Crunchyroll: “No UQ Holder chapter 154 for you!”

Crunchyroll: “No UQ Holder chapter 154 for you!”

Well, here we go again. Crunchyroll has managed to top itself when it comes to giving a middle finger to its paying customers. This time, it doesn’t appear we are going to get UQ Holder chapter 154.

Crunchyroll: “Manga is a second class citizen for us”

When Crunchyroll got into the manga business back in 2013 (roughly five years ago), I was very supportive of the endeavor. CR’s manga system isn’t the greatest, especially when compared to unofficial aggregate sites. For example, you cannot have a queue of your favorite manga titles where the latest chapter shows up first. And in their pointless attempts to stop piracy, their viewer is fairly lackluster.

However, the worst part of how Crunchyroll treats their manga licenses is their obvious lack of care for this side of the business. I ranted in August 2015 about how CR had become notorious for not publishing chapters on time. Many times, their system to make a manga chapter go live would glitch out, causing the latest chapter to have to be accessed via a back door. Other times, the chapter would appear for a bit, then disappear for a day.

The worst part about CR’s whole approach to manga is their automated go-live system is set to publish chapters at 5pm PST. So right when folks are running out the door to go home, manga chapters are supposed to be going active. Yet there’s no one around to take of problems when they happen. Worse, there’s no one who gives a rat’s rear.

Crunchyroll: “Customer service is for losers!”

If I had to guess, Crunchyroll is running with a very limited staff. While all companies don’t want to have to deal with a ton of nuisance problem tickets from people who don’t try to find an answer first, CR does go the extra mile to shield themselves. They have made their Premium Membership contact page for reporting problems not easily accessible. Instead, most stuff points to their FAQ page, which naturally has nothing on reporting a missing manga chapter.

CR’s forums for reporting problems are mostly ignored by the staff. People complain about this and that, and CR has no response. CR’s official Twitter feed is spewing out stuff all day long, but it is possible that it is mostly done by a bot. Regardless, tagging them to complain about the missing chapter is ignored ’cause they want your money, but don’t want to do anything to earn it.

In the case of UQ Holder 154, I did use the premium contact page on Friday night to tell CR about the chapter being missing. I got an automated response directing me to the unhelpful FAQ. Then, I was surprised to get an actual response on Saturday. I was told that someone was working on it and that they hoped to have the chapter up shortly. Additional requests for updates have been ignored (one on Sunday and one today).

Crunchyroll: “We’re still awesome, even if we are no longer partners with FUNimation!”

Last Friday, Crunchyroll’s partnership with FUNimation dissolved. That meant a TON of anime on Crunchyroll’s site is now gone. CR tried to downplay it, as seen in this forum post. They only listed 20 FUNimation titles that were exiting, not the entire list. Then they listed all of their forthcoming dubbed additions coming (apparently from HIDIVE, a Sentai service), to make it appear that they are gaining more than they are losing. From what I am told, they are losing WAY more than they are gaining.

I’m also told that CR’s owners, Ellation (ultimately, part of AT&T’s empire), are more interested in their VRV service than in CR specifically. VRV is an aggregate site consisting of different “geek” channels like CR, Nerdist, and many other things you probably haven’t heard of before. As such, problems on CR’s site and apps aren’t a very high priority.

It should be noted that VRV doesn’t do manga, thus another strike against CR.

Crunchyroll: “We’re NEVER going to fix UQ Holder chapter 143!”

Back in December 2017, Crunchyroll published UQ Holder chapter 143 sans its last page. Despite numerous complaints and a problem ticket being cut, CR has YET to fix the problem. 😑 As such, someone who purchased the digital chapter from Amazon shared the missing page with the rest of us. Since CR couldn’t be bothered, I posted that missing page in my chapter review.

Based on this and other problems CR has had, I’m really not very hopeful that we’ll see UQ Holder 154 posted on the site.

The Amazon Solution?

I have had folks ask me why I don’t just purchase the digital copy of the manga from Amazon, or from their subsidiary, comiXology. Well, if they sold digital chapters like Amazon (or iTunes) sell digital music, I would. When I buy digital music, I buy an MP3 file that I can play anywhere. I’m not restricted on what device I can play it on.

When it comes to digital manga, this isn’t the case.  I can ONLY view the material on very select items. The reason is a beyond moronic idea of stopping piracy (it doesn’t). Instead, it forces me to either own a Kindle, an iPhone/iPad, or install some app on my Android device. That way, the chapter can be taken from me at the whim of Amazon/comiXology (and Amazon has done this in the past, as has iTunes for movies, where things you “own” are no longer available to you).

