Funimation, the American production company that specializes in anime distribution for shows like My Hero Academia, Dragon Ball Super, One Piece and Your Name, announced that it is leaving third-party streaming sites, including Crunchyroll and VRV.
According to a memo sent to staff from Funimation president Gen Fukunaga, this decision was made as a direct result of the company being acquired by Sony Pictures Television back in Oct. of 2017. The contract between Funimation and Crunchyroll will end on Nov. 9, 2018, when a streaming rights to a number of shows will return to Funimation and be available exclusively through FunimationNow, the company’s streaming service. Though it’s currently unclear which shows will and will not be available between the two services due to co-licensing agreements between Funimation and Crunchyroll.
Funimation’s channel on the VRV streaming service, where it frequently hosted dubs of popular anime (while Crunchyroll, another partner of VRV, handled the subtitled anime releases), is also set to expire. As a part of VRV’s announcement that Funimation would be leaving the platform, the company also announced a new partnership with HIDIVE, an anime focused streaming site that focuses on dubbed titles and will bring shows like Made in Abyss and Food Wars! to the platform.
In Fukunaga’s letter to employees, he explains that going forward with support of Sony Pictures Television Funimation will look to focus on servicing both its sub and dub fans while also increasing the speed that dubs are produced.