Crunchyroll, a US subscription video-on-demand streaming service, was created through a joint venture between Sony Music Entertainment Japan’s Aniplex and Sony Pictures.
Users can access over 1,000 anime series, over 200 East Asian plays, and around 80 manga series on Crunchyroll. However, to get Crunchyroll in New Zealand or in any other country, you will have to deploy a VPN service since the site is geo-blocked outside of the US region.
While Crunchyroll remains a valuable asset for Sony, the service recently purchased Funimation, another leading anime streaming platform. Since the Funimation acquisition, it was speculated that Sony would eventually merge these two rival enterprises into a unified anime platform.
The speculations were brought to rest when Sony revealed the merger of these two separate platforms into a unified platform under the label of Crunchyroll.
So, what impact would the merger of Crunchyroll and Funimation have on the two streaming platforms? Should you be more likely to be worried or happy about the fate of anime broadcasting?
Everything you need to understand about the merger of Crunchyroll and Funimation is detailed below.
You likely are an anime enthusiast and have been forced to choose between Crunchyroll or Funimation at a specific time in your life if you’re aware of both brands. Did you know Funimation contributes to why children at recess run about doing Fusion Dances and Kamehameha Waves? Here is a brief history of each organization.
What is Crunchyroll?
Crunchyroll was launched in 2006 for anime streaming. Since then, 120 million people have registered for Crunchyroll’s anime streaming platform, and currently, it has 5 million paying subscribers.
It even releases manga and Japanese literature on which such shows frequently are based on. Furthermore, it possesses licensing and publishing rights to well-known anime titles like One Piece and Naruto.
What is Funimation?
In 1994, Funimation Studios were established. After a poor start, Funimation began to experience popularity after broadcasting some of its series on Toonami at Cartoon Network. The appeal of Japanese animation, notably the Dragon Ball series, grew throughout the United States.
Akin to Crunchyroll, Funimation is a business that provides dubbed and subtitled anime in western countries such as the US. It holds the rights to successful shows, including Attack on Titan, Dragon ball Z, and Demon Slayer. However, you can also read the guide to find out what future Demon Slayer anime holds.
Unification of Crunchyroll and Funimation
As per a comment by Sony, once it acquired Crunchyroll, the alliance of Crunchyroll with Funimation shall enable us to get significantly closer to the producers and lovers who have been the soul of the anime world.
It further added we expect to provide much more great entertainment via anime which affects people’s hearts. Thus, this was evident from the beginning that management planned to merge the two competing anime sites. But major mergers such as this take some time.
Eventually, Crunchyroll revealed on March 1st this year that the entire Funimation content will now be consolidated under the Crunchyroll name. Furthermore, Wakanim and VRV, a branch of Funimation in Europe, will shift to Crunchyroll, offering the streaming platform exposure to the biggest bunch of anime globally.
A summary of each new episode has now been made accessible by Crunchyroll and is now constantly being maintained. Many series, including well-known hits like Log Horizon, Mushoku Tensei, Samurai Champloo, Nichijou, Wonder Egg Priority, and Sk8 the Infinity, are already added.
They’re also releasing English-dubbed editions of series previously accessible via Crunchyroll in Japanese and new series. For manga fans, it’s a celebration!
What is the fate of Wakanim and Funimation?
To address all of the concerns that fans of Funimation and Wakanim might have, Crunchyroll released a FAQ. The most pressing query was, “What should I do now?”
As stated, you must register to Crunchyroll and terminate your old memberships. As per Crunchyroll, each new show would be accessible solely on Crunchyroll, making all prior subscriptions worthless.
It seems like its aim is to start phasing down Funimation and Wakanim until a complete replacement has been done.
Is the Merger between Crunchyroll and Funimation a Positive Sign?
Mergers and acquisitions are often complex and puzzling occurrences for consumers. It seems that the union between Crunchyroll and Funimation may lead to improvements.
Traditionally, anime fans were forced to select a single service and forgo enjoying specific titles or register for multiple subscriptions (which can become pretty expensive). Furthermore, Funimation members have complained about its poor user interface, while others have expressed displeasure with the caliber of its English dubs.
Therefore, accessing Funimation’s series through the user-friendly streaming option provided via Crunchyroll is a significant advantage!
Moreover, Crunchyroll has still been offering additional consumers 60-day free service and has not altered its rates until now. What makes it possible to be upset about a streaming platform improving its catalog without increasing the price?
Moreover, it seems like Crunchyroll may experience changes in the years ahead, particularly enhancements to its audio and closed-captioning features.
For Funimation members, the major downside is that the Funimation membership charges $5.99 a month, while a Crunchyroll membership charges $7.99 per month. There is a $2 price hike for Funimation subscribers; however, the 60-day trial version and the wide assortment of shows will be more than enough to compensate for it. You can also watch your favorite Dragon Ball Z anime on Funimation, and to watch it in sequence, follow this guide on DBZ Movies’ correct watching order.
To get the best deal in terms of anime content and quality, If you presently pay for Funimation, you should deactivate your Funimation membership & sign up for Crunchyroll. If you are a Crunchyroll subscriber, you must chill and enjoy the quality content introduced to the site.