Interview: CrunchyRoll Brand Manager, Keith Kawamura
GamingAngels recently had a chance to catch up with CrunchyRoll, a website dedicated to bringing anime and Eastern television shows to Western audiences. Keith Kawamura, the brand manager of the site was more than happy to answer our questions for subscribers.
GamingAngels: What inspired you to create a streaming site for Anime/Eastern Drama?
Keith Kawamura: This Crunchyroll community is amazingly passionate about their interest in anime and Asian entertainment. Our continued goal is to bring fans all over the world together, strengthen the community and create a way to make the physical world as we know it, a little smaller and intimate through the legal distribution of anime and Asian content. In doing so, perhaps we can develop a greater sense of understanding and awareness throughout.
How did you guys get started? What were some of the first shows streamed on the site?
Crunchyroll began its operation in 2006 and started simulcasting Anime titles in 2008. Some of the first titles we showcased were GDH’s LINEBARRELS OF IRON and Directions’ TIME OF EVE. We also started featuring a myriad of other content like RAMEN FIGHTER MIKI, EGG MAN and BLASSREITER.
Do you have any favorite anime or television shows you watch on the site?
Well, now that the NARUTO SHIPPUDEN story arc is back on track we’ve been watching that, as well as the ending of the Arrancar: Downfall saga on BLEACH. Most recently we’ve been checking out GOSICK – which has this amazing detective-mystery storyline – and BEEZLEBUB – which is just hilarious if you’re really interested in Japanese style humor. There are honestly too many titles to list.
Anime and video games typically go hand-in-hand in today’s culture; Do you have any video games you enjoy?
We all have our different interests in gaming, so if you were to draw a Venn diagram, you would probably see League of Legends, World of Warcraft, Star Craft 2 and Dragon Age, as well as console games like Grand Turismo 5 and God of War all hanging out in the middle section.
Do you have any plans to further expand content or any other areas of the site in 2011?
Our goal is to feature 100% of the content from Japan, and eventually from all of Asia – ranging from TV shows to movies. While we are constantly trying to progress forward in that effort, so we’ll see where 2011 will take us!
We saw that you recently acquired DVD distribution rights for”5 Centimeters Per Second.” Can we expect any other DVD or Blu-Ray releases from you?
There have been complaints about the Crunchyroll iPad App. What problems have you run into while streaming shows to iPad owners, and will there be any adjustments soon? Is the iPad difficult to work with?
We take feedback from our community very seriously and constantly work on the application everyday with all parties involved and continue our efforts to improve it. We definitely appreciate everyone’s support and patience throughout this entire process.
Compared to other Anime streaming sites, what does Crunchyroll offer that others don’t?
What we offer more than anything else is the experience of being on a platform that features a myriad of Asian content ranging from anime to Korean and Chinese dramas; from Japanese horror flicks to autocross videos. On top of that, airing a variety of brand new anime episodes within one hour of Japanese broadcast makes Crunchyroll the premier location to access content as soon as it airs. Moreover, being part of a worldwide community that is interested in the same things that you are interested in, helps make this a truly robust experience.
Do you have anything else you’d like to add, or a message for fans and subscribers of the site?
As always, we want to thank everyone out there who has, and continually, supports Crunchyroll and our efforts to empower both the user and creators of content in Asia. Thanks to you we are able to provide you with the best possible service we can and continually expand and evolve the way that the rest of the world views videos. If you’re new, please check us out at www.crunchyroll.com/freetrial
Thank you to CrunchyRoll and Keith Kawamura for answering our questions. I would definitely suggest checking out the site, if you’re a fan of anime and interested in a streaming site with high quality streams for a nominal subscription fee.