Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

That’s not how you spell “Cydonia”

Posted by Alex Malone on November 10, 2016

In addition to the streaming rights they have acquired for many popular anime franchises, Netflix has recently begun producing a number of anime series exclusive to their distribution platform, in much the same vein as Stranger Things or House of Cards. Although I have not personally watched any of these series, they were the first thing that I was reminded of while reading the article on transnational media dissemination between East Asian countries and the United States.

One of the things for which Netflix has been continuously praised is the cheap, easily accessible alternative it provides to piracy or other questionable means of obtaining media. Although I honestly cannot see Netflix acquiring a slate of J-dramas in the near future, I think that its distribution model provides a clear contrast to many of the practices described in the article. I know a few fansubbers, most of whom currently work in the JET program, and I have done plenty of lurking in a few IRC channels that I saw advertised in the subs for a show I was watching, so I’m not at all leveling criticism against this channel; in fact, I’m worried it may be dying out. With regard to anime specifically, it’s worth noting that providers such as FUNimation are making series that they have professionally subbed freely available through YouTube. This is more or less how I was introduced to the genre (my first anime was Steins;Gate, which is an absolute tour de force either dubbed or subbed,) and I suspect the same is true for a rapidly growing contingent. I think it’s awesome that a relatively niche category of media is being given a broader appeal; I just hope the structure doesn’t grow to the point that the American audience’s interests become first priority. Heaven knows that didn’t go over well in this country.


2 Responses to “That’s not how you spell “Cydonia””

  1. radionightowl said

    Netflix is golden for someone like me who occasionally has the time to watch TV–I don’t feel like searching for a piece of media I want to watch in the limited time I have, so if I can log onto Netflix and find it compiled into one large database, that’s perfect. The amount of anime and foreign media that has appeared on Netflix lately both surprises and excites me. Not only are they taking note of their diverse customer database, they are creating new media that also might make their brand appeal to more people who enjoy well-produced programming with limited censorship. Netflix’s original shows are some of the best I’ve ever seen in recent years–they are raising the bar for what regular television could be if it tried hard enough.

    • alexmalone1729 said

      At least among our generation, I feel that Netflix is going to supplant regular TV entirely unless regular TV decides to try something new, but we all know that’s not going to happen. It feels like a rare instance of the free market actually doing what it’s supposed to do — the only channel I still hear people namedrop is HBO, in large part because they’re doing the same sorts of things.

      I am gratified that you bring up censorship. I’d forgotten about it again because I’ve been here at school, but I will swear up and down that that bleep penetrates through doors, earplugs, anything. Ugh.

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