This season saw quite a huge change in the way anime is watched thanks to Amazon as they did a lot of things that angered anime fans with their aggressiveness and this whole Anime Strike thing. So with that, the season has ended, and as such I do my usual Winners and Losers blog to say who came out ahead, and who had a terrible showing, in terms of show quality, money stuff, and reputation, plus more.

WINNER: Amazon
When they launched Anime Strike, they built up a streaming service under spurious claims that it is all about giving passionate fans what they want by putting all anime content in one place. But since when was this true, and why in the world did it require putting up a double paywall? That's something that nobody at Amazon will answer even if their life depended on it. In any case, Anime Strike had (pun intended) two big strikes against them: the aforementioned double paywall, and the lack of content. Amazon addressed the latter in a big way as they got exclusive rights to three of the most anticipated shows of the season that includes two sequels to shows that were previously on other services, and then paying Sentai a hefty paycheck to get most of their shows on Anime Strike and nowhere else (at least until Sentai solicits these shows on home video as at that time it will come to HIDIVE). As for the double paywall, that hasn't change even though the writing has been on the wall that if they made Anime Strike available without a Prime membership, then everybody would be happy (or at least not firing shots at Amazon anymore). In any case, Anime Strike subscriptions went up exponentially thanks to their increasing catalog as they increased the number of exclusive simulcast titles from two in the winter season (Scum's Wish and Onihei) to ten (Saekano Flat, Re:Creators, Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul, Sword Oratoria, Grimoire of Zero, Anonymous Noise, Machiavellism, Sagrada Reset, Kabukibu!, and Atom: The Beginning) this season. And with that, Amazon has become a big threat to Crunchyroll and others as they have billions in their company budget as opposed to millions.

LOSER: Crunchyroll
Crunchyroll's catalog shrunk by quite a lot compared to previous seasons, and it would be even smaller had it not been for their partnership with Funimation. While Amazon is getting exclusive deals for more shows these days directly, the shrinkage comes from Sentai's decision to totally ditch Crunchyroll altogether as they had been experimenting with having a show or two each season going somewhere else. While it was speculated that the partnership prompted Sentai to turn the other way, in truth it was Amazon approaching Sentai with an offer they just couldn't refuse in order to increase their catalog, and that regardless of whether or not the partnership happened that this was coming. Furthermore, not even sequels are safe from Amazon's stranglehold anymore as it's just hard to turn down so much money when it is right there in front of them. Even though Amazon ultimately didn't get the Attack on Titan and My Hero Academia sequels, there was some speculation that Amazon tried to get exclusive rights to those and their bid forced Crunchyroll and Funimation to overpay for those sequels (though they had the leverage of offering simuldubs that Amazon could never offer unless they paid Funimation, which gave them a leg up) leaving them cash-strapped that they couldn't afford to get the Rage of Bahamut sequel as well. So Crunchyroll is a big loser for the shrinkage in catalog offerings.

WINNER: Funimation
While Crunchyroll's catalog took a hit thanks to Amazon's aggressiveness, as well as Funimation losing a big sequel to the megacorporation's bottomless wallet, they did still get the two best shows of the season in Attack on Titan and My Hero Academia. And their rest of their catalog had some of the season's most popular shows that include Tsuki ga Kirei, SukaSuka, Akashic Records, Sakura Quest, and Kado: The Right Answer (which is actually an Amazon exclusive in Japan, but Crunchyroll and Funimation managed to outbid them for this). And their simuldub lineup is huge as usual with My Hero Academia being streamed at the same time as it comes out in Japan. Funimation sure did outdo themselves this season to more than make up for not getting Bahamut, which they still are probably going to release on home video with the same cast as Amazon's license is only for streaming rights. And the cherry on top is them releasing the simuldub of My Hero Academia on the same day it airs in Japan, which requires a lot of work on both sides of the Pacific (in Japan to get the finished product delivered earlier than normal, and in Dallas to get it dubbed quickly).

LOSER: Sentai
Sentai's catalog is pretty disappointing this season as they ended up getting mostly mediocre stuff. This season they got Armed Girl's Machiavellism, Sagrada Reset, Kabukibu!, Grimoire of Zero, Anonymous Noise, Sword Oratoria, Atom: The Beginning, Frame Arms Girl, and Rin-ne season 3, and it's safe to say that all of these shows had major flaws and while neither of these shows are on the level of Attack on Titan or My Hero Academia as expected, they are not even as good as Akashic Records which is pretty alarming. While Grimoire of Zero and Sword Oratoria had potential and marketability, their shows ended up being disappointing. Sagrada Reset ended up being one of the season's biggest disappointments, and many of these other shows just didn't live up to their potential. Pretty much, none of these shows are heavy hitters in the end. But while their disappointing catalog is one reason why they are losers, another problem is all of the production issues they have been having with Anime Strike as several episodes got delayed, and early on there were problems with mistimed subtitles. Seeing that none of Anime Strike's exclusives where Amazon directly made a deal with the Japanese publishers were affected that this is a Sentai problem. Just about everything went smoothly when they used Crunchyroll and Hulu for their stuff, but with Anime Strike, they definitely didn't hit the ground running.

