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For two years, Funimation and Crunchyroll partnered to make anime more widely available around the world. But all things must come to an end, and the two leading anime platforms parted ways in November, creating a new landscape for the medium outside Japan.
The partnership benefited both parties, but when negotiations reached an impasse, Sony-owned Funimation eventually decided to walk away, but not before trying to re-up with Crunchyroll first.
“We did try to renew with [Crunchyroll], but there were some terms that they would not give on that we really had to have, to have a longer-term renewal with them,” Funimation President and CEO, Gen Fukunaga told Newsweek. “And they wouldn’t budge, and we couldn’t renew on those terms. So Sony had to make this tough decision: if they weren’t going to budge on those terms, then we just have to double down and decide if we’re going to go at it alone. And that’s what happened.”
The dispute centered around international expansion. Under the old deal with Crunchyroll, Funimation wasn’t allowed to stream in certain regions. Sony Pictures Television Networks, which acquired Funimation in 2017, felt it was impossible to remain in the Crunchyroll deal under those conditions.
Fukunaga describes Sony’s approach as a “one-Sony strategy,” integrating all branches under the company’s umbrella, including movies, music, gaming and electronics. One example of this is the trailer for Dragon Ball Super: Broly being attached to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, a film distributed by Sony Pictures.
In Fukunaga’s view, Sony’s technology and infrastructure provide Funimation with unique opportunities for global exposure. What’s more, Funimation’s relationship with Sony-owned Aniplex, a distributor of numerous popular anime titles like Sword Art Online , has also strengthened since the 2017 deal.
The Sony acquisition and Crunchyroll split aren’t the only recent changes to Funimation’s business. Earlier this month, the company announced a new partnership with Hulu which will likely help it find an even larger audience.
“One of the benefits of that deal is that it doesn’t have some of the handcuffs that we couldn’t get around with Crunchyroll,” Fukunaga explained. “Obviously, we could do this new deal that included no restrictions on global expansion.”
Fukunaga described the partnership as an “output-style deal,” where Funimation gives a limited set of content to Hulu while maintaining a larger library of anime. Dubs will be “windowed back” on Funimation, but subbed versions will debut on both Funimation and Hulu at the same time as Japan.
“[Hulu] have their own anime base and this will help us co-buy content, and bid for the bigger titles,” Fukunaga explains. “They’ll help us get the mass exposure and we can get the hardcore anime fans on our platform. It was a good partnership in that sense and we can co-exist. And that’s why it works for us.”
Anime fans may be left wondering where to find their favorite series. Each platform will retain its original stable of titles, but all the content produced during the partnership will remain on both platforms.
“Anything we’ve already done, we’re going to continue to release it on home video. We’re locked in together on the stuff we’ve worked on together,” Fukunaga said. “The question is ‘what’s going to happen to future titles, to future seasons?’ The answer to that is: it depends. The contract wording is a little bit nebulous, and we are going title by title and deciding what we are working on together.”
Fukunaga said the January season of anime is “mostly” together. But the process of divvying up the series should get simpler as the year goes on.
“Right now, we’re vetting through every title to decide what we’re working on together and what we’re not. Until both parties agree, we don’t know [how long it’ll be until fans know].”
The split between Funimation and Crunchyroll likely means more intense bidding wars for upcoming anime moving forward. Exclusivity will be key on all fronts, as platforms fight to bring their subscribers the best content, something that’s important for Fukunaga.
“When we start bidding on new titles, whoever wins those bids will obviously get exclusivity,” Fukunaga said. “It will become an issue where we’re bidding for exclusivity for the sub and dub. That’s important for [us] to get that exclusivity, and global rights.”
Capcom is already working on a remake of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, according to ResetEra member and leaker of all things Resi, DuskGolem.
Speaking in a thread discussing the upcoming Resident Evil 2 remake, DuskGolem revealed that a remake of the 1999 survival horror title 'is in full development right now,' but wouldn't comment any further.
