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Funimation Library Moving To Crunchyroll, Funimation Global Rebranding

Get ready for a major shakeup in the anime streaming world! Some years ago, Sony acquired Funimation, North America's largest distributor of Japanese animation, through their Sony Pictures Television subsidiary and Aniplex. Funimation subsequently bought and rebranded the UK's Manga Entertainment and Australia's Anime Lab. They then announced that they were going to acquire Crunchyroll, their biggest rival in the anime streaming space, at the time owned by WarnerMedia and AT&T. When that deal was cleared to go through last year, Sony became the dominant name in anime in one fell swoop.

For a while, both sites continued operating as separate entities, albeit with more sharing of content. It didn't take a business degree for anyone to figure that it wasn't going to stay that way forever. Many assumed that as Funimation was the more established of the two, the writing was on the wall for Crunchyroll. As it turns out, the opposite is true, and Funimation's streaming catalogue is set to move over to Crunchyroll.

As of now, more than 50 new shows have been added to their library, including titles both completely new to the service, as well as dubs of already available shows. More titles will be added daily over the coming weeks, and it is estimated that 80% of the current Funimation library will be available on Crunchyroll by the end of March. Of course, fans will inquire about that missing 20%, but they need to recognise it's a major undertaking, and there may well be contract and legal considerations that need to be ironed out first. Still, it's quite possible that for whatever reason, some titles may not survive the switch.

For current Crunchyroll customers, there is no change in subscription pricing, just a ton of new anime. For Funimation subscribers, new episodes of currently ongoing series will be continued to be added. However, as of April 1, all new shows will be exclusive to Crunchyroll.

Colin Decker, Crunchyroll's CEO said:

When we brought Funimation and Crunchyroll together last year, our top priority was to put fans first. Unifying all of our brands and services under the Crunchyroll brand globally enables us to offer more value than ever before as we combine subs, dubs, simulcasts, library, music, movies, manga—all into one subscription. The new Crunchyroll is the realization of a dream, and we are grateful to the creators of anime and the millions of fans who have joined us in making the community what it is today.

Current subscribers of Funimation and European service Wakanim, which is also being phased out, are to be offered 60 days premium subscription to Crunchyroll. Eligible customers should look out for an email in their inbox  (or coming soon) with details. Annual subscribers should contact Funimation's customer service department. Full details are available here.

Right now Funimation users will not be able to transfer their watchlist or access their digital copies on Crunchyroll. Watch this space for updates, as they say they're working on it.

Most surprisingly of all is that all Funimation Global Group brands will be unified under the Crunchyroll banner. Does this mean that the Funimation brand is going to be going away completely? It's not quite clear, perhaps the name will continue to be used for physical and theatrical releases. We also don't know how long it will be until the Funimation service will be closed.

Although this news may be initially surprising, it's actually the most logical and customer-friendly option. Funimation may be the more established brand in the United States, but Crunchyroll's streaming business is far more successful worldwide. Although Funimation's streaming service had expanded to more territories than before, Crunchyroll has a much bigger footprint globally and is available in more than 200 countries and territories, with localised content in numerous languages. Crunchyroll's video player is also widely considered to be better and more stable than Funimation's.

Crunchyroll has an estimated global user base of 120 million, with more than 5 million paid subscribers.  So although you can never please everyone (especially not anime fans) it does seem like the most sensible decision and will keep the most people happy. We just hope it doesn't mean anyone losing their job.

Here's the full list of Funimation titles now available on Crunchyroll- check back here for updates as more are added.: