There Is No FUNimation, Only Crunchyroll

There Is No FUNimation, Only Crunchyroll

Hey gang! Man, how the mighty have fallen. The news that Sony is getting rid of the FUNimation brand and lumping everything under the Crunchyroll name is stunning to say the least. Who would have thunk that a legitimate video production company, founded in 1994, would be “eaten” by a pirate video website, created in 2006?

FUNimation

The News

For those who don’t know, Sony officially purchased FUNimation in October 2017. Then in December 2020, Sony announced it would buy Crunchyroll from AT&T (Warner). The plan was to have Crunchyroll merge into the FUNimation brand. During 2021, two other other brands owned by Sony (Manga Entertainment, AnimeLag) were rebranded as part of FUNimation. It was generally believed that Crunchyroll would become part of FUNimation.

However, on March 1, 2022, Sony announced that FUNimation would be rolled into Crunchyroll. FUNimation Global Group, LLC would become Crunchyroll, LLC. So in addition to FUNimation titles now being played on Crunchyroll, the FUNimation brand is being dissolved.

Looking Back

Looking back, it doesn’t seem like it was all that long ago that I was working with FUNimation, starting with Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 3, but expanding to other areas, including running the FUNimation forums. There were so many great people I knew at FUNimation. That was when FUNimation was a privately owned, fan-friendly company.

Of course, when FUNimati0n was bought by Navarre Corporation, FUNimation had to end their ties with me as I was not a paid employee (NDA’s not withstanding). They did leave me as a moderator for their new, substandard forum, but by that point, I was done. Most of the folks I knew at FUNimation had moved on. The company no longer cared about fans. It was just corporate rubbish, and I wasn’t interested in that.

Crunchyroll

You know, it is funny, but while I knew of Crunchyroll as a pirate site to watch fansubs and such, I had no interest in going over there. To me, most pirate sites are just places to unintentionally pick up malware or worse. As such, when Crunchyroll when legit in 2009, three years after it came to be, I was kind of surprised. At the same time, I actually applauded the effort. Today, I doubt that most folks even are aware of Crunchyroll’s pirate origins.

While FUNimation and Crunchyroll would eventually partner up in 2016, there was no doubt who was the “bigger” fish. Crunchyroll was a major streaming player, but FUNimation had the physical media aspect as well as the streaming aspect. So when FUNimation and Crunchyroll eventually found themselves under the same Sony roof, it seemed only natural that the older company, FUNimation, would absorb Crunchyroll.

And yet the powers that be within Sony decreed that FUNimation is the one to be absorbed and become Crunchyroll. In terms of branding, that just seems wrong to me. Crunchyroll may have the better streaming platform, but FUNimation has been there longer and does more.

It would be interesting to learn why Sony went with Crunchyroll over FUNimation for their anime division. That aside, I bid adieu to what was once FUNimation.

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