In my second article on Viewster, I asked the question: Is Netflix Bad for the Anime Industry? Viewster published that article on March 9th.
Among the many points I made in the article was that the “binging” release strategy rather than the weekly release strategy likely hurts the industry rather than helps it. The show Little Witch Academia (LWA) was my prime example.
I earnestly thought that Netflix would release LWA during the Spring 2017 season of anime. So I sat and waited for April 1st. I felt like a little kid on Christmas Eve. But April 1st came and passed. And like the worst April Fools joke ever, LWA did not premiere.
Was it my fault for assuming Netflix would release the first half of the season the week after it aired? Maybe. After all, Ajin was released on Netflix the week after it was done airing and released the Seven Deadly Sins OVA on the same day it aired.
Netflix is so late to the game that DVDs and Blu-rays for the first 13 episodes of LWA have been available for a month and a half (shipped April 19). These DVDs and Blu-rays come equipped with English subtitles on them. As of May 21, over 3,200 copies of Volume 1 have been purchased so far. Who knows? Netflix may have helped the industry after all.
I understand if Netflix wants to check every box before releasing it. The two LWA movies on Netflix have five spoken languages and five subtitle options. But at this point, I can’t even imagine how many people have seen these first 13 episodes. Between torrenting, live-streaming, and even DVDs purchases, Netflix has lost out on a gigantic consumer base and its exclusivity.
As of today, the 21st episode of LWA has premiered. If we are to believe that LWA will premiere a new show every week, then the final episode of will air on June 25th. Which is coincidentally five days before Netflix releases the first 13 episodes of LWA on June 30th.
Yes. Thirteen. We won’t even get the full first season.
But for those of you who haven’t illegally or legally watched Little Witch Academia yet, hold strong. We only have a month to go until we get to see the first half.