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Funimation Acquires UK's Manga Entertainment

Manga Entertainment (formally Manga Video, also often called Manga UK) is the UK's longest established anime distributor, and one of the oldest anime labels in the English-speaking world. Since its founding in 1991, it has changed hands numerous times, being owned by companies including Polygram, Anchor Bay and Starz, before becoming independent again back in 2016. Its distinctive black cross has been familiar to generations of UK based anime fans, from Akira onwards. Now it has been announced that the company has been acquired by the US's biggest anime brand Funimation.

Funimation was itself acquired by Sony Pictures Television last year, and has since been increasing its ambitions or expansion outside of North America. In buying Manga UK (who already distribute many of Funi's titles in the UK and Ireland) it instantly has a major footing in the region.

Firstly, we need to say that we hope that the news does not negatively impact any of the staff at Manga UK- who are all fantastic people- and we wish them all the best. With that said- how will this effect fans?

The most immediate effect is that titles that been licenced by Manga will soon be available via Funimation's streaming service, FunimationNow. These include Akira, Sword Art Online, Wolf Children, Summer Wars and more. It even includes several titles (such as Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood) not available to users in the US.

"With this acquisition, we will create a truly immersive anime experience for fans in the UK and Ireland. This begins with providing fans access to Manga’s library of titles to enjoy whenever and wherever they want on FunimationNow," says Funimation vice president of sales and distribution, Mitchel Berger. "Together with the Manga team, Funimation will bring its fan-first omnichannel approach to serving anime fans – engaging with them directly through the widest array of touchpoints."

"On behalf of Manga Entertainment, we’re thrilled to join Funimation and their expanding global business," says Manga's Managing Director  Jerome Mazandarani,  "We’re excited for the new opportunities that lie ahead and to serve anime fans in the UK and Ireland in a bigger way than ever before."

We'll be watching to see what happens next!