WINNER: Sentai's Wallet
While Sentai hurt itself in many ways this season, at least they cashed in big time thanks to their partnership with Anime Strike. This gigantic source of revenue will help Sentai out in the long run by being able to license more stuff, as well as to dub more shows and release stuff in these nice LE boxsets. And as if that wasn't enough, they now have a new and improved streaming service in HIDIVE as Anime Network Online had been a poorly maintained service that is buggy and lacking in recent dubs. So now, Sentai has set up a triple paywall for those who want it all as there's the Prime paywall to even be able to get to the Anime Strike paywall, and now the HIDIVE paywall for the last title or two when previously, it was all on Crunchyroll save for a title each season.

LOSER: Non-Prime Subscribers in North America
Tough times are ahead for Americans who don't have much use for all the benefits of Prime as thanks to the growing presence of Anime Strike, watching anime there is going to be really expensive. And with Anime Strike's catalog getting ever so big that it hurts even more. Spending $160 a year (or $16 a month if one opts for the monthly Prime subscription) just to watch anime shows that don't appear anywhere else is going to leave a sizable dent in one's budget unless they regularly use the benefits of Prime, which doesn't apply to everybody. $160 a year to do that and take advantage of Alexa, free two-day shipping, and all the Prime benefits, now that's worth it. Once again, I say that Amazon needs to get a stand-alone subscription plan for those who just want Anime Strike and nothing else from Prime as if they just did that, then they would be getting a lot less heat. The best way would be for those without Prime to be able to purchase a subscription at a slightly higher price than Prime members do, and that would make everybody happy under the circumstances seeing that it allows those who have no use for Prime can just get that, and all of it goes back to the industry whereas with the double paywall, only the $5 subscription fee would and just about none of the $99 annual membership fee needed to get it goes to support the industry.

WINNER: P.A. Works
P.A. Works is renowned for their beautiful artwork that they produce in every project, and this season they didn't disappoint. The have Eccentric Family 2 and Sakura Quest, and both shows are great in their own way. The sequel to Eccentric Family is better than the first season as the first sort of dragged its feet for too long before it really amounted to something. Season 2 started out strong and got only stronger from there to make for one of the season's best shows. As for Sakura Quest, while it's not exactly in elite company, it does everything that you could reasonably ask for. Seeing that Shirobako didn't exactly start off on the right foot that I can see Sakura Quest really stepping up its game in the second half as the working series shows have done. And of course, the animation is gorgeous as always by P.A. Works making them big winners this season.

LOSER: J.C. Staff
J.C. Staff hasn't made anything good lately as they are far removed from their big Summer 2016 season. This season, their slump continues as their shows are Alice and Zouroku, Danmachi Sword Oratoria, and Twin Angel Break, and the result is a mediocre show, a disappointing show that's far inferior to its predecessor, and complete garbage, respectively. At least Alice and Zouroku did some things right to make it watchable. But nevertheless, it was not a good season for this highly reputable studio that has made some of the best shows out there. At least there will be more Food Wars coming this fall, which is guaranteed to break its slump, but until then it has been a rough go.

The first season of Attack on Titan was done in collaboration with Wit and Production I.G as Wit was a newly formed studio back in 2013. Fast forward to today, Wit has proven themselves, and then some. This season, Wit went solo in making this show, and they didn't hold anything back. Just about the only thing they did wrong here is that it went for only one cour seeing that the end of the next arc that will take up roughly a cour's worth of episodes would have made for a much better stopping point. But nevertheless, it is coming back next year. Since Wit is small and they are busy making Ancient Magus' Bride and the Kabaneri sequel that it only had time for one cour.

LOSER: Xebec
This season, Xebec did Clockwork Planet, and boy did they drop the ball on the adaptation for this show that's by the same guy who did No Game, No Life. It was just one misstep after another as the animation just didn't click, all while the plot got so sidetracked too many times that it made it a chore to watch. While they are capable of doing great things, this show was one of their biggest follies. I would have to think that the source material wasn't this messed up, but it is what it is.

