Starting today, anime fans no longer have to choose between media distribution site Crunchyroll or North American anime licensor and distributor Funimation. The two sites announced a North American partnership that will include cross-streaming, home video distribution, and dub creation. That’s right — one subscription, one catalog, and all the anime you want in one place.
In an interview with Anime News Network, Gen Fukunaga said one big reason for the partnership is that, “the market was fragmenting up a bit — you had other players coming in [like] Amazon [and] Hulu.” Both Gen Fukunaga and Crunchyroll’s co-founder and general manager Kun Gao believed that because these services do not focus on anime, they also do not focus on the experience for anime fans. Therefore, Crunchyroll and Funimation teamed up to create an optimal service for their users.
For a time, Crunchyroll and Funimation served the same purpose. Crunchyroll focused more on subs and Funimation featured primarily dubs. Starting with the Fall 2016 season, simulcasts of certain anime shows with English subtitles will be up on Crunchyroll, and the dubbed versions of these shows will be available on Funimation. Starting today, Crunchyroll users can watch subtitled versions of some Funimation’s summer simulcast titles, including D.Gray-man HALLOW, Puzzle & Dragons X, and First Love Monster. Some other popular titles from the Funimation catalog will also be available to watch on Crunchyroll, including Cowboy Bebop, Psycho-Pass, and Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash.
FunimationNow users will also have access to some of Crunchyroll’s summer simulcast titles, including Mob Psycho 100, 91 Days, and Orange. They plan to announce more dubbed catalog titles in the coming weeks. Furthermore, Funimation will now serve as the DVD/Blu-Ray distributor for Crunchyroll titles. Some of the planned titles for distribution are Bungo Stray Dogs, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, and Ace Attorney.
We never thought that this day would come. But, dattebayo, it is finally here. Now, if only all of the other streaming sites could get their act together.