Check out New Voice Productions (since defunct), a company that’s looking to license anime via fan support. Here’s how it works: they announce a planned anime license, along with the cost. Fans donate cash, which will be refunded if the license doesn’t go through. If the company gets to its target donation amount within the specified time frame, the anime gets licensed.
Their first attempt is with Hoshizora Kiseki, a short that looks not unlike Voices of a Distant Star, and was similarly made almost entirely by one guy. New Voice plans to release a $10 DVD for the 27-minute film.
I’ve already donated $50. Here’s a great way to support the industry, and at basically no risk. Go for it!
Update: On 24 June 2010, I received a refund of my money. New Voice Productions removed all information about the Hoshizura Kiseki license attempt from its website, and now only hosts one blog post with a logo contest. I am somewhat confused. I thought the 60 days hadn’t yet expired, but I could be mistaken.