New crowdfunding and streaming platform Anime Sols opened on Monday for the US and Canadian markets with select titles from Tezuka Productions, Yomiuri Television, Tatsunoko Productions and Pierrot. This is the first time that Japanese animation companies have set up their own business to stream classic anime to fans, without licensing or middlemen companies.
The following three launch series are from Tezuka:
- 24 Hour TV Specials 1978-1980: Bander Book, Marine Express, Fumoon. Find some of the biggest Tezuka stars like Astro Boy playing roles in these movies!
- Blue Blink episodes 1-13
- Black Jack 2004 TV series episodes 0-12
A new Black Jack episode is planned for streaming every Tuesday, and a new episode of Blue Blink every Saturday.
The titles have approximately 2 months and a half to reach a goal of $16,000 to $22,000 depending on the series. Using a similar model to Kickstarter, the supporters’ money is only sent once the goal is reached.
This is the only chance any of these series have of getting an R1 DVD release. The success of each titles is also going to determine how many other Tezuka series will be made available for crowdfunding on the site. Fans are strongly encouraged to get the word out and share the website online, on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, blogs, etc. People outside North America can also find friends or acquaintances from the US or Canada to pledge in their place and refund them via Paypal (hey, I totally volunteer!). Only a limited amount of copies will be available on web stores after a series is funded, so it’s best to pledge if you want to be sure to get yourself a rare DVD set.