It was a peaceful Friday evening, the sun had gone down, and the work week had ended. With no plans that night I decided it was time to watch some anime on Crunchyroll, however when I went to search up the show I had been planning to watch it wasn’t there. On that dark November 9 eve I came to the realization that this was the day the pact between Funimation and Crunchyroll had ended. But before we get to the consequences of this top ten anime betrayals worthy moment, first we must start at the beginning.
Over the last two years Funimation, one of the most well-known anime licensing companies, and Crunchyroll, the biggest name in anime streaming, have been working together to bring the best of Funimation’s catalogue onto Crunchyroll’s platform. Many people saw this as a huge win win situation for both sides. With Crunchyroll seemingly announcing new shows coming to the platform every week, and Funimation getting the resources to share its massive catalogue, the match was made in heaven for anime fans. However this romance would end in heartbreak.
With the acquisition of Funimation by Sony in October 2017, and the contract of the anime pact up for renewal this year, a message came down from on high that there would no longer be cooperation. Sony has directly ordered that Funimation to break ties with third party streaming services and focus on their own service, FunimationNow. This also includes the FunimationNow channel leaving the streaming service VRV, which Crunchyroll is also a part of. Now Funimation has entered into a new partnership with anime streaming service HIDIVE, further dividing the camps on anime streaming. And in the increasingly messy situation FunimationNow will also be available in the United Kingdom as £4.99 add on to Amazon Prime Video. At one time legitimate anime streaming could be found under one roof for the most part, now it is a house divided.
So what does this all mean for anime fans who subscribe to these services? Well if you only subscribe to Crunchyroll then it might be time to pony up some more cash to watch some of your favourite shows. Around three hundred shows have left Crunchyroll as of that fateful Friday November 9. Some of which include heavy hitters like, STEINS;GATE, Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Akira, Hyouka, and Noragami (Which I was five episodes away from finishing!). All is not lost though, as some of Funimation’s biggest hits that are being simulcast through Crunchyroll will be staying on the platform, most notably My Hero Academia and Attack on Titan. And if dubbed anime is your thing, 50 seasons of shows that were being co-produced between the two former partners are still coming to Crunchyroll for your viewing pleasure.
If you want the words straight from the horse’s mouth, here is a link to Crunchyroll’s official statement on the subject over on their forums. As for the shows that have left the anime streaming giant, a list has been compiled by AnimeNewsNetwork showing which anime are migrating to FunimationNow.
If all this talk has you in the mood for some of the good stuff, we’ve got you covered with our top picks for this Fall anime season.
Image Source: Kyoto Animation