Sensei Avocado

Weekly Japanese Pop Culture Thread (August 8th, 2018)

Normally I use this space to spotlight a band, video game, film, or anime series. This week, I’m going to do something a little different. Yesterday, news broke that AT&T had bought out the Chernin Group-owned portion of Otter Media, the joint venture it had started with Chernin. Why is this relevant? Otter owns various media, including Fullscreen, owner of Rooster Teeth, and more relevantly for us, Ellation, owner of VRV and Crunchyroll. The plan is to fold all these assets into AT&T’s recently acquired media conglomerate, WarnerMedia, owner of HBO, Warner Bros., DC Comics, and CNN.

What does this mean for us for anime fans, now that Crunchyroll is but a tiny sliver of a mega-corporation’s media pie? (As opposed to a bigger sliver of a still fairly large pie, I guess.) Nothing at the moment. But this kind of consolidation can have real impacts. If Crunchyroll isn’t deemed profitable enough, it could be shuttered, with WarnerMedia jealousy guarding whatever licences Crunchyroll negotiated. Less apocalyptically, this could signal the end of VRV’s partnerships with other media companies – specifically Funimation, recently acquired by Sony – thereby splintering anime fandom once again (though HIDIVE is currently doing its best to make that splintering happen sooner).

In the end, things probably won’t change too much. Old media have by and large left the new media assets they’ve acquired alone. (“I’m not a fan, but the kids like it!” say the execs, unaware that they’re quoting brokeNYCDE.) But it’s worth keeping vigilant, just in case our new corporate overlords decide to pull any shenanigans.


On a much happier note, last week Scottish electropop trio Chvrches released a bilingual collaboration with Japanese electropop trio Wednesday Campanella, entitled “Out of My Head.” It has an anime-inspired music video. Check it out:


And now I turn it to you: what have you been been watching/playing/reading/eating/listening to lately?