Buying titles like Black Butler is about to get way harder. After all, it seems the license for the anime is about to expire, and that could mean bad things for Funimation and Crunchyroll users.
As it stands, Black Butler II and Shiki are about to have their licenses turned around by Aniplex. Currently, the distributor holds the home video and streaming rights for the two series, and they are set to revert on June 30.
For those unsure of what this means, it isn’t necessarily a great thing for your wallet. Currently, Aniplex holds the active rights to Black Butler II, so the company is able to produce new DVD and Blu-ray collections of the season. However, when the license reverts, Aniplex will halt production and leave sales of the season to be done by fans. And, as you might have guessed, some serious price gouging goes down for these in-demand series.
In a worst-case scenario, this license reversion can effect streaming. Should Aniplex revert all rights, then sites hosting titles like Black Butler II may be forced to take them down. Currently, sites such as Crunchyroll have Black Butler II up to stream, but there has been no word on whether they’re going anywhere. However, there is a positive precedence set for them staying.
After all, Aniplex also holds the distribution rights for Black Butler’s first season. The original anime had its license expire in May 2017, but Black Butler is still available to stream through Crunchyroll. So, fans are optimistic these expiring titles will be available online for quite some time.
Still, there is a good chance DVD and Blu-ray collections for Black Butler II and Shiki are about to rise in price. Series like Birdy the Mighty: Decode and Fullmetal Alchemist experienced this inflation when their licenses ended in 2016, so if you like either of these titles, you better get them on video before July rolls in.
If you are not familiar with Black Butler, the gothic series has been a fan-favorite for years now. The supernatural series debuted back in 2006, and Black Butler recently had a new feature film released over in Japan. You can read up on the show’s synopsis below:0comments
“Ceil Phantomhive was born into a life of luxury, only to have his parents murdered before his eyes. Wrought with grief, he summoned a devilish servant, Sebastian, to help him track down - and suitably punish - the fiends who made him an orphan.”
Will you be picking up either of these anime titles on DVD before June wraps? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!