Funimation Acquires UK Anime Distributor Manga Entertainment Limited

By Justin D Williams

Funimation 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.

Funimation can be found on Facebook at  facebook.com/funimation. Twitter at twitter.com/funimation and Instagram at instagram.com/funimation.

Hulu and Funimation Ink Expanded Partnership To Offer Access to Internationally Popular Anime Content

Hulu and Funimation Ink Expanded Partnership To Offer Access to Internationally Popular Anime Content

Hulu and Funimation, a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Television (SPT), announced a multi-year partnership and output deal. The monumental deal marks Hulu’s largest agreement for anime programming to date and will significantly expand its anime collection with new subtitled and dubbed titles from Funimation

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MY HERO ACADEMIA: TWO HEROES: Red Carpet Photos

MY HERO ACADEMIA: TWO HEROES: Red Carpet Photos

The highly anticipated release of “My Hero Academia: Two Heroes” opens next Tuesday, September 25 in more than 500 theaters across the U.S. and Canada. The film will have a five-day theatrical run (September 25, 26, 27, 29 and October 2, 2018, and will screen in both English dub (September 25, 27, 29) and Japanese with English subtitles (September 26, October 2). Theater locations and advance ticketing is available at official movie website The red carpet world premiere of the English dub was held on Thursday, September 13 at the Regal Cinema L.A. Live. You can check out the photos below.

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Funimation Sets April 7 Premiere for My Hero Academia Season 3

 Funimation Sets April 7 Premiere for My Hero Academia Season 3

Classes are back in session and anime’s favorite super heroes in training have returned to U.A. High School for another exciting season of “My Hero Academia.” Funimation® revealed today that Season 3 of the top-rated series will premiere on Saturday, April 7, 2018. As with last season, the first six episodes of “My Hero Academia” will simultaneously stream on the same day and date as the Japanese TV broadcast – in SimulDub™ on FunimationNow in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, New Zealand and Australia and in subtitled simulcast on Hulu and Crunchyroll. All 25 episodes of “My Hero Academia” Season 3 will stream in SimulDub on FunimationNow and in subtitled simulcast on both Hulu and Crunchyroll.

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Anime 'Your Name.' Gets North American Theatrical Dates

Funimation Films will open Makoto Shinkai’s animated blockbuster and global pop culture hit “Your Name.” in North American theaters on April 7, 2017. The film will be released in both English-language Dub as well as the original Japanese-language with English subtitles.

Written and directed by Makoto Shinkai (“5 Centimeters Per Second,” “The Garden of Words”), “Your Name.” has already received critical acclaim and commercial success overseas, dominating the burgeoning Asian box office to quickly become the fourth highest-grossing film of all time released in Japan – behind only “Spirited Away,” “Titanic” and “Frozen.” “Your Name.” has also since become the second highest-grossing Japanese animated film released in Japan, surpassing legendary works from Hayao Miyazaki including “Princess Mononoke,” “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “Ponyo.”

“It’s truly a joy to be part of a film like ‘Your Name.’ that has surprised everyone’s expectations and quickly captivated the hearts and attention of audiences and films critics alike,” said Gen Fukunaga, Founder and CEO of Funimation Entertainment. “I have always believed that a touching and beautifully told story can mesmerize mainstream audiences regardless of a film’s genre. ‘Your Name.’ is the perfect example of this and will be one that journalists will point to for years to come.”

“Your Name.” was selected by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association as Best Animated Feature of 2016 and is on the official consideration list for a nomination in the Best Animated Feature category at the 89th Annual Academy Awards. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce final nominations for the 89th Annual Academy Awards on January 24, 2017.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing ’Your Name.’ to theaters across North America and Canada this spring,” said Mike Duboise, COO of Funimation Entertainment. “Based on audience reaction around the world and a week’s worth of sold out screenings during the film’s Oscar qualifying run last December, we expect ‘Your Name.’ to be a hit with North American theatergoers this April.”

