2021 in Review: Part 2

2021 in Review: Part 2

2021 in Review: Part 2

Let’s continue our journey down memory lane!

You know, I really don’t have a good reason why I abandoned Manga Flip. It was free then, and it’s still free! Sure, even now, titles aren’t jumping out at me, but I want to show support for this app when so many others are pay-per-chapter or subscription-only with limited free options.

Another service dominated by Kodansha Comics titles. But I’ve used this to keep up on the latest chapters of Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card since I’ve all but given up on Crunchyroll Manga. I really wish though that there were volume numbers listed with chapter titles. It would be easier to find a specific chapter, establish reading breaks for readers at a glance, and also know if users need to go buy additional volumes elsewhere to finish the series. Azuki is branching out more, and they’re striking exclusivity deals. If they can continue to expand like this, they may do well for themselves.

Honestly, Alpha Manga has turned out to be one of my favorite services. Sure, the translations are sometimes awful and they can’t even get the main characters’ — including the protagonist’s!! — name right, but it has some very good series on here. Mondays aren’t quite so bad when I can check out a new chapter of Cavalier With the Truth every week. Not to mention May I Ask for One Final Thing? which needs to have a physical release ASAP. The three earliest + three latest free chapter model is fair, and every 10 days users can acquire enough tickets to check out a backlog chapter at no expense. It’s an app to check out if you haven’t already.

Cavalier with the Truth Sample

Ah, looks like their Facebook page is gone. Twitter is still up though including the press release where Anime Tube’s CEO insisted “our first Kickstarter campaign was cancelled by us, the creators of Anime Tube®, and not by Kickstarter” and “never stated or implied in our campaign that we had licenses for the shows displayed in our prototype screenshots”. The Twitter account has been silent since July 19th. I doubt the people behind it won’t try another suspect app, but it seems for now they have realized this imagined “easy Kickstarter relaunch” is not going to happen.

I really, really want to love Comikey. And I’m impressed at how they’re growing, with a lot of exclusives. But I just keep focusing on the drawbacks. No app version. No manga section. A confusing paid-free-paid model. I mean, take Promise Cinderella for instance. New chapters are released Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s chapter is free for 2 hours, then locked for 12, and then free again…until Sunday’s chapter goes up. So Saturday’s chapter is only free for 14 non-consecutive hours while Sunday’s is free until the next chapter on Saturday. Even monthly series only have the latest chapter for a week. It might not be quite as bad if there was an app version where I could get a notification, but honestly, it feels more like a high-stress gacha game than an enjoyable reading break.

Comikey Schedule Promise Cinderella

I remember years ago messenger bags were a rather popular anime tie-in. So I am a little surprised we don’t see more laptop cases and such nowadays. I do hope we see more.

Looking forward to new announcements with their simulpubs. I still love the idea of either KADOKAWA creating its own subscription service or, even better, teaming up with J-Novel Club. While this year saw the advent of several new manga subscription services, this KADOKAWA x J-Novel Club would stand out thanks to its light novel offerings. If nothing else, I hope J-Novel Club does end up doing physical releases for some KADOKAWA titles.

Still rather quiet on this newsfront overall. No major shakeups, which can be good or bad depending on your view. Hopefully that means that if there are changes, they will be planned out. And maybe with a little more fanfare this time around.

Macy’s got control of the website, it will be interesting to see if they last longer than Target or Amazon. Toys R Us’ new stores that closed earlier this year were in Texas and New Jersey. So with the new one in New Jersey, so should Texas look forward to Toys R Us 3.0?

Out of curiosity, I did a quick search for manga on Kindle Unlimited. I didn’t expect much improvement, and I was right. It’s so sad since there are actual titles that deserve readers’ attention. I wish Amazon could make it easier to search by publisher. And along those lines, I also wish Media Do titles also popped up under one name instead of several. That way, you could help filter out all those scanlations.

