Category Archives: Uncategorized

Piracy DECIMATES Funimation and Crunchyroll (and It’s Their Own Fault)

So there’s this logic about Piracy being a service issue more than just a price value evaluation because like, if the service is great people are willing to pay and people want to see things they like continue to thrive and exist and they’re willing to support it.

And sure enough, I make a point to put my money and fanart and support behind things I want to see succeed. But uh, we all know how dysfunctional modern late stage capitalism (read: businesses valuing money and control far more than the people their business is supposedly for) is self-sabotaging by design.

So. Recently I’ve been on a Granblue kick. I started playing Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising and enjoyed it a lot for its lovely aesthetic, great music, exciting gameplay, and much more story content than I expected. then Granblue Fantasy: Relink came out and I gave it a try and it’s super good too for similar reasons! So then I try out the browser based Gacha Granblue Fantasy game as well and it’s got quite a bit of charm, but the official client for it is kinda clunky and there’s no official US app for it either, one just plays in the browser or finds other ways to rig it up. (I ADORE Vikala by the way, I want her in Granblue Rising and Granblue Relink!!!)

So I find out Cygames put out the first few episodes of the Granblue Anime on Youtube, but it’s only the sub. That’s fine, I watch a few episodes and enjoy it, but subbed anime tends to be a harder commitment for me than having a dub that I can listen to while I’m doing other things on the side. And just a couple of hours ago I found out that AniPlex did indeed release a Granblue Fantasy Anime with English Dub! And it’s got all the voices I’ve become familiar with from Rising and Relink! So I try looking up how to watch the dub version.

First result: Funimation. Except it was already in the news recently that Sony (who bought Crunchyroll AND Funimation because the anti-trust laws aren’t really being enforced) will be shutting down Funimation and migrating everyone’s accounts to Crunchroll (and deleting anyone’s Funimation libraries).

So okay, I search again. No point going with Funi if they’re just gonna take my money and run in a few days. The next result unsurprisingly is Crunchyroll. I click on the link and it’s taking me to Season 2. Which is not what I’m looking for, I want the English Dub of Season 1 because I’m new to the anime. I try to use the search feature, but Crunchroll takes me to the login prompt for some reason.

So I log into my old abandoned Crunchyroll account, only to be immediately prompted that I need to choose what to do with my Funimation data: Merge, Overwrite, or Discard. I choose to merge, because while I didn’t use Funimation a lot, I’d prefer not to have all of my money spent on it deleted just so they can charge me for it again later. I search for Granblue and again the only result I’m seeing is Season 2, and specifically only the subtitled version, not the English Dub.

So I back out and search on Google again and get a promising link to Amazon for the anime episodes… or so I thought! Season 1! All the episodes! English! But big text on the screen says “This video is currently unavailable to watch in your location”.

So I’m back at Google, I can’t find any streaming service that I already pay for that has the show, I can’t find a new service to sign up for that will give me the version that I already know exists, I can’t find a new copy of the supposedly existent blurays for sale anywhere and I’m getting to the point where I’m seriously considering digging around Usenet or some other platform to see if I can find the show that I would have paid for in the first place. I click on one of those sketchy Google links. You know the ones.

To my surprise. All of the episodes. 1080p. Multiple subtitle options. English and Japanese dub options for every episode. Multiple different video providers for each episode in case one goes down. Downloadable without DRM making it hard to use on older or uncommon devices. Auto-play, Auto-next, dimming options, intro skipping, outro skipping, and while it has some extremely annoying popup ads that try to clickjack my browser, they only show up the first time I click anywhere on the page per video, then stop getting in the way. A service almost as good as Netflix for the price of one (potentially malware laden) ad per video. I wouldn’t even be surprised if they had an option where I could pay to make these ads ago away. Even if it costed the same as Netflix does right now it’d be a better offer for actually having the darn show I was looking for.

So why would a site like this exist?
1: Because somewhere somebody was like “why do all of these other streaming services suck? I bet I could do it better for cheaper”.

2: Poses an existential threat to the existing status quo of streaming services if they’re convinced they can “win” people’s money by just doing what they were already doing or cracking down harder on people. This is the standard they need to beat, and it’s a standard set by people who do not have even a thousandth of the resources these big companies do. Do better.

3: Money isn’t the point… but it is necessary for survival (at least in our current culture). Since there is no incentive for them to enshittify their platform- consumers can easily go to any of their other similar low/no-upfront-cost competitors if things start getting too much of a pain to deal with- they *have* to take steps to keep the site attractive to visitors and to keep repeat visitors in. Those visitors in turn get those annoying ads or maybe throw in some donations which keep the site running. Not out of an aim for infinite expansion or infinite profit, for subsistence and sustainability. The accountability is baked into the design of the service. There is no “The Algorithm” to blame for shortcomings or unusual behavior. It’s just the society itself. And if a site like this is being operated primarily by just a handful of people, the ad income may well enough be enough to keep them alive and well supported more than the normalized wage-theft infinite grindtype 9-5 busywork job. And probably a lot more satisfying to boot since one doesn’t build a site like this unless they care about the content.

So uh, “nine anime” is cool or something I guess, lol.

BUT SERIOUSLY THOUGH WHY IS IT SO HARD TO JUST PLUNK DOWN 60 USD TO WATCH THE GRANBLUE ANIME WITH ENGLISH DUB THROUGH AN OFFICIALLY APPROVED MEANS


I WILL GIVE YOU THE MONEY JUST GIVE ME THE SHOW, PREFERRABLY AS A DOWNLOAD SO I’M NOT WASTING MY LIMITED LIVING SPACE

THE GRANBLUE GAMES ARE ALREADY EATING MY MONEY SO IT’S NOT LIKE I’M NOT WILLING TO PAY

Potential Stream Layout?

