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Home | Interviews | Interview: Keith Kawamura, Crunchyroll Brand Manager

Interview: Keith Kawamura, Crunchyroll Brand Manager

Crunchyroll entered the online anime world in 2006 and became well-known as a controversial, for-profit upload and streaming site primarily featuring East Asian content. Initially the programs the site hosted included fan-subs and bootlegs of American releases, but as the company began to acquire investors and received a substantial investment from Venrock, Crunchyroll began to pull illegal materials from the site. In 2009, Crunchyroll went legit and removed all infringing material from its pages. Today the company has acquired several legal distribution agreements with companies including Gonzo and TV Tokyo making Crunchyroll the premiere place to catch some of the best in Asian programming.

Keith Kawamura, Crunchyroll Brand Manager was kind enough to answer some questions about the company, the future of Crunchyroll, and the ever-growing horror section on the Crunchyroll.

How did Crunchyroll get started?

Crunchyroll was started by a bunch of anime fans who felt that the world needed a better portal to view not just anime but all Asian content. And through that portal the world could become a smaller place.

Do customers have to download a plug-in or special player to view the videos?

All you need is Adobe Flash, which is free to download, and then the world is your oyster.

What makes Crunchyroll a unique experience when streaming and downloading anime and dramas?

Actually you cannot download episodes on Crunchyroll, as we are a purely streaming site. The benefits of streaming anime and drama episodes from Crunchyroll as a premium member is being able to view episodes one (1) hour after immediate broadcast, videos in up to 720p, no ads and the ability to watch it on a variety of different platforms like consoles (Xbox), set top boxes (Boxee) and other mobile devises (iPhone, iPad, Android).

However, you can download selected episodes featured on Crunchyroll through the Zune Marketplace, like REBORN, Giant Killing and Yokuwakaru Gendai Maho.

Crunchyroll has a section devoted to horror, what are some of the titles you currently offer?

We feature Audition, Tokyo Gore Police and The Japanese Horror Anthology amongst other horror titles and our large drama section.

Do you plan on offering older horror themed dramas like 100 Tales of Horror?

Ideally we would like to feature every single live action and animated media from Asia, to truly become the one-stop destination for all things Asian.

What are some of the popular titles offered by Crunchyroll?

Naruto Shippuden and Bleach are definitely two of the fan-favorite titles, but the selection in Crunchyroll’s online media library is as far as it is wide. For more on our line up, please go to http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime to find the anime title that best suits your interest!

What are some of the dramas you currently carry?

We have partnered with great publishers like MBC and SBS on the Korean side to feature amazing hit titles like Coffee Prince, High Kick, Soul Mate and Brilliant Legacy. We also work with the Chinese-based media publisher, Taiseng, as well as a variety of Japanese publishers to diversify our online library for our users and fans.

How do you handle the streaming of age restricted material?

As mentioned before, while we do not support downloads except on the Zune marketplace, we do have an age gate to prevent minors from watching content that may no be suitable for their age. Here at Crunchyroll we strive to ensure that the viewing and site experience maintains its family-oriented atmosphere.

Crunchyroll recently offered a great deal on Scrapped Princess: 12″ Pacifica Cassul Figure what else can users expect in the daily deals section?

Every day, we try to bring one great deal on anime or gaming merchandise with merchants from around the world. While we cannot say what will be coming up next, what we can say is that users should keep their eyes open, as we have some great products rolling out soon that they won’t want to miss!

Thank you so much for your time!

Check out more about Crunchyroll at the official site http://www.crunchyroll.com/.

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