Following the growing trend of western anime distributors getting more actively involved with the production of new series, such as FUNimation joining the production committee of the forthcoming sci-fi mystery Dimension W, Crunchyroll and Japanese trading company Sumitomo have announced a partnership. Their intentions in joining forces are to create a new company which will directly invest in anime productions, and then make them available on Crunchyroll’s streaming service.
In Sumitomo’s press release which came with the announcement, Iehisa Nakamura, the company’s corporate officer and general media manager, said “With this partnership, the voice of worldwide anime fans can reach anime production studios directly through the Crunchyroll platform, which I believe will produce fascinating anime for a worldwide audience as a result. We would like to contribute to the development of the anime industry by creating new anime for worldwide Japanese anime fans with Crunchyroll.”
There has been speculation that this wave of collaborations could have been influenced by the expense of anime licensing fees, due to high levels of competition in gaining foreign distribution licenses. By being part of the production committee, distribution companies can rest assured that they will hold the rights, without having to pay the licensing costs. But whatever’s going on behind the scenes, we’re just excited to discover what new fruits this joint venture will bear for anime fans the world over, as well as the company’s name, which is yet to be announced.
Source: Anime News Network