Well, we got good (well, neutral these days) news and bad news about Crunchyroll. Good/neutral news: they just acquired Right Stuf. Bad news: they immediately used their ownership of Right Stuf to get rid of anything they deemed to be “erotica” from the webstore. Yes, their first act upon buying one of the biggest anime stores in the world is to force it to remove a whole bunch of items from sale.
Crunchyroll Buying Up Everything?
Crunchyroll has just announced its acquisition of Right Stuf: one of the world’s biggest anime stores. They haven’t announced exactly how much money they paid to acquire the anime store, so we can only guess at that. I think the safest thing to say is: it’s likely a lot.
“For 35 years, Right Stuf’s mission has been to connect anime fans with the products they love. Joining forces with Crunchyroll allows us to accelerate and scale this effort more than ever before. There has never been a more exciting time to be an anime fan than today!”Shawne Kleckner, CEO of Right Stuf
This merger now means that Sony is effectively one of the largest, if not the largest, company in the anime business. With them owning everything from Funimation to Crunchyroll and now to Right Stuf, they’re basically the biggest kid on the anime block now. Now if this were the only bit of news about this merger, it’d be neutral news at most. Especially given Crunchyroll’s recent aggressive monetization of their new anime seasons. However, there’s more to this story, and not in a good way.
Right Stuf Now Downsizing?
At the same time, Crunchyroll announced this merger, Right Stuf themselves put up an announcement saying that they have completely removed the entire Erotica section of their webstore. They will not accept any new orders for any of these items. Every item within that section has been removed from sale and doesn’t even have an image left. Neither Crunchyroll nor Right Stuf has offered any kind of an explanation for this removal. Even the FAQ sheet about the removed items above offers zero explanation for it. They only announce that said “Erotica” items are now removed from the webstore. Nothing more, nothing less.
There is only a single bit of good news about this whole affair. Right Stuf will honor all open orders for Erotica items placed before their removal. The only catch is that they won’t be doing it directly. All of these open orders will be transferred to a new webstore called EroAnimeStore. EroAnimeStore will apparently be the Right Stuf, but for erotic content. Once they have the webstore up and running, that is.
Yes, that’s right. Right Stuf just transferred all open orders for all items labeled as Erotica to a webstore that doesn’t even exist yet. Going to EroAnimeStore’s homepage simply gets you a WIP site that assures you that they will be available “very soon”. The closest thing they have to a timeline for delivery for these open orders is on the Removed Items FAQ sheet on Right Stuf, which claims that EroAnimeStore will only begin to fulfill these orders within “about two to three weeks”. With such a vague timeline, I’m a bit leery of this claim. All we can do is hope that they start shipping in that timeline, and pray that Crunchyroll doesn’t make Right Stuf screw us over even more.