That said, I might use BlueStacks and see how the comiXology app works out for me. But since I’m already paying Crunchyroll for access to the UQ Holder manga, why should I pay another $1 plus tax to yet another party to read the bloody chapter?

Conclusion

In the end, my paying for a Crunchyroll subscription is supposed to help pay for the anime/manga series I like. It would also pay for titles I’ve no interest in. I’m cool with that. However, Crunchyroll needs to get their act together. Otherwise, I’m canceling my subscription.

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10 Responses to “Crunchyroll: “No UQ Holder chapter 154 for you!””

  1. minopop says:

    I unsubbed because of this and bought the chapter on comixology for $.99 since I really only use crunchy roll for monthly UQ chapters it doesn’t make sense for me to pay $7. though if that were the only thing available I’d gladly pay $7 a month for a chapter translation

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      One of my reasons for paying CR was not just manga, but also anime. But a lot of manga chapters have been pulled from the site. Sweetness and Lightning is now missing 49 chapters. UQ Holder is missing over 100 chapters at this point.

  2. marconii2002 says:

    Do not worry they just upload chapter 154 with 155 in next month. They did this with Arpeggio of Blue Steel manga many times.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Haha! A month delay is not what I’d call simulpub. 😅 That aside, thanks for confirming that it isn’t just UQ Holder that is getting the shaft. I’ve read about other manga titles getting the short end of the stick.

    • polemarch says:

      Chapter 154 was released today on Crunchyroll.

      • AstroNerdBoy says:

        The marker for the chapter came out yesterday. I’m still not accessing the chapter in either the old or new reader. And from the end of chapter 153, it still does not advance to 154.

  3. arimareiji says:

    CR tried to downplay it, as seen in this forum post. They only listed 20 FUNimation titles that were exiting, not the entire list. Then they listed all of their forthcoming dubbed additions coming (apparently from HIDIVE, a Sentai service), to make it appear that they are gaining more than they are losing.

    Shinji (who started CR then sold out), is once more responding to a storm of worried fans by functionally lying? This is my shocked face.
    ( ‘ _ ‘ )

    I’m also told that CR’s owners, Ellation (ultimately, part of AT&T’s empire), are more interested in their VRV service than in CR specifically.

    Here’s a happy fun flashback. I’m dreadfully shocked that they did indeed “re-prioritize”, despite Shinji mocking it as untrue back then.
    ( -_- )

    I wish I had the photoshop skills to put Shinji’s face on the “This is fine” meme, with stacks of manga in the flames.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Shinji (who started CR then sold out), is once more responding to a storm of worried fans by functionally lying? This is my shocked face.
      ( ‘ _ ‘ )

      Haha! Well, the theory is that he doesn’t want folks quitting CR en masse. Of course, issues like them NOT getting UQ Holder chapter 154 up doesn’t help. 🙄

      I wish I had the photoshop skills to put Shinji’s face on the “This is fine” meme, with stacks of manga in the flames.

      Haha! Yeah, for sure. If I had those skills, I’d do it. But alas, I don’t.

  4. Rob C. says:

    Could this be sign of death of CrunchyRoll? All these services trying to get own grab for dollars. While i rather have more unified source…i think in the long run that there will be negative effect as whole on the industry. These companies don’t love what they put out, they love money. THus i don’t think it’s self-sustaining in the long run.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I’ve heard about CR having anime issues as well. I’m not just talking about the loss of streaming FUNimation titles through CR or through the VRV service that CR is a part of. Since bigger corporations got involved with CR in 2015, things have gone downhill. I don’t want to sound like an anti-corporation person, but while a small company will get some benefit from being part of a large corporation, they also become slaves to share holders, assuming the large corporation is publicly traded.

      FUNimation is still a powerhouse, but they are no longer a good company as far as I’m concerned. Back in the day before they got bought out, they worked really hard to produce quality releases (after an admitted bad start out the gate). Now they are just a cog in a corporate chain, and so they do what they have to in order to produce the expected profits (and there’s nothing wrong with profit), but that’s it.

      CR is kinda in the same boat. I get the strong feeling that CR’s parent company is very keen to keep costs to a minimum because ultimately, they are all part of AT&T. So things like customer service and making sure things are done correctly are kept to a minimum. There are no long term goals, only short term to make sure the share holders are kept happy. From what I’m told, all of the resources are spent on the VRV service, so CR gets little to no support. And it sucks.

      I don’t know that CR will “die” per se, but things like them not uploading manga chapters can’t be helping them.

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