BREAKING NEWS: Toei adds Monthly Package to Anime-BB service!

Toei’s Anime-BB service must be really making waves in Japan. Tomorrow, they are going to begin offering a monthly membership plan. Currently the service operates with members being charged around 90¢ per episode they download. The plans start at ¥1554 (just over $13.00 USD) and a member will be allowed to watch 15 titles each month with this fee from the enormous library offered by the service. But to keep the variety of the episodes under this plan going, they plan to change two titles (~100 episodes) each month. Sailor Moon is going to be included in the launch pack of this new monthly plan. We have to wonder when Toei is going to consider expanding this service to North America. The fact that they keep mentioning Sailor Moon in these press releases must mean something big in terms of popularity and just think of how great it would be if Sailor Moon was available all around the world with this service!

EDIT: We have since learned more about this service. This package is only available to current subscribers on the regular or lite plans of 4th Media, a cable provider in Japan under the Plala network. In Japan, this cable comes over a broadband network known as FLETS through a set top box, much like the ones we get in North America for receiving digital cable. The cable providers are offering this service because these are popular anime titles and many of their customers are anime fans , and they hope that they can bring more to their consumers. Unfortunately, there is a catch – you cannot cancel this service in the middle of the month as the minimum charge per month of this service is ¥1554, and customers will be charged for the full month no matter when they cancel it. 4th Media has already had a lot of other anime services on their VOD lineup, and seems to charge more than what Toei was charging directly. 4th Media charges ¥201 ($1.70) per episode – nearly twice as much!

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