If you are a fan of anime, you have likely become comfortable with streaming media. There are platforms dedicated to providing anime to fans globally whether it is Funimation, Hulu, Crunchyroll, Netflix, and so forth. With anime's popularity on the rise, the competition to stream hit series is high, and a recent Kickstarter pitch to add another service to the mix drew lots of drama this past week. But now, it turns out the campaign has been suspended.
The report comes from Anime News Network as Kickstarter told the site it did suspend the campaign set forward for Anime Tube, the controversial service in question. The website told ANN that it was "alerted to some possible violations of [its] rules regarding the accuracy of materials represented on the project page and elsewhere." Given the campaign's suspension, all funds donated to Anime Tube were returned.
For those unfamiliar with the situation here, let's take a few steps back. Anime Tube launched a Kickstarter earlier this month in a bid to deliver free on-demand anime to fans, and the service told backs it hoped to provide a varied catalog with shows that are difficult to find licensed. In its run, the Kickstarter was able to rack up over $110,000 USD in donations before it was shut down.
As for why the campaign garnered such controversy, it all comes down to the service's pitch. A number of industry executives questioned the ability of Anime Tube to deliver while some flat-out told fans to the scammy pitch. Fakku creator Jacob Grady, Nozomo Entertainment CEO Shawne Kleckner, Media OCD's Justin Sevakis, and others are just some of the pros who criticized Anime Tube's unrealistic goal. As fans began looking into the campaign, many began to wonder how major shows like Sword Art Online could even be licensed given the show's pre-existing rights in the United States. And from there, well - things got worse.
Now, Anime Tube has been removed by Kickstarter, but the project's founder George Weller isn't giving up. He told ANN the grounds for suspension were "very unspecific and unclear" and hopes to rectify the situation. As of the time this article was published, the campaign has not been reinstated, and Weller has stressed to ANN that Anime Tube is under no circumstances a "scam."
What do you make of this ordeal? Do you wish there were more streaming outlets for anime? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.