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Part 2 of our Interview with Daisuki PR Director Eri Maruyama includes website information about Daisuki.net as well as some of the rare shows that the website have managed to snag for the discerning Anime fan. Fans of Gundam will delight over Gundam Unicorn as well as the rare Gundam ZZ episodes being shown. Prince of Tennis fans can also find their way to Daisuki. Lastly, we also discuss the website policy regarding shows and if there are plans to remove any shows.
Toonari Post (TP): What does this newly launched anime website hope to achieve?
Eri Maruyama (EM): We hope that someday, anime fans from all over the world know the existence of DAISUKI as a portal where they go to for watching anime. Of course, this cannot be realized at once. It will take time and it’s a long way to go!
TP: Tell us more about yourself and your role in Daisuki’s operation?
EM: My card says “PR Director / International Business Development “, but I want to act like an assistant for our CEO Shibata. I want to help out anywhere as I can. Because of my background, I am also trying to bring the overseas fan’s ‘point of view’ into our discussions.
TP: Who are you hoping will benefit the most from Daisuki.net?
EM: I know it sounds hokey, but eventually, the fans. Why? Because I hope that Japanese anime companies can continue producing good works (which eventually the fans can enjoy). Moreover, fans may benefit from it naturally because with DAISUKI, they have an option to watch anime legally (or, for some areas: they will have another alternative to watch anime legally, which is always a good thing).
Of course, it should be also beneficial for the companies (they get the chance to earn a return), so the ideal form of the model is that every benefits from the service. You asked me “who are you hoping” – for that part I “hope” that the fans will be the ones who will benefit from DAISUKI “the most,” but for the realistic part and plain-spoken I think everyone does, as stated above.
It’s just difficult how to measure who benefits the “most”; the companies getting their returns, in terms of money, or fans being provided with good anime. As for me, since I am working now in the anime industry, I hope that the companies are doing well of course, but as a fan like all other anime fans, I also wish that the creators will continue creating good stuff, for my pure otaku needs. I am happy to have the chance to contribute my part in creating the environment for it.
TP: Since the May launch, what are the website numbers that you’ve seen? Are there any trends that you notice?
EM: The number of users at DAISUKI.net is rising. We are impressed by that. We have noticed that after each event we attend, the access numbers are rapidly growing. Therefore we think that continuing promotion at events is crucial so that more people get to know about DAISUKI.
TP: Most of the Anime on Daisuki.net is free but which ones aren’t? Why is that?
EM: Currently, all TV shows are free. For now, we have one paid content, which is Gundam UC (Unicorn). It is not a TV series but an “OVA” (Original Video Animation): In Japan, each episode of Gundam UC is first shown in several theaters and then released on DVD and Blu-ray.
So it’s more like a feature movie than other tv series on DAISUKI. That’s why Gundam UC is a paid content.
TP: Are there plans to take down any shows and if so, how much advance warning do viewers get?
EM: We may take down completed series after a specific time, but since we just have launched, the period and methods of announcing are not decided yet. Basically, the titles are updated weekly and indeed, we already have some completed titles like Madoka Magica, Bakemonogatari, Nisemonogatari, Sword Art Online, Silver Spoon etc.
All episodes are uploaded now and users can watch the whole series at once if they want.
TP: What is the future of Daisuki.net?
EM: Becoming the official Anime Streaming Platform for fans all over the world!
TP: You spoke about Gundam ZZ and the Prince of Tennis OVA, by Localized you mean brought to the U.S for American fans?
EM: To be precise, it was the first time that Gundam ZZ was translated into another language besides Japanese and has been shown overseas. So, yes to answer your questions, but it was not only brought to the US fans for the time but for the whole world.
Additionally, since Daisuki.net does see a rise in access numbers after events like NYCC, can you share some of those numbers? I’m not sure you can speak to that but I thought it was worth asking. The numbers of UU (Unique Users) since our launch has reached 900.000 now. As for now, most users come from the US, followed by Italy and Germany. At DAISUKI, you can watch the episodes without signing up.
TP: I also wanted to ask, what will you and your team do different for NYCC next year based on what you’ve learned this year? What would you change? I wanted to ask since it was Daisuki’s first time at this convention.
EM: It’s too early to talk about that. We are now a midst our preparations for AFA Singapore in November. Also, before NYCC we will attend various other events. Probably we will change our programming, since every convention is like trial and error for us where we can learn much from. We hope for every convention we are attending, that we can create an exhibition booth where fans can have fun.
TP: Lastly, what did you (or your team) personally love most about NYCC?
EM: Personally, it was my first time in NY, so the city itself impressed me. Besides that, me and my colleague enjoyed NYCC very much since it was our first convention with a stage program. So, at anytime there was something happening at our booth. It was also interesting not to see only anime fans like on other pure anime cons, but also fan from other genres like US comics, movies, SF novel.
Image credit: Daisuki Inc.