    Reply

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