The film’s soundtrack and original score was produced and composed by award-winning Japanese rock band RADWIMPS. Lead singer of RADWIMPS, Yojiro Noda, spent part of his childhood in the United States and is thrilled to provide the English version of all the chart-topping songs in the North American English dub version of the film, including Dream Lantern and Zenzenzense.

“Melody and lyrics must be something inseparable for RADWIMPS. For all that, I cannot respect and thank them enough for making these wonderful English versions to entertain international audience,” said Makoto Shinkai, writer and director of “Your Name.” “In ‘Your Name.,’ songs, lines and the story are in complete harmony. Lyrics represent characters’ cry of the heart. I hope these alternative versions will lead the audience to a better understanding of the world of ‘Your Name.’”

Film Synopsis

The day the stars fell, two lives changed forever. High schoolers Mitsuha and Taki are complete strangers living separate lives. But one night, they suddenly switch places. Mitsuha wakes up in Taki’s body, and he in hers. This bizarre occurrence continues to happen randomly, and the two must adjust their lives around each other. Yet, somehow, it works. They build a connection and communicate by leaving notes, messages, and more importantly, an imprint.

When a dazzling comet lights up the night’s sky, it dawns on them. They want something more from this connection—a chance to meet, an opportunity to truly know each other. Tugging at the string of fate, they try to find a way to each other. But distance isn’t the only thing keeping them apart. Is their bond strong enough to face the cruel irony of time? Or is their meeting nothing more than a wish upon the stars?

For more information about "Your Name." visit the official movie website here.

Like Funimation on Facebook at facebook.com/funimation and follow on Twitter at twitter.com/funimation and on Instagram at instagram.com/funimation.

Anime Ghost in the Shell Returns to Theaters for Limited Engagement

The “Ghost in the Shell” franchise has been entertaining audiences for more than 25 years and this February, Lionsgate and Funimation Films are partnering together to bring the 1995, groundbreaking anime film back to theaters for a two-day limited theatrical engagement.  The original “Ghost in the Shell” movie from acclaimed director Mamoru Oshii, will return to the big screen on February 7 – 8, 2017 in 110 theaters across the United States. Moviegoers will be able to enjoy both the original Japanese version with subtitles as well as the English dub of the film. Each will be available on separate days of the engagement, beginning first with the subtitled version.  Tickets are available beginning today and can be pre-purchased via the official movie website at funimationfilms.com/ghostintheshell.

Viewed as ahead of its time when it premiered in 1995, “Ghost in The Shell” quickly turned into a pop culture phenomenon and the inspiration for future mainstream movies. The movie became the first anime film to rank #1 on Billboard in video sales, which currently total more than 1.5 million copies across the franchise. With the release of “Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie” in 2016 and a new live action version of “Ghost in the Shell” set to release at the end of March, there has been a huge resurgence in fan interest for the franchise worldwide.

 “We’re excited to be partnering with Lionsgate to bring the original ‘Ghost in the Shell’ movie back to U.S. theaters,” said Gen Fukunaga, CEO and founder of Funimation. “’Ghost in the Shell’ is truly a seminal work in anime cinema and it helped firmly establish a market for the genre with U.S. movie audiences.”

’Ghost in the Shell’ is an iconic property and it is great that fans will be able to watch it on the big screen for the first time in 20 years,’ said Kevin Carney, VP Marketing Lionsgate. “Many fans will be seeing the movie in a theater for the first time and Funimation has been a terrific partner to help make this possible.”

Lionsgate will be releasing a new, deluxe collector’s edition of the remastered original on Blu-Ray with Digital HD.  This new edition will feature steelbook packaging and Mondo artwork and will be available in retail outlets beginning March 7, 2017.

