While I have been writing a lot less blogs these days, at the very least one that I try to at least write every season is the winners and losers blog. It's already August and two of these blogs should have been posted by now, but my motivation just hasn't been there. But now, it's back in place as I really want to get this written, so here goes. I will have the Winners and Losers for the Spring season up sometime later this week. Winter season had quite a lot happening with the big news being that Funimation has decided to put fiber of their existence into the Crunchyroll brand.

WINNER: Crunchyroll
Pretty obvious that they are the big winners in the end here as now they get all of Funimation's assets now that Funimation has decided to rebrand themselves being owned by Sony. While their initial lineup was rather lackluster, once they got all of the shows from Funimation and Aniplex it was a monster season for them. Crunchyroll had been grossly mismanaged by AT&T for quite some time now that being sold to someone heavily invested in anime that Sony is was needed. So now, Crunchyroll is the big man on the block operating out of San Francisco and Dallas.

LOSER: Funimation brand
Another obvious one here, although it only applies to the brand. Everything else associate with Funimation is now a part of Crunchyroll and they are big winners. That said, while Crunchyroll was easily the more reputable of the streaming services, expectations were that they would at least keep the brand for their home video releases. But everything is now under the Crunchyroll brand and that's that.

WINNER: Sentai
Ever since the partnership between Crunchyroll and Funimation, Sentai has been running on fumes and they have been trying to find ways to stay afloat. For many years they used to stream everything on Crunchyroll in order to draw attention to their simulcasts and then handle home video distribution themselves. But everything changed in 2016 when Crunchyroll and Funimation partnered up and to counter this arrangement, Sentai partnered up with Amazon to stream their new shows exclusively on the short-lived Anime Strike channel. Once that ended due in large part to all the mind-numbingly bad decisions made by Amazon, they put everything on HIDIVE, and then the financial struggles came as they were up against Sony, Amazon, and Netflix for streaming rights that puts them at a huge disadvantage. In order to get buy seeing that they could only get a small number of titles, they would license mostly stuff that had exclusively been on Amazon, and then release them on home video, as well as add them to their HIDIVE catalog once Amazon's exclusive rights expire. But with AMC Networks buying them that they now have the money to do a whole lot more stuff and make HIDIVE worth subscribing to again. They didn't have much this season, but moving forward they are going to be a power player once again. While it means making a deal to be part of a megacorporation as they become the last major player to hold out on being part of a megacorporation, it was necessary to keep them afloat.

LOSER: Toonami
This deal makes Toonami a huge loser as Sony has started to put an embargo on their shows airing on Toonami. It's for this reason that despite being a popular show, the sequel series for Demon Slayer is not airing on Adult Swim. Furthermore, with Sony buying Crunchyroll, that means they own the majority of shows leaving Adult Swim not much to choose from moving forward. That left them to resorting to bringing back One Piece, which they dropped since broadcasting fees were prohibitively expensive and with many viewers behind on the show that it wasn't worth it. So they turned to Sentai seeing that there are not many places to go to for shows. They have their Adult Swim Originals, Viz shows, and Sentai shows, and that's pretty much it.

WINNER: Wallets of Anime Fans
With all of Funimation's content coming over to Crunchyroll, that means fans will only need to have one subscription moving forward. That said, there are still some content that hasn't made its way over to Crunchyroll yet, and it's still a work in progress. But when it comes to watching simulcasts, only a Crunchyroll subscription is required while Funimation will just finish out what it started on its streaming service before being discontinued at some point.

LOSER: Anime's Niche Status
Anime started out being niche, but over the years megacorporations have gotten increasingly involved, starting with Netflix in 2014 when they got their first exclusive anime license in Knights of Sidonia. Then it was Amazon in 2016 becoming a major player in the industry before pulling the plug on it in 2020, Sony for buying Funimation in 2018, AT&T for their takeover of Crunchyroll in 2018 when Warner bought their parent company Otter Media, and now Disney is going to be streaming some titles on Disney+, as well as the aforementioned acquisition of Sentai by AMC. Being niche had its benefits as it was all about doing what's best for the fans and viewers more than anything. But now with megacorporations involve with just about everybody that it's more about marketing more than anything.

WINNER: CloverWorks
CloverWorks put out three shows this season, and they hit on two out of three of them. They hit on My Dress-Up Darling and Akebi's Sailor Uniform, while missing badly on Tokyo 24th Ward, a show that really had no business airing during that season and would have possibly yielded a much better product had it been a spring season show instead. Despite that, CloverWorks continues to show why they are great as the two Saturday shows were nothing short of spectacular, with storytelling for My Dress-Up Darling and with visuals for Akebi's Sailor Uniform. At least Tokyo 24th Ward didn't trigger the backlash that happened with the awful hack job for the second season of The Promised Neverland, but even so it looked really bad.

