Piracy site ‘Netflix of anime’ abruptly shuts down, shocking users

Promotiekunst van Disney+ voor <em>The Fable</em>an anime series that led to takedown requests from Animeflix.”/><figcaption class=

Enlarge / Disney+ promotional art for The fablean anime series that prompted takedown requests from Animeflix.


Thousands of anime fans were shocked on Thursday when popular piracy site Animeflix voluntarily shut down without explanation, TorrentFreak reported.

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the closure of Animeflix,” the site’s administrators told users in a Discord with 35,000 members. “After careful consideration, we have decided to close our service effective immediately. We greatly appreciate your support and enthusiasm over the years.”

Before its closure, Animeflix attracted millions of monthly visitors, TorrentFreak reported. Some anime fans preferred Animeflix for its clean interface. One fan on Reddit even described Animeflix as the “Netflix of anime.”

“Damn, this site was clean,” wrote one Reddit user. “Best I’ve ever seen. Too bad it’s going away.”

Although Animeflix administrators failed to provide users with accurate information, TorrentFreak suggested that the piracy site decided to close after “significant legal pressure” was put on the site in recent months.

In December, an anti-piracy group called the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) attempted to shut down Animeflix. Subsequently, rights holders including Netflix, Disney, Universal, Paramount and Warner Bros. obtained an injunction from the High Court of India in mid-May against several piracy sites, including Animeflix. This caused Animeflix to be briefly unavailable until Animeflix simply switched to a different domain and continued serving users, TorrentFreak reported.

While Animeflix isn’t telling its users why the service is closing now, TorrentFreak noted that “when a pirate site closes, voluntarily or not, copyright issues typically come into play.”

For anime fans, the abrupt shutdown has been disappointing, due to the difficulty in accessing the newest, most popular anime titles and delays as studios work to provide translations for different regions. The delays are so bad that some studios are considering using AI to help combat piracy to release translated versions faster. But fans fear that this will only result in low-quality subtitles, CBR reported.

Also on Reddit, some fans complained that they were relying solely on Animeflix to keep track of where they left off in anime series that often span hundreds of episodes.

Others begged to be redirected to other anime piracy sites, while some speculated whether Animeflix might eventually spring up on a new domain. TorrentFreak noted that Animeflix had already shut down a few years ago, but eventually returned. One Redditor wrote, “another hero has passed, but the will will be passed on.” In another Reddit thread asking “will Animeflix go away for good or maybe create a new site,” one commenter sympathized, writing, “We don’t know for sure. Only time will tell.”

It is also possible that someone else will take over the torch and run a new piracy site under the same name. According to TorrentFreak, this is “likely”.

Animeflix has not reassured users that the service might return, instead advising them to find other sources for their favorite shows and movies.

“We hope the joy and excitement of anime continues to brighten your days through other great platforms,” Animeflix’s Discord post read.

ACE did not immediately respond to Ars’ request for comment.

Leave a Comment