My fellow anime fans, good evening.
Today, the world celebrates in unison as we enter a new year and a new decade. Together, the world stands united as we boldly step into an era unlike anything we’ve seen before.
As we entered the 2010s, the anime world was little more than a glimmer of hope rising from the ashes of the greatest disaster to befall our subculture. The anime bubble had burst in 2008, leading to a catastrophic meltdown of the greater anime industry, to the point that some were doubting that it would ever be able to recover, let alone thrive once more. The key players in the industry were but shadows of themselves, and the very notion of streaming anime was still in its infancy.
It was in this world that we, at Anime Herald, first began our story. We first began operations on a warm, sunny autumn Sunday. The date was September 19, 2010, and in those days, things were different. We were less of an entity back then, and we struggled mightily to find our footing as I split my time between here and Anime Dream. The nights were sleepless and the articles bordered on the oddball at times, but after a lot of experimentation, we ultimately discovered the direction that was right for us.
Over the decade, both Anime Herald and the greater industry began to evolve in ways nobody could have predicted. We saw the subculture expand rapidly as publishers like Crunchyroll, Funimation, and HIDIVE brought low-cost streaming into fans’ homes across the globe. Suddenly, shows that would have cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, to collect became instantly accessible to anybody with a smartphone and an internet connection.
Little by little, the fandom grew, and it kept growing to the point that it became a part of mainstream life. This hobby, which was once considered to be the realm of otaku, suddenly had the New England Patriots forming an anime club, defensive end Mike Daniels collaborating with Crunchyroll on a documentary, and Britney Spears sharing her children’s Dragon Ball fan art.
Companies like AT&T and Sony jumped into the fray, bringing long-time independent shops like Funimation and Crunchyroll under their umbrella and opening the door to major partnerships with streaming services such as Hulu and HIDIVE. At the same time, publishers like Netflix and Amazon began pouring millions into the industry, securing exclusives for their burgeoning lineups and funding modern-day darlings like Devilman Crybaby and Aggretsuko.
As the years piled on, so did our content. Some features, like “Your Bad Anime Night Needs” or “The AniWeekly,” left as quickly as they came. Others, like our reviews and ongoing editorial series, have become beloved pillars of our organization.
But, really, nothing could have prepared us for the consequences of 2015.
Nearly five years ago today, Anime Herald opened its newsroom. With a focus on maintaining an even tone and consistent reporting, we set off on what would become our biggest endeavor ever. Over the course of five years, we published more than six thousand news articles, chronicling the coming of the first Love Live! movie, the marriage (and subsequent breakup) of Crunchyroll and Funimation’s digital libraries, the return of the Sakura Wars franchise, and much more.
Sadly, of all the good things that could come to an end, this one should.
Looking toward the future, Anime Herald can’t just be “that third news feed site behind ANN and Crunchyroll.” There’s a brilliant, a vibrant anime community out there, packed with unique voices and insights. We’d like to start shining a light on these folks and really go back to our roots… to really embrace that energy of our “we’ll talk nerdy to you” motto.
So, with that in mind, Anime Herald is going through a few changes. Effective immediately, we’re going dark for a few weeks. The first week will be a much-needed vacation: something we haven’t done since the early 2010s! After our break, we’ll be getting right to work on making this revival a reality. We’ll be doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work, reorganizing our articles and retooling our front page to help make your experience better.
We aim to relaunch on the fourth Monday of January, January 27th, with brand new sections and a fresh new mandate. Outside of exceptional cases, all articles will receive a patreon exclusive period of two weeks. While Anime Herald will always be free to read, we do appreciate our Patrons’ contributions and will honor them with this bonus.
We’re beyond excited, fellow fans, and beyond grateful to have you by our side as we prepare the next decade to be as amazing as the first.
Happy new year, everybody.
Header image by CrowzPerch