 Synopsis

2029 - A female cybernetic government agent, Major Motoko Kusanagi, and the Internal Bureau of Investigations are hot on the trail of “The Puppet Master,” a mysterious and threatening computer virus capable of infiltrating human hosts. Together, with her fellow agents from Section 9, they embark on a high-tech race against time to capture the omnipresent entity. 

 

For more information on “Ghost in the Shell” visit funimationfilms.com/ghostintheshell

One Piece: Gold (Review)

The Straw Hat pirates are hitting the big screen once again in an all-new high-flying adventure! The popular series that has captivated fans all over the world unfolds a new saga in the highly anticipated movie, One Piece Film: Gold. The glittering Gran Tesoro, a city of entertainment beyond the laws of the government, is a sanctuary for the world's most infamous pirates, Marines, and filthy rich millionaires. Drawn by dreams of hitting the jackpot, Captain Luffy and his crew sail straight for the gold. But behind the gilded curtains lies a powerful king whose deep pockets and deeper ambitions spell disaster for the Straw Hats and the New World alike.

One Piece: Gold fits the title because this movie is pure gold and definitely one of the best One Piece films to date. The film follows The Straw Hat Pirates gang travel to Gran Tesoro to win some cash and gold and take part in the entertainment. This place is a pirate sanctuary uninhabited by rules and regulations that other areas in the One Piece world are use too. While Luffy and the gang are racking up the wins at the Casino they encountered Tesoro himself. He has his own plans agenda for Luffy and gang and offers up a challenge. The challenge is if Luffy can win the challenges set Tesoro will ten times the winnings. Of course this all sounds too good to be true as Luffy and the gang find out Tesoro has something up his sleeve.  For the sake of spoilers I won't go too much into the plot. I would say out of all the One Piece films this one is my favorite. The film is just beautiful to look at from the use of 3D backgrounds to clever use of colors of the environments and characters. Tesoro is also a great antagonist. Like a lot of One Piece villains he has enough layers for you to connect with him. He's charismatic, cunning but also  a force to be reckon with. One Piece villains always have a likable quality to them, for Tesoro his charisma is something I think fans will gravitate towards.

It wouldn't be One Piece without action and this film does not disappoint. The action is at it's best. Once again I won't spoil the battles but with the use of CGI backgrounds and the music played it brings a level of intensity the other movies seem to lack. This movie has a sense of high stakes and using the theme of a casino it makes it more unprecedented at what is at stakes for Luffy and the gang. Fans will not be disappointed at the amazing set pieces that the team put together. Finally the voice acting was seen in the English dub and the cast once again knocks it out of the park. The cast brings energy, humor and even some high stakes emotion moments with their performances. My favorite performance is Tesoro he his so great as an antagonist and the performance shows what a great character he is.

Final Grade 4.5/5 Stars: One Piece: Gold is the One Piece movie to check out. The film has humor, action and a very entertaining villain. The visuals are beautiful with us getting a glimpse of the biggest ships in the One Piece universe. If you're fan this is a must see. If you're just getting into the franchise this a good kickstarter. 

One Piece: Gold is coming to USA click here for theatre listings. 

 

Dragonball Super English Dub to Premiere on Toonami

Dragon Ball fans everywhere just received the biggest gift of the holiday season. Toei Animation Inc., Funimation©Entertainment and Adult Swim are pleased to announce their partnership to bring “Dragon Ball Super” to TV audiences starting next January. “Dragon Ball Super” is the first new storyline in more than 18 years from original creator Akira Toriyama and the Dragon Ball franchise, which was first introduced to the U.S. more than 20 years ago. Adult Swim will begin airing the U.S. English dub of “Dragon Ball Super” Season 1 during the Toonami block starting on January 7, 2017 at 8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. ET. Season 1, which totals 26 episodes, encompasses the Battle of Gods and Resurrection ‘F’ story arcs. New episodes of “Dragon Ball Super” will air each Saturday.

