On August 14th, the most popular anime piracy streaming site KissAnime announced it’s shutting down. The news comes shortly after all their website, and their manga site KissManga, had all files taken down by their copyright owners. The closing is likely a result of Japan’s more strict anti-piracy laws coming into effect and their enforcement by CODA.
In their Discord server, KissAnime Support confirmed that “KissManga and KissAnime will be closed forever”. The website now also reflects this.
Founded in 2012, KissAnime’s eight years as a platform created a hub for new anime fans to discover shows and old fans to watch unlicensed works. These kind of piracy websites usually last a long time due to various limitations and laws. Usually the files themselves are hosted in countries with more lax copyright laws. This makes it more difficult to do anything about these platforms.
The announcement of its shut down caused KissAnime to trend on Twitter. A lot of frequent users and those nostalgic about it were sad about the platform’s departure. However this obviously also sparked a lot of discussion about piracy and comparing KissAnime to other piracy sites. Unpaid volunteer staff allegedly moderated the platform despite earning a lot of money from aggressive and malicious ad-revenue practices.
Some are now even arguing the hypocrisy of Crunchyroll fans that are against piracy, noting that the legitimate service started as a pirate website as well.
Whether you like it or not, KissAnime is gone and won’t be coming back. While this won’t stop piracy in general, with many compiling lists of alternatives, it’s definitely a huge blow.