Crunchyroll And Funimation Unite Anime Libraries: 'D.Gray-man Hallow', 'Free!', 'Cowboy Bebop' Part Of Game-Changing Partnership

Free Swimming anime movie high speed starting days
Key visual for the High Speed -- Free! Starting Days movie. (c) Kyoto Animation

In major news for anime fans, Crunchyroll and Funimation are joining forces to share titles across streaming, home video and electronic sell-through .

The two companies are defining their share of the industry: Crunchyroll will focus on subtitled streaming, while Funimation focuses on its English-language dub streaming (the “broadcast dubs” which air as close as humanly possible to the Japanese broadcast).

As of Sept. 8, Crunchyroll viewers will get access to subtitled versions of Funimation’s summer simulcast titles, including D.Gray-man Hallow, First Love Monster and Puzzle & Dragons X.

Coming soon, FunimationNow viewers will be able to enjoy broadcast dubs of Crunchyroll’s summer simulcast titles, including 91 Days, Mob Psycho 100 and Orange. Release schedules are to be announced.

This partnership is expected to continue for future anime seasons, so get ready for the fall anime season, starting this October.

On top of this, a selection of titles from FunimationNow (including Cowboy Bebop , Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash , and Psycho-Pass ) are available on Crunchyroll as of Sept. 8. FunimationNow will see Free! -Iwatobi Swim Club and The Testament of Sister New Devil available on its streaming platform from Crunchyroll shortly.

But wait, there’s more: Funimation will be distributing Crunchyroll’s titles through home video and electronic sell-through outlets with dubbed and subbed versions together. Planned for the collaboration include titles like Ace Attorney, Alderamin on the Sky, Bungo Stray Dogs, Joker Game, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress and ReLIFE.

“Crunchyroll is a leading destination for fans to watch anime content,” said Gen Fukunaga, founder and CEO of Funimation, in a press release. “Our commitment is first and foremost to our fans -- and by partnering with Crunchyroll, together we can expand the reach of anime by making shows available to an even larger audience around the world. Funimation will continue to be the best place for fans to experience dubbed content while we also work with Crunchyroll to grow the market for anime. This is a thrilling next step for both companies.”

“Gen is a true pioneer in anime distribution in North America, and has been growing the reach of anime for over twenty years,” said Kun Gao, founder and GM of Crunchyroll, in a statement. “Funimation shares our passion of bringing amazing content to viewers. This partnership will allow Crunchyroll to continue making the best subtitled simulcast experience for all fans. Anime is a lifestyle experience shared by millions, and we look forward to new ways to delight fans together.”

This industry-changing collaboration is possibly one of the most consumer-friendly things to happen to the anime fanbase in a long time. The news that Funimation will be releasing some of Crunchyroll’s titles on home video and EST is fantastic; Funimation does a great job with its anime Blu-ray/DVDs. This way, fans who know whether they prefer dub or sub can pick one service subscription accordingly while still enjoying titles from the other service in their preferred fashion. (I’ll still be keeping both subscriptions because I’m whimsical, though.)

How do you feel about this partnership between Crunchyroll and Funimation? What titles do you hope reach home video or get shared between platforms? Feel free to discuss in our comments section below.

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