Production I.G, known for works such as B. The Beginning and xxxHolic has released their smartphone app worldwide. The app, Anime Tate (AKA Anime Beans), is a streaming service where you can watch short vertical anime episodes. These anime episodes are designed to be viewed on your smartphone, thus vertical. Although, there are some horizontal anime and even some live action series. Having checked out a few series, it’s almost like watching a comic with some very slight animations. So don’t expect anything groundbreaking design-wise. At the moment there is only about eight series available with English subtitles, but more should be added in future.
Episodes are quite short, about 1-3 minutes long. For many series, the first couple of episodes are free but from there you can either rent them for a short period of time (one week) or buy them outright. The in-app currency (points) can be earned by watching ads or purchasing them. You can also wait a week to watch an episode, but whose got time for that :P? One other feature is that you’re able to ‘clap’ for an episode you enjoyed to raise the series’ ranking. Each clap costs one point, and I’m unsure if it’s a feature I’ll be using as I’d prefer to use my points to actually watching something!
After playing around with the app for a bit I noticed a few issues. First up, while the series that have English subtitles are clearly marked, their descriptions are still in Japanese. So you don’t really have an idea of what you’re getting into, until you start the episode. Also, I’m not sure if this is a glitch with my phone, but the app has no sound. Since you can choose not to have subtitles on, I’m assuming there is meant to be sound so you can hear the voices. Again, not sure if it’s just my phone or an app breaking bug for Anime Beans.
I’m definitely excited to see Anime Beans be released internationally, I can finally watch Karada Sagashi/ Search for the Body, a manga I mentioned I adored in a past podcast. I just hope the sound gets fixed up ASAP, and maybe some English descriptions be added to the various series available.