Kindle Unlimited Manga Search December 2021

If you’ve been to the store, I’m sure you’ve noticed how bare some of the shelves are. It’s a perfect combination of lack of shipments and people buying. I know there have been a few items I’ve picked up that I usually wait until post-holiday sales, but this year, I don’t think I’d be able to find them. Heck, stores are still receiving Halloween decorations sh

At this point, VRV is basically Sears/Kmart: it’s dying a slow death. I mean, it’s possible Sony will add Funimation to the service, but if they were, you think they would have done so by now. But HIDIVE’s challenges continue to grow as other companies like Disney get even more serious about tapping the anime market.

One of the more celebrated pieces of news this year. Still a lot of room for expansion and improvement, but at least it’s a start. And I am a little curious as to what kind of “production delays” cause an issue overseas when Blue Period is already airing two weeks behind Japan.

I ended up not liking the Pandaro cookie. Still have yet to try out some of the other snacks — and find out what sticker I got!

This was one of the harder columns to do this year due to lack of sales and the struggle to find anime costumes in stock. But I did end up really liking the theme. I’m hoping for a more deal-centered Halloween post next year!

Apple won a stay in its appeal case, so for now, users have to pay through the App Store for in-app purchases. Not too surprising honestly, with Apple arguing it’s having trouble implementing the court’s order. This case will likely take months, perhaps years, to resolve, so whether you’re a developer hoping to avoid Apple’s cut or a user who hopes for more options to pay, don’t expect any changes anytime soon.

I’m still surprised at the initial lineup. I mean, Disney+ got ahold of the streaming rights for a Shonen Jump adaptation of a manga, and now Udon Entertainment will release physical versions of the manga. What a changing world we live in…

There were a lot of one day/one weekend sales that matched stores’ Black Friday prices. Just a reminder for next year to keep an eye out for emails so you can get your order early and fast without having to deal with the Black Friday rush.

I did get my Demon Slayer box set. I can’t help but feel a little bad since it’s not like I needed it before Christmas or anything. But at this point, I don’t know what’s been released until it shows up at my doorstep — I don’t have the time or energy to read all those Right Stuf shipping delay emails!

This will be a very interesting case to watch. If nothing else, it’s a good reminder to watch what you say or write — it just might come back to haunt you, especially if you’re a bigtime executive wanting a big merger. But attorneys for Penguin Random House and ViacomCBS (owners of Simon & Schuster) are telling the court the deal is “pro competitive” and that authors would benefit from Penguin Random House’s distribution. Hard to say how this case will go, but it is true that Penguin Random House already dwarfs the competition, and I wonder how the publishers will address the question of how big is too big and if they will end up pursuing more companies.

Again, I’m so glad GameStop is focusing on the important things like digital art over unnecessary distractions like making it easy to find things in-store. I hope you can feel the sarcasm dripping from my words. Between Reddit and NFTs, it feels like GameStop is really MemeStop.

Already planning on making changes for next year. I usually reserved this column for the big box stores, but next year, I’m including other retailers and subscription services. So the 2022 Edition will hopefully feature deals like this:

I already have bought some PS5 games even though I don’t plan on tracking one down anytime soon. Meanwhile, some analysts think Dollar Tree becoming Dollar-Twenty-Five Tree could backfire on the chain. Personally, I don’t understand why Dollar Tree doesn’t just price items individually. Their checkout scanners already recognize UPCs, so why can’t, say, party supplies remain $1 while movies go up to $1.50 or whatever. I do think Dollar General and Walmart have a prime opportunity to steal some of Dollar Tree’s consumer base if they can continue being loss leaders in certain departments or sell smaller packages over the awkward $1.25 everything model of Dollar Tree.

After the recent school shooting tragedy in my state, I wanted a more “feel good” post. I thought about redoing one of my previous charity/recycle-related posts, but I ended up doing this one.

I was surprised to learn Netflix usually makes their decisions on whether to renew within a month. I know the debut period is very important for a new series, but it’s streaming, not theater. Two months isn’t that long considering it’s not like streaming companies are going to pull their own productions off the service.

What do you hope 2022 brings in terms of anime/manga news?

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