WINNER: Ufotable
Demon Slayer continues to be excellent, and it features the best-animated fight to date in the Entertainment District Arc.

WINNER: Deen
Studio Deen hasn't done much to write home about, but they did a masterful job with Sasaki and Miyano. It helped that it had strong source material, but what they did was nothing short of incredible. They had been around for a long time and have struggled recently, but once in awhile they do a great job.

LOSER: J.C. Staff
J.C. Staff's shows this season are the Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest and Requiem of the Rose King, both shows with big issues for different reasons. With the Strongest Sage, the source material was just weak and cliched, so that's more on the light novels than the job the studio did in adapting this show. However, for Requiem of the Rose King, which is based on a well-received manga, they dropped the ball with the adaptation, largely doe to questionable style choices they made that utilizes stills, all while the energy and atmosphere were lacking. So for that, they are big time losers this season.

LOSER: Gokumi
Gokumi continues to show why they are a mediocre studio as their show this season is World's End Harem, a show that was originally supposed to air in the fall but at the last minute it was pulled off the air. And it shows in this why production for this show was such a mess that had that delay happening.

LOSER: A-Cat
This is the studio behind She Professed Herself, Pupil of the Wise Man, and the light novel is pretty good. That said, the anime adaptation was an absolute train wreck as production values were some of the worst out there. This is a studio that made a mess of things in Tamayomi and LBX Girls, and while they might have turned out bad regardless of who's in charge of the animation, it doesn't help that A-Cat was putting out some laughably bad effort into them from the random CG usage of background characters in Tamayomi to the ridiculously long transformation sequence in LBX Girls. With this show, A-Cat used a lot of stills in what should be an action-packed scene, used totally inappropriate music at various points of the show, and the artwork was just not crisp and clean as it should. And unlike with the other shows, this one is entirely on A-Cat.

WINNER: Sundays
Demon Slayer. Attack on Titan. Those two things alone make Sundays a winner as it had two of the best and most popular shows in the history of anime on the same day. As for the rest of the day, Sasaki and Miyano is one of the best BL manga out there, and the show does great justice to it. For the rest of the lineup, there's Requiem of the Rose King, Futsal Boys, and Rusted Armors, and while neither of those three are worth watching (especially Rusted Armors that's in the same league as Ex-Arm), those were all covered up by having the two best shows of the season on the same day.

WINNER: Saturdays
Saturdays had another strong lineup as to be expected. The shows featured on this day are Yashahime, The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest, My Dress-Up Darling, Akebi's Sailor Uniform, Salaryman's Club, and Miss Kuroitsu from the Monster Development Department. My Dress-Up Darling is one of the season's best shows, and Akebi's Sailor Uniform is one of the best-looking shows of the season, all while Salaryman's Club is a solid sports anime, while Miss Kuroitsu is one of the season's biggest surprises as it took a silly concept and made it highly entertaining. Strongest Sage was unfortunately a bust as it did absolutely nothing to shed the dreaded cliche label, and while Yashahime has been a far cry from its predecessor, this cour is easily the best this series has to offer.

LOSER: Wednesdays
The Wednesday lineup was pretty bad to say the least. The shows featured on this day were In the Land of Leadale, Police in a Pod, Tokyo 24th Ward, Love of Kill, and Orient. The Heike Story was the +Ultra show of the season, but it had streamed on Funimation for the fall season. None of these shows were must-watch shows, though Leadale and Police in a Pod were at least decent. Tokyo 24th Ward was a rushed production and it showed after a great first episode. Love of Kill is based off a great manga, but the animation quality was absolutely atrocious. Then there's Orient that's just a mediocre show adapted from a mediocre manga. Leadale at least was watchable and had some great things going for it, but nothing stood out. And for the other decent show, Police in a Pod is fun, but not overly exciting. It is safe to say that Wednesdays struck out.

LOSER: Fridays
Fridays are supposed to be pretty deep, but not this season. It still had some great shows in The Case Study of Vanitas and Teasing Master Takagi-san Season 3, which somehow ended up on Animeism despite its first two seasons not airing on MBS. And Slow Loop is a halfway decent cute girls doing cute things show that will satisfy fans of those kinds of shows. But as for the rest of day, it has some big-time duds in World's End Harem, Girls' Frontline, and Cue! with the first one being among the season's worst. It normally has two more shows, but they are for a show that was released on Netflix ahead of its airing (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean) and a rebroadcast of something that aired 15 years ago (Code Geass). So not having Stone Ocean while a timeslot being used for a rerun made the Friday lineup unusually weak.