On February 3, Discotek stood tall and firmly declared their position as a major player. The publisher announced a lineup for fourteen licenses, which covered all of the bases. Forgotten classics like Robot Carnival and Night on the Galactic Railroad were revealed in the same breath as newer favorites like Arpeggio of Blue Steel and Free! Iwatobi Swim Club.
On top of this, Discotek and Crunchyroll announced that they would partner to bring shows to DVD. Discotek will release popular streaming titles under Crunchyroll’s umbrella in subtitled format. The initial lineup under this partnership includes Recently My Sister is Unusual and Strike the Blood.
And, almost as if taking a victory lap, Discotek proudly proclaimed that more was coming on their Facebook Page.
When Discotek opened its doors in 2005, the company quickly earned an identity for its anime arm. Classics like Cutey Honey and Lupin III were the company’s bread and butter, along with childhood favorites like Samurai Pizza Cats and license rescues from the chaotic days of the anime boom.
The company seemed to be an oasis for those seeking that special escape to the days of ink & paint.
Over the past year, though, we’ve seen Discotek stepping forward and acquiring the rights to newer titles. Last April, the company added 2008 series Chi’s Sweet Home. In December, Discotek shocked the anime world when they revealed their plans to release cult favorite Yowamushi Pedal.
The license announcements on February 3, and especially the partnership with Crunchyroll, are an assertion both to customers and to the industry at large. They’re a sign that Discotek isn’t content with being a niche player any longer. Working with Crunchyroll will ensure a generally steady flow of newer titles for Discotek, which will help to bolster its lineup and attract a new audience.
We’re not sure how far this deal with extend, mind you. This could be a one-off agreement between Crunchyroll and Discotek to bring these specific titles to market.
However, if all goes well, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this become a longer-term relationship between the two entities. And, if so, it would bring Discotek into the greater market. They would be working with a number of shows that players like FUNimation and Sentai have jockeyed for, and playing to the same customer-base.
It will be fascinating to see how things pan out for Discotek in the coming months. The company’s swagger on Facebook shows that they’re confident in their means and their product. At the same time, the partnership with Crunchyroll shows great potential, if it extends beyond this current batch of shows. How Discotek and its strategy evolves will be something to watch, especially as we advance into the more hectic convention season.