Crunchyroll Announces End Of Free Anime Simulcast Broadcasts As Sentai Filmworks Set To Pull Over 60 Series From Platform

Source: himouto! Umaru-chan Episode 1 "Umaru and Onii-chan" (2015), Doga Kobo

Hot off the heels of it’s official consolidation with Funimation with one of the most anti-consumer one-two-punches in recent memory, Crunchyroll has announced that not only will they be torpedoing their free, ad-supported simulcasts of anime in favor of an exclusively paid option, but also that over sixty Sentai Filmworks-licensed will be removed from their platform at the end of the month.

Source: Girls und Panzer Episode 12 “The Battle We Can’t Back Down From” (20113), Actas

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These upcoming changes to the recently acquired Sony subsidiary’s offerings were announced on March 24th beginning with a blog post published to the official Q&A resource, the Crunchyroll Database, wherein the company informed users, “For the Spring 2022 season and future seasonal releases, Crunchyroll will update our offering on simulcast titles by subscription tier. To view new and continuing simulcasts, a premium monthly or annual subscription will be required.”

“We will no longer be offering simulcast episodes one week after release as an ad-supported, free viewing option,” they added. “For continuing series, ad-supported viewing on any new episodes will not be available in line with the Spring season, however, previously published episodes are still available to all user types.”

Source: Infinite Stratos Episode 12 “Your Name Is” (2011), Eight Bit

However, the company then noted that this new rule would come with a handful of exceptions, as in promotion of each round of “new seasonal simulcasts, we will be offering initial episodes of select titles as part of a ‘seasonal sampler’ for free viewing for a limited time”.

According to Crunchyroll, the sampler for the Spring 2022 season will include:

  • Spy x Family
  • A Couple of Cuckoos
  • Dawn of the Witch
  • Tomodachi Game
  • Skeleton Knight in Another World
  • Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie
  • The Greatest Demon Lord is Reborn as a Typical Nobody
  • Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs

Source: SPY x FAMILY Twitter

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“The first three episodes of these Spring titles will be available for free, ad-supported viewing one week after their subscription-only premiere until 5/31,” Crunchyroll explained of their new sampler system. “After this date, all episodes within our seasonal sampler preview will require subscription.”

Further, in a separate blog post published that same day to the Crunchyroll front page proper, the streaming service revealed that over sixty titles would be “leaving Crunchyroll on March 31”.

These titles include:

  •     Akame ga Kill!
  •     Amagi Brilliant Park
  •     Ano Natsu de Matteru
  •     BanG Dream!
  •     BanG Dream! Season 2
  •     Beyond the Boundary
  •     Black Bullet
  •     BTOOOM!
  •     Chivalry of a Failed Knight
  •     Diabolik Lovers
  •     Familiar of Zero F
  •     Flowers of Evil
  •     Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma
  •     Food Wars! The Second Plate

Source: Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma The First Place Episode 7 “The Silent Bowl, the Eloquent Bowl / A Quiet Don, an Eloquent Don” (2019), J.C. Staff

  •     GATE
  •     GIRLS und PANZER
  •     Golden Time
  •     Hakkenden: Eight Dogs of the East (Season 1)
  •     Hakkenden: Eight Dogs of the East (Season 2)
  •     Haven’t You Heard I’m Sakamoto
  •     HENNEKO – The Hentai Prince and the Stony Cat –
  •     Himouto! Umaru-chan
  •     Hozuki’s Coolheadedness
  •     Hozuki’s Coolheadedness 2
  •     Infinite Stratos
  •     Is It Wrong To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon

Source: Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? II Episode 11 “Army’s Advance (Rakia)” (2019), J.C. Staff

  •     Is The Order A Rabbit?
  •     Is the Order a Rabbit?? (Season 2)
  •     Kids on the Slope
  •     Kokoro Connect
  •     Listen to Me, Girls, I’m Your Father!
  •     Little Busters!
  •     Little Busters! Refrain
  •     Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions
  •     Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions – Heart Throb –
  •     Majestic Prince

Source: Majestic Prince Episode 22 “Operation: Heaven’s Gate” (2013), Studio Orange

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  •     Medaka Box
  •     Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun
  •     Motto Love Ru
  •     My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU
  •     My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Too!
  •     Mysterious Girlfriend X
  •     No Game No Life
  •     Non Non Biyori
  •     Non Non Biyori Repeat (Season 2)
  •     Outbreak Company
  •     Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation

Source: Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation Episode 10 “Vessel” (2016), Telecom Animation Film

  •     Say “I love you”
  •     SCHOOL-LIVE!
  •     Sunday Without God
  •     Tanaka-kun is always listless
  •     The Pet Girl of Sakurasou
  •     To Love Ru
  •     To Love Ru Darkness
  •     To Love Ru Darkness 2
  •     Ushio and Tora
  •     Utawarerumono The False Faces
  •     WATAMOTE ~No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys Fault I’m Not Popular!~
  •     Wolf Girl and Black Prince
  •     Young Black Jack

Source: Ushio & Tora Episode 26 “TATARI BREAKER” (1992), Studio MAPPA

Though no official reason was given for the pulling of these particular titles, given that all those set to be removed are currently licensed for foreign distribution by Sentai Filmworks, it’s likely this move was done in order to bolster the library of the company’s own HiDive anime streaming service – itself now standing as arguably the only major competitor to Crunchyroll/Funimation

What do you make of these upcoming changes to Crunchyroll? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!

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