Opinion | why Crunchyroll has that sweet conference room, and why it isn’t a bad thing

Hi there. If you’re new, welcome! I promise I don’t just write rants. I just do it when I feel it’s necessary and that people are missing a point onto which I can share some light. If you’re old, thanks for being here, you brilliant reader! You make my heart very happy and I value you.

Annie’s going to go on another marketing rant now. My apologies are extended in advance.

So earlier this week, Miles posted this:

And it was met with many messages like this:

Big sigh. Seriously? Grow up.

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Hmmm. That’s probably too harsh of me. How about this: I appreciate your effort to enlighten others on the grave economical/capital disparity in the anime industry, and yet I have a problem in how your case has been presented and feel it’s largely misdirected.

There, that’s better.

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To be clear, I don’t think the translators make enough money in the industry. I don’t think the artists do, either. And don’t even get me started on the video editors. In my unimportant opinion, all video editors don’t make jack-diddly and are grossly underpaid.

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However, directing this towards Miles specifically is pretty shit. If we want to get a conversation going about fair wages for artists, translators and editors in the industry, that isn’t how we go about it. Where are the links to Crunchy’s accounts and breakdown of capital? Where’s the references to their strategic management and eloquent analysis on how poor translations lead to less watch time and frustrated viewers? Hell, even give me how it’s terrible Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR for you business majors) and against their company values and vision. Give me ANYTHING that offers something to the discussion. But this? This isn’t that: it’s significantly uninformed in marketing, content acquisition and overall business logistics; it’s Twitter sensationalism, toxic verbiage and petty whining.

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Crunchy isn’t doing this for big wigs, y’all. They’re not doing it for the directors or CEO or other execs or whatever. They’re not doing it for Miles; They’re doing it to impress Japanese producers who come over and think “should I really trust this US company with our title?”. Having rooms like these is an act of buttering them up, in a sense, yes. It shows that they are committed to the brand established by one of the series they stream, and that’s a pretty big deal. It shows they understand Japanese culture.

They’re doing it to license series, basically.

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Nobody has a job if Crunchy can’t bid for the titles we want to watch.

Does this excuse Crunchy from underpaying their translators? Of course not. A discussion about wages is incredibly important. But please don’t bash someone who doesn’t sign the check. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes that we don’t know about.

When the big Funimation/Crunchyroll split happened, it seemed everyone was ganging up on how Crunchyroll was going to suffer a lot because of it. I’ll admit, I’ve missed a lot of my shows that were on there but I don’t think my viewer experience has gone down, really. I’ve still watched tons of quality shows on their service. And THEN when they announced their partnership with Webtoon to turn our favorite comics into animated series, we were all delighted.

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2020 is looking to be a fantastic year for anime. I’m so excited about all the new and returning series we’re going to be blessed with this season and year to come. I’m excited to see what titles Crunchy is able to secure for us for the future. I’m excited to see where the conversation about fair wages goes. Let’s spend our time being good advocates for equality, and supportive, passionate and kind weebs.

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Anyway, that’s just my take on this. What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments below!

Watch on, Annieme-niac!

Annie