10 CommentsEditorials / By Scamp /

Watching anime on Twitch was an entertaining experience

IMG_0595For about a week Twitch and Crunchyroll paired up to stream anime on Twitch. Crunchyroll picked a couple of popular and well liked anime from the past few years and you could tune in, jumping in and out with the live stream as the chat scrolled down the side. I tuned in for a few episodes myself because it was hard to stop myself. Partly because they basically picked all my favourite anime from the last year with Mob Psycho, Yuri on Ice and Tanya the Evil, partly because I wanted to see what watching anime with a live chat would be like, and finally because I think this is a super cool initiative I would like to see return someday, and I’m pretty sure it will do too.

It’s not like watching anime with a live chat is exactly new. Heck it’s what Nico Nico has been doing for years, although it never really caught on when they tried to do it with English-subtitled anime. But Twitch-streaming anime caught on with an audience that are used to watching streaming TV in general and watch a lot less regular cable TV, if they watch any at all. At one point watching Mob Psycho it reached 34,000 concurrent viewers. I’m pretty sure that’s nowhere near what concurrent viewers you would get on American TV, but that’s still a lot of people.

More importantly, there’s a good chance it caught people who have never watched anime before because it was right up the top of the most popular streams basically the entire time it was running. Crunchyroll basically picked perfect anime to run during it as well, even if everything wasn’t to my personal liking, there were no obvious stinkers (although trying to convert a new anime fan with Kemono Friends feel like a misguided effort, I can at least get why they felt it was worth a shot sticking in the low-viewer timeslot). Flicking on the show as a young, impressionable teen boy and catching a few episodes of Mob Psycho and wondering what the hell is this thing, or a young teen girl clicking on Yuri on Ice just in time for Yuri to start his routine where he turns to the camera and kisses and the entire chat fills up with WE WERE BORN TO MAKE HISTORY. It leaves an impression that I can see new fans wanting to find more.

I hope to see Crunchyroll and Twitch bring it back one day. Keep it infrequent, like maybe every 3 months or so. Especially if they could get a big shounen like Naruto or Dragonball, or heck even all of Attack on Titan would be great. Particularly if it shows success, companies could be eager to get in on it. It has the potential to bring in new fans in a way TV used to and does less so nowadays. Anime probably has never been bigger nor more visible than it is right now, but that doesn’t mean you should stop trying to attract new people. It’s an interesting move by Crunchyroll too. As they’re getting outbid for all the best new anime, they instead double down on their catalogue and getting their name out there as THE place to watch anime. Especially if Funimation backs them on this and starts to throw some of their best catalogue titles on there (again, throw Dragonball up there). In turn though it does make it weird that Twitch were OK with this. Aren’t they owned by Amazon? Shouldn’t they be competitors? I mean whoops shhh maybe Amazon doesn’t realise this happened.

As for the live chat itself, it has its ups and downs. It was fun watching Yuri on Ice all constantly spam WE WERE BORN TO MAKE HISTORY and rainbow faces (KappaPride ya’ll) while every minute some impressionable young bloke would come in and say “wait this is really gay isn’t it”. It was slightly less fun to watch Tanya the Evil and the neo-nazis come out of the woodwork. Sure I could try typing an explanation about how this is really about the flaws of viewing the world through a psychopathic lens, but that would get lost under a stream of GOING TO JAIL feelsbadman. I definitely think it works better for marathoning anime you’ve already seen so you’re less bothered about missing parts. And there are anime I would never touch Twitch chat with, like the Monogatari Series. But then there are others like…


I want to watch Code Geass with Twitch. Please. Make it happen.

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  1. Skidda
    Posted August 5, 2017 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    I remember when Fate/zero was released world wide on Niconico. It was pretty fun.

    As you said, streaming chat is most of the time a memes gallery and it can be pretty tiring after a while. I watched LOGH streams with /a/ some years ago and since we weren’t many people it was a nice mix of “SIEG REINHARD” and actual discussions about the plot, flaws and strengths of the show. This kind of balance is impossible after you reach like 100+ people watching, unfortunately.

  2. Canary Paint
    Posted August 5, 2017 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like fun…

    With the right kind of trolling and piss-taking going on, it could be like Mystery Science Theater 3000 for anime.

  3. ANON
    Posted August 7, 2017 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    If this continues I guess 10 years or so from now there will be people who will say “my first anime experience was from a stream on twitch..”

  4. AnotherTim
    Posted August 11, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    I can totally imagine that Amazon has no idea that this happened.

    They heard in a meeting that Twitch was doing:”…some anime thing”

    and they were like. “Yeah, that’s fine.”

  5. Michael Jordan
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    I would like to see Funimation do it next. I enjoyed what I saw of the CR/Twitch streams, but there was one glaring issue. It was subtitled. Jumping back and forth between reading subtitles and the blazing fast chat was a problem that hurt my enjoyment. It’s fine if you’ve already seen the show, but sometimes I actually wanted to know what characters were saying.

    Dubbed anime would be way better and Funimation can provide that. Plus it also fits much better with what Twitch often ends up being. Something you have on in the background.

  6. gw_kimmy
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 4:41 am | Permalink

    *returns randomly*

    watching code geass on twitch sounds incredibly promising lol, except i know the chat will be posting spoilers constantly, ruining it for the newbies :( i recently saw some of the anime again since a friend had never seen it before, it hasn’t lost any of its charm at all. we recorded my friend reacting to the euphemia plot twist and were not disappointed.

    maybe off topic, i looked back at your fav anime of 2016 (?) post and was really surprised to see that you enjoyed yuri on ice lol. i guess i enjoyed it enough, but i was so disappointed that the animation budget went to animating yuri’s sparkling tears and victor’s abs and not on, you know, the actual skating. also the fanservice was almost unbearable. im a fujioshi and i’m complaining about fanservice! i can only imagine the fallout when next season comes and there’s still no confirmed kiss and no confirmed relationship. or maybe (hopefully) they’ll actually deliver.

    ’til next time!

  7. DarkEnergy
    Posted September 7, 2017 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    God I would love Code Geass + Twitch. I really do hope they do more of this kind of thing. It seemed like a big success and has so much potential. How about Evangelion + Twitch? Or Jojo’s.

  8. Posted September 29, 2017 at 4:16 am | Permalink

    I think its hard for them to move all the anime videos at once. also I think they will be careful on uploading anime series on twitch because with a large number of viewers and massive videos they shouldn’t just add anime that only few people will watch.

  9. anon
    Posted September 29, 2017 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    It’s that time again to wake up Scamp and tell him to MAKE THE NEXT SEASON PREVIEW!

  10. Bokusen
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Darn, reading this makes me wish there was an English subbed version of Abema.tv. That site is Japanese only, and region blocked outside Japan unless people use a proxy, but it’s a site with 24-hr, legal, online-only streaming tv channels, and each channel has a live comments stream you can show, comment in, and/or hide. There are a few anime channels there and lately I’ve been re-watching Yuu Yuu Hakusho and Juuni Kokki through that site. Having the comments open while watching and reading them is suprisingly fun & I *really* wish they had something like it in the US…I can’t recommend it to my non-Japanese speaking friends unless it had an option for English subs, but at the least it shows that making a site which live streams anime all the time and has live comments is totally possible…not that I imagine any company in the US or Europe would make a site like that, but I can still dream I guess.

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