Anime Ltd has launched it's "Screen Anime" service, which will offer 4 films and 1 TV series per month for a subscription fee of £3.98, or £39.98 per year.
So far the films mentioned are all licenses from Anime Ltd's distribution catalogue such as Promare, The Wings of Honneamise and Patema Inverted, which will allow the company to squeeze more life from their reduced catalogue.
The real interest for anime fans will more likely be exclusive interviews and and shorts available on the service. Annual subscribers will also recieve a membership card entitling them to discounts on Anime Ltd's store according to the recent press release.
With Corona making cinema a decidedly endangered species, (especially considering the ongoing stand-off between between distributor Universal and AMC theatres in the US) going online seems to be a sensible move for Anime Ltd. After losing their Funimation partnership to Manga Entertainnment last year, the company's high-profile cinema releases and Scotland Loves Anime event were a lifeline, but are now particularly vulnerable due to the pandemic.
How does the service compare to other streaming services?
- A basic Netflix package casts £5.99pm and has access to 187 anime film & Tv shows, including Originals like Beastars and Carole & Tuesday
- Crunchyroll has a catalogue of 900 titles, as well as providing simulcasts of Japanese shows for $7.99pm
- Funimation Now has 600 shows and offers Simuldubs for $7.99pm
- HiDive has around 500 shows (including Food Wars!) for $4.99pm
- All4 has over 100 hours of anime content (mostly from Anime Ltd) absolutely free
Screen Anime will need to flex those exclusive extras and make their offerings unique and compelling to compete.
The May line-up includes:
- Promare (Bonus: Side Story Lio 10 minute prequel short)
- Penguin Highway (Bonus: Interview with the original author, Tomihiki Morimi)
- Patema Inverted (Bonus: Alternatate angles)
- Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise
At time of press the TV series to be offered is listed as TBC.
You can register your interest for the service on Screenanime.com, where you can also win prizes.