No need to pinch yourself, this really is happening. Anime streamers and distributors Crunchyroll and FUNimation announced a partnership as of September 8th that aims to “improve the fan experience and grow the current reach of anime.” With Crunchyroll focusing on streaming subtitled shows, and FUNimation expanding their initiatives in Broadcast Dubs and the home video market, they will increasingly share their titles with one another to give us even more ways to watch more anime series. And of course, it all ties back in to the announcement Crunchyroll made in July, stating their plans to dub and release their own series on Blu-ray and DVD.
As for cross-streaming opportunities, both available now and planned for the future, Crunchyroll viewers (but only in the US and Canada for now) can already tune in and watch subtitled versions of FUNimation’s summer simulcasts, including D.Gray-man Hallow, First Love Monster and Puzzle & Dragons X. Certain select titles from the FUNimation catalog such as Cowboy Bebop, Psycho-Pass and Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash are also available now on Crunchyroll.
In accordance with FUNimation’s plans to move “many” of their subtitled shows over to Crunchyroll in due time, they also announced on Thursday (September 8th) that FunimationNow is cancelling its $4.99 a month SubPass subscription service. Instead, the company are launching a “FunimationNow Premium” option, in place of its All-AccessPass and at a discounted rate. Rather than costing $7.99 per month or $59.99 per year, access to all of the service’s streaming content will be available for $5.99 per month or $59.95 per year.
Crunchyroll titles Free! Iwatobi Swim Club and The Testament of Sister New Devil are set to arrive on FunimationNow “in the coming weeks.” And the first of their planned crossover Broadcast Dubs are 91 Days, Orange and Mob Psycho 100, also set for the weeks to come, with more specific schedule details to be announced.
FUNimation will serve as the distributors for Crunchyroll’s home video and EST (electronic sell-through) releases, and titles currently planned include Ace Attorney, Alderamin on the Sky, Bungo Stray Dogs, JOKER GAME, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress and ReLIFE. All home video and EST releases in this partnership will include subtitles and English dubs, and more titles will be announced in the future.
If you’re after more details, both Crunchyroll and FUNimation have press releases and FAQs that go in-depth on both sides of the agreement. There you can read up on future territory availability for FUNimation titles coming to Crunchyroll, and see what Crunchy and Funi founders Kun Gao and Gen Fukunaga have to say about the partnership. But one thing’s for sure, and agreed by both CEOs – this is one groundbreaking step forward in the anime distribution industry.