Funimation has long been synonymous with great anime. In fact, since its foundation in the mid-90’s, Americans have consumed the majority of their Japanese animation through this distributor. Now, the two parties have agreed to allow Sony Pictures Television to purchase a majority stake in the smaller company. Sony out here making power moves!
From Sony’s press release:
“Around the world, Sony’s networks have been major players in the anime space for nearly two decades, and in more recent years we have rapidly increased our networks’ over-the-top and digital offerings to consumers. With the acquisition of Funimation, the combined IP of ANIMAX, KIDS STATION and Funimation allows us to deliver the best anime to fans across all screens and platforms,” said Andy Kaplan, President, Worldwide Networks, Sony Pictures Television.
This is big news indeed. Funimation is responsible for bringing us iconic titles like Cowboy Bebop, One Piece, Attack on Titan – and of course – Dragon Ball Z. In fact, if you’re in North America and are watching anime, chances are that it’s in their catalog.
The companies have reached an agreement for Sony to buy a 95% stake in the anime distributor. Though they haven’t gone through with the acquisition quite yet, it signals Sony establishing itself as THE major player in anime. They will acquire FunimationNOW (the streaming service) and over 10,000 hours of content. That’s ridiculous.
Funimation CEO Gen Fukunaga added, “With Funimation’s long-established leadership position in anime and Sony’s direct access to the creative pipeline in Japan, it will be a great partnership to take Funimation to the next level.”
What do you think, geeks? Do you think they will be compromised by being absorbed into a massive international conglomerate? Or, do you think the anime distributor will expand even further and widen its reach with Sony behind it? Sound off in the comments, and also let us know what your favourite Funimation anime is!
In the meantime, here’s the title sequence from Cowboy Bebop. Mmmm…