Crunchyroll is an American website and community for Asian media, specializing in anime and manga. Founded nine years ago, this one-stop-shop for big-eyed characters and dramatic fight scenes delivers content to over 20 million users worldwide.
Anime is full of powerful dream teams, so Crunchyroll recently joined forces with Loot Crate to further their brand outreach. The result is a revamped version of Loot Crate’s Loot Anime subscription, filled with specially themed merchandise and Crunchyroll’s signature orange and black coloring on the box. May’s theme, for example, is “Unity,” and celebrates anime franchises with powerful teams like Dragon Ball Z, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood and The Boy and the Beast.
[a]listdaily spoke with Dallas Middaugh, head of brand and community at Crunchyroll, who explains the power of their new partnership with Loot Crate.
In a February interview with IGN, you mentioned “exclusive benefits.” Are you able to elaborate on what that entails?
There are basically two benefits to subscribers with this partnership. The first is the $5 discount on the Loot Anime box for Crunchyroll members. But if you’re already a Loot Anime subscriber and not yet a Crunchyroll member, and given that a Crunchyroll subscription costs $6.95, it means that you essentially can become a Crunchyroll member for $2. The second benefit is that we’re helping Loot Anime to curate and stock the boxes, and we have connections to literally every anime producer in Japan. We can help the Loot Anime team anticipate what’s going to be the next big thing, and also help them get new stuff from the hottest current and past anime.
Is there a particular anime or manga series that you are especially excited to promote through this Loot Anime partnership?
Not fair! It’s like you’re asking us to pick our favorite child. Just looking at this season, we have so many great titles. Twin Star Exorcists is currently our most-watched anime, and it’s just getting started. Re: ZERO is a fantastic, fun twist on the ‘normal guy gets dropped into a video game world’ genre. This summer, we have the classic Berserk which has a new anime series starting in July. Look, we release 40-to-60 anime series every quarter! We’d love to see all of them in the box at some point, but that would have to be a pretty big box!
How do you hope the Loot Anime crate will expand Crunchyroll’s brand outreach?
It helps us in two ways. First, it’s a great perk for being a Crunchyroll subscriber. If you weren’t already interested in Loot Anime, now you can get it for a discount. Or if you were already subscribing to Loot Anime, the discount means you’re getting your Crunchyroll subscription for $2. Second, Crunchyroll consistently carries the majority of anime that releases every season. Not just the top titles, but also the lesser known (but much loved) lower tier anime that wouldn’t get an official release outside of Japan without Crunchyroll. We can now help get official merchandise for so many shows into the hands of fans—merchandise that might not have been released if it weren’t for this partnership.
In your opinion, what makes anime increasingly popular worldwide as an entertainment and pop culture art form?
Anime has been a fundamental part of Japanese culture for several decades, and it’s been an increasing part of worldwide culture over the past 25-plus years. You can make several arguments as to why, ranging from the coolness factor to the accessibility of the art. But in the end I believe it comes down to compelling stories and characters. Good stories and good animation is universal, and a lot of anime is very entertaining.
The Loot Anime box is new, but have you noticed an increase in premium memberships as a result of the partnership yet?
As mentioned, the reception by fans to the benefit has been great thus far, and the benefit is very compelling. While it’s early to determine the impact—the discount went live less than two weeks ago—we do anticipate a significant uptick in subscription for both Crunchyroll and Loot Anime.
What is the most important message you want to convey to those who are curious about anime or manga but don’t know where to start?
Come to Crunchyroll and poke around—we offer both anime and manga in abundance. A lot of the new fans of anime came in by watching Attack on Titan, so that’s a great place to start as we offer both the complete first season of the anime, and the latest chapters of the manga from which it was created.