Monday, July 27, 2009

:anime: Free Anime Directory Update! ::For 07.27.09::

Here it epic "Free Anime Directory Update[!]" more than three months in the making! The palpitation can be felt as the excitement and adrenalin washes over the crowd as everyone awaits the news with baited breath! And...and...

Oh, who am I kidding? The notations have been there for months already. The only reason I kept them around so long was because it would make compiling this list and referencing to the Directory more easy. In reality, the feature itself has been kept up-to-date, but I never posted the mid- to late-April "Update" due to the time constraints mentioned in previous posts. So with that placed behind, let's kick off post #202 of HD with [*cough*something that should have happened ages ago*cough*] it!

Anime News Network - Video
--ANN got onto the wagon last year by offering select titles from Media Blasters on their spanking new video player. But within the last couple of months, they've really been on a run, becoming a sublet for a huge number of titles from other outlets. By merely serving as a window for media players from sites like Hulu, YouTube, Joost, and Crunchyroll, ANN can possibly claim the title of having the largest library of legally-free anime on the Internet. However valid, it's still a pretty convenient one-stop place for your anime fix...

--That's right, that site is now in the Directory. Despite my initial reservations and skepticism, I gave it a grace period to see how "legit" and good the service was. In that time, admittedly, I was won over by its quality and, most importantly, that they kept to their word. As such, it was only right to "give it my blessing" (though I still made sure to make mention of its past). So yes, CR truly has gone straight and are pretty good, too.

Man, I can't believe I actually wrote that...

--Joining the ranks of YouTube and Crunchyroll (to a lesser extent, as to be explained), Veoh took the step of becoming a more legitimate video portal by hosting authorized works from FUNimation. Now, I say "to a lesser extent" because, unlike CR--and more like YT--there are still plenty of unauthorized titles lurking around. While those of FUNi's that they host aren't around to be found, there are still a good deal that haven't been given the, uh, "A-OK". It's the same with YT, and though there is an active move on both of their respective parts to remove any videos that a company complains about, there is something of a double standard at work, from the site itself (who essentially "turn the other way") to the legit companies that use them (who willingly provide content on such sites). The issue is also a double-edged sword of sorts (free promotion of shows vs. absence of profit-taking as a result). Conversely, it can also be viewed as "fighting fire with fire", which is why I have been hesitant to list the following site for so long, much less Veoh.

--Ah YouTube, such is the contradiction. The main driving force to its placement on HD's list is the rapidly growing number of anime companies in Japan and abroad embracing it and establishing "channels" on the site, with YT's efforts to remove unauthorized videos by request coming in as a close second. Although, perhaps the real reason I was able to post it was because they finally made a section that easily provided links to all of their animated offerings...

-:Anime Shows on Parade:-
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
--That the ever-so-popular FMA's non-reincarnation got licensed was something of a non-/surprise, and a slight gamble, but neither applied when the show received essentially a worldwide digital distro run, with N. American licensor FUNimation handling the streaming in their region. And, of course, we all know the fun time they all have been having with that...

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
One of the biggest hits ever (and #20 on HD's "Decade's Best" list), TMoHS not only sees a rebroadcasting of its episodes on the web, but also of its new season, which started this spring (and is interspersed throughout the first season's set of episodes, as chronologically ordered). The caveat? The episodes only remain up for a week (and as of this posting, only the most recent one is available now--and without translation--as opposed to subtitled batch of episodes that were being posted until they caught up with the Japanese broadcast). The other caveat? The newest episode may be titled "Endless Eight"... ;P

While everything listed here has been updated, there was not a whole lot of major alterations, with most of them consisting of link additions.

Anime Network Online
--New design (again), new distro format, new description...

Bandai Entertainment Japanese Anime Channel
--Added link to ANN's video service, where its content can also be watched.

FUNimation Videos
--Added info on Viz Media shows being hosted.

FUNimation YouTube Hangout
--Added link to ANN's video service, where its content can also be watched.

--Changed listing of content providers, added link to ANN's aggregated video service (see entries above).

-:Anime Shows on Parade:-
Most of these shows have basically the same sort of update, so to save space, they will be listed in clusters according to what was updated.

Baki the Grappler
Darker than BLACK
Glass Fleet
Shikabane Hime
Shin chan
Slam Dunk
--Added additional hosts, from recently-inducted sites like Crunchyroll, to recently-discovered links, such as shows with download-to-own options.

Naruto Shippuden
Strike Witches
The Tower of DRUAGA -the Aegis of URUK-
The Tower of DRUAGA -the Sword of URUK-
--Same as above, but with the inclusion of CR in the Directory came the need to update the descriptions, as well.

-:Off Sites:-
--Ever since Crunchyroll went legit (and even before that), BOST has been suspiciously quiet. No updates or any word from the site runners on their forum or elsewhere and now the site itself is down...certainly not a good sign for the once-promising upstart and perceived "legal" alternative of HQ video to CR during GONZO's landmark run of streamed new shows last year.

Central Park Media iPod Downloads
--With the finalized exit of industry trailblazer Central Park Media, who never recovered from Musicland's bankruptcy, their website has, too, gone under, along with their page of videos playable on the iPod.

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