Sony-owned Funimation announced today that they have acquired the UK distribution company, Manga Entertainment Limited.
Funimation is well-known for its translations of Japanese animated properties and was purchased by Sony in 2017 by the the Sony Pictures Television Networks division.
Sony can now add UK distributor Manga Entertainment to its list of properties, which is a big deal in the UK as Manga Entertainment pretty much kick-started the industry here back in 1991 with their release of Akira. Following the positive reaction to the film, they followed up with more hyper-violent animated content such as Fist of the North Star and Guyver, leading to some interesting headlines!
Over the years, Manga Entertainment evolved into the home of long-running and popular Shonen shows such as Naruto and Bleach.
With Manga Entertainment now under their belt, Sony has a direct line of distribution to the UK market, explaining their recent move to pull Funimation-dubbed and subbed content from MVM and Anime Ltd.
From the Press Release:
Funimation, a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Television, is a global leader in the world of anime. A fully integrated, next-generation entertainment studio, the company’s fan-first philosophy is anchored in its omnichannel approach to its immersive offerings. From streaming and home entertainment to theatrical distribution and broadcast, Funimation’s commitment to character-driven storytelling, combined with tech innovation and key distribution partnerships, provides audiences with multiple and meaningful touchpoints to connect with this immersive world. FunimationNow, a next generation streaming service, provides subscribers with instant access to their favorite sub and dub shows in ad-free HD on the widest array of platforms – including smartphones, tablets, TVs and gaming consoles. Funimation Films, the theatrical division of Funimation, acquires and distributes both anime and live action movies from prominent international filmmakers that appeal to the interests and passion of all types of fans. For more information about Funimation, visit funimation.com.
About Manga Entertainment
Manga Entertainment, a subsidiary of Funimation, is a vertically integrated digital film and television company comprising of distribution, international sales and production. Founded in 1987, Manga Entertainment quickly earned the reputation as the UK’s leading anime distributor with such revered franchises as “Ghost in the Shell,” “Dragon Ball Z,” “Naruto,” “One Piece” and “Death Note.” Headquartered in London, the company continues to specialize in the licensing, marketing and distribution of Japanese animation as well as other successful pop-culture brands like “Halo,” “Transformers: The Movie 30th Anniversary Edition,” “Pokemon” and “Yu-Gi-Oh!” In 2019, Manga Entertainment broke £1 million at the UK box office with smash-hit “Dragon Ball Super: Broly,” making it the second largest anime film to ever hit UK cinemas. For more information about Manga Entertainment, visit mangauk.com.
Courtesy of the funimation.com blog:
FLOWER MOUND, TEXAS and LONDON, ENGLAND – May 29, 2019. Funimation, the global leader in sub and dub anime content and subsidiary of Sony Pictures Television, today announced its acquisition of Manga Entertainment Limited (“Manga”), the leading distributor of anime in the UK and Ireland. Headquartered in London, England, Manga is a long-term partner of Funimation and currently serves anime fans across a wide range of channels, including Blu-ray / DVDs, broadcast, theatrical and digital (EST – electronic sell-through). Following its immediate consolidation of Funimation’s UK home entertainment business, Manga will become the largest distributor of anime Blu-rays/DVDs, offering fans more than 900 hours of subtitled and dubbed entertainment – the biggest catalog of titles available anywhere in the UK and Ireland. With this acquisition, most of these titles – many for the first time – will become available for streaming to fans throughout the UK and Ireland on FunimationNow over the coming months. These titles will include hit series like “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood,” “Naruto Shippuden,” “Ghost in the Shell: Innocence” and “Sword Art Online.”
“With this acquisition, we will create a truly immersive anime experience for fans in the UK and Ireland. This begins with providing fans access to Manga’s library of titles to enjoy whenever and wherever they want on FunimationNow,” said Mitchel Berger, vice president of sales and distribution for Funimation. “Together with the Manga team, Funimation will bring its fan-first omnichannel approach to serving anime fans – engaging with them directly through the widest array of touchpoints.”
“On behalf of Manga Entertainment, we’re thrilled to join Funimation and their expanding global business,” said Jerome Mazandarani, managing director of Manga Entertainment Limited. “We’re excited for the new opportunities that lie ahead and to serve anime fans in the UK and Ireland in a bigger way than ever before.”
Additional Manga Entertainment titles now available on FunimationNow include “Sword Art Online Season 1,” “Akira,” “A Certain Magical Index Movie,” “A Certain Magical Index Season 1,” “A Certain Magical Index Season 2,” “A Certain Scientific Railgun Season 1,” “A Certain Scientific Railgun Season 2,” “Summer Wars,” “Wolf Children,” “Samurai Warriors Season 1,” “Soul Eater NOT!,” “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time,” “Bayonetta (The Movie): Bloody Fate,” “Casshern Sins,” and “Ghost in the Shell: Innocence.” More titles will continue to be announced.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Funimation which today provides streaming, home entertainment, theatrical and broadcast distribution, as well as merchandise licensing in many territories around the world. With a catalog of more than 600 titles encompassing over 10,000 hours of subtitled and dubbed entertainment, Funimation directly serves consumers in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, Australia and New Zealand through its subscription service FunimationNow. In November 2018, FunimationNow became the first Sony Pictures Television service to launch on Amazon’s Prime Video in the UK.