June 01, 2022

Tubi (update 2)

I like Tubi, especially with Netflix raising prices again. I like it even more since the Roku 10.5 OS update, which seems to have addressed most of the stability issues that once plagued the Tubi Roku app. But the website needs work.

Like adding some rudimentary filters to its existing genre categories. The best that I can tell, titles in the anime category are displayed according to most viewed status overall. That means everything in the list is constantly floating around without any way to predict what got added when or where.

The list can't be sorted alphabetically, by release or acquisition date, sub-genre or language. There's no language filter for the Foreign Language TV category either. You can search on "Japanese," except the language and genre tags aren't applied consistently enough to make that a reliable tool.

So Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan (live action) initially ended up in Anime, and Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl (anime) ended up in Foreign Language TV.

Tubu has New Release and Recently Added categories, but unlike Netflix, which trickles out new titles at a reasonable rate on a weekly basis and knows my preferences pretty well, Tubi just backs a dump truck up to the loading dock.

The better resource here is Reelgood, which lets you alphabetize, sort by release year, and country. But Reelgood is rarely up to date, so searches will also display titles no longer on the service while missing recent additions.

Still, Tubi has a surprisingly decent selection of anime, including free exclusives like Onihei, Napping Princess, and Hanasaku Iroha: Home Sweet Home, along with a bunch of classic tokusatsu flicks. It's worth searching through the haystack for the needles.

Here are a few more titles to add to my last list.

  • Bunny Drop (A heartwarming entry in the "unexpected fatherhood" genre.)
  • Cats of Japan (A travelogue of sorts that consists entirely of videos about cats pretty much just being cats.)
  • Chronicles of the Going Home Club (The fourth wall breaking antics of the kids who aren't into the after-school club scene and end up creating their own club. The humor can be very topical and culture-specific, such as a whole riff on the cuckoo and the Three Unifiers.)
  • Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl (Tackling the hikikomori problem with weird metaphors, even weirder characters, and a dollop of magical realism sets this sort-of harem comedy apart from most.)
  • Hanasaku Iroha (Mari Okada, reigning queen of the teen melodrama, penned this minor classic about a girl whose mother runs off with her boyfriend and sends her to work at her grandmother's rural inn. The result is a respectable coming-of-age story with unlikable characters who earn their eventual likability.)
  • Space Dandy (This rollicking space opera by Cowboy Bebop director Shin'ichiro Watanabe has the titular character hunting alien species for a kind of galactic Smithsonian. That is, when he's not hanging out at Hooters Boobies, his favorite intergalactic chain restaurant. High brow, it ain't. A total hoot, it is.)
  • Natsume's Book of Friends (Natsume can see dead people. And Shinto spirits. And the occasional Shinto god. And they can interact with him. So he gets stuck with the job of solving their problems, with the help of his guardian spirit cat, who most of the time would rather be quaffing sake at the local bar.)
  • One Punch Man (Saitama can defeat any foe with a single punch, and still gets no respect. So what's the point of being a superhero? He's starting to wonder himself. The result is a hilarious and surprisingly trenchant parody of the genre.)
  • Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan (A three-episode live-action series based on the anime by the creator of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Imagine Fox Mulder as a mangaka on the prowl for new material, except Rohan has his own superpower, the ability to literally read people like a book. And by literally, I mean literally.)

Related posts

Tubi (update 1)
Tubi (update 3)
Streaming Japanese
dLibrary Japan update

Labels: , , , , ,