Goodbye Anime News Service

Goodbye Anime News Service

Well, its time to say goodbye to one of the anime/manga news sites that used to be pretty good for the most part — Anime News Service (Note: the press release at …archives/ansnewsletter.htm has been removed).

Dragon Magazine - Slayers

OK, so they aren’t gone, but instead have taken that giant leap backwards in time to the pre-Internet days with an exciting feature — a black and white newsletter that gets printed twice a month and mailed to your door, all for the low, low price of $100/year. That’s the only way you’ll get those exclusive bits of information and advanced notice from Japanese websites about new anime, manga, or other item. Now pardon me while I get out of the way of the stampeding hoards sure to jump on this deal of a lifetime.

For those who don’t know, Anime News Service is one of a few anime & manga news-oriented websites. Founded by Jonah Morgan in 1998, the site has provided many interesting news items, including exclusive stuff in English, that no one else has done, or who are late arriving to the news. So it has been a valuable resource for getting great tidbits of information from Japan to cover a pretty wide swath (meaning some of the news items will only appeal to certain, really hardcore fans). Often, news will be added throughout the day, making it a nice spot to hit at least twice a day.

The downside to the site has been the long stretches (going for weeks at times) where there are no updates made and no explanation as to why. That’s a huge negative for a news site of any kind because all you are doing is annoying your readers.

So, when I learn that Jonah is going to this printed newsletter format, I thought, “What the smeg is he doing?” I wrote him a polite e-mail explaining why I thought this was bad. I’ll go over it here.

  1. Its printed news media. So, starting on the 8th and going through the last week of February, Johan is going to be collecting news for printing. Then he’ll take it to the printers and have it shipped to your door. So, that means that by the time you get the newsletter, some of the news will be almost THREE WEEKS OLD! Some of it you’ll already know from other places like Anime News Network and some will be unknown to the readers, but none of it will be that new.
  2. Its in black and white. Oh please, can I sign up for a BLACK AND WHITE newsletter? Printed anime publications on news stands are in full color. Granted, they don’t carry as much information about stuff from Japan, but it is full color and often carries a lot more stuff than just news to entice you to buy.
  3. $100 for a year’s subscription. OUCH! Newtype has a subscription of $81 for a year, full color, & HUGE content (and don’t they still have DVD’s?). It’s 12 issues, but their 12 are still going to dwarf ANS’s 24 issues a year.
  4. Can he get it out on time twice a month?Jonah is notorious for going MIA as I stated. With a web track record like that, I can see him being late a couple or more times a year.

Now, if Jonah needs money (and I know websites cost money), I’m MORE than willing to help him out. Seriously, he doesn’t need to go backward in time, but needs to stay up with the times AND get paid. So, here are some suggestions to help Jonah get paid.

  1. Ads. OK, most folks don’t like ads, but lets face it, clicking ads on sites you like helps them pay the bills.
  2. Donations. Fansub groups, scanlation groups, and even some websites have survived on donations provided them. People will donate if they feel it is worth it. I know I have, even if only a few bucks here and there as I can afford it.
  3. Subscription Website. This to me is Jonah’s best option, though not for no $100/year. Currently, I only subscribe to one content website because I wanted to get the streaming audio feeds from this site. They offer streaming video too, but I was only interested in the audio portion and so the $40/year I pay for ALL the content is worth it to me (and streaming content ain’t cheap). I’d certainly pay Jonah $25/year (maybe a little more for a “no ads” feature) for a membership to the subscription side of his news site.

Its sad that I won’t be getting any more good news from ANS, but I won’t be paying for some 3rd-rate newsletter (and paying out the nose I must say). Sorry Jonah, but a newsletter isn’t the way to go.

Additional (12 Feb 2007): Well, I said they weren’t gone, but the site has been down for an entire weekend now. Maybe they are gone. ^_^; Then again, I may have been one of the few that cared based on the null reaction the shift had in the anime fandom places I visit.

Additional (15 Feb 2007): The site is back (Yay!) and the press release is gone. At the moment, it seems that the newsletter idea may have been scrapped as the site is producing full news at the moment. No word on why the site was down for several days.

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2 Responses to “Goodbye Anime News Service”

  1. Lady Jess says:

    Hi, Jonah used to be an old friend of mine. Do you have any means of contacting him now? The ANS contact email doesn’t work but the site is up and running.. I used to have his phone number, but I haven’t talked to him now in about 4 years… so yeah..

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      None of my old contacts with him are valid. He and I “chatted” via e-mail several years ago, but the last time I reached out to him, I never heard back and since then, it is no longer valid. 🙁

      I miss his site. I always liked it better than ANN for anime news.

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