”Dragon Ball Super” is more than the latest adventure in the Dragon Ball saga – It’s a collaboration between the series original creator, Akira Toriyama and a passionate team of men and women who are both longtime partners and talented newcomers. “Dragon Ball Super” comes with everything viewers can hope for after waiting 18 long years for a new series – impressible dangers to overcome, the reuniting of beloved characters, and new additions to the mythos that will rock Dragon Ball’s very foundation,” said Masayuki Endo, President and CEO of Toei Animation Inc. “We are very excited to return “Dragon Ball Super” to its U.S. broadcast home on Adult Swim.”

“Toonami and the Dragon Ball franchise have a long and storied history together in the U.S.,” said Jason DeMarco, senior vice president of on-air for Adult Swim. “We are thrilled to be premiering “Dragon Ball Super” to our audience and keeping Dragon Ball on Toonami!”

Funimation will be producing the U.S. English dub of “Dragon Ball Super” that will air on Toonami The “Dragon Ball Super” cast features veteran voice actors from previous Dragon Ball series including Seán Schemmel (Goku), Christopher R. Sabat (Vegeta), Jason Douglas (Beerus), Ian Sinclair (Whis) and Sonny Strait (Krillin) – all of whom starred in last year’s hit movie “Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’,” which became the 9th highest grossing anime film of all time in U.S.A..

“We’re extremely pleased to join with Toei Animation in this broadcast partnership with Adult Swim to bring “Dragon Ball Super” to a whole new generation of TV audiences,” said Gen Fukunaga, CEO and founder of Funimation. “I have no doubt that ‘Dragon Ball Super’ will eclipse the television success of the original Dragon Ball series that first aired here more than 20 years ago when anime was still new to the U.S. Those kids that grew up watching Dragon Ball now have kids of their own.”

As part of the English dub production and in advance of the broadcast television premiere, a new DragonBallSuperOfficial.com website has been launched that serves as a hub for all things Dragon Ball. The site will feature exclusive content, videos, graphics and character bios as well as the latest news on the franchise.

 Series Synopsis

With Majin Buu defeated, Goku has taken a completely new role as…a radish farmer?! With Earth at peace, our heroes have settled into normal lives. But they can’t get too comfortable. Far away, the powerful God of Destruction, Beerus, awakens to a prophecy revealing his demise at the hands of an even more formidable being. When his search for the Saiyan God brings him to Earth, can Goku and his friends take on their strongest foe yet?

Jinsei (Life Consulting) The Complete Series Review

Yuki Akamatsu desperately needs to work on his social interactions—at least according to the 2nd Newspaper Club president. And by that, she means getting him a girlfriend! After a barrage of personal insults, she assigns him to work the Life Counseling section of the paper. Yuki has no idea what this really means for him until he meets the three cuties responsible for providing advice. Rino Endo specializes in the sciences, Fumi Kujo covers humanities, while Ikumi Suzuki handles the world of sports—and snacks! Unfortunately, these three girls cannot agree on anything. Which means Yuki has to keep them on track and guide them to the answers that will help their classmates in need. Can he survive the onslaught of their boisterous personalities and compromising positions a plenty? There’s only so much a teenage boy can take!h

High School Dxd Born: Season Three (Review)

Issei and his harem of hotties are back to take on their biggest, boldest, bounciest adventure yet as they fight to prevent Ragnarok (aka the end of the underworld)! 

With summer vacation just around the corner, Issei’s got one thing on his mind—spending sunny days with bikini-clad babes. Unfortunately, the Chaos Brigade is planning something big, and with heavy-hitters like the Norse God Loki in their corner, the House of Gremory is going to have to survive Rias’ underworld boot camp if they hope to stand a chance.  While they prepare, dark forces gather strength behind the scenes, Koneko’s family reunion turns into a real catfight, and Asia must survive an indecent proposal from a high-ranking demon. With plenty of balls-to-the-wall battles and bare-it-all beauties, fans of High School DxD should start making room on the shelf—their perfect pair is about to become a ménage à trois.