WINNER: Harem anime
This is one of the strongest seasons for harem anime in quite awhile. This season's harems are Armed Girl's Machiavellism, Love Tyrant, Akashic Records, SukaSuka, Saekano Flat, Eromanga-sensei, and Tsugumomo (though it's a stretch to call SukaSuka a harem because of its serious themes, while there are too many males present for Akashic Records to be called one). While there are misses as usual, its win has to do more with quantity rather than quality. But even so, there are really good ones this season in Akashic Records, SukaSuka, and Saekano Flat, while the others are great fun with the right mindset.

LOSER: Shorts
Spring was a season that just didn't have many shorts, and whatever shorts were there, most of them are trashy, well below the already low standards set for shows that last ten minutes or less each week. For this season, the shorts are Cinderella Girls Theater, Aku no Gundan, Love Rice, Kenka Bancho Otome, Room Mate, and World Yamizukan, as well as the sequels to Ninja Girl and Samurai Master, Bono Bono, and Forest Fairy Five. That's below the usual number that a season typically has these days, and most of them are trashy. Room Mate, Love Rice, World Yamizukan, and Forest Fairy Five are among the worst shows of the season, while the rest are right around expectations with only Ninja Girl being worthwhile. The good news is that Teekyu returns in the summer seeing that the shorts just didn't have much going for them.

WINNER: Tuesdays
This is the best Tuesday lineup in a long time (more precisely, since Summer 2015) as for a long time many shows shun that day of the week due to low viewership. But this season saw a huge change in the quality of programming on that day. Tuesdays featured Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor, Anonymous Noise, SukaSuka, Royal Tutor, Natsume's Book of Friends season 6, and the short Cinderella Girls Theater. These are all shows that are worth watching to some audiences at the very least, and Natsume continues to be every bit as great as its predecessors. Akashic Records and Royal Tutor end up being surprisingly good shows, while Anonymous Noise is a solid shoujo title, and SukaSuka has quite an emotional story that is worth watching. It has been a long time since Tuesdays had such a loaded lineup as for many seasons, that day only had 1-3 full length shows.

WINNER: Saturdays
Any season with the two best shows of the season is going to be a winner no matter what the rest of the day brings. The My Hero Academia and Attack on Titan sequels are every bit as great as its predecessors that set the bar high. As for the rest of the days, there are two shows on NHK in Rin-ne season 3 and Atom the Beginning, the three Aniplex block shows in Re:Creators, Granblue Fantasy, and Eromanga-sensei, the long-running shows in Case Closed, Dragon Ball Super, and One Piece, all the kids shows in Monster Strike, Heybot, Cardfight Vanguard G Next, and Monster Hunter Stories: Ride On. For the rest of the day there is Folktales from Japan and Tiger Mask W. While the rest of the day didn't exactly stand out, having those two juggernauts definitely makes it a great day.

LOSER: Wednesdays
Wednesdays have gotten quite big these days, but this season was mostly a bust for that day of the week. This season, they had three full length shows in Armed Girl's Machiavellism, Sagrada Reset, and Sakura Quest, while the Naruto sequel Boruto moves on over to Wednesdays after finishing Shippuden that had been on Thursdays. And with Wednesdays being where most of the shorts are these days, it also has Kenka Bancho Otome, Love Rice, Aku no Gundan, and Room Mate. The kids show Yu-Gi-Oh! Vrains completes the day. Pretty much, this day was mostly a bust as Machiavellism failed to buck the trend on harems, Sagrada is one of the season's biggest disappointments, Sakura Quest is (at this point) good but not great, Boruto is merely cloning all the Naruto characters, and this season of YGO is pretty bad from what I have been hearing. And then there are the shorts and while I generally don't expect much out of them, Love Rice and Room Mate are burnable garbage that is so unwatchable, while only Kenka Bancho Otome is at least worthwhile.

LOSER: Mondays
The string of bad Monday lineups continues as save for the latest YowaPeda series (which is a step down from the previous seasons from what I have been hearing), the day didn't feature anything worth watching. Mondays featured Grimoire of Zero, Frame Arms Girl, Laughing Salesman, Starmyu season 2, and Forest Fairy Five season 2, in addition to the continuing third season of YowaPeda. Grimoire of Zero was pretty good but ended up declining in quality as the show went along, FA Girl is a clear marketing grab and its effort was mostly devoted to that, Laughing Salesman is just repetitive that seeing one episode means you've seen it all, and of course Starmyu is only for a small audience. So Mondays were a pretty bad day for anime this season much like the fall, and to a lesser extent in the winter season.