Yesterday, Crunchyroll announced its acquisition of Right Stuf, a popular online video publisher and distributor of anime products. The anime streaming service touted its merger leading to an expanded eCommerce platform that would allow it to serve a wider array of customers with anime goodies. However, the CEO of FAKKU, the world’s largest distributor of adult manga, said Crunchyroll left out one important detail of its acquisition: the removal of hentai.
Crunchyroll, the internet’s leading anime streaming service, includes explicit content—up to a point. Over the years, as anime has become more popular, the streamer has become more conservative in its offerings, specifically with its figurines and shows. The surge in anime popularity, however, has also allowed it to assume juggernaut status in the space. In March, Crunchyroll merged with its then-competitor, Funimation, making it the largest conglomerate of anime. And now it’s added yet another anime Infinity Stone to its gauntlet with its purchase of yet another online anime distributor, Right Stuf.
Jacob Grady, the CEO at FAKKU, tweeted that Crunchyroll and Right Stuf’s merger was a “massive blow” because shortly after the announcement, Crunchyroll removed all hentai and adult manga and anime from Right Stuf’s storefront. This includes clearing out FAKKU’s landing page on the site.
Prior to Crunchyroll’s merger, FAKKU and Right Stuf’s business relationship was like that of an online retailer carrying products from a different company, much like Steam or Amazon. In a post on Right Stuf’s FAQ page, the distributor said it would be “phasing out the erotica genre content and product” from its site and that new orders would no longer be accepted.
What Crunchyroll quietly left out of this announcement is that they are removing all hentai/18+ anime/manga, in fact they already have. This is a massive blow Right Stuf was a big account for FAKKU and one of the only retailers that really embraced 18+ anime/manga. Not good https://t.co/uExFFJCMFR
— Jacob (@largehotcoffee) August 4, 2022
“Right Stuf was a big account for FAKKU and one of the only retailers that really embraced 18+ anime/manga. Not good,” Grady tweeted.
In an interview with Kotaku, Grady said it was a shame to see Right Stuf move on to Crunchyroll because it had a good relationship with FAKKU where the two companies worked on many exclusive distribution projects.
“[Right Stuf] have long been a champion of hentai anime and manga, having sold mature content since their print catalog days,” Grady said.
In lieu of FAKKU and hentai products no longer being available on Right Stuf, a Crunchyroll representative told Kotaku that customers can find previously available “mature-themed content” on a new storefront, the Ero Anime Store. According to Ero Anime Store’s FAQ page, the company has worked with the Right Stuf team “for many years.”
“The goal is to make this move as easy as possible for you and to ensure you get the items you’re looking for,” Wendy C, Ero Anime’s president said in a published statement on the website. “We will carry the full line of erotic anime, manga, games, figures, and other merchandise. We also will continue to offer anime products under the Critical Mass Video label, and some items we will offer exclusively through the site. Stay tuned for details.”
Despite Right Stuf serving the anime community as a “one-stop shop” for merchandise, Grady told Kotaku that customers can still find FAKKU’s physical media on its personal website. Though Crunchyroll’s anime consolidation hasn’t impacted FAKKU so far, Grady said it’ll be actively tracking any future business mergers in the industry.
“All that being said, we’d be happy to make our titles available on any online retailer like Ero Anime Store,” Grady said, “but none of them will have the same amount of reach as Right Stuf.”
Back in March, Crunchyroll broke the internet with its announcement that it was merging with Funimation. Although the merger meant that the Funimation and Crunchyroll catalog of anime could be found on one site, folks within the anime community worried that Crunchyroll’s consolidation of its then competitor would negatively affect the medium.
Kate Sánchez, the editor-in-chief at the anime critic publication ButWhyTho, equated Crunchyroll’s merger with Right Stuf to Disney buying a local comic shop and limiting its catalog.
“One company, regardless of how much I like that company, should not be in control of THIS much of one product,” Sánchez tweeted.