Popular loophole sites KissAnime and KissManga have reached the end of the road, bringing an end to years of free, pirated content for the community. Following stricter piracy laws from Japan, both platforms will be taken down permanently, after nearly a decade on the Internet.
The news first surfaced on the r/KissAnime subreddit, when a user noted the shutdown time to be somewhere between 10pm and 10.20pm PST on 14 August 2020. Later that night, the information was made official by the KissAnime support team on Discord, who wrote, “All files are taken down by copyright owners. KissManga and KissAnime will be closed forever. Thank you for your supports ☹ Thank you for those years.”
While an unpleasant surprise, it was only a matter of time before the to-go streaming service fell to the law. The issue of legality has always been a thorn in the flesh for KissAnime and the streaming community at large, and to have the website survive for so long is already a feat in itself. Unfortunately, Japan picked up the punishment hammer again back in June this year, as its parliament enacted the proposed revised copyright law to punish those who knowingly download illegally uploaded or pirated manga, magazines, and academic works.
Needless to say, the closure of one of the world’s biggest streaming anime websites has sparked a torrent of tributes from the community. Most took to the online space to thank the KissAnime and KissManga team for their service, with others filling their dedication posts with iconic anime quotes and moments.
This is not the first time that the anime and manga scene has been affected by Japan’s piracy laws, but it’s the biggest occurrence thus far. Prior to this, well-known manga hosting platform Manga Rock was also forced to shut down permanently, and it’s likely that many of such similar websites will get the same treatment soon.
Moving forward, the ideal way to consume anime content online would be to buy a subscription to services like Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Netflix as it legally supports creators and distributors. There are limitations, of course, especially when your favourite titles are not available, but it’s certainly better than nothing. Having access to manga, meanwhile, will prove to be a challenge, with a lack of official channels to pump out sufficient translation material.
Goodbye, KissAnime and KissManga – times were good while it lasted.
Si Jia is a casual geek at heart – or as casual as someone with Sephiroth’s theme on her Spotify playlist can get. A fan of movies, games, and Japanese culture, Si Jia’s greatest weakness is the Steam Summer Sale. Or any Steam sale, really.