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Amazon launches curated anime subscription streaming service

The company is trying to take on Crunchyroll

For $5 a month, anime fans can subscribe to Amazon’s new, curated channel, Anime Strike.

Anime Strike consists of more than 1,000 anime titles targeted toward adults, and will stream some shows the same day they air in Japan, according to a press release. Series like Scum Wish and Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga will be a part of Amazon’s same-day offering.

A curated anime channel is the newest stand-alone offer the company has made available to subscribers, but it’s not the first. Amazon began offering stand-alone subscriptions to a number of premium services and specialty channels in December 2015. Subscriptions to HBO, Starz, Showtime and specialty networks like Seeso can all be purchased as additional packages through Amazon Channels on top of a standard Amazon Prime or Prime Video membership.

Amazon’s vice president of digital video, Michael Paull, told The Hollywood Reporter the company decided to launch Anime Strike following demand from its subscribers. Paull admitted while Amazon has been great at providing different subscription packages to its users in an attempt to make Prime a one-stop destination for all TV streaming, the company was severely lacking in anything for anime fans.

Amazon is not the first company to launch an anime specific streaming service and its certainly not the biggest. Crunchyroll, an online, subscription streaming service that specializes in anime, has more than 750,000 subscribers. Unlike Amazon, which plans to offer more than 1,000 titles specifically targeted toward an adult audience, Crunchyroll has more than 15,000 episodes of Japanese series. Crunchyroll carries series targeted toward both children and adult anime fans, as well as exclusive shows. The company is known for its niche series, and has become the go-to service for most diehard anime fans.

Amazon will eventually begin to fill the service with exclusive anime series developed in house. One of its newest series, Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter, is an English-version of Studio Ghibli’s award winning series that aired in 2015 in Japan.

Anime Strike will launch later this year, but Amazon has not set a specific date. The service will include a 7-day free trial.

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