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Funimation Streams New Anime From Naoka Yamada, Science Saru, Wit Studio and More

Sony-owned Funimation were already North America's number one distributor of Japanese animation on home video. With the recent finalising of the acquisition of their biggest rival Crunchyroll, they are also now the undisputed leader in anime streaming. We've yet to see how this new era will shake out, but in the meantime, Funimation have recently announced a number of exciting additions coming to their streaming platform.

Naoko Yamada, acclaimed director of A Silent Voice, has surprised the industry by leaving Kyoto Animation, the studio where she has spent the majority of her career. She has found a new apparent home at Science Saru, the studio co-founded by Masaaki Yuasa that has brought us delights such as Ride Your Wave, Devilman Crybaby and Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken. The first project she is directing for the studio is The Heike Story, a new series set to stream on Funimation as part of the Fall Season. In an unusual move, the series will debut on Funimation before it airs in Japan, which is set to be in the Winter 2021 season. 


The Heike Story is a period piece,  inspired by The Tale Of Heike, an ancient Japanese epic thought to predate 1330. The original story recounted the struggle for control of Japan between the Taira and Minamoto clans, in the Genpei War (1180-1185).

Stylistically, Science Saru and KyoAni could hardly be more different, but the two are run on similar philosophies that are outside the norm for the industry (in some ways they operate closer to a typical western studio). Check out the first trailer below. The Heike Story will stream on Funimation form September 15.

Next up, Funimation will be the exclusive home to Ranking Of Kings, a new fantasy epic series from Aniplex. The series is based on the high fantasy manga by Tōka Sōsuke, which began in 2017. It features a young, deaf prince named Bojii and his mysterious outcast friend Kage. The young prince sets out to prove he's cut out for the crown and the two "go on an epic and amazing journey filled with adventure, self-discovery and perseverance as they overcome the adversities of the world and their own personal circumstances." 

The series will stream from October 15, with dubbed and subtitled episodes available in all Funimation territories including The US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland as well as all Wakanim territories in Europe.
Animation production comes from Wit Studio (Attack On Titan, The Great Pretender) with Yosuke Hatta (Death Parade, One Punch Man) as series director. 
Funimation has also made three action series by the iconic studio Gonzo available for free via their YouTube channel in the US and Canada. Ragnarok The Animation, Burst Angel and US comic-based Witchblade will all be available both dubbed and subtitled for a limited time until November 30, 2021.
To mark Hispanic History Month (September 15-October 15) Funimation announced they will be adding an additional 1000+ episodes of anime subtitled in Spanish and Portuguese and more than 600+ episodes with Spanish and Portuguese dubs for audiences in the US and Canada.

Funimation has also announced they are partnered with legendary anime studio TMS to add more classic anime to their catalogue. They will add Lupin III parts one, two, three and five, the Lupin III: 50th Anniversary Special, The Woman Called Fujiko Mine and God Mars to the site for users in the US and Canada from September 14. Lupin III Part IV is already streaming on Funimation.