Recently, Tsutomu Nihei’s long-awaited BLAME! hit theaters in Japan — and simultaneously exploded onto Netflix worldwide. The Netflix release will mimic the Japanese cinema release, running for two weeks total. (Go watch it while you can!) This is great news for those of us who have been hearing about it constantly and wanting to see it for ourselves. But it’s also great news for anime fandom worldwide — because it seems like Japan is taking more and more notice of how ready for their content we are.
Of course, sites like Viewster have been able to offer simulcasts of popular shows thanks to contracts with overseas creators. And anime fans years ago would never dream of being able to watch anime as it airs in Japan. Translated, no less! But there’s more to it than that, and in the last year or so it’s become more and more evident that Japan cares about its overseas fans.
Recently, Chara-Ani.com announced it would be doing a “2.5D autograph session” for the Blu-Ray release of Nyanko Days. What is 2.5D? Well, in this case, they mean it’s set up so you’re almost as good as there. For a limited time, fans can pre-purchase an autographed edition of the Blu-Ray. Then, the site will do a live stream where voice actors from the series sign the discs on camera while chatting with viewers. That way, even fans abroad can have that experience!
Speaking of DVDs and Blu-Rays. You know those cool bonuses that Japanese fans seem to get constantly when they preorder? A few are being slipped into Western home video releases now! The English-language release of your name. from animate international will include huge amounts of extras, like a cute pub mirror featuring SD versions of the characters.
Overseas fans may still have to miss out on fun stuff like themed cafes and live stage shows, but even those are slowly being brought over thanks to conventions. It’s wonderful to see that anime studios in Japan are beginning to understand just how much Western fans love their tie-in promotions and want to take part!
Is there something you’d like to see come over this way from the anime fandom in Japan? Tell us in the comments!