News sources such as Anime Senpai, Comicbook.com, and Comics Beat reported that Right Stuf Anime will be closing on October 10th of this year. After Crunchyroll acquired Funimation back in March of 2022, they began plans to merge the anime merchandise store Right Stuf Anime with Crunchyroll’s online store. Right Stuf Anime and Crunchyroll merged back in August of 2022. The writing was already on the wall for Right Stuf Anime and they were now on borrowed time. But what led to this decision and what is to come in the future for online anime merchandise?
Crunchyroll is Becoming a Pseudo Monopoly
It’s no secret that most anime fans theorize that Crunchyroll is trying to monopolize the anime industry in the West. There is evidence to suggest that since Crunchyroll is owned by Sony. Crunchyroll acquired Funimation, altered English dubs of shows to fit their agenda, bought up many show licenses, slowly took over major convention events, even going as far as to create their anime convention, increasing membership prices, and more.
Many anime fans have voiced their distaste for the platform but are at their mercy because there are not many platforms for watching anime. There are even fewer online stores to buy licensed anime merchandise and due to Crunchyroll’s reputation with shipping, we can see why fans are concerned. The fact is that we knew this was coming in the end, but how did we know?
Last year we wrote an article about Right Stuf Anime removing erogenous merchandise from their website. You can read the article here to learn more.
But the TLDR version was that they didn’t feel comfortable anymore selling that type of merchandise. Right Stuf Anime has been selling anime since the late 80’s, and early 90’s and has had no problem selling risqué merchandise in the past. That all changed once Crunchyroll bought Funimation. Fans were upset with the move. Right around the same time, Crunchyroll was rolling out new designs for their platform, changing up the platform interface, but more importantly, pushing their new online store. It was only a matter of time before Crunchyroll would merge the store in favor of Crunchyroll.
What Does The Future Hold For Anime Fans?
The legacy of Right Stuf Anime is inevitably ending. For us anime fans, we are likely to expect price increases for everything. That’s almost to be expected to cover the cost of the merger. We will likely see fewer deals and sales. Right Stuf Anime has always had amazing manga deals for buying multiple copies and awesome discounts on other merchandise such as Blu-rays. Crunchyroll will likely not have those same deals.
Time will tell if this merger will be good or bad. All we can do is wait and see what happens. Hopefully some good will come out of this merger such as access to exclusive figures for sale or maybe something that involves discounts during anime conventions sponsored by Crunchyroll.