Viz announced today that their popular anime series Naruto, Death Note, and Bleach will be available online in uncut, subtitled format at Joost.com. They’re promoting it as “legal, secure, and high-quality”.
I’m unfamiliar with Joost, billed as the “world’s first broadcast-quality internet television service”. Based on the press release (excerpted below), they’re pushing social networking as a unique feature and a plus to build the audience.
Episodes will be made available for free at www.joost.com with new installments being added regularly. With Joost, NARUTO, BLEACH, and DEATH NOTE fans will be able to watch these shows in their web browser while interacting with others in the Joost community. Whether they join or form fan groups around their favorite characters, or add their own comments to their favorite shows, Joost’s unique social features help a larger audience find and discover these hit shows.
It won’t be available immediately; Joost has announced that it won’t be until next month that “all video will be viewable on Joost.com using a standard Flash player.” Until then, it requires a plugin … which only works on limited combinations of systems and browsers.
I tend to think that it’s a better idea to announce this kind of thing when interested readers can go check it out, instead of saying “it’s coming soon”. After all, you never know what snags may arise between now and then. I would have liked to have seen some of the episodes… in another month, I’m not sure I’ll remember they’re out there.