What if there was a way to directly support a show you loved besides just watching it legally online? Let's say as an example that you not only have the opportunity to watch the stream of an older show, but you also have the chance to directly fund the production of dedicated merchandise for that particular show as a way to demonstrate your support for more anime.
A new platform called Anime Sols aims to combine the best aspects of Kickstarter and online streaming portals such as Crunchyroll and turns it into a portal where people that want to watch streams of shows legally can do so, with additional incentives for dedicated collectors and fans that want to show their direct support for a show, such as directly funding the production of collerctor tier merchandise, such as home video releases among other options, as explained by site co-founder Sam Pinansky:
“This project aims to bridge the gap between the audience that wants to collect and
the audience that just wants to watch, by letting everyone support their favorite programs
however they wish, whether it’s messaging a friend about a newly discovered classic, or
contributing money to sponsor a DVD set,”
Anime Sols is slated to launch in Spring of 2013 with four older shows on tap for direct support as well as legal streaming, with more forthcoming:
Tekkaman、The Space Knight (1975) – 26-episode sci-fi anime series in space with robots
and battle armor, produced in 1975. The plot was influenced by the social problems such as
environmental pollution at that time. It was aired in US by syndication in 1984. 20 years later a
new derivative was created from the original, as "Tekkaman Blade (a.k.a. Teknoman)" which
was also very popular. The earth has entered the 21st century and it is in peril. The project to
purify the earth has been abandoned and scientists look to the stars to find a “Second Earth”.
The exploration team on its mission, was attacked by a group of aliens and the hope of all
mankind almost faded. Dr. Amachi manages to create the “Tekset” system, designed to combat
the aliens by transforming a human into a Tekkaman, an enhanced strength super-human. Test
pilot, Joji Minami, along with his colleagues, fight against aliens as Tekkaman to keep the hope
of mankind to reach a new home for humanity.
Bander Book (1978) – This 90 minute movie was made to air during 24 Hour Television,
Japan’s biggest charity telethon. By combining completely original stories and characters with
familiar Tezuka character archetypes, they signaled the second coming of Osamu Tezuka’s
animation studio, and achieved TV ratings over 20%. Bander Book is a story based on the
theme for 24 Television, “Love Saves the World”, and it tells the story of the human Bander,
who was raised by aliens, and how he travels back to earth to reunite with his parents.
Creamy Mami, the Magic Angel (1983) – Yu is a precocious 10-year-old girl who likes Tosiho,
a boy, 3 years older than her. One day, Yu runs into aliens that have trouble with their damaged
spaceship. In appreciation for helping them repair the spaceship, the aliens give Yu a magical
stick with one condition; she must keep it secret, otherwise she would lose the precious power.
In order to attract Toshio, Yu decides to transform herself into an attractive 17-year-old girl! Yu,
with the 17-year-old figure, happens to be discovered as an idol singer and makes her debut
as “Creamy Mami”. Contrary to her expectation, Toshio starts to be attracted to Creamy Mami,
not Yu herself. ”Creamy Mami, the Magic Angel” represents girl’s popular dreams, an idol singer
and magical power. This is the first and the most popular story of Pierrot’s Magical Girls series.
Yatterman (2008) – A remake of the 1977 classic, this anime tells the story of a bumbling trio
of thieves, the Dorombo gang, who travel the world in search of the mysterious Skull Stones,
believing they will find the location of the largest gold deposit on earth. Yatterman are a duo
who ride a giant robot and constantly foil the evil villains plans. Updated for a new generation,
this remake brings the hilarious antics to the 21st century.
This new venture is being directly funded via key investments being made by the Yorimuri TV Enterprise and Telecasting divisions of Yorimuri TV, ADEC, Tezuka Productions, Tatsunoko Productions and Studio Pierrot. The aforementioned companies are providing licenses and the infrastructure necessary for the venture to operate, which demonstrates the scope of the venture and how much industry backing is going into it. Anime Sols LLP is a company created to invest in this project, and it is on the same level as all the other member companies.
What do you think about the site's goal to function as both a Kickstarter-alike service as well as being a stream portal? I think it's a great idea, especially for older anime fans that want to do more to support the industry.