The good folks at Microsoft are promoting their anime offerings by giving free downloads this month of several titles like Fairy Tail, Black Butler and more, while offering discounts on several others.
According to Microsoft, the company is celebrating “Anime Month” with all the various promotional offerings. Beyond Fairy Tail, portions of anime series, like The Devil is a Part-Timer!, Steins;Gate and more are available. There’s also more generally-priced discounts on even more, but the free offerings have a whole suite of strings attached.
First and foremost, Microsoft seems to only be offering English dubs of everything when it comes to the free shows. That isn’t to say that there aren’t decent or even good dubs, but the general consensus is typically in favor of the original Japanese voice cast with English subtitles. Anecdotally, it’s more common to have a bad dub than a good dub.
In addition to some questions about quality, it’s also important to note that there’s only portions of pretty much everything available rather than anything resembling a full show. What’s often considered a season here in North America — 12 episodes or so — when doing these kind of promotions is regularly just half of an arc. Going back to Fairy Tail, there are dozens of episodes, but there’s only the first 12 available as part of this promotion. It’s enough to whet one’s appetite, but not satisfy it, really.
All that said, it’s still nice to see the company getting behind a bunch of anime, even if there are caveats like those previously mentioned. There are marks against the system, but not the intention. The medium’s arguably never been more prevalent in the West, and franchises like Attack on Titan remain exceedingly popular.