TMS Entertainment is one of the oldest anime studios still around today, with 2019 actually marking 55 years since it was founded. Consequently, the studio’s longevity has meant that they’ve been behind a fair number of smash hit classic series over the years. So, the news that they would be putting episodes of their productions on YouTube for free streaming in Japan was exciting, to say the least.
Navigating to the TMS Entertainment official 55th-anniversary channel from outside of Japan will greet you with a blank page, but if you’re able to access the channel from inside of Japan (I’ll leave the method up to you), you’ll find a fairly stacked lineup of shows available for streaming.
Shows currently available include such classics as Lupin III parts 1, 2 and 3; Ashita no Joe season 1 and 2; Sherlock Hound; Star of the Giants and The Rose of Versailles, as well as new(er) shows such as Saint Seiya sequel series The Lost Canvas; Sonic X and Buzzer Beater. The Korean manhwa-adapted ReLIFE will also join the lineup along with others in the near future, pushing the channel’s content towards over 400 episodes of 130 series.
There seems to be a clear focus on Lupin III above all else from the channel’s branding. To a certain extent, this is to be expected as it is one of TMS’ biggest properties, but I couldn’t think of a better time to push Lupin III for free. The news of the passing of series creator Monkey Punch last week seems to have re-engaged many people with the series, so being able to watch the series for free on YouTube should help further nurture this engagement and honor the incredible legacy of its creator.
I also appreciate the inclusion of Ashita no Joe in the lineup, as last year’s Joe 50th anniversary project Megalo Box raised the profile of the series once more and brought in a whole bunch of new fans – myself included. Much like with Lupin, the provision of Joe for free should help nurture this engagement and keep people engaged.
That being said, Joe is the only series on the channel as of the time of writing that isn’t being released in order – instead, only a handful of random episodes are available as part of two special “selections” that focus on the fights of the series as well as Joe’s rival, Rikiishi Toru. TMS has however stated that they plan to complete all the series on the channel by releasing new episodes weekly, so perhaps this issue will be fixed in time.
Speaking of time, the episodes won’t be around forever – you’ll have until the beginning of January next year to enjoy the free episodes before they’re removed. So, if there’s any show in the lineup that piques your interest, don’t hesitate to check out the official YouTube channel.