You know what they say: once is a fluke, twice a coincidence, and three times makes a pattern. (I don't know if "they" actually say that, but screw it I'm saying it now.) Well, we are officially into the "coincidence" phase, with the new Black Rock Shooter anime streaming on Nico Nico Douga starting February 3rd in eight different languages.
I would really like to believe that this is evidence of people listening to... well, not me personally, but certainly the sentiments I expressed the last time this kind of news came out regarding Fate/zero. I really do feel like we're standing on the brink of a major change in the way the American anime community can function, and I really do think that making shows readily available like this could be the gateway to a much broader presence of anime fandom in the United States.
And I do think that this should herald a decline in fansub releases. Of course, the last time I talked about this regarding Fate/zero, I relegated that issue to a later post. Well, now that later post has in fact been written. It's hard to tell really if anyone's planning to create a fansub for the Black Rock Shooter anime, since obviously nothing can have been released yet and any searches will run headlong into the OVA, which is already out (and which isn't available in the U.S., to boot).
But what I didn't say for Fate/Zero, I will say for Black Rock Shooter: I don't believe there should be any fansubs of this anime distributed. We have access to the show already, without having to circumvent the creators' chosen methods of distribution. If we are to have any respect for the people that create excellent shows such as these, we simply can't ignore that.
Time will tell whether this will become a pattern. I for one sincerely hope that it does.