Amazon Ends Anime Strike Channel, Moves Content To Prime

made in abyss summer anime season 2017 episode 1 review
Made in Abyss, an anime adapted from a manga by Akihito Tsukushi. (c) Kinema Citrus Studio

Amazon’s foray into the anime market is officially dead — laid to rest on the eve of its first birthday. Amazon’s Anime Strike channel, which hid all of Amazon Prime Video’s anime offerings behind the double paywall of $99/year for Amazon Prime and $4.99/month for Anime Strike, is no more. And good riddance to that.

Anime Strike was the exclusive home of some of last year’s best anime, including Made in Abyss, Land of the Lustrous and Scum’s Wish. However, the limited selection of anime exclusives didn’t jive with consumers, many of whom already pay for at least a Crunchyroll subscription or a Funimation subscription, if not both.

Anime Strike’s back catalog was nothing you wouldn’t find anywhere else: No Game No Life (available on Crunchyroll), Ergo Proxy (available on Funimation), Darker than Black (available on Funimation), Cowboy Bebop (available on Crunchyroll and Funimation) and Chi’s Sweet Adventure, as well as anime movies like Paprika, Akira, Appleseed and Tekkonkinkreet.

On top of a largely uninspiring, dated slate of anime sprinkled with only one or two good exclusives per season, Anime Strike didn’t even have all of Amazon Prime Video’s anime:  Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress and Ronia the Robber’s Daughter were already part of Amazon Prime Video, which is included as one of Amazon Prime’s benefits.

Dissolving Anime Strike and folding all of its offerings, exclusive and otherwise, into Prime Video is a welcome and customer-friendly move. Seriously, paying $4.99 a month on top of $99 a year is like your murderer forcing you to apologize for bloodying the knife he’s just used to gut you.

According to Forbes, both Anime Strike and Heera, a Bollywood subscription channel, have had their content folded into regular ol’ Amazon Prime Video. "We have decided to move the curated catalogs of Anime Strike and Heera into Prime Video so that more customers can enjoy this content as part of their Prime membership," an Amazon spokesperson said.

If you are an Anime Strike subscriber, don’t worry, you won’t be stuck paying for an invisible dud channel. "Amazon has notified subscribers that content from Anime Strike is now available in Prime Video and included with their Prime membership. Amazon also automatically canceled their Anime Strike subscriptions, refunding any portion of their final monthly payment that extends beyond Jan 5th," the spokesperson added.

I checked my email, and it’s true, they did notify me. “We have great news: you no longer need a subscription to watch the shows and movies on Anime Strike,” the email reads. “All titles are now included with your Prime membership at no additional charge, effective today, in addition to thousands more movies and TV shows. There is no action needed on your part—we’ve automatically canceled your recurring subscription for you.

“If you have service remaining from your last billing cycle, a pro-rated refund will be issued to the payment method you used. Refunds are usually processed within two to three business days.”

So that’s that. So much for all that optimistic bluster from Amazon.

Are you disappointed that Anime Strike is over, or relieved? What are your thoughts on Amazon dissolving their Anime Strike channel? Do you plan to watch anime on Amazon Prime Video? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

 

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