What better way to start off the new year and new decade than with a bunch of new, free anime? (Alright, well, some of it has been listed as such in the Directory for awhile...) There are some really great selections below, especially on the "self-produced" front, and with the arrival of "World Animation Theater" onto YouTube, hopefully enough attention and demand will be clamored for some decent subtitles to be added to them and others (which is possible with the recent feature additions). Hmm...you know, the Free Anime Directory & Guide is well due for a change itself...
Nippon Animation Theater
--I have always had a great fondness for old, classic animation and literature, so finding out that twenty-seven titles from Nippon Animation's World Masterpiece Theater anthology was posted onto their YouTube channel made my day. Even if they are just the first episodes and next episode previews, and untranslated, it's at least nice to know that I finally have the opportunity to watch them--something that I have -long- wanted to. Still, it would be even better if they had some (good) subtitles and more episodes...
--Just a Hulu sublet, nothing more. At the very least, it can be seen as a venue of convenience for viewing Viz-specific titles.
-:Anime Shows on Parade:-
--This nearly 2-1/2 minute long short has rightfully garnered a lot of attention. Its premise is very simple--a girl gets shot down by the boy she confesses to and encounters a lot of mishaps as she runs away bawling--and very well animated. It's also quite hilarious, and one would be fooled into thinking it was the work of a studio when it was primarily the product of one student (with some help from others). The execution is superb and shows just how talented Hiroyasu Ishida is all around. Personally, this pitch-perfect video of his sums it up.
Inuyasha: The Final Act
Well, Rumiko Takahashi had to finish the manga first, but at least those concluding chapters are finally being animated. Should help wash out the bad taste left by the first show's cop-out ending (yes, the manga wasn't done, but the series wrapped up abruptly and real poorly).
--The long-awaited, not-a-sequel-as-planned-but-a-spinoff of the popular Kiddy Grade has been showing on Kadokawa Anime Channel every Thursday...for 24 hours and no subs. I have elected to solely watch it this way and as pretty as the show, and its denizens, are, it has been pretty awful. I doubt a translation would make a difference (its not that hard to follow).
I already had One Piece's entry posted when the big FUNimation streaming drama kicked up and had to pull it down. Late last summer, things apparently got smoothed out and the simulcast was go. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed, which shows the Japanese side's commitment to making worldwide streaming work.
This is Samurai X - the international version of the TV anime Rurouni Kenshin, not to be confused with the prequel and sequel OVAs released by ADV Films that went under the same name. Sony marketed the show under the somewhat-embarrassing moniker (and apparently forced ADV to use it to) and didn't meet too much success in North America. Media Blasters would later give it a proper dub, under its original title, but Sony still uses "Samurai X" and its old dub in other territories. It's hard to say what spoiled its first salvo in NA more: its lame name or its lamer, more mediocre dub (and its oddball translation choices)? Now you can watch it for free online and decide for yourself!
the TV show
An amazing and neat music video of sorts, the TV show was animated by one Kousuke Sugimoto, a self-taught 26-year-old (with music provided by Takayuki Manabe). Like the above Fumiko's Confession, it is another widely-praised, self-produced work video on YouTube full of creativity and talent (and that's also quite humorous). And not to be left out, Manabe's vocal-less, catchy beats fit the short like a glove.
First featured last month as December's "Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month", Yawarakame is a funny and unique project between the growingly-popular ufotable (Kara no Kyoukai) and Those Who Hunt Elves creator Yu Yagami that features Miyuki Sawashiro (one of my favorites) voicing all of the characters. Its quirky, low-budget visuals and comedic stylings may get more mileage out some than others, but it is worth a look just for the feat of observing a VA doing all of the voicework. One word of caution: the video size is small and runs at a paltry bitrate (probably to make streaming it less resource-intensive), so expect the quality to look less than stellar.