Hulu may lose most of its anime catalog come June (update)

'Naruto' fans can breathe easy, but old and obscure shows like 'Arjuna' and 'New Getter Robo' are going MIA.

Hulu might be best known for its catalog of network TV shows, but for fans of Japanese animation it's been a great resource for anime titles both new and old. That looks like it's changing on June 1st, with a significant bulk of Hulu's anime catalog disappearing as the service streamlines to include only the most popular titles.

The list of expiring anime includes programs from Anime Network, Funimation, Sentai Filmworks, Toei Animation, NIS America and Viz Media. But it's not Attack on Titan and InuYasha fans who need to worry about losing access to their favorite shows -- the list is limited to older and less iconic titles like RahXephon, Le Chevalier D'Eon and Excel Saga.

Justin Sevakis of Anime News Network says that Hulu stopped accepting back catalog programs months ago, and has been gradually purging lower-performing titles since then. June 1 just represents a grander sweep -- possibly an attempt by Hulu to streamline its offerings before it begins offering live TV in 2017.

Viewers who'd still like to give some of these anime a spin aren't completely out of luck -- many of the expiring programs are still available on anime-dedicated services like Funimation, Crunchyroll and Anime Network. However, some titles like Alien 9, Arjuna and Project Arms aren't available on any streaming service or DVD and Blu-ray, leaving those fans high and dry.

Anime fans aren't the only media devotees who will find a lot less to watch on Hulu; the launch of Turner Classic Movie's FilmStruck service means that the Criterion Collection will be leaving Hulu in December.

Update: Hulu confirmed via email that while many popular series like Sailor Moon Crystal and Naruto Shippuden will remain on the service, most of the titles on the expiration list are indeed leaving in June. Two series thought to be leaving, Last Exile and Chobits, will still be available on Hulu for the immediate future.

Update 2: Viz Media confirmed separately to Anime News Network that its titles are not being removed from Hulu.