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Anime Expo 2009

by Mikhail Koulikov,

Crunchyroll's current business plan, as hinted at by its CEO in a closed-doors, industry-only keynote address the previous day, is to give fans several different ways of accessing both new and classic anime titles online, either as a complement to or instead of DVD's. One component of this plan is based on a continuing increase in the number of anime series that are available on Crunchyroll immediately after a new episode is aired in Japan. Current highlights include Shugo Chara!, Gin Tama, Shangri-La, Reborn! the second season of Hayate the Combat Butler, Saki - The Player, Chi's Sweet Home, Time of Eve, and Mom's Life.

Episodes of Natsu no Arashi!, which Crunchyroll had also began to simulcast, will now be added to the site's archive of series that can be watched at any time. And Crunchyroll is further working to expand its catalog by partnering with smaller and independent Japanese animation studies, including Robot, Fanworks, and CoMix Wave. Episodes of Dark Side Cat, Greathunt Flash, Peeping Life, shorts The Diary of Tortov Riddle and the Oscar-winning Pieces of Love (originally known as Le Maison en Petits Cubes)

Marvelous Entertainment, Fuji Television and TMS are the latest major companies providing content to Crunchyroll, with series including Kono Aozora ni Yakusoku wo, Glass Maiden, Galaxy High School, as well as the classic, 1984-1985 Sherlock Hound, which was directed by Hayao Miyazaki

Finally, the list of all-new titles that will be avavailable for viewing on Crunchyroll immediately after they air in Japan is also expanding, with four new multi-episode series added.

Kanamemo, directed by Card Captor Sakura and Galaxy Angel X's Shigehito Takayanagi, is based on a four-panel manga about a orphaned middle school student who has to work in a newspaper delivery office after losing her last living relative. Charger Girl will be the English title of Fight Ippatsu! Jūden-chan!!, also based on a manga by Mahoromatic's Bow Ditama. Aoi Hana, or Sweet Blue Flowers, is a slice-of-life romance drama whose protagonists, two high-school-age girls, try to renew a ten-year-old friendship. The fourth new series, Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahō's main character is a high school freshman who becomes an apprentice to a powerful wizard - who also happens to be a 25-year-old graduate student.

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