Otakon 2011 Crunchyroll Industry Panel
by Crystalyn Hodgkins,
Host Keith Kawamura began the panel by first introducing the audience to what Crunchyroll is: a streaming website for anime and Asian dramas. Then he mentioned Crunchyroll's recent charity project, which raised more than $55,000 in two weeks. That money was donated to the Association of Japanese Animators, and aided in the Japan relief effort after the March 11 earthquake. Kawamura also mentioned that earlier this year, the site reached 50,000 subscribers. Crunchyroll also has more than 6 million viewers each month.
Kawamura then discussed the JManga project and website, which is currently in a closed beta. The full launch for the site is set for August 17. He also noted that fans can access Crunchyroll on AppleTV, Android, iPad, iPhone, and Roku devices. The site will also soon support the new GoogleTV (version 2).
Recently, Crunchyroll added a new section to its website, which focuses on anime, manga and cosplay-related news. The coverage includes pictures and discussions. The site has also started a livestream segment. At Fanime, A-Kon and AX, Crunchyroll streamed activities at its booth live to those who couldn't attend. More than 67,000 viewers tuned in to these live streams, and they reached 200,000 comments from the Fanime livestream alone.
Crunchyroll has also recently released its Cosp.ly URL shortener just for anime fans.
Kawamura then began discussion on Crunchyroll's summer lineup titles. Fans can find a complete list at http://www.crunchyroll.com/lineup. Crunchyroll is currently simulcasting 13 continuing series from the spring season. Kawamura then discussed the three simulcast titles that Crunchyroll announced at AX: Kamisama Dolls, YuruYuri and Natsume Yujincho San. He then revealed the rest of the summer lineup: Morita-san wa Mukuchi, No. 6, the Idolm@ster, Sacred Seven, Usagi Drop, Nekogami Yaoyorozu, R-15, The Mystic Archives of Dantalian, A Dark Rabbit has Seven Lives, and Twin Angel: Twinkle Paradise.
And with that, Kawamura launched into the Q&A. Of note: Crunchyroll is working on bringing the site to Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Wii platforms. If fans would like to know more about the JManga platform, they can visit Crunchyroll's site. The JManga site will feature both full volumes and recent releases. He noted that fans could probably still apply and get access to the closed beta. JManga will only have its computer platform at first, but they will work on creating apps for iPhone, iPad and other devices in the future. Currently, the JMnaga platform is focusing on just the website for now, and it will expand to other applications once they receive feedback on the website after it officially launches.
When an audience member asked why some shows aren't shown 1 hour after the original Japanese broadcast, Kawamura replied that time of the simulcast is dependent upon the Japanese publisher's requests. In addition, Kawamura revealed that Crunchyroll does not have any plans to release any more titles on DVD after they recently released Makoto Shinkai's film 5 Centimeters Per Second.
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