FUNimation Acquires Manga Entertainment UK

FUNimation, the global leader in subtitled and dubbed anime content and subsidiary of Sony Pictures Television, have today announced that they have acquired Manga Entertainment UK, who are the leading UK based anime distributor for the UK and Ireland, and that a large selection of Manga Entertainment licensed titles, such as Sword Art Online and Casshern Sins, have now been added to the video-on-demand streaming platform FUNimationNOW.

This acquisition means that Manga Entertainment UK has now become part of the ‘FUNimation brand’ with immediate effect; but despite this change Manga Entertainment UK will continue to operate as normal with regular Blu-Ray and DVD releases from both independent title license acquisitions, such as Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions, as well as FUNimation related titles, such as Block Clover and Darling in the Franxx.

Additionally it also means that Manga Entertainment UK will immediately be consolidating Funimation‘s U.K. business to become the largest distributor of anime DVDs and Blu-ray Discs in the U.K. and Ireland. In short it seems Manga Entertainment UK will act as the UK distributor for all FUNimation related titles going forward; which (based on the release line-up announced so far) makes perfect sense, and that a selection of previously Manga Entertainment UK licensed titles will be made available to watch on FUNimationNOW.

Full Press Release:

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.”

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.

To celebrate this announcement FUNimation and Manga Entertainment UK have launched a special promotion on FUNimationNOW that sees both new and returning subscribers able to use the premium video-on-demand subscription service FREE for two months when using the code mangalove. FUNimationNOW is available to watch with adverts; but with a premium membership anime fans can watch an ever-growing selection of content without ads for FREE along with other benefits.

The list of titles added to FUNimationNOW as a result of this acquisition is as follows:

  • A Certain Magical Index
  • A Certain Magical Index II
  • A Certain Magical Index: The Miracle of Endymion
  • A Certain Scientific Railgun
  • A Certain Scientific Railgun S
  • Akira
  • Bayonetta: Bloody Fate
  • Casshern Sins
  • Ghost in the Shell: Innocence
  • Samurai Warriors season 1
  • Soul Eater Not!
  • Summer Wars
  • Sword Art Online season 1
  • The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
  • Wolf Children

For UK anime fans it is an exciting and interesting time to see what this acquisition will bring us; but for the time being at least it is business as normal, with the latest release being My Ancient Magus Bride – Part 2 which will be available on Blu-Ray and DVD from the 10th June 2019.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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