As the old saying goes, good things must come to an end. After two years of bringing more anime to the fans, Funimation is ending its anime cross-licensing deal with Crunchyroll. Sony Pictures Television acquired 95% majority stake for about $143 million in Funimation last year and they want to expand the company globally. This led to the decision to end the pact with Crunchyroll – now fully owned by AT&T after it acquired Chermin Group’s stake in Otter Media. Sony wishes to make Funimation a global sub title and English dub anime brand.
So what does this mean for the future? Well, FunimationNow subscribers will still have access to hundreds of anime titles but will lose out on a handful of English dubs, according to a memo written by Funimation president and CEO Gen Fukunaga. However, all the titles shared during the partnership will still be available. So the previous statement most likely refers to unshared titles. What titles will be rolling off of FunimationNow has not been finalized as of yet. Subbed episodes of anime such as “My Hero Academia”, “Cowboy Bebop”, Space Dandy” and “Snow White with Red Hair” will continue to air. The breakup also filters down to VRV as Funimation’s channel will leave VRV effective on November 9. Don’t fret, Funimation will go back to doing things before the partnership with Crunchyroll was forged in 2016.
Here is Gen Fukunaga full memo:
I am writing to share some important news. Effective immediately, Funimation will once again independently acquire, market and distribute anime to the entire community – to both sub and dub fans. This new future is a result of our acquisition by Sony Pictures Television and additional investments Sony is making in our business to make Funimation a global sub and dub anime brand. As such, we’ve made the decision not to renew our collaboration with Crunchyroll, a relationship that ended amicably this month.
Our goal has always been to improve the fan experience and expand the reach of anime. We exceeded our goals in the past couple of years and have established ourselves as the anime industry’s most advanced streaming platform, expanded our global footprint, and accelerated our dub speed to market for new episodes coming out of Japan. While our partnership with Crunchyroll is ending, we are excited about the future, the support of Sony Pictures Television and their commitment, alongside ours, to build the best experience for anime fans globally.
We have enormous respect for the relationship we forged with Crunchyroll and will be working with them closely over the next several months to ensure a seamless transition in terms of our respective catalogs and offerings. That said, there will be some immediate changes ahead as we unwind the partnership. On November 9, 2018, our subscribers will have access to several hundred subbed titles when our catalog reverts to Funimation, while a handful of dubbed titles will no longer be available on FunimationNow. All the titles licensed during the partnership will continue to be shared with Crunchyroll and available to FunimationNow subscribers.
Thank you for your tireless work and dedication as well as your unwavering commitment to bring the best anime to the most people possible.