'Resident Evil 3 Remake is already in development. I hope Code Veronica happens as I do feel it’s the RE game most in need of a remake, but RE3 is the last mainline RE game that needed a version for easier porting in the future (RE0, RE1, RE2 (after REmake 2 comes out), Code Veronica, RE4, RE5, RE6, RE7, Revelations & Revelations 2 all have versions on MT Framework and RE Engine that can be ported to future consoles, only RE3 is missing after REmake 2),' he said.
Resident Evil 3 takes place 24 hours before and after Resi 2, and sees former S.T.A.R.S. member Jill Valentine attempting to escape a zombie-infested Raccoon City while being hunted by one of Umbrella's bio-weapons, the Nemesis.
To be fair, DuskGolem has accurately leaked a bunch of stuff in the past, including details on the Not a Hero DLC for Resident Evil 7. Furthermore, Capcom has said that it would consider the possibility of more remakes after Resi 2 comes out.
Capcom will launch its remake of Resident Evil 2 for PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One on January 25, 2019.
The Last Kingdom wont join the list of TV shows cancelled for a while yet. Netflix has renewed The Last Kingdom for Season 4, slated to release in the 2019-20 season.
About The Last Kingdom:
As Alfred the Great defends his kingdom from Norse invaders, Uhtred — born a Saxon but raised by Vikings — seeks to claim his ancestral birthright.
Sources also note that The Last Kingdom Season 4 hasn’t been set as the last in the series, leaving the door open for a potential fifth season. Stay tuned…
HIDIVE announced at Anime NYC on Sunday that it will offer dubcasts for Release the Spyce and Tsurune this season. Tsurune's dub will premiere on November 21, while the Release the Spycedub will premiere on November 24.
As part of its dubcast initiative, HIDIVE will stream local-language dubbed versions of select anime simulcasts within two weeks of the first simulcast episode.
Sentai Filmworks has licensed both anime; Release the Spyce is streaming on HIDIVE with English subtitles, while Tsurune is streaming on Crunchyroll.
Release the Spyce premiered on October 6. The project is a collaboration between Yuruyurimanga creator Namori as original character designer and Yuki Yuna Is a Hero creator Takahiro for the original concept and series composition. The anime marks Akira Sato's directorial debut at Lay-duce. Satoshi Ishino is adapting Namori's characters for animation. SORASAKI.F is credited for the original work.
Kyoto Animation's Tsurune premiered on October 21. Takuya Yamamura (Violet Evergarden episodes 7 and 12 director, Sound! Euphonium episodes 3 and 10 director) is directing the anime as his series directorial debut, while Michiko Yokote (Shirobako, Children of the Whales, Karakai Jōzu no Takagi-san) is in charge of series scripts. Miku Kadowaki (Beyond the Boundary, Amagi Brilliant Park, Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid) is designing the characters. Harumi Fuuki (Miss Hokusai, The Piano Forest) is composing the music.
No matter what the odds, life will find a way to continue, with young Phos and the other gems as the ultimate proof. Instead of flesh, their bodies are made of living crystal, allowing them to survive in a world too toxic for any human. But their gem bodies also attract a terrible danger: the Lunarians, who hunt the gems and use their shattered forms to fabricate jewelry and ornaments. The gems with the strongest forms defend the others, but Phos is too weak and brittle to fight. Instead, Phos is ordered to compile an encyclopedia; but could that research discover hidden secrets that could help the gems? Join Phos, the toxic Cinnabar, the powerful Bort, the valiant Diamond, and others in a glittering world unlike anything you have seen before: the LAND OF THE LUSTROUS!
Director Kyle Colby Jones
King Ventricosus....Luci Christian
Yellow Diamond......Allison Sumrall
Amethyst 33.........Teresa Zimmerman
Amethyst 84.........Teresa Zimmerman
Red Beryl...........Cat Thomas
Release Date: January 22, 2019
- Pizza Cat
- LAboy 456
- Kermit the Frog
- broken visage