Anime fans, rejoice: Two of the biggest anime-streaming sites decided to join forces to bring more value to North American anime viewers.
As the top two legal streaming sites for Japanese animation, Funimation and Crunchyroll are two names anime fans have grown to recognize. The news was announced as a video on Sept. 8 on both companies’ respected Facebook pages. In the video, both parties’ employees take center stage to announce the anticipated partnership.
The video announced that Crunchyroll users will be able to view subtitled simulcast of Funimation’s licensed shows. Funimation users, on the other hand, can watch dubbed Crunchyroll licensed shows 2 to 4 weeks after they have been aired in Japan.
To make this partnership official, both companies traded some of their licensed shows as a sign of generosity. Crunchyroll has received “PSYCHO-PASS,” “Cowboy Bebop” plus “Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash” from Funimation. Funimation has received permission to dub and distribute home-video copies of “91 Days,” “Mob Psycho 100” and “Orange” from Crunchyroll.
This practice of sharing licenses will only grow since the catalog for both companies are expanding in the coming months. For those who are wondering if this is the start of a new publishing company, according to both sites’ FAQ sections, this is only a legal agreement and the people will still have to choose between Crunchyroll and Funimation. But now this boils down to a “dub” or “sub” preference.
As the announcement video stated, both companies will continue to do what they do best: Crunchyroll is only publishing subbed animes while Funimation is only producing the dubbed versions of the shared anime and then distribute them for home video at a later date.
Obviously, Crunchyroll is a better end of the deal as more people prefers subs, but Funimation will not lose any subscribers as their viewers have always preferred dubs. Viewers tend to watch dubs so they can multitask, something a sub viewer cannot do without being fluent in Japanese.
Funimation also gains the benefit of pleasing their subscribers more by releasing more dub content. And because they have a partnership with Crunchyroll, the site can now lower the price of their premium subscription fee to $5.99 per month.
While Crunchyroll benefits as a company, it will no longer have a rival. Funimation helps out their subscribers by bringing more content at a lower price.
This partnership is a gift for the North American anime community as it gives more value to owning a premium anime membership. In a time where the ethics of pirating anime has reached its peak, this deal will surely entice anime viewers to own a premium membership to benefit the Japanese’s anime industry overseas.
For now, “See you Space Cowboy…”