Funimation, one of the largest anime distributors in America, has partnered with Hulu to bring a number of new series to the streaming service at the same time as their Japanese release, the companies announced on Tuesday.
Along with new series produced, licensed and released by Funimation, Hulu also has a selection of titles from the existing Funimation library, which in total includes more than 600 shows, many in both subbed and dubbed formats. This means that Hulu and Funimation’s own streaming service will continue to be the only places to offer both the subbed and dubbed versions of shows like My Hero Academia and Attack on Titan.
Also unclear is if some of these shows such as My Hero Academia will continue to stream on popular anime-centric streaming service Crunchyroll, which Funimation ended its relationship with last month. Though, Polygon has reached out to Funimation and Hulu for clarification.
These changes come, in part, as a result of Funimation being bought by Sony Pictures Television last year, potentially raising larger questions about the company’s relationship with Hulu going forward.
This news comes at a time when many streaming services are attempting to differentiate themselves in the anime market. This announcement helps position Hulu as one of the premier services for simulcasted anime streaming anime in the US, a market that largely belonged to Crunchyroll previously. Meanwhile, Netflix seems more interested in highly specific series and making older additions to its library, like the recently announced Neon Genesis Evangelion, or the service’s upcoming Cowboy Bebop live-action series.