Fate/Apocrypha is one of the bigger anime set for release in Summer 2017, but if you live outside of Japan, you would be better of considering it a Fall 2017 anime. The reason for that you ask? Netflix got the rights.
Before I go into full rant mode, let me just fill you in on some of the other details of this anime. Fate/Apocrypha is set in a parallel universe to Fate/Stay Night and tells the story of how, after the third holy grail war (that is the war before Kiritsugu Emiya and the events of Fate/Zero) the greater grail is stolen, leading to an attempt by the Mages’ Association to reclaim it. A seven on seven greater grail war ensues between two factions. For the original source material, you’ll need to learn Japanese or find some fan translations of the five volume light novel series.
For subscribers of Netflix you will be able to legally stream the shows 24 episodes from November 7th.
If the only reason you clicked on this article was to learn some more details about the western release of the show then you may as well stop reading now, however, as you may have guessed, I do have more to say.
Many in the anime community will have been following the ongoing saga of Little Witch Academia, the Winter 2017 series that finished airing it’s second cour last week. Netflix have held the rights to the show since the end of last year, but only released the show to its paying subscribers after every episode had aired on the 30th June.
Now, I’m not sure how much Netflix actually cares about anime, but what the saga of Little Witch Academia followed by Fate/Apocrypha is showing is that they certainly don’t care about it’s fans. On every other streaming service (even Amazon for the most part), episodes are released, usually within one day of airing in Japan, with Crunchyroll and Funimation releasing episodes just one hour after they originally aired. If Netflix genuinely cared about it’s viewership, it would replicate the service of it’s rivals. The irony of course is that on it’s Japanese service, Netflix actually provides subtitles for other languages.
So of course, it would seem to most people that the logical thing to do is to release anime Netflix gets rights to as soon as they can in every country they have rights for. But on top of logic, anime fans in the west have been bombarding Netflix with criticism over the last six months over the Little Witch Academia debacle. Like Amazon’s Anime Strike (which is another problem all together that I won’t talk about today), Netflix almost seem to be too big to give anime fans a good service. My impression is that Netflix is prepared to take anime fans for granted as they buy more and more streaming rights.
Well here’s what I have to say to Netflix and any other digital streaming website that thinks they are guaranteed our money, and it’s not a pleasant one. For many anime fans who want to support the industry they will sign up to sites to get a good service and a wide range of shows, but take away that good service and not only will anime fans abandon one legal streaming site, but they will end up abandoning them all, and in the end there will be no anime to stream at all as fans flock to illegal equivalents.
Grim but entirely possible. Rant over.
What are your thoughts on the way Netflix distributes anime to its non-Japanese subscribers? Would you forgo streaming your favourite shows legally to make a point to anime production committees and big streaming sites? And most importantly, are you excited for Fate/Apocrypha, regardless of how you intend to stream it?!