I sorta want to reuse some of the assets from one of my abandoned game ideas to do a new stream layout. Buuuut I’d need to redo how the actual chat overlay works, or use the default browser-based chat to get the text to fit with the rest of the theme, and that’s more effort than I want to put in this weekend.

Also kinda considering moving the chat to be vertically oriented instead and use horizontal character banner art instead, but I’d have to put a bit more thought into what kind of drawing I could make for a horizontal layout if I go that route. idk. Would definitely read easier though.

Enshittification Blacklist

Please forgive my foul language, but predictably now that we’re heading for the capitalism mandated period of economic downturn and instability, a lot of the big near-monopolistic companies are cracking down in an attempt to squeeze more money from a user base that has already hit its cap.

Enshittification is the active and deliberate practice of making an existing product worse with the intent to force consumers to spend more money. There is no product benefit, there is no consumer benefit, nothing of value is created from this practice, and by any measure this should probably be illegal. This is one of those cases where people who believe capitalism is good should be screaming about how this is a perversion of the ideal, and people who are anti-capitalism will be making record of how this is yet another drop in the endless bucket of ways capitalism is fundamentally anti-human.

So anyway, here’s the most recent wave of Enshittifications:

Youtube / Google: In an attempt to crack down on people using adblockers, it’s introduced a lot of code to intentionally enshittify the entire website to pressure people to switch to Google Chrome, disable all ad-blockers, and pay for Youtube Red / Premium.

Except. You know. People like me who have been paying for Premium for years? are still getting hit by these intentionally designed downgrades that make the entire site lag when typing, or cause resource usage spikes across the entire PC when multiple Youtube tabs are open. Rather than driving people to spend more money to make the site functional again, if this gets much worse it’s going to give paying customers a lot of good reasons to stop paying and stop using the site at all. I know I’m considering it. I lived without Youtube in the past, I can drop it and move on same as I have with Nintendo.

Capcom: After a tournament organizer’s mistake of leaving a nude-mod for Street Fighter 6 enabled during an officially sanctioned Capcom tournament broadcast, Capcom has started a crackdown on modding of any kind of their games. Which might sound understandable on a surface level. Except they’re not just saying “don’t do it” they actively hunt down Youtube videos of people using mods, Twitch streams of people using mods, and submit copyright strikes and takedown requests. (Which is not the same as a Copyright Claim, on these automated platforms a copyright claim does little harm, but a Copyright Strike can get a channel deleted and completely annihilate somebody’s business and livelihood. And given there is no automated way to detect if a game is being played with or without mods, these strikes are clearly being submitted manually by somebody who has made a job of seeking them out.)

In addition, Capcom has had a great number of older games that they had ceased updating but were still selling. Long time fans had taken upon themselves to put thousands of hours of making new custom content for these older games through mods. In the case of games like Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3, they were arguably turning the game into a better value than anything else in the series and giving people a good reason to buy UMVC3 on PC instead of just getting a cheap used copy for consoles.

…Except now Capcom has started quietly inserting now anti-modding “DRM” into many of those old games via updates after they had not been updating these games for several years. All the update does is make the game run worse, harder to use, and make the pirated versions a better value than paying for it. In effect, they’ld have been better off just delisting all of their old games entirely.

I was also going to complain about X/Twitter being bought be a foolish rich guy and burning itself to the ground in the span of a year, and Reddit seeing the bonfire and being like “Ooooh pretty, let’s do that too!” and burning itself to the ground, but eh. It sucks, but I won’t feel nearly as bad about those platforms going away forever when it seemed like both of those platforms have been actively hostile to their own userbase for years.

I guess I’m particularly hurt about the Capcom thing because Street Fighter 6 was arguably one of the best games at release of everything they have made in their entire history. And then they turn around and fail with a poorly paced model for selling character customization outfits at an unreasonable price, a poorly planned crossover DLC that can only be used in battle hubs, and an aggressive crackdown on modding on other games they weren’t even officially supporting anymore.

If big companies want to turn their iconic products into a trash pile, let ’em. May the next generation of startups take their place by simple value of not being intentionally awful.

Go Dog Go Season 4

I enjoyed Season 4 of “Go. Dog. Go!” a looooooot and I’m not even sure why? We got a bit more of the world fleshed out, we’ve seen how the community will pull together and help each-other out at the drop of a hat and that the age differences between the characters isn’t usually treated as a reason for them to not be friends. Lady Lydia got waaaaaaaay more emphasis in this season, which I completely welcome because she is one of my absolute favorite characters in the series (despite the fact that typically I hate hats, something about her really resonates with me? I guess I just kinda know what the one-topic fixation type thing feels like?). So we got to see her experiment with being more crafty and creative, and she participated in more Tag’s pretend type games with the super hero episodes (seems like Lydia enjoyed reading the comic book) and it’s just cool to see more of what she’s like beyond the hat.

Sometimes I wish I still had a social media account to share my feelings in a way where it’s super easy for people to find and re-share it. but I dunno. My weird jank blog will just have to do. And I highly recommend Go, Dog. Go! For a chill cartoon vibe with friendly warm feels.

A Bunch of My Work (2004 – 2022) is Under Creative Commons Zero now.

Which basically means you can do whatever you want with ’em. Also means I can do whatever I want with ’em too. It’s fairly similar to Public Domain, just kinda works better internationally this way.

There’s very little sorting, there’s some random explicit or objectionable content here and there (meaning it’s 18+ only, sorry, I can maybe make a family friendly version later) but hey! It’s stuff! Anyway, if you want to download the archive of a buttload of my old doodles, you can grab it here: http://travisuped.com/cc0/revelromp-sketch-dump-2004-2022.zip